Every six months or so, when I manage to get four minutes of free time by bribing my husband with Budweiser and my children with non-stop SpongeBob, I stop by the Pretty Nail Salon. I never manage to orchestrate free time far enough ahead to make an actual appointment, but somehow you can always just walk right into the Pretty Nail. Despite this, the owner will thoroughly berate walk-in customers for not calling ahead, before admitting that yes, the salon is empty, and she could perhaps fit you in, just this once.
I get an eyebrow wax first, and then follow with up with a pedicure – nice, right? Except not really. Not at the Pretty Nail. When I lie down for my eyebrow wax, which ends up looking fantastic, but usually involves ripping half the skin off my forehead, the Pretty Nailette (Nailer?) stares down critically and says, with a perfectly raised eyebrow of her own, “No lip today? You need lip. And cheek. You have hairy cheek. I do whole face?”
“Um, no. just my brows today, please.”
Imagine, I went thirty-something years completely unaware that I had a facial hair problem and that there was such a painfully obvious solution. I will quite likely talk to people for the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, but I’m just not willing to lose the skin from the lower half of my face.
After this chastening treatment, I’m led to the massage chair (forget the glider – every mom-to-be should register for one of these) where I select a pale summery pink for my toes, straight out of the Glamour Magazine I stole last time I was here.
“No.” says my Pretty Nailette.
“Um, no…?” I say, hesitant to cross her with all her hot wax and metal tools.
“No. Your toes too yellow. Dark color better for yellow feet.”
“Oh,” say I, and sadly but obediently select a somber plum color more appropriate for those of us with unacceptably yellow feet.
I leave the Pretty Nail with impeccable toenails and exquisite eyebrows, and slightly lower self-esteem. And yet I will be back. Is it that the Pretty Nailette fulfills some need I have to be mildly insulted on a regular basis? Do I consider her a motherly stand in, someone to nurture me while telling me very clearly what and what not to do? (Why I associate insults with mothering is a question probably best discussed with my therapist.)
Or is it just that, including a generous tip, the total for my visit comes to under thirty dollars?
(Photo credit: By Kenjonbro)