Day 23,696:  Manicures over Real Cures.

I have one vanity expense, except I consider it a preventative medical expense.  I get a regular manicure.  I got into the game as a young working mother when I realized I was going to work with bleeding fingers wrapped in multiple band aids. It wasn’t a good look.

Part of my problem came from not wearing rubber gloves when washing dishes or other household chores. Some of it came from having too many fingers caught in too many doors over the years resulting in uneven, ridged nails. Most of it came from having dry skin, living in a climate with months of cold weather, and a bad habit picked up somewhere at some point in time of picking at my cuticles.

It’s not because I’m stressed. It’s not because I’m nervous. I’m more likely to do it when bored, or thinking, or concentrating on a hard problem. I don’t even know when the bad habit started. I do know I first became aware of the habit on someone else.  An older, mentally distressed cousin came to our house when I was teenaged to have a picnic lunch with my mother and I, and throughout the outing he was physcially tearing himself apart before our eyes.  But, why would I pick up a bad habit from watching a clearly distressed relative?

I’m not a nail biter, but I might as well be. The result is the same – looking craggy and disheveled when pointing out things during presentations, or handing things to colleagues, or referring to a piece of paper that not only has coffee stains on it, but blood smudges as well. Ugh. Truly disgusting.

Sometimes when you disgust yourself enough you get motivated to stop a bad habit.  That happened to my mother-in-law who, after some undisclosed incident, successfully quit smoking cold turkey. Not me. If I feel a rough spot on my fingers, the habit takes hold. I start chomping.

So, I started getting manicures, which chipped and split and led to a different type of dishevelment. Plus, it required a weekly commitment and patience to sit in the shop for way longer than I had patience for. At some point, I created a more serious ameliorative habit of getting more expensive manicures that lasted at least three weeks.

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I’m the most conservative Crone in the shop.  I’m surrounded by serious South Jersey gals who get 3D designs with glued on jewels on very long nails.  Every so often I try to convince myself I should be more daring and go blue or green like the Millenials. Then I remember my goal is draw attention away not toward my nails and I head for the pink.  i

I admire women who go through life with natural nails and don’t bite or chomp on their fingers. It’s such a great natural look. I’ll  never have it because as soon as polish wears down, I’m back to the band aids, bad habits and all. This is a clear case of no matter how old you get, you don’t get better. You just find other cures. Mani-cures.

Focus on Common Sense Gun Sanity:  Looking for stats to get perspective?  Look no farther than the Gun Violence Archive, started in 2013 to provide verified data on gun incidents. While we’re all focused on Parkland, the archive reports that we’ve experience 41 mass shootings since the start of 2018.  Parkland was different not because of the shooting, but because of the victim reactions. All of the other 4 shootings per week have no fanfare or publicity around the nation. Parkland demonstrates that reactions and activism do matter.