Nails, Hair and Body Maintenance: Men Just Don’t Understand!

I just got back from a nail appointment. Here was my conversation with my husband Ray:

Your hair looks nice.

Thanks, but I didn’t have my hair done today.

Oh, I thought today was hair day.

No, today was fingernail day.

I thought that was last Friday.

No, that was pedicure day.

Didn’t you get a facial last week too?

Yes.

So, where are you going tomorrow morning?

To get a massage.

Poor guy. Ray has never been able to keep track of my body maintenance appointments. I don’t fault him. I can barely keep track of them myself.

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On a maintenance scale ranging from Low to High, I consider myself a “Low High”. I don’t think I’m a true “High” since I don’t do some of the things that many others do regularly … Botox injections, body scrubs, body hair waxing, spray tanning, etc. I would never, however, be accused of being “Low” maintenance since I have not let my hair go gray or allowed my fingernails to revert back to high school days.

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It’s a tough job being a Low High.

Here’s how it works:

  • I get my hair cut every 5 weeks and my color done every six weeks. (It takes too long to have both done on the same day. Don’t judge me, please.)
  • I get my acrylic nails done every three weeks. More about that later.
  • I get a pedicure every 8-10 weeks. I’m a sandal person after having spent 25 years in Florida, so this is not optional.
  • I get a facial every couple of months (a true High would have a regularly scheduled facial), usually when I want to have my eyebrows shaped. (Come to think of it, I don’t think Ray even knows about eyebrow shaping.)
  • I get a massage only when I need one. “Need”, of course, is quite subjective and variable. Recently, a muscle issue in my right leg has upped my need factor to about twice a month.

Sometimes, of course, this kind of schedule means that there’s a “perfect storm” of appointments very close to one another. That’s when it becomes quite noticeable to even semi-observant husbands.

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About those fingernails:

I started getting “acrylic” nails in my early 30’s when one of my sales reps pointed out that she got a manicure weekly to save time and to stay “neat and polished”. I thought she was probably giving me a not-so-subtle hint, since my nails were always messy, broken and dry.

I couldn’t just get a basic manicure, however, since my nails were very thin, unlike my mother’s nails which were always strong, thick and naturally “half-mooned”. I learned about acrylics in the 80’s — fake nails, but not as fake as press-on nails, I thought — and the rest is history.

Being in the Low High maintenance category is costly. When I think about the money I’ve spent in the last 35 years on nails, hair, pedicures, facials, massages and other body maintenance treatments – well, actually, I’d rather not think about it.

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Just to be clear. My current body maintenance regimen is NOT related to being over 60. There’s nothing I do now that I didn’t do in my 40’s and 50’s, except maybe schedule more frequent hair color appointments for my “base” (a salon euphemism for “gray roots”).

The difference, I think, is that I used to fit my appointments into my work schedule so that they blended into my overall busy life. Today, they ARE my work schedule.

Maybe I should just tell Ray I’m going to work and skip any further explanations.

Cathy Green