Empty House, Full Mind

Views of life from the empty nest


I go for a mani/pedi every two weeks or so, which means my nails look good for a week then not so good for a week.  I’m not terribly vain, so it doesn’t bother me too much.   I actually love the smell of the nail salon – the mix of lotions, acetone, and polish, which mean relaxation to me.   The place I go to get my nails done is called Happy Nails – a great name for a nail shop – descriptive, accurate, and inviting.  I am fascinated by the nail salon culture, which is utterly female.  There are two groups in this girly place – the customers and the technicians.  I don’t do anything at all while I’m getting my nails done, except watch the people, which is one of my favorite things to do anyplace, anytime – if you’re a people watcher, you never get bored. There’s a wide variety of women that come in, from young moms with their little girls (do you want a flower with that?) to the elderly women who live nearby in Leisure World, accompanied by their caregivers.  Its inspiring to see these senior citizens, using walkers, canes, or holding on to their companions, making the effort to feel beautiful and cared for, just as its delightful to see the little girls getting purple toenails and pink fingernails, so excited yet sitting still, fingers spread apart, so as not to smudge the polish.  The techs are busy, filing and lathering and massaging gently, all the while chattering happily in Vietnamese amongst themselves as they work. I’m curious about the circuitous paths their lives have taken that led them to this little place in my neighborhood, but I don’t ask – I like the anonymity and quiet too much. 


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