Not to sound too spoiled, but today I popped off the remnants of the acrylic fake nails covering my own. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve had the luxury of having my nails done for about the last five years. Once during that time, I watched my manicurist pop a set of bad nails off when they were applied by someone other than her. They were thick and ugly – even I could tell – but hey, I was in Miami Beach and one day I found I needed a manicure desperately. Trying to move the diving board from one spot to another in the pool while sucking down too many Planters Punches can play havoc with your nails.
But I digress. Back to my dilemma. At that point, I didn’t go nearly as long between jobs as I’ve had to go now. With no end in sight, off the fake nails came. I am now au naturel. Bummer.
I also removed the polish from my toenails and trimmed them. Frankly, they look naked, unkempt, and boring. I hate the natural look, just for the record. I like coral, peach or magenta touches to my feet. That little flash of color at the very end of me makes me happy when I look down and wiggle my toes. But gone, gone, gone. I also like the buffed look feet have with the care and attention that only someone who is down there can give them. The days are over when I can bend down and do those sorts of details without becoming winded.
I will say I worry about all those hard-working manicurists and pedicurists, mostly from Viet Nam, who are out a job right now. I understand there is a foundation in Viet Nam that helps train people to do this line of work here in the states. It’s their segue to a better life.
When you think about it, these people are just like my ancestors who came from Italy. At the turn of the twentieth century, my grandfather pushed a wheelbarrow down the streets of lower Manhattan selling vegetables and fruits. The Vietnamese are pushing nail polish. Not much difference. My grandfather arrived in this country in 1913. The 1918 Spanish Influenza arrived only a few years later. Grandfather Guiseppe survived. And as I look back now, I cannot help but marvel at it. Here’s hoping that most of the recently immigrated will survive this pandemic, too. These are tough times but they can be overcome. Hopefully.