I have been incredibly busy these past weeks. Between traveling and shotty internet, my blog has suffered-but I’m back. I’ve missed coming to this “place” sharing my thoughts.
You don’t need to be a neurologist to recognize when someone’s “brightness” is slipping away. What I find interesting is the moment it happens cannot be identified. Was it Christmas 2012? Was it the first time keys were misplaced? Was that the beginning? hmmmmm… I’m in trouble!
I’m a girlie girl who loves being pampered, and the older I get the more pampering I need to keep this body running smoothly. My “beauty services” are necessary indulgences, that help maintain my sanity. For the past 18 or so years I have been trekking across town to the Westside once a week to partake in various appointments. Once I find a person I like I am a lifer, a dream client that will be there “rain or shine”.
I remember the first time I went to Jessica Nail Clinic, a friend of mine treated be to a manicure for my birthday. I loved my nails and was happy to find a shop that was into healthy nails and did not do acrylic nails, which were all the rage back then. Leni, my manicurist and I hit it off and I quickly snagged a “standing” appointment and have been going ever since. I developed a unique friendship with Leni, so much more than a client/service provider relationship. We watched our children grow up, shared our proud moments, our daughters graduations, medical school, marriage, grandchildren and our mutual love for Michelle watches. You would be amazed of how well you get to know someone spending an hour a week together year after year. As soon as I sat down she knew if something was wrong with me. We had a secret “eye” language that we would use when snotty rude clients walked in the shop. Leni shared my tears when I lost my brother, went through a pregnancy with me, and my significant birthdays, there were a few sprinkled in during that period. We became each others confidants, even though our worlds outside of the shop did not intersect.
I can’t pinpoint the moment I noticed something different, but slowly I observed this sharp proud Romanian lady slowly start to slip away to some strange space. At first it was little things like “do you want coffee?” I stopped drinking coffee years ago, but every week she would ask. Picking out a color became an ordeal, changing an appointment was almost impossible, thankfully someone would always come to the rescue. The ladies at the shop are like family, most of them came to this country from Romania. I had to pay attention to my manicure and help her keep on task with the various steps. Sometimes I felt as if I could feel her embarrasment for asking me questions over and over. I thought about leaving, and going somewhere else, but I couldn’t, deep inside I knew it was only a matter of time. My manicures suffered, but I could not abandon her at this point, even though I noticed some of her regulars disappeared.
So last week I cruised up to Sunset Plaza, stepped inside and did not see Leni. I was told that she got the “flu” and retired and would not be back. I was overcome with sadness, that quickly deteriated to a waterfall of tears. Leni was only in her early 60’s and just like that gone. Of course I pressed for an explanation and I got it. I was told that her last day at the shop she got so disoriented that she could not find her car, and they had to call her husband. She had been at the shop for over 20 years, all I could think about was no good bye, no farewell celebration, just gone.
My favorite Jessica color is “endure”. I will always remember Leni when I wear this color…
Do you have a special relationship with your hair stylist? Manicurist? Massage therapist?