Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Rest Be Not Idle
There are two surefire ways for me to tell that summer has arrived. First: our city’s streets instantly become trickier to navigate due to the tens of thousands of teens who are let loose from school and into their parents’ SUVs. Just yesterday alone, I spotted two teenagers texting while driving, an act that set my temperature to boil and my fantasies blazing as I imagined wielding my .38 with enough righteously indignant accuracy to shoot the tires right out from under them.
Then I remembered back to my own teenage years and how my misuse of our family’s telephone privileges resulted in my month-long ban from all devices in the home sporting a receiver and dial pad, causing me to camp out for hours each afternoon at a pay phone at the 7-11 up the street, armed with a $5.00 roll of quarters culled from my meager allowance, a couple cans of Fresca, and a call list as long as my forearm. In other words: I could relate. Thus, yesterday's offending teens lived to text another day.
Secondly: summer has just not officially arrived until my friend Wicked is released from her own form of school-based hell and she emerges from her home after the requisite week’s worth of recovery suddenly bursting with reinvigorated sociability. Summer has arrived when Wicked’s e-mail responses not only arrive in a timely manner – say, within 24 hours and not twenty-three-point-six days – but also actually make sense. Instead of something that sounds like it was composed by Bill the Cat, with the addition of references to alien abduction to distant galaxies, weirdly concocted cocktails, and how much the brain, ow, hurts, I get something relatively succinct, along the lines of: “Want to go get a pedicure tomorrow and catch up on all the latest gossip?”
To which I reply: you betcha!
On the recommendation of another friend who is always sporting such spiffified footsies, we scheduled to meet late yesterday afternoon at Rose’s Nails, which is tucked away in one of those ubiquitous urban strip malls that always seem to house the most untenable-sounding businesses – Wills While You Wait, Janitor Express, Nursing Shoes R Us, or, in this case, a Chicago-style pizza house whose single window is decorated with an over-sized photo of Frank Sinatra and whose two lone employees seem to think nothing of hanging outside directly in front, chain-smoking cigarettes and practicing their own form of Rat Pack glower on passersby.
But Rose’s is as friendly as can be, run, as these types of establishments tend to be, by a gaggle of Asian gals in darling outfits and mile high shoes who seem to exist for the single purpose of beautifying your nails in whatever manner you so choose – whether it be a simple foot massage or fake nails in lengths so outrageous, you wonder what type of work the woman who insists on sporting them actually does. Um. Never mind.
At any rate, Wicked and I were there for the $16.95 pedicure, which includes a marvelous soak in warm, jetted water, nail and cuticle trim, dry skin de-flaking, and a moisturizing foot and lower leg massage, followed by our choice of polish. After our toes were satisfactorily coated – Wicked's in a deep fuschia, mine in a vampy red – Wicked’s gal looked up at her and asked, “You want flower?”
To which Wicked instantly replied, “Sure, flower sounds good!” Which of course prompted my gal to ask me the same. I hesitated, however. Wicked and I were just speaking about how once you land yourself firmly in your forties, achieving age-appropriate fabulousness means walking an ever thinning line between trying too hard to look youthful and just giving up and giving in to elastic waste bands and sensible shoes.
My worry, naturally, was this: Will sporting a flower motif on my two big toes mean I've just committed a fashion felony of the first order, or is it, rather, a good-natured way of just going with the summer flow?
My personal verdict? Anything that makes me smile these days is a good thing. Even if it’s just on my toes.