Thursday, February 9, 2017


I swore I would NEVER go back.  But, I was desperate.  I had not one, but two broken nails that were driving me crazy.  I sat in the parking lot of Steinmart yelping "nail salons."  Sure enough, the salon I was boycotting had terrible reviews.  "Rude."  "Expensive."  "Got mad when I wouldn't get the most expensive pedicure."  Verification.  I had experienced it all.  The final straw had come one day when I realized that the girl who had done my nails for several years didn't ever seem to be happy to see me nor to take my money.  I felt invisible.

Defiantly, I tried going my merry way.  I'd show her!  There are nail salons on every corner of Lubbock, Texas.  I would find one where I was cheerfully greeted by name the moment I entered the door.  They would already know to bring me a Diet Coke while the pedicure bowl was filling with warm, perfumed water.  My request for the el cheapo pedicure would be met with, "As you wish, Carolyn!  It would be my pleasure!"  Praise would flow - "You're nails look amazing!  Not many people can go 5 weeks between fills!"

A friend recommended a great salon just minutes from my home.  I really liked the guy that did my pink and white fills.  He was friendly and just the right amount of chatty.  The only problem was that my nails started breaking with the slightest provocation.  The fills at my previous salon were literally tough as nails.  I couldn't recall ever breaking one.  So, on that day in a tizzy of jagged nail desperation while sitting in my car in the parking lot of Steinmart, I dialed the old number and scheduled an appointment.

Oh, how I wish you could have been there with me!  It was like an episode of Seinfeld.  My nail technician, "Lynn" (not her real name - Vietnamese or American), actually smiled when I walked in and said, "Long time, no see!"  "I know," I replied.

The pedicure was uneventful.  Just the regular "seasonal" pedicure. A few niceties were exchanged.  Her answers to my friendly questions were short with no added details.  "How's your little boy?"  "Good."  Then, came the manicure.  I "disappeared" as Lynn began speaking her native tongue to her co-workers.  I focused my attention on the TV which was showing something on ESPN.  It's always ESPN.  In a nail salon.  Filled with female customers.  I don't get it either.

The "Good" Part

Right in the middle of drilling away on my fingernails, Lynn stopped and pulled out a bill from an insurance company.  "I need to call them and pay."  She then proceeded to call the number on the bill.  It took several attempts to get the call to go through - misdials and poor connections.  When she finally got through to the automated system, it asked if she was calling about auto or home insurance.  She said, "Auto."  The computer couldn't understand her accent, so it asked her to repeat it.

3 weeks in...still lookin' pretty good!
Oh, how I wish you had been sitting in the chair next to me!  We would have been glancing sideways at each other smothering the laughter gurgling up from our bellies.  Lynn held the phone out to me and said, "Would you say it for me?"  Now, I was not only not getting my nails done, but I was also helping her pay her insurance bill.  I took the phone and said, "Auto."  "Please hold while I transfer your call to a representative."  I handed the phone back to Lynn.  She began to give her home address, debit card number, etc to the representative while I sat there waiting.  Once again, she passed the phone to me so that I could give the representative the information in "understandable English."  I think that it was when I was in the middle of repeating her debit card number that it hit me - I was being punked!  It was a set up!   Alas, there were no cameras.  No Ashton Kutcher.  It was just another hour-long nail appointment in paradise. 

The whole thing struck me funny as I recalled the Seinfeld episode dedicated to nail salons.  Elaine had George's dad who had served in Viet Nam accompany her to her nail appointment.  His mission was to find out what they were saying about her in Vietnamese.  The episode didn't end well for Elaine.

There I was at her mercy because I love the way she does my nails and they never, ever break.  I decided to suck it up and put on my big girl panties.  Yes, I will go back.  I've lowered my expectations and found the funny.  

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