High Pressure Nails?

I rarely visit those asian salons called “NAILS” or “NAILS FOR YOU” and the like. I prefer to do my pedicures and manicures at home but lately, I long for time so I can do my nails. My daughter would love nothing more than to take my clippers, my nail file, and eat the nail polish remover. So, I opt to not do nails at home any longer. So, I went at my lunch break to get a pedicure at a reasonably priced place but after the experience, I remember why I do not go to these places.

It was a typical nail place, asian-owned and operated. Even the 12-year old child who should have been in school was there practicing nail art. The people are very nice but this is how my trip went down. First, I was greeted by a lady and showed the way to the pedicure chair where the hot bath water is for my feet and the chair “massages” your back. In this case, I felt like a ball of dough as the chair kneaded my back and it genuinely hurt. The first lady asks, “what would you like today?” My response was, “just a pedicure, thanks.” She retorts, “No manicure?” As she grabs my hands and looks down at them with a disapproving frown, “Are you sure no manicure – you need manicure!” (insert appropriate accent here) I replied, “just a pedicure, thanks.” The high pressure sales pitch continued, as she looked at my face, “You want eyebrow wax? You need eyebrow wax!” I replied again, “just a pedicure, thanks.” If things were not awkward enough as it was, she proceeded to make small talk. “First time here?” I replied “no”. She quickly responded, “Oh, long time then.”

This lady left and went over to the school-age girl who was practicing nail art. As my feet soaked in the warm water, I realized the lady I just spent ten minutes convincing I just wanted a pedicure was not the one who would give me a pedicure. Oh no, I thought. Yes, you guessed it! The second lady proceeded to put me through the same questions and interrogation (short of water boarding) as the first. I almost got a manicure, feeling that my nails were nasty or something, and almost asked for the $7 eyebrow wax because for a moment I thought I must have looked like Chewbacca. Trying to muster what self esteem I had left, I relaxed a little in the chair and watched Judge Judy which was playing on a small TV with an antenna on it. The lady did a horrible job on my toes but what could I expect for $19? I quickly started to realize why I did these things at home for free. Then she asked me if I wanted a flower or diamond on my toe nails – I was like Uh, no, thanks. The pressure sales pitch continued, “it look nice.” I repeated, “no, thanks.”

I thought the end of the high pressure sales pitch was done but then came the slippers. So, she put the pedicure slippers on me and I realized I was going back to work. I saw a box full of nice slippers and asked if I could have those instead because they looked better. She said those slippers from Bebe company were for sale- $15. I was like, “Oh… no thanks.” I was not about to spend $15 on something that looked like it came from the Dollar Tree for a temporary fix ‘til the nails dried. I would just take the floppy pedicure slippers and head off back to work. The lady responded, “wait, I give you special – for you, $10.” I did all I could to contain the laughter that was building inside of me and while I thought to myself, “Where am I?” I avoided the temptation of asking if I was in a Chinese Bazaar in the middle of Denver, Colorado.

The whole experience was strange but an experience nonetheless. It reinforced why I do not get my nails done at these places and instead, prefer the comfort of my home – I guess I will have to send my daughter off to the park with my husband so I can enjoy a few minutes of solitude, fill up the pedicure bath spa, and soak my worries away. Until then, I am sure my nails are fine and my eyebrows are not growing out of ears but I got some fodder for a new blog entry and that is always fun!

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