“Mama is that lady drunk?”
The girl didn’t ask out loud, her wide eyes and worried brow said it for her.
It’s 9:00am on a sunny Tuesday. The nail salon is crowded with respectable females.
My nails are painted a glossy plum-purple. I clamber down off the elevated pedicure chair, struggling to keep both my balance and those flimsy pedicure flip flops on my feet.
The girl sits watching me with the same concerned awe she’d display watching a dangerous high-wire act. Soon, every eye in the place finds me.
I shuffle and lurch toward the drying table, staggering like…. well…like a drunk.
In a room crammed with chattering women and girls—
I am the entertainment.
Desperately hoping to arrive at the drying table with pristine nails, I focus on maneuvering through the crush. I hazard a glance at the girl’s mother, who briefly meets my eyes; then finds something fascinating on the floor. If you don’t acknowledge the drunk lady at the salon she’s not really there.
I finally plop into the chair and sigh, saddened by the glob of half-dry polish scraped off Lefty’s big toe.
My observant pedicurist sees my dismay and comes to the rescue with polish remover and fresh double coat of polish.
For years, I’ve been that weird middle aged white woman with dreadlocks.
Now, I guess I’m that strange drunk-ish white woman with dreads.
Just a minor change.
I can live with it.