Man, I feel like a woman!

A girl once told me that happiness for women is getting her nails freshly painted. As someone from the opposite side of the gender spectrum who has never had the experience, I can’t help but wonder if her assertion will apply to guys like me. After a long and fierce battle with my masculinity, I finally decided to get my nails painted in a UW Nail Salon meeting Friday, Jan.16.

After arriving at the room where the meeting was held, making my way inside was another struggle. As I forced myself through the door, I noticed I suddenly became the centre of attention in the room. With every single pair of eyes staring at me with confusion, it felt like I had just walked into the wrong washroom with 10 ladies inside. Way too embarrassed to explain my true intention, I scrabbled up the excuse that I was simply there to observe and see what the club was about. Luckily, my persuasion turned out well and they offered me a seat among them as they proceeded.

Most of my friends would think being surrounded by a bunch of ladies is a blessing, but believe me when I say that as the only guy in a club about nails, it isn’t as fun as you’d think. The atmosphere was uneasy in the beginning, but everyone was welcoming with genuine smiles so it wasn’t difficult for me to fit in. The club consists of students interested in learning to paint the perfect nails and those who just want to get their nails done. Watching girls already gluing fake nails and getting manicures, I knew it was time for me to do what I came here for.

“Is it possible for me to get my nails painted too?” I found myself asking loudly. It was followed by booming laughter across the entire room, but it immediately fell dead silent when everyone realized that it wasn’t a joke. Laura Zhang, the president of the club who made a few embarrassed chuckles at the awkwardness of my question, volunteered to fulfill this unexpected request.

With my hands out in the open, they refused to stop shaking despite how hard I was trying to remain still. It was very uncomfortable at first, with all eyes shifting attention back to me. I felt every single stroke the brush made while the cold sweat ran down my back. As Laura continued, I noticed a sudden surge of estrogen, as if this feeling wasn’t as intimidating as it seemed. By the time she moved on to my other hand, the sensation of nail painting went from torture to contentment. I began to enjoy this feeling; whatever it was, it was magical.

Now that both of my hands were dazzling with nail polish, part of me demanded more out of the experience — as if getting my nails painted wasn’t enough — so I volunteered to work the art on someone else. When I held onto the trembling hand of my victim, it was clear that she had a worse panic than I did earlier. Imagining myself as a veteran surgeon performing an intense operation, I was somehow able to pull off all the strokes swiftly with sheer professionalism.

I had the nail polish removed before the meeting ended, simply because I can&rsquo;t picture myself walking out of the room with it on. As the coolness of the nail polish remover cleansed the craft from my nails, I felt relief, but also bitterness that it was finally over. I now understand what that girl meant when she said happiness is getting her nails freshly painted: it represents the feeling of diva-ness, the privilege of having someone elegantly work magic on the tip of your fingers while you play <em>Candy Crush</em>. It is about making yourself feel special, not only physically but intrinsically as well. Although I probably won&rsquo;t get my nails done ever again, this experience has gotten me a step closer to becoming fully human.

For those who are interested in attending one of UW Nail Salon&rsquo;s meetings, these are held every Friday at 4 p.m. in SLC 2135.&nbsp;