- Funny things fingernails. Although they might appear functionless they have a purpose – to protect what is underneath them. There is also a major, widely-held misapprehension that they continue to grow after death. The macabre truth is, rather, that the flesh around them dehydrates and shrinks after death giving the appearance that they continue to grow. Another myth disappointingly debunked!
For centuries angry people have scratched each other’s faces with their nails, the industrious have used them as tools and the most part of the female of the species has generally nurtured and decorated them. It is this latter activity, allied to some information I heard on the radio not so long ago, that holds something of a fascination for me, a self-confessed and guilty nail-biter.
This country has been enduring the deepest recession most of us have ever known. The disposable income of many, many people has been decimated as, uncomprehendingly, they draw in their horns in order to be able to subsist. Pubs, clubs, theatres, leisure activities of all sorts have been feeling the pinch. Yet in the darkness there is a beacon of light.
The phenomenon that is the Nail Bar thrives. It seems that all over the country people are throwing caution to the winds by priming, pampering and painting their fingernails. No, this is inaccurate. They are causing their nails to be primed, pampered and painted by others. It is a real boom industry my radio told me. A quick Google search confirmed this by showing up 9 salons in Royston and 8 in Saffron Walden where you can pay other people to do what you could do just as effectively and certainly more cheaply at home.
I challenged my partner with this conundrum. Why didn’t she save her money and do it herself like, indeed, she used to do in the good old days before the newest sweat-shop industry had come into being? Well, I fervently wish I hadn’t asked. A look of irritation shadowed her usually sunny countenance. It was followed by a look of pity bordering on condescension. There are complexities that I, being a man, simply wouldn’t understand. Taking this sleight to my metro-sexuality as my due, I persevered nonetheless. I suggested that if she no longer liked painting her own nails, I could do them for her. It was an offer that was not gratefully accepted. It was not accepted at all. Apparently it’s about applying gel and things called acrylics, and that makes all the difference I understand.
Bewildered and reeling slightly, I decided that it was probably better left alone as a subject, despite my overwhelming desire to ask why application of a different kind of substance needed her to scoot off on a regular basis to her favourite Nail Bar. On refection, however, I’m glad that such an unlikely growth industry is giving employment to so many in these dark and dismal times.