Monday, April 28, 2008

Give me my nails!

I'm looking down at my hands, admiring my long, glossy, obviously fake nails.

They make my hands look so long and graceful and helpless.

Just like good ole Southern gals used to want to look. Way back in the dark ages our goal was to look like a mild wind would blow us down and therefore we always needed our men fluttering around us, waiting to give us assistance.

We needed assistance to stand, to sit, to go through a door, to fetch a drink of water. The list goes on.

Of course, we needed help with none of these things. But we were raised to act that we did.

Heck, my Mama raised me up with no other goal in life but to get a man to take care of me. I wasn't told to get a career goal, to find a life's work, learn finances, to study hard so that I could take care of myself... I was told to look pretty and be nice and polite and quiet...and get married as soon as I could.

When I finally did get married, my Mama expected that I would promptly quit working, stay home and have babies. Again I disappointed.

But back to the nails. Long nails are like Steel Magnolias of the nail South.

They look long and useless and fragile and people wonder how any woman can do a thing with them. And we work that impression of course by asking people to open cans for us so we don't break a nail. (I personally wrench a knife under the pop top lid.). We wail and mourn the loss of a nail, well dang it, they are pricey.

But what people don't realize is that those nails are like steel daggers. They can poke eyes out without even slowing down. They can pick a lock practically. They are the Steel Magnolias of decorative nail fashion. They look weak, but are far from it.

Some of us spend a lot of time cultivating a sunny, fragile, calm, feminine manner...but don't tick us off or you'll see a trucker from Tacoma pop out of us like a second personality. (Not that anyone has ever said that I act like that. Nope, not me.)

So I will keep my pretty, long, useless - in today's world - nails. I know they're probably out of fashion in the rest of the country. But I don't live in the rest of the country, I live in Alabama. So I don't have to worry about the rest of fashion world do I?

I will continue to ask people to wrench open things for me. I will refuse to catch the keys my hubby tosses at me so that I don't break a nail. I will whine when they start to look ragged and needing of professional assistance.

But don't forget that I can stab your eye out with them!