While I enjoy the finer things in life, I also have a full understanding of what my limitations are. I get uncomfortable in fancy restaurants or high end boutiques as if they know that something is out of place. I don’t go in swearing and spilling drinks everywhere, but I know inherently that I am not the classiest girl in the world.
I’m a sucker for places, people, and things that are genuine and have a lot of character. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t splurge at expensive places if I had a lot of money, because I guarantee you my shoe collection would be a force to be reckoned with. It tends to make me feel like a fish out of water, or an imposter when I go into nicer places where I’m expected to drop a lot of money.
So when I got a gift certificate to a really nice nail salon in Seattle, I was thrilled because I have a weakness for a good mani/pedi. I was also apprehensive. Would they spot my peasant-like quality a mile away? Would they let a slob like me in the door?
I pictured myself in a salon with the classiest of ladies, getting my nails done while drinking champagne. Then I would tell a story that I thought was funny but would cross a line with the woman doing my nails. She would look at me uncomfortably, as if the story I told was not acceptable in a place such as this, causing my hands to stress sweat and the champagne flute to slide out of my grasp and crash into a million pieces on the ground, causing a potential maiming hazard for all the classy bare feet.
I’ve broken plenty of wine glasses and regular glasses in my day, stone cold sober (plus a few while drinking as well). So this situation is not far fetched at all as far as I’m concerned.
I had a rough day at work and decided I needed some relaxation, so I scheduled an appointment for after my shift. I left work for my strictly scheduled 2:45pm appointment and knew I was supposed to catch a few buses to get there. Of course none of the buses showed up on time, so I ended up a little over a mile away and saw the only option as walking the rest of the way there.
Could I have called an uber? Absolutely. But it seemed lazy to do that for a mile, and I had already taken one bus, and it would annoy me to have to bus AND uber to the same place. How bad could the walk be?
The sun beat down on me, and I put the address in my google maps phone app, which predicted an exact 2.45 arrival time. I wanted to get there early, and one of my life skills is being able to shave a few minutes off of any GPS route, whether walking or car. Plus I figured I would need the extra time because the likelihood of me getting lost on my way there was high.
Surely enough, I took a turn down a road that was closed because of construction and had to sidetrack through an alley full of trash and mud. I cursed as I walked through the mess, my feet aching at my bad shoe choice, which I knew would now result in blisters as I had not anticipated walking over a mile.
It was hot. I was sweating. I ended up taking some stairs behind an apartment complex and finding the road I needed, arriving at the salon a whopping 6 minutes early. No big deal.
I took a few deep breaths and tried to compose myself as now I was disgusting, caked with sweat and mud from the walk and God knows what diseases I picked up from the bus. As I walked in the door, I wondered if anyone in there had ever taken a bus before.
I gave them my name and chugged my complimentary lemon water in 10 seconds because I was so thirsty. As I was called back, my empty glass of water in hand, I sank my aching feet into the bowl of water, as she asked me if I had any concerns about my feet.
I wanted to say, “Well, I walked a mile here because it felt inherently bad to uber AND take a bus in the same trip, so my feet are probably starting to blister. Plus you are going to have to work on some serious callouses. I apologize in advanced, but rocking cool shoes comes with a price.”
Instead, I muttered that I didn’t have any concerns and figured she would find out my world of problems soon enough. I looked around and it wasn’t as pretentious as I had made it out to be in my head.
Then I rolled up my pant legs and realized that I had some serious stubble, as I had not been intending to get a pedicure that day. I would have shaved if I had known, but it was an impromptu appointment after a long day. I figured if I didn’t apologize for it, she would just assume I’m some hippie that doesn’t like to shave at all. After all, I saw a girl on the bus the other morning who was wearing a dress with legs that likely had never seen a razor in her life. I figured my two days of neglect were not the worst thing she’d ever seen.
I was suddenly homesick for my nail salon in Indianapolis. Helen would never judge me as she took the razor to my calloused feet. Hell, once I came back from a trip to Venice with one less toenail than I started the trip out with, and all she did was lightly shake her head and paint my skin to make it look like I had a nail there, masking my alien looking toe from the untrained eye.
Once I calmed down and relaxed into the chair, it was a good experience. After the move, months of struggling to find a job, and paying more in rent than I ever have in any place I’ve lived, treating myself to getting my nails done is something I’ve reluctantly given up since I’ve moved out here.
It was nice to be back in the world of smooth feet and soft hands. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. I was grateful to have a friend that knows me well enough to get me a gift certificate to a nail salon so I could indulge in my guilty pleasure, even if I am a bull in a china shop 7 days a week.