I had my first professional manicure the morning of my wedding. The manicurist offered me this advice: don’t even bother; your hands will never, ever look nice. I didn’t care, these hands DO things.
A year previous to that experience I had ridiculous, hideous acrylic nails "installed" while being made over for a TV show called Ambush Makeover. This wasn’t an actual manicure because I was in a hair stylist’s chair getting my hair done and make-up applied at the same time as the nails were being glued to my body. The producers of the show knew that I was adverse, to say the least, to fake nails and were trying to antagonize me. No, I’m not kidding. They shot the scene with me raving about how I don’t understand fake nails, they limit what you can do and touch and why would someone want to do that? I equated it with foot binding and corsets. None of my yelling got them to stop adhering grotesque talons to me and then painting them with a French manicure (If you know me, right now you’re saying, "French manicure!?"). When I was done spewing my words of hate they mentioned that the light was wrong during that cut, would I mind doing it again. NO, I CAN’T JUST DO THAT AGAIN. But I did it again, with feeling. The second they were done taping I went about trying to get those puppies off. What a gross, labor-intensive duty! My nails were covered with goo for a few days while I worked it off, in the garden. Never again. Ew.
I know lots of gardeners swear by gloves and I own gloves, lots of gloves. I wear them when it’s cold or wet out or when I’m handling something prickly. Not for everyday, I need to feel what I’m doing. I can’t explain it. My garden is peanut butter and my hands are jelly; they belong together.
I’ve come to accept that I can’t wear nail polish for more than a day before it looks awful. I can’t have, nor do I want, long nails. If I have a little dirt under my nails at work or out shopping, well, whatever. I have bigger fish to fry. Like how to get that Bald Cypress in my trunk.
Why don’t you come up and see me sometime…in the forum. Post a photo of your garden-y hands and I may send you a Kiss My Aster Prize Pack, which includes a vintage Better Homes & Gardens New Garden Book (it’s a hoot, you’ll love it), a sheet of vintage Victory Garden vegetable decals and a Kiss My Aster button, which is as good as cash at any toll booth, just show them your KMA badge and tell them I sent you!
Theatrics and added drama are appreciated. Fake blood, Felco blades, wounded finger puppets—I encourage you to cheat. You can also enter the contest by sending your photo to me via Twitpic on Twitter (@kissmyaster) and I’ll post your photos in the forum. I’ll pick a winner on April 17th. Bon chance!