I’m really more of a “paint my own toenails while sitting on a beach chair on a sunny day with a friend in my driveway” kind of person, but — given my recent back issues — I can’t even bend over and reach my toes. So, a professional pedicure was “required” right before I was leaving for my 30th high school reunion. I just kinda walked into the nail place and took my chances, but it was pretty crowded, so The Lady told me to come back at 12:30pm.
I arrived promptly at 12:30pm, sat in my chair, put my feet in the water, picked up a People magazine and started reading. After about 15 minutes, I looked up and saw that every single person who worked there was busy with a manicure or pedicure AND there were two women next to me who didn’t even have their feet in the water yet. The worker who’d TOLD me to come at 12:30pm was giving a pedicures to two high school girls. Hold on…I’m going to give you all the PARENTHETICAL, HIGHLY JUDGMENTAL thoughts I had when I found out the pedicures were for their senior prom:
Why do so many kids get professional pedicures/manicures now? Is it because the services are relatively cheap ($25/$12)? I didn’t have a professional pedicure until I was in my early thirties and pregnant with my first baby. <— clearly makes me better. What happened to draping an old towel over the floor and giving each OTHER pedicures? <– Yeah! And song lyrics you could understand! AND WHY THE FUCK ARE THOSE FUTURE-BITCHEZ NOT IN SCHOOL? In the middle of the day on a Friday?!
So, the lady giving the pedicures to the girls says to me, “As soon as I’m done with these girls, I’ll do you.” Okay, maybe 5 more minutes. The girls’ polish is finally applied, one of them takes off across the room to get her manicure (genius, help me) and I figure I’m gonna get my pedicure soon and get going for the fun weekend. Then The Lady says to Prommer II , “Do you want a manicure?” NO!! Shut up!!! Don’t ask that question!!! I’ve been sitting in this chair that is HURTING MY BACK for 20 minutes now! Did you mean 12:30pm Greeenwich MEAN time?
Here is where I will introduce the foreign language atmosphere of the nail place, which you might find jingoistic, and for which I apologize. The Lady is Vietnamese, as are all the employees, and as they are polishing our hands and feet, they keep yelling across the room to each other in Vietnamese, which — I guess if you’re working on someone’s FEET — is CLEARLY your prerogative as a way to not THINK about the fact that you’re working on someone’s FEET. But, in some fucked up way, this bugs the shit out of me, mostly because I have NO IDEA what they’re saying and somehow I’ve come to the very ego-centric, highly self-involved feeling that they are ALL BITCHING ABOUT US.
At minute 30 (thirty!), one of the husbands of one of the employees walks in, takes over one of the services and finally The Lady finishes Prommer II’s manicure and begins to work on my feet. Now, I don’t think it’s a cultural thing when I tell you, The Lady is Completely Batshit Crazy.
Evidence of Crazy — Exhibit A: The Lady starts telling me about how three people were out on vacation that day, which is why I had to wait so long, and she usually works in Worcester, but they called her down to help. And me, being the Champion of Workers Everywhere!, nods in sympathy and continues to soak. She tells the story about how there are 3 people on vacation and how she usually works in Worcester no less than 5 times.
Evidence of Crazy — Exhibit B: The Lady also starts saying how sorry she is that she kept me waiting 30 minutes and that she feels really bad, and do I want a manicure? “No…no thank you. I understand…I know what it’s like to be short-staffed. It’s okay. I just want to get my pedicure (and GO!) and I’m not really into having my fingernails done.” The Lady pushes the manicure like a County Fair salesperson selling cleaning products.
ME: I really need to leave at 2pm, to beat traffic.
HER: It’s okay! I’ll do it at the same time you’re getting your pedicure, you’ll feel like a queen!
ME <thinking she must feel really bad and wants to give me this FREE manicure as a way of saying sorry>: Okay.
One of the men finishes doing a pedicure, moves over to my chair and starts working on my feet while The Lady starts working on my hands. It was VERY NICE and I really DID feel like a queen, UNTIL…
MAN GIVING ME PEDICURE <in Vietnamese and holding up my foot by the heel, for everyone to examine> “????????????????????????????” <— I’m pretty sure he is saying, “Look at her heel! It is in really bad shape. Check out all the unsightly, thick skin!”
ME: <wishing at this point I could speak Vietnamese because I would have said, “DUDE, that is what a HEEL looks like WHEN YOU SOAK IT FOR THIRTY FUCKING MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!>
THE LADY: <points to what can only be described as a CHEESE GRATER>
Man takes said cheese grater to my heels, then a few minutes later takes a salt rub in his hands and starts massaging it over my feet and calves and I’m thinking, “Owie! Something really stings!” Next thing I know, I’m bleeding from the ankle. The Man has OBVIOUSLY cut me with the cheese grater, but he starts telling me that I must have cut it while shaving. WHAT?! I barely remember to SHAVE MY KNEES! You think I’m going to reach down and SHAVE MY ANKLES??? Blood is dripping into my little chair tub, I’m feeling bad because I’m bleeding ON HIM and then The Lady comes over, wielding a small bottle of what can only be describes as Liquid Drops That When Applied to Bleeding Ankle Will Sting Like A Father Fucker But Stop Said Bleeding.
Further Evidence of Crazy — Exhibits C, D, E & F:
C — When asked what color I want for my fingernails, I ask The Lady to only apply clear nail polish, as I really don’t like having color on my fingernails. She apparently decides that means it’s okay to paint my nails as sloppily as possible and proceeds to covers my finger TIPS (I was pulling the polish off my skin for days). Oh well, it was a “comped” manicure.
D — While painting my FINGERS, she tells me that the person she’s been talking to the most at the shop is HER SISTER and that her sister is the youngest in the family, but she, The Lady, is the prettiest, “Don’t you think?”
E — The Lady now starts pushing me to have my EYEBROWS plucked and I’m all, “NO WAY. I haven’t seen these people in 5-10 years. I need to feel comfortable in my body.” And she goes on and on about this woman who FOUGHT having her eyebrows done and now LOVES it and starts telling me that my eyebrows are really WILD and to this day I look in the mirror and wonder what the fuck she’s talking about, because my eyebrows aren’t so much WILD, as Completely Non-Existent.
F — The Lady moves onto a new service victim (pedicure for an 11 year old) and then gets a call on her cell phone (from one of her Worcester clients, we all learn) and proceeds to put the cell on speaker phone so we can ALL hear the 15 minute conversation (cell phone conversation in English is to across the room conversation in Vietnamese AS anything completely annoying is to anything else completely fucking annoying).
My blood has coagulated, my toe and finger nails have been painted, I’m sent to the dryer and after 10 minutes of clearly being forgotten about, I ask, “Can I pay?” (Can I PLEASE go home so I can finally get on the road?!) The man who releases me asks The Lady “How much should I charge her?” which I understand, EVEN though he says it in Vietnamese, and The Lady, with Exhibit Z of Pure Fucking Crazy, CHARGES me for the manicure.
Tôi sẽ không bao giờ, không bao giờ, không bao giờ quay trở lại đó. Và bao giờ hết. Bạn không nhận được tip, công việc Whack. <— I will never, ever, never go back there. Ever. And you are not getting a tip, whack job.
I didn’t even like the color.