Today I took a trip with my Mom to the nail parlor. I thought it might be fun, just to go and see what happens in one.
Going to a nail parlor for me would be like a homeless guy being taken to an Italian dinner. (That was the best comparison I could make.)
I thought it was a good idea, until, Mom and I had to stop our discussion about whether I was introverted or extraverted, and walked into the parlor – and I saw – people.
People. Seriously. There were people there, can you believe it?! My easygoing, “Sure, I’ll go with you” suddenly seemed like a weird response when I realized I would have to figure out how to act in 10 different people’s lives.
I started wondering if our “Introverted/Extraverted” conversation had any merit – doesn’t this make it clear that I can’t be extraverted?
I stood beside my Mom as she started her nails soaking. She was like “You wanna pull over a chair?” – I was like, no… I don’t want to upset the proprietor on my first visit here by rearranging the furniture. “It’s kind of awkward you just standing there…” She said to me in a hushed tone. Though it doesn’t really matter on the awkward scale, I did think that Mom was going to move stations any moment – she was actually there the whole time…
Gladly, the kindly, petite, proprietor saved the conversation by saying, “You want to bring over a chair? You can.” With her blessing, I wheeled it over. “I didn’t want to move stuff around without her permission,” I whispered to Mom. “Yeah. 🙂 ” She said. She is such a good mom.
That concluded, I set about to trying to play to my strengths. Not easy, seriously, where are my strengths in these situations?
Well, I like to observe. And there was plenty of that to do. People getting feet stuff done in comfy brown chairs. The owner’s daughter playing with a tissue box, and imagining to herself. The son knitting a beautiful scarf. The pictures on the walls. Not looking at Spongebob Squarepants on the TV …. Not looking anywhere too long, but enough to get a feel for what was going on and what the feel of the place was like – and subsequently how I ought to be.
I observed how when the owner/proprietor spoke in the language she spoke (Chinese? I have no idea, sorry), that she was able to direct the conversation to her kids, and they knew she was talking to them, without having to shout. And therefore multiple conversations could go on at once. I also saw that it would be great to be able to communicate in a soft language like that while owning a business – “Hey, are you making sure to spray water on first?” “Yup!”… – and things like that. I find it really stressful being at work and not being able to say anything that would remotely sound like incompetence. 😦 I mean, I know my job, but if I have a question, the customer can’t know… I understand, but it is hard.
I started to relax. Eventually we struck up a conversation with the nail-ee beside us about her and her daughter. And the girl with the tissue box came over and brought us into her imaginary world. And I watched how the nails were done.
Eventually, Mom’s nails were done. I was glad to be out, but it was great to try a new situation. 🙂
Now, for myrmecophobics (the fear of ants) to relate:
…I had been doing great, I thought I might be able to stick it out this summer.
But I found an ant in my water cup. And I found an ant on my table.
And now a little, tiny sliver on my brain is saying, “Check where you are sitting!! Check where you are sitting! They must be all around you and you’re even sitting on them!!!”
Start thinking about Unicorns and Rainbows, now. 🙂
Have a great rest of your Saturday!
Do you have any seasonal phobias?
Do you go to nail parlors?