I don’t like to admit it, but there are times when–can I be honest?–I walk into a business establishment and I would really prefer that the employees were the same race as me. I’d just feel more comfortable, all right?
Well, okay, that has happened only one time, but it was last week. Fact is, I was already well along the road to getting through my whole life without having had a pedicure. I’d never felt any need for a pedicure. Or a manicure. Memory being what it is, I am not absolutely certain I even used a razor on myself on my wedding day. I did take a shower. I am, depending on how you look at it, a low-maintenance woman, or a woman of deplorable hygiene.
Cosmetically impaired, anyway. I keep clean. I didn’t always. When I was in college, I showered every day, but the washing machines cost 25 cents, and that put a hole in my pizza budget. I’d come home for the summer and both my mother and my trustworthy sister gently suggested I could use some deodorant, but I couldn’t smell myself, and I thought they were nuts, and besides it sounded like an Establishment position. Now I am in a city full of fine young people whose hoodies have never made it through the rinse cycle, and I’d like to say right now, Mommy? I’m sorry.
Point is, I hadn’t had a pedicure, and I figured I never would, but then a couple weeks ago Dave came home with an unreadable smile on his face, and our friend Vivi at his side. Vivi had talked Dave into having a pedicure with her. Vivi is a Brazilian/Swedish bombshell with a big heart and a big brain and big pretty much everything, and if Vivi had told Dave to walk off a cliff, we’d be scooping him up with a spatula right now. So Dave took his fifteen-mile-a-day feet and had them carved into near-original condition, and he was looking pretty pleased about it, too.
It all led to my friend Linda suggesting we could just go ahead and have a pedicure our own selves, to celebrate our successful eclipse-viewing. So we did.
There I was in a massage chair that had knead-knock-and-flap setting and rolling flesh-mashers and a particular rotating knob in the seat area that I was pretty sure I’d have to pay extra for, with my feet in a warm bath and a tiny woman on a stool below me, and I know it’s wrong to generalize, and it’s wrong to make assumptions, but I couldn’t help but think this woman–let’s call her Kim–had gone from being a cardiovascular surgeon in her native land to a leaky boat to this gray paradise, just to hunch over and scrape away at my 63 years of unmolested toe jam, and who would willingly do that? Besides Jesus, I mean.
Two young women sauntered in and sat nearby like they did this every week, and so did two older women, and all of them appeared to regard this state of affairs as routine maintenance without which they would not care to be seen in public. For the times they might want to be seen in private, a portion of the spa in the back was dedicated to even more personal services.
We’d been told to pick out a nail polish color, and I hovered over the sensible corals for a while, and then was drawn to something completely different, something that really stood out, on account of it being the only green in a sea of red and pink, and instead of thinking that this might be an unpopular color for a reason, I grabbed it. “Kim” did not react, but conversed with her colleague in her native cardiovascular-surgeon language, quiet as moth wings, and whatever she was saying, I was pretty sure I had it coming.
So here are my feet, all smooth and ridiculous. I can see now that this is not a good color for toes. Not at all. In fact, the only reason anyone would have this color painted on her toenails is if it matched her bridesmaid dress. And she couldn’t see it past the puffy sleeves. I hope Kim got a big kick out of it. I owe her that.
I'm comparatively more high-maintenance than you are (or — let's be real — most of the women I know), but even I have never had a pedicure. Or a manicure. I think it's a ridiculous waste of money when I can do it myself. I guess if someone has trouble reaching their toes, or is paintbrush-challenged, I could see it. But since I can do it myself, I'd rather save the money. It's only recently that I stopped wearing polish on my fingernails. My hands are not my best feature, and I'd rather keep them unobtrusive. My toenails, however, even though no one sees them, I paint red, simply because I like it.
I also think it's a waste of money when I can do it myself, but I…don't do it myself. Either. I just kind of whack away at my finger- and toenails when they're too long for my piano or hiking shoes.
Hmm…piano shoes. That's why I don't play so good – I've got the wrong footwear!
Arf arf arf!!!
And you ain't just woofin'.
I get a pedicure every few months – for the last five years or so, anyway – because I live in Arizona for part of the year and Greece for part of the year and Seattle for part of the year – and my feet get so bad even my massage therapist is embarrassed! In fact, she was the one who said, "My G, Linda, what have you done to your FEET?"
You lived in them. Right?
I have this thing. I hate to touch my feetand keel over if I had to cut toenails. Sooooo my mother did. Then my husband. Now I pay a podiatrist. So there.
That IS a thing.
Would it be okay if you sent Vivi out here to talk me into things? I'm not sure what those things might be, but I'd like to see how long I can hold out. Or not.
Let me figure out how to monetize her first.
I don't get pedicures very often, but I LOVE manicures!!
And, you see? That doesn't seem so squeamy to me.
Oh golly. I get pedicures intermittently, usually before I go on a warm-weather vacation where there will be time on the pool-deck. You see, there is nothing less attractive than a slightly-overweight middle-aged gay man with ugly feet. Sometimes, I have to get the pedicure after I arrive at my destination — this leaves me vulnerable to the skill level of unknown pedicurists. Once in Miami Beach, I encountered a voluptuous woman, probably more related to Charo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charo) than your Asian cardiovascular surgeon pedicurist. She took one look at my cracked heels and callused toes, and reached for her little valise with….Power Tools! On the bottoms of my feet, she used a tool that was clearly a scaled-down disk-sander. On my cuticles, she use a Dremel Drill with foot pedal speed control and multiple attachments….and quite frankly I forget the third power tool….Another time, the pedicurist took one look at my feet, escorted me to a private area of the salon, and joyfully announced that "This is a job for the Potato Peeler". Which means that for over 30 minutes, she wielded an (illegal)razor in a special holder, and gently shaved my calluses into a pile of little bits that looked like crumpled onion skin…..But, back to you — will you go again, just for the pampering and the leg massage?
Lots to answer here, but instead I will just refute "there is nothing less attractive than a slightly-overweight middle-aged gay man with ugly feet." You need to get out more. Walmart, maybe?
Seriously. I once saw an old man with loose flesh and man-tits, shirtless and in shorts, mowing his lawn. You can't un-see that.
Please don't say there is nothing less attractive. All of us will have seen something that makes your untended feet insignificant, and we will all feel compelled to share. Consider the smile of a romantically inclined wino who has never been to a dentist.
Aw jeez, Roxie, wish you weren't such a compelling writer.
I'm impressed you did this, because I have the same misgivings. And the green? it's you, it's really you … because you love the environment, love the frogs and salamanders, love the wetlands … what colour would be better? (well, maybe brown or yellow, but let's face it, those probably weren't even IN the basket of available colours, were they?)
I would have to work at my feet for weeks just to be presentable enough to get a pedicure, so I don't. And I don't like people touching me if I'm not related to them by blood or marriage, so there's that to consider.
Somehow now I have the urge to come up to you and wiggle my finger an inch away and say "But Mom, I'm not touching her!"
I'm probably in the same class as Jenny 0.You can add "hairdresser" to the list of infrequently frequented.
Also, I hate the smell of acrylic and being in one of those places would just about kill me.
I knew there were good reasons that I am friends with jenny_o and dinahmow. And you. And all of you have just given me another.
Group air hug, ladies? 🙂
Now everyone around us is wondering why we're waving our arms in the air for no reason. Excellent.
I can see it from here!
I am really intrigued. I have never had a pedicure nor a manicure. I am overly ticklish foot wise. But now I am thinking I might try it. I love the green but then I am on the forever look out for the perfect pair of green shoes. We shall see….
Get some with the curly-up elf toes.
I think I'm pretty much as low maintenance as you are. Lower, maybe. I cut my own hair, even. I used to giggle imagining my sons' amazement when they met girls who did the sorts of things that girls do to themselves to make themselves beautiful and appealing. I do occasionally wonder if a pedicure might not be a good thing. Maybe one day…
I don't cut my own hair, but it does look that way.
Har! You must have found a rare jewel of a hair cutting person!
Green indeed is perfect for you. Plus the hack-proof communication of The Resistance will be neon toes.
Now you're talking!
I started getting pedicures when I couldn't reach my toes (arthritis, not chub, so no smaht remahks as they say in Rhode Island). Color is a wonderful bonus. It's now my favorite thing.
All right, I will try to get a new attitude.
I have never ever had my feet taken care of and I'm a bit afraid to start now. I have decades deep calluses, two toes, (one on each foot) that turn under themselves so I'm walking on half the nail and an occasional outburst of highly contagious weeping eczema. The girls would have to wear hazmat gloves. Maybe a podiatrist would be better, is there much difference? Do you know?
Get thee to a podiatrist for this! When I was young, I saw a podiatrist for a tendency to walk pigeon-toed. At every examination, he would cut my nails and trim any calluses with a razor-type thingy. He would undoubtedly be able to take care of the eczema thing as well.
My husband has a hammer toe on one foot, and it always gave him trouble. The doctor recommended a hammer toe crest pad. WONDERFUL solution! It is a pad that fits under your toes, between the toes and the ball of the foot. Keeps the problem toe from curling under, solves the callus on the tip issue. Such a simple solution to a 60 year old issue!
Search hammer toe crest pad
This reminds me that my friend Max said he would never go in for a pedicure, but might go in for an estimate.
the toes curl under sideways, not sure much can be done about that. It's a genetic thing, passed through the female line. I'm glad my grand daughters didn't get these toes. I'll ask my doctor to recommend a podiatrist for the calluses.
Just be careful if you ever get talked into getting acrylic fingernails. I did once during a Florida winter and when I got back to Maine for gardening season I knew they wouldn't last. So I peeled them off. I didn't realize that in order to get acrylic nails on, they file down your real nails paper-thin. Took a couple-three months to grow back too.
Not likely! In fact a manicure is not in sight. I have kind of stubby nails and they'd only look good if they were long and shaped. But I can't grow them long and also play piano. Stubs it is!
Green is not the worst choice for toenails. Once, after I had my toenails painted a sensible red, my pedicurist asked me if I wanted to try a new product which would "crackle" the polish. Naturally, I did, and it looked as though someone had taken a small hammer to each toe. My sister has never let me forget that one.
This is sort of like how people now take perfectly good photographs and make them look old and degraded on purpose. Or pre-torn jeans. Or…
NO-ONE touches my feet.
Duly noted. Everyone got that?
I once went to Barefoot Sage and enjoyed the most wonderful foot massage and vowed that I would treat myself again but low, several years have passed and I do my own 'foot keeping'.
Hmm. Sounds like a good birthday present opportunity!
What about those foot baths with little fish in that will nibble off the dead skin? I might try those if someone dared me to.
Oh now THAT sounds like a great idea.
If you don't want nail polish, you can have a foot massage instead to fill up the time. Which makes pedicures go from silly to heavenly, with no stops in between.
Well now you tell me.
Naturally, I did, and it looked as though someone had taken a small hammer to each toe. My sister has never let me forget that one.