An Afternoon at the Nail Salon

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‘Twas the day before Christmas

And all through my town

Every woman not yet on vacation

Was in my nail salon

“Oh. My. God. I just know EVERYONE here today.”

Did she just say that? Did she say half the things I had been hearing for the past half hour?

I had been sitting next to this woman the entire hour I was getting my manicure/pedicure. She had not stopped talking for one minute. She seemed to be holding court from her pedicure chair.

Sometimes I am not sure if we realize how we sound. I say “we” because I cannot write this without admitting that I may occasionally be somewhat guilty of this myself. But I pray that I never sound as bad as the woman I listened to at the nail salon that day.

She spoke about women in town, loudly, using their first and last names. Granted, she wasn’t talking badly about anyone, but did the entire nail salon need to know that so-and-so just bought a new Mercedes? Or what time Jane Doe’s flight to Turks & Caicos was that morning?

Speaking of traveling, I know that this woman and her family were leaving the following day for Florida, and who they were traveling with (again, first and last names). I also know that this poor thing, who was leaving rainy and cold NJ for a vacation in the sun, just hates traveling.

When her friend walked in, late for her appointment, she scolded her from across the entire salon.

I heard her on the phone with her son, then explain to her friend that he would be coming in to get her credit cards. When the teenage boy walked in a few minutes later, she again yelled from across the salon while waving two credit cards in the air. If my eyes were better, I may have been able to read the numbers off them (not that I was trying!).

I am sure this woman had no idea how completely obnoxious she sounded, but I cringed the entire time I had the pleasure of sitting next to her.

I am certainly not perfect but, since my husband passed away, I have tried to be more aware of the words coming out of my mouth. I have often been on the other end of people speaking insensitively, so I try not to make the same mistakes. I have also learned to be grateful for what I have and not take my blessings for granted.

I wish it did not take such a tragedy to come to this realization.

I felt embarrassed for the woman in the nail salon. I wanted to turn to her and say, “Please stop”. I do not have that kind of nerve but, if I was her friend, I would have at least asked her to lower her voice. Her friend did not this. I wondered if this behavior bothered her friend at all. Could she have possibly been okay listening to this for an hour?

Most of us remember the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine was at the nail salon. The women working there spoke to each other in Korean, and Elaine was sure that they were talking about her. They were. I remember laughing so hard while watching this because it rang so true. This has probably happened, in some way, to all who frequent nail salons.

Seinfeld aired over 20 years ago. Since then, I have come to understand why the manicurists sometimes talk about the women in their salons, especially after the other day.

I do not speak another language so, instead of talking, I sat in my pedicure chair and typed notes into my phone about writing this article. Was that wrong?

If nothing else, my afternoon mani/pedi has made me even more aware of how I sound when speaking in a public place. I hope to never sound like the woman I sat next to the other day.

I walked to the door, after my nails were all finished

To the woman in the next chair, my respect was diminished

Let’s all be thankful, when life is so bright

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night


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