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gellin' like Van Hellin'

Yesterday, at my mother's prodding, i succumbed to the newest beauty trend and got myself a set of "gel nails." My mother has been raving about her set, since she can't manage to make her own nails grow longer than negative infinity. My mother got a set of acrylic tips last year before my wedding, and from that moment on she was freakin hooked. However, the glue ruined her nail beds and for six months she was viciously searching for a better alternative. Then at the salon she heard about gel nails. They don't ruin your nail beds and they stay shiny forever. My mother would not stop talking about gel nails. She called every nail salon in Massachusetts. All 569 of them.

Personally, I have manged to keep my natural nails long for most of my life through the ancient chinese secret of FILING AND PAINTING THEM LIKE EVERY FREAKIN DAY. Since i got to business school, however, i felt that this suddenly wasn't enough. Every woman had perfectly manicured hands at all times, some secret code of the business world i guess, akin to the meaning of "methodology" and "synergy." Weekly manicures started taking a lot of my time, and i put all my interviewing stress into mani- pedi- maintenance. So when my mom got her new gels and started raving, i had to take the plunge too. There HAD to be a better way.

My mother made an appointment for me with Krystal, the only nail-tech in the baystate area who seems to know what she's doing with the new "procedure." Her office is atop our hair salon, and when we arrived for our 9:00 appointment someone was already waiting for the 10:00. She's THAT in demand. My mother was booking ahead to September, and whole days were already filled up with clients. I swear, if i had to wait that long to get my bikini waxed, i might become a Bush supporter!

Krystal started by taking off my nailpolish and buffing my nails. "Is this the first time you've had something permanent on your nails?" she aksed.
OMG, yes! i thought. I am a fake nail virgin! Suddenly i wanted her to go slower so i could stop and think about this. Can i really commit to fake nails? Am i really ready for this step?

Thankfully, my natural nails were long enough to avoid applying the plastic tips and just cover the real nails with a lovely gel finish. When she asked how i like my french manicure, soft pink or bright white, i said "Go for the hooker white." If i'm in, i'm all in baby!

After only an hour, my transformation was complete. My beautiful gel nails are shiny, hard as rock, perma-french, and shouldn't come off for at least six months. Seriously, it's all i can do not to wonder at their beautiful plasticity all day. I can open jars and peel out credit cards. And i only feel a little dirty, like i'm cheating mother nature. Because after all, it's a slippery slope of fakeness. Next may be collagen injections. And eyeliner tatoos. And... weight-watchers ice-cream.

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