Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cheap Therapy

So today's ramblings are on the subject of "nail enhancements." It's not fair to say acrylic nails since there are many different types of nails: acrylic, gel, fiberglass, wraps, and more that I'm just not aware of. Regardless of the type, I'm a big fan of the "nail enhancement."

This all began for me when I was in Key West. Now, I've always enjoyed pampering myself and enjoying a little "Tassie Time." A good manicure, pedicure, massage, facial...these are the things that make you go "Ahhhhhhhhhhh," followed by a dreamy smile. Before I had a child, I must have had more time and money on my hands because I made regular standing appointments with my nail tech. I went every two weeks to get my nails filled in and refreshed. Every other appointment, I would also get a pedicure. I would spend quite a bit of time with my nail tech and she was so good at her job! She truly believed that since I was paying for the time, it was all about me and not her. She let me talk and talk and talk! The way I figure it, it was cheaper than therapy.

For those of you that know me, my personality is pretty loud. This also applies to my nails. I'm the sort of person that had long, blood red nails at my wedding, not the traditional French manicure. I looked forward to each appointment with Karen as a way to express myself with 10 little blank canvases. I had some pretty cool looking nails. I always had some type of glitter polish and often had nail art. I think one of my favorites was a crown that Karen painted on my nails and included little jewels for the crown. My students loved this. At Halloween time, she painted my nails to look like candy corn. I loved it. Then I had a child and nothing was the same.

When you have a child, you can't seem to justify some of the old expenditures. I had to buy diapers and baby food....but I couldn't afford those items and nail appointments every two weeks. Something had to go. I'm happy to report that Raelynn is still with us, and I broke my bi-monthly nail habit. For the first two years of Raelynn's life, I didn't set foot in a nail salon.

So 5 years later, we moved to Mississippi. In Key West, I don't remember seeing any nail salons that didn't also have the usual hair services offered. Moving to Mississippi, I was inundated with nail salons everywhere. And not the usual hair salon with a nail tech, but salons dedicated to just nails. We even have one inside of our Wal-Mart. These nail salons tend to be owned and operated by several Asian families in town. The degree of their English speaking skills varies from place to place. I've only been to one once with my friend Jessica, when she was totally bummed and needed a pick-me-up. During this visit, I missed my old nail tech Karen. She and I had a relationship, which I have already noted revolved around me. At this particular nail salon here in Starkville, the order of the day was to get clients in, provide the service, and get them out. No conversation, no relationship. I haven't been back.

A few years ago, I did have a hankering for nail enhancements again. The cost of getting a full set put on and the regular fill services were much cheaper than what I paid in FL so I tried it again. I found a hair salon in town that also had a nail tech. She was real nice, but the reason I went to her and continued to go to her is because of the product she used.

I can never remember the exact name of the product, but it was a glitter lover's dream come true. The acrylic powder had glitter in it already with an assortment of different colors to choose from. No polish was needed since the glitter was already there. I paired up two nice colors that were the disco version of a French manicure. What I liked about it was that from far away it looked like I had a nice conservative French manicure and then when you got up close...Ba-Blam!! It was great. I went to her for a few months and loved it. I didn't do a pedicure, and haven't had one in over 5 years. It cost too much and I figure more people are looking at my hands anyway. Eventually, the nails started to lift. What happens is that when your real nail grows underneath, the tip and acrylic overlay don't have anything to adhere to. I wasn't going to pay lots of good money for something that would break often and need to be repaired. So for the second time, I broke the same habit.

I'm hoping to ease back into a different kind of nail habit. Now I'm thinking that I should get a regular pedicure and have my nails done every other session. I wouldn't be getting artificial nails, since I think I've learned my lesson, but it wouldn't hurt to get my natural nails shaped and in good condition again. I'm sure I'll be looking for the perfect place....somewhere where I can talk, unload my day, have the tech hold my hand and tell me it's all going to be alright. If you know of such a place in my area, please share! There have been lots of stresses in my life recently and I think that nails are again, cheaper than therapy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whenever I think of nail salons, I think of the phrase "Pick a colla...pick a colla..." It also reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine thinks the Korean women are all talking about her...SM