Ouch . . . Nail Guy
So here I am, sitting in my nail salon having my nails drilled down to the micro-bit. I think there’s just a nano-distance bit of cellular nail fiber film between his drill and my awaiting pain and doom. I look at him while he wears a mask, so that he does not inhale any of these carcinogenic dust flakes that he’s creating as he is whizzing my nail down to a mere memory.
Why don’t I have a mask? Are my lungs not entitled to the same ridiculous standard ─ considering that I am paying for this service?
He resumes his irritated glance and bats my hands down because they are moving too much. And, I am thinking, “If you want a tip, baby, you better not hit me again.”
He’s frigging expensive, man.
He responds by yelling something in a foreign language to Mary, my pedicure girl who working diligently on my toes. I’m sure that it’s a compliment to my fashion prowess. And, I am also sure that her real name is not Mary.
Why do I put up with this? I will tell you why . . .
He and I have gone through this dance for more than 14 years now. My daughter is 16 and I have been coming to my “Nail Guy” since I moved here when my daughter was two. You’d think that we’d have a better relationship than we do, but he is socially inept and I am impatient. I put up with him because he is literally the best.
He is THE BEST “Nail Guy” this side of the Mississippi.
My nails can go unattended, even brutalized by my lack of care for four weeks, or more if I am away, and they look completely natural. There is no line. Yes, He is THAT GOOD.
Do not even try to e-mail me to try and get his name, or his telephone number or where he works.
I will not give out this information. Period.
I would tell you my best friend is sleeping with before I divulge the name of my beloved Nail Guy.
Let’s face it. I do not want his time booked up. I want him to succeed, but I want his rude remarks and hand battings available to me whenever my schedule allows. So, don’t get any ideas. If you take my spot on the calendar, I will hunt you down and rip off every one of your perfectly manicured acrylic nails and shove them up your nose.
I’m mean, a girl’s got to do what girl’s got to do. I need my acrylics perfect, and my toes like little red rubies dotting the tops of my sandals. Please don’t get in my way. I have priorities and high heels. I know how to use them.
I must like his torment. After all, it has been 14 years of this carcinogenic conversational banter. For example, “You work busy today?”
I respond, “Yes.”
That’s the end of this impressive conversation until I am asked to pay up.
So, you can understand my need of the highly fingered stack of magazines which include People, “Cosmo,” InStyle and O (Oprah).
And, I HAVE to read them all.
There is nothing else for me to do to distract myself from the dremel buzzing my nail beds into obscurity. Otherwise, I am likely to throw up on him out of fear that he might actually transcend the layer of cutonic matter and dive into my poor little nail “moon” that is just idly sitting there minding it’s little own nail-business. Right?
There is a brief moment, where he dust off his desk with a large purple brush, which of course drives all those white particles off his working stations and onto my nice black linen pants. Great. It looks like I have dandruff issues below the belt. Not nice, kids. Like I said there’s this brief moment where he has to do a little housework on his desk, and I now have a chance to look down at my all buzzed nails, only to see that they are thinner than the one-ply toilet paper that I just used on my refined derriere when I went to go pee.
Each time when I get this ridiculous urge, I think I’m going to faint when they see how thin my nails are. You’d would think that after 14 years I would learn not to look at my fingers at this stage of this salon service. That I would just continue to read about “all the sex that I am doing wrong” in my July 08 Cosmopolitan. 2008? Hello? However, curiosity gets to the better of me on these bi-weekly visits, and I continue to almost keel over at the blatant and frail condition of my pinchers.
“Blaaaaah! Don’t look, you idiot,” I say to myself.
Okay, now, okay. Breathe in. Out. Everything’s fine.
He slams his hand down on the table two times. This is his charming attempt at communication to have me put my hands back on the table. Like I said, he and I have a ritual, I didn’t say it was nice.
Without any argument on my part however, I am quick to get my nails “filled” again so that they will not fold backward when I am shoving a taco in my mouth. We do live in Southern California. And, I do love tacos. I promptly respond by putting my hands on the platform and try to smile in a charming, pale kind of way (since I was just about to pass out) that I had just been reminded of just how much I need him for my day-to-day survival.
When all of the stock markets went to hell, I had a brilliant thought that I might try to save money by not getting my nails done every two weeks. So after about six weeks, my nails started to split at the top and then break off. Layered little peelings of these acrylic wonders started shedding themselves, revealing the fragile state of my actual nails. I tried for four weeks after that, where then my “real” nails were breaking below the skin with vertical cracks. Ouch. I could barely pick up a tampon, much less put this “thrill stick” in, without the looming expectation of 10 fingered agony.
So, I guess it took me only 10 weeks to figure out ─ one week for each dangerously painful regressing nail bed on each of my beloved food pushers. Yes, it became quite evident, that I needed my “Nail Guy” in at least ten unbearably stinging, splitting and throbbing ways.
Let’s just say it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that my nails were more important than putting shoes on my kid’s feet.
We all wear flip-flops now, but my nails look great . . .
So, let this be a lesson to you ─ the market can go to hell, your husband can complain of tuna salad sandwiches for the 7th dinner in a row, your children can wear what we affectionately used to call “flood pants” (while convincing them that this is the current style . . .), your “Nail Guy” can bat your hand hard enough that you could actually allege physical abuse and have a case, and that your lungs aren’t worthy of the even the lowliest Home Depot-style facemask ─ but, all of that is unimportant if you don’t keep your priorities straight.
Regardless the cost, your nails must remain beautiful.
Yes. I just got them done. I am staring longing at their beauty, and begin the fear my upcoming appointment at 1:30p.m. in fourteen days. Until then . . . nailed bliss.
And, no, I repeat, I will not give out his name.
You’ve got to out and find your own “Nail Guy.”
Good luck. I’m thinking about starting up a website called “NailGuyMatch.com.” Until then, happy acrylic-ing . . .
Keep those cards and letters coming!
S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
THE WIDOW WEARS BLACK – An Edgy Memoir from an Outspoken Survivor
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