Nails 4 U
Los Angeles, CA
I’m not what you’d call a high maintenance person. I know that most people who say they are not high maintenance are exactly the opposite, but I promise I’m not. I won’t make a fuss if my hair gets wet during a sudden thunderstorm, nor will I complain incessantly about my very tall shoes giving me a very serious case of blisters. But what I do hope for when getting my nails done is to not see any blood.
I needed a manicure for a fancy shmancy event. The minute I walked in, I felt something sticky underneath my sandals. Was it spilled soda? Was it linoleum that had seen harder days? Who knew! All I knew was that a stern, steely-eyed receptionist silently pointed to the rack of nail polish colors available. The more expensive ones were locked away in a glass case like the Hope Diamond.
After perusing for about twenty seconds, she barked to pick a color, because my seat was ready. I settled on a light pink, looking forward to a relaxing half-hour of pampering. That is until the “massage” “chair” began “attacking” my back. Well, more like assaulting my back. Actually, although I’ve never been stabbed to death, I feel like I got the sensory experience of it.
Then with a swift grasp, the manicurist—also steely-eyed—took my fingers and dunked them in a baby kiddie pool full of soapy suds. Minutes passed, my back stabbed until my spine began to bruise, as she methodically sawed off my nails. I didn’t know you could get tennis elbow from sitting, but I somehow managed.
Then as the manicurist cut, I noticed a trickle of red followed by the swish of air on a wound, the painful “aaaaaaaaaargh!” moment that ensues after a paper cut. I pulled back and asked why there was FUCKING BLOOD ON MY HANDS. The response was another swift grasp and a dab of alcohol, which only MADE ME SCREAM MORE.
Maybe it was the shock, but I just sort of sat still, waiting for the David Lynch nightmare to be over. As the manicurist carefully painted each nail like a piece of wooden fence, there it glared at me—the gigantic spurt of red, healing very, very slowly. I stared at it. Long. Hard. Still feeling the Swiss Army knives of the chair pulverizing my liver. I wanted to taste the blood…
And then, without warning, I was snapped back as they instructed me to hold my hands over a teensy little fan that could cause a tornado warning in Lilliput.
The blood… the horror… the horror…
I will say the service was prompt and I was able to get it all done during my lunch break. Plus I got a few compliments when I got back to the office, and at the fancy shmancy soiree that evening!
Two stars for promptness, but loss of stars due to loss of blood.
Nadia Osman is a writer and performer based in Los Angeles. If you bring her a sandwich, she will love you forever. Find her on Twitter @msnadiaosman.