Saturday, January 9, 2010


Some of you reading this may know that tomorrow is the Choreographer’s Ball, which I am hosting. My dress is ready to go, but my legs definitely are not. Due to the fact that it’s winter and I have no man, they are in serious need of a wax job. So this morning I took a little walk up to the plaza and got it taken care of. When I walked into the nail/wax place, I warned the lady that I was a hairy mess and that she should brace herself. After revealing my legs she said (with heavy Korean accent), “from the knees down you look like a man!” Yes, thanks I needed that. “At least it keeps me warm!” I retort. She doesn’t laugh.

The door was left wide open, as she began to de-hair me. Though this was a little disconcerting, I was in a strangely non-confrontational mood, so said nothing. Eventually a co-worker walked by, peeked in, and closed the door. Whew. When the fronts of my legs were complete, there was a knock at the door. A happy sounding exchange in Korean followed and then another woman, who had just arrived judging by the fact that she was still in her coat, entered my room. I smiled at her, thinking she would just be there for a moment. What I didn’t expect at all was that she would be followed by a little Korean boy of about 5 years old.

Um, yeah. As I sat there, half exposed, I was informed that this new woman would be completing the job. Uh huh. Ok, so why is this little boy standing by her side, staring at my- now hairless, thank God- legs? It got worse. The new lady decided she was going to wax my toes too, which was completely unnecessary. I was so distracted by the male-child addition to the room, that I didn’t notice her dabbing hot wax onto my toes. Then she tries (over and over again) to rip the non-existent hairs from my poor little digits, only to have the wax somehow meld with my skin, refusing to come off. My toes are now turning red, and the boy is transfixed. This whole time the two women are chatting away, but of course, I can’t understand a damn thing they’re saying.

You may be wondering why the hell I didn’t say anything. I plead waxing coma. I was experiencing this moment from the outside, as my mind kept trying to figure out what to say. I mean some part of me accepted that this is how some cultures are- that things of this nature are just not a big deal. And really, I wanted to be down. But deep inside, I knew I wasn’t. I looked over at the boy. He looked back at me shyly, and in that moment, I knew that he totally understood how awkward this situation was. I kept thinking that he was never going to forget this moment. That he would be traumatized by what his mother was putting him through. And I, inadvertently, was to become a part of his childhood mythology. A story he may tell to his future friends, girlfriends, or wife. Oh jebus.

After several appeals to the woman, she finally stopped messing with my toes. It was now time for me to turn over. I took a moment to see whether they were going to take the boy outside, but no one budged. They just looked at me, waiting for me to flip over, butt side up. This was clearly enough. From the front and sitting up, my sweater covered me, but from the back lying down? No, hell no. There was no way I was going to expose my butt, with its neon-green, pink-bowed undies, to the poor child. So FINALLY, I told them to take the boy out of the room. I observed with wonder at how shocked and thrown off they were by my request. Even after I told them why- not wanting to show the boy my woman butt- they still seemed confused. In any case, they did remove him, and I duly flipped over. Well, at least my legs will be looking fab tomorrow night.

I know this blog post is getting long, but I can’t leave today without mentioning my wonderful new winter boots. After weeks of freezing in my NY-worthy, but definitely not TO-worthy boots, I knew it was time to spend the dough and get a proper pair of winter joints. The thing is I really can’t marry myself to spending $150+ on a pair of Sorrel’s or Timberlands. I mean, if I’m going to drop that kind of cash on footwear, best believe Ima get me some fab, 4-inch, sparkly heels to strut around in. Or a pair of sharp kicks. I was complaining about my predicament to Nicholas Pickolas, and he told me that Canadian Tire has rubber, insulated hunting boots that are rated to –40 degrees, for $40!!!

The excitement I felt making my way to the institution that is Canadian Tire was something I haven’t felt in a long while. I was actually shocked at my own excitement. But being warm is muy importante to me, so really I just couldn’t wait. I got there, followed the smell of rubber and found my prize. They were exactly what Nick had described. And ugly as sin, which didn’t bother me one bit- a clear indication that I’m getting old. After the purchase, I put them on immediately and walked unafraid through any pile of snow or slush. My feet were so warm that my whole body became warmer too. I even started to sweat.

Now, THAT is what I’m talking about.


  1. Oh Ayesha, thanks for making me laugh...don't my peeps make you laugh too!? to you from River and me!

  2. I've always wondered what really goes down in those nail salons. As a man who passes these places every day, I might try to steal a furtive glance inside, though that's hard because the windows are often mirrored. I feel like it's a place at once forbidden (to me) and enticing in the way, say, the sultan's seraglio or the ladies' baths might be. A little demystification was clearly in order and, thank you, here it is. Thoughtless service, clueless service providers, embarassment, mortification, actual physical discomfort, man's inhumanity to man -- apparently the nail salon is not any more free of these afflictions than any other place.

    It's fun to read this, though I'm sorry that you had to go through this totally unnecessary experience. Those workers there have no ethos of service or of hospitality, that's for sure. I often wonder at the thoughtless crudity of people who will just blurt out anything without any filter. What socio-cultural forces are at work, I often wonder.

    In any case, about one thing you can take heart: the boy will surely not be traumatized and he will, in fact, forget this. What may persist in his subconscious, as a result of this and perhaps other "routine" encounters at the salon, is that he will grow to be a man admiring of women's bare legs and manicured toes (perhaps shoes too, as a plus). He won't know why. He just will be for reasons he doesn't fully understand. It will be part of his hard-wiring. And that won't necessarily be a bad thing -- he will likely be a very thoughtful and attentive lover.