Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nailed it.

We’re in the middle of a major painting project at our house this summer, but it has nothing to do with the walls.
Our girls have gone crazy for nail polish.
Blue polish, black polish, pink polish. Polish with rainbow glitter, polish with gold sparkle, polish with iron dust. You name it, we have a little bottle of it.
We grown-ups might think we’re being daring by getting a tiny flower painted on our big toe. But teens take nail art to a whole new level. Each finger might be painted a different color. Their hands flash neon, green or white with stripes, polka dots and decals.
And the days of regular old nail polish are over. Today there’s crackle nail polish, strawberry-scented nail polish, magnetic nail polish, nail polish paint pens and nail polish tabs that you stick on instead of paint on.
It’s like their nails are their own mini art installations. Or graffiti. The oldest Huffman has been painting mini canvases on her nails, the latest featuring her favorite characters from the movie “Up.” I’m thinking she could make big bucks for her college tuition as a nail technician.
The combination of three teens and nail polish can get explosive. The other night I ended up refereeing a fierce argument over a bottle of “Pistol Packin’ Pink.”
Calm down, girls, I said. It’s light pink. How different could it be from this other bottle of light pink?
I swear all six of their eyeballs simultaneously rolled at me for that comment.
Carefully negotiated trades between sisters have been brokered between their individual nail polish collections.
“If you paint my left hand, you can use my new white nail polish,” said one to another.
We weren’t always a nail-polish-friendly home. I am referring to what has become known as “the bedspread incident.” A few years ago, a bottle of dark pink polish somehow ended up dripping on Mom and Dad’s light blue bedspread. At the time, a certain Huffman thought she could prevent Mom from noticing the stain by simply covering it with a hand towel. As if.
The spill resulted in the confiscation of all nail polish in the home and a painting ban of several months.
Besides the bedspread, I’ve found drips of nail polish on the walls, on the bath towels, on the bathroom tile and in the sink. Note to any kids reading this: Nail polish does not come out of towels. Or carpet. Or the dog’s hair.
Naturally, there’s more to nail polish than just the bottles themselves. If you’re knee deep in nail polish, you need all kinds of accessories like cotton balls, Q-tips, tiny manicure scissors and nail polish remover. I should be buying acetone by the gallon.
The other night, the youngest Huffman showed off her latest manicure — black nails with white tips.
I wish I had more nails to paint, she said, as she admired her work.
What if you had four hands? I asked her.
“That’d be awesome,” she said.

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