Every once in a while, not nearly as often as I would like, I treat myself to a pedicure. For $30, I get to sit back and relax as someone else does all the dirty work of making my feet a little less ucky. To be fair, I should say that I really dislike feet, even my own, so I spend most of the time feeling embarrassed about making someone else touch my feet. But I sit through it so that when I wear sandals or peep toes or take off my shoes at home, I don’t look like a cave woman.
Through all of that embarrassment, I still find the whole process to be relaxing. I look forward to my roughly bi-monthly visits to the nail salon. Sometimes, I don’t even bring in my cell phone, so that no one can bug me while I’ll sit there reading a random magazine and trying not to kick my technician in the face when she tickles my feet.
So this weekend, I left my husband and daughter at home and went for a little Mommy time. I plopped down in my vibrating chair with OPI’s Diva of Geneva and prepared to be spoiled. All of a sudden, I hear a sound that I’m not supposed to hear at a nail salon. It’s a sound that I hear all too often, but just shouldn’t be subjected to when I’m trying to relax. I hear Ariel. Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid singing about whozits and whatzits and thingamabobs. It’s a great song, don’t get me wrong. I hope it sticks in your head the rest of the day now, too. But I don’t want to hear it while I’m trying to have my ‘Me Time’.
Why was The Little Mermaid playing at a nail salon? That’s a great question! I’m glad you asked. It was playing because the mother next me had brought her 7 year old daughter in for a mani-pedi as well. “She got an A on her spelling test, so we’re having a Mommy and Me trip to the salon.” The woman told me in a hushed and excited tone. “That’s… great,” I managed to say awkwardly as I remembered the sticker I was lucky to get on a test in elementary school. As the mother/daughter combo finished up about 20 minutes later, I heard the mother make their next appointment. Apparently, three weeks from now, the little girl will have aced another test. “Let’s make sure she gets the Princess Chair again, too!” That’s right. My favorite nail salon has installed a Princess massage chair for the 12 and under set. And it comes with a DVD player, so the little girls can watch their favorite princess movies during their Mommy and Me time.
Now I can fully support Mommy and Me swim classes, yoga workouts and tea time. My daughter and I spend lots of time dressing up like princesses and dancing around our house. But Mommy and Me mani-pedis just take it too far. A line must be drawn! And here is my big line in the sand. If I can’t even get away once a month and spend $30 on my poor toes, there is no way my little girl is going to get monthly $25 mani-pedi of glittery pink polish that will chip off in two days. And I can apply that crap at home! I don’t have feminist issues with allowing my daughter to sport Lisa Frank-inspired neon fingernails. I have a logical issue with spending that much money so that my daughter can pretend to be a grown up. If I’m going to spend quality time with my daughter, I hope it will focus on child activities, something the two of us can learn and do together. Something suitable for a child. I hope Mommy and Me time doesn’t become a situation where I drag my daughter along to my grown-up girl activities and call it bonding.
I don’t think we need to have another place where children are banned. I’m not saying that salons should start carding. But next time, maybe I’ll request the princess chair at my nail salon. That way no one’s little darling will be there to ruin my Mommy time.