I’m new to the world of acrylic nails. Or, fake fingernails, as they were called when I was growing up.
Even as a kid I was never part of the Sally Hansen crowd – I never saw the attraction of gluing long pieces of clumsy plastic on to the ends of my fingertips like many of my experimental girly-girl prepubescent chums.
But what a difference 37 or so years can make.
Let it be known that on October 19th, 2006, at the Red Rock Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada, I lost my acrylics virginity, and since 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time on that date I have held up either of my two hands and extended my long, flawless, Hawaiian Orchid-painted phony claws, as if I were showing off the Hope Diamond, approximately 3000 times.
For the first time in 50 years, my hands look like a Palmolive commercial.
I come to the world of beautiful hands late in life, mainly because a) I’ve been busy using them to scrub floors, wash dishes and throw muddy tennis balls to the dog and, b) I knew I’d probably have a hard time finding a nail polish color that would complement the embedded tennis ball grime on my dry, cracked index fingers.
But on our recent trip to Las Vegas for my husband’s annual convention, the planets aligned in such a way that the heavens opened up and practically begged me to do something about my hideous hands. On the final night of the convention, we were to attend a formal ball. I had brought along a long black gown, sparkly, strappy shoes, and blue sapphire earrings. And, of course, I would have to wear my embarrassing hands, too.
As luck would have it, after six solid days of playing slot machines, I noticed I was losing something else besides just my shirt – I noticed that the crud in my fingers had almost totally disappeared and my fingernails were as clean and white as a set of Hollywood teeth, pitifully short and jagged as they were.
“I wish I could go to the ball,” I fantasized, “with pretty nails.”
The next morning, while my husband was in class, I paged through the hotel directory and ran across the spa’s “menu” of services. I ran a nonexistent nail down the list until I came to Nails.
Acrylics, full set – $115.00. That didn’t include the $27.00 daily spa use pass.
Whoa! Looks like this Cinderella would be going to the ball in her shabby nails.
On a whim, I called the Red Rock Resort and Spa, where we would be staying that night, and inquired about the cost for a “full set of acrylics.” I was beginning to like saying it, as though I had ever had one.
“$60.00 for a full set,” said the friendly attendant. “No daily pass required if you’re a guest.”
“See you at 2:00!” I confirmed.
And the rest is acrylics history – she wrote, missing several keys because her nails are now 12 days old and getting a little long for typing.
They’re not so good at pulling out the winder on the side of your watch to change the time, and I have to ask for help when trying to fasten a necklace, and there was that nosebleed on the first day when I underestimated the length of my index nails when blowing my nose.
But don’t be fooled, these fairytale digits can still play a pretty mean game of video poker.
With the emphasis definitely on the pretty.