Monday, April 09, 2012

The Big Toenail is back, baby. ;p

Lordy, the Austin nail place Saturday, which I'd never been to before...

The nail-ladies (stereotypically Asian and inscrutable) ignored me when I walked in and had a seat. Finally, after 15 minutes of sitting quietly, I stood up and made kind of a scene (every employee and customer staring at me), asking who was the manager and did I need to get on a waiting list or something, or just keep sitting there... ("Just keep sitting there" was the answer that I finally pried out of one woman.)

Wait time was an hour, but the pedi was definitely worth the mere $20 for the following hour's worth of attention: Aside from the coats of nail polish, lots of scrubbing and lotion and massage and just-general whipping my toenails into shape. (Especially since one big toe-nail had gotten damaged and fallen off back in the summer of 2010 after I'd stubbed it... and then took nearly a whole year to grow back, forcing me to wear closed-toe shoes for nearly the past 2 years. This spring/summer was NOT going to be like the last two, dammit.)

After the polish, though, they gave me some paper-thin slippers that I was supposed to wear out of the shop... When I tried to explain that I still had to do errands, take the bus and walk, etc., and needed the nails to be dry so I could put my street shoes back on... My nail-person gestured toward the front of the shop. It looked like she was pointing to a heater-looking thing sitting on top of the counter. I approached it, then stood looking at it, waiting for some further guidance. When none came, I again had to be loud-n-obnoxious since no one was paying any attention to me: "What do I DO with this? Do I lift it and put it on the ground?" A sudden chorus: "No, no. [point, point]." Which I still didn't get.

Finally, a black customer (who spoke English) explained to me about the ultraviolet-ray counter that I was supposed to sit next to and put my feet under. THAT was what was going to finalize my nails! Ohhhhh. After 10 minutes of that, my Asian pedi-person came over and told me I was through... "And I can put my shoes on without the nails getting messed up?" She didn't understand what I was asking, but her boss spoke up from across the room: "No."

ME: But... I have to go grocery shopping and walk and take a bus... How do I walk on the street?

BOSS-LADY: There's a Dollar Store next door. Go buy some flip-flops.

ME: That's a good idea. Thanks. [shuffling out in my flimsy slippers]

The Dollar Store turned out to have mainly kids' flip-flops, with exactly two adult pair to choose from, both in men's large sizes. I chose the "camouflage black-n-gray" pair... and shuffled off into the rest of my day...

But hey: Got a pedi for the first time in over 3 years! Whatever one has to do to get a $20 pedi in the springtime and celebrate the symbolic Return of the Big Toenail!

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