Nancy Roman

Genius or Idiot? You Decide.

This is the time of year when my fingernails get as brittle as the dead maples leaves. Luckily, they do not fall off like the leaves on our New England trees. But they snap and break like the dried-up twigs I’m stepping on.

Housework this weekend broke eight out of ten fingernails. You’d think I’d been clawing the carpets clean.

So Sunday night I sat down and tried to fix them up a little. I filed and buffed away and tried my best to have them all come in at a consistent length, although I ended up with two shorties. One of these days I’m going to get the acrylic version. You are probably surprised that I haven’t done so already, being the devoted fashionista that I am.  I am as perplexed as you are. I don’t know why the nail salon isn’t on my speed-dial. Can you type with those things?

Anyway, after I was done, I figured it would be a good idea to add a bit of moisturizer to my raggedy cinderella cuticles. And I remembered that I had some cuticle cream in what I call the medicine cabinet, but what is clearly the makeup cabinet. This cream came as part of a set I received as a gift, (“Gift with Purchase” but still a gift. I had to keep it.)

So I opened the ancient little tube, and the product had separated. I think cuticle cream should have a life-span longer than nine years, don’t you?) And two big globs of oil spurted out  and fell onto the knee of my jeans. Yikes.

Now these are not my very best skinny jeans that cost a month’s pay. But they are still very good jeans. And from a company that caters to its customers by sizing their clothing extremely generously. So these jeans are a size four. And so I love them very much.

And now I have oil on them. I immediately got out the Spray and Wash. the Shout-It-Out, and the grease-cutting dish detergent – the special detergent I use on the carpet when the cat throws up. That should work.

Only it didn’t. I scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed and rinsed. And when the jeans dried, I still had two grease spots on the knee.

Some people say baby powder. Some recommend vinegar. Some baking soda. In the past, I’ve tried them all. Grease is eternal.

I was full of remorse for ever opening that damned cuticle cream. My cuticles really aren’t that bad. No one would ever think I’ve been tortured. Although they may think I wash my clothes on a rock by the river.

But as I was getting ready for bed, and taking off my eye-makeup with baby oil, I had an epiphany.

Baby Oil is cheap. Especially the kind I buy.

Instead of trying to get the oil spots out of my jeans, why don’t I just soak the jean in some baby oil, and get them completely oil-soaked? Then they’d go into the washer and dryer and come out one consistent color.

And they’ll be nice and soft. And I bet my thighs and tushie will be nice and soft too.

Brilliant, right?

Only – do you think I might leave oily marks wherever I sit?  And if so, for how many years?


Out Damn Spot!


  1. Ouch. Well, what is the outcome of the baby oil wash? Did you really do it?
    My nails are brittle in summer and split like original and carbon paper all year round. Someone mentioned something about age. I don’t know the meaning of that word. 😉


    • I only thought of it last night… but I might!


      • Good to hear about. OMG, I just thought of something. Long ago and far away… no, wrong story.
        When we were kids one of the siblings got into mom’s lipstick and her sheets wore most of it. My Mom, a conservative Polish lady threw the sheets into the washing machine with a half-bottle of Lestoil. She had to wash it one or two times again to get the Lestoil all out but saved the sheets. Don’t know if you pants can take this much washing. 🙂


  2. They actuall make “moisturizing” jeans!


  3. LOL. Very funny Nancy.
    I think the oil leaving a butt oil stain where you sit, and spreading over time, will make you either decide to ignore the stains, wash the jeans 100 times or buy a new pair.


  4. Start a new trend, sew Swarovski crystals to cover the grease spots. You’ll sparkle when you walk. Although you won’t be able to stone wash them anymore! PS. Buy coconut oil in a jar (Trader Joes) it does wonders for dry hands, cuticles and feet!


    • I think I will pass on the crystals – but I’m definitely going to check the coconut oil!


  5. “You’d think I’d been clawing the carpets clean.” made me choke on my coffee this morning – dang that was funny!

    Sorry to hear about your jeans … but hey, good on you – a size 4! I haven’t seen that size in …. ok never 🙂



    • Very very generously sized. They call it “Vanity Sizing” for a reason.


  6. Sounds brilliant to me. That solution works on granite countertops, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on your jeans. After all, what have you got to lose? (Except for the oily butt-print, which made me snicker uncontrollably – thanks for that.)


  7. The solution is not to do heavy duty housework. Instead of acrylics (which will make your natural nails soft and weak) get a cleaning lady! Oh yes and another pair of jeans!


  8. Was going to suggest that you google it. Believe it or not, I spilled (splashed) nail polish on my bed ruffle a couple of months ago. And was actually able to blot it out from the wrong side with acetone!
    You should try fiberglass nails. I LOVE them, keep them fairly short, have new “fills” every other week ($30) and type like the wind with ’em! Can’t stand my natural nails: they’re so brittle.


  9. Almost everything I own has had grease spots on them that refused to vacate when I tried to get them out. At some point after many washings they disappear as by magic but by then I have put them in the only wear inside pile. The one thing I have found that works is if I put lemon juice on it right away. Then whenever I wash it, it goes away.


  10. Deb

    Hi Nancy. As a mother of four (now adults), of which three were active boys, the solution to almost every stain and especially oily is waterless handcleaner (not sanitizer!) and a soft toothbrush. This works for grass stains on baseball whites (grass is oily), butter, ink pen if you do not put it in the dryer first, Sharpie if you act while it is wet, and so on.

    My most recent use came after hosting a wedding reception with borrowed chafing dishes. The one chafer used a very strange refillable fuel and a thick wick. The wick started blasting off charred chunks and got onto our white linen chair seats. Over our objections an unhelpful “expert” made it worse by using the baking soda method to spread the chunks all over each chair using two of our best kitchen towels. The next day I got a new tub of cleaner and brushed it thoroughly into all of the soiled items and let them sit for at least an hour. Then rinsed each by hand with the hottest water recommended and put the towels in a washer load with an oxy product and washed the chairs by hand. I redid the chair seats because I had only done the worst areas and there was a “difference” between washed and unwashed so I washed the whole seat.

    These go by several names like Goop and GoJo. I’m sure your hubby has seen it at the auto parts store. Good luck.


    • My husband has GoJo in the garage. Somewhere.


  11. Aaarrrgghhhh! Nothing I hate more on laundry days than finding spots on clothes I can’t get out. I had a brand new shirt that had an oily spot on it that I didn’t catch until after it had been through the dryer. I used a Tide pen on it and threw it in the wash, not expecting anything, but the spot came out. Miracle! I’m going to get some of that Goop product and keep it in my laundry room. As for my nails, I have ones that are strong and never break, but it keep them extremely short so I can play my instruments. People like me, who don’t care about our nails at all, shouldn’t get the good ones. Sorry.


    • Yeah, and it’s why men have nicer eyelashes.


  12. LOL! Once again you have me laughing in my beer! This story reminds me of when I put fake nail glue in my eye (thinking it was eyedrops)! 🙂 Since then (having to pry my lids apart) I refuse to wear fake nails. The gel manis are nice though. I get that done when I’m traveling or going to something special. The stuff is impossible to remove unless you go back to the salon and pay again.


    • I think 2014 will be The Year of the Nail for me.


  13. Size 4? If I could see you I would not give you my fashion secret. Spill more on the spot, then do matching or contrasting ones on the other knee. You’re welcome.


    • Size FOUR! A phony size four from a designer cheating to make you feel better. But it works for me.


      • It would work for me, too … Sigh.


  14. I have mani, pedi and acrylic fills every single week. I type fast (very fast). There are many new types of acrylic products that don’t do as much damage to your natural nail.

    As to your jeans, sorry. I think my solution might work (above), won’t work for your jeans but will prevent future problems.


  15. I would do anything to save a size 4 pair of jeans. Anything. Darn that cuticle cream! We use Borax detergent for those kinds of stains and it usually works well. I hope you can get it out!


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