The Case For Getting Engaged With A Hideous Manicure

By Hannah Chambers | July 8, 2021
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Great news! It’s no longer necessary to keep up with the time-honored tradition of hoping your best friends break their backs to get you into a nail salon for a totally inconspicuous manicure before you get engaged. And no, it’s not because the planet is literally on fire and we’re probably just a few short years away from never having to worry about Instagram ever again. It’s because I just accidentally stumbled upon the greatest life hack of all time, and am pleased to report that getting engaged with an ugly manicure is the best thing you can do for your relationship and your personal brand. 

Now, I know that every little girl dreams of the day she’ll be able to post a photo of an engagement ring on her hand, writing “I said yes!” as the caption, leaving her loved ones (read: group chats of sorority sisters she no longer speaks to) wondering how she knew to get her claws perfectly groomed for the surprise occasion. But after recently getting engaged with a manicure that was the exact same color as Shrek, I’m here to challenge that standard. If the nail technician isn’t palpably disturbed by the color chip you’ve presented upon sitting in the chair, you’re not doing enough. Hear me out.

You’ll Immediately Have A Unique Instagram Caption

Second only to which engagement ring style you will choose to send your significant other subliminal messages about until they’re finally forced into popping the question, the most important decision you can make as a future bride is the caption you will choose to announce the fact that it’s time for your followers to buckle down for your official shift to wedding content. If you’re hard-pressed to think of something smarter than “Today, I said yes to forever with my best friend,” let your ugly manicure do the heavy lifting. For example, I went with: Do you think there’s anything on Etsy that says “she said, ‘OH MY GOD MY NAILS ARE GREEN, BUT YES!’” 

There’s An Easy Answer To The Dreaded ‘Were You Surprised?’ Question

If there’s one thing I’ve quickly learned as a newly-engaged person, it’s that people ask a lot of the same ridiculous questions, one of which being, “Did you know?” While everyone sporting a rock on their left ring finger probably had some inkling that the day would come eventually, it would be truly unhinged to expect your partner to drop down on one knee every time you enter a remotely photo-worthy space. Although I did not wake up thinking, “Might f*ck around and get engaged today,” convincing nosy people that this particular life event caught me by surprise has proven to be difficult. 

Luckily, if you have unsightly nails when it happens, you won’t ever have to waste your breath explaining why you just so happened to be having an incredible hair day and wearing an actual bra when you said yes. You can simply point to the messy heap of slime green SNS powder that was slopped upon your nail beds and quip, “Did you see my nails? I obviously wasn’t expecting it.” 

You’ll Seem Like A Quirky Risk-Taker

Nothing signals that you are the antithesis of cheugy quite like a bold manicure. Sure, the words “dog mom” are in your IG bio and you’ve purchased Tory Burch Miller sandals as recently as last month, but a calculated shellac color choice can really cancel that out if you play your cards right. This will also dupe people into thinking that you’ll be making some similarly wild decisions for your wedding, motivating your followers to prioritize watching your Stories every time they open the app. Not to mention, a scared bridesmaid is a loyal bridesmaid. If your girls can be tricked into thinking you’re reckless enough to select a heinous color for your wedding, they’ll be so relieved when you tell them they’re wearing blush dresses, that they’ll hardly bat an eyelash when you reveal how much they’re expected to cough up for hair and makeup. 

It’s An Excuse To Post At Least One More Ring Photo

Engagement rings beg to be photographed, but the last thing you want to do is clog the timeline with too many photos from the same occasion. (Although this used to fly… you can thank photo dumps for destroying your right to double post.) The simple fix for this, of course, is to get a redemption manicure, which would technically qualify as a separate posting event from the proposal. “Don’t worry guys, I have a pretty manicure now!” just might be the new “So a lot of you have been asking about my skincare routine…” in the sense that both statements require the speaker to hold quite a bit of naivety in regards to how much other people actually care. 

Next time a friend invites you on a trip to the salon or you find yourself torn between two manicure options, my advice for you is: choose the worst option. Reach for that weird yellow bottle of polish that looks like it’s never been opened. Say yes to the nude that clashes most with your skin tone. Visit the spa with over a dozen horrible Yelp reviews. It’s the number one best thing you can do for your engagement. (Your Instagram engagement, by the way. Not your relationship status.) 

Images: Lyuba Burakova /Stocksy.com

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