I have driven to the ends of three counties for my cheap fix. And, thanks to these merry coupon companies, my sorry fingernails have been glamorized in ways that only my toes enjoyed regularly. Of course, if you do the math, the total cost with the added manicure that I don’t usually get comes to the same as the pedicures I get at my local shop during lunch hour. And, with the extra miles, I guess that makes the whole experience more expensive.
The illusion of savings is alluring. Gets me every time.
But, that’s not why I’m writing. There will be another post called “Ode to the Groupon Consciousness.” I promise.
I write because I had one of those unexpected encounters last night at the nail shop. It was with the nail technician who coated my nails in transluscent pink and made my toes French. To protect the innocent, I’ll call her Abby.
After our perfunctory exchange of, “How long have you worked here? How many kids do you have? Where are you from?” the sky opened up in our conversation.
When Abby asked me where I worked, she looked up at me and lit up when I answered.
“You work for a publisher?”
She didn’t miss a beat with her emory board.
My happy surprise was that we would be talking about more than what movies we liked and what restaurants served the best sushi.
Abby was an avid reader. She told me that she never read books until her first pregnancy at which time she’d devour two books a day. Anything she could get her hands on.
As my right hand soaked in suds, Abby told me of her love of books.
“Oh yeah, Dean Koontz, Danielle Steele, James Patterson… anything by James Patterson.”
She was even reading books her teenage son brought home from school. I can’t remember the author but I think it was a fantasy series (not Harry Potter).
I sat there as she buffed the nails on my left hand and mostly listened to Abby rattle on about reading. We both admitted that we were ADD, were late comers to reading, but knew how to hyper focus when we sat down with a good book. Her son had the same issue but inherited his mom’s reading gene.
I offered to send books to Abby, the manicurist and asked her in exchange to review them on amazon.com or goodreads.com or anywhere. I now had a local envoy and felt happy inside.
Two blessings came from this Groupon experience (actually twenty-two if you count my fingers and toes):
1) I broke a prejudicial barrier in that I presumed someone working in a salon environment wouldn’t be literary — okay maybe it wasn’t Dickens, but it was books. (shame on me)
2) I had renewed faith that the book business did still have many to serve. It was, forgive the cliche, one book, one reader at a time.
I’m writing from work so I have to get back to attending to the precarious business of books but a little more encouraged today than before I met Abby.
Oh, and not only will I get to have stimulating book banter with Abby if and when I return to the salon she works in, if I book ahead, I’ll get $10 off.Comments (0)