Manicures Not Soon Forgotten

» Posted on Jun 5, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Manicures Not Soon Forgotten

This week I’m hosting Valerie Hansen with Threat of Darkness, Ann Lee Miller with Kicking Eternity  (see note under the heroine interview), Beth Vogt with Wish You Were Here, and Jennifer Slattery with an opportunity to help charity.  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (June 10th) evening.

Manicures Not Soon Forgotten by Jennifer Slattery:

When I was in sixth grade, I had this obsession with nail polish. Each night, I’d paint my nails a different color—blue, green, pink, purple. I had a wide assortment to choose from, and I’d always add decorations. Polka dots were my favorite. Then, the next morning I’d select an outfit to match. Now that I have a teen, I’ve come to wonder if this nail polish obsession is a right of passage. J That and hot-irons, oodles of jewelry, odd colored mascara ….

This past summer, a mission trip to an El Salvadoran orphanage reminded me of those days, and how something as simple as new nail polish can make a girl feel so beautiful.

Our church visits this orphanage every six months, and nail painting has become a tradition. We bring a suitcase filled with remover and different colors of polish, then spend an afternoon doing nails. The girls love it. They choose a color, eyes dancing and dimples emerging behind toothy smiles, then cluster around us in packs of threes and fours.

One girl in particular captured my heart. Her name was Lolita*, but all the other girls called her angel on account of her light skin. They didn’t mean this as a compliment, and after years of teasing, this girl became withdrawn and quiet.

She sat beside me as I painted one of her roommates nails, watching, offering a shy smile every time I glanced her way. When finished, I held up a bottle of polish and motioned her closer. Her eyes widened and her hands flew behind her back. Confused, I continued to urge her to choose a color, but she continued to shake her head.

After a few more urgings and head-shakings, she reluctantly showed me her hands. She’d bitten her nails to the quick, and appeared very embarrassed by their appearance. Holding her gaze, I smiled and took her hands in mine.

In broken Spanish, I said, “You are precious. Beautiful.”

She stared at me with teary eyes and spread her hands flat on the table. Then she watched intently, her gaze shifting from her hands to my face, a slight smile emerging, as I painted her nails. She chose blue, and I added tiny flowers to each nail. When I finished, I grabbed her hands again, careful not to smudge the nails, and repeated, “You are precious. Beautiful.”

She responded with a wordless hug—touched by something as simple as a manicure.

When we look at all the problems in our world—extreme poverty, child-abuse, orphans, foster kids—it’s easy to get overwhelmed. After all, we can’t fund a village or an orphanage, and yet, there we can do a lot. 

For example, we can participate in a Mary Kay make-over contest. J An opportunity I found quite fitting, considering my short time with the precious girls in El Salvador.

Here’s how it works:

Simply pop by the Mary Kay website ( ) and voting for Jennifer Slattery’s not-so-lovely mug shot. If her photo wins, Mary Kay will donate a total of $5,500 GoThreads ( and the Raining Season ( As an added incentive, Mary Kay consultant Sharyline Cochrane ( is giving away $10 gift certificates and free make-overs (in person or via Skype) to everyone who votes then lets us know they did so in the comments of this post. You can vote up to five times per day, so start clicking!