The Day I Got My Nails Did

“My Chihuahua Bites” by O.P.I. (the name of the nail polish I selected today) — That ain’t all that bites. I think I hold the record for worst nail salon experiences ever.

I went to a recently-opened salon this morning. Actually, today is the second time I’ve been there. I wasn’t thrilled with the results the first time, but they were new, I figured the nail technicians were not very experienced — perhaps even students at the nearby college, and all-in-all my pedicure wasn’t THAT bad but I have had a lot better. A LOT better. And, the 10% off grand opening special made it a little easier to swallow. So, I gave them another try.

This particular salon is like the Taj Mahal of all nail salons, interior design speaking. There are 15 manicure stations and 20 pedicure massage chairs. Hanging from a high ceiling are three, incredibly large, ornate chandeliers in addition to all the other special lighting. Just an impressive-looking salon in every respect. Except for my nail tek. Now, what are the odds I would be served by the same nail tek both times. Like I said, if the business was filled to capacity, there were stations for 35 technicians. 35! And I got paired with the same one who did a half-ass job my first go-round. I know. I could’ve asked for someone different, but I didn’t want to insult her.

Without giving you a play-by-play of my mani and pedi, when I left the Taj Mahal, four of my 10 fingers were cut. Not my nails or cuticles, mind you, my FINGERS. Three were treated with drops MULTIPLE times from the little bottle of green shet. That magic potion they rarely use for an accidental nick. One finger required a bandaid, because the green shet couldn’t stop the bleeding. My nails looked worse leaving there than when I came in.

The nail tek called her manager over to tell her she could not get one of MY FINGERS to stop bleeding. I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t I get up and leave when she nicked my first finger. It’s called depression.

I had a long talk with someone today who told me they were so distraught that they could not perform the simplest of tasks — that their brain was so consumed with depression that they could not concentrate. And that’s exactly why I didn’t get up. I actually went to the salon to cheer myself up because I do love pretty nails. But my mind was in that same place. Somewhere dark and depressing, distraught as well. I just sat there as the tek ruined my nails/skin. It was as if I was in a trance. (Sometimes an inflicted pain, intentional or otherwise, is worth it if it can take away the pain of depression, if only for a little while. Unfortunately for some, though, their hurt can only be relieved by death.) Finally, I snapped out of it, and that’s when the anger set in. This time rightfully so. But, as I have mentioned before, anger, to me, is just a bodyguard for sadness. I stood up, slung those stupid spacers and fake flip flops off my feet, gathered my jewelry, and said enough’s enough. I went the fuck off. I was so upset that the nail tek took off running to the back room. Shit, I would have, too, ha. The manager took over from there. She offered to correct the mistakes. I’m like, you can do skin grafts? I just asked her to tell me how much I owed and that I was leaving. She continued asking me to stay — my nails were not even half finished — I declined. By then I began crying. I don’t know if it was from my stupid depression or the throbbing skin pain. I just knew I had to leave. She wouldn’t accept payment then presented me with a $36 gift certificate to return — her gift to me, she said.

Having spent no money, I went directly to the convenience store and purchased a couple of brewskis. It was kind of like they were free if you know what I mean. And I needed something for my pain…both kinds. Oftentimes people with depression self-medicate, but, then, I also needed something for my fingers that pulsated with every beat of my heart. Holy crap she did a number on me. And I just sat there and let her do it. Well, not me, but depression. Depression let her do it.

Anywho, anybody want a free mani and pedi? Hit me up. Thirty-six bucks worth. And they serve complimentary wine and soft drinks to boot. If you’re afraid based on my experiences, I may just re-gift the certificate to one of my shitty neighbors. They’ll be like, woo-wee, that’s worth more than a casserole!

Like what you read? Give Donna Pritchett Smith a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.