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Just another day at the nail salon

May 20, 2014

Yesterday I went to the nail salon to get a mani-pedi. The salon was empty except for me and another girl who was getting her nails done across the room from me. I had two girls working on me at the same time, one at my feet and one on my hands. The woman doing my hands was sweet, we had casual conversation. “Do you work?” Yes. “Do you have kids?” No. The normal nail salon interrogation. I have the worlds smallest hands and therefore the worlds smallest nails. Every time someone sees my hands or holds them I always get the same response, “Oh my god you have baby hands!” I am pretty sure my 4-year-old niece has bigger hands than I do. That being said, every time I go to the nail salon I have to apologize for my freakishly small nails as they hold my hand to their eyes trying to find the nail.

So this whole song and dance occurred yesterday with this woman at the salon. Trying to lighten the mood I go, “Are small nails hard? I’m sorry, I know it takes a lot of concentration to do them”. The woman stopped, looked at me and although I couldn’t see her mouth through her face mask I could tell she was mouthing con-sin-trait-ion. She began saying out loud to the two other women working there something in another language that I didn’t know. All I did understand was that every tenth word or so was concentration. The woman doing my hands said it, then the women across from me working on a customer said the ten words and then concentration, then the woman at my feet. Same thing, ten words in another language then concentration. I began to panic. I made eyes with the customer across the room from me and she made eyes back. I was afraid that I offended this woman, I was just trying to acknowledge my small nails and how much more work I am sure they are then the normal person’s nails- a totally normal and rational concern.

The woman doing my feet looked up at me and asked, what does concentration mean? I say, focused. Then again, the ten words and focus conversation goes on amongst the three of them. By this time I am doing a nervous laughter and the other customer is doing it for me too. I start telling the girl who is doing my nails that I hope I didn’t offend her, I was just making like a joke, a bad joke. The woman just keeps working on my hands and starts saying concentration then the other two women start too, they just keep repeating the word. At this time I am in full panic. I think I offended all three of them and I am apologizing and the other customer is apologizing for me too, explaining how I was making a joke about my hands. She was a good little codependent too, I hope she is doing ok….

Finally the woman doing my hands looks at me and says, we are learning english and we have never heard of the word concentration before. The other woman asks if I can write it down for her. OH. Of course. Like everything else in my life this situation had nothing to do with me. These woman were not plotting my death because I once again said something stupid. I just share that to show how in half a second I can think the entire world is against me and out to get me. That my words or actions are so powerful that I can bring three woman to plot against me, a money paying customer and stranger. I am not that powerful or that important. More importantly, the world and its people aren’t as bad as I think. I always go the negative and never think, maybe this situation has nothing to do with me.

Growing up, we had a wall to ceiling wall of mirrors in our dinning room. We ate our meals in that room and I always sat across the from the mirror so that I could stare at myself. I wanted to know how I looked when I ate, talked looking to the right, looking to the left, laughed, anything. I just wanted to know about me, me, me. I have been obsessed with me since I met me so its hard for me to break out of that and realize its not all about me. Sobriety has really helped with that, helped to teach me to care for others and think about other people but at the core it’s all about me. I don’t say that in a boosting way. It actually is embarrassing and something that I work on everyday to change.

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4 Comments
  1. Jane permalink

    I thought salon visits were supposed to be relaxing 🙂 Your experience was hilarious. I never noticed your hands 🙂 Stay sober Caitlyn 🙂

  2. Love love love this. Riveting with a lovely message at the end. The last paragraph reminded me of a mirrored closet we had in our dining room at the beach. My much younger sister loved sitting across from it so she could make eyes and smile at herself while she ate. I still admire her unabashed love of self.

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