For several months now, I have been going every few weeks to get a Shellac manicure at a salon by my home. It’s a pretty typical place doing hair, waxing, nails, etc. and I have become a regular customer there which is a nice feeling.
I sit down and Dana (the nail tech) commences to ply her craft on my digits. We chat about the kind of stuff you chat about when getting your nails done: our kids (she has a teenage daughter), weekend plans, and – well – girl stuff. I see she has a tube of MAC DazzleGlass lip-gloss sitting out and I comment it’s a pretty color. She proceeds to tell me the story behind it (she does makeup and such for fashion shows and was given it as a gift) and how she’s not sure she’s loving it. I tell her I have the same type in a different shade and she asks me to put it on so she can see how it looks. I feel myself blush a bit but oblige her and brush on a coat.
“Oooo – I like that!” is her reaction.
And so for the rest of the time, we chat about make-up. She compliments my eyeshadow and I tell her it’s a loose power type. She confesses she has no idea how to use it and always makes a mess, so I explain the technique I use – a bit of information she is happy to learn. And so on and so on for the next twenty minutes or so.
I’m sure there are people who will dismiss this as wholly vapid exchange, but is it any more so than say a discussion about golf, or a reality TV show? I don’t think so. People have all sorts of ‘meaningless’ conversations all the time. What made this interesting (to me at least) was the fact that I was having it.
There was an ease to the conversation: nothing forced or uncomfortable about it. There was nothing about being ‘trans’ or any kind of ‘why’ to the conversation. In a word, it was all quite natural and it felt nice – and, dare I say, fun.
I love moments when all the nonsense fades into the background and I get to just be me.