I Dedicate This Celestial Manicure To Neil deGrasse Tyson

Seeing the world's coolest astrophysicist on the R train--twice!--inspired me to do this nail-wrap manicure in his honor.
Publish date:
March 25, 2013
manicures, nail wraps, ncla, nerdy stuff, clubbed thumbs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Steph Stone

Jane Pratt tells everyone I’m a beauty nerd, and I don’t deny it. But let’s get real, Jane: I’m not just a beauty nerd. I’m a no-qualifier-needed nerd; a huge dork who just happens to be pretty and stylish, so it throws people off when I open my mouth and it sounds like I swallowed a socially awkward Jeopardy contestant.

So it should come as no surprise to other nerds that ever since I first saw Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Daily Show, I’ve had a nonsexual crush on him--sort of like a middle schooler who isn’t clear on what third base is crushing on her charming 50-something science teacher.

If you don’t know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is, I’m sorry that you’re missing so much joy in your life. He’s one of the smartest dudes alive. Officially, he’s the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History; unofficially, he’s a science-advocating, religion-questioning, astrophysicist-ing badass.

And I’ve sat next to him in the subway twice in the last three months. OMG!

The first time was in December at the Prince Street station. We got onto a super-packed R train, and I was squeezed between him and a cute service dog, so it was pretty much the best uncomfortable train ride of my life... except for the fact that I didn’t muster up the bravery to tell him I’m a fan. (Besides, he was with his teenage daughter, so I didn’t want to seem like I was hitting on him or something.)

Then, just a few weeks ago, on my way home from the XO offices, I sat next to him on one of the benches at the 28th Street station. He was working on his laptop, so I didn’t want to interrupt him, but as the R train pulled up and he closed it, I took to the opportunity to speak up.

“I hope you don’t mind my saying so, but I’m a big fan.”

He smiled graciously, and--I could be mistaken because the train entering the station was pretty loud--said, “Well, I’m a fan of the universe.” WELL, YEAH, YOU’RE NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON! (You are, of course, forgiven for your corny, canned response, Mr. Tyson.)

It was at this moment that I noticed he was wearing one of his famous celestial tapestry vests, which have a Facebook page, which I liked as soon as I got home. Swoon!

The universe he and I both love brought him into my life/commute twice, and just a few days after the second encounter, the very same universe brought awesome astral NCLA Limited-Edition Designer Nail Wraps into my life. The print is called Stephanie’s Galaxy, named for its designer, nail stylist Steph Stone. But Steph is the third wheel in this story, so BACK OFF.

I’m sure NDT would be able to determine exactly which parts of the galaxy are represented on these nail wraps. Or if it's just a completely inaccurate artistic rendering. Whatever.

My nails aren’t very long, so I definitely needed the file that came with the wraps. It was also a relief to see that I could lift and move the wraps a couple times before really placing them down firmly, because I don’t just suck at painting my nails--I suck at wrapping them, too.

Oh, I should probably mention (if you didn't already notice): I have clubbed thumbs, like Megan Fox. As NDT would probably be able to rattle off even though he's not a medical doctor, it's clinically called Brachydactyly Type D, and this is relevant because I have very wide, short thumbnails, so I just laid one of the medium-width wraps sideways since even the widest ones aren't wide enough.

I’m going to try to grow out my nails and see if it looks even cooler when they’re long. And luckily, since there are two sheets in each NCLA pack, I already have what I need when the time comes.

The question is, if I run into NDT on the subway again while my nails are rocking these galaxy wraps, do I show him, or would that totally weird him out?