Polish Like It’s 1999

I am a creature of habit. I like routine. I am comforted by “The Same” of it all. Shakeups and unpredictability are fun for me now and then (alright, depending on what it is); I can rise to the occasion and have fun with something different, but in general terms and daily details I am all cozy with what I’m used to.

Which is why, when my friend/co-worker said to me “We’re not painting your nails a boring color this time, are we?” I trembled a little bit.

Yeah, it’s just nails*.

No, I’m not a shallow person. There are bigger decisions to be made and the matter of nail polish color is nothing so life-changingly important that it requires a tremble. But I did anyway.

I was in that kind of mood, though: “Why not?” I said. Going over to the tester rack that I so often browse with the clients who ask me to help them decide on a color for their nails, I scanned my eyes quickly over all of the choices, hating the idea of a dark red or a brown.

Then I remembered that we have twelve new-ish colors at the front desk, and as I walked over to check them out, I had a crazy thought: Purple. My next thought? “Ugh.”

But I made myself choose one. Really Melisa: step out of the box a little bit.

When I went back to K’s station with the bottle, she bounced up and down in her chair, all giddy and stuff. “Now we’re in business!” she exclaimed.

I told her to hurry up and put it on before I changed my mind.

But really, what is the problem here? Like I said, it’s only polish. My aversion to using the color has nothing to do with age: I’m not concerned that anyone would think I’m trying to act like a teenager again, and I’m not worried yet about being mistaken for an old woman who could care less what anyone thinks. I know for sure that Prince would approve. Heck, I could even get Donny Osmond on board.

My problem? Too tightly wound up in details. Too Type A. Too…wait a minute. Can someone tell me why am I pointing out my faults here on my own blog?

Anyway, I went for it. And when the sixteen-year-old got home from school, the first thing he said to me was “Hi.”

The second thing? “Wow. Those are PURPLE.”

I said, “Yeah. Crazy, huh?”

He replied, “No, they’re cool**.”

The younger boy noticed them immediately too, and we had the same general half-conversation.

My conclusion? I’ve got to relax a little bit.

Or get out more often. (or Get a Life?)


*One of the benefits of my job as a Salon Coordinator is that I get free nail services. As a nail biter, this is tremendous. I’ve had acrylic nails for the past 4 1/2 years and although it’s a pain in the a$$ to keep up with them via a maintenance appointment–at WORK–every two weeks, it has saved me from the pain I put myself in by biting my nails down to my wrists. Typically, because I don’t like people to notice my hands first (“Oh, HI hands!”), I stick with light pinks. I only wear reds or dark pinks very rarely. Purple? NEVER. Til today.

**He did not exclaim “WOW, COOL, MOM!!!” and his use of the word “cool” did not, in any sense of the word, imply that I am really Cool. (and I wasn’t looking for that) His tone was more of general approval.



  • Melissa

    I think it looks great…but then I seem to be doing things a bit more on the wild side lately…maybe I’m just getting old.

    I so want to start with acrylics again but I so don’t want to do the work involved with keeping them up.

  • Astrogirl426

    You’re not alone! I, too, tend towards the lighter colors. I don’t have acrylics (I never could keep up with them, because I am L-A-Z-Y), but I don’t bite my nails so keeping them long-ish is not too much of a problem. However, since I don’t have acrylics, changing nail color is pretty easy – I don’t have to worry about ruining the acrylics when I remove the color.

    So what’s my excuse? I don’t know. I even like to buy “interesting” colors when I’m shopping; they just languish in the drawer when I get them home. But I’m going to a party tomorrow night, so in the spirit of being brave, I will paint my nails one of those wild colors! Woo hoo!

  • Mom24

    I’ve told you before you’re cool. They look awesome. My nails are finally, for the first time in my life, starting to grow. Unfortunately, I can’t get any polish to stay on them longer than a few hours without chipping up. Yup, I’ve tried all the tricks.

    Now that you’re branching out, Rebekah loves bright orange on her nails. Just sayin’. You might want to think about it.

  • Sarah Clapp

    Ok, why did my comment not post??

    I’ll try again.

    I love this post for a couple of reasons. First, is that I also bite my nails, and the only thing that stops it, is having them done (So I’m glad you said that). Second, I love that you did this bright metalic purple. If you’re gonna mix it up, you might as well go all the way. Third, you boys have great taste, because your nail look fabulous. Purple is the new black!

  • Ms. R

    I think I need to lighten up too. I always get the very palest pink/nude color. That is until I decided that even that was too much and I just get my nails buffed now! Talk about boring.

  • Andie

    I never paint my fingernails- they are always unpolished or clear.

    but I LOVE purple toes! I have really dark purple toes right now. Called “Eiffel for this color”

    I LOVE the color.

  • Melisa

    Stacey: Uh, yeah. I’ll consider that bright orange for next time. I’m half-tempted to do it, just to put a photo up here. But I probably won’t. 🙂

    Ms. R: Wow, no polish, huh? I bet you’d HATE purple on your nails, for sure! Maybe you should start with that pink again. But do whatever strikes you at the time: I need to do that more often!

    Andie: You’ll still “always have Paris”. 🙂

  • k a t i e

    That is a gorgeous color. I’m currently layering ‘Tough as Nails’ on mine as they’re having some sort of mid-season crisis, which I think might be a direct result of applying cheap, nasty acrylics myself drunkenly one night.

    I was always waaay too much of a tom-boy to bother with my nails, and during school they were constantly bitten to the quick (damn you, exam stress!) but not long after I graduated I emerged,butterfly like into a world of dresses, heels and… nail polish! I’d love to get them ‘properly’ done 🙂

    How about some sexy cheeta spots or a little bit of bling next time? Completely take you from your comfort zone?!

    But seriously…the purple is ‘cool’!

  • Faith

    DISCLAMER: If I accidentally offend you in any way, shape, or form in this comment, it is not intenional and I apologise. No offence is intended in the following post. (Yes, I am parinoid and don’t like offending people. I’m too nice.)
    As a 15- year- old, I personally like purple; I usually paint my nails either purple or black when I paint them. I, infact, find purple a very nonchalant color and find it perfectly reasonable for a woman my mothers age (I’m assumming you’re around the same age as my mom since you have a 16 year old son.) to paint their nails. However, I don’t think your sons will approve of orange. I wouldn’t want my mom painting her nails orange. *shudders* (the shudder was for my mom, not you.)

  • Michelle

    Oh that is SUCH a great color. I love purple polish (it’s fall so I have to do purple each week for my Vikes and NU). That is a great shade — what’s it called? My nails right now are much much lighter that that and my toes have a bit more pink to the purple. I want that color next time I go 🙂 Maybe you should go for Violet Sky next time … a lighter more subtle color if the dark is too much for you! But I need to know what you used. It’s gorgeous!

  • Melisa

    Katie: Cheetah spots? My heart nearly stopped when I read that! I have actually had a rhinestone put on before (yes, just ONE), because my co-worker was being goofy. But I'm not crazy about having that texture on top of my nail. (Apparently now I'm a snob about it too!! ha ha)

    Angie: ha ha: Nail it! You're so funny.

    Faith: First of all, I LOOOOOVE that you put a disclaimer on your comment! So sweet! (and smart!) (and something I would totally do as well!) No offense taken on anything you wrote. I'm sure I am within a couple of years in either direction of your mom's age, which makes me nauseous. (thinking about my age; *not* how close it is to your mom's. 🙂 )I think I tend to agree with you that my sons would not approve of orange nails on their mother (me, of course). To expand on that a little bit though, their disapproval would probably only surface with some sort of eyeroll (I've seen that on them before!) and quiet irritation because generally (I think) boys don't care about that kind of thing as long as I wasn't boisterously flashing my nails around to all of their friends and making a big deal about them. In addition to that, I would have to say that if I did put orange on my nails and was indeed keeping it to myself, it's not really their place to approve or disapprove. I absolutely and TOTALLY get what you're saying, especially as a 15 y.o. girl. The mom/daughter thing can be a little tricky! 🙂

    Michelle: Thanks! I'll look up what the name is on Monday when I go to work & get back to you! 🙂

  • Melisa

    Diva: Thanks, and welcome!

    Everyone: I am glad I posted about this, and in complete disbelief at the amount of comments (but love it!). Go purple!

  • devilish southern belle

    Okay, that purple rocks hard, and makes me want to polish my own nails! But…I clip my fingernails off really short and leave them bare because I don’t like to draw attention to my short, stubby fingers. But I wear all sorts of colors on my toenails!

  • Weaselmomma

    Cool color. I bet it feels good to live on the edge a little. Don’t worry, we’ll get you out a little more.
    P.S. What an awesome job perk.

  • Sue

    I think general approval from a teenager is a top notch compliment.

    I splurged this week and went for a dark pink on my toes. 🙂