Moss, is a free-lance writer from Tennessee. She writes
funny stuff about her daily life or anything else that she finds amusing.
seen weekly in the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal and
Oakridge Now. She has written for Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books have published a number of her
articles in their Let There Be Laughter series of
books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and Web
Editor of Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com as well as a founder of the Southern Humorists writers
organization.She is writer, edison, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her self- syndicated weekly column in your
to republish an
article, please contact her. It's that easy.
Create Your Badge
Write on my Wall
Online Since 1999
call it a passion for fashion, but I recently bought into the acrylic
fingernail craze, a vanity industry that has rapidly taken the nation
by storm. Nail shops have sprung up like mushrooms in shopping
centers, malls, and discount marts everywhere, making artificial nails
available and affordable for the average woman, like me.
Now, these shops give regular manicures too, but most women, like me,
go for the acrylic nails -- beautiful, long plastic nails for those of
us who have brittle nails that break easily -- beautiful, long plastic
nails for those of us who are nervous and chew their nails --
beautiful, long plastic nails for those of us who have never had
pretty fingernails before.
The manicurist approaches me: "New set or
I didn't know the lingo.
After I became wiser in the language of nail salons, I found that
"new set" means acrylic nail tips. It didn't matter that I
didn't understand. She took one look at my ragged nails and knew I was
"New set!" she observed.
"Fill in" is done after the nails grow and leave a space
between the cuticle and the base of the acrylic nail. I had no idea
when I started that I would be returning every two weeks for a
follow-up process, or that these nails come with
a life-time commitment.
My fingernails are matched up with artificial tips of the right size.
My natural nails are trimmed to the skin and new tips super glued on.
With the precision of an artist, the technician dips a small
paintbrush in acetone and uses acrylic powder to overlay the nail.
After the nail hardens, there is much grinding to shape and buff the
nails. The tool too closely resembles a dental drill for comfort. I
quickly learn to sit still and not to try to assist by offering a
finger. The wheel buzzes. I close my eyes and hope she knows what she
is doing and won't grind off the end of my finger.
She motions to a sink in the back and I oblige by scrubbing my nails
hard with the brush, being certain to wash off all the oil she has
brushed onto my cuticles. I don't want to get sent back to do it over
again like the lady before me.
"Pick color now."
This means select the color of polish I want from the dozens of
bottles of enamel. She waits, wanting me to hurry so she can go on to
the next customer. Eventually, I will learn to choose a color ahead of
time while I'm waiting and she isn't.
The polish comes in a rainbow of colors. It amazes me what some women
do to their nails, making them long and red, or putting tiny designs
on them under clear polish. I pass on that look and go for French
nails, which are natural with white tips.
I wonder why I have to pay before she finishes. If I fail to give an
adequate tip, will she still do a good job? I put a buck or two in the
tip jar, just for insurance. Later, I learn that I am paying ahead to
avoid messing up the new polish by digging in my purse.
The manicurist deftly applies several coats of polish, motioning for
me to hold my hand in front of a small fan while she works on the
other one. And I thought the fan was just there to keep me cool.
This means she is finished and admiring her work. I am then motioned
to sit with my hands under a heat light to bake the nails dry.
Another customer, another set of nails.
I'm hooked and will spend every other week here for years to come. If
anyone misses me, just say that I'm getting nailed.
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219