Self care is one of those buzz words that just won’t go away, and for good reason. Most of us don’t do enough self care, because we’ve all mindlessly submitted to the belief that if you aren’t constantly tired, you’re not working hard enough. It’s like you feel guilty for spending all Saturday in your underwear watching Netflix and ordering takeout. Unlike most people, I will never see getting my nails done as a form of self care. Nail shops are a mind phuck resulting in anxiety and constant questioning of social norms. I don’t look forward to the process of getting my nails done at all. I almost equate it to getting a Pap smear in that it’s terribly uncomfortable, the person performing the task is talking at an awkward time, and I just want it to be over. Here’s a list of things I hate that nail shop.
- Choosing a nail color. This shouldn’t be that hard, yet I feel like it’s a race against time to choose a color I’ll be okay with for two whole ass weeks. As soon as you walk in the nail tech tells you to choose a color, and if you take too long they judge you. BUT, if you choose a color you don’t like and ask them to change it, they judge you. I always want to say, “Hey I have commitment issues, so can I have some time and space to really get to know this color?”
- The up charge math. Moment of honesty, I suck at math. I am convinced the nail tech knows this, and lures me into all of these up-charges that she knows I’m going to lose track of. One minute I’m at a total of $25 for a fill in, and by the time I leave I need to take out a small loan, because they’ve charged me to take off my old polish, cut down my nails, add a quick dry top coat, and somehow a massage got thrown in there. In your mind you’re thinking it’s only an extra $3, then an extra $6, and next thing you know you’re washing towels in the back to cover your debt.
- The stare down. Have you ever gotten stared down by the other nail techs in the salon who aren’t doing anyone’s nails? They stare at your nails during the entire process, and you don’t know if you should be flattered or concerned. Then other techs start coming out the back to gawk at you too. What the hell is happening here?
- Cuticle cutting. I cannot look while they cut my cuticles. I just don’t understand how they know where to stop, and I am terrified they are going to strike blood. It literally makes my palms sweat to watch that, so I casually look away.
- The tip Nazis. Until I moved to New York, I had never been shamed into tipping. These salon owners play no games. They will tell you, you didn’t tip enough, to which I say bull shit! I always over tip, because I know they expect for me not to tip at all. A friend of mine was literally told she couldn’t leave a salon until she tipped more. Crazy right?!
- Angry patrons. I hate it when hood and/or entitled people show out in the nail shop. It’s so embarrassing. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but it really is. You sit there and cringe while they curse the nail tech out for reasons no one understands, and then you end up over tipping and being overly nice to compensate for the actions of the women you don’t even know.
- The emergency shop. Going to a new salon, because you can’t get to your regular place, and realizing shortly thereafter that you’ve made a terrible mistake is one of the worst experiences in womanhood. You realize really quickly that this place is not up to par, but you’re in too deep to tell them to stop, and really you just want to run out of there screaming like a busty white chick in a horror film.
- The Questionnaire. I have left the nail shop before in a state of existential crisis, because my nail tech has started asking me questions about life that I can’t answer. It starts off so harmless.
Nail Tech: You’re not married?
Nail Tech: Why not? You’re such a pretty girl. Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Who sent you? Did my mom put you up to this? I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M SINGLE!!! *Flips table and knocks everything off shelves, then turns into She Hulk and renders entire city destitute.