People at work have been talking about a new manicure procedure called SOS or S&M or whatever, and apparently it’s powder they dip your nails in to color them. Somehow this creates a manicure that keeps going for two weeks like a 17-year-old boy but allegedly isn’t as terrible for you as a gel manicure.
And that was the day June lost all her butch readers. And got arrested for pedophilia.
I remember one night, my high school boyfriend and I did it three times. THREE TIMES. I’m not talking 7 p.m., 1:00 in the morning and then at dawn. I’m talking, like, 8:00, 9:00 and then 10:00.
Anyway. Powder manicures are fun till you add the “gelous base,” and then it’s all “Where were you?” “Who was that guy I saw you talking to?”
Given that I like to spend my spare time playing basketball and helping others, I hadn’t yet experienced the excitement of powder nails, nails that have to take a powder, but seeing as that $100 I won on New Year’s Day was burning a hole in m’Kate Spade,
[Dear June: Be more basic. Love, Universe]
I decided to take myself out on the town and get one. A powder manicure. Keep up. No, I HAVEN’T taken Ritalin today. What? God.
So Friday after work, I headed out on the town, the manicure-choices town. I’d had a very deep talk with the receptionist at work about which nail place we like to go to. There are a hundred within a three-mile radius of work, and they all have “Nail” in the title.
“I don’t mind Glamor Nail, but Celebrity Nail seems kind of cliquish,” said the receptionist, who prefers a french manicure, whereas I always want something dark and mysterious, to match my exotic nature. With m’Kate Spade wallet.
The point is, she’s right. Any time I’ve ventured into Celebrity Nail, the owner is trés gregarious, and I feel like his claim to fame there is kibitzing jovially with the clientele. Whereas the place I usually frequent, and “usually frequent” is not at all annoyingly redundant.
The place I usually frequent, Elegant Nail & Tan (Slogan: We don’t actually offer tanning) has a quiet, businesslike owner who isn’t that outgoing but gives the best massages ever during the pedicure process. I always pray I get him, but usually I get a small, rather angry woman named “Stephanie.” (Slogan: Not remotely really named Stephanie.)
The receptionist and I agreed the only reason we really ever step foot in Celebrity Nail is because it’s closest to work. It’s similar to the Chinese place I get takeout from. (Slogan: Not good, but so close by.)
And that is how I found myself walking into Celebrity Nail on Friday night, because traffic was irkedly snarlsome, and so was I, and I could not possibly have withstood traffic for the four more minutes it’d have taken me to get to Elegant Nail & Tan.
I really love that they don’t offer tanning. It’s like my favorite thing ever. IT’S IN YOUR TITLE, but tan schman. Does anyone tan anymore? I guess people spray tan. Elegant Nail & (Spray) Tan. There you go.
SO THERE I WAS–God, June–at Celebrity Nail, and as usual, the owner was loudly joking with a few customers. I mean, that’s nice and all, but if you’re not a regular there, you can feel a tad left out. I’d never really put a name to that feeling till the receptionist mentioned it. That happens to me a lot, actually.
“Any time I talk to her, I end up feeling bad about myself,” someone once said to me about a mutual acquaintance, and OH MY GOD was that true, and I’d just gone around feeling vaguely bad with that acquaintance and not really acknowledging it.
“This kung pao chicken takes like root beer,” my college roommate’s boyfriend once said to me, as we were eating at this place I went to at least once a week. GODDAMMIT. I hadn’t acknowledged it till he labeled it.
So there I was Friday, finally noticing that this place made me feel kind of bad, and also kind of annoyed. I come to the manicure place to read celebrity gossip, and choose nail colors like I’m making Sophie’s Choice, and to generally sit quietly, which for me is pretty much always my goal.
I go to work hoping to always sit quietly and concentrate. I get my hair done hoping I can sit quietly and have my tresses colored. I want restaurants to be quiet. Maybe I should just isolate more.
The point is, as the evening wore on and I…sat quietly with the manicurist I was given, who had a terrible cold and was spending an hour basically holding my hands, so that was relaxing. As we were over there being quiet, I began to notice one insider over at the popular table was being more…attention-grabbing than the others.
I tried to sort of turn in my chair and see her, but I couldn’t even determine her race. All I saw was a rather thick woman, with dark hair, who based on the tenor of her voice was probably middle-aged. As opposed to how young and svelte I am. BUT AT LEAST I WAS SITTING QUIETLY.
The first thing I couldn’t help but overhear, because she was practically screaming into my soul, was that Red Bull, the energy drink? She alleged it was made from bull sperm. She’d been reading something from the internet, that reliable source, says June, typing at you from the internet.
“WELL. IT’S NOT THE FIRST SPERM I’VE DRANK,” she announced grammatically. Everything was an announcement with this one. I expected, when I turned to look at her, that she would be just a mike and a brick wall behind her. Tip your wait staff.
She started talking about a guy at work who was “Chinese,” and the owner of the salon pressed her for more info. Was he actually Chinese, or was she using that term universally? “What’s his last name?” asked the owner.
“I DON’T KNOW. CHIN?” she asked. And that is about the time my annoyance turned to searing white hate.
“What do you feed your kids?” she eventually asked the owner, who had been joking with her the whole time. “Rice and soy sauce? HA HA HA HA.”
Cold Hands the Mucus-y Manicurist and I exchanged glances.
“You know, everyone at work loves my Asian accent,” she said, and that is when my blood turned to ice. No. No, she’s not gonna…
She did. In a NAIL SALON, with 600 Asian people working there, this stupid white BITCH ASS (I’m assuming she was white. Again, I never saw her. Though in my mind I’d punched her 12 times in her phantom face already) did an ASIAN ACCENT.
At the nail salon.
My nails turned out just okay. There are some spots that didn’t take the clear coating, and I’m not sure if this is how S&M nails always turn out, or if my poor manicurist was sick and perhaps distracted by the BITCH-ASS RACIST in the nail place.
I do have to say that eventually the outgoing owner said to her, “That’s so racist.”
“No it isn’t,” she said. Because that gets to be up to her, and not the ASIAN PERSON she just mocked.
Maybe they should have two sections at salons: Women who want to talk endlessly and loudly, and a quiet section. A nice-people section and a racist section. A nail section and a tanning section.
Maybe people should just shut the fuck up.