BUT HE SMILES LIKE A GENTLEMAN
Joëlle and I were hanging out today when she suddenly had the idea to go and get pedicures. "Do you want to?" she asked.
"Sure," I replied, but I didn’t think she believed me.
We walked down to the salon we thought would be open, a place devoted entirely to nail maintenance. I started to feel self-conscious as we approached. It was a fairly warm day, and as one might expect, my feet were sweating in my shoes. I don't normally have problems with my feet. I wasn't expecting a bad odor or anything, but even so, gross. I've never had a pedicure before, and though I imagine that the ladies working at a place like that have seen some really disgusting things in their time, it didn't necessarily alleviate my fears.
When we got to the salon, Joëlle entered first, and when asked if she could be helped, she said yes, she'd like a pedicure. The woman looked at her and said, "Just one?" and then turned to me.
"Two," I said, and I held up two fingers to make sure it was clear. I was in this thing. Joëlle cast a look over her shoulder. She should know. I'm a man of many surprises when I'm not being a boring old codger.
We were directed to a wall of nail polish and told to choose our color. At first, I was going to skip the color, and I think I even said as much, but when I looked at the wall, I thought, "Why not?" I used to paint my fingernails from time to time, it's no big deal. If I was going to do this, go the whole way. There was a dark blue with a semi-metallic sheen to it that was like a color I used to use on my fingers, so I picked that. I forget the actual name. It was something like "East Glacier." Joëlle picked a light, shiny pink.
They then pointed us to two chairs at the end of what I'll call Pedicure Row. There were about six chairs in total, each elevated with high backs and a water massage basin at the base. No need to worry about sweaty feet. Of course they would clean us up! It's common sense.
We climbed into our chairs and immersed our feet. The water was warm and bubbling. The chairs were also massage chairs and they had been set to "auto" and began to work on our backs. I wasn't too sure about the chair at first, but then it started pounding on my back with little tiny fists and I got into it. I even whipped out my "oh" face, which made Joëlle laugh.
Now, I realize the process I am about to describe is not at all unique. Many women get this kind of treatment on a regular basis, but most guys are completely clueless as to why. I describe this here as a public service announcement, because, fellas, I'm here to tell you that the ladies like this kind of pampering for a reason, and for a mere $20, you can enjoy a little of the high-life, as well.
The first thing they do is file down your nails. The woman working on me noted that my nails were already very short. It pays to groom, I must say. Joëlle was like some kind of superstar, though, as they cooed over her smooth, milky white skin. Her feet are like the Scarlett Johansson of the podiatry circuit: men want to take them home, women stare with envy. Her gloating was in slightly bad form, however, as was her making fun of the hair on my toes. I suddenly felt like I was Frodo or something. I'm an old man. There aren't many places on my body hair doesn't try to grow.
Next came the scrubbing away of dry and dead skin. That was my only other anxiety after the sweat issue. I've had some problems with rough skin in the past, but I regularly pumice and since I stopped working retail, my tootsies have had far less stress in their life. The scraping kind of tickled, especially when she went under the bottoms of my toes. I tried not to squirm.
After the scraping was the lotioning. They used a goopy green lotion that smelled like mint. I'm down with minty smells. I suffered another indignity, however, when my pedicurist had to get up and go get another squirt of lotion. If you are in the upper echelon of foot beauty, a supermodel of feet, you only need one squirt, and then it's on to the hot towel. If you've just crawled up from Middle Earth like me, they have to call in reinforcements. Then again, this was probably my favorite part of the pedicure, as they massage the lotion on your dogs and then up your shins and calves, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel pretty good. This was when we really started to relax.
They left us wrapped in the hot towels for a bit before cleaning off the lotion. Another quick check on the cuticles, and then they painted our toes. Joëlle got colorful toe separators to keep her piggies apart while the polish was being applied. My toes are much longer, something more akin to E.T.'s, so no separation needed. They extend out far enough on their own.
While the polish dried, we looked at some of the magazines that were lying around. I read up on how Mariska Hargitay designed her apartment, including a rather extensive library. I pointed to the shelf that had the same collection of Oscar Wilde as I do and noted that she and I share similar tastes in classic literature. Joëlle was not impressed, insisting those books were ringers used for the photoshoot. Our first lesson about pedicures: bring your own reading material.
Second lesson was in regards to the footwear you bring with you, especially if travelling under your own power. You don’t really want to put socks back on and stick your tootsies back into constricting shoes after that. Thankfully, they had paper flip-flops for us to borrow. They are a little thicker than they sound, more like a foam paper than writing paper. If Joëlle and I ever do 12 Reasons Why I Love Him, the guy will give his girlfriend paper flip-flops on their first anniversary. The ones at the salon had cartoon ducks wearing neckties printed on them. We weren't sure why until we tried to walk. To keep the shoes on your feet, you have to waddle like a duck. They only lasted about six blocks, though, before we had to resort to our own shoes.
From the knees on down, I definitely felt more relaxed. Hours later, the skin is still smoother, and of course, my toenails are a very handsome blue. Boys, you definitely want to consider getting a pedicure in the future. You won’t feel like less of a man for it, I promise. In fact, only lesser men are scared of such pleasures! If nothing else, consider a gift certificate for your significant other. He or she will appreciate it.
If you can, though, go with someone who has worse feet than you. It will be better for your ego. I think my toes looked pretty swell, but it was nothing like Ms Johansson sitting next to me. There are some areas in life where I just don't have what it takes to compete.
The actual feet of Scarlett Johansson
Current Soundtrack: Little Steven's Underground Garage
Current Mood: refreshed
[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich