I had my nails done on Friday. It’s not something I do every week, because as a dog groomer, they don’t usually last long. However, my husband and kids gave me a gift card to a salon that my girls described as “fan-say”, so I decided to use it.

Normally, I get my nails done at one of the many strip mall nail salons. I have always been happy with the results. No appointment is needed and I have never had to wait for more than 15 minutes. I’m usually out of there for less than $20.00.

I called on Friday morning to set up an appointment. I asked if they had time for a manicure today. She gave me some appointment options and I picked one. I went to this salon in nicer clothes than I normally wear to the strip mall salons. I didn’t want to feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when they wouldn’t help her because of how she was dressed. At these prices, I expected some major sucking up. I was wrong.

I got there a few minutes early and was greeted with a smile.

“Hello! Can I help you?”

“Yes, I have a 1:00 appointment for a manicure.”

“Are you Pam?” I nodded.

“Would you mind filling out our new client sheet?”

“Sure.”

“Great. Can I get you a drink?”

“A water would be great.”

“I’ll bring it right out to you.” I am still waiting for that water.

My esthetician came out to get me at 1:10. She asked if this was my first time there. I replied yes. She took me to this little area all the way in the back in the spa area. She started talking about how she had terrible allergies and just took a Claritin. I sat down at the table she pointed to while she moved around gathering supplies. Finally, she asked me what I wanted done for my nails.

“I want a French manicure.”

“Oh, I don’t recommend that.” She had a heavy accent and I thought I heard her wrong.

“I always get a French manicure.”

“I have this nice light color that looks great. I will show you.” I was annoyed, but polite. Fine, you can show me. It was the color of my nail. It wasn’t clear, but peach colored. It did not look like I had gotten my nails done at all.

“No, I want the French manicure. I also want to use the non-chip polish.”

“Oh, I don’t have time for that. You did not tell them on the phone. You should have told them about the French manicure. I barely have time for that.” Of course, I didn’t know to tell them on the phone. It was my first time there.

I probably should have left. I should have gone back to the strip mall salon, but my husband got me this gift certificate on Mother’s Day and kept asking me when I was going to use it.

So we got started – after she got up to blow her nose. She washed her hands off in the water of the pedicure chair. Nice.

Then she sat down.

“Why do you want the non-chip polish? Are you going on vacation?”

“No”, I replied, I am a dog groomer and I wanted the polish to last longer.”

“Oh, I hate dogs. They are so dirty. My fiancé has 6 dogs and they smell. I don’t know how anyone can touch them.” Ok, now I am even more pissed. However, I say, “Not everyone likes dogs.”

Like I said, she had a thick accent. I asked her where she was from. She told me she was from Peru, had four kids and was married two times before. Her sister was crazy, the other lady that worked with her was crazy, and her sister-in-law did not like her brother’s kids because they were from the mistress. I also found out she brought her siblings here from Peru and they were ungrateful. She then got up to blow her nose.

She wanted to clip my nails short. She said that is what a French manicure is. I said, no, I wanted long white tips and clear over it. She said that was an American manicure. Whatever! Just hurry up. She slapped some lotion on my hands (no hand massage) and wrapped them in a hot towel.

Time to blow her nose again.

She asked me about my kids. To be polite, I asked about hers. She said she had a daughter that moved from Paris to Los Angeles.

“At least they are closer now”, I replied.

“I would rather that they were in Europe. Americans don’t treat family well. They put their elders in nursing homes and never visit because the kids have a soccer game.” She went on to say that she worked in a nursing home as a nursing assistant and how lonely people were. She then described bathing a 350 lb woman.

Next, she talked about Astrology. It seems that anyone born in April was crazy according to her. You see, she also has a Master’s degree in psychology and French.

She got up again to blow her nose.

“How long have you been working here?” I asked. I couldn’t imagine why someone with two Master’s degrees was doing nails.

“About 16 years. I took the test in Peru and here. The test here was so easy. In my country, you had to know how to remove calluses and warts. Here they didn’t care.” This woman was the queen of too much information.

Finally, she was putting the last coat on my nails. It was peach- over the white tips. Not what I wanted, but I wanted out of there and she had another appointment behind me.

She rushed me out to the main area where she placed me at a nail dryer.

“Okay, here are some cards. I hope to see you again soon.”

I smiled and thanked her. I sat there alone for 10 minutes while my nails dried. What an experience! I paid double what I normally pay for a manicure that I didn’t like. I got a 20 second shoulder massage. There was a sign at the front door about a complimentary shoulder massage. If you don’t get a massage, they will take 50% off your bill. Wow! So worth it.

In all fairness, my nails look nice, even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. However, I am not going back. These people were crazy! I guess they were born in April.

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