Manly pink fingernails are one of life’s tough questions

I’m typing this column with bright pink fingernails on my left hand and sparkly fingernails on my right. No, I’m not considering any lifestyle changes. My daughter decided I needed, in her own words, a “mani-pedi.” In hind sight, I should have encouraged more a pedi than a mani. Then I could have just put shoes on to maintain whatever masculinity I have left. But she wanted to do fingernails first, and we never made it to the toes.

I could wear gloves I guess. But with typing a necessity for my work, the only gloves I could wear to cover them up are tight fitting, stylish gloves. In other words, feminine ones. Doh!

It didn’t help that my one-year-old son thought he needed to jump in and help. He loves to paint. He has a style that is best described as modernist impressionist abstraction. So it’s not just my fingernails, but much of my hands that are pink too.

My daughter asked me if I wanted sparkly clear nail polish or pink nail polish. I said sparkly clear. Somehow that was the wrong answer. She did one hand sparkly clear, but was bored by the next one, so she switched to the pink midway. She took my masculinity into account, though. Instead of calling it pink, she called it bright red.

There was a brief discussion between my two daughters whether men could wear nail polish. The answers were inconclusive. I didn’t tell them about my goth friends in high school, male and female, who enjoyed an occasional bout of black nail polish and black lipstick as a fashion statement. I was never bold enough to wear nail polish back then; I guess I was saving up for my children. For the record, I did request black from my kids, but pink was more available. With three daughters, pink is always more available.

What wasn’t in vogue when I was in high school is nail art. Today, many women sport not just painted nails, but full blown pictures included on each one, painstakingly painted with toothpicks, among other items. Maybe people of my generation, or previous generations were too lazy, but I think the reason it never caught on earlier has more to do with easy digital photography. You don’t want to spend five hours painting moonbeams on your fingers to have it disappear in a few days. But now, you can snap a picture and it will be saved forever.

My nails didn’t take five hours. And there won’t be any pictures of them to spread around the internet, thank goodness. But Halloween is coming, and I need a costume idea. What costume would keep pink fingernails and allow me my masculinity? Now that’s one of life’s tough questions.

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