Can nail polish remover wipe out memories? Episode 11


Well, like I told you, the Beast and I went to the jewelry store and I got ring sized and I am a 5. There’s something about getting ring sized that makes it all seem very real…like OMG I AM GETTING AN ACTUAL RING. WHAT. So I came home and I figured I would paint my actual nails, not just my toenails. I have never painted my fingernails before and it was a DISASTER.

This is the only picture of the results that you are going to see.


Seldom have I been so utterly frustrated! I had an image in my head of these nice cappuccino-colored nails with perfect French tips, coated with clear nail polish to seal in the beautifulness. OH NO THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED. Not in the least. It reminded me of doing art projects when I was a kid and I had SUCH a clear picture of what it was going to look like and it just ended up being this doofus colored pencil scribble of NOTHING.

Vanity, saith the preacher. All is vanity.

The further I get into my story, the more it hurts. Starting about now, I really don’t want to have to remember all this stuff in detail. I guess I can give you the short version, and then as I feel up to it I can do some more specific posts about parts of it.

I graduated from homeschool with a big house-church ceremony to celebrate how holy I was. I got a full scholarship to a state university with the understanding that I would keep to myself for 4 years and then get a graduate degree at God’s favorite fundamentalist school, Bag End University. (Supposedly I would meet and marry a fundamentalist preacher boy here.) I lived at home and carpooled to school with two nice nurses who worked at a nearby hospital. We kept right on doing Fellowship of the Ring church and of course, there were no young men anywhere around. I was a good student and kept to myself, eating my healthy sack lunches in the piano practice rooms and not socializing with the evil worldly people I met in my classes. (Someday, I will do a post on all the boys I was not allowed to date during this time.) However, I did spend a lot of time in the bookstore devouring uncensored, un-blacked-out books. Heavenly!

For the first 3 years, I was terrifically lonely and then during my senior year, when I was 21, I met an adorable jazz saxophone player. We were supposed to be “just friends,” but we fell in love, my parents read my diary and found out, and hit the roof. I was forbidden to see him either at school or outside of it, and went through a humiliating sequence of having my phone (which I paid for) confiscated, my room rifled, and my Facebook account forcibly canceled. What ended up happening was that the sax player and I left each other long love letters inside piano benches in a designated practice room for months, and studiously avoided each other in the hall. (I got grilled about whether I had seen him or not every day when I got home from school.) Eventually I just gave up and we started hanging out (and making out) at school again, and I would come home and lie about it.

I am not a good liar. I got in trouble again and again – they said they were kicking me out on one occasion, and I called their bluff and said I was ready to go and live in student housing. So then they told me to stay and we would “work something out.” My father eventually came to school and we had a very humiliating long confrontation with him, me and the sax player. This happened at 8:30 in the morning on finals week, and as a result, the sax player missed an important test, and he ended up buying a paper online. My mother found out about THIS and she insisted that I turn him in to the dean of students because it was “doing the right thing.” I didn’t actually ruin his academic career, thank heaven, but he failed the course. At this point I was having terrible stress-related stomach cramps and my mother took me to the doctor, and the entire time we were waiting she read me angry verses in the Old Testament about how rebellious children should be stoned and cursed. I still had to go to Fellowship of the Ring church every week and play the piano and appear to be the perfect homeschool graduate.  I felt like I was stuck with my parents and had nowhere to hide and no one to talk to.

Thanks to my parents’ connections at Bag End University, I got a graduate assistantship and after I finally graduated from state school, I moved down to Greenville, SC to the Bag End girls’ dorms and started my new job at the beginning of the school year. My family soon packed up and moved back to SC too, finding a rental house close to the neighborhood where we used to live. My brother was also starting Bag End as a freshman and they wanted to keep a close rein on all their subsequent college children.

My parents started going to Minas Morgul Baptist once again. Within a year or two, all their convictions about family integration and evil teenagers had vanished and my siblings were fully involved in Sunday School, youth group and other activities. It was like the past 10 years had never happened.

To be continued.


4 thoughts on “Can nail polish remover wipe out memories? Episode 11

  1. I feel your pain, sister! The first time I tried to paint my nails I dissolved the mess with my tears. I failed to see how all the little 12 year olds at the boarding school I worked at could paint their nails flawlessly, but I could not. After many, many practise sessions and experimenting with different brands, I am finally getting the hang of it. Only now I am not allowed nail polish at my job. Dang it 😦
    Revlon is my favourite brand. It is definitely worth buying the more expensive brands. They work sooo much better! You can often get them on sale at the chemist or supermarket. Good luck! It will get easier, I promise.

  2. WHAT DO YOU DO, HOW DO YOU DO IT? What did the little 12 year olds do? Tell me!! I beg you.

    The Ring is coming sometime between now and my birthday (September). I MUST solve this problem before then.

  3. The first time I painted my nails, I was a freshman in college. It was a disaster. I picked red – I’ve always had a love affair with red nails – and it looked like my hands were bleeding out!!! It takes lots of practice to get it right. But I don’t paint my nails anymore. I get gel nails done at a salon every two weeks. (I’m such a heathen!!) I always told myself that when I got a job, and I had my own money, I would get my nails done often.

    Anyway, my parents were SO SO strict when I was a teenager. I wasn’t allowed to do anything without the family, except for going to work. And then after I went to college, my parents let my younger sister do show choir and have friends and wear pants. I felt so betrayed. I had to suffer with loneliness, but she didn’t. Of course, I happy she had a better experience, but it sucks that she can’t understand how much my parents hurt me.

    • The flip thing with the younger siblings is so weird, isn’t it? It’s not jealousy: I’m really happy my younger siblings don’t have to deal with that (of course, they’ve been sucked into the big, corporate Baptist mind-meld, so that has its own issues). It really is more like a betrayed feeling: if XYZ principles were important enough to you guys that you ruined MY life over them, and then now you did a 180, what the heck just happened? What did I waste MY life for? :/

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