An Occupational Hazard

There it is! The dangerous weapon.

There it is! The dangerous weapon.

As designers and artists, as with other callings and our day-to-day living that requires the use of hands, we have experienced that occupational hazard:  The broken fingernail.

A fingernail breaks, and so what?  It will grow back.  If you wear nail polish, your manicure will look uneven and not ready for hand modeling.  Even if you don’t wear polish, it is unsightly.  And unless you chew your nails and they look ragged, and that another story for another type of blog.

My nails break.  Often.  I have dozens of emery boards in my bathroom, in my office, in my studio, in my bookcase, and maybe in my car’s glove compartment (it’s neat and well-kept, but I haven’t checked lately if there are any nail files there).  I also have a couple of nail clippers hanging out in drawers.

But – do you think I’d ensure that one – at least one – would be in my purse or carrying case when I’m at art shows?  Nope.  Not really.  No siree. 

Last weekend, as with the last three art shows in which I participated (this one was at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Art Fair), one of my fingernails broke.  I waved my hand as I was talking (I do that – I’m very expressive), and the tip of my fingers hit the table.  One fingernail chipped, and by the time I was finished with the transaction with my customer, the nail fully broke off and left a dangerous weapon.

That nail was pointy and sharp on the one end.  Yow!  I could’ve delivered a mortal blow to an unsuspecting passerby.

So – there I was, sporting a sharp fingernail, playing with it with the opposing thumb.  It was hours of debating whether I should bite it off or live with it.

I lived with it.  Badly.

When I got home, the first thing I did after schlepping my carrying cases and displays back into my studio was to grab the fingernail clipper and trim that nail.

Then I made sure I had emery boards in my car’s glove compartment and in my wallet.

Now watch – I won’t break a nail again at a show.

That’s all right. At least I might be able to share an emery board with a fellow artist at the next shows:  someone who also has a hundred emery boards everywhere – except on his or her person.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique


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