Friday, August 14, 2009

Vanity, Vanity

Once I had fake nails. My mother, convinced I was a geek (hmmm, math graduate working in computer programming at the time....where would she get such an idea?), repeatedly told me that I should participate in the city beauty pageant. I didn't appreciate her pestering me on the subject, but I did see how it might be a worthwhile experience. When I realized that she was going to be out of the country on the night of the pageant, I signed up to compete in it. No stage mothering to worry about, and I'd get to dress up and have a chance to sing in public!

To not make a fool of one's self in a pageant, er, I mean scholarship competition, one must look the part (just watch Miss Congeniality for proof of this). So I went to a nail salon and got long acrylic nails. Wow! I felt so glamorous! Until I tried to wash my hair and realized that I was scratching my scalp and loosening my expensive new nails in my thick hair. When I went to work, I realized that I had to hold my hands differently to use my computer keyboard. All of the sudden, I became much less able to use my fingertips. I had traded in useful fingertips for nails that felt unnatural and required "fills" every week or two. Ugh. After one or two fills, I got rid of my long nails, and I've never worn fake nails since.

This morning, I had reason to be very grateful for my short fingernails. My two-year-old daughter was with me on my bed, and she lost her balance and fell into me. My finger and fingernail, what little there is of it, were pressed into her left eye socket as her head fell onto my hand. She cried for a few moments, but no lasting harm was done. Imagine what could have happened to her if I had long, thick fingernails! No, such vanities are not for me and certainly not worth an increased risk of injuring my still-awkward little ones.

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