Sunday, May 27, 2007

Will they even dye my eyes to match my gown? Jolly good town!

I've decided that, once a month, I'm going to do something very nice for myself that has nothing to do with weight or weight loss or weight gain or ANYTHING AT ALL about inches, pounds, or bodies. I decided this after typing a letter to a friend and realizing I had spelled the word "way" as "weigh" and "wait" as "weight" at least once in the body. I may but just a teensy trifle obsessed with ass-reducing right now.

So today, since it was raining out and my original plans of calling up a friend to do something outside were thwarted I decided to indulge in a day (or hour) of beauty. Unfortunately, because I have chosen to reside in the stank, humid armpit of the Midwest, there aren't really many institutions of beauty from which to choose and especially not on the Sunday before a government holiday. Sometimes, though, the rural Missourian in me rears its spiral permed and frosted head and I start feeling a peculiar urge to do very Midwestern things like tan, or go drink Bud Light by a lake on a pontoon, or get fake nails and the instinct must not be denied.

So I wasn't really surprised when I ended up in a vibrating armchair at the nail salon located in the local Wal-Mart. (Yes, I said the nail salon in the Wal-Mart, which, like the Subway-in-the-Wal-Mart, and the Bank-of-Greater-Metropolitan-Wal-Mart, I try never, ever to visit. But it's a holiday and they're very, very inexpensive and the urge was strong so JUST BACK UP OFF)

I had never gotten a mani-pedi before; my only experience with phalange-related beauty happened several years ago when the manicurist accidentally sliced open my finger with a cuticle pusher and screamed and practically shoved me out the door when she saw the blood spurt up. I guess she had legitimate concerns about HIV, but I got stuck with like an eighth of a manicure, and a pretty gnarly scar on my middle finger. I was hoping that the salon would be filled with the usual number of pre-teen girls and their mothers out for a "Girls' Day", but when I tentatively stepped in the door, the only other person in the room besides the nail techs was a stunningly overtanned woman in cutoff jean shorts and a hot pink tank top. She smiled broadly at me as I sank into a massage chair next to her and the pedicure lady sunk my feet into a heavenly spa jet thingy.

Over the next hour I learned that I should never, ever cut my nails on my own (as evidenced by a quarter-inch long hangnail the pedi lady exorcised from my big toe and waved accusingly at me as if she had discovered a bag of heroin between my toes), and that I should never, ever get color put on my nails (advice from the Mahogany Truck Driver Woman who told me that the way to get great sex was to get a French pedi and find a good man with no kids and a foot fetish). I decided to get hot pink anyway, not only because it's springtime, but because I'm certain it complemented the color of my cheeks after Mahogany Truck Driver revealed very intimate details of her love life with her Pederast Truck Driver Boyfriend.

A flash of impulse compelled me to ask the salon owner if they had time to put acrylic French tips on my fingers, too, and suddenly I was being slathered with all sorts of adhesives and attended to with scary dentisty drill things and there was acrylic flying everywhere and when the dust cleared I looked down to see ten very grown-up looking nails. I'd had French tips painted on when I got married, but I bit them off in the bride's room before the ceremony and I think they've been in various states of dishevelment since then. The new nails sort of hurt a little bit, and I'm terrified to do anything other than sit and display them carefully, but in a way I really like them.

Without forcing too much symbolism on the occasion, I'm kind of glad I spent the money to do this, because not only do I feel sort of pretty and sexy, but I also feel older...more ready to be a woman. I've been kind of a twenty-something twelve year old for several years now with my baby face, and my unruly hair, and my penchant for wearing sweats and t-shirts and tennis shoes when I could be dressing like an actual woman. I've also always been afraid of improving parts of me while the most noticeable aspects weren't so great. Whenever I'd get dressed up or made up or I'd try to look feminine and pretty, I'd ultimately always think, "What's the point? No one ever sees anything but the fat, anyway". I got really good at becoming one of the guys, or the funny fat chick, or the quiet, unassuming one who made every attempt to hide but could be devastatingly cool once you made the effort to know her...but you know what? It's almost harder work being unapproachable anymore, especially when I actually have things I'm proud of about myself. So these silly, forty dollar acrylic appendages that are making it hard for me to type correctly are kind of a little step toward liking myself most of the time, even if I can't be completely satisfied with who I am yet.

I think next month I'm going to go for a proper haircut and highlights at the day spa where the Wisterians go. It's not exactly Bliss in New York City, but at least it's not flanked by a bait refrigerator and an ice machine in the middle of a Super Wal-Mart.


Christine said...

Good for you - you have to take care of yourself. "IT" does consume a person doesn't it? Take care and keep bloggin!

Gem said...

I love getting acrylics (with 3 kids and one on the way, I don't get to do it often!), because no matter what I wear, at least my nails are done and look pretty. The upkeep is what kills me, that $40 or $50 a month adds up fast. But maybe one of these days we'll win the lottery!

Abba said...

You crack me up. I bite my nails, and I won't let anyone see my feet. They are ugly. I went through the "time to become more womanly" when I was turning 30. I am 32 now. Ugh. Anyway, perhaps I should try getting my nails done. I just don't like those little drills.

Lori said...

But did the Mahogany Truck Driver Woman explain exactly HOW we were supposed to get from French pedicures to the fantastic sex with a child-free foot fetishist? Is there a website, ;-)

I went and painted my own toenails and I have to say the women at salons deserve a lot of credit. I probably covered my toes liberally with it and then used Q-tips(tm) to wipe away excessive polish.

I'm glad you did something fun like this; next time, a massage. (I love getting my hair cut at this one place b/c they put you in a vibrating chair too while you're getting a shampoo.) I want one now.

Around here, you need to have a Harley Davidson tank top and be in the company of a man whose shirt says, "If you see this, she fell off" and who also has a large belt buckle of some sort of award, musical group, fish, animal or plant* along with getting a spiral perm and frost. ;-)

*I used to sell belt buckles in college at Christmas; our biggest sellers were the Confederate insignia, the pot leaf and a toss-up between Mack and Harley-Davidson insignias.

Some of the fun of getting things like this done (minus a massage) is the female community and the little things you learn. Sounds like you got an earful!

Southern Fried Fatty said...

Good for you for giving yourself something non diet/weight related. I get so sick of thinking about my weight sometimes I could puke (hey, that might help). I blog about it too,so people are always me how things are going. I appreciate their support but sometimes I wonder if all I am is a fat girl that writes semi-entertaining things on the internet. Maybe I'll treat myself to a colonic :)

Grumpy Chair said...

I have written weight for wait soooo many times...

Glad you spent some time pampering yourself.

Jarrett Meyer said...

I tell my wife all the time how great she looks when she pampers herself a little. I tell her, "I'll buy!" She feels better. She looks better. She walks taller. That's a drug you just can't afford. Add to that the work she's doing on the inside and the turnaround in her attitude is amazing!!!

Brenna said...

i have a GREAT lady in kc. you are going to love her. she does great color and sassy, one-of-a-kind cuts. you're going to find your life changed when i get back to that country! and we'll go to our thai nail neighbors, they are awesome and cheeeeap and NOT flanked by, um, a bait refrigerator. (don't worry, you'll still be in the midwest, they are partnered with the chinese buffet next door, so you can slather your freshly pampered fingers in grease while wearing pedi-flops!) rawk!

Abba said...

Hey you. Need my weekly dose and you are not back yet. Don't stay away for too long. Some of us rely on your humor and sarcasm to get through the day. Surely the little oriental ladies didn't file down your nails till there was nothing left of you. Hmmm, attack of the nail drill. That could be an awesomely slow, painful death.

(did you get that, cuz' I am really trying to work on it?)