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Why I Paint My Nails

Basic facts: I am over 50 years old, I am lactose intolerant, and I live in the Nordics where there is very little sunlight most of the year. All of these add up to a calcium deficiency. While I address this by eating calcium-rich foods and taking supplements, my fingernails are still brittle. My job is banging on a keyboard all day, so I need to take care of my nails so they’re not breaking constantly. So I paint my nails.

There are clear coats that can be used that are virtually invisible. Most of those are meant to go over polish, though. Over bare nails, it peels right off. There are things you can put on nails to nourish and strengthen them, but those are meant to go under polish. And no, clear coat over the nourishing stuff all just peels off.

Second fact: painting your nails is a quick and inexpensive way to deal with stress. I have anxiety disorders. When I find myself spiraling or heading into a panic attack, I take a few minutes and do my nails. It requires me to focus my full attention to carefully coloring in the lines, being neat and not making a mess. It’s a distraction, but it works. It calms me down.

If you ever meet me face-to-face, you may see that my nails are painted. My signature color is an eggshell/off-white. Get over it.

Why I Paint My Nails

The only reason I’m called upon to explain this is that it’s not “heteronormative”. That bothers me. I am a cis-het male, yes, and present as masculine. There are areas where I’m not gender-conforming. I like things that society has gendered as female for some reason. This should not be a big deal. Fight me.

The reason I choose to share is because it might be helpful to some people. If you have problems with your nails, deal with them. If you suffer from anxiety and are looking for something to do other than meditate or take medication, here’s a suggestion. For those of you who have homophobic or transphobic comments, well, to quote Rick Sanchez, “I’m gonna need you to put them waaaay up inside your butthole Morty. Put them way up inside there, as far as they can fit.

Published in Dumb Blogging

One Comment

  1. I still have trouble grasping gender issues because growing up in southern california and involved in D&D and Ren-Faire, and music and theatre – it was just – whatever , so what. The fact that every gender identity classification needs a label seems silly since I knew people who changed roles from month to month to see what fit. Just let it be people.

    Also Berin, thanks for linking to a cool blog.

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