Blog Posts: My Life

Manicure Withdrawal Symptoms

Growing up in a suburb of North West London in a Jewish community where many of the women were preened to perfection, I looked in awe from within my somewhat vertically challenged and chubby little body at the glistening and perfectly shaped talons and big hair blow dries and dreamt of the day when I could follow suit and afford such pampering for myself.

I am a believer in dress for the person you want to be rather than the person others may perceive you to be or put in another way, always look the part. Hence when I first started to earn money, much of it would initially go on regular manicures until it became an obsession that I could not leave the house without beautifully painted nails.  To this day this is still the case, until 3 weeks ago a personal crisis occurred.  For medical reasons I had to take off my acrylic nails to reveal my own very discoloured and growth stunted excuse of fingernails.  I resisted for as long as I could but when it got to the stage when I was convinced my own nails might actually drop off, I decided to be sensible and visit a doctor.  So off I went to see a most convivial lady at the Lister Hospital who showed great empathy for my plight but was absolutely resolute that for 6 weeks I had to go natural.  I feel so exposed as if being forced to walk along the street naked! She then went on to take photos of my hands on my own phone, why would I want to keep such a distressing visual record, a reminder of how I have abused my nails for the past 20 years all in the name of glamour?

My usual look: pre-medical "emergency" nails

My usual look: pre-medical “emergency” nails

This whole predicament has now started to infiltrate my professional life. I find myself at the beginning of meetings making excuses for my nails and boring people with the diagnosis and if I can capture their interest for enough time the longer term prognosis.  I am told it is not noticeable but I know they are only being polite.  I spot when a woman has one chipped nail let alone two full hands of stubby fingers housing discoloured and misshapen nails.  My male colleagues stare at me in utter disbelief totally unable to fathom out why I am speaking about such inane drivel in a business setting.

Then I feel unbelievable guilt that I am so consumed by such a minor ailment when others are suffering immeasurably with some horrible disease or have been involved in a nasty accident. How did I become so vain and self-obsessed??  I blame today’s society to conform and look good …….. Well, that is my excuse anyway.

So, after three weeks my nails have not grown at all and I patiently await my next appointment with Dr Lucy as I like to refer to her, who although doesn’t wear a scrap of make-up seems to be most understanding that this lapse in personal grooming is causing me much angst. However, her sympathy does not extend to her being less strict in her orders not to even think of hitting the bottle, of nail varnish that is, although I may just end up hitting the bottle at this rate and I don’t even drink!

As a rule I like to add more photos or visuals to my posts but on this occasion you are not getting a sniff of my current hand look!


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