Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Real Men Paint Fingernails
I was at a gathering of extended family recently. I walked into the dining room to retrieve something out of my purse.
"Melinda, Brian will paint your nails for you if you want," said my cousin Lori, referring to her husband.
I must have missed something, I thought. They must have been joking around about Brian painting nails before I walked in here.
"No thanks," I responded. "I'd have it all picked off by the time I reach Nephi."
I walked around the table and happened to sit down directly across from Brian.
He was painting his little niece's fingernails.
"Brian really does do nails!" I exclaimed.
I don't know Brian well. I've only met him a couple of times over the years. But I'll tell you what about Brian - he's a manly man. Not in the least bit girly. You can tell that just by looking at him. He has an electrical background and works for a utility company. You just gotta know he drives around in a big pick-up and has maybe even scaled his share of utility poles. Probably loves all kinds of outdoor activities - four wheeling, camping. Maybe he hunts. And he's a big guy. You just wouldn't expect him to be a manicurist.
"So," I asked him, feeling a blog post coming on, "how did you get into the nail business?"
"I started years ago as a way to spend time with my daughters," he told me. Lori and Brian have two girls who have both grown up and left home.
Over the years he's gotten really good at painting nails.
"It's a lot like painting a racing stripe on a car," he told me. "You have to be smooth and steady."
He finished applying a coat of polish to his niece's tiny nails. As they were drying, he pulled open a plastic bag and fished out a nail stamping kit.
"Now, look these over and decide what you want," he told her.
I realized that this was his stuff and that he had traveled from Oregon to Utah with it so that he could do his nieces' nails. I loved this guy.
I had never seen the stamping process before. Brian carefully painted white over a tiny design on an image plate and squeegeed off the excess. Then he took a tiny finger in hand and patiently and precisely rolled it across.
"Do you like that one?" he asked. "It's okay if you don't. We can do it over."
It was perfect. They finished off the job. All the nieces lined up for their turns. Flowers and animal prints seemed to be the fashion of the day.
All the way from Oregon with his nail kit.
These girls love their Uncle Brian.