Internet, I have a weird secret to tell you. I'm sharing this secret with you because, this afternoon, my secret lodged itself in a bag of potting soil, or underneath a potted cucumber plant (impossible to tell which), and I can't hide it anymore.

I engage in a beauty ritual that rubs up against all my au-naturel, no-morning-routine, simplify to the point of monkishness, urban greenie lifestyle.

Sometimes, I wear fake nails. And not on all my fingers, either.

I don't do it for looks entirely. I would be lying if I said I didn't like the way nicely manicured nails look. Who doesn't? The real reason I sometimes wear fake nails, though, is for comfort. Seriously. I type all day long for work. More to the point, I ten-key all day long for work. That means that my right hand is curled up into a digit punching perma-claw for about 75% of my waking hours. My nails tend to break very easily. And when my nails are different lengths, it really bugs. It messes with my sense of balance. One finger might have a regular length nail on it, and another might have a slightly longer nail on it. Another might have one hacked right down to the quick because I accidentally smashed it into a file cabinet drawer a week ago. I hate the sensation of first my sensitive bare fingertip, and then a small talon, and then my sensitive bare finger again, hitting the keys. It's my own private nails on chalkboard. Or biting down on tongue depressors. Whatever. Insert gag reflex-inducing peeve here. So, to keep them all strong and the same length, I sometimes glue down a few falsies.

I know, I know. Horrible. Deplorable, even. Do I even KNOW what's in nail glue? If it can hold a grown man in a hard hat to an I-beam, what must it be doing to the DNA just underneath my nails? And all the Toluene and formaldehyde in nail polish? Aren't I just ASKING for my kids to be born with five heads? And what becomes of my poor nail beds once I soak them in paint thinner to get those claws off? And the bottles, once they are used up? Where do they go? Am I not just contributing to an ever increasing pile of non-recyclable, downright toxic trash that will be with us for milennia? And don't I normally rail against all the products we use in our daily lives that are positively AWFUL for the planet? These are questions I choose not to ask myself, Internet. I'm not proud of the fact. It's one of my guilty pleasures, and so long as Sally Hansen continues to make nail polish the color of pumpkins and eggplants, I will continue to apply my industrialized war paint.


It's T-minus two weeks until my starts are ready to go into the ground (or, in my apartment-dwelling case, into the pots that will line the driveway) so today I got out some more yogurt cups and thinned the herd a little. About two and a half weeks ago, I planted four different kinds of tomato seeds. I planted a few of each variety thinking that, of the dozen or so that that I planted, only a few would take. Well, mother nature is a fertile lady this year, and instead of four or five, I got roughly ten. Any by the looks of it, there are more on the way.

So, I had to separate some of the little buggers because the yogurt cups were starting to get crowded. I went down to the basement to grab some potting soil, came back upstairs, and set up shop on my kitchen counter. I pulled the teensy weensy little starts from their soil, put them into new yogurt cups, watered them, and put them back on the windowsill. And then I went to wash my hands. Which is when I noticed this:

My pinky nail was missing. My fake pinky nail. I didn't even feel it come off. Gross. Grosser still? It's probably hanging out in one of the yogurt cups. I guess if in the Fall, the cucumbers come up with orange-tinted skins, we'll know where it went.