So, I sprinted from work to get a quick nail repair done today, during lunch.
What I sometimes forget is that quick is relative, to people from other countries (I live in Japan), and when trying to explain your needs in a combination of English/Japanese and hand gestures.
Whew, so I explain that I don't need them all redone (I was just there two days ago), but only the middle finger that was cracked. No, I didn't want her to remove the entire nail and start from scratch, but simply wanted a quick fix to get me through to my next appointment.
Got it! We exchange smiles and move on to the next step.
Awesomely, we find the matching color and I sit down, on the edge of my seat, because, well me and total relaxation is almost never possible at the nail shop. We have a real love hate relationship. I love the finished product and abhor the process.
Fast forward about ten minutes and I get the sense that someone is standing behind me. Not simply walking by or otherwise engaged a few feet away, but directly behind me in such a way that the heat from her presence is felt. Then, my hair begins to move. It's being lifted off of my back and rubbed between her fingers.
Um, that's inappropriate and awkward.
So, in a very atypical Paige fashion (typical being jerking my head away and giving the toucher the crazy eyes), I look over my right shoulder and smile and give her the wide-eyed-what look. She looks as startled by my reaction as I was to her touching me.
"Is wig?" She asks in awe and as though she already knows the answer.
"No. No wig." I then grab at a handful of hair near the roots and give it a good tug myself.
She smiles, without an ounce of embarrassment or remorse, and proceeds to pat my head. Really, grandma? A head pat.
A few words get exchanged, in Japanese, I smile and nod and the other techs crack up. Yup, still kind of a HUH moment, for me. But, she doubles back and takes my hand, gives it a squeeze, bows and smiles and says thank you.
I honestly have no idea why, but clearly she learned something from the encounter and was grateful. Whelp, okay. Odd, but pleasant or oddly pleasant. I'm still not sure.
Here's what I do know...
That we can all find a little gratitude in our encounters every day, even the really odd ones. I'm thinking the teachable moment was for both of us. I love living abroad.
Sidebar: We saved the nail!
*It broke as I was hanging the dishtowel on the stove door last night, making the yummy scallop dish below. Click the button for the recipe.