Last week, at the theater, somebody told me I had nice fingernails. I looked at my hands with a bit of a "huh?"
I guess they are nice, by modern standards. With all the emphasis on artificial nails these days, people don't cultivate the natural nails they used to. After one has had French tips or whatever artificial nails women have going on, one's natural nails will deteriorate from being covered by epoxy or acrylic.
I remember doing "Ladies at the Alamo," back in 1987. "Ladies at the Alamo" is basically a five-character, two-act cat fight. It is a battle among the women for control of a community theater. Of course they are all wealthy women, which, in 1987, included perms and long nails. All the other actresses in the show spent good money to get artificial nails. I couldn't afford that. In spite of making a living cleaning houses, I grew nails that were really long and good. I had about 3/8" of tip on each finger. I hate nail polish, but I had to wear it for that play. I put it on when I got to the theater every night, and took it off right after the meet-and-greet. On closing night, I broke a thumbnail. Apart from that one performance, you couldn't tell my nails from the expensive ones...and I do mean expensive! Back then a set of salon nails cost $60.
Now, age has set in, and my nails don't grow that long. They curl over the ends of my fingers instead. They seem a bit rough and pitted, as well. I think they must be rough on the underside, too, as I keep getting black stains under them that just won't come off, no matter how much I scrub or scrape. I notice them particularly after working with fabrics that shed fibers...vintage velvet, or that polyester stuff that made me choke for a few days. Whatever it is, it won't come off, and the only solution seems to be to soak my fingers in bleach. You can imagine, Dearly Beloved, how much I enjoy that!
So I must divest myself of past glories and accept that my nails, while not looking as good as they did 23 years ago, are still doing all right!
Thank you very much for the compliment!