Archive | 6:08 pm

The Mani-Pedi Appointment

10 May

I stand in the doorway of an apartment complex, and buzz to get let in.  After opening the door, I walk through the foyer, past the slow elevator, and into the stairwell. Climbing the stairs I wonder how many of the steps I am finding to add to my day are actually being recorded by my pocket pedometer.

I don’t bother knocking on her door, she knows I’m on the way. As the door swings open I am greeted by happy chirps from Blue, her parakeet, and smell the last cup of coffee in the maker, burning slowly because it’s been forgotten. She sees me, and says hello, as the struggles to sit up to greet me. The day bed creeks as her body shifts, and slowly but surely she twists around to sit on the edge.

After a few words in affectionate greeting and banter I head to the bathroom to get the supplies I will need to do her nails. It’s just clear strengthening polish, but it does wonders to keep her nails from cracking and splitting. I search the little living room for the folding chair to perch on. It only takes a few moments to get set up, but she fills it with happy chatting about her day and of memories passed.

With careful hands I trim her nails. It is slow going, her skin is so pliable I have to double check before each little snip. Wouldn’t want to cut her. After all ten nails have been trimmed back, it only takes a few minutes to shape and smooth with a file. Putting my tools aside I reach for the polish, the chemical smell filling the tiny apartment as I spread it over those carefully trimmed nails. All the while we are talking, and laughing over little things that come to mind.

Her room mate comes home, while I prepare to start work on her toe nails. This starts the bird off in a new gale of tweets and trills as he sings his greeting to the woman who has walked in the door. We all laugh as someone points out that he seems to have a different thing to tell each person in their turn.

Laying her back onto the bed I set a towel beneath her feet, so as not the get nail pieces and any slopped polish on her pretty red sheets. After her toe nails have been trimmed and filed and painted I give the polish a little time to dry before removing the towel. The conversation has gone through many topics, but it now settles on one of her favorite childhood memories. I nod along, listening as she gestures with hands that have been twisted by arthritis. She talks of helping her father milk the cows before and after school each day, of the kitten she chose out of the barn cat’s only litter, and of the puppy dog she had as a teen. Happy memories of a time gone by, relived in the telling.

Going to the calendar I write down my time, and then head to pack away the nail care supplies. It took me an hour, but it never feels that long. It is always fun coming here. It is something I look forward to at the end of my week.

Picking up my purse I sling it over my shoulder, saying goodbyes, and giving a light hug to her room mate. Turning around, I bend over to hug this little old woman.

“Love you, Grandma. I’ll see you next week.”