80 degrees calls for a pedicure. Pulling into the parking lot early, I was happy to see no customers there yet. The five employees were practically in a receiving line, so thrilled to see my neglected toes stroll in. Was I the 5,000th customer on this Leap Day? Would there be balloons? Guess not. After carefully selecting my polish – I debated between “Suzi Loves Cowboys” and “I Don’t Give a Rotterdam!” – I settled into the massage chair with a copy of Bon Appetit, which of course made me hungry. About halfway through the routine, it was still quiet and peaceful, and I began to think this might just be my most uneventful experience at this place. Ever. Knock-on-wood.
A few minutes later, an older lady came in for a nail fill. She sat near me and was attended to quickly. Still later, a well dressed businessman entered, with a rolled poster tucked underneath his arm. He spoke to the salon owner, explaining that he was selling ads for the Woodrow Wilson High School football calendar to be published next fall. Would the salon purchase a small ad for $100? The owner was suddenly struck mute. No one spoke. Everyone looked around in complete silence. The only sound was a Vietnamese instrumental rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters playing in the background. It was awkward.
“Yes, gift.” I sat there stunned with those odd wooden oriental shoes on my feet which so did not go with my blue Dallas Mavericks Western Conference Finals t-shirt and khaki cargo capris. I looked around for John Quinones and the hidden camera.
Was I the 5,000th customer? This was the most peculiar thing. I tried to stand, but it was difficult on hard, 2-inch high, wooden flip flops – similar to those 1970s Dr. Scholls sandals I could never quite maneuver. Not only were they uncomfortable and NOT my style, they were huge on my feet. I clopped to the door like a freakin’ Clydesdale horse – CLOP CLOP CLOP. They watched me wobble to my car in those things – they stood at the window and smiled like they were so proud. Will they expect me to wear these next time? I really must find another salon or move back to Arkansas asap! I wonder if Woodrow Wilson needs a donation for the silent auction?
Simon and Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Steve Karmen, “Here Comes the King” (Budweiser Clydesdale Horse jingle)