This is me, sticking my newly pedicured toes into the cyber-universe of blogging. My pedicure is what I would like to talk about for a few moments, because I recently, at the tender age of 70, had my very first one. My oldest daughter, woman of the world that she is, felt it was important that I have at least one pedicure in my lifetime, so as a belated Mother’s Day gift, last Saturday she escorted me to a local pedicuria.
Growing up, I got the impression that getting a pedicure was even more plutocratic than getting a manicure, and a plutocrat I am not. But it seems that over the last couple of decades, coincidentally perhaps with the proliferation of Asians in our communities, pedicures have become quite commonplace. Especially in the summer I see hundreds if not thousands of cheerfully painted toes, uncovered and displayed openly, yes, even brazenly, on thonged leather platforms that pass for sandals. So I thought, maybe it is time to join this fashion craze of the 21st Century and experience my first pedicure.
It was, I want to make clear, definitely an experience. It was difficult to tell how much English the pedicurist could actually speak. Her speech to me was limited to “Whi’ wan?” which she had to repeat a couple of times before I understood that she was asking which level of pedicure I wanted. Since this was my first and since my daughter was paying for it, I figured we better go easy. “Regular,” I told her. I think that was the last thing she said to me the entire time; everything else was accomplished with gestures or pulling and tugging on my feet.
First, of course, they had to be soaked in a warm foot spa bath. After an appropriate amount of time, the pedicurist pulled one foot at a time out of the water and attacked it with a pair of clippers. I winced a couple of times and began to notice that she kept dabbing one toe with a piece of cotton. “I’m bleeding!” I thought, with just a slightly elevated sense of alarm.
After that came the heel-scrapping. Okay, that was just downright unpleasant. It gave me “shivels” as my nephew used to call them. A little less intense scrapping followed with a somewhat softer tool. Then, she filed my toenails with an Emory board, which totally set my teeth on edge. At this point, I was beginning to question the wisdom of my consenting to this whole project.
Then…then came the foot massage, followed by a total calf massage with lotion. Oh, my! When that was over (and I really didn’t want her to quit), she wrapped my legs in hot wet towels and left them until they were cold (Okay, she probably left them on too long). By that point, I was considering apologizing for all the nasty things I had been thinking about her that I hadn’t actually said. But I didn’t, because—you know, the language issue and all.
At last she crammed the little pink foam toe spreaders between my toes and began to apply the polish. She still had an issue with the one that was bleeding, but she painted it anyway. When that was done, she put a pair of waxed paper wraps on my feet and walked me over to the round drying table, indicating that I should stick my feet under the edge of it.
As my daughter settled up the bill, the pedicurist smiled broadly and said “See you nex’ time!” Well, maybe. I think it may be a little like learning to drink coffee. When I was kid, coffee smelled so good as it brewed. Then I tasted it and thought, “How do people drink this stuff?” Then I took another sip…and another…and another. Hello, Starbucks!