The Manicure Experience
Years ago, when I was a little girl, I would often accompany my mother to her Saturday hairdressing appointment at
Rose’s. The two owners were both named Rose; the older was “Big Rose” and the younger was “Little Rose.” In addition to having her hair washed, cut, set, styled and sprayed, she would get a manicure. It cost $2. Today, manicures are mostly unavailable in hair salons; they are done in their own venues, called spas or salons, where much more is offered.
Appointments mean nothing in places like this. I often think they laugh after hanging up the phone, the caller having been promised a “2:00 appointment.” The only thing you can be sure of when you make one is that you will get the operator you want and you will be attended to within ½ hour of the arranged time.
There are all kinds of “add-ons” that not only increase the cost of a manicure but the quality (so they say.) You can get a gel manicure, French, reverse French, paraffin, hot stone, Brazilian, American, Spa, and others. If you have a broken nail, a professional can fix it with glue, gel or a fake nail. All cost extra.
What I like best is the experience of being in a (mostly) all-female environment where lots of “girl-talk” takes place. Many women bring their daughters or granddaughters for a special treat and one can enjoy the multi-age conversations taking place. It’s also interesting to see how women with wet nails manage to text and use their SmartPhones.
The manicurists are usually sweet and accommodating. And how we trust those women! They could easily scorch our skin with hot wax, gash our cuticles with sharp instruments or steal from us when they handle our money. It’s bad enough that the chemicals wafting through the air are frying our brains. But trust them we do!
Yesterday, just after her manicure, the woman next to me decided to purchase the polish that had been applied. Her nails still wet, she instructed the manicurist to go into her bag (would we even allow our husbands entry to such a sacred repository?), root around until she found a small purse, extract the payment and come back with the right change.
And I haven’t even mentioned the “free” 10-minute back massage! These are performed by the lower echelon of the spa staff; the girls who re-stock the steaming hand towels, clean up the counters and are the “gofers” for the manicurists. I always avail myself of this relaxing reward, close my eyes and chant “ommm” to myself. Everyone knows when it’s over…you get three fast raps on the back and the offer of “oil?” to top off your nails. A tip to the massage lady, who also hands you your car keys, purse, and
helps you with your jacket, and you’re out the door. A small spa break in
the middle of the day! Everyone deserves it!