Ignorance (And An Hour At The Nail Salon)

cartoon bubbles, short story

I stared down at my toenails.

They were beginning to resemble chipped paint, from an old, rusty automobile, only, one might describe that as “vintage” or “classic”, or even . . . “charming”. It was a Friday afternoon, and I had an hour to spare – time for an overhaul. I went to my “regular” place, where the nail technicians speak very little English.

BUT, I am not there to have a discussion about world politics,

and small talk bores me,

so that suits me just fine.I, once, read an online review by a customer who could speak Vietnamese. She indicated that the nail technicians were all taking trash about the customers. I asked myself if that bothered me. “NO,” was my response. As long as they do a good job, I don’t care what they have to say about my “charming” toenails (or, any other part of my body, for that matter). I just stick my feet in the warm, bubbly, non-judgmental water, press the “seat recline” button on the remote control, close my eyes, and tune everything out.

Sometimes, I do get caught up in the sound of the language. And, sometimes, I am AMAZED at how MUCH these ladies can talk! I am not a big talker (in ANY language), but what could they possibly be talking about?  For THAT long??!

I wonder . . .Then, I laugh to myself.

They are talking about my “charming” feet.

That may be so, I think, but this calf massage feels REALLY good. Sometimes, I look at the other customers, and try to imagine what the nail technicians might be saying about THEM. OH, I can have a good time with that . . . And, wouldn’t it be great if I COULD speak Vietnamese??? I could spontaneously chime-in on their conversation. Can you imagine the looks on their faces?

I wonder how you say “Oh, shit!” in Vietnamese??! Language, in general, fascinates me. I always wonder what American English sounds like to foreigners. I, once, asked a Dutch speaking friend what he thought. (Now, DUTCH is a funny sounding language).

With one eyebrow raised, and a semi-frown, he tilted his hand side-to-side, and said, “Nothing special,”which is exactly what I would have guessed.

After my nails were painted

(the color of the day), and I sat with my feet under the “toenail dryer” for ten minutes,I went to the counter to pay my bill. With a smile and a tip, I said “thank-you” to my nail technician, Aya. And, maybe she did talk trash about my “charming” toes, but when she smiled back at me, I chose to believe that it was sincere, for ignorance (and an hour at the nail salon)

. . . is bliss.