Today started a bit rough. There was the call last night from my mother in which she shared some health concerns that I think in the end will be OK but admittedly make me a little nervous. There’s the incessant upper respiratory infection that JUST WILL NOT GO AWAY after three weeks. My monthly friend, Dottie, arrived. My stepfather called to share that he was having a surgery on December 22 that could either leave him possibly blind or dead. Then there was the fact that my husband became irrate with me for a reason I just did not see coming. Good time, good times, I say.

So I did what any respectable girl does who has a husband (albeit an angry one) at home during the day – I went and got a mani/pedi after I dropped Susannah off at preschool. I even decided to spring for the $10 pedicure upgrade (the best $10 I’ve spent in a while).

Sometimes I truly just think life in general is just too darn funny. Don’t get me wrong on this one – there’s A LOT of heartbreak. Maybe that’s why I choose to see the funny (yes, I realize this is not always a good thing) because truthfully, some of the stuff just terrifies me.

But on this cold, Indiana day, I retreated to the nail salon. Not an upscale nail salon but one of the “cheapy-chongas” as my friend Jennifer likes to call them. Today, “cheapy-chonga” is just what the doctor ordered.

The fountain was flowing. There was still the faint aroma of fried rice lingering in the air. There was instrumental music playing some of Cindi Lauper and Elton John’s music with an Asian twist. There were horrid beautiful silk flower arrangements on the wall that did not clash at all.  It was not decorated in the monochromatic palette of a typical spa nor was the music “naturey” (yes, I know that’s not a word) and relaxing.  But it was funny. And it made me laugh on a day when I just want to go fetal in the corner.

Ho turned out to be the most thorough manicurist I have ever been fortunate enough to experience.  He was meticulous.  The $10 upgrade added 20 minutes of time with my People magazine in the pedicure chair. Bless him.  Bless him deeply, I say.  He was also very concerned that, for shame, I might chip my newly-painted fingernails (Ho doesn’t know about the world in which I reside.  But I kinda liked it that way…) This concern caused his business partner to yell at him in Vietnamese as I was leaving thus forcing me to remember a hilarious Seinfeld episode in which Elaine goes to a “cheapy-chonga” salon and suspects everyone is talking about her but she’s not sure what they are saying since they’re  all speaking Chinese.

For a moment, I stopped as I thought I was going to be sent to the principal’s office for leaving too early.  Then I remembered that I was a 36 year old adult and could leave whenever I wanted.  Whew…

Thanks, Ho, for bringing some joy to my life today.  You were just what this sad girl needed.

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