Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I am done with you and all of your kind, forever, because obviously this just not something I enjoy.
I am talking about the professional mani-pedi. Women are supposed to love them, and I really do like the look of perfectly buffed, smoothed and polished digits. So I had a bright idea - to celebrate the end of my daughter's two year slog of grad school classes, we'd go get our nails did, like fancy ladies!
Preface: I very, very rarely pay anyone to do my nails. I may be 55 but I can still reach my own damn toes, and if I want to paint them, I can do it my ownself. But I hadn't in a while, because busy, and my feet needed a good scrub-down and buffing, because neglected. And so I decided I would go to a nail salon and let a pro do it, and treat my daughter. We went to a place that came recommended by a friend I've known for years, who had gotten a "great, inexpensive" pedicure there.
Spoiler Alert: You can have great, or you can have cheap, and wonder if you're going to need antibiotics in a few days, or possibly a liver transplant after a surprise attack of hepatitis. You cannot have both.
You have to understand that here, nails salons are nearly as thick on the ground as fire ants, and unless you want to go to a real salon and pay $45 for a French manicure and aromatherapy and a glass of wine, they all do the same thing. So I figured her recommendation was as good as any, if we were just going to draw a random nail salon out of a hat. We went. It was my daughter's first pedicure, because we just don't do that shit in our family. I will be apologizing for the rest of my life. (Actually, we are laughing it off, but in a pissed-off way.) And I will not take any more salon advice from that friend.
It may be me. I may have some homing device that activates when I walk into a nail salon (which I've done a grand total of, oh, FOUR times in the last 10 years) that makes the least competent tech in the place appear before me as if summoned by demons. I kid you not, but 3 out of the 4 times I've gone to a salon for a pedicure in the last decade, I got the same guy. This is a pretty good trick, since these visits happened in different cities and different states, and he didn't look the same, but yes, the same guy. He doesn't speak much English, and he treated my feet like he was sanding a block of wood he didn't particularly like, and it hurt. Not a word was said, I was like an inanimate object.
Oh, the 4th time? That was at a day spa on a gift certificate, and the session cost more than I could have ever afforded on my own. It was pleasant enough, but not enough to make me want to make a habit of it, even if I could afford it.
My daughter, seated next to me, got the gentle guy. I got the guy who dragged that sanding block over my heel with great force, and then with equal force, continued to attack the tender arch of my foot - when I yelped and said it hurt, he smiled uncomprehendingly. I really wanted to kick him in the face, and it would have served him right.
After the torture came a speedy and efficient polish, and I do admit my nails look nice, and I hadn't gotten around to doing them myself. But for the price and the pain, it definitely was not worth it. The only time the tech spoke to me was when he slapped some polish on my fingers - 'You pay now?"
I also was very uncomfortable with their sanitation practices, to the point where I think the health department should drop by. But they were busy, busy, busy, and nobody looked like a hooker or a junkie, so I'm hoping the risk of hepatitis is low - the risk of a fungus is probably middling.
Congratulations darling daughter! I'm so proud of you for finishing your master's degree with a 4.0! Congratulations on your new job, too! I hope you like your nails, and I hope your new job comes with good health insurance, because you might be needing a blood test or something.
Never again. Nope, nope, nope.