Writing on location month! For the next four weeks, I will bring my laptop wherever I go and write about wherever I happen to be.
So here I am at Sonellex, typing away on my laptop with very blue water bubbling around my feet.
How to describe this little place? The word “efficient” immediately comes to mind. This is not the kind of spot that you go if you want a 20-minute massage involving three different kinds of unguents. It’s more the slam, bam, thank-you variety, which is just fine by me because one reason why I don’t like going for pedicures is that I find it very dull.
However, as I write, I realize there are aspects to a visit to the nail salon that are positively fascinating.
One of these aspects is getting to the nail salon. Have you ever noticed that the minute you pull into the surrounding parking lot you start to feel kind of cut-throat? The drivers around you could be potential customers and, if you dilly dally, they could well make your wait to get painted on longer. Sure, you can hope they’re going to the next-door tanning salon instead, but if you’re smart, you treat these drivers as competitors.
So you park instantly, fling your purse over your shoulder, and walk seemingly casually but actually quite briskly to the salon in order to secure your place in a line you hope isn’t long.
Then there is the issue of choosing a nail polish color. It doesn’t really matter what I pick, I am always disappointed by my choice. Like, why do I ever, ever think blue is a good idea? I’m sick of it within the hour. Then, if I play it safe with red, I feel boring and predictable. If I go with brown or grey or cream or some other bland and genteel color that seems like it would be at home in NYC, I am only reminded that I don’t live in NYC.
Have you ever noticed how weird the posters are in a nail salon? Why do the hands look so computer generated even though they also look like they were photographed in 1981? Then, if these posters showcase hands and a person’s face, why does the model always look like she has a stomach ache?
Right now, I’m looking at one poster featuring four photographs, all of which showcase hands in various poses. In the first photo, the hand, which may well be detached from a body, is holding a lotus flower. In the second photo, two hands are holding a green apple. The third shows a hand holding a foot on top of what I think is a banana leaf. And finally, the fourth, the showstopper, shows the hand inserting a single grape into a red-lipped mouth.
You have to wonder what the creative direction is with this collection of photos. Do they tell a story? Why the grape?
Also interesting is how relaxing people find the classic pedicure. I mean, I get it in theory, of course, and I do find the massage part rather nice. But I spend a good lot of pedicure time trying not to kick my pedicurist in the face because it tickles so much.
To keep myself grounded, I hold onto the handles of the chair as if experiencing serious turbulence in an airplane.
Not helping me relax is the massage chair. If you told me its innards were made up of a collection of elbows, I’d believe you. And then there is the shaking. Not good for the ol’ chin waddle, is it? Not a good look I’m putting out there. I try to elegantly put my fingers under my chin, as if I’m an aristocrat deep in thought, but it’s not fooling anyone.
Finally, there is the wait for your nail polish to dry. The people at Sonnellex are pretty firm about making you wait there for at least 10 minutes, but I never make it that long. After three, I gingerly pluck out my credit card and beg to pay so I can move on with my day. I’m not met with a lot of approval.
I usually make it to the car before I have messed up one of my nails. But that’s OK. Because this time, I wrote a column along the way.