The Unvarnished Truth

First of all, a quick note to anyone who has posted a comment which I totally failed to reply to for months – sorry!  I’m still finding my way around all this stuff and I think I need a better notifications system.  Or a secretary.  Possibly both.

Anyway. On to the entirely frivolous matter of today’s post.

I really must stop buying nail varnish.

That may require a little explanation. Anyone who has ever met me knows I am not exactly a fashion icon – I am barely a fashion postcard, to be frank. And from about March to September, when the serious gardening is going on, my fingernails are less gleaming talons than fragmented mud-collectors.

But I do like nail varnish, when I have nails. It’s just so pretty. All those bottles lined up like lovely glossy sweets.

And the colours! When I first started looking at it (not actually buying it due to parental disapproval of anything so outré as a 14 year old girl with painted nails, I might as well have got a tattoo and some stripper tassels) the only colours I ever saw were variations from pale pink to bright red. Maybe a bit of glitter if you were lucky.

Then – the Eighties! I was away from home, I had money  – well, I had a brand new bank account and the beginnings of an overdraft that had not yet reached wake-in-the-night terrifying proportions. And there was this sudden chromatic explosion all over the cosmetics shelves. Cadmium yellow! Acid green! Cobalt blue! I could have nails the colour of a New York Taxi! A parrot! A set of Bristol glass! All the above at once! 

So I started buying varnish.

(I also flirted briefly with false nails, at which I was rubbish. I could never get them to stay on for more than a couple of hours, despite using so much glue they ended up about the thickness of a duvet. They used to appear on the floor wherever I’d been like small, gruesome clues in a murder case, or ping off into my drink. Or, worse, someone else’s drink. I even managed to set light to one while I was wearing it (I smoked back then. In the really-bad-for-you way, not the gosh-I-was-kinda-hot way.) Also, they were really expensive).

Anyway to drag myself back out of the false-nails segue, I bought nail varnish. Not every week, or anything – just enough that I had a colour that went with every outfit. I wish I could still get some of those colours, even though a number of the outfits themselves have since been deservedly consigned to oblivion – it was the Eighties, after all.

Then there were jobs, many of which I did not particularly enjoy. Outré nail varnish was a small, silly way of reminding myself that I was a creative, artistic, or at least slightly odd, person and my life was not limited to excel spreadsheets and management meetings and reports even if it sometimes felt like that.

But. The time came when I was working from home. And with all its joys, it means I don’t leave the house as often. I don’t spend the night before sorting out an outfit and making sure my nails are looking decent. So, I stopped using as much varnish.

Unused varnish goes claggy. You can try thinning it with nail varnish remover, at which point it turns into a cross between lumpy glue and Alien blood. Or the top gets jammed and you try and open it with pliers and the whole top of the bottle snaps off and your good trousers get doused in Aubergine Extreme and so does the kitchen floor and suddenly everything is purple and reeking of pear drops.

I have approximately 27 bottles of nail varnish in my nail-varnish drawer. I suspect many of them have already reached the state of no return. I need to fling out the enclagged ones, and not buy any more. At least for a bit.

There is no philosophical point to this post, although you could make a case for clutter-clearing or Letting Go or something, if you wish – or not spending money on stuff that you won’t use, or The Unexpected Side Effects Of Working From Home.

But in reality I just got sidetracked into wittering about nail varnish, instead of doing the stuff I should be doing.

And that, of course, is a whole other blog post.

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