Thursday, August 21, 2014

A "Mute" Point

My daughter and I went to get pedicures last night. The place we go is a typical nail mill. Spacious, decked out in faux marble, tile, textured paint, long rows of pedi chairs, and a whole host of friendly, Asian staff walking around in pseudo doctor’s scrubs, as if the treatment you’re about to receive is more clinical than pleasurable. The price is right and it’s conveniently located to our home.

We were ushered to our massage chairs, foot baths already bubbling in anticipation. These aren’t you’re run-of-the-mill pedi chairs, either. The sides open like a car door, allowing you to enter bottom-first, swivel your legs around, then they close you up like a chivalrous suitor before beginning your service.

As I sat there reading a magazine and my daughter played on an iPad, both of us rhythmically bum-bum-bumping along as the chair massaged our backs, the serenity was broken by this:

“Well, what did you tell him? You know what I would have said? Well, what did she say…”

Across from us sat a fellow client, a lady in her late 40s to early 50s, chatting away on her cell phone while she got a pedicure. We all listened (involuntarily) to her entire conversation. Occasionally, she’d pause long enough to answer a question (“Is the water OK?” “Is this the color you picked?” “Can I scrape the bottom of your foot with this vegetable peeler?”), but always returned to whatever unlucky soul was on the other end of that phone.

Eventually, I leaned over to my wise-beyond-her-years and already-annoyed daughter and said, “don’t you ever do that. It’s rude. It’s rude to the worker and it’s rude to all of the other customers.” But she already knew that. I know I could take my laptop in and do some work. I could play a game on an iPad. I could catch up with a friend. But part of my experience is not having to do any of that. I read magazines (something I don’t normally get to do), I people watch, sometimes I close my eyes and lean back in the chair and pretend I’m an Egyptian princess. Wait, I didn’t mean to say that last one out loud.

My point is, if you’re somewhere like a nail salon to pamper yourself, go for the full experience. Allow yourself to relax and rejuvenate. And if you’re just not comfortable with that, at least allow me the chance to relax and rejuvenate. Now, where are my grapes, boy?!