I very recently – as in 43 hours and 50 minutes ago, not that I’m counting – lost one of my two cats to old age. Her name was Porky, she was 22, and she was my best friend and companion for 15 of those much-indulged years. As I commented on my “Airing of the deceased pet grief” memorial post on Facebook – and as regular readers of this blog are all too aware – I am rarely at a loss for words. Give me the barest outline of a theme and I’ll find a way to build a conversation around it. But I can’t find the words to express how much I cared about that grumpy and demanding little bundle of fur, not because I don’t know what to say, but because I simply can’t force the words past the tears. It’s been nearly two days since she left me, and I’m not sure I’ve stopped crying once, even in my sleep. She’s all I think about.
So it was with the great promise of relief – relief to be thinking about anything else except her final moments, relief to be doing anything else except crying – that I thought I’d turn back to the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge I’ve been participating in and catch up on the three or so prompts that have passed me by while I’ve been crying. I thought something simple, like day four’s theme of black and gold, would be a great place to start, particularly when I remembered the pack of star-shaped nail vinyls I bought over the winter holidays and had yet to press into action. How much easier does it get than peel and stick and paint and rip? Even a grief-stricken basket case with hopelessly swollen eyes could manage that!
But I think we all know where this is going, right? Because this particular grief-stricken basket case with hopelessly swollen eyes could not get her nail vinyl mojo up and running, not even a little bit. Granted, this was the first time I was using nail vinyls, and I’m not exactly feeling on top of my A game in any way, but holy wow, were these vinyls, from a company called Nail Vinyls, a PAIN. For starters, the adhesive backing on the vinyls is incredibly strong and sticky. It’s imperative that you use a top coat like Seche Vite to harden up the surface of your nails before applying the vinyl, or else you’ll simply rip the polish straight off your nails. I’d also recommend using an opaque polish for all your vinyling needs; the gold micro glitter I used here, Orly’s Bling, was a touch too transparent and required multiple coats, which crept under the edges of the stars and muddled the overall design. In the final analysis, I ended up dabbing the gold polish onto my nails with a cosmetic sponge, which gave me more control and stopped that pesky bleeding edges business. Finally, after removing the vinyls – carefully, so carefully – I went over the little gold stars with a detail brush and a couple of extra coats of Bling to really enhance their sparkle.
I think nail vinyls might be one of those things you build up to – peel and stick and paint and rip they were NOT – but still, this manicure was a lot of work for something I had hoped wouldn’t tax my brain too much. Although on the flip side, fussing with temperamental nail vinyls for an hour and a half made me cease contemplating my grief for an hour and a half, and so I’m counting this one as a win.