I bite my nails and I have gnarly toes, -

- so when my girly friend announced, "let's get mani pedis!" I was hit with a rush of sadness and shame. I would love to be one of the pretty-nailed ladies unabashedly flailing their shiny nails around town, I'd love to beckon a gentleman with the wave of a perfectly manicured finger. But I am not one of them. No, I am not a manicured maiden. Or so I thought. 

Rosie was the first to assess the situation. As I sat in the fancy pedi-chair, Rosie asked me to put on the headphones and prepare myself for a spiritual toe-voyage into a dream filled with Enya sounds and rhythmic chair massages. Rosie and I didn't talk much, but I'm pretty sure it's because she was busy catching her breath the whole time she scrubbed away at my feet. On she trudged applying lotions, ground cornmeal (no joke), and finally the blue polish I selected for my toes. They're brilliant. 

Next, I walked my sorry fingers over to Colombian Karina. Without even mentioning their dire condition, she applied creams and massaged my hands (like they even deserved it). We chatted along, about our similar ethnic background, about the machete she wishes she had with which to cut the coconuts, about sports, the weather, and love. It was a very human experience.  She prodded me to go with a french manicure until finally, I didn't say (but said) "oui s'il vous plaît."

So here I sit, in front of my computer with pretty toes and pretty fingers feeling like a pretty girl.  Monica S.