Fingernail follies

Friday, February 15, 2019


Last week I was so desperate to find something, anything to write about in this space. My desperation led to a personal expose about my nails! How desperate was I? I spilled the beans or rather the fingernails.

And in the interest of true disclosure, I do not spill them, but I do lose one now and then. He-Who said if I got lost, he’d follow my fingernail trail until I was found. If I happen to catch the end of the nail just right, like on a car door handle or anything, they fly off. I imagine the reason nail salons charge more is because they spend a bit more on their glue.

My nail kit used to cost $2.97, now it’s $5.99 for an assortment of clear nails and a small bottle of glue. However, femininity does come with risk. One drop of glue on your fingers can cement them together and it hurts awful when you pull them apart. With that said, you’d think the nails would stick tight. But not always.

The worst thing happened at work. My job as receptionist and clerk at Colstrip Community Services included monthly billing. It was the end of month. I had stuffed about 300 envelopes when I discovered one of my fingernails was missing! I frantically searched my desk, the floor, and all over my desk again. It was not there.

Fear flooded my soul. No. No. My co-workers were looking at me, wondering why I was so prudently going over each envelope again, carefully sealing the flap. Actually, I was trying to feel for the fingernail. I didn’t find the elusive little escapee either.

All I could do was pray. “Dear Lord, please don’t let some customer come to my desk next week and tell me there was a fingernail in their bill. Please.”

I did establish a backup plan in case the Lord said, “No” to my plea. “We planted some of these fingernails in our bills,” I would say. “It’s an advertising tool. Did you know you can buy these great little items for only $2.97?”

The mystery was never solved. I never found the fingernail at work and no one came into the office with one in hand (praise the Lord)!

Another embarrassing incident was at a church potluck when someone said in an attention getting tone, “Who made this salad? Lois, did you make this salad? There is a red fingernail on my plate.” Needless to say, my face was redder than the nail! He-Who was sitting next to me. His expression was priceless. When I tell you our marriage had its ups and downs, you can see why.

Another incident happened at a funeral. Pastor Lynn, Pastor Shad and myself were waiting in a little room at the front of the church for the service to start where we each had a part. I took nothing with me but a tissue in my pocket. We were quietly visiting when to my dismay I noticed a stark white finger. My nail was missing … and with shock I spotted it by Shad’s shoe. It flashed through my mind to say, “I had a recent surgery…” But it was in church, after all. Only the truth. And I had no glue!

“That is my fingernail,” I said. It was that day I discovered scotch tape was a quick fix. And the day my pastor discovered vanity might be one of my foibles! I know God loves me anyway! Sometimes I think He is looking at me with an expression just like He-Who did.

For me, I hope I never have another week with nothing to write about. Next time I see you, you’ll be looking at my hands! Isaiah 41:13 is our verse this week: “For I, the Lord your God, I hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Good!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational conference speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at or visit