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Monday, January 17, 2011

While I was finishing up my recent blog redesign, I invited people to ask me questions for the new FAQ page. I couldn’t come up with short and sweet, FAQ-style answers to all of them, especially the ones about comments. I’ve received nearly 41,000 comments since I started this blog in 2007, so when Stacy Lomman asked, “I want to know the most annoying or stupid or bitchy comment you ever got from a reader?” I wasn’t sure where to start. When Tina Mougouris followed up with, “…have you ever received a comment that was touching or moving ? Something that gave you the warm fuzzies?” I figured I’d answer in a post.

Starting with the good news, I have indeed received many touching/moving/warm-fuzzy-inducing comments. Too many to count, as a matter of fact. I particularly enjoy the “history teacher” comments: “Why couldn’t you have been one of my history teachers in grade school?!” asked Stef M in response to my 2008 Katherine Swynford post, while K.Line said, “You should be a history teacher (and I mean that as the ultimate compliment),” in response to the same year’s Lesson of 2 Evils post.

As for the annoying/stupid/bitchy comments, there are lots of those too. I try to avoid giving them much play, though sometimes I can’t resist. But it’s worth sharing a recent one because it brought back all kinds of memories, including how I got into designing big rings. After I posted a picture of my heart-shaped-diamond ring on my hand, a spammer left a comment that said that my thumb was “old-looking and unattractive.” First, I was amused that spammers have moved on from incoherent compliments  (“A truly legendary beauty that you poses for your best angle. … It feels like wearing a classy one and truly it is admirable”) to body-part criticisms. It was only last spring that an emoticon-using teenager blogged a complaint about my less-than-gorgeous feet,  so I immediately checked the header of my blog to make sure it still said “Wendy Brandes Jewelry” and not “Wendy Brandes, Body-Parts Model.” I don’t want to do any false advertising. I am fully aware that I am no George Costanza.

In fact, I’ve always thought my hands were “unpretty,” as the TLC song says. (You know who has pretty hands? Stacy!) This is not something that ever kept me up at night. When it comes to certain appearance issues, I remember what my mother, BarbaraB, used to tell me when I was a kid: “No one is looking at it as closely as you are.” Of course, that advice is totally out of touch in the Internet age. People are looking at it much more closely than I am! I’m thankful that my teen years preceded digital cameras and Facebook. Anyway, while I didn’t stay up at night sobbing over my hands, I did spend years trying to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative by painting my stubby nails with Essie’s subtle and inoffensive Ballet Slippers nail polish and wearing skinny little rings — if I wore rings at all. Then, one day, I looked down at my hands and thought, “Fuck it. I don’t like subtle and inoffensive. Why don’t I wear what I want?” And just like that I started wearing more noticeable polish and giant rings.

Lately, super-manicurist Tracylee Percival has been helping me indulge my passion for in-your-face nails. She did my last Minx manicure in November.

My November Minx manicure by Tracylee, plus two chunky rings.

Tracylee has a great manicure technique, which doesn’t damage my cuticles like the manicures at the terrifying nail salons I normally go to. Comedian Anjelah Johnson must have been spying on me during my past manicures, which normally entail both physical and emotional abuse:

I’m so happy with Tracylee’s work that I was inspired to try a long-lasting gel manicure. Here’s the one she did for me last month using three colors by Gelish: Midnight Caller (gunmetal), Sheer White and Vegas Nights (glitter).

Nails by Tracylee, products by Gelish.

I got it done on December 23 and it lasted till January 7!  I was immediately ready for another. Here’s my second Gelish manicure. The plummy color is called Bella’s Vampire.

My in-your-face manicure by Tracylee.

If you’re in New York, Tracylee will come to your house for an appointment. You can also catch up with her at the lovely Damali NYC salon on 5th Avenue at 47th Street. Email her at tracypercival at gmail dot com to set up a time. Maybe you’ll catch me in there getting a manicure inspired by Polished Paws Up, a Lady Gaga-themed nail art blog. It’s hard to pick a favorite from that blog, but for its great potential to gross people out, I’ll have to go with the Meaticure.

Meaticure manicure by Polished Paws Up. Click for source.

I think a Meaticure would look great with a set of my swear rings.

Blogger Princess Poochie works the swear ring look.

The only thing that is more fun than giving the finger to replica-luxury-goods-pushing and hand-hating spammers is giving ALL the fingers to them!

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35 Responses to “Questions, Comments, Fingers, Rings and Manicures”

  1. Tina says:

    Thanks for answering my question, Wendy!! I just love your blog. I think if people are citicizing your fingers and toes then they are a) desperately looking to find fault with you or b) fetishists. Take your pick.

  2. Melissa says:

    I definitely laughed when you said “so I immediately checked the header of my blog…” lol !: ) Also, the incoherent spam compliment illustration is so right on! Oh my do those people/bots creep me out!

  3. Eli says:

    I’m counting the days, I havent had a mean comment in a looong time. So this is good. But I know they’re out there somewhere. But peoples judgments are the reason I dont look at websites like go fug yourself anymore – they need to look in the mirror before they start talking trash.

    This is one of my favorite Wendy type posts – where I can click on so many links and learn so many things!

  4. Lynn says:

    To each his own – only I wish people would keep to themselves [what they wouldn’t like to hear themselves]. Just how do you tell someone to grow up?

    You are proof that someone can indeed be nice without being nice (and I do mean that in sincerely). Keep it up!

  5. Mary says:

    I love that Seinfeld episode, the puffy shirt, George the handmodel, the low-talker, what else do you want? How preposterous that fuckwits make negative comments about your hands. I need to find me someone in Melbourne that will do us one of those manis!

  6. Jemina says:

    I’ve got plenty of those your fingers and toes look so weird, especially my toes, but i don’t friggin care, and I’ve been using Gelish too for a few months now, they are the best!!! but my manicurist isn’t as creative as tracylee, now if only i were in new york 🙂

    LOVE your swear rings dear, and for haters/ spammers, just give them the finger!!!


  7. I’ve got some FAQs to dream up for a magazine but I’d better steer clear of Seinfeld although the big rings angle I like!!

  8. Aggie says:

    I also had that half-moon manicure too, but I used gold and navy blue instead!


    What a coincidence 😀

  9. Poochie says:

    I have stubby nails myself, as evidenced in that picture, but I gave up caring long ago. I wish I had long nail beds so my hands could look elegant but what can you do. On the other hand, my feet are equally small and I love so you win some you lose some.

    I can’t imagine you in anything but your gorgeous and striking large rings.

    • WendyB says:

      My sister and mother have long nail beds. Wish I had those too but, as my grandmother says, “That should be your biggest problem in life.” BTW your picture has JUST the attitude I was looking for.

  10. I love the “I’m thankful that my teen years preceded digital cameras and Facebook” part 🙂 As for your hands – I think those two photos above argue with what you have posted on the subject, the pictures are PRETTY!

  11. God people are freaks. They were probably a thumb fetishist and it was best not to excite them anyway.

  12. erindyan says:

    I have kind of unattractive stubby little old lady hands myself. BUT, they are also my mom’s hands. They look JUST like them, and I like that. My mom had hands that held mine. And it was nice.

    “If you’re in New York, Tracylee will come to your house for an appointment”

    That sounds redonk luxurious. I am going to pretend I have a nail artist that comes to my house. Pretty much of of the top ten at home services of ever.

    • WendyB says:

      Stubby hands unite!

      I must say I haven’t availed myself of an at-home manicure. The salon is very nice and extremely convenient for me.

  13. What a lovely look-over of your nail art! You of all people, jewelry queen, should have worthy fingers;)

  14. StefM says:

    Good rule to live by: Always best to give great weight to compliments and simply ignore insults!

  15. StefM says:

    Also: your mom’s advice is great.

  16. savvygal says:

    I am lucky with nice nails with almost no effort.

  17. lisa says:

    The grass is always greener on the other side, it seems. 🙂 I have long fingers and nail beds and I always think my hands look kind of skeletal and spidery, particularly when I try to do some sort of styling in salsa and it comes out looking gangly instead of graceful. There’s always going to be something you envy in others, and something others envy about you, so really, just screw it and focus all that energy on something more productive. 🙂

  18. stacy says:

    You have lovely hands!! Sure, they may not be as delicate as George Costanza, but…
    And the bigger the ring, the better as far as I’m concerned. Who wants a skinny, small, wimpy ring?

  19. drollgirl says:

    like you, i have received so many super comments. and quite a few snotty ones. lol! whaddya gonna do.

    and i love the manicure! i can ruin a manicure in about 10 seconds, so i don’t usually bother with them. i am rough on the hands!

    • WendyB says:

      That’s the great thing about gels! Regular polish lasts no more than two days with me, but the gel lasts longer than two weeks! Definitely worth it to look well-groomed.

  20. K-Line says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed that comment – because when I think of people who tell and retell stories from the past, you are in a league of your own. And your hands are not ugly. Though you\’re right about the internet ruining the power of casting a glamour. (Short of Photoshop.) I have man hands but I\’m not going to apologize now. Gives me the latitude to wear really big ass rings.

  21. Lovely nails but where’s the mini-globe ring?!

  22. Aja says:

    Angela Johnson’s Nail Salon is a favorite in our household. That’s why I don’t have a boyfriend, apparently.

  23. Aja says:

    Correction: Anjelah!

  24. ali says:

    oh man…im not into manicures because of my tiny stubby/fat fingers and tiny little nail beds… but I also justify not spending any time trying to manicure them because I love good clean man hands with tons of calluses…

    in the spirit of the “trying to be the man you want to marry” bullshit,
    I’ve come to take pride in my clean nails and somewhat rough fingers.

    That said, I am definitely guilty of shying away from chunky rings for self conscious reasons.

    and if you still make those swear rings when I can afford them…Maybe I’ll also treat myself to a meat manicure and denounce my “nailcrud” distaste and vegetarianism simultaneously.

    I kinda like the meat manicure, actually. It sort of captures the beauty of meat colors in the ways that most of those gaga inspired meat patterns could not do.

    I appreciate that your manicure is called Bella’s vampire also…the last time i painted my nails, the color was called “SANGRE DEL TORRO”
    and thats basically the only reason why i got the manicure to begin with.

    • WendyB says:

      I’d go for Sangre del Torro too! Also… “in the spirit of the “trying to be the man you want to marry” bullshit” — highlarious!

  25. maya says:

    I might have to steal the black and gold half-moon look. If I do, I’ll be sure to have a link to here.

  26. Kristin says:

    I hope Meg saw this before she went to the salon!