The not-so-relaxing side of mani-pedis
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I love, love, love having someone give me a manicure and pedicure.
I hate, hate, hate trying to decide on a colour.
I almost don’t go because I cannot abide trying to figure out which shade I should choose among the 75 coloured bottles on the wall. In my mind, it’s like a trap. People will be able to define me by the colour I put on my hands and feet, which is utter nonsense. No one cares about my extremities and, yet, it always seems of the utmost importance the moment I’m standing there trying to decide.
Finally, the poor nail gal comes over to hasten me along. “Anything you like?”
“Umm. I’m not sure.”
“Do you like dark colours or light colours?”
“Who’s to say?”
She states the obvious. “You. It’s up to you.”
“Well, I don’t mind darker colours on my toes, but I have a book tour and my nails need to be a bland colour.”
“So, I can hopefully remember to wear gloves while washing dishes for the next two weeks, and have the nails fade into a neutral colour that will last for another couple of weeks because I’m too cheap to come back here in three weeks and have this done again.”
“You know you can get shellac nails that last a long time.”
“Oh, dear, no. The last time I did that, I picked it all off and my real nails looked miserable when I managed to peel away the last of the shellac.”
“Do you like blue?”
“Do you like green?”
“I don’t want green toenails. People will think I’m mouldy.” “What about yellow?”
“Good gravy. People will think I’m dying.”
I shake my head. She’s ready to bonk me on the head, but she’s too sweet to admit it.
“What about this lovely navy blue, greyish colour. It’s very popular.”
Well, I like being popular, even if it is blue. “OK.”
She looks relieved. “How about this shade for your fingernails? It’s like a beige colour.
Your nails will disappear completely, if that’s what you’re going for.”
Isn’t that what everyone wants when they go for a manicure?
She looks at her watch.
I panic. “Fine. That’s great. Let’s do it.”
Just so she’s clear, as she gets the foot bath ready, I let her know my preferences. “I like short nails.”
“The shorter the better.” “Great.”
“I don’t like feeling my nails on the keyboard. It’s a distraction.”
“Is that so?”
“Sometimes I write for hours, so it can be annoying.” “Interesting.”
This isn’t interesting in the least, but she’s too sweet to say so.
I glance over at the lady in the next chair. Suddenly, I’m in love with the colours she’s chosen for her feet. Something I wouldn’t have picked in a million years because I’m such a chicken.
“That’s nice,” I say.
She splays her toes and we both look at them. “Aren’t they?”
“What’s the name of that colour?” I ask.
“Honky Tonk Woman.”
There ya go.
She feels she must return the favour. “Your toenail colour is nice as well. What’s it called?”
“Melancholy Baby.” Which explains a lot.
“And your fingernails?” she asks.
My nail gal speaks up for me. “This is called Flesh.”
My neighbour tries not to look dismayed at my choice. She holds out her hand. “I thought I’d try Orange Popsicle on my first three fingers and Honey Greengrass Strawberry Swirl on the other two. You only live once.”
Why am I not like this woman? Why do I stick with blah and comatose? These colours are not going to be on my nails for the rest of my life. In a matter of seconds, they will be chipped off, scrubbed off, stubbed off or bitten off.
I’ll gather up my courage for next time.
One of the hardest decisions you’ll make while getting a mani-pedi is choosing your nail colour. Lesley Crewe is a writer living in, and loving, Cape Breton. These are the meandering musings of a bored housewife whose ungrateful kids left her alone with a retired husband and two fat cats who couldn’t care less. Her 10th novel, Beholden, is being released this fall.