Yesterday I got my nails done at my usual spot. Unusually, my manicurist was wearing a MD Anderson
Cancer Center Tshirt. These are pretty common in Houston, especially in The Medical Center area where I live. It’s a huge hospital and I always assume the people sporting these shirts either work at MDA or are patients there.
Because I know my manicurist is a manicurist, I assumed she was a patient. Extremely discreetly, I winked it at her and whispered “I’m a patient there too.” In my mind, I pictured her to be recently diagnosed and my comment to be encouraging. What I did not picture, was what actually happened;
Manicurist: You patient where? (she bellowed loudly in her thick Asian accent.)
Me: (whispering and embarrassed): Oh, uh….MD Anderson. Like your tshirt says. (I pointed to her shirt.)
Manicurist: You patient? You cancer?
Me: (still whispering. Hope to encourage her to do so as well.) Uh. I am fine now. But I still go there. I thought you did too because of your shirt.
Manicurist: No. I don’t go there. You poor girl. Have cancer. You okay? You die?
Me: No I don’t die….
And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it got worse, because she started tearing up. She ceased filing my nails, got out of her seat, and hugged me as the rest of the salon stared.
Me: Uhhhhh….Can I pick my color now? I’m going to pick my color.
I picked blue - the color of silence. Which is what I'll be moving forward, when getting my nails done.