Why do we paint our nails?

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I’m taking advantage of the fact that my nail polish is drying up right now while I type this post. While I was doing such a ritual for most women, it suddenly occurred to me that it’s a bit… silly?

Why do we paint our nails? the colors may vary, but the lasting effect fades.

Researching the internet, I found the answer in saint Wikipedia:

Nail polish originated in China, dating back to 3000 BC. Around 600 BC during the Zhou Dynasty, the royal house preferred for the colors gold and silver.However, it would eventually transition to red and black. During the Ming Dynasty, nail polish was often made from a mixture including beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.

In Egypt, the lower classes would wear pale colors and the high society red.

By the turn of the 9th century, nails were tinted with scented red oils, and polished or buffed. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, people pursued a polished rather than painted look by massaging tinted powders and creams into their nails, then buffing them shiny. One such polishing product sold around this time was Graf’s Hyglo nail polish paste. After the creation of automobile paint, Cutex produced the first modern nail polish in 1917. Later the Charles Revson Company (later Revlon) produced their first nail polish in 1932.

Once nail polish was refined, it was often used in the place of gloves to cover up the grime underneath finger and toe nails

Why do we paint our nails now? I’m sure there are some who do it to cover up the grime, too, but what about the rest of us?

Personally speaking, I paint my nails because they process is destressing. My ritual consists on turning great music on (right now, Thick as Thieves by Kasabian is playing), picking a color I’m keen to use, and then getting to business. While I paint my nails, I know that I won’t be asked to do anything else (because my hands would be useless, therefore I wouldn’t be able to help my mom with the laundry or setting up the table, for example).

What I like about having my nails painted is the feeling of “hand-confidence”. Usually, my hands are ugly (well, I think most hands -and feet- are ugly) but when my nails are full of color, things change. At least that’s what I think.

Why do you paint your nails? Is this a silly post?

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Sightseeing

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I like to affectionately call my bus line “the tourist route” because it takes you through some of the most important areas of my city. There’s a stop by the main square, where the town hall is; it stops near the busiest business area, and also the busiest shopping street. When returning home, there’s a stop by the cathedral, and it’s really interesting to see tourists and citizens alike snooping around.

This morning I had to take that line 2 time, and I had time to see:

  1. A small furry dog sitting on a bench by his owner. They both had their hands (well, front paws in the dog’s case) hanging from the border of the bench, and both were people-watching (don’t you love it?). Of course, I had to laugh when I saw such scene. They both had brown hair, and deep dark eyes. Their expression was so much alike I really wondered about what they say: that a dog always ends up being like its owner.
  2. Two women were standing next to each other. One had black hair and the other was blonde. They were middle aged and so their faces were not as tight as they probably want them to be. I noticed both of them had an almost infalible way of concealing their wrinkles: make-up. Let’s face it, make up can be helpful, but it can also be treacherous some times. In this case, I didn’t mind, but what amused me was their use of eyeliner: the dark haired one had blue eyeliner on her upper lid, while the blonde one had used the exact same colour on the lower. Funny how they didn’t seem to notice.
  3. In my bus line, there are 2 predominant kinds of passengers: students (the line arrives to most university campuses) and seniors. Old ladies wear their best clothes and their jewellery when going to the city centre to have lunch with their friends and old men usually have neat white hair or white beards. Today I witnessed how an old man got on the bus and walked as straight as his old back let him. He approached the special seats available for them, but didn’t sit. Instead, he looked at me in my normal seat. I felt the need to get up and let him take my seat, but when I offered, he ardently refused, claiming that he was perfectly fine and “was not that old”. He got mad at me for offering my seat!! (again, this hasn’t been the first time that has happened to me).

I also had my first experience at the Tax Office. It was big, intimidating and crowded. Serious looking employees dealt with people’s inquiries as if they were automatas, barely paying attention to what they were doing -they probably don’t need to, they’ve been doing the same thing for a long time.

My father is the one who always does this paperwork, but this time I had to do it myself. I guess maturity has arrived and has just slapped me in the face.

What they didn’t tell you

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Fairytales are all fun and games until you stop and think about them.

Today, Sleeping Beauty.

In case you don’t know how the story goes (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!??), Sleeping Beauty is a young girl who pricks her hand on a spindle and due to a spell, falls asleep. Long story short, Beauty only wakes up when a handsome prince comes by and kisses her. Oh, joy!

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Henry Meynell Rheam – Sleeping Beauty

Now, here’s when I start to wonder about the story. If you have ever been with a person who had to stay for a long period in bed, you’ll probaby know how they tend to get sore. Really sore. So, did the Sleeping Beauty wake up and had ugly red wounds on her butt, her elbows and feet? And, what about her hair? when we sleep, hair tends to grow. In the fairytale, she’s been sleeping for 100 years!!! so, did she wake up with a moustache? (us girls know what we’re talking about) and her legs? was the prince lusty or just brave?

Think about the prince for a moment: he’s been told there’s a beautiful young woman sleeping (almost dead, but whatever). So his definite thought is to go find her and kiss her and wake her up. Was he brave or a pervert? —let’s not get too deep into this, because we can end up talking about necrophilia and fairytales (I’m looking at both princes from Snow White and Sleeping Beauty)

Anyway, going back to where we started, imagine the face of the prince when he got to the Sleeping Beauty’s lair and found her there, perfectly still… and hairy? and sore??? I need to write a letter to the author of this fairytale… if only he weren’t dead!

I guess spending too much time at the hospital looking after my dad has me going nuts.

Brief moments of strangers’ lives

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I tend to pay attention to people around me, whether I’m on the bus, subway or just walking. I like to catch bits and pieces of random conversations and notice people’s haircuts and shoes. I look into their faces and always try to imagine what they’re thinking about or what they’re about to do. I’m a quiet one, but I notice everything.

 

The other day, while I was on the bus home, I laughed because I saw a movie-like scene: this golden retriever stopped in front of a butcher’s shop and basically scanned the whole counter. He was hypnotized by it, his face was so perfect I had to laugh. People probably thought I was mad. It reminded me of this scene in Amélie (2001), one of my favorite films:

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Except in my experience, I was the baby and the chickens were dead.

Negativity resistant

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These past two weeks have been the weirdest of my life. It’s almost as if the piece that kept it together and kind of gave meaning had disappeared, or as I’m used to say now, put on standby.

My father has always been anxious and depressed, but his good days made it worth it to keep up with him. I liked him, he’s always been one of my greatest role-models: I admire his compassion, his intelligence and his good manners. It’s true he has bad traits too, but as I said, his good ones make up for those. A always got a warm feeling inside whenever he smiled or laughed, or when he made jokes.

So now, I’m left wondering in which state will he be when all this is over, when he finally wakes up and starts making progress. I’m trying to be negativity resistant, as if I was wearing a bulletproof vest. I surprise myself laughing at the randomest occasions, but feeling bad overall. What will happen?

I guess life does go on and I can only wonder, at least from now.