I played with a lot of titles for this post. Gently laughing at myself, I considered “Complaints of Privilege, from Just Another White Girl,” but I thought other people might not get the self-deprecating humor. I considered “Seeking Perfection from a Position of Privilege”. Then, switching paradigms, I thought about “First Wife or Slave Girl?” or “Pecking Order in the Harem”
In short, I amused myself in my own odd way.
While all this was going on in my mind, I was getting a pedicure. Yep, at my usual place, not the other, extra fancy one. If you can call a pedicure without a massage chair or whirlpool foot bath extra fancy.
What brought this on? Well, the nail specialist I got in my usual place was one of the slightly stern types who took control of my toes as if they were recalcitrant children who needed to be brought into line. Or as if they weren’t attached to my actual body and connected to actual pain receptors in my brain.
As she poked and trimmed and filed my skin along with the nail, I remembered how I had almost complained about the too gentleness of the my last nail experience. As I sat there, making distressed faces, mostly under my mask, not saying a word beyond a timid “oh!” from time to time, I thought about the difference in approaches.
At the last place, it was as if I were a pampered princess – first wife in the harem, maybe, or Sultan’s mother, – who needed to be handled with kid gloves, wrapped in cotton – pick your cliche. You know what I mean.
At today’s salon, I felt more like the harem girl at the bottom of the list. Being prepared for whatever the Sultan might want me for. The girl’s nails to be tended not as a service to her, but in service to her master.
Ok, I might be taking this a bit over the top. I know.
Because as I was mentally protesting the way she was handling my feet, I had to acknowledge that here I sat, getting my nails taken care of, for not really a lot of money. My nails actually looked really good before she put the polish on, and even though it didn’t feel great at every moment, what did I really expect? Yes, I was paying her, but I was not paying her to treat me like a delicate princess. I was paying her to take care of my nails. Which she was doing.
Which made me think about how privileged I am. “Oh, that was too soft!” “Oh, this one’s too rough!” Yes, like frigging Goldilocks. And that made me laugh.
So here’s a picture of my nails outside where you can see it’s a dark purple. The polish, not my nails. Yes, this is a picture of the “bad” foot.