I’m fairly brave, not generally given to irrational fears, but I have a confession to make.

I’m afraid of long fingernails.

When I was still pretty young, I had a dream. There was a white space with a folding chair, and sitting on the chair was a Chinese guy, his long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail. He had a pointed beard and was wearing a flowing, silk robe. His long fingernails were painted fire engine red.

On the floor next to him was a steel bucket filled with writhing people. The guy reached out with the tips of the nails on his thumb and index finger and gently picked up one of the people, dropped it in his palm, and as he said, “Going, going, gone,” impaled the body with his nails, then tossed it over his shoulder and reached for another one.

To this day I have no idea where that dream came from. I’ve got nothing against Chinese guys (despite the recent decapitation, see March 26), or people writhing in buckets for that matter, but I’ve never gotten over the nails.


A couple of years ago, we were filming a scene where some kids are trying to scare their dad with the silhouette of a scary hand projected on a wall. The client had asked the director to make the hand really, really scary so the hand cutout had long, pointed nails. When we started to shoot, the client decided it was too scary and asked the director to trim the nails. The director is very good at her job but also one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met, so she said “No” and went off to pout. The client, who is kind of a wuss, went into a tizzy and refused to eat her bento.

The director and I have a very good relationship and she trusts me, so I went to her and told her about the dream. She asked me when I had had it.

“I was seven or eight (the truth) and it was right after I’d seen a Chinese movie (a lie, albeit a small one.)”

Five minutes later, the nails had been trimmed, we got back to filming, and the wuss ate her bento.

I’m grateful I had that dream because it came in so handy, but this kind of thing, which is very trendy, really gives me the willies.



4 thoughts on “Fingernails”

    1. More terrifying is how my unconscious came up with those images at such a tender age and how they’ve stuck with me for so long. Ugh indeed.

  1. Wow, what an amazing dream. Scary but amazing. I too have a gut reaction to something similar. Men with long nails make my stomach turn. Even slightly long. If I see white I cringe. I get on my husband about it if I see any white, it’s a neurosis I’m guessing. lol

    One of the things I am loving about Japan is the nail trend right now. Granted the photo you posted is extreme – bows are not necessary and there is such a thing as too much bling – but I have seen some really cute manicures lately, many have the blingy only on a few nails, not all of them, this is super cute to me. It’s really strange because I’m not really a girly girl but I’m kinda embracing that side a lot more since moving here. Think I’ll splurge for a manicure soon.

    1. Hey, if there’s anything even remotely girly and/or cute that you’ve ever wanted to do, this is the place for it. Bring on the bling!

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