It was gross.
Then it was time to get married, and I picked my fingers so badly on the way to a dress fitting that two of them were bleeding. I realized this had to stop -- getting blood on my white dress wasn't going to be very awesome, and I'd have to somehow hide my hands in every wedding picture. Not good.
It was time to take drastic action. And that drastic action was to go to the drug store and buy a package of glue-on artificial nails. I sat down and glued those bitches on, then painted them because they were super ugly, and went on with my life. And f**k if my fingers weren't completely healed in a few days.
26 years of finger-picking, cured in under a week. Now it's 9 months later, and I still sit down once a week to take off the old and glue on the new nails. Any time I stop wearing them, even for a few hours, I'll catch myself picking at my fingers again. So it looks like me and the acrylics are bound for life.
So, as I face down my life sentence, here is the straight dope on what it's like to wear acrylic nails all the time. Hint: THEY ARE THE SATAN. I HATE THEM. But I hate them less than having mangle-fingers, so I guess it's worth it ... ??
THEY WILL ALWAYS BE TOO F**KING LONG
My nails do not qualify me for employment at the DMV, because I buy the short ones. They are pretty much the exact same length as normal human fingernails, to the point where people are sometimes shocked when I tell them the nails are fake. If I do not sufficiently clip my real nails before I put them on, you can see my nails poking out from behind them. They look normal.
Now THIS is a set of DMV-worthy nails!
But here's the thing: they come in packages with a bunch of different sizes, and if you want to get full use out of each box, you're going to have to compromise a little. For each finger, there is one size that fits perfectly and one size that is too big and will annoy the sh*t out of you. Inevitably, a couple of fingers are stuck with the too-big size.
The fingers with the too-big nails on them will click against the keyboard as you type.
If they are on your thumbs, they will make it much more difficult to text.
If you enjoy playing guitar (like me), they will make you look like a talentless hack who cares more about their appearance than their ability to function properly in the world.
Also, they will make you want to chop off your fingers entirely.
You will have hideous bruises on your actual fingernails
I don't know how this happens. Perhaps I press too hard when I glue the new nails on, or perhaps I'm too rough when I take the old ones off, but the result is nasty green bruises on my real nails. Whenever I take the fake ones off, I am greeted with a horrible kaleidoscope of color that absolutely should not be there. If I ever decided to stop with the fake nails, I would have to paint my nails a dark color for like six months until the bruises grew out. It's that bad. It looks like I slammed every finger in a door one by one.
"Breaking a nail" is actually excruciating
You attach these suckers to your real nails with what is essentially Gorilla Glue. They're on there pretty damn tight. By the end of the week, the glue will start to weaken and you run a chance of one popping off when you try to open a soda can with it, but for the most part, they stay on.
So ... you know that old female complaint of "oh man, I broke a nail!" like it's nothing?
SHIT BE DIFFERENT NOW. The glue is super strong, yo. So here we have a piece of plastic stuff that is super-glued to your real fingernail. In order for it to break, it has to catch on something and be yanked so hard that it actually RIPS THE ACRYLIC. WHICH IS SUPER-GLUED TO YOUR FINGERNAIL. AND IT IS STRONGER AND THICKER THAN REGULAR NAILS.
We're talking about a force nearly strong enough to rip off your nail, which, as you may recall, is TORTURE STANDARD FARE. It f**king hurts. I managed to catch the thumb nail on something the other day and ripped it, which led to me rolling around on the floor screaming.
Okay, so it didn't actually bleed or anything, but STILL. A little sympathy, if you wouldn't mind.
The rounded ends will thwart you at every turn
The reason acrylic nails keep me from picking at my fingers is because the ends are rounded. They have no good sharp point to dig into anything. This is good when you want your poor cuticles to heal; however, if you have one of those pesky itches on your back, or your leg, or ANYWHERE AT ALL, you can forget satisfyingly scratching it. The nails make this impossible.
For the same reason, they also take all the fun out of picking your nose, if you were wondering. Not that I would know, of course.
After a week, they're prone to popping off
There is nothing more embarrassing than losing a nail somewhere and hoping it doesn't turn up in the stuffing at Thanksgiving. As I said, the glue is strong, but after a week it degrades to the point where the nails may pop off without too much trouble (don't worry -- you can feel them come off, so it'd be pretty hard to lose one without noticing).
I keep nail glue in my purse at all times, and it's a good thing, because I've had to surreptitiously glue a nail back on at work, on the train, in a restaurant, in the car, in the bathroom, on a boat, in a house, with a goat, and with a mouse.
So, in conclusion, F**K YOU, STUPID NAILS. I HATE YOU WITH THE PASSION OF A THOUSAND FIERY SUNS. ESPECIALLY THE PINKIE NAIL ON MY RIGHT HAND WHICH KEEPS CLICKING AGAINST THE ENTER AND SHIFT KEYS ON MY KEYBOARD.