It can be the small things that show the world you're proud to be you, arthritis and all!
It’s a point of pride with me that I always have my nails painted. I used to work in a supermarket where I wasn’t allowed to have them painted for health and safety reasons, but as soon as I left that job to go to university my obsession began.
As you can probably tell from the picture above, I don’t exactly have the most appealing hands to look at, so I’m not sure why I choose to draw attention to my knuckles and wrists with the garish colours I like to decorate my nails with. I certainly don’t think it makes my hands look better, there’s not enough nail polish in the world for that.
I like painting my nails for specific occasions, and even have special Christmas nail polish that, funnily enough, I only use at Christmas. I like glittery nail polishes, and those effects ones that might be crackly or matte or look like a gel polish. I’ve dabbled in nail art once or twice, but my flowers always seem to look like eggs and I don’t really have a steady enough hand for stripes.
I’m one of those people that takes photos of their nails and then Instagrams the hell out of them to make them look better. The focus feature is my favourite, because I can blur out those bits where I’ve painted the skin around my nail far more than the nail itself.
I’m never without polish on my nails, unless one or more of three specific reasons have come into play:
1. I’m working in an environment where I have to deal with food
2. I’ve got an interview somewhere where I don’t think tangerine/glitter/acid yellow polish will go down too well
3. I’m going into hospital for surgery and am told to remove it, which thankfully has only happened once so far.
My nail polish collection is a little out of hand. I daren’t count them all.
My mum finds great amusement in watching me paint my nails, because I don’t exactly have the steadiest of hands and it might sometimes take me three attempts to get a nail right without painting the rest of my finger.
It drives me insane that she has to do my toes because she isn’t as much of a perfectionist as I am, but I can’t reach to sort them out myself. I won’t haunt you with a picture of my toes at this point, in case you’ve just had your breakfast.
Definitely with my toes, and to some degree with my hands, I am able to acknowledge that the whole painted nails thing is a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Or coming round to give the horse a manicure after it’s bolted and got its hooves all mucky in the field.
I know my hands aren’t very nice, and perhaps my nail polish does draw attention to them more. But I’m fast coming to the conclusion that I don’t really care if people know about my arthritis, if complete strangers ask me why my hands are weird. I’m completely fine to tell them all about my life, and hopefully frighten them away from asking personal questions of strangers in future.
I don’t paint my nails to make my hands look better, I just like it. And you know, it’s nice to have an incredibly time-consuming and completely pointless hobby in one’s life.
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