Thursday, April 23, 2009

Zebra Toes

Is it too much to ask for some zebra toes? Apparently.

Some good things today:
1) As the day has gone by, my cold has petered out a little. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to capitalize "Peter" in petered or not. I'm guessing not.
2) Reconnecting with the Bestie a little. I missed her.
3) Lunch with J. She's funny. :)
4) Running again. Only 1.7 miles, but it was something, and I only had to stop to walk twice for short periods of time. Getting better at pacing myself.

Some crummy things today:
1) I broke my awesome new Target sunglasses. Boo.
2) STAR TESTING and a Steering meeting. Double boo.
3) The... oh crap, this is one of those things I shouldn't blog about if I want to keep my job. Let's just say that going to meetings provides me with a cornucopia of possible topics for discussion... I just won't go into them for a while.

So, about my zebra toes.

I was just feeling a little zesty today, and I had a bit of free time before lunch, so I stopped into my favorite nail shop for a pedi. Favorite Nail Shop isn't what you'd call a swanky place, but I like the people there (mostly) and they do a decent job. Plus, let's be honest. With my spa treatment addiction as bad as it is, I want to maximize the amount of times I can go and have somebody rub my feet. As long as a place is clean and friendly, I will go. Cheap helps.

I hate picking a toe color. I always stand in front of the polish wall like a kid in a candy store, and then inevitably end up picking the same shade of dark brown/red. I can't help myself. I don't want to go too orange, because it makes my skin look yellow, or too red, which just looks boring, or too... I don't know, green, because Leprechaun is so 1999. Today I decide I'm going to go zebra. There's this girl in my 2nd period class who does her own nails all the time, and she does zebra a lot. I like it. It was also inspired by Netty's shoes...

Lookin' good, Netty. I certainly didn't look like that after having a baby. Work.
(Heck yeah, I blogged you. Neener Neener.)

So I walk in and most of the ladies are sitting there watching Vietnamese soap operas and trying hard to look nonchalant. It's tough for them to pull this off, though, because they only have two other customers, and when they see me they jump out of their skin, they're so excited. I feel sad most of the time when I'm in there because I can tell the economy has hit them hard. If a girl can't make a buck scrubbing a heel then who can? Anyway, I like them, so I try to support them. You know, my neighborhood business. I find my way through the door and I hear Heatha... what you want today? Easy. Pedicure please. Pronto.

I sit down. It's the ushe. Did I mention what a total FREAK I am about having my feet rubbed? I don't know if this is all dancers or what, but I would rather have a foot rub than pretty much anything else. Yes, I am aware of the implications of that statement. And yes, I still proclaim it loudly. Foot rubs are magical. Much more magical than some other things can be. Yeah, a footrub is good every time.

I sit and browse apps on my iPhone. Wha colah you want, Heatha? (I apologize if I'm being offensive here... It's not my intent. I love these ladies and I love that they work so hard at making me comfortable... but I also feel like the dialect is necessary to fully appreciate the experience.) Zebra, please. Just to make sure she understands what I want, I describe it. White polish, black stripes. The stripes should come from both sides, and not be straight. Does she understand what I mean? Yes, oh sure, no problem Heatha. Do I want white, or white opal? Good, she gets what I mean. Just white, please.

I go back to my iPhone and my email, and when I feel the polish happening, I glance down at my toes. Ehr. Um. Ehhhh... I'm squirming out of my skin. I am so bad at this. I cannot for the life of me ever manage to tell someone that I am unhappy with a service when they are more than halfway finished. You have no idea how many bad haircuts or haircuts/colorings that I have left the salon with, simply because I was too chickenshit to say "Hey, could you fix that for me please?" The problem is that I've been on the other side of that equation, and I know how frustrating it is when you don't feel like you can make somebody happy. Believe me. That's why I have a job like teaching where it doesn't matter one bean how unhappy they are. They are my captives.

But I am looking down at these toes and I am like CRAP, it doesn't even look like a zebra. Addie has a better idea of what a zebra is than this monstrosity on my toes. It's white toes with some weak little dashes across the middle, randomly. Great. I have effing Morse Code on my toes. I can't leave like this. What would my people say? (BTW, when you teach high school you might as well put yourself on a billboard every day. If something is out of place, it will take less than 3.2 seconds for some rude kid to tell you or to make fun of you behind your back.) So I suck it up and put my big girl panties on, and I say um, could you, like make the stripes thicker?

I know, right? I am such a colossal bitch. How dare I? I can tell she's not happy, but she gets out the giant bottle of Acetone and erases her handiwork. At this point I'm falling all over myself because I feel so bad that I said something. Does she understand what I mean? Has she seen a picture of zebra stripes before? Here. Here's a picture of zebra stripes on my iPhone. I'm desperate. It's not like zebra stripes are the hill to die on, but I'm invested at this point. There's no turning back. She sighs and scrubs and I sit there and feel like a meanie.

I can hear the chatter start, and I can tell it's half about how unreasonable I am... I catch zebra in there a few times, and she's shaking her head. Oh, please don't hate me, nail lady. You were one of the nice ones. Pretty soon they're all gathered around... I don't know any names except Susan, the awesome one, and she's busy. But I've got the owner, and the quiet young one, and the mean one... and they're all around and they start telling me that you can't make zebra stripes on a toe unless it is airbrushed, and didn't I know that my toenails were too short anyway? Dude. I like my toenails short. This is no crime. There is nothing worse than a toenail overhang. I like to play it safe.

Pretty soon, the quiet young one pushes the original girl out of the way. She does one toe. Like this? Yeah, I say, I like that. No, no, no, Heatha. I try for you. The owner boots out the poor nice girl (who actually got the closest to what I was hoping for) and tries some more. Her zebra stripes look like little black sperms, and I am not really thrilled with them either. Finally, Mean Lady comes over and establishes squatters' rights on the stool and she goes to town on the remaining eight toes. Let's be clear. It looks like crap, but I'm too scared of this lady to say a word. To borrow a phrase from Kathy Griffin, she'd cut a bitch.

I bite my lip, and I start to notice that all the ladies have moved away from me, and they're huddled together in groups across the salon. I can hear them talking again... zebra comes out a few times, but they're talking about Mean Lady now. I can tell. They are just as afraid to stop her as I am. This lady is amazing. I can be getting a fill from her and she will literally sand off my skin with the Dremmel tool, and I will apologize to her. I will be all I'm so sorry my skin got in the way of your sandpaper and she will just grunt and yank my arm out of its socket. I fear this woman and her wrath. You don't mess with Mean Lady.

Once the ordeal is finished (I'm starting to watch the clock now in hopes that I won't be late to my lunch with J), I look at my toes. Not as bad as before, but not zebra either. Is this really so difficult? I have a hard time imagining that it is. The original girl asks me if it is okay, and I say that no, it isn't really what I wanted but I was too afraid to say anything when Mean Lady got ahold of me. She winks because she gets it too. It's our little secret. I sit with my feet in the UV light thingy, I pay, I laugh, and then I leave. And I laugh to myself even more because I know I am going to go home and fix these toes before anybody sees them.

Here are some pics. I wish to heck I had snapped a pic on my camera of the first attempt. It was pretty weak, but the one I left the salon with wasn't much better. Anyway, here ya go. A few comments.

1) I'm sorry to post pictures of toes, because I know how difficult that is for some of you. Sorry. If you can't handle the toes, better hit that "back" button fast.
2) If you are a boy, you will probably not be able to tell the difference. Haha, you are very funny. They look different to me.
3) I tried my best to repair it, but I think the best thing to do is going to be starting over. You work with what you've got.

Please to enjoy. I now present you... zebra toes:

Before... when I left the salon.

After... this was my "fix"

Stop laughing. ;)


  1. The before looks like black bricks on a white background...

  2. OK, first of all, I hate telling people I'm unhappy too. And sometimes I wish I could suck it up and be aggressive, but I can't. I just go home and vent. Or blog.

    Second, they aren't that bad. I'm sure they look much better from the further away you are. [And who gets real close to your toes anyways?]

    Third, how fun! I really want a pedicure now! Maybe I should go tomorrow...but now I'm scared to ask for zebra toes.

  3. I think that you did a great fix. They look much better after you got done with them. I can see zebra toes.

  4. Hey, zebra stripes! Huh, sounds like my world lately. I don't think they had properly done their zebra research. Too small!?! Ha!

    I think you should do leopard print some time too.

  5. Oh, geez. Katherine, you made me realize that you were unknowingly one of my zebra influences this week. FYI peeps, Katherine is a muy talented artist who specializes in scrimshaw. (I'm not even sure I fully understand what that means, but it's cool.) She's working on an ivory gun handle right now and you can check out her daily progress on her blog, like I do... Here's a link to one with a few shots of the zebra knife:

    Support local artists!


  6. Aww thanks for the shoutout Heather! :-) Here's a quickie explanation of scrimshaw: a form of engraving (requiring extreme patience and a very steady hand) in which lines or dots or some combination thereof are incised into the surface of materials such as ivory or bone (and synthetics like Corian and Micarta). Ink is then rubbed into these incised lines/dots, producing what is usually a very small and very detailed image. Most commonly used for knife handles, gun grips, jewelry, and really small fine art!

  7. hahaha. i cant stop laughing now. haha even the "stop laughing ;)" made me laugh harder and louder.