Manicures and pedicures are for women who don't have lives, sit around all day chatting over coffee with their girl friends and/or shopping at the mall, wasting money and time on themselves that should have gone for the proper care and feeding of their families or at the very least to something more permanent and practical.
That is how I have always felt...until a couple of days ago.
My birthday is in the fall and for that occasion a friend had given me a gift certificate for a pedi at a local salon. While I was very appreciative of the sentiment behind the gift (one of my love languages), I really didn't want to go have it done. As a testament to my reluctance I waited until one week before the certificate was slated to expire before finally giving in. My thinking was that if I HAD to use it (and I did or risk hurting my friend's feelings) then I'd wait until almost spring sandal weather so that at least it wouldn't go to waste hidden inside a pair of shoes.
So, the day arrived and off I went to the land of self-indulgence. I had no clue what I was doing...NO CLUE! In I walked and was greeted by a teeny little Asian woman named Kim who spoke English, but, even after 22 years in the US from Vietnam, was still difficult to understand. I confessed my ignorance of all things pedi-related and she volunteered to be my guide through this unfamiliar territory. In she marched me to The Chair. This little doo-dad is a wonder in itself. First, massaging rollers run up and down my spine and neck, switching to pulsing fingers all over my back...mmmmm. THIS I would have come for alone had I only known.
I sat my things down beside the pedi station chair and climbed on board. Relaxing against the massager chair, rolled my paint legs up and tucked my naked feet into a bubbling tootsie-jacuzzi. Aaaaaaah. Dare I relax and let myself enjoy? How could I not? I figured it would be a once in a lifetime experience and I might as well squeeze all the joy-juice out of it that I could.
For the next 30 minutes I was treated to a salt scrub of my feet and calfs, a blue masque on my calves that made them tingle for the rest of the day (I don't know what was in that paste, but I likey muy much!), a good exfoliation with what look liked a little like a cheese grater to me, but worked miracles (I do try to keep my feet supple at home, but nothing like this), and lots of rubbing and kneading and sqeezing and pressing all over my legs and feet. Kim, all the while chatting with the other little ladies in the shop in their sing-song language, made all my cuticles look almost non-existent. Each nail even and well kempt. Really they are beautiful feet. Who knew?
I have to break from this description of my hedonism to tell you about something funny that happened about half way through. An African American man and his wife with their three children came into the salon. It seems the wife had dragged this poor man, well over six feet tall and built like a linebacker to her favorite haven with the intention that The Husband and his pre-teen daughter would share the joys of a pedicure together. A little Daddy-Daughter Bonding. Just watching them may have been worth the price I paid for admission! He kept switching from toe-scuffing shyness to loud guffaws and remarks born of embarassment while another petite pedicurist pampered his giant feet. His daughter was so embarassed by his behavior that about two minutes into it, she put on her iPod and didn't emerge until her toes were bubble-gum pink. I don't think this was the bonding experience Mom had intended. Oh well. I will say that, overall he was a really good sport and by the end of his time in The Chair...he pulled out his cell phone and began calling his friends and telling them about the joys they were missing and asking them to join him for his next visit. Another convert!
In the end I knew just what he was feeling and couldn't agree more. Kim finished up with my pampering and asked me to choose a nail color. Wanting to pick something that would last a while I picked a french/white tip pedi and indulged even further by having her paint little white and pink flowers on my two big toes.
Friends, can I just tell you that I have fallen in love with pedi-pampering? I think it was a FANTASTIC gift (and called my friend right away to tell her so and thank her again...this time with FEELING). If you have never had a professional pedicure I emplore you...I beg you...I entreat you. Run to the nearest salon TODAY. I even cruised over to the shoe store that same day and purchased some new sandals (on sale and with a coupon of course) to compliment my pretty piggies. Sing it with me..."I feel pretty....oh so pretty...."
Update: My darling dh knows how much I've enjoyed this little feminine indulgence and so surprised me with another gift certificate last night to the same salon. He intended it for a manicure, but I really still do feel like my life is just too active to justify something like that. I'd have them broken off and chipped away within an hour by housework, typing, sewing, and yardwork. But he's given me permission to use it toward my next pedicure. Weeeee! Now...how to thank him properly?....