When Pati Laubenstein, then owner of Pati’s nail Parlour in Phoenix, Arizona, received a phone call requesting a nail art appointment, she was not exactly prepared for the outcome.
Oh sure, the caller, a Miss Renda Long, mentioned that she had long nails... but Pati just passed it off as a bit of a crank, and treated her upcoming appointment rather casually.
But Ronda lived up to her advance billing...and then some, with nails that at their longest measure 15 inches.
“She had evidently heard that I do nail art,” recalled Pati, “and called me on the telephone one day to ask. Many of the questions were typical of those received in the shop daily... you know, what do I paint, how long does it take, that sort of thing. So she set up an appointment, mentioning that her nails are sort of long. But I didn’t think anything about it.”
Her answer was rather casual... “Stop by the shop so I can take a look and well set up an appointment.”
Stop by she did, and Pati knew immediately who she was. An appointment was set and the shop then full of stories about this young lady and her nails.
By the time of the appointment, Pati found herself not only surrounded by 15-inch nails, but a crowd of technicians, clients, newspaper reporters and television cameras.
“It was all quite exciting,” she mentioned, “as those nails just mesmerized me and everyone in the shop. Everyone was so fascinated that many of clients came in just to see the nails. And not only did the local newspaper do a nice story, but the number one television station in town came by and presented a story on prime time, for at least 60 seconds.
“They did a great story, and flashed the salon name and address across the screen. It was great coverage.”
Those nails are indeed amazing, and attention-getting. Having grown them for 11 years, Miss Long is quite adept at working with them and around them. She claims to continue to handle housework, including scrubbing floors and washing dishes. And applies makeup using cotton-tipped sticks. Also, dressing is not a problem, according to Miss Long, and she claims to button all blouses without hesitation.
“It’s one of those things that she has been growing these nails for so long,” relates Pati, “that she just learned as she went along. I admit that I was a bit sceptical, and even asked her to show me how she takes off and puts on her earrings. She did it there in front of me, and I still don’t know how she did it.”
“These nail didn’t just appear in a day,” Miss Long was quoted as saying. “As they grew, I learned to use the ball of my fingers. I learned to maneuver. I’m always aware of my nails and do things very carefully.” The actual appointment was an experience in itself, related Pati, even though she painted only one nail.
“The painting took 20 minutes.... for just the one nail. I painted the nail black first by starting at the bottom and working my way up. I had to literally stand up to paint near the cuticle.
“But I was very intimidated by her and her nail,” said Pati. “Those nails are her life, and I felt very uncomfortable handling for fear of breaking them. I just knew that if something happened to those nails while I was working on them, it would be very traumatic for the both of us.”
According to Pati, the nails are maintained monthly (by a friend of Renda’s) as they have an acrylic overlay the full length of the natural nail. Additionally, the underside of the nail is drilled out every six months to a year.
“Those nails are very interesting,” said Pati. “They are always painted, in different, unusual colors, such as gold or silver. And when her hands are at their side, those nails make a bracelet around her wrist.”