i saw the title of today’s post written on a chalkboard at a cafe near my work. that’s like saying tomatoes have been discontinued. or lemons. or garlic. i can sometimes be overly critical of things like this and in my own head come up with my own better solution. in this case, i decided that it would probably have been far more effective if they’d just erased “sprouts” from any item listed on their chalkboard menu. but, hey, that’s one man’s opinion.
(side note :: there’s an amazing sign near my apartment that reads, quite simply, that “jumping and playing are dangerous.” it’s located in a driveway and translated into Chinese under it. it makes me laugh every time i see it. i really wish i could read the Chinese translation because either it makes a lot more sense or it’s even funnier.)
all this painting of our new space got me thinking about house painting. i remember when, several summers ago, my boyfriend at the time took up house painting for a summer job. i really didn’t ask if i could help, but rather insisted on it. i think i heard the word “paint” and immediately became excited. i’d had no prior experience with house painting, but figured it couldn’t be that hard. however, house painting requires a certain amount of skill, practice, and attention to detail. i remember helping him paint one of the first houses he worked on that summer. i also remember getting into an argument with him because he didn’t feel i was “doing it right.” i think i helped him for a total of one day and after that i merely kept him company while watching him do all the painting. and in hind sight, he was absolutely right. i got paint on the carpet and the notion of rolling a wall “properly” was (and still is) completely lost on me.
the problem is that i’m really messy. i’m uncontrollably and inexplicably messy. my parents bestowed unto me the nick name ‘Messy Jessi’ at a very early age. i really can’t do anything without making a mess (i spill something at least once a day – if you don’t believe me, talk to my keyboard – in fact, i cannot currently capitalize the letter “y” for this very reason). every apartment i have ever lived in (including the one i’m in now) has paint on floors, doorways, walls, the fridge – you name it. i don’t even know exactly how i do it because for all intents and purposes, i do make an effort at remaining somewhat clean. i don’t own a pair of clothes that have not been the victim of paint. i rarely buy clothes for myself, but when i do i always make a little pact with myself that i will spare this one article of clothing from a life covered in paint. i’ve yet to keep that promise and if my clothes could speak, i’m sure they’d all agree that i am not only a negligent mother, but also a liar.
that said, you’d be amazed at how many people think that an artist would make a good house painter. i have accepted the fact that i will never be any good at painting houses (interior or exterior). and that said, i can’t wait for the day i own my own house and get to paint the walls. it will be a colorful mess with stained carpets. i feel for the man in my life who may have to deal with this one day. in advance, dear future husband, i apologize for the mess you will be forced to reside in.
(side note :: i just spilled a glass of water while writing this).
so i promised you a funny story in my last post. the more i thought about it, the more i thought that maybe i was the only person who may find this story funny. but no worries, that won’t stop me from telling it to you.
the last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful at work, leaving me little spare time to decompress and come to my senses. which is fine because when the big art store move was announced, we all knew what we were in for. we had agreed to four to six weeks of pure chaos (give or take). i rarely do “girly” things. shopping, spa treatments, haircuts, etc. so on wednesday morning, when i found myself thirty minutes early for work, i decided to use the salon directly next door to my work to receive a quick manicure.
my hands were covered in paint at the time. i get a manicure once a year. maybe twice. it’s an inexpensive and quick way of showing a little self love. so, every once in a while, i’ll cough up twelve or so dollars to watch someone else do what i could do on my own time at home. however, there’s usually a back or hand rub thrown into the equation which makes it entirely worth it. in fact, i think my main motivation for receiving a manicure is the rushed three minute massage i will likely receive. my decision to get a manicure is almost always an impulsive one. which is why, when i sit down and my nails begin to soak in the warm water (to soften my embarrassing cuticles), i feel like a fool. i’m a complete amateur when it comes to being a girl.
i stared at my hands to see how bad the damage was. they were somewhat caked in paint, swollen, and my wrists were bruised (from lifting steel). it was at this point that i felt the need to run. the lady doing my nails looked at my hands, wrists, and arms and had a disconcerting look on her face. it was so obvious i was a poser. i was pretending to be a girl who cares about how well manicured her nails are. she went about her way, trimming my nails, cleaning up my cuticles, and removing the preexisting nail polish. i had to laugh because as she was removing the remaining nail polish (that had been there for at least a good six weeks), she rubbed that cotton ball past my finger tips and onto my hands. she started scrubbing at the paint on my fingers and palms. she had this look on her face of complete disbelief. again, i had to laugh. however, at this point – when you’ve come this far into receiving a manicure, you tell yourself that you’re a paying customer and she can just deal with it. it is also, at this point, that you are well aware you will need to give her a healthy tip.
the manicure came and went. i am now sporting neon pink nail polish and feel kind of awesome about that. as expected, this lady gave me a shoulder rub while my nails were drying. she had strong hands and although it was obvious to me she’s had no training whatsoever in giving a real massage, it felt good. so, on my lunch break, i returned to the salon for a fifteen minute neck/shoulder/head massage because i had had a bit of a headache all day. it was my second self love act of the day and seeing as it would only cost one dollar per minute, i figured it wouldn’t break the bank.
this salon is rather weird. i guess most salons are weird, but this salon has about ten self massage chairs in it. the kind of chairs that have remote controls that you can program to massage you in just the right place with just the right pressure. it also has ghastly curtains on all of the walls (not covering glass, but merely hanging on walls). they are ugly and poorly designed (and most of them are gold), but from what i know about fabric and interior decorating – they look expensive. they have full foot baths for pedicures attached to half of these chairs. they have surround sound speakers, a decent stereo, and a flat screen television. it looks like this place has been well funded – poor use of their funding – but well funded, nonetheless. so, when i went in for my massage, i was more than a little surprised to learn that they do not have a massage chair. instead, i sat down at one of the manicure stations, on a stool with wheels, face down on a pillow. not the most comfortable position for a massage, but i was desperate enough not to care.
and then the lady who was going to give me a massage put a very loud old school timer by my face set for fifteen minutes. it reminded me of the crocodile from Peter Pan who swallowed a clock. the tick tock was inescapable. it made me nervous as i sat in the make shift massage chair. i thought, shouldn’t i be relaxed and unaware of time as i receive a relaxing muscle rub down ? but instead i had this very loud clock in my face reminding me of every minute, nay second, that passed. tick tock tick tock. i glanced at the clock several times during the massage, painfully aware of how few minutes were left.
not that that really mattered because the massage was not entirely pleasant. it was painful more than anything else. for a tiny woman, she has some seriously strong hands. strong enough that i felt noticeably sore the next day (and not ‘good sore,’ but ‘bad she-had-no-idea-what-she-was-doing sore.’ and during the ‘head rub’ portion of the massage, it was not so much of a massage as it was a deep scratching sensation as she ground her rather long nails into my scalp. being who i am, i made no complaints (aside from my one request to massage ‘less hard’) and gave her a good tip. regardless, i left laughing. not only was a clock ticking in my face during this whole procedure (and yes, when the alarm sounded i damn near jumped out of my skin), but the credit card machine beeped and their store phone rang insistently almost the entire time.
this is also the salon that i have gone to before (merely out of convenience) to get my eyebrows waxed. on every occasion i have had hot wax not only burn my face, but also stay stuck to my face. forcing me to run to their restroom with a stolen bottle of oil to rub myself clean. that, in and of itself, should have been enough of a red flag to prevent me (or any sane person) from seeking this salon out for a manicure (let alone a massage), but since it’s located all of ten feet from the entry to my place of employment – i couldn’t help myself.
at least the nail salon didn’t have a menu consisting of ‘discontinued sprouts.’ because that, my friends, would have really unnerved me.
(my own rendition of Peter Pan’s ‘Crocodile.’ entitled, “Tick Tock.” triplus finliner and micron on parchment paper – made pink in honor of my new nail polish)