Monday, December 7, 2009

The Vietnamese Finger Mohel Strikes Again

While I was enjoying a manicure a few weeks ago, the manicurist carelessly pressed the fingernail clippers against the tip of my left ring finger and began to depress the clippers whilst the tip of my finger was between the shiny, sharp blades. Panicked, I quickly jerked my endangered hand (as well as my soaking right hand) away and looked at the "-ist" with a shocked expression on my face. He just smiled at me.

I am not altogether comfortable with strangers touching me, like, at all. But when I "put myself out there" for a mani or a pedi, I do so with optimism and hope for a positive experience. When things go badly, as they did on this occasion, I have to emotionally re-group in order to go back.

So, having sought counseling for the traumatic almost-circumcision of my poor gentile finger, I was able to "put myself out there" again this past weekend. My pedi was marvelously performed by a female salon worker who worked gently and efficiently.

When I was shod in the foamy faux-flip-flops, I slid over to the mani station only to find myself eye to eye with the Vietnamese Finger-Mohel. And he was not smiling.

I know mani/pedi etiquette demands that I remain still and relaxed and let the "-ists" do their thing, but I don't think that rule requires me to sacrifice part of my finger. So, I really did not consider my prior behavior a breach of etiquette in any way. Hoping the mohel agreed, I sat down and put my hands in his hands again.

No clippers this time. At all. (Thank the gods.) But I was a bit of a wreck the entire time anyway, the emotions of guilt (for mistrusting the "-ist") and fear (for my finger's well being) battled inside me while I tried carefully not to watch him use the cuticle trimmer. Suddenly, I felt a painful pinch on my left ring finger and pulled my hand back. This time he looked at me like I was insane. I told him, "That hurt." He just nodded, as if to say, "Yes, I know." For better or worse, I returned my hand to him and let him finish the mani. It ended without major bloodshed. I even tipped him - even though he had almost "tipped" me twice!

First, did my left ring finder offend this guy in some way? I mean I have ten fingers, but he is picking on this one. Admittedly, I don't use it too much except for typing most of the letters in "except" and "letters." But it completes the set, so I'm kinda attached to it.

Second, is it really that difficult to avoid removing chunks of flesh while providing manicure services? If it was such a hazardous endeavor, it would not be so popular, right? Maybe I have weird fingers. I don't know.

Anyway, I guess I need to find a new salon. My only remaining question: Should I go back and give the Vietnamese Finger-Mohel the finger?

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