Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

Right up front, I’ll say that this wasn’t my finest moment, OK? But here’s the thing, I don’t get manicures because I work with my hands. I very, very rarely get pedicures, because they are an expensive indulgence. But Friday last, I had a lunch-time appointment to get my toes done. I took my wallet and my i-pod, loaded up with the Easy Stars All Stars Dub Side of the Moon, and prepared to go to my happy place.

When I got to the salon, it was full. They put me in a chair, and there were women on either side of me, in the middle of their treatments. There was another woman just finishing her manicure, and yet another in the wings. The woman to my right was on her cell phone, chatting about what time the sun set for lighting the shabbos candles. The woman on my left was chatting on her cell phone about nothing in particular, in Spanish. I apologized to the manager, who was about to start on my feet, saying that I hoped she wouldn’t mind if I just zoned out with the earbuds. Not at all. Ahhhhhh. Happy place.

And then. And then, a large, unpleasant woman came in through the front door and started demanding her manicure. And complaining that there wasn’t an open chair, when she had an appointment. And demanding to know who the manager was, and why did this salon make appointments if they weren’t planning on keeping them. And demanding service. RIGHT. NOW. And I could hear every word, through my headphones. And the tension in the shoulders of the three woman working on the three customers was visible and growing more so. The tension among the clients was palpable. Dammit, Beavis, this is unacceptable. So I took out the earbuds, and put on the carrying teacher voice, and said, as avuncularly as I could manage, “Madam. Please. They will get to you. Please stop. Take it outside. You are, to use the vernacular, harshing my buzz.” And I smiled.

It was like throwing gasoline on a fire. She exploded and started to yell at me. “Oh, I think you probably already have quite a buzz on. Why don’t you go back to Coconut Grove among your own kind.” I blinked. I thought of any number of replies, beginning with, what decade are you living in, honey, the Grove hasn’t been the Grove since the early 70s, through my kind? Spawn of yuppie scum spending mummy and daddy’s money? to the short and to the point, which is what I said… still in the teacher voice. “Hmmm. Yeah. Right. FUCK. YOU!!!” Like I said, not my finest moment.

Well, with that, the fat, unpleasant woman said that judging by my vocabulary, perhaps I should take myself back to Liberty City. Liberty City is the inner city, the hood, the 99% black, poverty-riddled heart of Miami. Oh, no, she di’n't. Oh, yes, she did. So I said, “Hmmm. Yeah. Right. Not only are you rude and impatient, you are also intolerant and a racist.” And with that, the woman on my right joined me in making fun of the fat, impatient, rude pig-woman. In normal voices, and as though she weren’t standing 10 feet away, we began to discuss what an unhappy creature she was, whether or not she should expect any sort of manicure after her behavior, and whether or not she was aware of how horrible she was.

Fat, unhappy, unpleasant and impolite, the pig-woman was still standing at the counter when I left with the best pedicure I’ve gotten in years.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/20 at 11:31 AM in Demand Civility

(2) Comments
#1. Posted by Elise on May 20, 2009

Haven’t you had it up to mf-ing HERE with pushy, bloated, self-important, self-entitled assholes?

I don’t let it go any more, either. I don’t think calling them on it makes a damn bit of difference as regards their future behavior, but it makes me feel a little better, at least.

#2. Posted by Gigi on May 25, 2009

You’re both braver than I.  I’m still afraid to open my mouth around these people; afraid it will escalate into something I can no longer control. And then it becomes my issue, and all of a sudden I’m the asshole…:P

But I do think it makes them think twice before they start throwing their weight around again.  Public shaming ~ it works!

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