Today I did get some (much deserved I might add after the week I had) “mommy me time” and what do I do, I enter the torture chamber known as the nail salon

So I have a confession to make, and before you say anything, please hear me out. I know it’s “the housewife (and working women too by all means) go-to” for “me-time”, relaxation and some “quick beauty fixes”. I know it’s supposed to be soothing and like a “mini-spa” experience (we know how well I do with those) but I don’t actually enjoy getting my nails done- like at all…never have (bordering hate to be quite frank with you). Admit you were thinking nips and tucks here or at least Botox…

Why do you then even go to a nail salon you might ask. Well, it’s almost like you forget from time to time. “Everybody” seems to be doing “mani pedis” nowadays even three year olds and men (yes, men-nothing wrong with that). Before you ask, “no I don’t get my nails done (did) because everyone is doing it” (even if that certainly has some part in it; how come everyone seems to enjoy it so?)
I also quite like the end result which is of course a big part of why I go (and keep coming back, “beauty is pain” and all of that).

Years ago I went because I was “a professional” and needed my nails to follow (pretend) that image. I had long fake nails, nicely shaped with a French manicure. I loved it because as long as we are being honest here, I had a big “biting”  issue when I was younger that left my nails fragile and brittle (and they will now pretty much break if you look at them). To have long, strong, pretty nails made me feel womanly and older and wiser somehow! And I do think it helped the “professions image” and the dating game (what guy wants boyish fingernails on the woman they are trying to romance…?)

The torture it takes to get pretty nails, eh well…

Let’s also take into consideration the extremely bad experiences I have had at nail salons. For examples, this one time when my friend got vouchers to go to some shady place in a bad part of town. We were young, (I’m not saying dumb but definitely not the smartest when it comes to staying out of “danger”… I’m not saying the nail place was dangerous except maybe for our health and our poor nails…but there were times…) and close to broke so we decided to use the huge mani pedi discount. Let’s just say there was blood involved and nobody made it to the “pedi”.

Anyways after having kids, the fancy “fake nail” had to go. Reluctantly at first, I tried a few times after my son’s first birthday (before then? I don’t care who you are, if you don’t have other people taking care of your little one(s) 24/7; bad idea…you need an example of why? Really? Fine, even though I have plenty, I’ll give you a good one; changing diapers…, enough said). I gave that up pretty fast but switched to the hype of gel manis for a while (my nails ended up cracked and even more brittle) and am now back to simple manicures and pedicures (those are even worse).

Let me tell you about pedicures since manicures have gotten significantly better since the whole switching to nails salons in “respectable areas” and the no more acrylic thing (and I am no wuss, I have given birth before…). Ah, the relaxing pedi! NOT

My feet are sensitive (I don’t know if they are more sensitive than other’s people’s feet or not…) and I don’t like other people touching them. Nothing weird like a phobia or anything but the nail ladies (or men) are so rough, why do they have to be so rough. Is it part of their schooling? Is it really necessary for great results (hmm, maybe…)

My sister hates when people touch her feet yet she enjoys a good (and long…read through an entire three hour movie) foot massages (or as she calls it “tickle sessions) by family members and I guess now her boyfriend has qualified (we are the lucky few). So why the foot rubs if she hates her feet being touched you ask? Your guess is as good as mine, my  friend! So, anyways, its nothing like that for me. I guess I should have worded it differently. I’m fine with people touching my feet (not complete weirdoes but you know…professionals…eh, nail professionals…certified beauticians) if they are GENTLE.

The manic filing drives me nuts, I can literally not keep from moving around in agony and am closing to screaming STOP!!! every single time, and yet I start EACH and EVERY appointment by telling them about my very (read extremely for emphasis) sensitive feet. Maybe they don’t understand me, maybe its the language barrier? But I’m pretty sure they do.

There is another thing that makes me so uncomfortable and my experience with nail salons…not a great one. The communication between me and the nail professionals (I’m sure they might like a different title? but I’m not sure which one). The communication…or the lack thereof. I understand not speaking the language, I understand language barriers, accents and not being understood. TRUST YOU ME!!!

It is not that, its the constant whispering in a different language, and that’s fine but the giggling, the whispering and the giggling together makes it impossible for me not to think they are talking about me. They look at me, look away and giggle. This is true and I’m not trying to stereotype here, be insensitive a jerk or paranoid…every single nail place that I have ever been to, I’ve had the same experience.

So that alone is fine, it is the pairing of the constant curiosity of guessing what they are talking about, what is so funny or if I have poop on my forehead or left over baby food (or worse milk) on my chest or something? With the roughness of the “relaxing spa treatments”. The cutting of the skin around the nails (what is that about?), the filing my heels raw, the stinging of that clear liquid, the brutal massage chair (I’m sorry, but that thing hurts-I always have to muster up the courage to tell them to turn it off “yes, I’m sure, completely off…sorry”…usually somewhere in the middle of the appointment after enduring some tough punches to my back for over half an hour), the water that is too hot and the time that moves painfully slow.

My mom loves nail salons and begs me to take her ever time she is here, so see there, its defiantly not a Swedish “thing”.

When I tell people, I’m going to do my nails I get responses like “lucky you”, “enjoy yourself”, and “if only I had the time…(for that luxury)” and from some slightly nicer friends “you deserve it”. But do I? Deserve it I mean? I don’t think so, is it even worth it? Doubtful…

Sure, I like how my feet and finger nails turn out, how clean and smooth they feel and how manageable they get (for about 5 minutes until someone poops, pukes or pretends mommy is a horse…trust me on that one).

Today I did get some (much deserved I might add after the week I had) “mommy me time” and what do I do? I enter the torture chamber known as the nail salon…it isn’t all that bad, they are true professionals after all, how do they learn how to do all that stuff? And you know what? My toenails and fingernails have never looked better!!!

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About jennym

A doctor of psychology and a mother of four writing about the struggles and joys and the ups and downs of motherhood, marriage, pregnancies, deliveries and her absolute love for her children in a humoristic yet down to earth weekly blog!

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