For those of you who have been along for the ride, you've come to learn that my girl goes through her winsome day while maintaining a manicure of one-inch acrylic extensions from each of her dainty fingers. Very early on in our relationship, i asked her to submit to this demand, making it one of the first dress code modifications i instituted. The initial forays into artificial nails with her were haphazard. She found them incredibly limiting and the craftsmanship of the nail tech she visited was shoddy. She'd lost 2 nails in the first eight days. She protested this demand of mine, finding it incredibly impractical to her academic pursuits (which consisted of frequent use and reliance on the very tip of her finger). In a manner that established a tenor for our relationship, i calmly listened, letting her air her grievances, then pointedly asserted the way her hands were to be presented - and made an appointment for her with a manicurist i trusted.
Flash forward 3 years: Having developed a trusted and satisfying relationship with her nail tech, my girl now gets pampered every two weeks with a complete spa visit that finetunes the perfection of her long french-manicured nails. She has adapted to the impact these artificial extensions have impeded on her life, dialing a phone, advancing a song on her iPod, or even opening up a can of soda differently than she had before. She looks at these appliances as natural, part of her regular routine, and would prefer not to see her hand without them.
I have encountered few people in my life and on this cyber circuit who openly hold the same affection i have to this feminine accoutrement. The limited number of self-identified followers led me to examine my own attachment to this cosmetic alteration. As is the custom for most eccentricities of mine i try to examine, i find i have plenty of examples of their existence in my past, but few explanations why. However, i remember the first instance of my attraction to long fingernails.
Her name was Stacy. I was sitting in the library at high school, thumbing through three separate Jack London novels (i believe one of them was Sea Wolf), when i heard a rather loud, frilly commotion at the front desk. Three girls had wandered into a world they certainly did not fit, one where the literary contents outnumbered the visitors. Each of them had platinum blond hair, tussled in a rage-inducing way. Each of them snapped gum in a code only the three of them could understand. Their entire wardrobes jangled and clattered with the numerous necklaces and bracelets they wore stacked against eachother. They'd been sent to this cavern of literacy to research a report that their civics teacher had commissioned of them about the economies of South America. Clearly, the subject (pre-Wikipedia, for those youngins who question how hard such a report would be - this would involve them looking in a card catalog...oh, just look it up on Wikipedia) proved a daunting matter for these three phillies and the poor desk clerk who happened to be servicing the counter when they arrived.
Stacy was the quiet one, in that, she spent most of her time leaning her back away from the desk clerk, examining both the inhabitants of the library and the neon orange color of her 2" long nails. I'd never seen anything like this. They screamed femininity in such a gaudy and putrefied way - i was hooked. I gathered up my belongings, and sauntered up to the counter, offering my services in their quest to get in and out as quick as possible. I spent the next 30 minutes superficially fishing out the information they needed, while secretly feeling such squeamish delight watching Stacy manipulate pens, her hair, a leaf of paper with her long nails. I found the sound of them clicking against eachother more mesmerizing than a windchime on a quiet, breezy summer afternoon.
This same stop-whatever-i'm-doing-and-gawk reaction has not dampened, even nearly twenty years later. In the intervening years, i've convinced a good 70% of the girls i've dated to give a trial with nails this long. And i should stress, it's always fake nails. Something about long, natural nails really grosses me out. The way they aren't uniform in shape and curvature, the yellowish, grimy color they have - i've never cared for them (i especially get weirded out when i see men with long, natural fingernails). They must be fake. They must be square-tipped, and they must be curved like talons.
I can easily identify a few things about nails like this that i find attractive. They extend a female's hand, making them long, fragile and feminine. They act as a protuberance, making daily tasks difficult, negotiable. I'm a complete connoisseur for the way a girl moves her appendage with nails like this. There is a delicacy in her strokes, as if she were transferring a Ming vase from one case to another.
I'm so attuned to this that i sometimes catch myself feeling mildly on edge when we socialize with friends and family members who knew my girl before her modifications. These nails are the clearest indication of the transformation she has undergone over the past few years. This audience has made remarks to her about them:
"How do you not poke your eye out with those?"
"Aren't you afraid of scaring little kids with your claws?"
"I don't see how you can function."
I'd rather not spend time defending our relationship, and because of this, i anticipate comments like these. I even watch how someone like her father looks at her hands as she uses them to articulate a point in a story of hers, and inwardly disdains his daughter's aesthetic choices. In the end, i appreciate the opportunity to indulge in this fetish of mine, and dismiss any outside criticism that we may encounter.
I may never fully understand what it is about these prosthetics that rock me to my erotic core, the answer, if there needs to be one remains elusive. It is for that reason, i leave the reader with, instead of a sound conclusion, a small quartet of images from the fingernail fetish ingenue Foxy Anya.