Quest for the Red Dress: Danger in Bohemia (Part One)
When last we saw our hero . . . .
She had found "the dress". The red dress that she intended to wear to the Newbery Banquet. When the actual color of the dress appeared to be more of a coral than a red, however, I (third person’s so impersonal) decided to go with it. Coral’s not so bad. And it is a distinctly reddish coral. Then I concocted a brilliant plan. I was going to do something I’d never done before. Something shocking and irregular and out-of-character. And where does one go to do something shocking, irregular, and out-of-character these days?
Why Greenwich Village of course.
So I went to the Village to… stand back now…. get my nails done.
Honestly, I’ve never done this before. Sure there was that free manicure I got at my bridal shower back in Kalamazoo, Michigan. But that was a clear glaze. Nothing fancy. Now I was in New York City. Last summer it came to my notice that I am an aberration amongst Manhattan women. I daresay I am perhaps the last woman here NOT to get her nails done. I’m serious. Sit on the subway sometime and watch the hands and feet that get on. It’s a little shocking after a while. So basically I was about to do something that every other gal I know does every single month. Just to clarify, I have NEVER worn colored nail polish before.
I was a little freaked out. Since I was doing it during the day I wasn’t going to have any friends available to tag along and show me the ropes. I mean, you tip right? And where do you put your shoes? And how much is it again? And and and . . .
So I went to a big place next to the Jefferson Market Library branch (which seems to keep cropping up in conversations today). No problem. I could do this. I walked in, explained what I wanted, and they waved me towards the door. When people do nonsensical things to me, my preferred form of tackling the situation is to stand and stare in the general vicinity of where I’ve been directed. If I can figure out what they’re talking about, great. If not, they eventually will show me what to do. Easy peasy. Finally a patient woman showed me two cabinets full of nail polish that were carefully hidden in hard-to-see cabinets by the door.
The real purpose of the visit, I can now tell you, was to get a color that would match my dress. Again, big big step for me. I’m not a person who likes to "match". I am a person who likes to "sleep" and then "dress hurriedly" into "clothes that do not smell too much". If my shoes match my purse I figure I’m having a good day. I had actually brought the dress along, squirreled away in a large Cat in the Hat bag (they’ll never look for it THERE, thinks I) so that I could compare colors. After finding one that approximated what I wanted, I was led dumbly towards big comfy seats with controls and magazines and tubs for your feet.
I would like to extend my greatest sympathy towards those men and women in the pedicure profession. You have my utmost sympathy. That job sucks. I took one look at my own feet and felt instantaneous pity for the woman who was about to deal with them. And it was the fact that I KNEW she’d seen worse that really got my goose too.
I was also unprepared for the leg massage part of the proceedings. That caught me off guard. They do this whole procedure and by the end of it my feet were not my feet anymore. I just sat there staring at this brightly colored series of 10 objects attached to the end of my legs. I will avoid showing you a picture because I’m still slightly horrified. Women do this? Regularly?
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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