Yesterday, when I was getting ready to go to the U2 concert, I broke a nail. Gasp. It sucked, but I had nail glue and pieced it back together so it looked kind of ok from far away. I’d just gotten my nails done the day before, in a sort of beigy mocha colour for a change, so people have been looking at them more than usual and broken nails make people look like hobos, which is misleading as I have a permanent residence in the lower mainland. So I knew I’d have to go in and get it fixed today, and today I had 3 meetings in different cities, so I didn’t have a lot of time…all of this added up to much annoyance on my part, culminating at the point where my group was walking out of BC place back to my car and me feeling that my expert glue job hadn’t held and now I really did have a hobo air about me. Sigh.
So today after my third meeting I quickly ate lunch standing up and drove to my nail salon. Fixing a nail is free, but it takes about 10-15 minutes when you can sit down and let them get to work. How long that takes varies, because obviously no one makes appointments for breakages so you have to either call in the day you break one or just pop in and see if they can squeeze you in. I’m a pop in girl myself. So I went in there and was greeted with the usual ‘Bee-ahh-nahhh!’ from the ladies, and I held up my little ravaged finger as an explanation as to why I was visiting so early. They told me they could get to me in a few minutes; they had two other customers in there, so I sat down on the little waiting couch so I could text my sister and watch a show about female orgasms. It was pretty informative; they had a diagram.
When they were ready, I took my seat and they set about prying the remaining part of the mangled gel nail off of my thin withered little underneath real nail and re-doing it. By the time they were re-applying the gel, the show had switched to plastic surgery. Shows about plastic surgery shown to audiences of relaxed women always elicit the same response: loathing. We hate the pressure we put on ourselves and each other to look a certain way. We also hate that the often chosen self-inflicted penalty for not looking the ‘right way’ is sawing a hole into our thighs, jamming a tube in and sucking out what looks like a strawberry milkshake left in the sun. As we were all groaning and wincing, I asked loudly “why can’t we just be happy with what we have, and take care of ourselves, and have that be good enough?”, to which the women in the nail salon replied “Yeah!”. And then the lady next to me turned and started telling me about her 17 year old daughter, the current Miss White Rock, who is a great example of health And beauty. She told me about the fundraising her daughter has been doing and the organizations she’s been partnering with. Of course, this was a great intro to my job as a fundraiser. The lady was interested in what we’re doing at WorldServe, especially about my youth fundraising kits and the importance of fundraising more and going over to these countries less. We had a great talk, I gave her my card and she said she’d email me the info on the organizations she’d told me about. I’m not sure if she will or not, but in the end that’s not what matters to me. We connected over those 5 minutes in a real way, and we validated each others views and values. In a world where most people are starving for connections, we found a way to have one, however small, in a little nail salon in White Rock.
All because I broke my stupid nail.