Gendered spaces: men, at the nail salon? Hold the phone!

Manicured Hand

Here's Ol' Seer's hand. Enjoy the manicure while it lasts, girl. About four hours before you ruin the shit.

About to get a mani-pedi (that’s a manicure and a pedicure) and a two men are in the waiting room. It messes up the whole feel of the place. I sit down in the chair, and a man walks out of the manicure room with a lady: his girlfriend, perhaps. It’s clear: the men have invaded our space. The space of people with vaginae, I mean.

Every woman here wants equality, I’m sure. I’m sure the men here do, too. But what when gender leaks into space and time? How do the men feel when there are “too many chicks” in the sports bar? I mean when they’re not trying to score? Or too many people with hoohas at the pick’n’pull, or the strip club, or wherever the sausage party is nowadays? I’m not a dude, so I don’t know. I only know from beer commercials, and I don’t have a TV anymore because I’m not trusted with one because I don’t turn it off and I’ll watch infomericals from beginning to end (“Is that Freedom Rock?” “Turn it up!”).

I never talk to people I don’t know in the salon. Like a reality show, I’m not here to make friends. I just want detritus sheared off my body. (I guess they only do that on “The Biggest Loser.” No wait: “Extreme Makeover.” Although there they just make them look like drag queens there.) So I won’t talk to these people who happen to have penises. Or in front of them, really. The only one I ever talk to is the one with the chest tattoos who gives a fantastic manicure. And that’s weird, too. (He’s the best here, though. And the only one who can do a “pink and white” with red and gold–my signature, but I hate asking. So complicated! My nails aren’t long enough today, anyways.)

My friend Skelly still remembers the time an old man gave her a pedicure. “He was so old! And he was touching my feet!” Did he do a good job? “Yes. But he was so old!” she even told them about it at the next salon she went to (B&J Nails, which we always laugh at, because we are immature) and all the ladies tittered. “I was a hit,” Skelly says. “They thought that was the funniest thing ever.”

Pedicured foot

First Linda hurt me, then I got hives! My poor feet still have terrible scars. Hideous. Why am I even showing you? This is the way, step inside.

I asked my technician if she does a lot of men’s feet. Three today! Six I mean. Three pair. (Actually, I didn’t ask. There could have been three through six feet in that mix. Maybe seven!) I asked if she minded. Of course she won’t say yes, but she also can’t disagree with me if I say it’s weird. It’s part of the rules of service. I hella twitch and I apologize, but all she can do is laugh. So what I’m saying is I don’t know if she minds men’s feet. She might mind my scarred feet, all twitching and shit. I don’t know her mind. I don’t know her life!

Why am I not enlightened? I don’t know.

I don’t mind men in the yoga studio. That doesn’t bother me.

Men in the waiting room of the vajayjay doctor? Kinda weird, when they’re not there with their partners. Really uncomfortable when someone brings her kid, and the worst when someone brings her son. There is a time for sitters, and that time is when you need someone to look at your vagina, in any context. Really, don’t bring your minor son into this. I cannot stress this enough. Okay, when you’re pregnant, and they’re just doing pregnant leave-your-clothes-on stuff, whatever. But Jesus cries when you take your son with you to your cooter doctor appointment.

(Thank you for listening to this Public Service Announcement.)

Men in the hair salon? That’s been normal for all my life.

Men at the boutique? Whatever. Shopping is normal. They’re buying their ladies shit. (I have seen it happen, really.) Or sitting around looking bored. Or actively buying shit sometimes for themselves. Or saying, “You look great,” and even sometimes meaning it. And sometimes telling other ladies they didn’t come in with how they look, which is weird, for other reasons.

I don’t know why I feel weird about it. About having a separate space. It’s not like we do witches hexes in there (we totally don’t, boys)–all we do, when we’re with our friends, is talk shit about that one bitch’s rude ass behavior in the all-staff meeting and (in general) and her greasy hair. Serious, she needs to get her shit some dry shampoo. Purse Maven knows who I’m talking about. Bitch looks like she’s either constantly eating pickles or constipated–maybe she shoved a pickle up her boom-boom, that would explain it, with her sour face–and she needs to fix that three-pounds of greasy, mousy ass-hat on her fucking head. Watching her run her hands through that oil slick in meetings is ill. Getting it all over her keyboard. She’s a rude one. That’s why I hate on her. Hey bitch, comb your face. Comb your motherfucking face. (Ahem.)

That’s what we do. We talk shit. I heard some other bitches less catty than me (it’s the Disco Queer coming out, that’s why I’m so catty) talking shit. That’s all we do. Talk shit with free reign. We don’t necessarily want to look mean in mixed company. (I hella do. Not all in mixed company. I won’t say it or spray it the first time I meet you. But I can’t always fix my face. I find myself making hella inappropriate facial calisthenics all the time.) But privately? We want to look mean as all hell.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe I’ll get used to it. Meat and potatoes around my fish, as it were. I mean, everyone in the world should be have as glorious of feet and hands as they would like to. I really wish I could do this for everyone in the world. I mean this sincerely. I know, water, and safety, and food and shit come first, but I wish I could make it a world where we could all be concerned with the triteness of life, like mani-pedis, and shit-talking. Wouldn’t that shit be loverly?

In the meantime, when I feel discomfort because of “male energy,” I’ll just sit and type out blog entries on my little phone. Coping skills.

Oh, but I totally finished this at home, and I’m totally scuffing up my nails….

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2 comments

  1. The Sensible Seamstress

    My hubbie is testing for his 4th degree black belt in karate this summer. He wants me to paint his nails for the test. Apparently, at this level of karate, the guys like to dye their hair, paint their toenails, wear Mickey Mouse on their uniforms – whatever they can think of. To my way of thinking, it’s like they’re saying to each other “yeah, go ahead, taunt me so I can kick your ass.”
    Anyway, I bought him a beautiful shade called “Light My Sapphire” by OPI and was going to apply it myself, but now I’m thinking instead of sending him to your town for a pedicure just to mess with you. Ha!

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