Dealt with clients in the morning, and took a break to deal with nails in the afternoon. If my nails are too long, I just can’t type; always catching my nails in the laptop.
I’ll admit, (no sainthood to be found running in these veins) I sighed inwardly when I saw the long line, but I bought a magazine, figuring I could donate it for the other people waiting, giving them something to do during their own wait. I sat, flipping idly through the pages.
This celebrity and that getting hitched or ditched.
A woman beside me leaned over and, keeping her voice very low, bemoaned the wait. I concurred with her, but we both agreed it was the best place to get one’s nails done. After I leafed through the magazine, I gave it to her. She thanked me with surprise in her eyes; it took me a moment to realize that her surprise was due to someone giving for a change, instead of wanting to take, take, and take some more. Before I could think further on that, I was beckoned forth, and settled into a comfy chair sighing…this time with relief. At least, until they handed me a cotton wad soaked with nail polish remover.
Man, I suck at removing nail polish.
I did the best I could, but by the time I was done, I had cotton sticking to every fingernail and pink smudges down to my knuckles. The maroon nail polish didn’t want to come off; I grimly attempted forcing it to do my bidding. The nail tech returned shortly and shook her head sadly (she always does; can’t blame her for it). I felt a hand gently touch my shoulder as the nail technician began working to remove the mess I’d made; it was the kind woman returning the magazine I’d bought earlier.
Thanking her kindly, I told her to keep it, and she walked away, surprised yet again. I heard some voices behind me and immediately tensed.We psychic-mediums can’t read your mind at will. But we generally know who you are and what you are made of without giving you a second glance; which comes in handy sometimes. I felt the rush of negativity, and thought, “So much for relaxation.”
The sullen, slightly nasal voice behind me was complaining about the wait. “Been nearly a hour,” she said loudly. After a little more whinging, her voice finally died down to a low murmur. I was glad, yet wary; I didn’t want her seated next to me. Could be a psychic thing; probably just a human thing, but I don’t like being around people who are too entitled; it grates on my nerves. If cheddar were alive…and self aware, of course, I imagine it would feel the same if a cheese grater were to be seated next to it.
I was fortunate on this day; a very nice lady sat beside me. I lent her my cell phone when her battery went dead and commiserated with her on the fickle nature of cell phone batteries. I even told my nail tech I felt bad; I could see she’d been rushed off her feet all day. I asked if my nail technician if she’d eaten lunch yet. “No,” she replied, “Busier day than expected; not enough help.” I felt bad about that, having been there more than once myself, and gave her a extra large tip to try and make up for my intrusion.
I wandered back to the nail drying station to do…what else? Dry my richly polished blue nails (which looked terrific). I heard the same voice who had loudly protested the long wait and slightly turned to glance in the voice’s direction; I saw three brunette heads.
Younger, maybe early twenties. Maybe late teens; I really suck at ages. I listened in blithely to their conversation (don’t we all when we have to sit and wait?)
Heard all about who was “doing” whom, how good it was, and wondered at it, as I so often do; when I suddenly heard the young lady with the sullen voice (who had apparently “done” quite a few young gentlemen herself…by her own admission), call one of her peers, who was not present, of course, a ‘slut.’
I had strategically positioned my purse so I couldn’t actually look into the eyes of the two worst offenders before I arranged myself at the drying station. Upon hearing the slut comment, I shook my head and idly wondered if she could see the hypocrisy in her own statement.
I wryly shook my head again.
Aren’t we trained from the womb to not see things objectively, least of all ourselves? Most of us never really review our behavior through others eyes, because we might get more than we bargained for in the doing. I half-listened on, hearing about who was a slut, a whore, and other, far worse monikers.
I noted one girl on the edge of things. She never spoke up, as the more eager one did whenthe pouter spouted her vitriol. She kept her eyes down, remaining silent, not commenting one way or another, even when directly spoken to.
I looked at the girl curiously.
She wanted to be part of this threesome, part of this clique; but she didn’t want what went with it. She didn’t want to render judgment when the person involved wasn’t there to defend herself. I found this curiously irritating as I continued to watch her. I found the more vicious the vitriol, the more she studied her hands, whirled in her chair, twisted her hair; the more uncomfortable she became.
Yet there she sat, enduring.
I felt bad for this girl, but I was also a bit angry. She purposely never commented, when we all know silence gives consent. Taking a stand when things go too far is a trait I admire; yet silent she remained; consent she gave.
I wonder how this young girls life will go.
I wonder if she will ever take a stand when wrong is done artlessly to others within her hearing.
I wonder if she will ever take a stand for herself.
As I walked out, I stopped to make way for a car wanting to turn. Smiling, the couple in the car waved me forward; I knew they were smiling because I’d stopped. Others around me had already ignored the car and blindly surged forward, thinking only of themselves and where they wanted to go; how they would get there, and when.
Just as further out in the parking lot careless drivers nearly backed into unwary pedestrians in their surge forward to get where they wanted to go. I approached my car, still wondering about that lone girl, the mute one, to all appearances; I wondered if perhaps she would stop for the car I did.
If she might stop if a pedestrian entered the path of her vehicle, and pausing for a moment to unlock my car, I thought she would, at least judging from her behavior today.
I wonder how long it will take before she stops being silent and starts participating in the vicious smears against others.
How many days, weeks, and months remain before she chooses to become as obnoxious as her “friends? Starts actively working to fit in, to get where SHE wants to go, and stops seeing and responding to others; the only room in her head reserved for herself?
But really now; who am I trying to kid?
Silence is merely the first step in giving consent.
One step mastered.
So few more to go.