One of the original intentions of this blog was to document my forays into some very women-centric aspects of society, typically being my explorations into adding female garments into my wardrobe and my own study and adaptation of women’s style and my own style.
Today I undertook one such adventure into the jungles of ladyhood, as for the first time in my life, I got what the natives of the land call, a mani pedi. I’ve been experimenting here and there lately with painting my own nails and in general have done just a fantastically pisspoor job at it. So for a while now I’ve been interested in getting my nails done by an actual professional. So after doing some research on Yelp for decently rated nail salons, and by the way wow, talk about a service that a lot of women seem to use and yet based on Yelp no one seems to have a place they love to get it done at, I found one near me that at least had four stars.
I decided to go whole hog and get the “spa” treatment, so I was sitting in a massage chair with my feet in a water tank, while one lady worked on them while her colleague worked on my hands. I know that men getting mani pedis isn’t actually all that unheard of, in fact the yelp review page for the place I listed had a few reviews from some guys, but I will say that almost immediately after the process began it really seems almost impossible not to feel like the most glaring stereotype of absolute femininity. The whole time the girl was working on my fingernails, she had me hold my hand in such a way that it felt like I was supposed to be ready to say “charmed, I’m sure,” at a moment’s notice.
At varying points during the time they were working on me, and by the way bless the heart of the girl working on my toenails, I definitely found myself sliding in and out of bliss. It’s really hard not to just soak up the pampering and feel adrift, but I also kept slipping into awkwardness, because when I came in and they started setting me up, I hadn’t mentioned it was my first time, and so I guess they assumed I knew what to do or what to ask for and I didn’t. Eventually I said, hey this is my first time doing one of these, by the way, but it didn’t feel like that reduced the amount of awkward moments where I felt like I’d been supposed to know to move my feet or my hand, or that since I was a male they just assumed I didn’t want color on my nails, and it wasn’t until they were packing up their supplies and saying thank you that I realized, oh they think we’re done and I really want color.
It was only when I went to pay that I saw there was a wall of nail polishes that I could have gone to and picked my preferred color from. Also when it was time to pay, I assumed I could add my tip to the card, which I could but I had to tell them beforehand which I didn’t know, so the poor girl had to void out the transaction and rerun it because I hadn’t been aware of the setup, or the fact that it was something I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
The reason I bring both of these things up is just that my awkwardness contributed to me being a little more uncomfortable than I probably could have been. It does seem like having your nails done is something of a pretty relaxing, pampering way to spend a half hour or so, and I can see it being something I might do once every few months, but I definitely think I’ll enjoy it a little more when I know more what the motions are so I can just sit back and let it happen rather than constantly feeling like I’m doing something wrong.