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March 01, 2009

How you know I'm not from around here

Mail.google.com Between my baby, my two-year-old, and the bad mood formerly known as my four-year-old, I find sometimes let a little too much time elapse before I manage to get my legs waxed.  Fortuitously, there are three nail salons visible from the corner of my street, so when I start having to braid my leg hair each morning, help is a two-minute walk away.

You must understand – for me, hair removal is the pinnacle of beauty maintenance.  I do not get facials or blow-dry my hair or wear lipstick.  And, if it weren’t for the little waxing rooms in the back, I would never have cause to enter one of L.A.’s ubiquitous nail salons.  Mama don’t do manis and pedis.  I grew up in New England; no one there sees your feet eleven months out of the year.

But, because I am moderately hirsute, I pop in when I get the chance to smooth out my legs and remove the moustache that starts creeping onto my upper lip.  Much to the chagrin of the salon ladies, I steadfastly refuse to get my brow waxed, but now and again, when I have the time, we try to make it decent for me to be seen in a bathing suit.  And it is then I get a chance to see the cultural phenomenon that is the Los Angeles nail salon.

What mystifies me is the frequency with which I see children in the nail salons.  I am always surprised to find that several mothers so desperately need their nails done that they bring along their small children to a place that, to me at least, ought to be a grown-up zone.  As far as I am concerned, a four-year-old has no business in a nail salon.

            Unless, of course, she is getting a pedicure.

Seriously?  What in tarnation does a four-year-old need with a pedicure?  Don’t we figure she’ll have enough years to be gendered and primped and sexualized once she hits puberty?  Does she need adult toes before she even gets adult teeth?  Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer little girls in jeans, t-shirts, and dirty sneakers.

Plus, there is really no point to feeding your kids organic grapes if you’re just going to paint chemicals on their fingernails.

This is an original post for LA Moms Blog.  Emily also blogs at Wheels on the Bus.

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