Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Stuff Girls Like (or Why A Little Frivolity Never Hurt Anyone)

on February 12, 2015

A friend said to me recently, after complimenting my nail polish, that she had neither the time nor the money to care for her nails.

IMG_0267Her comment prompted me to feel slightly embarrassed, and a little extravagant for prioritizing my manicures.

I said, “Because I’m ministering up front I have to make sure that my hands always look presentable.” This is true. Just that morning I had served Communion in chapel, and was thankful my hands looked well-maintained when I was breaking the bread.

“I talk with my hands,” I continued, “so it is very noticeable when my nails are not manicured; it’s distracting.” This is true. My hands are a big part of how I communicate. When my nails look cared for, I feel less self-conscious about waving them around. I speak more freely.

And I said, “The Southern ladies and gentlemen in the congregations down here really tend to notice these things and expect me to have nice nails.” This is true. When I first began attending church down here, my nails might be polished, or might be chipping a little, or might really need tending to. They were not high on my list of things that mattered. But when I took care of them one week (in anticipation of a date) several people at church remarked on it. I realized people actually notice these things. Which led me to commit to keeping my nails tended to, since most of my time would now be spent in churches, with congregations, full of people who notice my nails.

I said all of these things to my friend, which were true, but the real truth I did not say is that I love getting my nails done. I love having a nice manicure. I love picking the color I will wear, and getting the hand massage that is included, and the final look of beautiful, uniform fingernails. I love having that hour to just sit, and chat with the manicurist, and think about nothing.

To have official reasons to do something I love to do makes me glad. But I still feel slightly guilty about it because I am trying to care less about these kinds of things. Fingernails seem so frivolous. Also because, as my mom would say, manicures are a “waste of money,” amounting to about $40/month.

My friend, hearing the discomfort in my words, used the opportunity to encourage me.

She agreed that my hands are a very necessary part of my life, and that I touch people with my hands.

She said there was nothing wrong with doing something nice for myself.  Especially in a profession like the ministry–where you are serving people all day every day–self-care is important and should not be neglected.

She said I should keep getting manicures.

Thank God for friends.

Do you have any frivolities in your life that bring you joy? How do you manage self-care?

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4 responses to “Stuff Girls Like (or Why A Little Frivolity Never Hurt Anyone)

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Alease, never apologize for doing something for yourself. Sounds as if the relaxing time is also a priority part of it. I’d say that alone is priceless in your life. Enjoy. We only have one life to live, and if your relaxing and looking well-groomed is part of your ministry, so be it.

  2. Lynda B. says:

    The nice thing I do for myself is a bubble bath. I try to do it once a week but at least twice a month.

  3. only24dates says:

    I love this post! I hate my nails – they are broken and brittle and so fragile and I’ve always been insecure about them. I tried to take care of them but I have had no success. To make it worse, I have short nail beds so they look like nubs. I have things that I spend money on that no one else thinks is worthwhile- comedy shows every 2 weeks. It costs SO much to attend but the laughter does wonders for my soul. I agree with your friend!

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