The One With The Nail Stuck To My Nose

By Alison January 27, 2008 20 Comments 4 Min Read


"You may not be beautiful, clever or rich but you can change your life using the lost art of charm". So says a delicious re-edition of the 1938 classic "The Magic Key To Charm" and so being neither clever, nor beautiful and very definitely not rich I devoured this lovely book in  one sitting and resolved to re-invent myself as the last word in elegance…

Cue raucous laughter.

See the truth is it is so very very difficult to charms one’s way through life when quite frankly you have got bigger fish to fry than making yourself desirable to those daft enough to imagine you are a really rather spellbinding combination of Jam and Jerusalem and Sex In The City, when you are more Hilda Ogden than you will ever be Carrie Bradshaw.

But still these men persist in trusting everything I say.  In truly believing I am  capable of sexual acrobatics over home cooked Cordon Bleu. Seeing the pinny and stiletto combination and reading the promise of apple pies and suspenders.   God love them and their simple hopes and dreams. God love me for entertaining them.

So Friday night I invited another likely specimen over for dinner.  I’ve known him a while and he’s terribly nice. The kind of  decent nice I usually run a mile from.  The kind of decent nice  that makes me feel so nervous I run to the toilet five hundred times before he rings the bell.  Mum would approve nice. You are definitely growing on me nice.

I invited him. Texted him the menu before he arrived. Got my son bathed, pyjamed and  bedded in good time.  Polished the cracked lino, lit a billion candles and prepared the food so  thoroughly  nothing, not-a -thing  could go wrong.  And then  ten minutes before he was due to ring the bell I sat down to glue on my nails, catch my breath and you know, wallow in my nerves. Now some days I manage the whole nail glueing thing with aplomb. Some days I could  be  manicurist to the stars  so professional am I with a pink file and a false fingertip. And then there are the days when I’m all fingers and thumbs. When said date is irrationally early and is knocking on my door when my left hand is all french pearly lovely and my right hand is gnarled and chewed and dog-eared ugly.

I saw him pass my window out of the corner of my eye, felt the kind of horror I usually reserve for festive bees and started shooting nail glue towards my fingertips in a kami-kaze  fashion  and jabbing fake nails  onto tiny mountains of glue and hoping for the best.

Rat-a-tat. Ignore it and hopefully he won’t go away. Adhere nail to glue to nail. Rat-a-tat. Rat-a-TAT. Dear lord can’t the impatient sod see I’m having a crisis? Debate valium. Scratch nose and move towards the front door. Scratch nose? Now theres a bad move.

He is at the front door. I am standing behind the two doors worth of glass  watching him shuffle impatiently.  I have a nail glued to my nose and there is  nail glue  cracking on my lips.  I have a man standing on my doorstep and I am the proud possesser of gluey  lips and a  plastic growth sprouting from my left nostril.  Start to feel light headed from the fumes. Yank nail off my nose.   Open door and smile bewitchingly.

Ding dong he says, like  a slightly pervy, bald version of  Austin Powers. 

I dodge  his kiss. Scared of getting glued to him for life and having to explain myself  in the casualty department, and walk to the kitchen in an efficient manner, scrubbing at my lips and peeling stiff layers of skin from my nose, knocking back a quick glass of wine and shouting small talk into the living room and finally wandering in, oh so blase, high on glue and happy as  larri-etta.

And so began the evening from hell. Not his fault, he’s lovely and took my sheer lunacy  in his stride-  grinning a lot and patting my shoulder in a patronising fashion when after serving him limp asparagus, burnt basil bread and something so black I can’t even describe it but made him eat it regardless, I, in a final act of Yes I’m clearly off my head but cute enough to get away with it,  refused to risk baking the pudding and tried instead to dazzle him with my merry wit.

After all who needs elegance when theres a fingernail glued to your nose? I am the epitome of vintage charm.


  1. anna marie says:

    You nearly made me spit out my tea I was laughing so hard! Oh, you lovely person…well, perhaps this nice guy is just really not quite the one. My mother always told me to find a man who looks at you like you are everything to him (even with a nail stuck to your nose!)
    Anna Marie

  2. debbie says:

    Can you hear the raucous laughter from there? That’s me. Oh, and I’m certain you did dazzle him with your merry wit!

  3. Susana says:

    Thanks for making me laugh Alison!
    Anna Marie said:
    "My mother always told me to find a man who looks at you like you are everything to him (even with a nail stuck to your nose!)"
    Well, when we were dating the first time my husband ever told me he loved me was when I had vomited on the bus back to Guadalajara from Tequila, Mexico! I was sooo sick the whole way, (can you guess why? Tequila! Lots of it and it was free!) and I thought he would never want to speak to me again! That evening when I was more or less all better, he uttered those 3 beautiful words to me. Right then and there I knew he was a keeper 🙂

  4. Grace says:

    I pretty much gaffawed out loud at your story. Not laughing at you (well, perhaps a WEE bit…smile), but with you because, once again, you can see the humor in your own situation. Gotta love that in a person. It’s quite CHARMING.

  5. Janeen says:

    That was hilarious! ha ha Oh you are a doll for sharing! That is sooo funny! You described everything to a "T". I could perfectly picture the entire seen in my head as if I were in your dining room! ha ha Oh my stars that was funny! ha ha Seriously though, you are very funny! You need to come to the USA and write for Hollywood, they are on strike right now you know, so there isn't anything good on TV to watch. I know you could have your own reality show! They would sign you for years and voila, your money problem solved! ha ha Have a great day!

  6. Vee says:

    Laughing out loud here, too, but only because I do think you are bewitching and charming and if he was able to make it through the evening without running off, I think he may deserve more than a second glance.

  7. Polly says:

    Just like all the rest of us afterall. Glad to hear it. Not that you need a another story but when I was interviewing for my very first real job, the boss excused himself for a moment saying he had to go talk to a man about a dog (who knew that it meant he needed to use the restroom?!). Of course when he returned I did indeed ask him, “How’s the dog?” Should have seen his face! Blessings… Polly

  8. Kelly says:

    Thankfully I haven't taken a swig of my tea yet … I read Anna Marie's comment!! Oh Dear one….did you ever get the blasted thing off???

  9. missy says:

    I honestly think you are my twin. I once went an entire evening with a fingernail stuck in my hair. Nine beautiful nails stayed in place. I later asked a friend why she didn't tell me and she said she thought it was a hair barrett!! LOL
    Thsnks for making me laugh!!

  10. Mandi says:

    Thanks for the laugh ….you are a real tonic…..glad you did your nails AFTER you made the bread….smiles

  11. Ali says:

    Has he called since? 🙂

  12. Melanie says:

    Well, at least you can laugh about it.

  13. Sasha says:

    Once again, priceless. You’re maybe a sitcom waiting to happen????!!

  14. lisa (the book smelling librarian) says:

    …before we moved house I had a lovely neighbour who was also single with a child like yourself. I used to live vicariously through her dating stories until that fateful day that she too glued a false nail…to HER LIP!!! And it would not budge… we spent the evening in A& in tow. As the date turned out to be not a nice sort (he laughed so much he was snorting) she regarded the incident as fate..a lucky escape!!!

  15. That is going in your book, right? Hysterical! You just brightened my mad morning!

  16. TX Poppet says:

    May I just say I adore you.

  17. Anita says:

    I have to say that everytime you write about the things that happen to you, I just shake my head – “Well, she’s done it again!”
    You have the most extrordinary things happen to you… I’m so glad you are humble enough to share them with us! Your writing ALWAYS brightens my day..:)

  18. elizabeth says:


  19. Tina says:

    LOL..I can so see this happening! as Anna Marie noted..hopefully he looked passed the nail glued to the nose..but if not..well..there will be someone who will.
    p.s. am having a wee drawing over on my blog if you feel like joining in..or maybe a few of the gals that visit here may wish to join in.

  20. Ginger says:

    This reminds me of the very first post of yours that I ever read. I first discovered this lovely blog on the day you baked a fingernail into some fish, I believe it was. I’ve been enamored, envious, sympathetic, cheering of you and the gorgeous life you’ve made for yourself ever since. Thank you for daily making my life a little bit more special–even if you are all the way over across the “pond.”

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