The Nail Ninja

I honestly kept expecting the photography crew from Better Homes and Gardens to show up at my house today, because (1) I cleaned the kitchen to a spit-shine, and (2) I had a turkey breast in the slow cooker all day, because clearly I’m on the YES, I WILL ACTUALLY COOK US SOME DINNER wagon these days.

So far this week, we’ve had homemade chicken noodle soup… and homemade chicken chili… and a regular Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and mashed potatoes and all the trimmings (minus the green bean casserole).

Clearly, we’ve been riding the Poultry Train.

In other news, I had a manicure by a new nail technician today.

For nearly three years, a nice little cowgirl, who has actually won all the belt buckles she wears by roping livestock at a dead-run, did my nails.  She was incredibly fantastic, and she became one of my dear friends.  We usually ended up laughing our heads off at all of my appointments, because she always had some story to share of ranch life, even if it involved stomping on rabid mice with just her cowboy boots, and I told her stories of NON-ranch-life, where I lived in a world of concrete driveways, so that I never had to get my shoes muddy.

And then she decided she hated me, because she QUIT being a nail technician to become a dietician.  Oh, she swears that she still adores me, and she did come over to my house to paint my toenails up right for fall and take off a pound and a half of dried-out, YES-I-WORE-THE-FLIP-FLOPS summer heels, but I think if she had really loved me, she would have stuck with the nails.

So, in the past couple of months, I’ve found a replacement gal.  And then this gal had to have replacements of her own, because she decided that artificial knees were going to be what saved her from a life of pain, so we’re on a nail break, as she has knee surgery and recovers.

(Which makes me want to shout out, exactly like Ross Geller, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!!!!”)

(Because I’m very mature.)

During this break, my nails have grown to the point that Wolverine was probably a bit jealous, and my eyeballs couldn’t take it any longer, as I put contacts in each morning and pulled them out each night.  Last night, I told Hubs, “I think I just pierced a cornea with one of my claws; I may have just blinded myself for life.”

Obviously, something had to be done.

So today, Sister and I went to one of the walk-in nail spots in town, because Sister has become friends with a darling little Chinese girl there who does nails, and Sister’s nails always look like they could be featured on the cover of a glamor magazine.

I explained to Sister’s nail gal that THEY ARE TOO LONG and MY RETINAS ARE SUFFERING RIPS and LOOK!  I ACTUALLY BROKE THIS ONE OFF WHEN I CAUGHT MY FINGER IN ONE OF THOSE HOLES IN THE GIANT BARREL INSIDE THE WASHING MACHINE.

The nail tech assured me that YES, SHE COULD FIX THAT, and then she may have mentioned something about making some phone calls to see if I could qualify for a world record on fingernail length.

The broken nail still had the acrylic on it, and let me tell you this:  That adorable little Chinese girl, who was approximately the size of one of my legs, grabbed the edge of the broken acrylic, WHICH WAS STILL ATTACHED TO MY NAIL, and she ripped it off in one fell swoop, before I even knew what she was planning to do, exactly like a ninja would have done it.

I basically wet down my leg from the pain. and whimpered in shock.

When she asked if she could get me anything, I just mumbled that perhaps I should sit on a towel, and did she want to know my PAIN LEVEL, like the nurses in hospitals are so interested in finding out?  But yes… she could fetch me a pain killer and a glass of wine to take it with, because I could feel my heart beating in my fingernail.

After that, she brought out the Dremel tools to grind off the old acrylic on the other nails, because apparently the soft spot in her heart whispered to her, “This client cannot take you ripping another one off like you just did.”  I think it was obvious that if she removed the acrylic from all of my nails that way, she was going to have to use the paddles to restart my heart.

I’m used to the Dremels, because my little cowgirl friend used them with great skill to master the acrylic polish.

Today, the nail technician used the heavy-grit sander option on the Dremel to just grind all of my existing acrylic off, and she didn’t stop until she was plowing through soft nail, and I had to ask for a stick to bite down on.  I was convinced that I wasn’t even going to have any fingernails left that would need to be polished up, as we were dealing with all the skin that had never seen daylight before, what with it being UNDER THE FINGERNAILS THAT HAD ONCE BEEN THERE.

And then, right before I was ready to pass out, she stopped.

The Dremel was put away, and she started applying the pink and white acrylic.  This was the exact moment when I decided that she wasn’t really going to kill me dead after all.  Except… she brought out a little desk lamp then, to light things up a bit for THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH, MY DEAR.

I’m fairly certain that the lamp had a 400-watt bulb in it, because HOT!  HOT!  HOT!!!

My hands now look like they went to a Caribbean beach without me.

An hour later, I walked out with some powerfully good-looking fingernails… and tanned hands.  The girl is a PROFESSIONAL, people, but she’s also a NINJA WARRIOR, so those first few minutes in her chair might break you, if you’re made of lesser stuff than I am.

After that, I came home in the rain.  I put Thing 2 down for a nap.  I made a piping-hot cup of chai tea in my Keurig, and I sat down on my sofa to read a book for the rest of the afternoon, as I marveled over the fact that our Thanksgiving dinner was cooking itself in my crockpot.

In my clean kitchen.

It was a good think I scrubbed it down this morning, because the pain in my fingernails pretty much rendered my hands useless for the rest of the day, even though my nails look like something Cindy Crawford would wear.

Y’all have a merry weekend.

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