Yesterday I had some time to kill before I had to pick up Ethan from the babysitters. Joey has encouraged me to use this "extra time" to go do something fun and relaxing without the little boy with me. What a concept. I know Joey's true motivation though, or at least half, is so I can't complain when we're fighting that I never get any time to myself. You know the line, "But dear, I am a mother. I never get a day off. I never get to come home and watch football. I am always on..." Joey hates this).
So after school I went to a random place to get my hair cut. I was a little nervous when I saw the girl who would be cutting my hair because she had short, jagged blue hair that was not in my opinion attractive for her. I have had eighties hair cuts before and I am just not into the razor look. She did a pretty good job though. And for fifteen bucks, I can't complain.
That only took thirty minutes. I decided to get a manicure with the money I saved from my cheap haircut.
I drove into a shopping center and sure enough, in bright pink neon letters: Nail It. I parked and went inside.
It was quiet, with soft instrumental music in the background. Four Vietnamese girls sat in the unused massage chairs, talking in their native language. One old man was getting a pedicure from a woman who looked like the younger girls' mother. Every once in a while you'd hear the slap slap slap of her hand as it massaged out all the tension in the old mans calves.
"Can we help you?" The words were all spoken together, with no air or space between them.
"How much is your manicure?" I held up my hands to indicate what I wanted.
Sold. I picked out a light pinkish-white and sat down at one of the manicure stations. My manicurist was pretty in a motherly way. She had high cheekbones with a strip of bright blush falling down each side. Her hands were tiny and extremely soft. I wondered if she used lotion every night on them, or if the softness was from her work, constantly massaging lotion into peoples' skin.
The girls continued to talk as she worked my hands, trimming, filing, massaging. I relaxed. I listened to their voices, watched them smile and laugh softly. Because I couldn't understand anything they were saying, their words picked up a rhythm that was soothing. Everything was gentle: the music, the lighting, the earthy paint on the walls, the warm soapy water my fingers rested in.
My manicurist and I didn't talk much. At one point I told her I thought the aprons they were wearing were cute; she told me they had brought them from Vietnam. I was disappointed. I would have liked one.
I decided while I was getting my nails done that a pedicure would feel really good. I asked how much one would cost.
Thirty dollars is alot of money to spend to get your feet rubbed. But then again, maybe it isn't. I decided to live a little; make sure I really didn't have any room to say anything about not ever doing anything for myself the next time Joey and I had an arguement about whose life was harder.
After she was done painting my nails I made my way over to a massage chair that look like throne with a miniature hot tub at the bottom to place your feet in. The water was too hot at first, but I didn't say anything and pretty soon it was alright. It's amazing how good it feels to put your feet into a tub of hot water. It wouldn't take much to do this at home. I know this, yet I still manage to NEVER do it.
I pushed the massage buttons and felt the balls in the chair moving up and down my back. At first it was a little disconcerting, but if I tried to relax it started to feel good. I kept it on the whole time.
The lady kept looking at my feet and then up at me and saying, "Hurt? Hurt?" pointing to all the spots on my feet that were ripped, blistered, or rubbed raw. I kept trying to explain I taught kickboxing in bare feet. She didn't seem to understand or care, anyway. She just kept giving me these looks like, gross. Maybe they were supposed to be looks of empathy but they didn't come off that way. This made me a little tense but I closed my eyes and tried to enjoy the massage, despite the fact my legs hadn't been shaved in four days and when she rubbed my legs you could hear the hairs against her rubber gloves, scratch, scratch, scratch. I warned her about the hair, but she didn't seemed to care about that either.
While I was getting the pedicure four other woman came in, two older, fat ones and two young skinny ones. It was funny to me how simular the pairs looked, even though none of them came in together.
The older ones were dressed for business, although one was more hippy looking. She chose a pumkin orange for her long, fake fingernails.
The two younger ones were both beautiful, one a blonde, the other had long black hair. The one with black hair was also getting a pedicure, in the chair right next to mine. She had long, brown shaved legs. I had to keep myself from staring when I realized she had acrylic on her toenails, making them look long like fingernails. When her pedicurist took off her old color, her toenails were all black and blue looking, and a little pointy. It was quite a disconnect from the rest of her very pulled-together self. She talked on her cell phone almost the entire time.
My lady asked me if I wanted the same white on my toes as I had on my hands and I said no. My fingernails had come out looking like the color of cotton candy, when what I was going for was al natural.
I like to go bold on my toes, so I told her she could just go grab any berry red off the rack. She looked at one of the other girls and said, "Berry?"
"Dark red," I said. "Any dark red will be fine."
The girl talking on her cell phone with the disgusting toes pointed to the red she had chosen. "Like this?"
"Yeah," I said. "That is really pretty."
"Well, you can just use this one." There was the tiniest bit of hesitation in her voice.
"Thanks, "I said.
So the lady put the red on my toes. It was beautiful. I liked watching the color appear as she stroked my toenails with the tiny brush. Then the girl with the cell phone leaned over. She talked to the woman doing her toes, "Do you think that color is ok for me, hmm? Do you think it will be alright?"
I don't know what the lady said back. But I was happy with the color she had chosen.
When she was all done I made a check out for fifty dollars including a tip, all the while thinking how did it get to be so much? I handed the paper over and said thank you, then made my way to the door. I was an hour later than I told Lillian I would be to pick up Ethan and I was starting to become very unrelaxed thinking how rude that was; thinking that I didn't want her to think that we were taking advantage of her, even though that is exactly what I was doing.
By the time I got home and put Ethan down, both a toe and a finger nail had been smudged. This made me almost crazy for about three seconds, before I decided there was NOTHING I could do about it and it was my fault for spending so much money on it anyway. I still did everything I could possibly think of to smooth out the polish on my fingernail, finally using remover to take it off and re-paint it with a similar color. I only had to repeat this six times before I finally got the darn color to dry before getting smuged. Until it dried without getting wrecked I was very snippy. I remembered I hated color on my fingernails for this reason and decided to leave the toenail alone; I didn't have any polish that would match it anyway.
So, sixty-seven dollars later, and how do I feel? Pretty good. Not good enough to tell Joey how much money I spent. He really wouldn't care though. As long as I don't say anything the next time we get into it about me never having any time to myself. I think he'd say that is worth seventy bucks.