I forget which guru, probably Stewart Brand, once suggested that it's a good idea to dive into a completely alien culture once in a while. Following that maxim, I've always made it a point occasionally to pick up a publication I wouldn't normally read, like Better Homes & Gardens, and really study it, just to get a viewpoint almost completely outside my normal orbit.
And just such an experience was my visit to the local nail salon today. I went there out of necessity, not curiosity: grubbing around in the back of a drawer the other day, I managed to ram the index finger of my dominant hand into a hidden projecting metal plate and rip up the nail. The fissure went longitudinally, then sideways, leaving me with a square chunk of nail hanging by a thread at one corner.
Fortunately some folks at our breakfast group recommended Socorro's USA Nails. I go in, tell them my problem, they make a nearly invisible repair that keeps the fragment in place, and charge me three dollars. I'm outta there maybe twenty minutes after I walk in there at midmorning without an appointment. I've always been curious about the world of nail salons, but it's a competitive market, and I figure that any place that's been in business for a while must be delivering the goods, because their clientele runs to the very finicky and also to those of limited means.
And now for the cultural anthropology payoff!
A couple of really attractively dressed and made-up women peered at me as if to say, “What planet are you from, young man?” As I'm currently 62, I don't get so much of the cougar action nowadays.
There was a young mom with her infant sleeping in the carrier. I didn't see any women leave without really attractive nails, although your definition of attractive may vary. As a card-carrying nerdette-chasing nerd, most of my dating history is with women who were pragmatists and kept their nails short and undecorated. So I haven't consorted that much with those that go for glitter or longer extensions or little computer chips that sing your birth-month's special anthem.
So what have you done lately that expanded your cultural horizon?