I’m a collector. That’s always a weird thing to have to tell someone. My only hobby – except for blogging, which I clearly can’t commit to – is collecting nail varnish.
Recently, I found myself in the unfortunate position of having to justify my collection to someone who – after clarifying that he had indeed heard me correctly - was looking at me as though I had fallen out of a tree, dressed as a squirrel. It may interest you to know that we were on a date, but that is neither here nor there.
To begin with, because boys tend to be quite practical, he was largely concerned with the expense of my particular habit. I had my response ready and waiting, for it is the same thing I say to my mother whenever she spies discarded packaging in the recycling box. “You can’t put a price on happiness.” I said.
Next, he decided that SURELY there was a limit to how many nail varnishes a person could own, because there are undoubtedly a limited number of colours available. Foolish boy. To demonstrate how very wrong he was, I had no choice but to explain the difference between a blue-based red and an orange-based red.
Let me tell you, there was a moment when I thought his brain had exploded. It hadn’t. He was merely lost for words.
Because it all looked like it was a bit too much for his boy-brain to understand, I went back to basics. Even if there weren’t different tones of red, I told him, there are several different finishes available. Crème, Gloss, Jelly, Glitter, Shimmer – it’s exciting stuff. Then he made the mistake of asking me to explain the difference between a glitter and a shimmer finish. Well, if I hadn’t sounded mental beforehand, I certainly did then.
Cleverly, I wrapped things up quite quickly. I did a bit of damage control, the conversation moved on to more everyday things, and he seemed to have forgiven me for being a bit odd.
But then, during that awkward silence when the waiter comes over to take the plates away, it all came rushing back.
The blue and orange bases were haunting him.
“What’s your preference – blue or orange?” He asked innocently, in reference to red nail polish.
I don’t really want to get into this again, but somehow I ended up having to explain the concept of pink and yellow skintones. If ever his brain was ACTUALLY going to explode, now was the time. In fact, the earth-shattering revelation that this kind of colour-theory actually existed rendered him damn-near catatonic.
The look on his face was one that I have never seen before. It was a mixture of fear, respect, disbelief and awe.
Now, you might not know this about me, but I’m generally considered to be quite stubborn. Even when I know I'm coming across as a little bit mad, I can't rest until people KNOW that I'm right. This occasion was no different.
In fact, I was so desperate to make him understand that this was an ACTUAL THING that I ended up inviting him (read: dragging him) back to my room so that I could show him my colour wheel. And that is not a euphemism.
Weirdly, for those who are interested, he asked to see me again.