On the importance of… the nail salon

You’ve seen Legally Blonde, right? Of course you have, everyone’s seen Legally Blonde. Legally Blonde had a very deep impact on my life, because when I saw it during my university years it inspired me to take action in a very important area: I taught myself to touch type. It has been an invaluable skill! The ability to look at the screen, or even better, *at another person* and carry on typing, generally hitting the correct keys as I do so, has stood me in good stead, first writing essays at university, then emails in my work, and even now as I sit on the train typing this on a mini ipad keyboard. So I’m grateful to Legally Blonde for giving me a life skill!

But the relevance to this post is not about the joy of being the fastest fingers in East Anglia, but the importance of Elle’s friendship with Paulette at the nail salon. There will be no bending and snapping in this post, but I will admit, yesterday’s nail salon conversation did include the world “girlfriend”. And I used it only semi-ironically…

I’ve been frequenting the same salon for a couple of years now, the first time I ever had my nails done there was in advance of a big awards ceremony. But after I had my youngest baby and returned to work, having my nails done felt like a really important non-mum treat thing to do and I became a true devotee of gel nail polish. When I’m really on top of things, I have a standing appointment during my work lunch break. I can run out, get my nails done, and get back to the office. And because I have gel polish, once it’s set under the light, there’s no worries about smudging it or having to wait around for it to dry. Perfect! Now don’t be telling me all the bad things about gel polish and how I’m probably wrecking my nails underneath, and that light is probably cancer causing, blah blah blah… when I have my nails done, I feel polished, and that makes me feel kick ass. Frankly, ten years ago I’d no more have had a regular manicure than flown up in the air. But times have moved on and so have I. Having my nails done makes me happy (and more on happiness another time).

I’ve had my nails done in an emergency at the nail bar at the end of the road where I live by a man who didn’t speak great English and wore a mask, and the whole experience was not happiness inducing. If it weren’t for the girls at the nail salon I’d not have tried eyelash extensions, I wouldn’t have discovered The Weeknd, and known that I like listening to Kiss FM, and I wouldn’t have squeezed a pair of fake boobs. This blog may be a bit fabulous, but I’m actually a pretty serious and intense kind of person, so getting out in my lunchtime for a dose of normality is grounding. Remember that scene in Legally Blonde when the fierce professor swivels in her chair and she’s been having her nails done too?  That’s me…

You don’t see people every other week without talking about the real stuff too. Like hairdressers, there’s a zone of confidentiality when you sit in the chair with your nail technician. So when, last week my OPI “I’m not really a waitress” (red with a shimmer) chipped on four nails out of five, Cindy and Wendy, my guardian nail angels repaired me each time I turned up with a sad denuded nail and also threw in fifteen minutes of listening, all for free.

This week when I went for my regular redo, I was thinking ahead to Thursday night’s event I’ll be attending, and my chosen outfit. So I went for OPI Ink, a dark sparkly blue. Cindy put a coat of black underneath to help the sparkle really pop, and the depths of the blue are almost violet. Gorgeous!


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