by Karen Singer
Chapter 28 (Friday – week 4 Part 7 of 10)
When they walked into the nail salon, both Chad’s and Mel’s usual nail techs were waiting at the front for them – along with a few other customers who didn’t have appointments and were sitting in the waiting room. Chad stood by quietly as Mel briefly greeted the two small women. As soon as she was done though, he expected his usual nail tech to lead him straight back to where she would be working on him, but instead, she stood there staring at him as if she was waiting for something.
“Aren’t you going to properly say hello to her?” Mel asked him, her voice sounding more than a bit harsh. “Be polite!”
Chad was a bit surprised, but he immediately turned to his nail tech and said, “Hi. How are you today?”
Before she could answer back, Mel lashed out at him. “That’s not the proper way for you to do it! Now do it again… and curtsey for her this time.”
Curtsey! Chad was slightly flabbergasted, but Mel had made him do it for the nail tech before. He just hated doing it in public like this. And after deciding not to do it for the receptionist at the gym, he was hoping to get away with not doing it here. He immediately dropped a quick curtsey and repeated his greeting.
But before his chuckling nail tech could answer, Mel lashed out. “Not good enough! You can manage a much better curtsey than that… and smile! Say it like you really mean it!”
Chad was completely startled. Worse, there was something about the look on Mel’s face that frightened him more than a bit. Quickly, he faced his nail tech again and redid his curtsey and greeting, this time doing a slower and much better job of it. As he did so, he heard more than a few chuckles from the women in the chairs behind him. As soon as he finished, his own nail tech was laughing louder too.
“Somewhat better!” Mel declared. “Now greet my technician. She deserves just as much consideration as yours!”
What was going on? Chad was totally surprised by Mel’s sudden new attitude. He was surprised, but he was more worried about her sudden anger. Not wasting any time, he did another curtsey and greeting for Mel’s nail tech.
“Now turn around and say a proper hello to everyone else here, and apologize to them for being so rude and taking up so much time!”
What? Chad couldn’t believe it! But one look at Mel’s determined face and he knew there would be no way out of it. The feelings of total humiliation and embarrassment ran rampant through his body as he slowly turned around to face all the women in the waiting room. He glanced around. The seats weren’t all full, but there were more than enough women all staring at him expectantly with very amused looks on their faces so that he wished he was dead. Slower than before, he dropped yet another curtsey as he said, “Hello everyone. I’m sorry I was a bit rude a few minutes ago and took up so much time.” He stood back up again and looked at Mel… praying for her approval.
Mel rolled her eyes angrily. “Marginal at best, but you’ve wasted enough time here. We’ll have to practice more later. Now go get your nails done.”
Chad quickly followed behind his chuckling nail tech. He was glad to be away from Mel for a few minutes. What had gotten into her? Damn! It was like she was momentarily possessed!
“You looking very pretty today,” his nail tech commented as he sat down and started to remove his shoes.
“Uh… Thank you,” he replied as politely as he could. He wasn’t about to take any chances that Mel might be angry at him for anything!
As usual, the nail technician did his toes first, changing the color from red to a soft, shiny, pale pink. As she worked on his toes, Chad kept staring at the new color. “Pretty,” he thought more than once. Something about the color made him really happy to be wearing it. Then he caught himself… had he just thought that?
Finally it was time for her to work on his fingernails. He prayed as she started removing the red polish that she would cut them shorter… at least a bit. They were so long that they were nearly impossible to work with. As soon as the old polish was off she picked up her scissors and grabbed one of his super long nails by the tip. Chad held his breath. She put the scissors to the edge of the nail, and with one smooth cut, shortened the nail by about two thirds. Chad felt nothing but happy relief the moment the nail had been cut. His nail was still very long, sticking a good ways out past the end of his finger, but it was now much shorter than it had been. In fact, as she went to work cutting the next nail, he decided that now the length looked much more normal. Any woman would be proud to have nails that long.
A little while later, Chad stared at his freshly done fingernails. They were elegantly shaped to a long tapering oval, the length and shape making his fingers look longer, slimmer, and somehow much more feminine. He thought the pale pink color was truly beautiful, he felt funny inside just looking at them. It was hard to believe they were his hands. He bent his fingers over to try and make a fist and realized that the nails were still long enough that he couldn’t do it fully, but it didn’t matter, he could move his fingers much easier now. He just couldn’t get over how feminine his hands looked. Without the super long claws, his hands looked less dangerous, more friendly, and like hands he’d always dreamed he could have… mostly anyway. They were still male hands underneath those pretty nails. They just looked a lot less male now.
Feeling happy and light-hearted, he got up and thanked his nail technician verbally. Then he headed up front to where Mel was waiting for him. “Did you thank your technician?” she asked.
“Yes I did,” Chad replied.
“I didn’t see you curtseying!”
Chad realized right away that he wasn’t going to win the argument. He turned back to the woman who had just done his nails, dropped as good a curtsey as he could manage, and thanked her. The woman just giggled again as she rung up the service at the register.
“We need to work on your behavior!” Mel declared in a steely voice as they walked back to her car.
My behavior? Chad wasn’t at all sure what she meant by that. What was wrong with his behavior? Nothing that he could see. But he held his silence as Mel drove both of them to a restaurant they hadn’t been to together before. Considering the mood Mel seemed to be in, he didn’t want to chance saying anything that might upset her in any way.
“You’ve got some empty bottles in your diaper bag?” Mel asked as she parked the car.
“Yes, Mistress. They’re left over from yesterday. We didn’t get a chance to replace them this morning.”
Mel winced a bit. “How about some full ones? Did you put any fresh ones in?”
Chad’s eyes widened a bit. “No, Mistress. I didn’t think of it.”
Mel nodded. “Grab one of your empty ones then and let’s go.”
Chad was surprised, but he dutifully dug out one of the empty bottles and stuck it into his purse where it wouldn’t be seen. As they walked from the car to the restaurant, he prayed she wouldn’t make him drink from the bottle again once they got inside… but something in the back of his mind was telling him to be prepared for it.
Chad opened one of the double doors and held it wide for Mel to enter first. As soon as he got in, he noticed that there were a lot of people waiting to be seated. He felt more than heard Mel’s impatient sigh. “Better go put our name on the list, Sissy,” she said. “I hope it won’t be too long a wait.” Chad only took two steps toward the hostess behind a small counter before Mel’s voice lashed out at him. “Sissy!” He turned to look back at her. “I better see you curtseying politely when you talk to her!”
Chad was aghast. Curtsey? Again? He turned to get on with the task, but Mel’s voice again lashed out. “Sissy!” He turned again to Mel. “That’s not how I taught you to acknowledge an order from me!”
Chad was very aware of all the people around watching them – including several small children. He didn’t want to do it, but Mel’s determined face was still staring at him… waiting. He dropped a polite curtsey to her and said, “Yes, Mistress.” Mel’s whole demeanor seemed to change slightly as she barely nodded her approval. Chad heard a few small chuckles and comments of astonishment from the people around him, but he did his best to turn toward the hostess’s desk again without looking at anyone around them.
“May I help you?” the hostess asked with a very amused look on her face. Chad was tempted to turn back toward Mel for a moment before he continued, but he restrained himself. Knowing that Mel was watching him closely, and knowing that she would only make him keep doing it till he got it right, he dropped yet another curtsey and asked, “How long is the wait?”
“For two?” the hostess asked.
“About fifteen to twenty minutes. Can I put your name on the list?”
Chad turned back toward Mel, who was now standing much closer where she could hear what was going on. “Fifteen to twenty minutes,” he told her.
“Give her ‘your’ name. We’ll wait.” After having to curtsey like he did to the hostess in front of all the people there, Chad wasn’t at all sure he wanted to wait, but he dutifully turned back to the hostess.
“What name?” the hostess asked as she put her pen to the book in front of her.
Mel had specifically said to give the hostess his name. He wasn’t exactly fond of the idea just then, he had already had enough humiliation tonight to last him a long time. “Sissy,” he said softly.
The hostess shook her head. “I’m sorry? I couldn’t hear you,” she apologized.
“Sissy!” Chad was forced to say much louder.
The hostess had a very surprised look on her face. But then she smiled and wrote the name into her book. Chad was about to leave, but luckily he remembered just in time. He quickly dropped another quick curtsey to her and said, “Thank you.”
As he and Mel walked toward an empty area of the bench seats along the wall, Chad was aware of a couple of very young girls playing by curtseying to each other and the rest of their families with them. Uh oh! It looks like I’ve started something.
There was only enough room for one of them to sit, and there was certainly no question about which of them was going to be standing. As they waited, they both watched the young girls playing. They were both also aware that the other customers kept watching them closely. Mel was delighted. Chad was not.
One of the little girls started to run out closer towards Chad and Mel before her mother yelled to stop her. The little girl turned and screamed a big loud “No!” back to her mother before continuing to run straight up to Chad. Chad was very surprised… and embarrassed. Especially when the little girl went right into her very awkward curtsey… right to him. Now what was he supposed to do? But fortunately, the little girl ran off laughing. Chad breathed a sigh of relief and watched as the mother scolded the child… who didn’t seem to care at all about anything her mother was saying to her.
Chad turned to look at Mel, but before either of them could say anything, the mother was yelling again. Chad turned back just in time to see the other little girl running right up to him too. She curtseyed like the other one did, all the while laughing hysterically like it was some big game, then she too ran back – where her mother scolded her. And obviously, neither of the girls seemed to care about what their mother was saying at all.
Chad was glad to see the mother holding onto the two little girls after that. But as soon as the girls had calmed down again, she released them. Fortunately, the two little girls stayed with their family. But they kept staring at him and pointing and laughing. Then one of them curtseyed toward him from where she was. And right after that, the other one did the same, copying her friend… or sister - Chad couldn’t tell which.
Chad was more aware than ever of all the people around watching them… and him. Embarrassing! But the two little girls, just wouldn’t leave it alone. The first one curtseyed again, and then the second one did it too.
“You’re not being very polite!” Mel noted in her harsher than usual voice.
Chad looked down at her. “What am I supposed to do?” he asked.
“Curtsey back, you fool!”
Damn! Why did Mel sound so mad tonight? And curtsey back? To the kids? But obviously Mel wasn’t going to be happy till he did it. So he quickly dropped a slight curtsey to the two little girls – which immediately sent them both into peals of laughter and raised their excitement level even higher. But now both girls curtseyed to him at the same time. They looked back expectantly at him.
Chad looked quickly down at Mel. “You’re more of a child than they are,” she declared. “Play with them!”
It wasn’t exactly the answer Chad was looking for. But he again turned to the two girls and returned their curtsey – which again set them off laughing excitedly.
The girls curtseyed… then Chad curtseyed. Back and forth. The two girls laughing and having a great time. Chad feeling totally foolish. But then one of the girls took a step forward and bowed like a man to him instead. Chad was so surprised. Where had she learned that? He was about to bow back, but Mel’s voice lashed out quickly. “Don’t you dare!” Chad immediately dropped yet another, but more contrite curtsey. The girls started laughing yet again.
The hostess announced another name over the speaker system. The little girls were finally gathered up by the people around them and were carted off toward their dinner. Chad was never so glad to see two children leave.
“Sissy. Table for two!” Their table was ready. The hostess was looking right at him. She knew perfectly well who he was, she didn’t have to announce his name over the loudspeaker for everyone to hear… but she had done it anyway. Damn!