This place feels sterile. Of course, not medical grade sterile, but an attempt at it. Why is everything white? They’re not fooling me…
Oh look, the wallpaper is mismatched. Is that ironic? For a place where ladies pay to have varnish painted on their nails with tiny brushes and expect impeccable attention to detail? One’s a touch sloppy, the other is super friendly to the type-a personality. Oh god. It’s really bothering me. Why is it bothering me? Do I have a type-a personality? I’ll do a quiz when I get home. Who overlooked Fleur-de-lis and weird stylized branches?
Oh? You want me to pick a colour? From the wall? So many choices, all arranged tidily. That’s nice.
Where did she go? She’s run off to a back room. Sugar, what am I supposed to do now? I can’t be left alone in an environment this feminine. I need supervision.
Can I pick navy blue? My friend is wearing that on her toes. I can’t pick black, surely. That feels like a morbid faux pas – my bread and butter. I may as well go home and colour them in with a Sharpie. Will she think I’m single-white-female-ing her if go with navy? What about red? I can only hear a Lucille Bluth / Mallory Archer conglomerate.
Blue it is…I guess.
Now, where did she get to? She’s still gone. Why has she been gone for so long? Is she out in on the street, mustering back-up, calling for reinforcements? Does she have to set the manicure signal alight in the sky?
Why have I taken so long to pick a colour? My colour acuity isn’t even anything to write home about, like it even makes a scrap of difference to me. What, are people on the street going to chastise my choice with a reference to a Pantone colour? I’m told that schtick is pedestrian now anyway.
Definitely blue. That will have to do.
Sit in the seat?
I bet that woman in the spaceship pedicure seat doesn’t have a job. How could you juggle actual work and looking like that.
Hair. Teeth. Handbag. Extra hair. Gettin’ her nails did.
Don’t be judgmental, girl-child.
Oh, go on, if you’re going to be judgmental, you may as well do it in here. It’s a judgement zoo. I’m sure that bird has already decided that I don’t deserve to be here. She’s seen my bird-nest hair and fears I might put her in a Tippy Hedren-type situation. I see the fear in her eyes.
Whatever. She don’t know me. She don’t know what I been through.
I’ve got to lay off the “docu-soaps”…
What’s that business you’re squirting on me? That doesn’t look pleasant. It smells like dying. It’s all viscous and white. This is all a bit foul. Oh, is it some sort of cuticle vanquishing cream? Is that what you’d call it?
Now I’m to put my hand in the water. Is this part of some sort of sleight of hand magic trick. I focus on the hand that’s in the water, and while I’m distracted she’ll surgically attach another hand. The state my fingers are in, that might be the only solution. It would explain the attempt at sterile…
Put my hands out? Sure. Do I hold them like this? Is that how a battered old crone would hold her hands?
It rubs the lotion on my skin. That seems like an excessive amount of cream. Oh Lord, she’s rubbing my arms. That’s weird. I’m pulling a face. I can feel my face pulling a face. I’m all tight and scrunched up. Poker face back on kiddo, don’t frighten the rich ladies any more than you already have. This is probably normal. Just because it feels like the nail salon equivalent of a happy ending for your forearms, doesn’t mean it’s not completely normal.
She wants me to wash up now. That’s good, friend, way to strengthen my analogy for me, how convenient.
Scrub ’em up, like you’re about to go in to a hospital theatre. So fresh and so clean, clean. Back to the table.
My word. They’re tiny, angry scissors. What are you going to do with those love? Oh, Sweet Mary, you’re cutting my skin off! Foul. Foul. Foul. Why is so much coming off? She’s making a little pile of it on the towel. Yuck. Oh yuck. Look at it all. Yuck. If that much finger nail skin comes off me, how much do they accumulate during the day? Would it fill a small bucket? Probably. What about in a week? In a year? Surely we can harness this human extract somehow? Would it power a motor-vehicle?
What is she talking to her friend about? There’s not a lick of English going on in here. I’m not trying to be racist. I’m genuinely curious about what she’s saying. Probably safe to assume she’s throwing chat at all the stupid, rich white ladies. Oh god, that’s probably racist. That’s not ideal…Certainly pulling in to rubbish human being territory there.
Do I like the colour? Yeah, sure. Does it matter? I feel like it’s too late to back out now, lady-cake – I’ve already got a fistful of painted nails.
“Yes, thank you”
Hold hands by the tiny fan.
Do I swap hands again? She’s sodded off and I need instruction. Am I doing this business correctly? Probably not. I’ll swap hands.
What the hell is that you’re spraying on them now, friend? The can says ‘nail enamel dryer’. Is that a thing? What’s it doing to the ozone layer? Can’t be great. Why can’t I get it at the supermarket? Is that why you’re all wearing face masks? Why didn’t I get given a flipping face mask at the door?
Oh, I pay now? Ok. How do I get my wallet from my black hole of a handbag without ruining your hard work? At least I haven’t needed to run to the loo now that the colour is on, like I do at home. God that’s annoying. Polish on, must wee.
“Thank you. Have a lovely afternoon.”
Thank cheeses. Now I can leave. Well, that was twenty five dollars worth of angst.