Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Relax, it's just a manicure...

Since when did pampering yourself become sheer torture? I know that some routes to beauty are supposed to be painful – waxing, plucking, facelifts – but a manicure? Since when is getting your nails done supposed to involve an hour of torment? Perhaps doing so in one of those strip mall shanties is just asking for it. I liken my experience to going to the dentist after not flossing for a really long time. The hygienist gets to dig at my gums with a sharp metal thing scraping away at my teeth in theory, but in reality more just torturing me. You would think they would try to avoid the gums, but no, they just poke that metal thing right down there and jab away – torture. But it is also torture that I have come to expect from going to the dentist. If I flossed like I was supposed to, I wouldn’t have to endure such agony, so I deserve the punishment and the resultant abused and bleeding gums. But I know that I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve the beating my fingers endured last night. See the whole reason I went to get my nails done was to have a fun, little outing with my sister (we don’t do stuff just the two of us too often – it’s an oil and water thing), so naturally I wasn’t expecting pain and misery when I stepped into the little shop. Now for those of you rich people who can afford going to one of those ritzy joints that offer you tea and soothing music, let me tell you this wasn't it. We walk in and there are two people lounging in front of a television blaring a baseball game. They look over at us, but make no move to welcome us or even stand up. It wasn't until sister reminded them that we had an appointment that they made any movement to treat us like customers (so much for the "walk-ins welcome" sign. Fortunately for me, they didn’t speak English well, so any questions resulted in a nodded head from my side and a puzzled look from theirs. Maybe the torture was a punishment for my inability to understand. The woman who sat in front of me at the nail station looked innocent enough, but deep down inside she must have some traces of evil, or maybe not deep down inside because she seemed to take pleasure in the pain I was clearly experiencing, each time I winced or flinched and my hand jerked to escape the pain, she merely cooed and smiled to herself. She first took a lovely sander with which to rough up the nails in readiness for the acrylics and was nice enough to rough up the cuticles for me as well. Very kind lady. That is where the dentist comparison comes in. The scrapey thing is fine and dandy on the teeth, but watch out if they start going to town on the gums, and so goes with the sander- heaven help me and my poor nail beds. So I flinched and winced my way through the sanding process and thought it was done as she attached the tips and applied that mystery stuff that turns into hard nails, but then came the buffing process. She took a little 4-d rectangle that was covered in sandpaper and set about attacking each nail. Oh the pain! She banged down on each nail with this lovely devise of torture as if with a hammer while sweeping to the side to polish – so it was bang, sweep, bang sweep (kind of like a hard smash then drag the nail to the side - try it on your nails a couple of times- push down really hard on your nail and then push it to the side and imagine that happening again and again without reprieve for your already tortured nails) in rapid succession again and again on each nail. It seems like it would never end. It wasn’t even so much this new pain of the bang and sweep that bothered me, but the fact that it accompanied the old pain from the sander, because she was nice enough to include my cuticles in the bang and sweep process – sandpapering away at the raw sores that I had hoped were to be left alone for the rest of the evening. When the torture was over – after another go with the electric sander, which this time wore the cloth buffer (didn’t make it any less painful), I paid up and gave the lady a five dollar tip. What was I thinking? I have never paid for pain in my life, and here I give a 20% tip to this, this spawn of Satan. My fingers were swollen from the bang and sweep, my cuticles were bleeding, and to top it off there were bubbles and a speck of dirt in the acrylics – just lovely, and here I go and give 5 of my hard-earned dollars away. I began to think that maybe that was all a part of her plan. Torture, instill fear, reap money from the weak – as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +