"The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision."
I need help. So I text Sebastian, my boyfriend, before entering the Delancey Street train station, “Clear polish is fine, right? I don't need to get all fancy.”
“I guess,” he responds.
“I hate this stuff. No one likes my choices.” By “no one,” I mean my ex-boyfriend whose ex-wife was a nail technician: the few times I'd done my nails, he'd lament that the colors didn't match my skin.
“Look at the styles,” he replies.
“Just tell me what you want to see and I'll do that!” I write before descending underground.
On the F train, I feel shaky and out of breath. What about a French manicure? More sophisticated, no?
When the train finally arrives at 23rd Street, I follow the crowd of passengers trudging up the concrete steps leading out of the station. Sidestepping an elderly man with a cane, I rush into the open air to see what Sebastian has told me to do.
“I'm sorry what EVA u want babe is fine,” he's written.
Angrily, I shake my head. What? No! Feeling lost, I walk through the throng of people waiting for the bus and sidle past others walking purposefully towards their destinations.
“Do me a huge favor. Don't ever let me buy another deal for a mani-pedi again!”
“But, babe, you have to do your nails for our wedding!”
“Fine,” I acquiesce with a heavy sigh, “but you're coming with me!”
“Why are you so stressed out?" he laughs. "This is supposed to be fun and relaxing.”
“I'm scared,” I reply.
“Sheesh, babe, you're scared of everything! Shopping... ordering food... puppies...”
“I'm not scared of puppies!”
“I know,” he chuckles. “I just threw that one in there.”
“Mani-pedis feel like such a waste of life,” I huff, beginning my tirade: “I hate having to choose colors. And the smell is gross! I bought the deal so I could do my nails for my birthday, but I didn't have a babysitter. It just seems pointless to do them for no special occasion."
"I know it's stupid to feel anxious about it, but I really do! My chest hurts.”
Sebastian's no longer laughing. “Relax, babe,” he says sternly.
I open the glass door to building 269. There are clean white steps leading to the second floor, and I climb them cautiously as I take in Sebastian's calming voice.
“Okay, this is what I tell people – go with a nice tan color, something that matches your skin color,” he advises. “Or go with your favorite color.”
“Blue?” I whisper incredulously.
“Yeah! You might as well get a color you like.”
“Okay, gotta go. Bye.”
“Just choose your color, and someone will be right over to take care of you,” he directs before turning away.
Just choose my color! I pick up a bottle of clear nail polish. I pick up a red one. I put them both back down.
The nail technician arrives and steps to the side to wait for me. I spy a blue nail polish on the other table and excitedly pick it up. It's called “Falling Star.”
But then I see a light blue nail polish. Then a gray-blue one. Suddenly, I'm holding five shades of blue in my hands and starting to hyperventilate.
I turn to the nail technician, smiling apologetically. “I'm really no good at these things,” I say. “Can you help me?”