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Carol Perkins: Feeling glamorous with acrylic fingernails

Pleased the red Guy found in her hair was not blood, rather one of her new fake fingernails, and it sets her mind a-swirling with thoughts on the whole idea of mani- and pedi- cures, the history thereof, and what would have been said about men who would have had a pedicure in the 1960's in Metcalfe County, KY, as advanced a culture as it was back then. - CM
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: The $4,000 hotel bill

By Carol Perkins

One morning as I was sitting on the edge of the bed trying to conjure up enough energy to stand on my feet, Guy said from the bathroom, "What is that red in your hair?" I thought he meant hair color. "No, it's not color; you have something bright red on the left side," he said as he shaved. I moved him from the bathroom mirror to see if I saw blood. Was my head bleeding?

It wasn't blood he saw. It was a fingernail. Not an actual fingernail, but one of my newly purchased acrylic "fake" ones I had been sporting for a week or so. How did it get into my hair? I looked down at the naked nail and decided I must have scratched my head in the middle of the night and one came off. What if I had been standing in front of a group of people with a bright red nail in my hair? It was a perfectly shaped nail; not pieces of one.

Deciding to have a set of acrylic nails came after seeing lovely long ones on my friends (and even strangers in grocery stores). I turned my hands over to my favorite nail tech who trimmed, filed and sandblasted (I don't know what she called it) until my nails looked impeccable. I admired my hands on the steering wheel all the way home. Guy even noticed. "Are those yours?"

For the first few hours, I was proud of my decision. I looked as if I were a pampered woman who had never washed a dish, potted flowers, or shucked corn. These nails made me feel glamorous, but that feeling didn't last long.

The first problem occurred at the computer keyboard. As I typed, a noise similar to chickens scratching or teeth clicking followed. Rather than my fingertips flying across the keyboard, my nails clicked. I couldn't stand the sound.

Picking up objects was the next problem. I might as well have been wearing gloves. Small objects were especially difficult like coins or pieces of paper. After a few days, I didn't like the way they felt, but I learned how to maneuver them. When my real ones began to grow out, pushing up the fake, I could go back for "fillers" or wait for them to come off like the one had done in my hair. I did neither. I picked them off, bit by bit, making a mess and exposing ten new nails that looked as if they had been "dug up."

That was the last of acrylic nails for me.

Having a manicure was a luxury for people I knew. Most of our mothers did their own nails. The first manicure table I can remember was at Fanny's Beauty Salon, and Fanny would roll it in front of a lady and do her nails while her hair dried.

I had never heard of a pedicure, especially for men. Paying someone to trim toenails would have been the subject of courthouse yard gossip. Even today, most men I know would never consider having a pedicure. They had rather sit over a wastebasket with a set of clippers.

I suggest treating yourself as you bring out the summer clothes and have a manicure and a pedicure. It is almost as good as having a massage. If you get fake ones, don't scratch your head!

Contact information:

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

This story was posted on 2017-05-17 13:52:42
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