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“They what? They canceled my manicure?” I whined, my favorite salon giving me the bad news. Didn’t they realize the need was cuticle?

Of course it wasn’t intended for my nails, but rather Leticia’s nails. In fact it was a Christmas present, my fondest wish for her this year.

I had scheduled it three weeks ago, along with a pedicure. These days, it is hard to find things in common with a 15-year-old, but this was it, three hours in a salon chair where she would feel like a queen.

That Saturday, Leticia was effervescing as we entered the salon. Then, she watched her father melt down when he learned there would be no new nails — not there, anyway.

“We’re getting those nails today,” I growled, starting my car and heading toward a Broadway shopping mall. There, a Thai family operates a walk-in salon. Within minutes, Leticia’s feet were dangling in hot water for the pedicure. Then, she was visiting with Tracy, the owner — and mother — of her salon staff.

It was a most beautiful moment for a proud and present father. Nothing else that day or this holiday mattered as much. In fact, my fondest wish is that I always have a chance to be that father. I have told her so but beyond that, I have shown her as best I can.

We like to believe that good things always happen to good people. But, that is not always true. Sometimes, as in this case, you have to make it happen — even if it makes me a Mr. Cranky-pants.

For years, I hungered for satisfaction as a storyteller. My passion and my purpose are uncontrollable. Even now, I fear that my triumphant aggression frightens people. It may be the reason the manicurist told me to sit quietly in the corner and wait. What then? Chew my nails?

Part of my problem is that we try to establish rules of engagement, boundaries to our relationships and social media has not made things any easier. For example, when is dancing a form of love play? When is a coffee date a “date” date?

On Facebook, one can “friend” or “unfriend” with the click of a mouse. You don’t even have to speak to someone to engage with them.

I watched the Friendship Circle social club dissolve in one night, New Year’s Eve. After 68 years, they were losing members so they chose to have one last night together. But then, the band didn’t show up. Nobody could get in touch with them to confirm their appearance. That said it all.

In my perfect world, I would have hired a limo to pick them up, the same hot sedan I would have used to take Leticia for her manicure.

I came home from work that night, New Year’s Eve, to a quiet house — quiet except for my kitten, Princesa, who wrestles with anything that is not tied down. If she can entertain herself so joyfully, so can I.  And I will.

I face my new year with new resolve, seizing my own happiness. I’ll be driving Leticia back to school, my favorite thing in the world to do. I will be singing that popular new song, “Hair down, check your nails. Baby how you feelin’?”

Then, I will make sure my book, “Dave’s House,” is on track to be published by spring. It is about the power of humor to protect you from things you cannot change. Then, I will go out and write a story about someone or something special. That seems to go over well with my bosses.

I will do it without making an appointment. I’ll just show up. That way they cannot forget me and I don’t have to be late. Furthermore, I shouldn’t worry about a temper tantrum. That is not good for me. Who needs a heart attack over a broken nail appointment — let alone a broken nail?

Dave Silverbrand’s columns and other writings are available on his website, www.davespeople.com.


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