It all evens out in the end

By Mir
November 10, 2010

I am leaving town tomorrow to do a business thing, and—per my usual routine, which includes neglecting myself entirely, until doing so will make me look like a homeless person has wandered into a conference—yesterday and today I took care of making myself look like someone who gives a damn, again.

Yesterday, I got a manicure and a pedicure. The last time I did that was… right before Otto and I got married. I am not so much a “regular nails” kind of gal. But I got one of those Groupon deals to do it cheap, and thought it might be a nice pick-me-up before my trip, so off I went.

I found the salon, which is the good news. And the woman who did my nails was VERY VERY VERY nice. Like, grandma nice. BLESS HER HEART kind of nice, really.

That is where the good nail news ends, however.

Apparently this salon has only recently (like, in the last month) started offering nail services, and the group coupon thing was to drive some business in. Fair enough, right? Absolutely, except that their “nail station” was slightly larger than the one I recall Chickadee setting up in the bathroom once when she was 7.

They had approximately ten different shades of polish from which to choose. Well, okay, I was getting this done on the cheap, no need to complain or be upset. I could find something there. I picked two colors and sat down.

The manicure was fairly uneventful, though I did watch her miss the sides of my nails several times. I was getting a neutral, sheer polish and I began to wonder if she could see it. But, again, whatever. She finished my hands and I waited for her to take me to a pedicure station elsewhere in the shop, as we’d been sort of wedged into a corner at a little table. But the “station” turned out to be a seat on the couch with a fancy bucket in front of it. She filled said bucket with a few scoops of frou-frou soaking salts and water from the bathroom sink, via a few trips with a plastic pitcher. KLASSY. I then sat on the couch WITH MY FEET IN A BUCKET and removed them for her to prop up on a little sawhorse thingie to do my nails.

There was no lotion. No callous-sanding. Basically I was allowed to soak in a bucket and then be painted. I think if I had paid full price I would’ve been livid, but at the bargain rate I’d procured my certificate, it was hard to be too annoyed.

(Besides, I saved my annoyance for when I got home and promptly smeared one of my nails.)

ANYWAY, today I went out to have my hair cut and colored, because, again, I like to do things like that every six months whether I have four inches of gray roots or not. (Yeah. I totally did.) And I love my stylist to pieces, not the least of which because she never yells at me for only coming in a couple of times a year. And I thought to myself, SELF, TODAY IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Because I love my stylist. And because I love not looking homeless anymore.

Now, usually when I go to my stylist, I drive around looking for parking until it becomes clear that the parking gods hate me, and then I drive over to a nearby parking garage, and then I end up RUNNING to my appointment and showing up late. But TODAY there was a space on the street RIGHT THERE, and I figured the 2-hour maximum would just work out perfectly, really. Never mind that I have a history of parking tickets when it comes to my hair, because TODAY WOULD BE DIFFERENT.

I was dyed. And trimmed. And then I prepared for the ultimate luxury—she dries and flat-irons my hair for me, which (I don’t have to tell any fellow curly girls) is almost as good as sex. (No, I am not exaggerating. Someone else making my hair shiny and pretty and stick-straight? IT’S THAT GOOD.)

Only, I don’t know what was going on, today. As she dried my hair, she kept whacking me with the round brush. Not intentionally. I mean, I don’t think it was intentional. But she’d yank out a section of hair, dry it, and then WHACK the brush would smack me on the shoulder or back as she moved on. The salon was busy and I think she was in a hurry. But after about the fifth or sixth time, I said, “Um, have I been bad? Is that why you keep hitting me with the brush?”

“Do I?” she said, all surprise. “I’m so sorry!”

“That’s okay,” I said, and went back to my magazine.

THWACK, the brush hit me again. I looked up; my stylist was still working on my hair, but also giving instructions to her assistant. Ooookay. I briefly considered turning my head so that she might, I don’t know, hit me in the jaw, instead, but I decided against it.

I was ready to be good and miffed—I was—but then she flat-ironed me and I was all, “I forgive you, baby, you’re the only one for me.” Because there is just very little I like more than having smooth, shiny hair. Ahhhhhhh.

My appointment ran 15 minutes over the parking meter. I resisted the urge to run outside; I figured if I was going to get a ticket, I was going to get a ticket. But MIRACULOUSLY I hadn’t gotten a ticket.

Most people would be delighted by this turn of events. Sure, it was a so-so “pampering” experience, yesterday, but today my hair looks fabulous and I didn’t even get a ticket. I’m pretty sure the majority of folks would consider that a win.

But because I’m me, now I’m just convinced my plane is going to crash tomorrow.

At least I’ll leave behind a well-coiffed corpse.


  1. Otto

    I may not let you leave now …


  2. birchsprite

    You definitely need a hug today!

  3. birchsprite

    Looks like Otto will be supplying it though ;)

  4. dad

    Not funny!

    Have a great trip and send my regards to the other homeless people.
    I’m sure you will be the prettiest one in Chicago.

  5. Leandra

    First thing, BITE YOUR TONGUE! Your plane is not going to crash.

    I treated myself to a manicure for my birthday. I don’t usually do manicures because I hate it when polish chips, but I’d done my nails myself a couple of times recently and was pretty happy with the look, so I thought what the heck. The salon had a gorgeous burgundy Chanel (!!) color and my nails looked fantastic. I stayed a super long time to give them time to dry. Then I went and picked up my kids to go to the Pumpkin patch that night but we stopped by the house first to let the dog out. Where I promptly locked us out of the house. And then had to ruin my manicure to get us back INTO the house. THAT is why I don’t do manicures.

    Have a great time on your trip!!

  6. Katie in MA

    Okay, now you are pretty and shiny AND a wonderful husband whose perfect response made us all melt into puddle of goo? I might just have to hate you a little bit now. ;-)

    (Kidding, really – BE CAREFUL tomorrow!)

  7. Em

    It won’t happen now. The fates like to surprise people with things like that and you have just spoiled it for them. Rain, on the other hand – you might want to mention that out loud so the fates can have another spoiled plan. It is like YOU are THEIR parking ticket.

  8. Tracy B

    Look out town…Mir is on the loose! I hope you have a very fun-filled, relaxing trip and everything goes just as planned.

  9. Shelley

    I waited until the last minute to get my hair cut and highlighted the last time. I asked on FB where I could go the next day. I was able to get an appointment the next morning. Never again. The place was more expensive, she used toner on my hair (my stylist doesn’t), I hated the cut, it took forever AND she kept raking over my ears with the comb. I was too chicken to say anything so I kept tilting my head to avoid her scraping my ears. How do the stylists not know they are injuring their clients?

  10. Javamom

    I thought I was neurotic…ha!

    Your trip will be fabulous because you have fabulous hair.

    My hair shows roots and is long and because it’s too expensive to color long hair I do it at home with a box from the drug store which is why I have brownish smear marks on my yellow bathroom wall. And I never figured out how to flatten my hair which is neither curly nor straight but just one big long mess so I give up.

    My birthday manicure I got a few weeks ago, french and all, was lovely and fine and all that because I was treated at a luxury upscale spa downtown, only the smell of the polish was so strong it gave me a headache and after I sniffed it for 24 hours (I could smell it while typing for god’s sake) I was getting lightheaded and nauseous and high so I had to remove it and my nails are now plain. But they don’t smell anymore.

    And I wear the same clothes for years.

    Happy trip! Go shopping!


  11. Aimee

    Now, hush. Everything will be fine. I want you to know, though, that everything I love about your sense of humor is encapsulated in this sentence:

    “I briefly considered turning my head so that she might, I don’t know, hit me in the jaw, instead, but I decided against it.”

    Have a great trip!

  12. MomCat

    Maybe the TSA agent will, you know, grope you, like they keep saying is happening on the news. Then you have had your “bad luck comes in 3’s” experience.

  13. Julie

    I have a bad feeling that I bought that same mani-pedi deal…maybe it would be good to wait a while before I redeem? I haven’t had either in a year, so what’s the hurry?

  14. Beth R

    @Javamom: It sounds like you got a polish that has formaldehyde in it, if it was venting after it cured! If you want to do a manicure again anytime, let the manicurist know that you can’t deal with formaldehyde. They have formulas that don’t and they wear well, too.

    @Mir: hang in there, hon! You’ll have a great, tiring trip like usual and then you’ll come home and Licorice will act as though you’re her bestest most favoritist friend in the world and all will be good. Especially when you throw in an Otto hug :)

  15. Lisa R.

    The last pedicure I got, I would have walked out of the salon if not for the fact that I was with a friend who was treating me so it would’ve been kinda rude. The whole experience just seemed like a recipe for foot fungus. With this place you went being new to the pedicure business, at least there weren’t thousands of feet going before yours on the equipment! Have a great trip…everyone will be saying who IS that well-put-together woman?!

  16. elz

    Hoping you will cover up the bruising from the brush! Also, Oh My God with the mani- pedi. It reminds me of the “salon” where my friend (rural NC) got her nails done pre-wedding. I was SO GLAD I got my nails done before leaving Houston. Next time just pay Chickadee to give you a pedicure at home!

  17. Shalet

    It’s been nine months since I’ve had a haircut and seven months since I’ve had my toenails painted (which by some miracle still have remnants of polish on them). I don’t bother with my hands because they are simply yucky and gross and nail polish is somehow not appropriate for my line of work.

    Anyway you could say I’m overdue. The worst beauty experience I ever had was when a pedicurist (is that a word) shaved my foot raw. Literally raw. I could barely walk for the next week. Needless to say I haven’t been back there.

    Enjoy your coiffing. I’m sure you’ll be a beautiful corpse!

  18. annette

    Have a great trip! I noticed Target had colorful sweater dresses out, btw!

  19. Little Bird

    I can recommend a great place to get your nails done when you arrive in Chicago. They do the whole foot scrub thing, which my mother loves, but I do not (no one is allowed to touch my feet). And they are not at all pricey. They practically give you both foot and hand massages.

  20. Kathy

    I agree with (#7) Em … If you talk about it, it won’t happen! I am RIGHT THERE with you, though! You think just like I do! No good deed … or good day! … goes unpunished!! Have a fun time and enjoy yourself! Don’t worry … (like that could happen!) … there will still be some yucky stuff to come home to!!! (sounds, however, like Otto isn’t yucky!) ;)

  21. Megan

    Okay. Ready? I have never, never ever, neverevernever had a manicure. Or a pedicure. Never.

    Is my girl certificate revoked yet?

    Enjoy the trip!

  22. Debbi

    Have a safe trip!! Can’t wait to hear about it.

  23. Heather

    Hehe oh Otto. Scandalous ;-)
    I’m glad you got your hair all prettified. I got a parking ticket the day before yesterday, so perhaps that evened out you NOT getting one. :P

  24. Crystal

    I’m so with you on the curly to staight hair thing. I LOVE it when I go to my stylist and she straightens my hair. I usually play coy “are you sure you have time?” knowing full and well that I won’t leave until she does it anyways. :) I would seriously pay someone good money if they could come by my house and do it everyday (I seriously suck at doing it myself.)

  25. Reb

    @ Megan

    Me either! I chip nail polish in about 2 seconds, so what’s the point? And my feet are crap so I have to wear full shoes with orthotics, so no-one ever sees my feet.

    But I refuse to hand over my girl certificate. I’ll cling to it with my cold dead unpainted fingernails.

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