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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh, Yeah? Well Same to You, Buddy


Over and over, I fall for the allure of a manicure and the thought that, this time, my nails will look good.  I’ve always wanted them:  elegant nails, healthy nails, purpose-driven nails as capable of delicately tapping my chin in thought as they are of scraping something horrible from a cleaning client’s kitchen counter.

“Hey,” she says, “do you know you’re deformed?”

Sue, as guileless as she is perky, yells across the room. “Trish!  Come here and look at her nails!”

Trish abandons the pedicure she’s doing just to take a gander.

They huddle over my hands, inspecting one finger after another.

“I wouldn’t call it a “deformity”…” I counter.

“Well what would you call it then?”  Sue cackles gleefully.  “Look at this. The sides of your nails? Where they’re still s’posed to be connected to the skin?  They’re, like, not?”

“Gimme that,” I say, yanking my hand away.  Taking hers, I hold it up next to mine, compare the two. 

Dang it.  Sue is right.

I frown. 

“So what’s it mean?” I say.

“What’s it mean?” she laughs, taking my hand back and massaging lotion into it.  “How would I know?”

“Hey, who’s the nail tech around here?”

She shrugs.  Sue lives in the moment more fully than anyone I know.  “Doesn’t mean anything except that your nails suck.” 

“They do, don’t they?”

“Yep,” she says, smiling.  “But at least they’re not like some people’s feet.”  She jerks her head toward the woman getting a pedicure on the other side of the room, leans toward me conspiratorially.  “You think you got problems?  Have you seen her little toe nail?  Dang thing is just a weird little sliver.” 

I nod slowly.  “So you’re saying our problems are all relative?”

“Nope.”  She shrugs again, lowers her head as she applies polish.  “I’m saying everyone’s a weirdo, only some people are weirder than others.”

I smile down at her, at the grinning sun tattooed on the back of her neck. 

Everyone’s a weirdo.

51 comments:

ellen abbott said...

I'm good with that. As long as it's across the board and all.

Pearl said...

ellen, I suspect it is. :-)

Jono said...

It reminds me of breath as in bad breath is better than no breath at all. Normally, Minnesota nice would dictate something like, "Well, those are different!"

Shelly said...

Judgement, judgement everywhere! At least she didn't grasp your hand, call the other nail techs over and rapidly discuss something in another language all the while intently studying your nails~

Pearl said...

Jono, it WAS a breach of Minnesota-normal, wasn't it?!

Shelly, there's truth in that... Why is it that whenever someone speaks in another language that a part of our brain thinks they may be talking about us?

middle child said...

Tell me where you go to get your nails done. I have been wanting to do that - real nails. Don't want fake. I am certainly weird and would fit in quite nicely.

Leenie said...

Isn't that the main reason we go to beauty/barber shops? It's so much cheaper than therapy and we always come away feeling different and weird.

lalalalala Everyone is beautiful. In their own way.

Pearl said...

middle child, most Minneapolis salons still do real nails, as far as I'm aware. Come on over! I'll buy you a margarita!

Leenie, great. :-) Now I got THAT in my head. :-) (And yes, there's something comforting in knowing that while X might be strange about you, someone else has an X wrong as well...)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Funky toe nails and fingernails...what IS Minneapolis coming too? Not to worry Pearl...I'm sure your nails look way better than mine..they look like they've been through a wood chipper.

bill lisleman said...

You had to pay for this abuse? Is there a hidden insulting business out there I could make a living at?

Pat said...

Pity the poor dears whO go to the salon for a blissful pampering...
and get Sue!

Joanne said...

I'll always admire nice nails. They weren't possible when I broke them on set ups and shuttles. Now I'm out of the habit. Might be fun. My eight year old grandaughter knows everything about manicures and pedicures. Sports some fine examples. I'll tag along with her.

Big Fat Gini said...

I always get a weird look from the nail tech when they get to my pinky toe. Like it's my fault genetics cheated me in that department? Sorry you have to only put a tiny little slash of hot pink of my nail. Jeez.

Sadly, that's only ONE of the ways I'm weird.

Sioux said...

So, revel in your weirdness, right?

Pearl said...

Delores, oh, we're just coming apart up here! :-)

Bill, have you tried stand-up? :-)

Pat, Sue is actually a dear. She doesn't see her bluntness as insulting at all, and to take it to heart with her is always a mistake!

Joanne, I have to admit, being in yoga as often as I am, that I like to gaze down at my bare feet and admire my toe nails. Don't think I"ll keep up with the nails on my hands, but my feet always look good!

BFG, my mom has that nail, too; and while there are ways I, too, am a physical weirdo, the little toenail isn't one of them! (Watch: somewhere in the world they're working on little-toe-nail cosmetic surgery...)

Sioux, YES. There are so very few perfect specimens...

jenny_o said...

Chuckling away at the comments here, esp. Bill's, and I'm only going to add that when they were passing out weird nails I was NOT behind the door, in fact it would seem I was jumping up and down and screaming loudly to get their attention :)

And I don't even want to talk about my wrinkly palms ...!

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl!

"I’m saying everyone’s a weirdo, only some people are weirder than others."

Good grief, I may be on the spectrum. Not as far to the right as you obviously, but...

Indigo

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I wonder if they got their degree in nail tech at Harvard.

Number one reason that I wear fake nails purchased at the drug store.

haphazardlife said...

Everyone's a weirdo. Truer words were never spoken.

Douglas said...

At one time (way back in the pre-history of my childhood, I suspect) those who served the public (such as manicurists) would say nothing to the customer unless it was something they could correct (at a price) but save it for the coffee break gossip with the other employees. Times change... even in Minnesota, it would seem.

"Why is it that whenever someone speaks in another language that a part of our brain thinks they may be talking about us?"

Because they probably are.

Roses said...

I've got decent enough hands and pretty nails when I can be arsed to do something with them...but my feet.

Ugh.

I have the ugliest feet on the planet and they are small enough to be awkward to get shoes.

I love your beauty tech. She has no tact whatsoever. Minnesotan trait?

L-Kat said...

My little toe nail is barely there...I don't even know if I'd call it a sliver. I guess that makes me a weirdo, too! :)

Suldog said...

Reminds me of one of the tortures MY WIFE inflicts upon herself every so often. She has one toenail - the big one, on her left foot - that was ingrown as teen and had to be partially removed. So now she has a weird bumpy toenail on that toe, and she frets over getting pedicures. I tell her to just shove it in their faces and take photos of the reaction, but for some reason she doesn't find that amusing.

Eva Gallant said...

Exactly why I don't get my nails done! I don't need to be reminded in public of my weirdness!

Lolamouse said...

I've had exactly one manicure in my life and it lasted about an hour! My nails look like I use sandpaper on them! Any nail tech who made me feel weirder than I already feel would see how weird I could be with her tip!

LL Cool Joe said...

Damn I thought I was the only weirdo! If I had any nails I'd look to see if I'm deformed too.

bill lisleman said...

Stand-up? Pearl, with my past military training I'm afraid I would confuse it with "stand down".

The Jules said...

I bet your nails are perfect.

All twelve of 'em.

Glen said...

Well I certainly am :-)

Cheryl said...

I think that there should be public service announcements declaring that everyone is weird in some way. That should take care of the bullies of the world. I would hope my amount of weird is within normal levels...unfortunately, I have my doubts.

Gigi said...

Whew! Am glad to know I'm not the only weirdo in the world. For a while there I was worried.

Susan in the Boonies said...

It's true. Although why some people have their oddities applied in a cosmetic (and painful) fashion that will certainly be ravaged by gravity - which, as you know, is the LAW - is beyond me.

Mr. Charleston said...

Reminiscent of many trips to the barber shop. Geeez!

savannah said...

just the words mani-pedi make me faint, sugar! (trust me, you don't want to know why) xoxoxox

HermanTurnip said...

And to think that I get the stink eye whenever I show up at the nail salon with my webbed toes...

kj said...

Not everyone proves the point via a baby toe nail.

Effectively, no less :-)

ThreeOldKeys said...

i got nothin'.

i'm just glad to be here.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl,nails and other appendages, the subject matter of commentary by paid, snarky service persons --are undoubtedly displayed perfection. Methinks the snarks wish they had such beauties, such wonders,such magnificence, especially in Minnesota. ":)) ~R

Lazarus said...

Pearl, another great post with wise (and subtle) insights. I think you're picking up the mantle for your fellow Minnesotan, Mr. Keilor. You need your own radio show!

Lin said...

It's all a matter of perspective. :) And just how WEIRD you are!

The Elephant's Child said...

Sounds about right to me. And somedays are weirder than others, just as some people fill that role far too well.
Thanks Pearl - another joy to read.

Tempo said...

To be fair...I never said I wasn't a weirdo...

Roly Clu said...

Better let them look at my nails then. They might just sit and stare

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Everyone's a weirdo.

Except me.

River said...

I hate my nails, hands and feet. They break, they tear, they chip, they peel, sometimes all at once.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I like knowing that everyone's a weirdo, but I don't think I'd be going to that manicurist!

the walking man said...

It is all the result of intergalactic breeding.

Linda O'Connell said...

Geeze, you didn't let her have at your toes, did you?

Diane said...

Okay. So, I have two nails on each little toe. What does that make me? Double weird? Sigh.

Karen McQuestion said...

Another awesome post! I have a deformed nail--a result of a door slamming incident in my youth. I also have been asked (more than once) if my nose was once broken (it never was. These kinds of comments used to bother me until I became a mature adult and realized...oh hell, they still bother me. What's wrong with people anyway?

NellieVaughn said...

Why didn't we get pictures? There's nothing that I love more than pictures that remind me that we all have imperfections.