Posted by: Jenny | April 13, 2013

Nails Tales

The nail salon seems to have replaced the beauty shop as the neighborhood hotbed of news & gossip. Have you noticed this?

I’ve been going every two weeks for about the past year to American Nails – every other Saturday – for manicures and sometimes a pedicure or brow wax to break up the monotony. About five weeks ago, American Nails was so packed that I decided, in a stupid fit of impatience, to go elsewhere, where I got the worst manicure ever. The following Saturday found me back where I belonged to have a do-over, and that’s when I realized something.

Not a familiar face among the clientele. I had jumped over, time-warped into the off-Saturday schedule, where I now reside.

Same beautiful workers, but a different crowd. I kind of like them! These, in Lost vernacular, are the “Others”, but they’re good Others. Now, the first and third Saturday folks are the Others.

There is enough reporter in me to keep my mouth shut and ears wide open when I’m in the nail salon. This morning, the women discussed the differences between our town and the next one over (Carmel, for those unfamiliar with my area). Which led to speculation about what our town leaders have in mind for our downtown area and whether it would be as spectacular – and pricey – as Carmel. And that led to a life-long resident of Fishers to talk about the olden days, before the building boom of the 90s and 2000s caused the population to increase by tens of thousands.

She told us her mom was one of only two post office employees (her mom was the nice old lady, versus Evelyn, the mean old lady) in the tiny town Fishers used to be, and that she had worked for the Town when it was in an old bungalow, across the street from the massive government complex where Town Hall now reigns.

I have worked for the Town for almost 12 years now, but I didn’t volunteer that information. Telling strangers you work for the government rarely leads to any good, especially since any conversation that starts that way usually ends with “…well I pay YOUR salary”. At which point I want to flip them a quarter and tell them “Here’s your refund”.

But, I digress. All this is to say that my 26 Saturday mornings per year spent in the nail salon have been time well spent, and not only because my Fred Flintstone feet look as great as they’ll ever look. I look forward to my time in the salon, learning more about the people who work there (Suzy’s wedding is coming up soon!), but witness strangers become acquaintances and then friends. Because I can hear opinions about the state of our schools, our children, the best place to shop for a good brisket, and what the old days looked like in our booming burg.

And it kind of makes me feel like maybe our world isn’t so big and impersonal after all.

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