Friday Funny: Manicure

It has been brought to my attention that many of my "Friday Funny" posts involve me taking off my clothes.  This is completely unintentional, I assure you.  So, I have decided that today I would write a rather modest post about getting a manicure.  Don't worry though, next week I'll be back with a doozie which again involved having to get nekkid.

When I was still in the US I used to {LOVE} getting my nails done.  We're not talking some crazy fake nails, just an hour out of my week to go and get a manicure and pedicure.  For $25 I could pamper myself and have pretty nails to boot.

When I moved here, however, it was yet another luxury that got cut out.  I was simply too overwhelmed with the language barrier.  I mean could you imagine just sitting there for over an hour with someone and not being able to say a word?  I would be getting my nails done so it's not like hand gestures were an option.

Sadly, manicures where a "once I go home" type of event, that is until my birthday last year.  My wonderfully thoughtful husband bought me a gift card to a local nail "spa".  My birthday was in September and it took me until January to finally build up enough courage to call and make an appointment.

Just hours before I had to go to my appointment I was STRESSING!  How would I be able to tell the girl what I wanted?  How do I say manicure in french!?

So of course, I asked my husband, who is nothing if not manicure savvy.

Me:  How do I tell them that I want a manicure?  How do I say that in French?

Cornel:  Manicure is already a french word.  Just say "Je voudrais une manicure"

Me:  "je vooodrais oooone manicure"...OK.  But in the US I always got a French manicure, how do I say that?

Cornel:  I don't know.  You're in France, wouldn't it just be a manicure

Me:  Hm, well that makes sense, but I don't think that's right. 

Cornel:  Well then say "Je voudrais une manicure française"

Me:  Of course!  That's so stupid of me. 

And so off I went, full of confidence to get my "manicure française".  I proudly opened the door stated my name and waited to be called.

The girl came over and introduced herself and then asked what I would like done.

I felt so proud of myself.  I knew what she was asking and I was so ready to answer back.  I smiled and said:

"Je vooodrais une manicure française"

The girl looked back as if I was an alien. 

Hmm, maybe it was my accent I thought.  I need to "french" it up a bit more. 

"Je vooodraaais une manicure française"

She took a second.  Then laughed at me while saying:

"Ahhh une french manicure".

I wanted to die.  Literally.  Who would have thought, "french manicure" in French is "french manicure".

I went home mortified {albeit with beautiful nails} and schooled my husband on the basics of a manicure in France.  I'm sure he was thrilled!
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Elle The Heiress said...

Hilarious! I would have thought it would just be "manicure."

Michelle said...

LOL. Don't you love it when English words are just thrown in there?

On another note, how do you email me a reply to a comment I leave? I just checked my "blogging" email account and had two emails from you replying to comments. I want to know how to do that! :-)

Liz said...

I think I still would be without manicured nails. I'd bee too chicken to call. But I think you are so good to have taken that chance! And now you know! :)

Kristi said...

The language barrier can be a funny thing. I remember going to the hospital in Switzerland, and watching the doctor pull out his English to German translation booklet as he started a pelvic exam. I wanted to run from the room! lol
Thanks for sharing your story...hope your nails turned out beautiful! :)

Katharine said...

I have gotten so lucky in Beijing so far. They always put me with the one girl in the shop who speaks English.

Sara said...


Head on over to my blog to pick up your award.

va_grown said...

Too funny! I really enjoy these "cultural exchange" posts. What an adventure to live in a different country and be completely absorbed into life there! Nathan will have such a great background to draw from in the future.

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