Thursday, May 28, 2009

Au Naturel

Perfection has a flip side to it - more often than not, perfect things scream FAKE - like that full bosomed size zero lady that breezes ahead of you in the gym or the eyelashes that look like the fringe of your living room curtains defying gravity and facing skywards. But I was introduced to a whole new level of fake when I got my gel nails implanted. Had I not spent the dough I'd spent on them, I'd have pryed them out then and there and threw them in the trash can never to tread the path of the manicurist's place - ever again. It happened last evening and it happened like this -

When Aarti's dad comes home early sometimes and is in a position to afford to be nice, he offers to baby sit the brat while I can go on a 'what ever I want to do' spree and enjoy myself and my 'myself' time. So last evening was one of those eventful times when I had the luxury to do what I wanted to do without a hyperactive, over inquisitive toddler in the shopping cart, who would want to go to the restroom the moment I get to the farthest point of the store from the restroom. So - I chose to go get a pedicure - only for the third time in my life in the United States of America. Did someone say third time is a charm? So, I ended up in the pedi-chair making small talk with Victoria the pedicurist. There were a couple of ladies that were at the manicurist's chair where a couple of men worked on their hands like physicians working in an operation theatre - focus lights, nose masks and all that! Needless to say, my conversation steered towards acrylic nails - Victoria did all she could do to convince me to have fake nails. Now - if there is a part of me that I am vain and proud about, it is my hands - my arms, my hands and my fingers - as a package deal. It was probably God's way of compensating for my chipmunk cheeks and chinky eyes. And I can never to date - figure out how and why my nails and hair grow like weeds - given the fact that I eat a protein free diet - or almost, practically a protein free one. So you must be wondering why I had gel ones. Well, the other day over the long weekend, when I was in the bowling alley trying to not be the least scorer among my peers, I broke my thumb nail handling the 6 pound ball. I came home and promptly chopped off the rest of my nails to make them uniform. So, while convincing the manicurist that I my nails take no time to grow - a part of me was willing to sit in that chair and give them a try.

The guy used a mini sanding machine kind of thing and got rid of a layer of the tip of my natural nail. By now I much prized fingers were looking like I'd just stuck them in rice flour and didn't care to dust them off. And then, the glue - and the pieces of plastic that protruded from my nail buds like shallow rainbow arches. It was by far, the ugliest sight ever - and I cringed- wrinkled and shut my eyes hard and prayed to get the strength to sustain the foolish experiment I was getting into. There was more sanding, more gluing and filing and finally he caught hold of an instrument that looked like pliers and cut the rainbow arch short. Now the nails looked like cigarettes stubs - short, blunt and uneven. The whole process of the nails was like an hour - an hour that I could have spent in Barnes and Noble, sipping on white chocolate mocha and reading Dr.Laura's latest - but destiny brought me to this chair that was inflicting onto me the horror of one of the many facets of vanity. And then, the real pain came in. The manicurist applied a gel on my nails and made me stick my hand into a pocket like device that was emitting ultra-violet rays. The rays melted the gel and burned my cuticles and I did more cringing, more cussing under my breath and in that royal pain, thought about all the serious procedures Dr.90210 does on women in his famous E! show and the amount of pain ladies sustain to get that perfect derriere, bosom or pillow lips which end up looking like something else that I refrain from describing since I want to be able to keep my language under control.

At the end , my otherwise perfect nails that tipped my perfect fingers looked like miniature duck feet glued over my nails - giving my fingers an over all stocky and obviously fake appearance - so we are not even looking at perfect here - we are looking at just fake!

Mistakes happen and I came out celebrating my adventurous spirit though my heart felt a little heavy and my purse a little light. Driving home, I successfully avoided looking at my nails but wasn't successful enough to avoid the thoughts of what I could have done with the money I'd just dropped on the manicurist's desk.

So, I don't care if it is the harsh eyebrows that ladies draw to look like Brook Shields or the bums that they stuff to look like JLo - They just don't work! Au Naturel is the way to go - the blissfully painless and priceless way to go - in the meanwhile, I am happy to report that my robust nail bud already sports the growth from beneath that thick, clubby, duck feet. Thankfully, I need to look at these horrendous new additions only for a couple of weeks.