When times were going tough, the tough wear their ties in a Windsor knot. Even when I’ve been eating soup out of a Campbell’s soup can, I always remembered all the etiquette lessons my mother taught me.
Appearance was always important. Beard perfectly trimmed, earwax removed and nails clipped. On a muggy September afternoon, I was preparing for a magical day of meeting up with friends. I put together an outfit, fastened my tie and walked toward the subway.
Standing at the platform, I felt an air of confidence, until I looked down at my fingernails. Oh no, I forgot to trim my fingernails and have a whole day of meeting up with people. Instead of panicking, I strategized a plan for my friends not to notice my fingernails.
When the downtown train arrived, I walked toward the end of the platform. This guaranteed I would have a seat as opposed to hanging on to a pole with my untrimmed nails being exposed to the Upper West Side.
Mission accomplished, I made it to Tribeca without anyone noticing how terrible my nails looked. I had a lovely meet up with Krista. Luckily, I hid my most improper fashion accessory the whole time.
I then took a cab to Hell’s Kitchen for lunch with my friend Joe. He ordered a bacon cheeseburger; I was inspired to do the same. However, eating the burger would expose the untrimmed nails. So I bended my fingers in a position where no one would notice how terrible my nails looked.
In the early evening, I went to meet up with Gino. He suggested we go to a sit down restaurant in Chelsea. However, I was just craving a slice. ” I know just the place,” he replied. So, I didn’t have any time to fix up my nails. Therefore, I had to rough it.
We met at Union Square and walked toward Artichoke, which is one of my favorite pizzerias in the city. I ordered a delicious crabmeat pizza. Artichoke doesn’t have indoor seating, so we sat out on one of their conveniently placed benches. I looked up into the skies over 14th street, which were pitch black. The darkness covered my hands and I ate my slice without feeling a bit self-conscious.
When I finally clipped my nails it was a relief. I could go and show off my hands. I got my freedom back and any self-consciousness diminished. I was free to talk with my hands too.
Not to sound immodest, but my hands are one of my best features. When I first started off in New York, I washed dishes in a Fifth Avenue high-rise. It’s what my dad lovingly calls a “masters in the school of life.” Even with hours in soap water, my hands stayed soft like cotton candy.
Therefore, I appreciate the hands, which gave me the ability to make a living. Forgetting to clip my fingernails one day was a fail. However, life is sometimes more interesting when one makes mistakes.