It’s All About the Nails

It’s a room I have seen, but never have been.

A room filled with comfy reclining chairs where white, seemingly middle-class women sit, invariably talking on their cell-phones, while their feet are washed clean.

Ethnically diverse women, primarily from Asia, work long shifts every day and the salon is always full.

The tedium of long hours of pedicures and washing calloused, smelly feet broken only by the energy of the conversation in their own beautiful language.

Tell me it’s about the nails and I will tell you why its not for me.

Is it really about the nails or the energy?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Six Sentence Story Challenge – Topic Energy

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20 thoughts on “It’s All About the Nails”

  1. To me, it’s all about the conversations. I’ve been going to the gal who does my pedicures for years. She grew up in the area, works in a small, quiet shop, and we’ve gotten to know about each other’s lives over the years. And, my feet look great when she’s done 🙂


    1. Medically speaking, there are good reasons to go see a podiatrist or have a good pedicure. Those with circulation problems, diabetes or toenail issues. To me, it is a bit like buying grated carrot or shreded lettuce. You can do it yourself and it is healthy and fresher, not inhaling acetone.
      It sounds like you have a great relationship with your local lady who treats your feet, Janis and if it is all about the conversation, I imagine you both derive something good from the experience. That seems to be a better approach than the salons I walk past in shopping centres. I do feel for those girls and occasional guy who work there, in an enclosed space, with a strong acetone smell wafting out the door. It can’t be the best conditions for them, if only for the health of their backs and respiratory system, if nothing else. Many of them are new immigrants and while I very much applaud the very hard work they do and the fact they are out there earning a living, I feel it is close to a form of enslavement. I do hope they offer professional development and opportunities so that they are not stuck in that salon until they are 60 living on a minumum wag. It is a tough business with low margins and I would not want my own child working in such conditions.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve had 2 pedicures in my life and DID NOT ENJOY the experience. I don’t want to talk with strangers about feet, I don’t want strangers messing with my feet, and I’m cheap. I don’t get the appeal of having your nails done in a salon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Medical reasons aside, Ally. I totally agree that there seems little reason to get your nails done. It is not like nude natural coloured toenails are weird. Although they can become so, when nail polish is left on for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure the Asian women are having fun. They probably have a very sore back bent over a pair of feet all day, swathed in acetone and shellac. You are right, I don’t particularly like the idea. It seems very elitist and exploitative.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A year ago, I felt exactly the same as you. I do not care for those salons or their environment. I went once at the recommendation of a neighbor since the senior center was no longer open for the nurse to come in and properly clip my toenails. I tended to cut in a way that encouraged ingrown nails. I paid the nurse $30 for 15 min of clipping after a 15 minute soak in soapy water. When I moved up to my current place, I found a mature woman who does nails and pedi’s. She does reflexology on my feet and massages my legs a bit, keeps the callouses filed down and when I leave there, I feel heavenly. No polish or chemicals. Just giving my poor feet some love. I give her a very generous tip. Worth every cent. I put lots of miles on my toes and she has been quietly reverent about her work. I do soak my feet myself between pedi’s which I keep to every 2 months. I just kept cutting them so crooked and then couldn’t walk. The lady who runs a salon like you are talking about lives across the street from my son. The whole family works there but I just can’t bring myself to go there.


    1. There are various medical reasons for which i absolutely can agree are good reasons to see a podiatrist or manicurist. When it is just about beauty and the kinds of salons where workers are under harsh conditions just because ladies with spare money like to have painted toes or hard wearing long nails, I think we have a problem. Many older people have feet problems or cannot bend down to do their feet easily. Of course a visit is warranted in these circumstances. Everyone needs to be able to walk! I have similar issues with my nails but thankfully get around most of them at this point, myself. Although I see a podiatrist for alignment corrections.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The last podiatrist I went to see in Portland looked at me and told me “lady, those feet do a lot of work for you. Show them some love for goodness sake!” I agreed with him and made my first appointment. 🙂 But I don’t go into those places you are talking about. There is no love in that kind of place. My nails on my hands are so brittle that I don’t even do fancy manicures either. As I age, I get more plain Jane with the real me more there than ever. The only thing I pay attention to before going out in the morning anymore other than being clean and tidy is my smile. As crooked as it is, I put it on anyway. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Amanda. Busy times ahead. Hugs.


        1. Putting thought into nothing else but a smile, is a lovely thought to start the day with, Marlene. Another gem for me to remember. I have never been a person to smile naturally but it is definitely something I am doing intentionally more often. People would often regard me as looking stressed in my younger years. In photos where I thought I was smiling, it is a neutral expression. That taught me that I have to exagerrate my smile for it to be seen. Smiling is something that is so important and costs nothing to share with others! I hope your weekend is delightful, dear Marlene!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried a manicure and a pedicure. I kind of liked the manicure but I keep my nails very short for typing and I don’t like the trendy squared off nails or the current weaponized nails, at least not on me. Doesn’t seem worth it.

    Pedicures seem much more, well intimate. I found it embarrassing. I don’t wear nail polish on my feet anyway.

    Also, I’m not very good at small talk.


    1. Small talk – I think sometimes one has to be in the mood or be open to it. If person B has no interest in your life and at these places, the workers seem to prefer to chat amongst themselves, which means there is little desire to make small talk.
      I always feel sorry for the cashiers at the stores that are made to ask, “And how is your day going,” – some are genuinely interested, while others say it is such a diffident or bored way, it is clear they are doing it against their will. I reciprocate so that they won’t have to continue a difficult conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

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