I have loved nail polish for as long as I could remember. It is by far one of the cheapest and surest ways to pick me up. There is something that is so uplifting about having a bright coral or berry shade splashed across my hands…
When I was a teenager I would take care to match my polish with my outfits – sometimes repainting my nails every day of the week for school. I remember the joy of owning an actual bottle of glittered blue Hard Candy polish – second only to Revlon’s classic red red red. When my girls were very little I would paint each of their tiny nails on both their hands and feet in the shades of the ripest fruits; mangoes, watermelon, honeydew. Sigh.
My own nails have fallen by the wayside and enjoy only the briefest of revivals to the glory days (winning a nail lacquer wardrobe from O magazine buoyed that for a yearlong stretch – thanks O magazine!!!). It took a meme my younger brother posted to shock me into reality though – a picture of warn down polish – slivers of moons that had been abandoned on the nailbeds with the caption – “Don’t trust this girl! She doesn’t care about nothing’!” rang all to true. Letting your nails go is never chic – no matter whose hands it’s on. Of course I understand that hard work chips away at many things – nail polish included (and I am no stranger to rolling up my sleeves and working) but there is a big difference between no polish and polish in the late stages of decay.
Tonight the girls asked me to paint their nails before the school week started. I realize this time is fleeting and all too soon they will want to paint them alone (or far worse, ask to have them done at a salon) and I relish the time to be face to face with them one on one. After applications of hot pink and neon yellow, then dark purple and berry pink for them I swiped on a few quick coast of luscious raspberry for myself. I wasn’t put off by the obvious need to catch up with my cuticles (which seem to be in a race to cover the nails entirely) or the traces of tar left is tiny specs on my hands from smoothing it over lumber earlier today. As I put away the glass bottles and set about doing the final sweep of things before bedtime, I still felt transformed. My nails weren’t perfect – that wasn’t my aim and I wouldn’t have gotten there at this point of the day even if I had tried – but I noticed that I cared. I did a tiny little something about it, right where I was, with what I had on hand and it felt amazing.