Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shallowness and the Darkness

Rather than whine about the situation which kept me home in bed all day a couple of days ago, fasting, I'll talk about something completely shallow instead.

Sometimes you've just gotta prove to the world that you can be just as shallow as they are! No, of course it won't make certain people accept me and I still won't be invited to any shallow gatherings, but I must assert myself that I can be shallow too.

Oh, the fasting? How can a hypoglycemic (but shallow! Don't forget that!) woman fast for 24 hours? Don't ask me. I just decided to eat nothing. I stayed in bed, sleeping and drinking nothing but water. I got up to let my dog out a couple of times, and of course to go to the bathroom, but stayed in the quiet darkness the rest of the time.

And I thought. Which is a bad thing. Quiet time alone with my thoughts leaves a lot of time to torment myself.

So shallow it is.

Last night, because I have such a grand social life for someone who has always been single, I did my nails. The bright red I had put on last weekend was still intact, but my nails had grown too long.

Ha ha. Get that? Other people can't get theirs to grow, and mine grow so long now that they interfere with my ability to type. Most of them were past quarter-inch length beyond my fingertips. And frankly, outside of my wonderment that they have grown rabidly without breaking off since I returned to the States two months ago, I thought they were starting to look a little bit scary. True, I was fascinated to see just how long they would grow, but some get longer faster than others, and the disparity was starting to bug me.

There were also breaks that needed to be repaired down below -- just until they get long enough to cut the broken place beyond the fingertip. (Because it's painful for WEEKS when a nail breaks down deep in the nail bed.) I use pieces of tea bag paper and clear nail polish for the glue. It works. There's one secret for you.

The secret to getting them polished without smudging or waiting hours for the whole manicure to dry and harden is in the polish. First I start with Sally Hansen "Hard as Nails" in clear as a base coat. Three reasons. First, to smooth out any repairs I had to make. Second, to strengthen my nails underneath. Third, to protect my nails from being stained by the colored polish. Since that stuff smudges like anything else and has a long dry time, I put Sally Hansen InstaDry Top Coat on it. And in about a minute, the polish has hardened. Without it, it takes hours.

Then I put the polish on. InstaDry polish in whatever color, then more InstaDry top coat. During the course of the week, there was inevitably some wear and tear at the tips as I typed, so I added more coats. It looked nice, but... Taking off that many layers of polish was a royal pain last night. Two of my nail beds looked like they were peeling in protest of all the acetone. I'll buy gentler stuff once this is used up. I had several bottles when I started.

The polish is what strengthens nails. That, and a crazy amount of B vitamins that I take to combat fatigue.

I had to cut and file most of my nails to make them more conservative. You'd think that long nails would be greatest for scratching, but the thicker the tips are, the harder it is to get a nice sharp scratch from them. I gave myself a massive bruise on my leg instead of satisfying a minor itchy place. :(

Still, they remain long, just reasonably so. It's not like I'm trying to set a record. I've satisfied my curiosity that they will keep growing past the length of attractiveness. Lol So, while someone might admire my pretty nails, they will never say my hands are pretty.

Today my polish is a sparkly vibrant Vols orange, which reminds me of my brother's motorbike helmet that lived in our hall closet for much of my childhood. I barely remember the bike itself, but I remember spending lots of time gazing into the sparkly orange of that helmet, as if it were a crystal ball about to reveal the future to me.

I wasn't supposed to even open the door of that hall closet, but on summer days when we were home all day without adult supervision, I would sit in the bottom of the closet, surrounded by the scent of coats from a past family life I didn't remember, and read my brother's comic books that were stashed in a black plastic milk crate. The Richie Rich comics were my favorites. :) All the coats hanging around me were like a big fluffy hug.

Many of my summer days were spent in the bottom of that dark closet, squished in by the long heavy coats that made it hard to breathe at times, with just a flashlight to read by. Kind of dispels the theory that I was scared of the dark, doesn't it? I think it more likely that my father got a kick out of sending me into dark places and then deliberately doing things to terrify me while I was helpless. He certainly laughed enough when he had finished terrorizing me.

Personally I don't think that announcing "No kid of mine's gonna be scared of the dark!" is a good reason to send a very little girl (who was already experiencing some very real terror in life) into your own personal haunted house in total darkness. Call me crazy, but I tend to believe it leads to worse fears and resentment. Oh, for the child. For the instigating adult, it's a well deserved laugh at the expense of the weak. And if the adult feels the slightest bit guilty, they can easily erase their torment-in-the-guise-of-protection with one halfhearted and distant hug, and a very sarcastic tone of "aww you poor baby!"

Hugs were one thing I never got much of as a kid, but I wanted anyway. They just weren't ever affectionate people. Too bad for me. Still, hugs become a source of alienation and distrust when delivered grudgingly, as guilt alleviation, and with a sarcastically phrased pseudo-apology. I still like them, but with certain people I wonder what their ulterior motive is, and if I should brace for a knife in my back.

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