Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I Enjoy Being A Girl, But There Are Limits

I wanted to get this particular question out of the way well in advance of International Women's Day, which is 8 March.  When you click the hyperlink I provided, please take especial note of the fact that currently, the UK is holding twice as many events as the USA is to commemorate this day.  I realize that it's technically not a competition, but after I read this article in which I learned that a "report from Brigham and Women’s Hospital released yesterday found women are routinely bypassed as medical research subjects — starting at the selection of male lab mice over females — which means women end up with health recommendations that are really meant for men."  Even though a law was passed in 1993 tying National Institute of Health funding to the inclusion of women in study samples, "two decades later, research specific to women is still lagging".  Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA; Real Life Superhero) has gotten a sign from the Commissioner, so she is already on top of this.  Even if she has to spin Earth counter-clockwise, things will happen, believe you me.

Anyway, I digress.

This question is sort of a frivolous, Girly-Type Question, and while it may be trivial in light of Larger Women's Issues, let's face it:  we can't always be building low-income housing or trying to tinker with soybeans to find a reliable strain that is drought-resistant.  Sometimes we need a little bit of Steroypical Me Time.  So...

Do you get regular mani/pedis?

Heavens no.  And I say that with absolutely no judgment at all towards the activity or those who perform the job or those who enjoy getting either or both.  Or even the expenditure involved although I have to say that I'm largely clueless as to the cost of any of them.  I know dozens of people who luxuriate in getting a pedicure, my sister included.  I know dozens of people who get all different kinds of manicures. Bridal parties do it as a group activity before the wedding.  Friends go as a matter of course, sometimes as a standing outing.  It's simply not my thing.

Let me start first and foremost with a pedicure.  I can give you my reason in a single word:  feet.  I talked about this topic before, here.  No one, and I mean no one, touches my feet.  I don't even like typing or looking at the word feet.  No way I'm going to allow a stranger--a stranger!--to get intimate with my feet and my toes and all that.  Ugh.  I shuddered just then.  I honestly did.  The very idea.  I don't even like Rick to touch my feet.  And don't get all ooeygooey about the so-called merits of a foot massage.  I almost just threw up in my mouth. Urk.

I could use a manicure right now, actually, but forget it.  I had one once, and it hurt like hell.  My nails are about the thickness of the papery stuff on a head of garlic.  They are also weak, bendy, peely, and small.  My cuticles, which are always dreadfully dry, continuously try creeping up my nails like you see on really elderly people.  When I get brave and push them back, my nail bed is so sensitive that it feels like some kind of torture.  Do I lotion my hands?  Yes.  Do I soak them before trying to manicure myself? Yes.  Did I go to a very good manicurist?  I thought so.  Much of this dryness and thinness is due to my migraine medication.  It's a tradeoff.

Long ago, back in the 80s and 90s, I had lovely, long fingernails.  I would grow them out and use all different kinds of polish.  One of my favourites was a knockoff of the popular Chanel color at the time, which was a very very dark mahogany.  There was another one called Black Cherry which looked black but had a distinctly red hue to it. And I loved, loved, loved a classic red.  But if even one nail broke, I'd cut them all down and grow them back together.  I hated the way it looked if one was different.  But those days are over.  It's okay, though.  I can type much better with very short fingernails.

If I could have long fingernails back and get a manicure, I'd get a French, I think.  It's basic and always looks so finished and sophisticated.  I've never been a fan of painted toenails because all it does is draw attention to feet.  Nothing good about that.  Ugh.



  1. I'm with you all the way on this topic. My feet are my own, thank you to keep your hands and clippers away from them.

    I've had manicures (years ago) but decided that I was wasting money that could be used for more practical things like premium liquor and bakery cupcakes.

    [Having written that now, I have to wonder if my definition of "practical" might be a little different than most other people's.]

  2. Nope, I'm with Ally Bean on using the money for other things. I haven't spent it on liquor and cupcakes, but that sounds tempting.

    No, I use plenty of money to get my hair professionally cut and colored, so I feel pretty guilty about getting a mani or a pedi.

    I've never gotten either, and I don't think I will for quite a while. Maybe in fifteen years if my daughter wants me to go with her.

  3. Don't get me started on toenails. The wages of spending the first half of your life in swimming pools is toe fungus. Nuff said.
    The best I can say about my fingernails is that I have (mostly) stopped biting them in my seventh decade.
    Loving this meme!

  4. For a really long time I had acrylic nails and LOVED them. I have big hands but my fingers are relatively short, so I really liked how long nails made my hands look. Unfortunately I have crappy-quality nails because of genetics, so I could never grow my nails out naturally, and the acrylics not only looked good but wore well. But it finally got to the point where I just didn't have time every week to get my nails done, so I finally had to stop going. I'd go back to acrylics in a heartbeat if I had the time.

    As for pedicures, I have no issue with anyone doing anything with my feet. In fact there's a lot to be said for a real foot massage, especially when you spend as much time on your feet as I do. I've never had a pedicure, but that's only because I don't care if my toenails are polished, and it never sounded particularly enticing to me.

  5. LaFF--One of my friends warded me off getting acrylics by telling me about fills. She said, "Nance. Do you really want to go back every two weeks for a fill? There is maintenance involved here. It's more worky than you think." Of course the answer was NO.

    Mary G--I'm glad you are finding this series of posts entertaining. I'm really surprised about pools causing fungus. I would have thought that the chlorine would prevent that. Shows what I know. (Also how often I am in a pool.)

    Gina--I'm not big on cupcakes, but my wine collection is always a priority. I guess my manicure/pedicure money is my wine money.

    Do they still make those Lee Press-on Nails? You and your daughter could do those at home and then go out for something else!

    Ally Bean--Hey, no judgment here. I would say "wine and premium chocolates" or "pie and premium vodka", but no matter; we get each other.

  6. Well then, I guess I'm the freak show here, because I adore a manicure, pedicure, or a foot massage. The best pedicures are the ones where they give you a foot massage in the middle of it. You're wincing as you read this comment, I'm sure, because I keep saying foot. Sorry. I like the look of a freshly pedicured foot, and I love how soft my feet feel when they've gotten rid of the callouses, etc. Manicures are also lovely, but as I am not a fan of high maintenance nails (as in, something that requires upkeep), if I get a pedicure, I'll usually get a manicure as well for the hell of it, but I know the polish will chip and look like crap by dinner time.

    I haven't had either for a couple of years now, though, so you couldn't say it's a regular thing. You've given me an idea for my daughter's birthday, though. Mother and daughter mani-pedi day. Lovely.

  7. J.--You go right ahead and love both of those things. After a harsh winter and fall, and all of the boot-wearing, I know I desperately need a pedicure. I woke up the other morning, and the word "Condemned" was written across both feet.

    How embarrassing it would be to walk into a salon and have the women there talk about the horrid condition of my feet in some Special Pedicurean Language, and laugh at me; worse yet, what if I would take my socks off, and they would recoil in horror and say their original price was no longer enough, that it would be double, triple, or more? No thanks.

    Enjoy your Mother and daughter pampering day. Let us all know how it went.

  8. Such an interesting discussion. I heard the info on the male/female differences with drugs recently in the 60 Minutes segment which I guess was focused on all of the same data you are talking about Nance. It seems different recommendations per sex have only been made for Ambien thus far. Mostly because they have not gone back to look at the other drugs. The FDA czar they were interviewing was a woman and, sadly, she had a rather cavalier attitude about it all if you ask me. She acknowledged the Ambien issues, but dismissed the need to go back and examine the differences in men and women for other drugs. Typical FDA dismissiveness, of course.

    I have absolutely no desire to every have a manicure. I think fake nails are a huge waste of time and money. They look ridiculous to me. I've never been interested. I'm also a nail biter. Still.

    I did have my first pedicure last fall though and loved it! Unlike some of you, I have no issues with anyone touching my feet. I fell in love with my husband when he and I were both servers at a restaurant 100 years ago. He would rub my feet after work. Heaven! I love getting massages including my feet, but the pedicure was such a gift to my feet and they stayed in good shape for months!

    Mom gave me a gift certificate for Christmas so I am headed back. Btw, this is a one-woman operation and the owner is a sweetheart, so there is no behind your back chatter on how bad your feet are. I was delighted at the results and the process. Not trying to sway anyone, just saying why I loved it.

    Oddly enough, my sister can't stand to have anyone touch her feet (or her body other than her hubby), so we definitely have very different feelings on massages, manicures, and pedicures!


  9. Shirley--How disappointing is it when women don't stand up for other women? It's devastating. I once saw a bumper sticker that said, "How can I like you when you can't stand each other?" and it had a picture of a woman on it. Sad.

    Maybe that's what I need, a one-woman operation. I don't know. I have to think about it.

  10. Nance, your comment about what the people might say reminded me of my mom, when she was sick and in the hospital. She asked me to cut her toenails, which I did. I expected her to say "thank you", as a person does when someone finishes doing them a good deed, no matter how trivial. She didn't. I, the annoyed daughter sounding far too much like a bossy mother, said, "What do you say?" and she was genuinely embarrassed and confused. She said she didn't know. When I told her, she said, "Oh, I thought you wanted me to say I was sorry for how disgusting my feet were." AGH! As if. She had winter feet, nothing worse.

    I'll bet the people who work there feel like a hairdresser does, when someone comes in with a mess on their head, and they leave feeling beautiful. Accomplishment and a job well done. Like helping someone to learn how to write an essay, perhaps.

  11. J.--Bless her heart. And bless you, too. I guess I'm so wrapped up in my own head, feeling embarrassed like your mom, that I forget other people have feelings too. Maybe the manicurist/pedicurist does feel that same sense of accomplishment and satisfaction rather than what I described.

    Good for you, J. Your fresh perspective is always so welcome. One of the things I love about visiting your space.

  12. I have exactly the same history and sentiments about fingernails: used to be able to grow nice long, strong nails. But even then, I got so annoyed the minute one nail got chipped or broke off, because I refused to walk around with anything less than a perfect manicure, and I was too poor to have it done elsewhere. So eventually, I gave up on it and settled for short, clean fingernails.... and easy typing!!

  13. Ortizzle--I was thinking the other day, as I was rooting around in my drawer, looking for my blush, about all the nail polish I used to have. I'd work out of at least ten bottles at once! Not to mention the base coat, the top coat, and the quick-dry set coat. And when there would be a kid emergency, there would go a few nails that weren't entirely dry, all in one fell swoop. Sigh. It was like a hobby for a while there.

    In reality, I'm glad that's over. But I do miss the finished product every once in a while.

  14. It's always a waste for me to get a manicure - I'm lucky if I haven't chipped a nail by the time I get to my car. But I would LOVE to get a regular pedicure. I never thought I'd enjoy it - I'm the kind of person who kicks you involuntarily if you touch my feet - but the couple of times I've been it was such a relaxing experience. Alas, time & money are short - I'd rather buy yarn :)

  15. The bug--I've been bitten by the yarn bug too. A craft store went out of business not to far from me, and I went through there like a pillager. And when I went to San Francisco to visit Mikey, I discovered that at Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, they sold knitting needles. I lost it. Now I have a bulging knitting bag. It's been great for my arthritis, though. And I learn all my new stitches on YouTube! Incredible.



Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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