“Do I go with ‘Mod About You’ or ‘I Can’t Hear Myself Pink’?” she asked Caroline as her bag hung from her elbow. “It’s, like, do I want to be supes flashy tonight or low key?”
The Asian woman at the counter continued to signal that they needed to sit down as they had already shown up ten minutes late for their 11 o’clock Saturday appointment, but the girls insisted that they weren’t ready despite the line of walk-ins glaring at them from the front.
“I’m just going to go with ‘Mod About You’ today,” she finally decided while walking towards her chair. “Mimos?” she asked Caroline while making fake pour motions to the 24-year-old girl that knelt in front of her who was about to carry out her appointment.
While waving her hand in her face, she loudly (but slowly) said, “Ex. Cuse. Me. Can. We. Have. Cham. Pagne. And Orange. Juice?” as if slowing her speech down to a sluggish level would somehow make it easier for her manicurist to understand despite the fact that she has been fluent in English for the better part of a decade. She walked off and snickered with the other manicurists about what a nightmare the next 45 minutes were going to be, only to return with two extremely weak mimosas.
As their feet soaked, Caroline asked about Todd, mentioning that they’d been dating for over a year and “he has to think about popping the question at some point, right?”
“I just… I don’t know,” she said before having her toe pricked by the manicurist. “Um, ouch, do you mind?” she asked in a demeaning tone.
The massage chair rolled heavily throughout her back as she stared off into the distance imagining her wedding day while Caroline made an OpenTable reservation on her phone for a farm-to-table dinner that night. Thinking the girls had no idea what was going on at their feet, the manicurists engaged in discussion in their first language.
Picking up her phone, she opened her iMessage conversation with Caroline and texted, “Can you believe these fucking bitches are just sitting here talking shit about us in a foreign fucking language?” Immediately upon sending the message, she looked in Caroline’s direction with only her eyes signaling her unhappiness.
“Um, excuse me, miss?” she asked, again in a slow tone where she overenunciated every word. “This water is too hot, can you turn it down before it burns me?” The manicurist rolled her eyes and felt the water for herself before adjusting the temperature and getting back to work.
“I just… I just don’t know what Todd wants right now. He’s so busy with work and, like, we’ve talked about getting engaged but we haven’t talked about getting engaged… you know?”
“Oh, totes, totes,” Caroline responded, never looking up from her phone.
“I can only drop so many hints. Like, how many times do I have to leave my wedding board up on Pinterest on my laptop before he gets it through his head?”
The manicurist signaled for her to take both legs out of the water so she could begin massaging her calves and painting her toenails with her selected color, Mod About You. But being too deep in her own train of thought, the manicurist was forced to grab her leg and take it out of the water herself which prompted a look of “How dare you?” to come down from the massage chair.
“Please don’t get any lotion on my leggings,” she requested before asking Caroline about dinner. “Did you make the rezzie or were they all booked? I want to let Todd know what time we’re going tonight.”
Caroline peered over and asked, “Sorry, what was that? I missed what you said. Oh oh, dinner, duh. I’m in my own world today. Yeah, we’re on for eight people at 8:30 at Fork + Knife. It’s gonna be so fresh.”
For the next ten minutes, they’d review the menu item by item expressing how delicious (or, “delish” as they said) everything sounded with Caroline finally closing with, “I’m, like, totes over my avo stage. I’m just such a kimchi person right now.”
Yet again rolling their eyes, both manicurists hurriedly lead the girls to their seats to put the finishing touches and color on their nails. With the walk-in line growing longer, the girls couldn’t help but feel rushed which only made them want to take longer as though they felt they deserved better treatment than they were receiving.
Setting her phone in front of her between her arms in case Todd decided to text her back about dinner, she knew she wouldn’t be able to respond until her nails dried anyway. Fearing the uncomfortable face-to-face with the manicurist who she had been on bad terms with since her appointment started, she found it easier to look at her phone or stare off into the distance rather than make uncomfortable conversation.
But as the girls sat at their respective tables receiving the finishing touches, her phone buzzed and she looked down expecting to see the name Todd with the red emoji heart next to his name pop up on her screen. But with wide eyes and a dropped jaw, she stared at her phone.
“Ummm, Caroline… why did Trip just text me?” .
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