Sunday, 21 August 2016


One of the many things I don’t understand about women is how they treat their fingernails and toenails. The thought of applying paint to my nails is as abhorrent to me as is the thought of plucking out all of the hairs in my eyebrows and then painting them back in.

It’s utter craziness.

Granted, as painful as plucking or waxing eyebrows is, applying a bright colourful load of goo to your nails seems painless by comparison.

Yet women still feel the need to do it.

So why am I talking about painting nails? Allow me to tell you.

Yesterday we made the short trip to the city of Chester to watch horse racing and gamble responsibly along with around 20,000 other people. This particular event was slightly different because it was Ladies Day. What that means I don’t know really, other than perhaps an attempt to entice members of the fairer sex to lose their money alongside their male chumps.

What I do know is that every single woman there made an extra special attempt to beautify themselves, spending more money on that than the entrance fee and amount they would lose on the horses combined.

There were eight of us, four men and four women. The men all wore jackets and ties and that was it. My preparation for the event was to dust off one of my two suits (the non-penguin one) and iron my white shirt. It took all of ten minutes in total and most of that was ironing the damned shirt.

Mrs PM on the other hand spent weeks preparing for this event. After two failed trips to buy a new dress, she finally managed to choose a superb, if not expensive one that made her look lovely. She also agonised over matching shoes and a new bag and eventually bought those as well. Last week she went looking for a fascinator. I didn’t even know what a fascinator was and I had to ask my good friend, Mr Google to assist.

Here’s an example of a fascinator:

Why they are called fascinators is beyond me.

While shopping for this, she spotted another dress that she preferred and bought that instead, returning the original dress a couple of days later. Worse, she couldn’t find a suitable fascinator and had to order one online. Worse still, she had to also return the bag and shoes she bought because they didn’t go with the new dress. And of course she had to hunt for replacements.

Had I been involved in all of this trauma, I think I might have torn all of my hair out in frustration but I made it quite clear from the offset that this was her problem and her problem alone and I would rather extract each hair on my body with a blowtorch than make numerous trips to women’s clothing shops waiting outside the changing rooms like a total muppet as I watched my will to live erode.

Thankfully, Mrs PM (and indeed all women as far as I can tell) are used to this crazy way of preparing for events and having spent most of her life in changing rooms trying on clothes that either don’t fit or she doesn’t like and her stamina is unbreakable.

The final touches for this event were painting her nails. Naively, I thought this meant buying a bottle of goo and painting it on her fingernails.

When she explained what was going to happen, I gaped like a lunatic.

“Two hours? TWO PHARKING HOURS to get your nails done?”  I said incredulously.

“Yes,” she declared. “They have to look perfect.”

Basically, she was going to pay money to a beautician to apply multiple layers of goo to her nails that would take two hours to complete and cost 55 English pounds.

“55 quid?” I gaped, amazed at how much more shocking that was. “Why don’t you set fire to the notes? It will be quicker and less of a waste of money.”

I was slapped for that one.

This traumatic experience is not as easy as it sounds. I’ve looked this up.

First you have to have your nails prepared which means cutting them, filing them and deciding what shape to have them. Surely the answer to that is “nail shaped”!

Next you have to remove your cuticles. I misread this at first and winced before I realised that women don’t have what I thought had to be removed. Apparently cuticles are dead skin at the base of your nails and you use a funny shaped stick to do the revolting deed.

At this point you can start painting. But this is not just a simple job; you have to apply a base layer and wait for it to dry for longer than it says on the tin. And then you have to apply two more thin layers, drying each of them under a UV lamp for two to three minutes – a pharking UV lamp!!

And that’s not all because after that, you have to apply yet another layer and zap that under a UV lamp for the same length of time.

Finally, this fiasco is completed by removing imperfections and applying a weird cuticle oil.

Mrs PM had this done to twenty nails – ten fingernails and ten toenails.

I never knew any of this and I am totally flabbergasted.

Of course, the worst thing is that this amazing artwork is only guaranteed to last two weeks when, presumably, keen women will want to return to the beautician to throw away another £55 and waste two more hours of their lives.

Mrs PM’s nails were and are wonderful (I have to say this, lest I have my cuticles removed with a rusty saw) and so did her three friends. In their case, the nails were decorated with patterns that must of (a) cost even more money and (b) taken much longer.

Of course, their nails were and are wonderful  too (I have to say this, lest I have the remaining parts of my anatomy removed with the same rusty saw).

In conclusion, I can only say two things.

First, I am no closer to understanding women.

Finally, I am so, so, so glad that I am a man.


Grace said...

I don't understand women and shopping either...

Plastic Mancunian said...

To be honest, Grace, neither does Mrs PM (when I dare ask her).




joeh said...

I remember my mom doing her nails in the car. Of course she waited to do them at a stop light. Took maybe three lights to get the job done.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

I've heard of women doing thing's like that too.




Elephant's Child said...

That part of being a woman I fail. Epically.

JahTeh said...

Well for me toenails are out, you have to have them clear with Diabetes or you might miss the blackening sign of gangrene. But I do like a soft colour on the finger nails, the kind of colour that you miss the chipping for a week or two.
Put the new clothes and fascinators in the category of "Race Memory" some little space in the brain that saves up stuff that is useful in finding a mate right down to the 'I've got a better grunt than you and throw rocks further' era. I mean it wasn't as though we really needed men, one could impregnate a herd but the minute all of them kept looking at the shaggy haired tart with the new sabre toothed cat coat and it was all over, the competition gene kicked in.
Give up now Plasman, you're done.

River said...

My nails are horrendous; thin and weak, prone to tearing, splitting, peeling. A trip to a beautician every couple of weeks would have them looking better, but I'd rather buy food.
Now I'm going to incur the wrath of every female race goer by saying I think fascinators are ridiculous. They're pretty to look at, but that's all. There's no sun protection like you'd get from a hat, and a hat can be just as pretty.
I still don't own a dress.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Mrs PM struggles to be fair and, judging from what other guys have said, so do their other halves.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

Good insight there. The sad thing is I am still fascinated - in a weird way.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I don't think fascinators are anything to do with protection - some of the ones I saw were tiny.

My nails would apparently be great - if I were a woman. Tank the Lord above that I am not.