Four months ago, I was gleefully preparing for my trip to the thriller writers conference in New York City. My bags were packed, my tickets printed, my kids prepared. All that was left was to pass the time before I left, and paint my nails.
Those of you who know me well know I don’t normally paint my fingernails. I find nail polish problematic when it scuffs things like book pages, counter tops, walls, etc. My nails also grow fast, which means a manicure looks ridiculous after a couple days. It’s just not worth all the extra work most days.
On special occasions, however, I’m all for it. I figured a trip to Manhattan definitely qualified as a special occasion and brought my nail polish selection to Wes to help me decide which color should go where.
He picked red for my fingernails and purple for my toes. Honeymoon Red, to be precise.
When I looked aghast, he asked me why Honeymoon Red was not an acceptable color for my fingernails. I explained that if I was a single lady heading to the city to meet people and potentially score a date, then sure. Honeymoon Red would be perfectly acceptable for my fingernails. As a married mother of two, however, wearing Honeymoon Red on my fingers while staying alone in a hotel would send the wrong message altogether.
He was perplexed. “No one pays attention to that kind of thing!” he responded. Still, just to be safe, I painted my fingernails electric blue. Electric blue says, “I’m a creative thriller writer and I’m interested in networking but don’t ask for my number.” Not like Honeymoon Red, which says, “I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue.”
The next day, I was getting in one last work out with my personal trainer before the trip and recounted the whole tale to her, ending with Wes’s color suggestion. She gasped and replied, “He wanted you to wear red nail polish on your fingers at a hotel by yourself?!”
From my survey of two women, it seems a fairly wide understanding that nail polish colors carry connotations. I’m curious, is this knowledge universal to women? Is this something we glean from years of watching TV and reading magazines, or is this an imaginary rule I just happened to corroborate?