If you had told me a year ago that today I would spend several hours painting my nails–and that this would be a regular occurrence for me–I would have laughed in your face and told you that you had the wrong girl.
I can’t believe I’m writing this post.
Without realizing it, I’ve adopted painting my nails as something like a spiritual discipline.
If you read any further, I can only assume you are either very bored or morbidly curious.
I was a major tomboy growing up, and until recently had only ever had a manicure for weddings. But this past summer, I lived with two of my girlfriends and had a pretty flexible schedule, and one result was that I started painting my nails pretty regularly with one of my roommates. We’d set up shop in the living room, put on reruns of one of our favorite sitcoms, and talk while we gave ourselves manicures.
I eventually grew to enjoy my nails being fun colors, but more than that, I grew to love the process. I had always hated the patience that nail painting required, but this is where I get to the part about it being a discipline.
I repeat: I can’t believe I’m writing this post.
Painting your nails takes time. To do it right, there’s trimming, filing, buffing, then applying a base coat, 1-2 coats of color, and a top coat. You have to wait a significant amount of time between each coat (approximately the length of a half-hour sitcom episode sans commercials, according to my friend Katie). I learned the hard way that you can’t paint your nails an hour before an event as part of getting ready. It has to be its own thing, and you have to commit time to it.
What’s more, you can’t do anything else while you’re painting your nails. I’m a huge multi-tasker, but I have to resist the urge to do something else while my nails dry. If I don’t, I’ll mess it up. I have to sit still for 20 minutes at a time–not exactly my forte.
As a communal event, painting your nails is a unique opportunity for conversation because no one can go anywhere or mess with their phone. As an individual event, even if you’re watching TV or listening to music, you have to sit still for a while.
Quaint? Vapid? Maybe. But as a fidgety, easily distracted multi-tasker, I suspect there’s something for me to learn from the discipline of nail polish.
Plus, now my hands look fabulous.