iStock_000006529082_Small(Photo: James Brey/iStockPhoto/Getty Images)

A few weeks ago I treated myself to a fancy manicure at one of those posh salons where they serve free flutes of Champagne while you get your nails painted. OK, that’s a lie, I actually went to a store in the mall where you stand in a line until they call your number. I brought a travel mug full of Prosecco to make things seem fancier, but somehow it had the opposite effect. The manicure did not go well, and now for the first time in my life I am seriously considering getting acrylic nails.

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I think the salon I went to specializes in acrylic nails, because the customers on both sides of me were getting them, and the manicurist seemed surprised when I just wanted a regular manicure. She also seemed a lot more familiar with the process of applying acrylics, because at one point during the manicure she pulled out a tiny drill and used it to file down the surfaces of my nails. It actually hurt a fair bit and felt hot on the nail bed, and it just generally seemed like a bad idea, but I figured she was the professional so I didn’t say anything. (I never say anything. I’ve had so many terrible haircuts you would not believe it, just because I am too much of a coward to complain.)

My nails looked pretty nice when I left, but the negative effects were immediately obvious. My nails have always been weak, brittle, and fragile, but now they were so bad I only made it a day before one of them split right down the middle and another one broke off at the tip. I can usually go at least four or five days after a manicure before my nails start falling apart.

It’s been a few weeks now, and my nails are so damaged that I think using the acrylics tools on my natural nails might actually have been a cunning plot on the manicurist’s part, because now I’m actually thinking about getting acrylics, because my nails are a disaster. (I was going to post a picture of how bad they look, but I think they’re too gross to share in the middle of the day. Someone might be eating.)

I’ve never even considered getting acrylic nails before. For too long I’ve been associating them with the time Carmela Soprano discovered her husband’s affair because his goomah left a big, airbrushed fingernail in their bed, or when Miranda on Sex and the City spots her ex’s new girlfriend, but can only see her nails and her shoes.

“How were they?” Carrie asks.

“Both acrylic!” Miranda answered triumphantly.

But Dita Von Teese wears acrylics, so they can’t be all bad. And I’ve been noticing several friends who sew have big old stiletto talons, which impressed me because I always assumed that sewing and having fingernails were mutually exclusive. I don’t even know that I want long nails, but if I was ever going to try it, I might as well do it when my nails are already so trashed there’s nothing to lose.

What do you think? Should I get acrylic nails?

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