My ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend called the other night. He's a train wreck, but she turned out to be a pretty cool gal.
Anyway, we're on the phone, discussing. I'm looking at my chewed-up cuticles, and I say, "Girl, I need to go get my nails done."
And, she's like, "You know, we ought to go out and party!"
Hey, what if you could do both at the same time?
That's how we ended up at Martini Ranch in Encinitas for "Martinis & Manicure" last Tuesday night. It sounds silly-going to a bar to get a manicure while sipping boutique-y martinis. And it is silly, but drunk and pampered is not a bad way to go through life.
The martinis weren't the only things boutique-y. Just inside the door, a lady sold trendy purses with all the bows and buckles in oh-so-stylish colors. Upstairs offered lingerie, sex toys and free eyebrow waxing.
It's sheer merchandising genius-combining Americans' insatiable need to imbibe with women's insatiable need to shop.
Other women seemed to think so, too. A table of ladies wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers enjoyed their newly polished nails and a few rounds of holiday cheer. The bartender informed us it had been even busier earlier, and that a line was waiting to get in when they opened at 4 p.m.
With nail appointments for 8:30, we had time to take advantage of the Finlandia drink special-$3 drinks and $5 martinis. I started with a Viking martini, which I like because it's purple. Girlfriend had a Limeade martini, which tastes exactly like it sounds.
We were deep into an ex-boyfriend rant and in the middle of our second round when in-house manicurist Maria Hursch came over to get us. While soaking my nails in a bowl of soapy water, she explained that the idea for bar manicures came from the New York club scene, but is just getting started here on the West Coast. So far, the $10 manicures have gotten a lot of positive response, she said.
It was sort of like being at a big, boozy beauty parlor, just chitchatting with Maria and making ourselves pretty. We ordered up some seared ahi sliders (like little White Castles, with dead fish in lieu of cow), which were tricky to eat with wet nails.
Once our nails were dry, we couldn't resist going upstairs to have a look around. As I finished my Cosmo and perused what the sex-toy lady had to offer, the Sex in the City theme of "Martinis & Manicure" became clear. All that was missing was a one-testicled nerd, a frigid socialite and a sex columnist, although I was a dutiful surrogate for the latter.
"You know the best thing about a vibrator? It doesn't argue with you," girlfriend says. I don't know if it was her words of wisdom or the martinis that made me brave, but I broke out my credit card and gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, "stocking stuffer."