Not too long ago, someone casually made the observation that I seem to always have my toes polished but not my fingernails and they wondered why.
There was a time when I went fairly regularly to a nail salon, usually with a friend, so it was not merely an indulgence, it was also a social event. We would be pampered and fussed over while we talked and laughed and solved all the problems in the world. We had our favourite place to go for pedicures. It was clean and elegant, the staff were gentle and professional, and it was nearby. We had fun with colours and took our time deciding, sometimes with last minute changes.
I tried a few different salons here when we first arrived and while the staff were very nice, it just wasn't as much fun going alone. I didn't seem to know what to do with myself while I was being ministred to. It felt awkward and as I said, not so much fun. so I stopped. But wearing sandals, nearly year 'round, exposed my ugly little feet and I decided that they needed as much help as they could get so I started doing my own pedicures. Not professional level of course, but it works.
Oh dear, that still didn't answer the question of why I bother do fancy up my toenails but not my fingernails, does it? You know, I've always had trouble keeping my fingernails any length at all. They were forever shearing laterally, chipping, snapping, breaking with the least amount of effort. I once broke a nail while buttoning a sweater. My fingernails were so fragile. I say "were", past tense, intentionally because lately I have no problem with my nails growing and healthy. They are must stonger than they used to be. Maybe there is something in the water here?
So, now my nails at healthier, so why am I not taking advantage of it and make them all pretty? Well for one thing, I'm probably the clumsiest person I've ever met with terrible depth perception so things happen. For instance, I may think I'm quickly grabbing a drawer pull, but I'm actually just about or below the pull and my hand crashes into the cabinet. And *snap* goes the fingernail! Same goes for door knobs, car door handles and faucets. Happens a lot.
I've tried fake nails, but way back then, I was popping them off regularly, without intent in my daily accidents and it looks ridiculous to have 7 long ones and 3 shorties. I tried gel nails but while they held on better, I somehow just felt burdened by the constant appointments to keep them looking good. It is dedication indeed to, every 2-3 weeks spend a half hour in a nail salon. I'm fidgety. It's hard to sit still that long without a book to read or something else to distract me. Yes, I know. I'm like an adult 2 year old. I've heard that before.
It needs to be added that my poor little arthritic hands hurt. And the people working in salons tend to yank my fingers around in such a way that I'm internally "ouching" the entire appointment. That is not fun. When I'm doing the filing or painting, I know what is or is not going to hurt and can make the necessary adjustments.
So I could, technically do my own manicures with ordinary pollish right? Well truth be told, no matter how carefully I apply it, the polish gets chipped. Usually within a matter of hours. walking around with chipped polish that looks as if mice have been nibbling on my fingers is not a look I'm interested in. I suppose I could take a few minutes every day to repair the job, but I don't have the patience for that either.
My toes on the other hand, as long as I'm wearing some sort of shoe (sandals count as shoes) at relatively safe from harm. While I am on my feet for the majority of my day, my feet are mostly protected! Unless I drop something heavy on my foot (which, to be honest, also happens) the polish lasts so much longer. And then I can wait until I have a day when I feel like sitting for a little while to take care of things. And then I do. And honestly, if the toes are a little chipped and I need to go out in public, I could wear closed toe shoes if I had to. Ladies rarely wear gloves these days unless they are snow skiing. The only skiing going on here is on the water. No gloves required for that.
So then I assume the next question might be, " One is polished and pretty the other is plain, doesn't it bother you that your hands and feet don't match ?" The response to that is, "Nope. Doesn't bother me a bit." And my internal dialogue continues with, "And if it bothers you, I suggest that you don't look".
I don't mean for that to sound snarky. But I'm taking a stand. When people who don't know, or barely know me start asking personal questions, I suppose I get a little defensive, a little prickly. I know that person didn't mean any harm. It was just, as I said at the beginning, a casual observation. At the time, when the question was asked I just shrugged and smiled because I had never given it any real thought. It was just what I do. But now I have given it far more consideration than the question truly requires.
I guess the short answer to the original question is, because I don't want to. And sometimes, that really is the best reason in the world.