I Didn't Get My First Manicure Until I Was 23

I got my first ever manicure two weeks ago, at the ripe young age of ... 23. To most people that is a very late-in-life thing to do. It's not like I haven't wanted to do it or didn't have the time — it's just not on my priority list. My priority list is (as it stands right now) finish write my pilot, do laundry, and, y'know, keep myself alive. Getting a manicure just didn't fit in between those.

I grew up in a household where nobody really put any emphasis on my appearance. I really appreciate that now, but I also remember seeing my friends putting on makeup and being really confused. I didn't know how to do any of that stuff. I look back at pictures of myself and I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had been as beauty-savvy then as I am comparatively now, but alas, the bushy brows make for fond memories.

So two weeks ago, at 23 years old, I got my first ever manicure. I made the decision during work, Yelp'd a place near my house, drove down there and proceeded to work out the process on my own. To anyone else, I suggest Googling what happens. I — well, I just like finding out on my own.

1. A Dasha Walks Into A Beauty Salon...

I don't know exactly what it was about me that gave it away, but it was obvious to the salon owner that I was completely out of my element. She looked at me. She looked away. Said something to her friend. They laughed. She looked at me again. I did not leave.

2. The Great Debate

Once the owner realized I was in fact in the right place and was not close to leaving, she walked over and asked what I wanted to get done. We spent about two minutes going back and forth. She would say manicure pedicure and I would say something witty like "no". It was a hoot and a half!

Finally, we agreed that we would only do a manicure and I would pay the first down payment on her new Lexus.

3. Castaway

I was instructed to sit and wait. And to pick a color. As I looked on the wall I saw about 70 shades of pinks and reds in tiny little bottles. I looked over my shoulder. Was I supposed to pick one of these colors? Was there a wrong color to pick during your first time?

4. The Final Choice

I panicked.

I picked black.

5. The Procedural

After 10 to 15 minutes I was led to a small station where I was told to roll up my button down and let the strange woman in front of me hold my hand for the next 30 minutes. She was silent, methodical, and to the point. She used some weird scrappy tool as she worked on my cuticles. Then she filed down my nails. She looked at them from every angle, making me wonder if my nails were weird. Finally, she looked at my color choice.

6. Feeling #Judged

It was clear that I was not the manicure messiah, dropped into her salon to change the world of nails. I started to feel really judged so I blurted out, "Can I get some metallic design?"

It was like magic. This woman and I finally started to see eye to eye. I was getting respect. I was Neo taking the red pill. I was on my path to becoming The One.

7. Getting Design

She pulled out a roll of gold looking metallic string and asked what kind of design I wanted. This is where my years of internet binging kicked in. I told her lines. I wanted lots and lots of lines. She did not disappoint.

The other women who were getting their nails done next to me finally looked over. They seemed to have all gotten behind me spiritually, cheering my hands on as they were dipped in topcoat after topcoat.

8. Getting Heated

My hands were often placed inside of a Buncha Crunch sized heat box that would turn on and reflect UV rays onto the gel for it to set. Luckily, I've had a lot of practice putting my hands into Buncha Crunch boxes, so this step was a breeze. I felt my manicurist nod with approval. Her eyes crinkling with joy. (She might have gotten a loose nail clipping in it, but I will never know).

9. The Great Reveal

Dope dope dope dope dope dope dope. I couldn't stop looking at them. I didn't know what to do with my pristine hands. I paid my magical companion, nodded at her, and then skipped out of the salon feeling like I just discovered fire. Black fire. With gold accents.

I think everyone in the world should try this at least once. And if you are 23 and it is your first time, do not freak out. It is never too late, and I will be with you in spirit.

Images: Getty Images; Giphy; Dasha Fayvinova