Monday, August 06, 2007

Paradigm Shift

I was getting a long overdue manicure this weekend. I think it's been close to a year since my nails were last buffed by someone other than me. It's hard to tend to your nails with several children climbing on you, wanting to sit next to you, or chew on the file itself. Such is motherhood.

The nice young lady who had my hands in her charge was very quiet. Almost silent, really. I'm not used to that in salons. I like my hairdressers and manicurists to yap at me and engage me in conversation. Perhaps it's because I am not responsible for wiping any of their body parts that I am so eager to dive into conversation, but whatever the case, I like the adult interaction.

After ten torturous minutes, I finally tried to break the ice. She was no older than 24, which ruled out music, pop-culture and politics. I just didn't want to freeze up and blurt out Neil Diamond where I should have casually inserted Fergie. I scanned her for possible conversation pieces. She had four large tattoos (two on her ample and visible cleavage and two on her arms), which while interesting, was a conversational dead-end. I have no tattoos, and something told me she wouldn't think it cute that I "almost" got one on my ankle that read "Alpha Chi Omega" in 1989 because I had too much jungle juice at a frat party.

Her clothes were cute, albeit tiiiight and nothing worth conversing about. Unless I wanted to extol the virtues of mom jeans for her comfort.

I finally settled on her eyebrow piercing. It was big, like a silver rod with blue beads on either end, and it looked like it hurt. Pain? Now that's a topic I am warm and cozy with.

"Gee, that's pretty interesting, the uh, piercing on your eyebrow. I'll bet it hurt!" I hate this about myself. How I lapse into a Marcia Brady-esque vernacular when speaking to Young People.

"No. It didn't hurt."

"Really?? [I am nearly squealing.] Because it just looks so, I don't know, big. And sharp. Like it hurt." Did I mention I get really articulate and shit when I'm nervous?

"No. It was pretty fast. What hurt is when I got my nipples pierced when I was thirteen. I had to take the piercings out after a month."

My jaw unhinged. "What? Your parents let you get a nipple piercing at thirteen?"

"Uh, no. They didn't know."

"How could they not know?"

"It's not like they saw me naked." At this point she's looking at me like I'm a complete imbecile. Or worse, someone who looks at her thirteen year-old children naked.

"Well, obviously not. But how did you get to the place that gave you the piercing and home again without your parents knowing what you were up to?" I'm truly shocked at this point. I've all but installed GPS in my twelve-year old's clothing, and she is so supervised she accuses me of wanting to make her Amish.

She fixed a look on me before going back to filing my nails. After a moment she said, "They didn't care where I was" and with that, she went back to my nails and didn't say much for the remainder of the manicure.

That shut me up.


Mary Alice said...

Whoa. Okay, doesn't that make you just feel warm and fuzzy about CARING enough to cause your daughter to bring out the Amish accusations?

Julie Pippert said...

I was all LOL and chuckling (esp the articulate crack and the worse, looking at naked kids crack) until the end when I freaking choked on my laughter.



Also? So long as my kids hate me because I'm all up their rears and stuff? I feel warm and fuzzy about my parenting. ;)

And if your 12 yo thinks you want her Amish? Tell her about my poor deprived kids. I'm called a Luddite by my family. :)

Ravin' Picture Maven

Julie Pippert said...

Oh and...pierced her WHAT at WHAT AGE? Does one even HAVE that to pierce at that age? Holy mercy. Holy mercy. Someone wave smelling salts under my nose. I feel faint.

Ravin' Picture Maven

Lawyer Mama said...

Ouch. That would have shut me up too.

And Julie has a good point. I don't think I had much to pierce at that age. They sure grow up fast these days....

Fairly Odd Mother said...

It's sad to say but she probably did it to see IF her parents would notice and actually pay attention to her. That's really sad.

How long do your manicures last??? I had one for the first time in forever and it was gone within 24 hours.

JenLo said...

Well, the good news is that delivery pains probably won't bother her all that much. It sounds like she had a really sad life growing up. Poor kid.

Jessie said...

It is my GOAL IN LIFE to know that my kids arent piercing their nipples.

Nancy said...

That's sad, and yet it goes on everyday, parents that are so unaware ... the basics ... kids WANT boundaries.

Jen M. said...

Regular manicures are gone for me within a day, too. Sadly, the polish usually peels or chips off when I submerge my hands in water. This time, instead of regular polish, she mixed a sheer pink with a gel mixture and painted that on. It will stay on for a couple of weeks and files nicely. It's like polish, only really glossy and slightly thicker. So far (two days into it) so good.

Mr. Fabulous said...

But did she do a good job on your nails?

crazylady said...

She could have told you about her infected labia ring.

Sandy in GA said...

Every single day I have at least one moment when I feel ancient and way in over my head as an advisor at a college. I feel the urge to start in with a little therapy (leftover from my former job) and shut my mouth right quickly. Still..shocked and amazed all the time.
p.s. in my younger days, I wanted to be Amish...enough said...oh my

Audubon Ron said...

You didn't happen to get her phone number did you?

Okay, just kidding! Just kidding! said...

I know I didn't have "anything" at that age. I was flatter than a pancake. Someone piercing children's nipples should be labled "pediphiles". It's sick and it's so sad that no one even noticed what she was doing to her body.

ablondeblogger said...

Oh my gosh! That's so sad! :(

Cathy said...

I remember my hairdresser's story about his own nipple piercing. He got one side done and then had to lay down. Never got around to the other side.

Still, I wonder ... does nipple piercing hurt as much as when your nursing baby uses his fangs as weapons?!

That poor little girl you described -- so tough, but only because of necessity.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

That poor girl...
Definitely a paradigm shift.