Manicures for Cheap Jewish Werewolves and Other Ethnic Minorities


Last weekend, I decided I needed a manicure, mostly because I was terrified of my hands:

I can’t do my own manicures because I am TERRIBLE with beauty products. I have no idea what the difference between an emory board and blush is, I don’t wear makeup on a day-to-day basis, and I’m scared of the makeup counter at department stores because they always look at me like I’m a charity case. However, I’ve learned all about Sephora so that I can discuss makeup with other girls without seeming like a leper (“Did you know they have THE BEST foundation???”)

The fact that I can’t do manicures and the fact that I needed one was a terrible Sophie’s Choice for me because getting a manicure means spending money, which goes against everything [Last weekend, I decided I needed a manicure, mostly because I was terrified of my hands:

I can’t do my own manicures because I am TERRIBLE with beauty products. I have no idea what the difference between an emory board and blush is, I don’t wear makeup on a day-to-day basis, and I’m scared of the makeup counter at department stores because they always look at me like I’m a charity case. However, I’ve learned all about Sephora so that I can discuss makeup with other girls without seeming like a leper (“Did you know they have THE BEST foundation???”)

The fact that I can’t do manicures and the fact that I needed one was a terrible Sophie’s Choice for me because getting a manicure means spending money, which goes against everything](https://vkblog.github.io/2011/02/07/why-does-every-russian-woman-shop-at-tj-maxx/) been taught.

So I went to a Chinese place that just opened not far away. My manicure cost just $10 US, which is good. However, I  was the only person there, and I felt a little like when Babu opened a Pakistani restaurant in Seinfeld and Seinfeld felt horrible that Babu was getting all this stuff ready for him.  My manicurist did not speak English and her husband had to translate, and their poor son was there, climbing the walls from boredom and talking to his aunt in Mandarin.  I didn’t feel so bad for him because I saw an immigrant novel in the making. (“It was then, amidst the fumes of OPI nail polish and hydrogen peroxide that I decided I didn’t want this life for myself and set out to be a doctor.”)

Anyway, I felt so good about supporting a small immigrant business that I didn’t notice my nails starting to peel until later that day. And I had a special event to attend this past weekend (which I’ll get to later in the week.) where I could not allow Russian women to see my bare, peeling nails (because, obviously, they would start gossiping about how I was an alcoholic, let myself go, and, you know, I think I saw her standing on the corner of Spring Garden and Broad Street last week, selling crack to children.  Oi, shto za devochka!

So, this Saturday, I decided to try and adhere to the “quality over quantity” mantra that Mr. B has been teaching me over these past two years. I sucked it up, put on my big-girl panties, and went to an actual very nice fancy salon.  If you saw a girl holding flipflops, walking down Newtown’s Main Street at 7:50 a.m. this Saturday, that was me.

As soon as I walked in, I could tell everyone was hotter than me, which is always a good sign. Also, I could tell everyone was American, which was also an excellent sign, because my Korean is rusty.  However, as soon as I sat down at my manicure, I could tell the manicurist (and my pedicurist) were Russian.   OBVIOUSLY.  So I was forced to pull a Mary H.K. Choi.

Because Russians also rank by age.  So it felt very disrespectful for someone slightly older than my mom to be doing my nails. And I became stressed out. Which is the opposite of what a salon visit is supposed to achieve, isn’t it?  I became stressed out that I wasn’t talking to her enough. That I was talking too much. That she was talking in English and I had to do the awkward switch over to Russian and maybe she didn’t want to talk in Russian. That she hated my nail color.  That she was judging my untrimmed eyebrows or my “I Only Date Nerds” sweatshirt.  I was afraid she would call my mom any minute. Terrified.

However, unlike Mary, I have the lucky  trump card:

****Nice Russian Jewish Husband***

Which is why I married Mr. B in the first place. So I can pull the card out with random Russian women.

Ladies, I've hit the jackpot. But it's a Jewish jackpot, so it's only like four dollars and thirty-five cents.

“What does your husband do?”

“He’s a programmer.”  (nod of approval)

“But his degree is engineering.” (another monster nod of approval)

“Is he Russian?”

“Russian AND Jewish.” (woman is thinking she’d like to marry him.)

“Do you have any kids?”

“Not YET….but we’re buying a house” (we pass the Russian Woman Judgment test. WINNING.) (If you really want to win the Russian ladies over, you go, “We don’t have kids yet, but we’d really like to start a family” but the trick is you have to smile shyly while you’re doing it, or it doesn’t count.)

So I made my way through the manicure and pedicure, and then, an eyebrow wax, which was surprisingly significantly less painful than either the manicure or pedicure because it was done by an American girl my age.

However, I have to say that all the services were extremely professional and I highly recommend the salon for all your non-cheap beauty needs if you are in the Newtown/Philadelphia area.

Long story short, I finally have a beautiful manicure that is bullet-proof, stain-proof, chip-proof, and Russian-auntie-judgment-proof.  It’s the Mr. B of manicures.