Sweater and Ring: The Limited
Belt: Anthropologie Couple of Feathers Belt
Booties: DV by Dolce Vita Phillipa Ankle Boot
Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Pat on the Black
"'C'est la vie', say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell." - Chuck Berry
Whenever I'm struggling with that age old question of what to wear, I find that drawing inspiration from one particular item, usually an accessory, is of great help to me. I remember one post in particular where a simple hair clip served as my "outfit muse." Today's outfit was built around the most unlikely of sources for me, my nail polish. Unlikely because I've pretty much worn the same nail polish color for the past 17 years. Actually, it's not really a color, it's the opposite of color. You see, I've spent close to half my life trying to have natural looking nails which sounds like it should be no work at all but for me has proven to be very difficult.
My problems all started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: high school. It was a couple of days before my junior/senior banquet. Yes, I said banquet, not prom. To the powers that be at the Christian school I attended, prom meant dancing, and dancing meant inappropriate physical contact which we all know automatically leads to sex. So, instead of dancing, we ate dinner; therefore, we had ourselves a banquet. Anyway, I decided I wanted my nails to look extra special while holding that fork at the banquet, so I went to one of those strip mall nail salons that were popping up everywhere around the early 90's. Boy, was that an experience. The nice Asian gentlemen at the salon filed my nails down with a seriously scary-looking electric rotating file device, glued some super long talons onto the tips of my real nails, painted a strange substance over it all, and air brushed those bad boys to look like a french manicure. Of course, I loved my new fancy nails. It was the early 90's, people!
Looking back, I blame it on the buzz inducing smells coming from that place, but whatever the reason, I was hooked. I went back faithfully every 2 weeks for my "fill in." When I finally came to my senses, stopped going, and ripped all that shit off my real nails, I discovered paper thin remnants of what my real nails used to be. It was awful. I couldn't go without nail polish because my real nails were so thin they hurt without the protection. Clear coats weren't an option because my nails were red due to the blood supply that was clearly visible under my damaged nail bed. I know, gross. Thankfully, I managed to find a nail polish color that was really similar to the color of real nails, so I used that until they discontinued it and then found another one and so on and so forth, until one faithful day when I saw a movie that changed my nail color preference for a little while.
The movie was Pulp Fiction, and I was smitten with everything about Uma Thurman's character in the movie including her nail color. It was a very deep colored red that almost looked black. I had never seen anything like it. Seriously, I know it's hard to believe with the plethora of options we have today just at the local Walgreens, but we were poor, deprived people back in the 90's. The Internets weren't as vast as they are today, and it was a challenge finding out where Uma got her bad ass nail polish, but I did find out. I remember it well. I was sitting in a hospital waiting room in 1995 reading a magazine and waiting for my nephew to be born when I saw an advertisement from Chanel. There on the stark white page was a single bottle of deep red almost black nail polish that went by the name of Vamp. Next thing you know, I'm calling up all the local department stores to see if they have it. I was able to procure a bottle and spent the next couple of years mixing it into my nail polish rotation until it eventually went out of style.
All of this to say that for the past 17+ years, the only nail polish I've worn is "natural" with a couple years of Vamp thrown into the mix. Boring, I know, but that's the way it went down. I should note that my nails finally grew back to their former glory, but it took years and by then I liked the way they looked with the "natural" polish better than without, so I kept wearing it. Anyway, let's get back to the present day. Imagine my delight when Jerry and I are checking out at Walgreens a few weeks before Christmas and I see a bottle of nail polish at the counter that looks exactly like my old favorite Vamp. While standing in the checkout line, I relay the story that I just typed out above to Jerry while holding the bottle lovingly in my hands. I ultimately decided against purchasing it, even though I regretted it once I walked out the door. However, I must have been a very good girl this year because Santa came through in the end. As I reached into my stocking Christmas morning, I let out a squeal. For deep down in that stocking was my very own bottle of deep red almost black nail polish. The rest is history.
P.S. The best part: My ex-husband came to pick up the kids, took one look at my nail polish, and asked me if I had gone goth. Priceless.