Do You Want Insults With That?

One of my very occasional treats to myself is to stop by the Pretty Nail down the street from my house. I never manage to orchestrate free time far ahead enough to make an actual spa appointment, but you can always just walk right in to the Pretty Nail.

I like to get an eyebrow wax first, and then follow with up with a pedicure – blissful. Except not really. Not at the Pretty Nail. When I lie down for my eyebrow wax, which ends up looking fantastic, but usually involves ripping half the skin off my forehead, the Pretty Nailette (Nailer?) always stares down critically and says, with a perfectly raised eyebrow of her own, “No lip today??” “Um, no. No lip, thank you.” Actually I wasn’t aware that I was in need of a lip wax until she pointed it out, and now I will probably talk to people for the rest of the week with my hand covering my mouth, but I’m just not willing to lose the skin from the bottom half of my face. After this chastening treatment, I’m led to the massage chair (forget the glider – every new mom should register for one of these) where I select a pale, summery pink for my toes. “No,” says my Pretty Nailette. “No…?” “Your toes are too yellow. Dark color better for you.” “Oh,” say I, and sadly but obediently select a somber near black more appropriate to those of us with unacceptably yellow feet. I leave with impeccable toenails and exquisite eyebrows, and slightly lower self esteem. And yet I will be back. Is it that the bossy Pretty Nailette fulfils some need I have to be gently insulted on a regular basis? Do I want to be mothered, since most of the time I do the mothering? (Though why I would associate insults with mothering is a question probably best left to another day, maybe twenty years or so from now.) Or is it just that, including a generous tip, the total for my visit comes to under thirty dollars?