Think Tank Thursday... Lessons Learned


Growing up my mom had several colloquialisms that she was very fond of using. Being a moldable child who adored the woman who never thought the word ‘impossible’ should be in the dictionary, I took them to heart. Here are just a couple.

“There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

Another of my favorites

“Where there is a will, there is a way.

Just call me willy.”

Today’s notes will cover a recent experiment I had with naïveté.

I became engaged in July. My wonderful fiancé, Christian, being a man of great talent and creativity, wanted to have a ring designed for me. He ran into a snag however, and it turned out that he had to return to Paris before I received the ring.

So, before returning to Paris myself, I had a manicure. I mean after all, it isn’t everyday a girl gets engaged, right?

Here comes the fun part of the story. Sooooo, I confess that manicures are not something I indulge in very often, for a variety of reasons. The main one being the amount of time it takes, not just for the manicure, but for the next couple of hours when you should be somewhat delicate in your activities to prevent destroying said manicure. But this was again, a rather special occasion, so I cast care (and money) to the wind. Parfait, as they would say here in Paris.

  • I went to a nail salon I do not frequent, like ever.

  • Lesson #1, don’t choose a special occasion for trying something brand new, like hair color, plastic surgery, or, well, a unique manicure.

  • Christian, being French, is not a big fan of painted nails, so I wanted it to be natural, a blush color or something that didn’t at least scream at you, or fight with the ring.

  • Lesson #2, pay attention. When trying to impress someone, don’t do something they don’t like.

  • English was not the salon tech’s native language, but that is not a key factor in hiring a service, unless you don’t quite understand what they are trying to sell you.

  • Lesson #3, refer to lesson #1.

  • Lesson #4 Never spend two hours or anything close to 2 hours getting a manicure. It’s a sure sign you will regret it.

I had not originally planned on getting a manicure, just a pedicure. I should have made that lesson #5, don’t be indecisive. Anyway, during the pedicure the conversation about my engagement came up, and well, you know what ensued don’t you? I ‘NEEDED’ a manicure to show off my new ring.



I nodded wide eyed,

like a child being told the cough syrup really tastes like cherries.



Uh, no, it does not.


She proceeded to tell me all about the newest type of manicure (yep, lesson #6) that ‘all’ of her regular clients ‘loved’.


Call me Forest Gump.

I bit.


Never mind that the entire time she was coating my fingernails with super glue and dipping them in the softest shade of sparkly blush there was another tech next to us using a dremel on a lady’s nails, I kid you not. I kept looking over at them, wondering what on earth was going on. She must have had those nail tips or something, I thought. Little did I know that was what I was getting.


Almost three hours after arriving at the salon, my toes were pretty, my feet soft again, and my nails were a lovely shade of blush that caught the light ever so delicately. I marveled at the fact that as soon as she put the top coat on there was less than 5 minutes drying time and I was done! Wow! This was a new world for me.


I thought it was a little funky that my nails were now at least 6 times their natural thickness, but, meh? I asked jokingly, no seriously, I was laughing when I asked, “how do you get this off?”


Lesson #7, when a nail technicians tells you that you will have to soak your nails in remover and wrap them with aluminum foil for a few hours, PAY ATTENTION. She is not kidding.


And now of course the little lights went off, like the 4th of July. That is why the nail tech sitting next to us was using a dremel. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THIS S*&T OFF YOUR NAILS! That is if you hope to have any natural nail left………


So today, having already lost the top layer of both thumbnails when this concrete like shell cracks in a bad way, I noticed another fingernail displaying signs of following suite, and I decided to tackle it head on.


And this is about where I say,

“Thank you Mom”,

for your inspiration, sense of wonder,


and wisdom.


Determined, I found about five ways to get this stuff off my nails, none of them pleasant, maybe not even safe, and certainly not expedient, but hey, call me Willy.


I am now proud to say that after 2 months, I have managed to get 3.75 fingernails free of this substance that should be used to build rockets. And I have only lost two nails (and about 10 hours) in the process.


I’m also quite serious about exploring the permanent usage of this crap for space exploration or national defense. I have composed a query letter to NASA for the express purpose of asking.


Yep, that would be lesson #8, don’t mess with scary things you know nothing about. (This does not include natural substances or abilities, just scary chemical things.)


And now, it’s your turn……… what great life lessons would you like to share……. Post your comments here.


Think Tank Thursdays are usually about other artists and the wisdom they have to impart. Today, that artist is my late mom, Bobbie Bates. She was an artist, a painter, an inventor, a woman who could dance on ice skates, make a lampshade out of marbles, beat everyone I knew in ping pong and tackle anything she found interesting until she mastered it, without the help of a teacher, other than life.


I miss you mom……… last favorite, well worn phrase used, not only by my mother, but parents everywhere…………the next time someone suggests you do something “just because everyone else is doing it”……..


“Well, if everyone else jumps off a bridge, are you going to do that too?”

Don’t be like everyone else, be YOU.

Write your book, follow your dreams.


Get in touch with me if you want to know how. I can hardly wait to share it with you!!


À Bientôt!!!