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Twinkle toes

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As of Monday morning, that’s what my toes looked like. In the bright light of the day, they sparkled and shined. And the color was starting to grow on me. However, in the dark or in dim light, they just looked yellowed and nasty, so I decided on a change.

As I entered the nail salon, I realized that this was the first time I’ve ever been in one by myself. Usually, I go with a giggle of women. (Yes, I just coined a phrase for a group of women.) And going with my girl friends to get pedicures together is fun and only a tiny bit creepy. For some reason, going in alone? Uber super creepy.

The salon I chose was near the movie theater where I was meeting a friend, and I’d never been there before. Inadvertently, I managed to pick the one with the fewest number of English speaking Asian slaves manicurists.

Using a complicated series of hand gestures, grunts, and rudimentary English words, I communicated my desire to have the polish removed from my toes and new polish applied.

“You go pick out new color,” I was instructed. After weighing my options, I chose a color that will be less likely to make my toes look yellowed and nasty in the dim light. (A color that I won’t reveal until I get to BlogHer.)

I sat in the chair and the woman went to work. Apparently, as difficult as my toes are to get clean and polished, it also makes it just as difficult to remove the polish. First she tried the dremel. Then she tried using cotton and polish remover, but the cotton just got caught on the roughness of my feet and pulled to shreds. Finally she moved to a cloth and remover and it finally started to work. After a few minutes, my toes were clean again.

The bell rang and an old woman entered, holding the door open for her husband, a tall, gaunt man who was at least 80, using a walker to take excruciatingly slow, deliberate steps. “CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE MY HUSBAND A FOOT MASSAGE?” the old lady said in the way that you speak to non-English speakers at absurdly high volumes because that helps them to understand better.

The old man was led to the chair next to me. He looked over and gave me a look. “I’ve never done this before – have you?” he said, except he said it more like “I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE – HAVE YOU?”

“Yeah, I have.”

“OH, WELL AT LEAST I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE IN DOING THIS!” It was at that moment, that the woman pulled out the new polish and began to paint my toes. The old man’s eyes bugged out of his head. “ALICE,” he stage whispered, “HE’S PAINTING HIS TOES.” Then he turned to me. “ARE YOU PAINTING YOUR TOES?”

“Yup!”

“ALICE, HE IS PAINTING HIS TOES! I’VE NEVER SEEN A MAN GET HIS TOES PAINTED BEFORE.” His eyes were still bugged out of his head and a vein had started to throb on his forehead.

“Well, you don’t get out very often,” his wife said and patted his hand.

“ARE YOU MARRIED?” he asked me. By this point, the entire salon was part of the conversation.

“No, I’m not.” I said, showing him my hand.

“OH. I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU WHAT YOUR WIFE THOUGHT OF YOU DOING THAT, BUT I GUESS THAT DOESN’T MATTER.”

I nodded my head and returned my attention to my cellphone. Important games of Words With Friends awaited me. Oh, but he wasn’t done.

“SO YOU’RE REALLY GETTING YOUR NAILS PAINTED?”

I gestured towards my feet where the woman was putting on the second coat and nodded.

“I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MAN DO THAT BEFORE.”

“Yeah, you mentioned that. Well, now you have! New experiences every day.”

“I HOPE THEY DON’T TRY TO PAINT MY NAILS. I AM GOING TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN NEVER TRUST A CHINAMAN.”

Aren’t old racists just delightful?

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38 Replies to “Twinkle toes”

  1. Orion

    After working on my feet for six weeks, my giggle took me to a nail place. They had to use this instrument that looked like a cheese grater to remove all the dry skin.
    And if they ever ask me for polish? I say clear.

  2. Twenty Four At Heart

    OK, so now the thing I’m looking forward to the most at BlogHer is seeing what color polish you put on your toes. Are you going to walk around barefoot and/or in flip flops? Or is this just a tactic to get all the women to come up to your room for a peek? : )

  3. tracey

    Oh God! He didn’t end it that way!! Holy shit. I keep wondering when the old generations of blatant racists will die. Also, how did his wife get him to get his feet massaged? And Ew. I do not want to be that lucky masseuse.

    ALSO! Glad you changed the color. I thought you had a fungus.

  4. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    My mom says “damned Orientals” as if everyone from Asia are just a bunch of vases, so that guy couldn’t have been too racist. Although he was probably too concerned about that fuzzy homo sitting next to him getting his toenails painted.

    I’m going to Hell, aren’t I?

  5. Finn

    Here’s the part I love: the manicurist didn’t even bat an eye whilst taking off the glitter polish or applying the new (probably red?) nail polish. Although she was probably talking about you in Korean the whole time. πŸ˜‰

    ALICE, I NEED TO SWITCH CHAIRS SO I DON’T CATCH THE GAY.

  6. Kristin

    That was priceless. I promise you have been the talk of the old folks’ social circle for days now. I bet even at Thanksgiving, he will somehow manage to bring this up to his grandsons…that was great.

  7. MB

    Oh, that sparkly stuff is a bitch to get off. I need to go get a pedicure now. I can’t have your toes looking better than mine πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to see the debut of the new color. Have fun!

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