Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Worst Nail Salon that Ever Existed

In a city where manicures are 6 bucks and pedicures are 13, salons out here in Queens have to stay competitive. But they should still maintain a level of upstanding professionalism.

The stupid nail salon on 31Ave b/w 37 & 38 streets makes me want to get fake nails put on so that I can use them to poke my eyeballs out. That's the experience their clientele will give you... at a low, low price.

The woman that runs the joint is with whom I have the most problem. She is pushy, pushy, pushy... "Want manicure? Want massage?"

Okay, why not? I originally only wanted a polish change, but it'd only cost a dollar more for the full manicure. Fine. And, conveniently, when I woke up this morning, I complained about a kink in my neck on my right side. 10 dollar massage oughta work that right out.

So, I go for it.

During the manicure, the pushy salon owner / mother of the high schooler doing my nails keeps coming over to interrupt us... talking jibberish behind the mask she's wearing and neither of us can understand her. The braces laden young girl is annoyed and I haven't seen so much eye-rolling since Marci Graham won Prom Queen. (She was a shoo-in.)

Then, I'm passed along to a quiet latina girl who will do my massage. I tell her of my neck/head focus area and settle myself into the chair. As soon as I feel her hands on my back, I feel my shoulders release stress.

"Ahhh, this was a good idea."


A lady getting a manicure comes over directly in front of me (I could have touched her) to dry her nails. This is no problem, but her husband has come by to meet her and boy does he have a lot to catch her up on about his day. That low Barry White meets Johnny Cochran voice and style is just the soothing background muzak I need.

But wait! Is that humming I hear? Why yes it is! The girl doing my massage decides to hum along to Cheryl Lynn's popular hit, "To Be Real", that has just come blaring onto the salon sound system. Humming. Humming.

But, she's doing a great job with her hands so I try to take my mind elsewhere. The left side of my neck and head is really feeling great. I can't wait til she gets to the other side... the one that's actually hurting.

And then - the timer goes off.

I sit up and ask her, "Um, are you going to do the other side of my neck like you did this side?"

She doesn't understand so I ask her in Spanish.

She replies, "I used my thumb on the left side and my fingers to hold onto the right side." She's dodging questions like the You Decide 2008 debatees.

I ask, "Would you please move to the other side of this massage chair to apply the same pressure to this painful side of my neck with your other thumb."

She agrees. Okay. Customer's always right.

Wrong again.

I settle back into the chair and take a deep breath... only to open my eyes to see the psycho owner bending over, head cocked under my massage chair, looking at me and shouting from behind her mask, "You want pay for extra 10 minutes?!"

I sit straight up. "I'm not paying for another 10 minutes. She only did one side of my body."

"Well, it's only 10 minutes. You need longer to do both sides."

"What?! So, the 10 dollars I paid only covers one side of my body and AFTER that side is relaxed, you typically ask for more money to equal out your client's bodies?"

"It's only 10 minutes."

"Every other 10 minute massage I've gotten tries to give their clients relaxtion and equilibrium. They've been able to get to both sides of my neck without a problem. It's only, what, 6 inches wide? They manage."

"You need other 10 minutes."

I get up angrily and grab my coat and purse.

"You can sit here to dry your nails," says the money-grubbing idiot woman.

"I don't wanna sit down. I don't wanna be in here. Thanks for everything though. The left side of my neck feels really great." (I know, sarcasm.)

But really. You offer a massage, reel the client in, do half of their body, and then ask them if they'd like to pay for another massage to do the other side? Seriously?! Seriously. I've half a mind to call the Better Business Bureau.

Don't get your nails done at the stupid place on 31st Ave between the laundromat and the new construction site. They'll make you hate life.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dirty Dancing - 20th Anniversary Release

I feel fourth grade again. Tonight was the 20th Anniversary re-release of Dirty Dancing. The theatre in Queens was packed. There was more woo-ing and screaming and whistling than at an Usher concert and we know how sexy that man's hips are. Every girl in that theatre was giddy and excited and purely happy. Really. I feel fourth grade again.

Erin Parrigin's slumber party and Kelly Works is glued to the TV downstairs. She's watching DIRTY DANCING... I'm not allowed to watch DIRTY DANCING... but I think Kelly Works is the most grown-up, beautiful, perfect human being on the planet, so I cross-leg myself right down on the carpet beside her.

This is a story about Baby. She's growing up and she wants to make her parents proud, always do the right thing, and see more in people than other people see. Am I Baby?

I curl my knees up under my nightgown and hug them tight against my chest and can't think of any other place I'd rather be. Erin brings popcorn and starts talking to Jessie about the watermelon scene. "Can you believe she just said, 'I carried a watermelon?'" "I know."

I would like to ask them, at this time, what would be a better way to segue into the sweaty, sexy, outrageous club scene that she has stumbled upon, but don't. I imagine myslef in Baby's keds. "I carried a watermelon." Okay. So? Is this embarrassing cause she should have carried two?
Erin's mom calls down to see if we're okay and I think she's the coolest parent I've ever met. We can watch PG-13s, she doesn't consider "piss" a curse word, and let's us have the whole basement to ourselves!

Okay. Penny is pregnant. My mouth drops open wide and none of us can believe it cause a) she's not married and b) we're still not perfectly clear on how that even happens. She has some sort of botched surgery and Baby gets in trouble with her dad. Parents never seem to understand. I totally relate with Baby.

Now though - BABY GETS TO DANCE! I think that Patrick Swayze is the sexiest man I have ever seen and this movie, two years later, is what prompts me to secretly practice dancing in my full-length mirror at home before every school dance in middle school. I don't know what I'll do though if anyone ever tries that fingers down the inside of my arm thing. I just know I'll DIE of tickle tingles.

Pretty soon, Baby and Johnny are a couple and I am informed that the reason they are in his bed together is because they just had sex. Whoa. This is where Erin takes the remote control and keeps rewinding the scene where Johnny gets out of bed. I SWEAR WE CAN ALMOST SEE HIS BUTT! This is the wildest slumber party ever. She has him getting out of bed, backing into bed, up and down, the sheets tossing as we see AT LEAST an inch of the top part of his right buttocks. It's incredible.
At the same time, I am gonna be so nervous if anyone ever tries to kiss me like he kissed her. I feel tingles. My body feels hot. Even Kelly is sitting up straight in her bean bag chair. I really hope this movie leads to one of those boy talks later where I sit back and nod my head as the other girls gossip, (Erin's big sister has told her EVERYTHING about boys) while at the same time soaking up everything they say to ask my mom about later. Of course if she asks where I heard that stuff, I'll tell her from TV or from this girl in class who is super mean to me and that I really hate.

Baby is slowly becoming my hero. She is sexy, but look! You can still be playful if you want without being a nerd! Baby and Johnny are dancing and goofing off, crawling toward each other, and hiding behind a screne. All of us girls pair off and start to call "Come 'ere lover boy" and "if he STILL doesn't answer" and I, especially, feel like I have this part of flirting down pat. (Of course, I take out my retainer first because a) it doesn't make me feel sexy and b)... Erin took hers out.)

Someone mentions that they've already seen this movie and want to do Ouija board instead. I am terrified. Not of the spirits (okay a little), but more of peeling my eyes from this love story. One that I am absolutely under no circumstances allowed to see and one that everyone will be talking about in the cafeteria!

Luckily, Erin announces that we're all staying up all night long and if we go to sleep, she'll put shaving cream on our faces, so "what's the hurry?".

(Thank God.)

It's the end-of-season party and Baby's lame sister does a horrible talent show presentation that makes us all hope we never grow up to be like her. We hate that Baby is stuck with her parents while Johnny is just a beautiful memory for her diary pages.

When, wait! Dressed in black leather from head to toe, Johnny crashes the party and cowboy boots his way over to her table where he announces that "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

We scream.

There is absolutely no other reaction that we could've chosen. Our knight has ripped us away from the stifling clutches of our parents and knows that we are each beautiful stars that should be shining onstage in a down and dirty version of the mambo! Yes!

The only thing better than seeing ourselves twirl in Baby's beautiful dress and saucily swing our hips around with her as she kicks and points in those fabulous silver shoes is...

the lift.

Baby soars into the air and we are giddy! Arms outstretched, we fly with her! 8 year old girls, accustomed to passing notes in class, writing boys' names on folders, and perfecting our bangs every day into magnificent statuesque towers are now seeing the glory of teenagedom!

Ends up that after Ouija board, we try seances and Erin passes out. I get freaked out by all the conjouring the dead and the devil stuff, so I call my mom to come pick me up in the middle of the night.

She holds my hand on the way home, which I hate but allow when not in public. I just hope she can't tell how much I've grown-up.