Joco Diversions

Mani/pedi destroyer may start a ‘no polish’ movement

There isn’t a manicure this columnist couldn’t mess up.
There isn’t a manicure this columnist couldn’t mess up. File photo

Do you ever lie in bed at night and wonder where your day went? Then you mentally review what you did and experience a sense of shame that you spent an entire hour looking at something called fingernail art? OK, maybe that’s just me.

Just to make it clear, before you judge me too harshly, technically I am looking at art and my voyeurism is more motivated by imagining the person who had the patience to sit there for hours so their nails would look like mini masterpieces with teeny-tiny pictures of everything from flowers to images that could qualify as nods to the Post-Impressionism movement. I find myself deeply pondering who has the fortitude to not only endure that level of manicure but to then not ruin it immediately afterward. Because that’s my M.O. – mani/pedi destroyer.

I have a long history of obliterating my nails before I even exit a salon. I don’t even bother to get my hands done anymore because apparently, I’m gifted in the “manicure messed up in 10 seconds or less department.” In fact, years ago, I switched over to the pedicure-only family, thinking it’s a lot harder to ruin your toes than your hands. Well, lucky me because I also have talent in that arena. There’s at least a 50 percent chance that I will not make it to my car without damaging the polish on at least two toes.

The last time I got a pedicure I didn’t even make it out of the salon chair before the polish on three toes were smeared. I, a fully ambulatory woman, couldn’t vacate the salon chair without tripping and smooshing my toes. Meanwhile, an elderly woman who walked with a cane was more graceful, lithe even, in her chair departure than I was.

My daughter, who was with me, laughingly suggested that I just give up the whole mani/pedi experience.

“At this point mom you’re just wasting your money.” Sadly, I think she’s right because it doesn’t matter how long I let my nails dry or how much UVA power the drying lamps possess. I have issues leaving the salon with polish that is still intact.

At first, I thought my problem was the salon chairs. Those recliners with triple massage action are troublesome. First, the whole “massage” element feels less like a spa experience and more like you’re on a Southwest flight with an unruly 5-year-old kicking the back of your seat. Then there’s the issue of exiting the chair which is elevated and usually very close to another chair.

I don’t think much thought was given to the point of egress for women with size 11 feet. (Cautionary tale — I wore a size eight until I had two kids. Where’s that Mother’s Day card? Dear Mom, thanks for giving birth to us so your feet could grow by three sizes.) It’s almost impossible to get out of the chair without messing up the polish on at least your big toe.

The problem with that theory is that even when I do my nails at home and use copious amounts of nail polish drying spray, I still don’t escape with the polish on all 10 ten toes staying perfect.

Maybe I need to start a “no polish” movement. It would give me something to be self-righteous about this summer when everybody is wearing sandals with pretty polished toes. That might work. Instead of nail polish I will be wearing the color of “bare and don’t care” which I can let polished toe women know means that “letting my toe nails breathe” is a sign of the ultimate in self-care. Only I will know that I’m cursed with SPS “smooshed polish syndrome.”

Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and