I recently visited my local nail salon, Happy Nail, to get my nails filled. You know the nail salon is owned by the Vietnamese when it's called Happy Nail, or any variation thereof. Americans will call a nail salon Lustrous Indulgence, or La Bonjour Elegante, or some such shit. I like the simplicity of Happy Nail, though. It's straightforward and indicates that myself and my nails will be happy, and that's what we all want, right?
I've been to this place a thousand times, and usually Johnny does my nails. They all have super simple American names: Johnny, Sally, Kim, Amy. That's because they can't bear repeating their Vietnamese names fourteen times just for you to blow them off and call them Hey instead.
Johnny was busy the day I went in. I ended up getting Sally, who looked none too pleased as I sat down.
"How's your day going, Sally?" I ask, hoping she keeps it short since I have no idea what she's saying usually. That day her English was remarkably clear.
"It worse fucking day of my lie!" she exploded, jerking the jars of powder open and grabbing my hand forcefully.
Stunned, I glanced at the red head sitting next to me. Her eyes got big and she whispered, "It worse fucking day of her lie." I started laughing. Hard. Sally didn't appreciate that and gave me a dirty look.
"If it's the worst day of your life, why are you here?" I ask.
"My hubban make me!" she yelled.
I was becoming concerned. Do I really want this girl doing my nails on the worst fucking day of her life? I start looking around desperately for Johnny as she began to grind hard on my nail.
"Um...if it's the worst day of your life, perhaps someone else can do my nails?" she eyeballed me. "Perhaps?" I whimpered.
"I fine!" she squealed, immediately noticing that my index nail was cracked. She started to pull out that tool they use to rip the fake nail from your throbbing and bleeding nail bed.
"No no", I protested. "I don't like that. Please just grind it."
She jerked back, incensed by my concern for my phalanges.
"Fine. You soak then!"
Well I didn't want to soak. I had forty-five minutes. No soaky.
"Please just grind it." I repeat.
"No!" she yells. She grabs the acetone, squirts it haphazardly into a bowl, and smashes my hand into it. I look over at the red head. She's about to pee her pants laughing. She mouths..."HOLY SHIT".
Holy shit, indeed.
The red head ordered two glasses of wine - one for me. What a nice lady. While I'm reluctantly soaking, afraid to further piss off this little eighty pound Asian, she begins to yell at her husband. Had I taken a wrong turn? This was not Happy Nail. This had quickly become Hell No Nail.
He cursed her in hushed tones and she disappeared to the back long enough for me to drink the whole glass of wine. The red head ordered two more. What a nice lady.
When Sally finally returned, she jerked my hand from the sludge and began to grind so wildly that she cut a quarter inch gash on my finger. I yanked it back as the blood began to ooze out. Fun fact: cuts and acetone don't mix.
"FUCK!" she wailed, as if I'd done something to her. She took off again to the back. Her husband rushed over to me and took over, taking extra care not to kill me and apologizing profusely.
"Why are you letting her do nails on the worst fucking day of her life?" I asked. The red head spit out her wine. He ignored us both.
Eventually Sally came back out and approached me. "So soddy. Lip wax today?"
Hm. Let me think. NO.
I shook my head no. "I'm good."
"NO YOU NOT!" she points to my lip. "It long!" The red head has tears rolling out of her eyes at this point. So do I, but for different reasons.
I think I'd have taken and Epilady or a chainsaw to my lip before I let her get a hold of my ass again.
"I like it long." I informed her. Her face turned red, smoke started billowing from her ears, and she imploded right there in a tiny little pile in front of me.
That day I made a life long friend in that red head, but I didn't get a discount or even a free emergency room pass for my next visit. The place hasn't been the same since. A darkness looms where nails had once been happy. The little Buddha looks uncomfortable covered in blood spatter. There are screams emanating from the back room.
I don't know...maybe there's something to be said for Lustrous Indulgence after all.