Yesterday I decided to do something I hadn't done in ages—I got a manicure. For no particular reason. (I've never been able to do my own nails because I have the world's shakiest hands and end up painting my fingers instead of my nails. So it's hire a pro or go au naturel.)
I walked into a salon I had never visited and soon found myself paying strict attention to the sharp directions and hand signals of an older Asian gentleman. Although we had a bit of a language barrier, it quickly became clear that he was not interested in assuring my comfort. He was interested in making sure I didn't mess up his work—which was quite good. Still, I was a little uncomfortable with his drill-sergeant approach to customer service. At one point, he had me cross one arm over the other so he could polish my right hand while I held the left one under a little fan WAY on the other side of the table. I looked like I was playing Twister. When he motioned for me to uncross my arms and give him my other hand, I got so flustered that I couldn't remember which hand went with which arm and gave him back the one he just polished. At first, we looked at each other in utter confusion and then, in the same split second, we burst out laughing. Barrier down. Tension ended. Communication achieved. After that, we were friends. I'll be going back.
A little laughter makes any situation better. Remember the old Mary Tyler Moore episode when Chuckles the Clown met his tragic end? Everybody in Mary's circle was cracking jokes about it, and she kept chastising them for disrespecting the dead. Then, at the funeral, her co-workers were all serious, but Mary . . . Have a laugh for Chuckles this morning: