My toe cuticles are now being relocated by what feels like a chain saw. I'm getting cynical. With those cuticles right where they were, I got through college, met and married a great guy, landed a swell job and always loved my country. The news comes on the salon radio. The O's are winning in the sixth.
It is when the toe-and-finger lady asks me about polish that I begin to crack. I am a misfit here. There is no hope for me. I may look like Phyllis George, but I feel like Calamity Jane.
"I don't really want any paint on my fingernails and toenails," I tell the woman. She looks at me as if I have spoken in Urdu. "You see," I stammer, "it's just that I have to help my husband clean the rain gutters tomorrow and it would probably chip and...." She sighs. Just then the phone rings. The finger-toe maven is informed that her one o'clock client's nailwrap has dissolved in her Jacuzzi.
I slowly rise up toward the cash register, where I will shortly become $329 poorer. Phyllis George, albeit with naked nails, is looking back at me from the mirror. I suddenly have a tremendous craving for a hot dog with mustard. A cold, gummy one, like the ones you get at the stadium. I decide I cannot go to my office looking like this. But I can go to a hot dog truck. And then I can go home.
I peel off my nylons. I put on my Reeboks. My Browns sweatshirt. My sweatpants with the window caulking permanently embedded in them. I pull my hair into a ponytail. Wipe the blood off my cuticles. Sit down in front of my 31-inch television and put on ESPN.
I am happy. My husband loves me.
And he's never going to own a team or be governor of Kentucky anyway.