True story:

Interviewing a gentleman yesterday as part of the work I’m doing at this high school, my eye is drawn to something sparkly. It is a pinky ring, the kind I have read about in stories about Italian gangsters but have never seen in real life- gold, thick, with a sizable diamond in the middle of it. It looks, in fact, a lot like an engagement ring, except it is on the pinky of the hand of a 70-something year-old gentleman.

As I start to look away from the pinky ring and back at the person I am interviewing, I notice something else. His nails are shiny. Really shiny. Unnaturally shiny. Like “coated in clear nail polish” shiny. Come to think of it, his hands look surprisingly well-kept in general: shiny nails, no visible cuticles, well-moisturized….when it hits me. Oh my god, this guy gets manicures. This 70-something year old man with his denim button down tucked into his high-waisted denim jeans, who is wearing cowboy boots, whose ruddy face looks much like that of a man who has spent a lot of time on a stool at his local pub, gets manicures. “Don’t judge, pseudo,” I say to myself. “There is nothing wrong with taking care of one’s hands. Try to stop staring. Stop. Look back at his face. Focus, pseudo!” Except- so *shiny*. I am transfixed. Do all men who get manicures opt for the clear nail polish? Is this like a normal thing? I am fascinated, and cannot look away from his shiny, well-moisturized hands as they gesture while he talks.

Suddenly, I notice he has stopped talking. He looks at me, tilts his head. “What are you looking at, young lady?”

“Um,” I say, panicking a little. “Your ring, sir. It’s lovely.”

“Thank you!” he says, beaming. He continues his story.

Add to the list of things I never thought I would say: thank god for pinky rings.