Mani Pedi at the Mall


Many years back, I had gone shopping with my gal pal

and her newly arrived cousin from the east coast, near the big apple

East coast cousin was in a blah mood, couldn’t break the jetlag and the fight with her guy

She liked her tanning, didn’t like being pale

She specialized in hair artistry and did makeup as well

Gal pal has skin that does not take well to the sun

vampire genes, she says

But during our mall cruising on a sunny, warm afternoon,

we stopped in at a storefront that specialized in manicures and pedicures

I stood next to east coast cousin, chatting while she got her feet soaked

And gal pal was getting her feet soaked too, just one chair over

A new customer ambles in

and looks directly at me

asks me twice

if they could have a sit in one of the pedicure chairs.

I look at my gal pal’s cousin, with confusion on my face

The cousin looks to me with a disbelieving laugh,

and says quietly:

“she thinks you work here”

Don’t assume,

Lady who was on her cell phone

Because if you would open up your eyes

behind your sunglasses

and stopped your busy chatter,

With the use of basic critical thinking abilities

You would see:

I didn’t have a name tag on

I was standing beside someone talking

I wasn’t tending to nails – neither those on hands or feet

(I could conclude why she assumed I did because of the way I physically looked.)

One of the salon workers went to her about a few minutes later

After tending to the toenails of visiting cousin’s feet

And the new lady continued her busy cell phone chatter

As she had a seat just a few foot soaking chairs down

No ‘thank you’ to the worker that helped her

She sat like someone who was entitled to service

Instead of a courteous customer

For clarity’s sake, I will say,

the new customer

was past her teens and twenty something years, at least

In my mind I do remember this incident,

and hesitate to share more details thereafter

Because I don’t want to be labelled racist.

But I will say that she was not of the asian persuasion, upon visual inventory

Nor was she of European descent – again, upon the visual facts

Her accent was from the Chicago vicinity

A little close minded incident in a shopping mall nail salon

One sunny, warm afternoon




I don’t flash my race card credentials

(Not that I would apply for one anyways)

Because that won’t solve the problem.

But no matter where one goes

There is a certainty that there are people

in need of mental programs updating.

Note: Actress Tippi Hedren (Melanie Griffith’s mother) was responsible for getting the Vietnamese refugees into the manicure business.