I’m sure Cindy is a very popular name in Vietnam

I’m sitting in the massage chair at the nail shop getting a pedicure by Cindy—why do they always pick American names? I know, I know, to make it easier for us. But, that isn’t her name: I know it, she knows it. The charade makes me uncomfortable.

Anyway, Cindy is talking away. I have no idea what she’s saying. I can pick up a word here and there, but mostly I just smile and nod. I really don’t want to smile because I sat in the chair for about twenty minutes waiting for her to start my pedicure. It’s the same every time.

“How long is the wait?”

“You sit in chair now. You no wait.”

Liar! I sit here for a half hour before you start every time. It’s waiting whether my feet are in water or not. Now, my water is cold, I have a headache from trying to figure out what the hell she is talking about and there is no Wi-Fi. I am in first world hell and starting to get pissy about it. Then, an even bigger bitch than me walks into the shop.

“I would like a pedicure.”

“Ok. You pick out polish, sit in chair,” Marie (yeah, right) tells new level bitchy.

“This is supposed to be relaxing. I don’t want to look at all that polish. Can’t I just tell you what I have in mind?” she asks. Her shoulders droop from—I don’t know, exhaustion of impending decision making?—her Coach purse comes dangerously close to touching the floor as a result.

You have got to be kidding me. I fucking love her.

“I want something not too bright, absolutely no pinks. It’s almost fall. Something a little earthy, but not too dark. Certainly not coral.”

I laugh out loud despite myself. It wasn’t a problem because Cindy was laughing, too. Evidently, whatever she was saying at that moment was funny.

“Ok, I carry purse. Sit station 7,” Cindy says, helping me from the pedicure chair.

I sit down as instructed. She comes to the table and starts my manicure. She has the polish off the thumb and pointer finger of my right hand. She notices  yellow discoloration on the acrylic.

“I know what you do,” she says loudly. I look around to see if anyone heard her. Are you now, or have you ever been, affiliated with any drug enforcement agency? I ask silently out of habit. If only that shit worked. Geez, how you just gonna throw me out of the cannabis closet like that?

“What color do you want?”

“I want the same as it was. Turquoise on every nail, but one. I want one red.”

“You want turquoise on each nail with one red nail on each hand?” she asks me.

“No, I want all the nails turquoise except for one. I don’t care which one.”

“That no balance.”

“I know, that’s the point.”

She looks at me puzzled, so I explain.

“Indians used to weave beautiful rugs. They were perfect, except for one red thread that would run through the middle of the design. The Indians didn’t want the rug to be perfect. They thought it would anger the Gods. Like the rugs, we aren’t perfect but we are beautiful. I paint one nail red to remind me that even with my faults, I am beautiful.”

She looks at me for 15 seconds and says, “You weird.”

“No, more happy, happy Earth,” bitchy says as she rejects her third not bright absolutely not pink it’s almost fall little earthy not dark certainly not coral polish.

Yeah, I’m weird, Cindy.

 

 

 

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