Monday, June 13, 2011

Nailed It!

After (Photo by Rita)
 Friday night, you may have gathered, I went out and had my nails done.  The "after" picture is to the right.  Click and you can zoom down to see my toes.  I know one particular reader will zoom in to my feet and say "Not. Your. Toes."  I'll talk about the picture and Rita, who took the picture, in a little bit.

I've only done this a few times.  I've only had my fingernails done as Meg, and my toenails done in drab.

Manicures and pedicures are enjoyable.  It's not just "clean up nails, put on varnish."  I won't go into the details ~ you all probably know there are creams and lotions and massages involved as well.  For a pedicure, you start with your feet in a warm whirlpool bath, while sitting in a massage chair.

I was a bit apprehensive when I walked in.  There were eight techs that I could see, and half were male. A few people were waiting. I asked the man who asked if he could help me how long I'd have to wait for a manicure and pedicure. He said "no wait. Pick a colour." I asked who the technician would be. He said (exact quote) "that woman in the back." The key word in the right answer was "woman." If he said "man" I would have requested a female tech. I don't care how I'm dressed; I'm really not interested in holding hands with a guy for an hour or so.

The woman in question was maybe 35, and pleasant looking.  That's fine.  She prepared chair five for me, and she told me to put my feet were put in that little whirlpool bath, and the male tech working on the woman in chair four showed me how to turn on the massage.

Chair four was occupied by a loud, large woman who kept talking across the salon to her friend who was getting a manicure.  I know the type.  She says what's on her mind, she doesn't mind any attention she might get ~ she craves it.  If she can get more attention by being crude, so be it.  She also is entertained by her own act.  She thinks she's funnier than she is.  That's OK, really.  All women are wonderful.

About the time I was wondering how long I was going to soak, a different tech came over ~ a pretty young woman who said she was 26, but looked 19.

While I was waiting, chair four made a couple of random comments in my direction, such as "don't mind me. We'll be gone soon." I assured her I was enjoying the pedicure with entertainment. She bantered with her friend about bangs ~ her freind wanted them and she told her that wasn't a good look for her.  I was so tempted to jump in and say "should I take that personally?" just to see what she would say.  She mentioned (shouted) to her friend that she can't wait to get to DC. I used the opening to ask if she was visiting or moving to DC. We chatted a bit.  She was worried about making friends in the DC area and I said "I doubt you'd ever have trouble making friends."  She said "I'm not a social butterfly; I'm a social bulldozer."  She was entertaining.  She was very talkative, and I tried to keep up my end of the conversation, asking questions and talking about DC and what she'll find there.  The rest of the patrons ignored me.  I looked around at them more than they did. There were a couple of men in the salon, chatting with wives, coming and going as their wives/girlfriends had their treatments.  They ignored me too.  Maybe they wished they could share the experience with their OH, but....

I chatted with the tech too, about the colour and what she thought of it, how long she worked there, and such.  I mentioned that I have never had my nails done before.  As I said previously, it's a little lie but a conversation starter.  Plus, I have my nails done so rarely that by saying "never" I get more guidance from the technician. She assumes I know nothing.  I told the tech I'd have to remove the polish in a couple of days and she responded with a shocked "why?"  but she didn't wait for an answer.  She scurried off to get these weird foam flip-flops so I could get up and walk to the fingernail station.

At one point, while she was doing my fingers, I asked if she ever had "a customer like me." She said "what do you mean, like you?" I smiled and said "thank you." She said "you're a client, no different from any other client." While my nails were drying, she had a problem. She came to me and said "ma'am, I accidentally voided your credit card payment" and she needed me to pay again. I told her I couldn't open my purse with my wet fingers but I would take care of it before I left. I asked if she would take a picture for me, and she said she had to leave and couldn't but someone else would.

The appointed photographer spoke way too little English. He came by and said "picture?" I said "after I'm dry."  He persisted and so did I and eventually he understood.

About drying: I was placed at their little drying table, with the fans and lights to speed drying for hands and feet. It was right at the front of the shop, and you could sit on either side, facing in or facing out. She sat me facing out, next to the only other patron at the table.  My first impulse was to face in, so I'd have a smaller audience.  My second was to face in, so I wouldn't be next to someone else.  I tossed both aside and sat down.  My neighbor was on the phone; she only had a pedicure so her hands were free.

She ignored me, and made another phone call, apparently to her husband.  At least I didn't hear any "you'll never guess what I'm sitting next to" comments.  Eventually, she looked up from her phone and said "that's a pretty colour. It looks very nice on you." I thanked her and said it was my first time. She was amazed, like meeting someone who never had her nails done was more amazing than meeting a crossdresser!  We started talking. She was down from Phoenix to be with her daughter who was getting a pedicure right over there and expecting twins Any Day Now. My fingers seemed dry and she seemed content to sit there, since she had to wait anyway.  I mentioned that I had to take off the polish in a couple of days and she said "why?" as well.  I told her I couldn't go to work like this and she laughed.

Her son-in-law and granddaughter (age 5) came in.  He talked to her briefly, ignored me, and went to talk to his wife.  I heard the granddaughter say: "I want purple.  No, pink with glitter"  and so on.
The man came by again to get paid and take my picture. First he was insistent on just taking a picture of my fingers. I said no, I wanted me and my fingers but he wasn't understanding that. I suggested standing in front of the rows of bottles but wanted to make sure my new friend wasn't in the picture. She joked "you don't want my picture?"  I said "I'd love your picture" but didn't get one.  That was stupid.  Really really stupid.

I was trying to figure out how to hold my fingers and she came to the rescue. She introduced herself (Rita) and I, of course said, "call me Meg." She suggested the pose and insisted on taking two pictures, in case one didn't come out. I asked if she could get me and my toes in a photo. She did, taking two more. She handed me my camera and said "you know you're beautiful... absolutely stunning."

She must have been the one who was stunning, because I was stunned.  I was speechless. I squeaked out a thank you, wished her and her daughter the best of luck and I haven't stopped smiling since.  Hours later, I figured out the correct response.

A hug.

On the way out, I walked into the Dillards which was between my car and me. It was now about 8:30 or a bit later.


  1. If Friday night is going to take more than two blog posts, I can't even imagine how many Saturday will take!

    Also, maybe you need to revise your age estimates of women up a few years. ;-)

    Can't wait to read more of the saga.

  2. Great story Meg. We have to get together some time & go out !
    Hugs Diane

  3. I can walk into my local barber shop and see old Vinnie who has been cutting my hair for 25 years without a thought or care. I suppose this feeling of ennui is not uncommon for GGs at beauty or nail salons BUT the beauty shop or nail salon is a major issue for many of us CDs and I would have to imagine that a first (or second through tenth or so trip) into this bastion of feminine exclusivity would have every nerve synapse firing like a jammed and dropped Uzi.

    For a middle aged CD without much experience getting out and about, the beauty shop/nail salon experience is a major milestone.

    I can just imagine your mind going in a dozen directions at once and you may have experienced fear, pleasure, dread, excitement, affirmation, relaxaction, concern, confusion, agita, tsuris and accomplishment all at the same time.

    I smiled at the reference that the GGs you spoke with did not immediately process the fact that the polish was only on for a few days. A GG getting her nails done on a Friday night is clearly thinking that the manicure needs to last a full week and not come off for work on Monday.

    Thanks for a great post.



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