Human Claws

If you’ve ever had a cat, you know how problematic their claws can be. Retracting as they please, sometimes your kitty will come sit in your lap and you have to endure the little pricks of pain that comes with their love. If cats can love, that is… Their motives are unclear, but maybe they mean well.

But I digress.

You know when you’re totally conscious of your overspending, but you can’t bring yourself to stop? Maybe that’s just me, but for a full year, I convinced myself to throw $25 out the window every three weeks to make my hands pretty. You do the math.

When I fell into the acrylic nail trend, I wanted to keep them short. My nails never grew very long and I wanted to avoid having manly handsI mean, come on. Sausage fingers won’t look cute with a wedding ring one day, will they? No, so I resorted to having the salon people work their magic to give the illusion of longer, slimmer hands. They did this with stiletto acrylics, and if you haven’t seen them, they look like this:


They’re quite claw­like, and yes, stabbing yourself with them is very possible and reasonably painful. Now, I’m not throwing shade at fake nails or anything. At the time, I loved them. A little inconvenient maybe, but pretty and somewhat functional all the same. I was proud of my high­-end hands, as I hopped on the bandwagon just before the look became super popular. The nails make you feel fierce. Is there anything wrong with feeling like you’re one step closer to becoming Beyoncé?

Absolutely not.

They have their pros and cons, as all things do. Pretty as they may be, looking back, it was a waste of money, and I didn’t realize until later. However, as a former clawed individual, I’ve oddly come to recognize the struggle of the domestic housecat.

You. Can’t. Touch. Anything. Everything you touch rips.

There are a million and one reasons as to why acrylic nails equate to Satan, but here are seven (seven deadly sins, hey) to remind you if you’ve experienced it before, or to warn you if you haven’t…

  1. You want to wear stockings to school one day? NOoOOOooOPE. The slightest slip of your hand results in six thousand new runners in your favorite pair of tights.
  2. Need to type an essay for class? I’m sorry, your nails are going to get caught in the keyboard. It just happens.
  3. Heaven forbid you have to put in contact lenses in the morning, RIP your eyeballs.
  4. If you need to hold any writing utensil for any reason whatsoever, you’re screwed, because the nails ceaselessly stab your palms.
  5. Getting into the car and putting on your seatbelt when they’re freshly painted? Forget about it.
  6. They grow out quickly and often need to be redone.
  7. And please, please don’t ever mention the pain of jamming them and breaking them off. It feels like your soul is leaving your body.

Maybe it was different for me because I was writing and dressing up all the time, gardening and just generally using my hands. I wasn’t sitting pretty as my acrylics required, and as much as I loved them, I had to let them go. They let you feel absolutely ~fab~ for a while, but there comes a time when you realize that you’re a broke college student who would be better off ordering Chinese.

I’ve gone without them for almost a year now. Hold your applause. Thank you, it’s been quite the emotional roller coaster. I often wondered, how can I have tearful breakdowns if I can’t cry into my stiletto­-embellished hands?

While acrylics definitely made me feel like the average princess, I don’t need that anymore. After the withdrawal passes, you can look back and realize that they did nothing but leave terrible craters in your natural nail.

Trust me, it gets better.

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