Beauty Salon Albuquerque NM
rio rancho, NM
Rio Rancho, NM
By Barbara Hey
When my mother asked me to paint her toenails, I got nervous. She was confined to a hospital bed at the time, sick with cancer. For as long as I’d known her, her grooming regimen had been minimal, to say the least. She’d apply a slash of lipstick somewhere close to her mouth, and shave her legs every couple of months as if blindfolded, leaving stripes of stubble.
She had always considered any attempt at self-beautification frivolous. So why at this juncture in her life—she had only a couple of years to live—the sudden interest in the superficial?
But I didn’t ask questions. I did what she asked, weaving tissues around each of her toes to keep them separated and applying several coats of blood-red polish. She accepted my ministrations without a word—also not her usual style.
As I focused on her feet, holding each one lightly while I brushed on the polish, I began to understand her request. My mother—not one for physical demonstrations of comfort or affection—was feeling vulnerable, anxious, and alone. She was asking for care in the only way she could. In sickness she was yielding to her need for touch, which in health she had resisted. As her body failed, she sought some tangible sign of vibrancy and control. Painted toenails were the best she could do.
Since that day, I’ve looked at the various grooming activities—polishing nails, having hair washed and styled, getting facials, massages, and herbal body wraps—with a fresh eye. I used to think they were all about vanity. Now I see that these activities do, yes, fancy you up a bit, but they also fulfill a deeper function. I see the evidence among friends, some enduring the stresses of the day-to-day and others the worst of what life can throw at you, all of whom feel just a bit better if nails are kept up, gray roots hidden, skin tended to, makeup applied.
These pursuits are sensually and aesthetically pleasurable, both while they’re being done and afterward. They’re acceptable ways to tend to the self and to be touched by another person. And though we do these things for ourselves, they’re also a way to connect with other people, both by being touched and by doing them along with other people. (And, some might argue, by taking care to offer our best face to the world.) Witness the interplay at beauty salons, where conversations about life occur among strangers while hair is being styled or nails held under the purple glow of the quick-dry lights. The conversations initiate you into a kind of informal tribe, one that recognizes other members by coloration—either natural or applied—just as if we were from another species.
Grooming rituals, in fact, are part of what link us to our animal ancestors. “Among primates, grooming is critical for social alliances,” says Marc Bekoff, a professor of animal behavior at the University of Colorado in Boulder. “It serves two maintenance functions—cleansing the body and maintaining social relationships.”
We’re hardwired, it seems, ...
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Dates: 5/22/2013 - 5/28/2013
Location: Sandia Mountain
1801 Mountain Road North West
The Carboniferous-Permian Transition Conference will be held at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, NM from May 23 through May 25, 2013. The Conference is a professional conference of scientists presenting research of global significance on the Carboniferous-Permian boundary. Two field trips, one pre-meeting and one post-meeting, will be offered in conjunction with the Conference. The pre-meeting field trip will take place on May 22nd and include a trip to Carrizo Arroyo. Please do be aware that the field trips are not wheelchair accessible. Carrizo Arroyo is one of the most paleontologically diverse localities across the Carboniferous-Permian boundary. It exposes mixed marine and nonmarine strata of the Bursum Formation that yield everything from plants and insects to fusulinids and brachiopods. This section plays a key role in global marine/non-marine correlations because of the co-occurrence of conodonts and insect-zone species. This trip is limited to 25 attendees. The post-meeting field trip will be from May 26 through May 28th 2012. During this trip we will visit the area around Socorro, NM. East of Socorro, marine and nonmarine sedimentary rocks of Middle Pennsylvanian-Early Permian age are exposed along the eastern margin of the Rio Grande rift. This is one of the best exposed and most studied Pennsylvanian-Permian sections in New Mexico, and recent work has brought forth diverse paleofloras, detailed conodont biostratigraphy, extensive ichnofossil assemblages, and much more. The three-day trip, headquartered in Socorro, will work through this entire section, focusing on issues of stratigraphy, sedimentation and paleontology. This trip is limited to 40 attendees. The registration fee for the conference will be $150 prior to February 1, 2013; $200 from February 1st through April 30th 2013; and $250 from May 1st through the conference. The pre-meeting field trip to Carrizo Arroyo will be an additional $25 and the post-meeting