I painted my nails today, which I never do. I went to the drug store and spent about half an hour searching for the perfect shade of pearly sheer-but-not-too-sheer white. I ended up with Revlon’s Pure Pearl, but was ever so slightly dismayed to find the result a bit too silvery. Very nice, but not what I was going for exactly: a little too Judy Jetson. I was, however, severely dismayed by the familiarity of the end result. Yes, Chicklets, after a rummage through the bathroom cabinet, I discovered that I already owned Revlon’s Pure Pearl. This offended my Inner Cheapskate but was also kind of thrilling and exceedingly comforting. If nothing else, I am at least consistent. Remember this, I instructed myself, next time you question your taste, the next time you feel yourself about to be paralyzed by hesitation.
I am reminded of the time that Lily drank the manicure water. We were in university, at our student jobs, manning the reception desk of a counseling office. Things were slow, so we were forced to concoct projects to occupy us and today’s was manicures. We brought in lotions and emery boards and an array of polishes. We had set up a Dixie Cup of cold water to soak the painted nails in so as to set them. Lily finished her shift before I and began to gather her things. She stood up, put her books in her bag, and reflexively tossed her head back and drank the manicure water. I asked, knowing full well the answer, but feeling nevertheless the impetus to disguise my accusation as a question, “Did you just drink the manicure water?” Oh, the horror, the horror. Eleven years have passed and she has yet to live this down.