Time to Cut Back on Cutting Back


I am a sale shopping, coupon clipping, freelancing-but-unemployed-ish lady. I like finding deals, and I’ve been pretty decent at cutting back (depending on who you ask) since I quit my job.

Slowly but surely, I’m realizing that there are certain lines I need to draw regarding how much I’m willing to sacrifice to save a few bucks.

I won’t go into the $20 bikini wax, as I finally put the trauma of receiving an intimate aesthetic service in the back room of a beauty supply store from someone in the middle of dying her own hair behind me. But we’re going to add “any heavily discounted-all-the-time spa service” to the list of discounts to avoid:

It came in my Super Saver - you know, that envelope of wildly useless coupons for carpet cleaning and car washes that are 30 miles away.  I look through it because you never do know when a coupon for Chipotle might find itself in the mix. While there was no coupon for Chipotle, there WAS a coupon advertising a $15 mani-pedi, WITH a free bottle of OPI nail polish…and only a mile and a half away from my house! It was at a beauty school, so the technician wouldn’t be exactly “trained,” but when I subtracted the cost of the OPI, that’s a $7 mani-pedi. What luck!

How often must I learn the life lesson you get what you pay for?

The…establishment(?) was location directly next to the 99 cent store.  Initially, the door was blocked by a…local(?) with a 99 cent store shopping cart(!). Once I got past her and waited in the…reception area(?), I was seated next to perspective students filling out applications…one promising candidate(?) was eating a full sized bag of Lays potato chips(!) as she applied. Crumbs. Everywhere. TLC’s “Unpretty” crackled on in the background. An instructor(?) got on the mic (yes…there was a PA system that was used throughout…no need to go to the back to call someone up front…just do it factory style) and invited the senior students to join her for the seminar on how to present yourself in an interview. When no one responded, it got super Jerry McGuire (“Who’s with me?! Who’s with me?”) until a number of the students hollered from wherever they were conducting services “NO ONE!”

At that point, I believe most people would have left. At this point, I now regret not being most people.

When my manicurist(?)-with-blue-braces and my pedicurist(?) with Beauty School imposed uneven blue streaks in her hair sat me down in a plastic chair, I really do think they sort of tried their best. At the very least, I got caught up on beauty school gossip (In case you were wondering, everyone is thinking of walking out of this school because whoever heads it up plays favorites - and Michael’s not even that great - AND limits them to one locker - how are they supposed to keep all their supplies in one locker?! - and while they’ve heard the new Inglewood location is supposed to be great, there are a lot of rides that need to be figured out before the mass walk out occurs. I’ll update you after my next appointment). My manicure is sort of in the lines, and my pedicure looks fine from afar…in the dark. Whatever, at least I have the free bottle of nail polish to correct the pedicure errors.

All in all, I wasn’t about to complain. At this point I had gotten my $7+nail polish worth.

And then I saw this:

Jesus effing Christ. My feet were in there. My just showered feet were in there.  My just showered no callous removing there should be none of my skin - and DEFINITELY none of my hair - in there feet were in there.

Upon stating THAT complaint,  I was told that it was probably just towel lint (are we looking at the same hair and skin in the same bowl?), but they’ll definitely clean it out to make it look nicer for the next client. Would I like to leave a tip?

After bathing in disinfectant for the rest of the afternoon, I’m 80% sure I might not have a diseased foot…and I’m 100% sure that will be my last time at beauty school.