Translations at the Nail Salon

I like to zone out when I’m getting my mani pedis. This is my weekly routine.I walk inside the nail salon with my iPod in full blast. In my opinion, this is the best nail salon in my area. The owner greets me. She is Vietnamese. All of the ladies working there are Vietnamese. The owner says something (I don’t hear it), but I smile and wait for Peggy my manicurist. When I see Peggy she smiles and says something (I don’t hear it), and I follow her to her station. As I’m following the petite Peggy I accidentally bump into a not so petite grumpy looking manicurist who looks like she just sucked on a lemon. I say excuse me, but she says nothing. I get to Peggy’s station. I sit, close my eyes, and zone to the music as I feel the pulsing of warm water tickling my toes while Peggy begins on my right hand. This is my time for solitude; no one else exists.

Then my iPod shuts down. The battery is dead. I take off the earphones with my free hand and a cacophony of voices replace The “Go-Gos.” I don’t understand them but laughter, the universal language, speaks to me.  Peggy is laughing and saying something in Vietnamese to the other mani-pedicurists. I can’t believe that I’ve tuned out the goings on when it’s clear that their conversation is far more interesting than what’s on my playlist. I wanted to ask if they could please speak in English so this nosy woman suffering from a bad hair day, a blooming zit on her nose and a dead iPod could get a chuckle or two. But I couldn’t do that–it would be rude.

So in a whispered voice I ask Peggy to translate. She agrees and says that one of them is talking about her husband. What about her husband I ask. Her husband no like her cooking so she say good he can cook and Agnes complaining that her sister still living with her and she don’t like her sister because she messy says Peggy. Then Peggy looks at me and says you know I like talking to you; I can practice my English.

More laughter ensues from the other manicurists working on hands and feet of oblivious clients. I was amused and privileged that I could partake (snoop) into their conversation. Peggy is an excellent translator of other women’s gossip. Although I suspected that she edited her play-by-play by cutting out the mundane and relaying only the sensational for my amusement. That’s fine by me because I only wanted to know the lurid and the funny anyway. Love it.

What else are they talking about I ask. Peggy says well Tami talking about her friend who is having an affair with a married man, and Minnie don’t like to sit next to stinky men in the bus and Annie complaining that she look at feet all day long she even dream of feet. We both laugh. Peggy is fun–she’s funny. I l really ike her. Do they ever talk about the ladies getting their nails done I ask. Peggy looks at me with a sneaky grin and says yes sometimes. Aha, I knew it. So, all those  that say otherwise can kiss my tush because my own personal über skilled manicurist/translator just confirmed that these ladies do talk some smack about their clients. Was no one spared? They reminded me of –well–me and my friends.

Then a customer walks in. Peggy giggles. What’s so funny I ask. No one like to do that lady’s nails because she too picky and she a lousy tipper says Peggy. For some reason I found this so funny and laughed so hard that my cackling caught the attention of the grumpy manicurist at the next station. Grumpus glares at me and says something un-grumpy because everyone laughs except for Peggy. What did she (Grumpus) say I ask. Nothing Peggy says and moves her stool to start on my feet. What did Grumpus have to say that was so funny? Was it the zit (on my nose) quickly growing into adulthood? Was it my unruly hair tucked in a beret? Was it my torn jeans? What? What? I was dying to know. I look at Peggy again. She senses my gaze and just shakes her head. She stands up and puts the earphones back in my ear. I hear nothing except dying laughter. Peggy doesn’t have to translate what Grumpus said. Laughter is the universal language.

Sometimes it’s better to remain oblivious to what others are talking about.


About Lafemmeroar
Writer, blogger, humorist. Visit my blog to know more :)) Laughing at the malfunction of the universe is better than crying about it.

34 Responses to Translations at the Nail Salon

  1. hollyjb says:

    Someday, soon, I’ll be able to walk into a place here and actually know enough to be able to catch funny French conversations. If only the friends I’ve made didn’t want to practice their English so much I might actually learn faster! Ok, that’s not really true, but it makes me feel better.

    I’ve actually only ever gotten one pedicure (that wasn’t from my Mom) and it was the wife of the only guy I’ve ever kissed. Which reminds me, I need to congratulate them on their newborn son. It’s a good thing she’s uber nice and I really like her. But my feet are so ticklish I don’t think I could get them done on a regular basis.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      I want to learn Spanish (took 2 years in high school) and Korean. The telanovelas and Korean dramas on TV seem so intriguing.

      • hollyjb says:

        I took two years of Spanish in high school too! I took one semester of Spanish in University and two years of German…I don’t know if I would be able to wrap my head (or mouth) around any of the Asian languages…..

  2. What a great post. We often miss much when we shut out the world. Both good and bad. Apparently, you experienced both in one afternoon…

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Everyone there is nice except for Grumpus. We love to talk smack until the smack is on us. Well if I can dish it out I have to be able to take it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Hope you come back …

  3. Judy says:

    I love this post. I always wanted to know if they talked about their clients. And I love your manicurist, she sounds hilarious!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      I can’t speak for all, but in that instance apparently it is done. Thanks for popping by 🙂

  4. Cymbria says:

    Wonderful post! So delightfully honest and human. We’re all so alike aren’t we. Put a gal in customer service and you can be sure of two things, whatever the language… She’ll dream about what she’s selling (I’ve dreamed of Subway sandwiches and beads – so many tiny tiny beads), and she’ll get her secret revenge on bad customers (with giggles or squished sandwiches – only one time I swear!)

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      OMG sooooooo sooooooooo true. Here’s a story of my past. In my twenties I worked as a secretary in the advertising department of a big fast food chain. Our department got so many calls that at the end of the day I couldn’t answer the phone at home. Ringing of the phone gave me chills and yes I dreamt (nightmares) about it. Well in the summer the company had what they called as casual Fridays and everybody got to go home at 12pm. The secretaries all took turns on the switchboard on Friday as someone had to stay and answer the phone when everybody was gone. The company also had a policy of us having to answer the phone in 3 rings or less. Well when it was my turn the only thing on my mind was reading the movie reviews of the “LA Weekly” I couldn’t be bothered with answering phones so I would just hang up on every single blessed call that came in. When they called back and I happen to fancy answering my stock response was that our phone system was acting up. Suffice it to say I didn’t stay there long.

  5. I like the characters. More than that, I like how the Ipod dies, which is so typical and painful and unforgivable. I’ve been through six Ipods. Each one was executed for failing me at an important time.

    I guess I should learn to take responsibility for my lack of charging electronics.


    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Forethought in charging electronics is important. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  6. supernaut says:

    Somehow I can’t imagine such a conversation happening where there are men involved.

    Things (and conversations) that females take for granted – we care nothing about.

    There are other stuff that are important to us, and if I write about them, most women would be perplexed I guess..

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Gossip isn’t the only thing women talk about, but in this case it was. I’m curious what type of male-centric “convo” would perplex women? 🙂

      • supernaut says:

        Ok, let’s take a case… If two women are together in a parlor.. By the end of 30 mins, they will have known the following about each other:
        1. Their preferred options for mani/pedi/hair
        2. Their family histories
        3. Kids/what do they do
        4. Current job, problems they face
        5. etc

        But if you have two men instead, then here’s how the 30 mins will be spent:
        1. Silence (10 mins)
        2. Nod to each other, maybe “Hi”
        3. Silence (20 mins)

        If at all they talk, it’ll be for a few minutes about a game or the weather. Or maybe some new gadget. End of story.


        • Lafemmeroar says:

          Dude … I acquiesce to you. You are absolutely right.

  7. frigginloon says:

    Thank god men aren’t manicurists ….how Boresville it would be 🙂

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      You’re right lolol “Boresville” for sure. Also, can you imagine a man you don’t know giving you a manicure (filing, massaging, polishing and etc)? Not for me.

  8. Mindless Rambler says:

    Great post, listening in is as good as people watching which I love to do.

    Love your blog, you have great writing skills which capture the reader every time.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Thank you very much and I’m glad that you’re enjoying my posts. Your comment has made my day 🙂

  9. Patti Kuche says:

    Just proves how good it is to talk. And listen! So many issues are truly universal and your wonderful account had me right there in the salon with you all. Well done and happy (enough) days to women everywhere. We all speak the same language!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      We sure do! And we need to stick together … because solidarity makes ranting more fun 🙂

  10. Hi Lafemmeroar.
    The best thing to do is learn basic Vietnamese and surprise them some day, then they know they can’t talk about you 🙂

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Ah language course. Will keep that in mind 🙂 Thanks for stopping by …

  11. Bleau says:

    Nice “ranting style,” always a good chuckle or three 🙂 Engaging writing, couldn’t put it down lol

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      You are making my night. Thanks so much. Always good to hear the word “engaging.” 🙂

  12. Pingback: My Funny Insanity « Lafemmeroar

  13. I knew there was a reason I keep my nails short and my feet covered at all times! Who needs to be wondering after spending all that money to “relax”? How do you get yourself into these situations–good luck? 😉

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      It’s because I’m nosy. But the nosiness that subsided with age. I think …

  14. Wow…I wonder what she said…I am curious now!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      We’ll never know 🙂 BTW you’re just awesome for reading these posts. 🙂

  15. I just stopped getting my nails done and do them myself. They don’t look as nice as when I go to the shop, but i just can’t stand not knowing whats being said at the nail shop. Sometimes you just got to know! lmao!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Oh I know. And the ladies are always laughing so what ever is being said must be juicy right? Oh I’m sooo nosy.

  16. ” laughter, the universal language, speaks to me.” I can relate to that having travelling through Asia and knowing few of the languages it was nice to hear laughter. One of my treats when living in India was to go to the bazaar and have the bazaar people tell me stories about each other. I think that was better entertainment than TV or the movies.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Yes. The stories of other people are more fascinating than fiction! Thanks for visiting 🙂

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