The Nail Station in Huntington, Ind., asked clients to create short stories using the names of the salon’s OPI nail polish colors. Here are the first, second, and third-place winning essays.
To celebrate its third anniversary, The Nail Station in Huntington, Ind., asked clients to create short stories using the names of the salon’s OPI nail polish colors.
The first place winner — Lauren Stoffel, author of “Ruby’s Surprise” (below) — won six months of Classic Pedicures.
It was going to be the best birthday ever. Ruby*+ was no longer a teenager, and as she finished her Cajun Shrimp at Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ cookout, she looked over the tops of the Dutch Tulips and caught a glimpse of her longtime boyfriend, Jerry. He was bringing her birthday cake, complete with lit candles, over to her table. While Jerry, a former sailor in the Russian Navy, was walking towards Ruby’s table, everyone else at the cookout started to gather around and began to sing.
“Before I blow out the 20 Candles on My Cake,” Ruby said, “I’d Like to Thank…+ everyone for coming to celebrate with me.”
After the smoke had cleared, Ruby noticed a diamond*+ ring stuck in the amethyst*+-colored icing of the chiffon*+ cake. Instead of the traditional, “Happy Birthday, Ruby” spelled out in icing on the cake, this particular one said, “Will you marry me, Ruby?” Ruby’s sapphire*+ eyes looked up only to see Jerry down on one knee in front of her.
“First, I’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday Babe. You are the Apple of My Eye+ and have a Heart Of Gold+, and ever since the night we went Clubbing Til Sunrise+, you have had my heart. Because we Met on the Internet+ it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight, but I treasure*+ every moment that we have spent together. Ruby, you are perfection*+ and illuminate* my life. Will you marry me?”
“Yes…I Can-Can…+ I mean, yes, I WILL!” she stuttered as her eyes started to shimmer*+ while they filled with tears of joy. As she began to picture the Rosy Future she and Jerry would have together, Mrs. O’Leary brought out Vodka & Caviar to celebrate, and since Ruby was not yet 21, a special virgin Strawberry Margarita was made just for her. Ruby took a sip of her margarita and looked over at Jerry with a mischievous grin on her face. “I’ll marry you under one condition, Jerry,” she said. “I’ll do the cooking (I have an original*+ recipe for my famous Black Cherry Chutney), but I Don’t Do Dishes!+”
The second place winner — Diane Sheets, author of “In Your Dreams!” (below) — won six months of Basic Pedicures.
In Your Dreams!:
Staring at her reflection* in the mirror, Jewel* wondered how things had come to this. She seemed to have aged so much in the last couple of years. The Pistol Packin’ Pink+ of her cheeks had dimmed to a Samoan Sand, and her hair had received on too many comments of Nice Color, Eh? + Her teenage children favorite expression had become “I Don’t Do Dishes!+”, even though they had been home for hours watching TV while she had arrived home from her one hour commute from work and cooked dinner. And where was her husband?
Things at work were no picnic either. Her co-workers seemed more interested in Who Are You Wearing? + Dress to Empress+ was their motto, despite the fact that once again, they were expected to complete a project in an unrealistically limited* amount of time. WEARING MANOLO BLAHNIK’S DIDN’T GET THE WORK DONE! She was never On the Same Paige with them. She refused to spend one more weekend in the office.
Throwing up her hands and heading upstairs, Jewel slipped out of her clothes and started a Bubble Bath. She picked up a copy of Glamour*; she probably should have picked up Romeo & Joliet or another classic*, but she definitely needed something mind-numbing. Sinking into the bubbles, she though, “OH...To Be 25 Again! + I’d still have a job where I didn’t need to know anything, wouldn’t be a parent to any unappreciative children, and would still have an attentive husband.”
After what seemed to be only a short period of time, the bathroom door opened (“Why don’t I ever remember to lock the door@@@@###?!”). In walked the love of her life. “Bastille My Heart,” he said. In his hand, he held a small blue box. Looking at her with his Black Onyx eyes, he whispered. “Happy Anniversary! Sweet Heart” and handed her the box. Could it be the ruby* + ring she saw in the jeweler’s window several months ago? Or the diamond*+ earrings?
Suddenly, she was startled by a loud noise. She opened her eyes to find herself alone in the bathroom with a very soggy copy of Glamour* and screaming children in the hallway! She felt cheated like she had when she found out the whole season of “Dallas” had been a dream, and Bobby Ewing hadn’t been died. So much for the ruby*+ ring and the diamond*+ earrings. Reality sucks!
Pulling herself from the tub, she dried off and quickly dressed. She picked up her purse and headed out the door, despite the clamoring of her children and her now-present husband (“Huh, the love of my life looks nothing like my husband!”). She hopped in her car and decided she needed More Time For Me+. Can you guess where she was headed?
When life’s got you down, you know you will be treated like the Queen of the West Web-erly+ (even though you’re on East State Street) when you visit THE NAIL STATION!
The third place winner — Linda Toth, author of “It Was a Dismal Monday Morning” (below) — won one free Special Pedicure.
It Was a Dismal Monday Morning:
It was a dismal Monday morning in the middle of February. My friend Suzi and I wanted to take a little break from our jobs and spend some time at the beach. We were dying to just lay around on the Samoan Sand and get Bronzed to Perfection+. We planned on meeting on Friday morning and taking My Private Jet to someplace warm and tropical for the weekend. Suzi says, “I have guy I Met on the Internet# who lives near the beach. We could rent a condo on the beach where he works.” I was skeptical, but agreed it might be exciting too.
Upon arriving at our coastal condo, we decided the first thing we should do is a little shopping. We tried on clothes, and bathing suits and party dresses. Now, I’m a Mod-ern Girl, but I was much older than the other girls we saw gallivanting around. I sighed and said to Suzi, “OH…To Be 25 Again!” Suzi said, “Girl, Can’t you Sea? + You just are too limited* in your way of thinking. You need to let loose and have some fun”! So I decided I was going to. By the time we were done, we would Dress to Empress+ the best of them.
On the way back to the condo, Suzi exclaimed, “Oh, I forgot, I Need Sunglasses?”! So, we pulled into a convenience mart to get her glasses, some Tropical Punch+ to put in the fridge, and some Strawberry Margarita mix for later in the week. Suzi picked out a pair of sunglasses that were Pamplona Purple that would go perfectly with her new bikini. Then we were on our way again.
When we got to the condo, we decided that we would do the beach scene today and try the night life tomorrow. I decided to Paint my Moji-toes Red and put on my red and yellow and orange bikini. Suzi said, “With no more material than is in that bikini, you might just get Overexposed in South Beach”. Then Suzi put on her purple and teal bikini that Blue my Mind….I could only imagine what the guys at the beach would think of her.
So, off to the beach we went. The water was so clear, and when I swam, I could see my reflection*. We laid on the beach all afternoon and got to Feelin’ Hot-Hot-Hot! I was really getting restless and my skin felt prickly. I told Suzi, “I think I have Sand in my Suit”. She said, “I think you are just itchy Cozu-melted in the Sun.” The lifeguard came over and said, “You should be careful; this sun can burn you to a crisp in no time.” He even offered to apply some lotion to Suzi’s back. Turns out it was Sydney, the guy she had Met on the Internet#. We talked for a while, and the longer we talked, you could see the desire* burning in Suzi’s eyes. She had it bad for this guy. The next thing you know, Suzi & the Lifeguard, Sydney, wanted to go for a stroll on the beach. Suzi didn’t want to leave me alone, but I said, “Go ahead, That’s All Bright with Me! + It’ll just allow more time for me to stay here and enjoy the Miami Beet.”
When Suzi and her new friend, Sydney, had returned he said, “Hey, there is a Party in My Cabana tomorrow night; do you want to come?” From behind us someone yells, “Did Someone Say Party? +” We turned and one of the hottest men I had ever seen was jogging toward us. Sydney says, “This is my friend Joe.” Joe says, “What are you Ladies and Magenta-men doing?” Sydney said, “I’m trying to talk them into coming to my party tomorrow night.” Joe said, “You really should come, it is a La Paz-itively Hot time.” Suzi and I looked at each other and thought “Girls Just Want to Play+”, so we told them it was a date. Then the four of us sat on the beach and watched the Sonora Sunset+. Later, after watching the Moon over Mumbai, we went our separate ways, planning on meeting the next night. When the guys were out of hearing range, I said, “They are really nice, AND HOT!” Suzi said, “Sea? I Told You! + You can meet nice guys on the Internet.”
The next evening, Suzi and I made sure we put on our best party dresses. When I walked into the living room, Suzi exclaimed, “Wow, what a dress”. I said, “Nice Color, Eh? +” She responded, “That’s Berry Daring; Joe’s eyes will pop out of his head!” I told her, “You are always telling me to ‘Expresso Your Style+’, so that is what I’m going to do tonight!” “I just want to go get my diamond* earrings to complete the ensemble.” She said, “Curry Up Don’t Be Late+”. Returning from the bedroom, I said, “OK, I’m ready, Leggs Celebrate! +”
Around 7, we met the guys at an exclusive* restaurant. Joe looked at me and said, “You look great; You’re a Doll! +” I blushed, knowing he could see the Stars in My Eyes+, and said, “I’m ready for you to Wine Me & Dine Me! +” We dined on Cajun Shrimp and drank Malaga Wine until the four of us were All Lacquered Up+. Then we went to Ron’s for his cabana party. When the party was over, we decided we wanted to do some more drinking and dancing, so we drove over to St. Petersburgundy+and went Clubbing Til Sunrise+. Those two guys turned out to be Berry Good Dancers+. We had the time of our lives.
Sunday morning, we all met for brunch and Ate Berries in The Canaries and drank champagne. Suzi and I were sad because we had to go back to our boring jobs in the city. Joe said, “Stay, I’m Fondue of You.” I said, “What, you Can’t Help Falling in Love+ with me?” He just laughed and said, “If the Fuchsia Fits+…!” Sydney told Suzi he would like her to stay, too. Now, Suzi Loves Sydney+, so the only logical thing was to say, yes, we would stay, but we had to go back to the city first. So, Suzi and I went back to our jobs in the city, gave our notices to our boss and lived for the next two weeks on the Mauve-lous Memories+ of our weekend in paradise with Sydney and Joe.
We soon went back to be with our two beaus. Sydney is a (p)Rinse Charming+, but he is not rich, so Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore and is happy as a clam. Turns out, Joe is rich as a ‘king’, so I am living Pretty & Privileged+ and find I kind of like Dating a Royal.
I would say we all are looking forward to a Rosy Future.
*These are DS (Designer Series) colors, whose full names are: DS ruby, DS diamond, DS amethyst, DS chiffon, DS sapphire, DS treasure, DS perfection, DS illuminate, DS shimmer, DS original, DS reflection, DS jewel, DS glamour, DS classic, DS limited, DS desire, and DS exclusive.
+These shades are no longer available.