This morning I threw common sense to the wind, peeled off my socks, and pulled out a pair of flip-flops.
My last pedicure was five years ago.
You could tell by my feet.
I walked in to the nail “Spa” salon and a short woman dressed in head-to-toe spandex said in a whiny, high-pitched, broken English tone, “Pick a color. You pick a color.”
So I picked blue with silver sparkles.
It’s hard to make good choices under the gaze of a stretchy-clad foreign woman.
She ushered me into a worn blue chair, dirtied with the stains of a thousand pampered women and turned on the back massager. It didn’t really work, but hey, the first time I had a pedicure, I missed the massage altogether, so this was a step up.
My feet soaked in the swirling water. It was so hot, my semi-frozen toes hurt for a minute. I put them right in front of the air jets. If I couldn’t have a back massage, I’d get a toe massage.
If my father taught me anything, it’s to get my money’s worth.
And bless God, I was going to bask in the luxury of first-world pampering.
I should have read a magazine, but I didn’t.
Unfortunately when my mind isn’t occupied, it looks for things like stray nail clippings and flesh eating organism that live on foot stones. You know, all the things every good germaphobe focuses on.
Then I looked at the chair next to me and wondered when the foot tub was scrubbed, but I remembered the water swishing around my feet was blue, so it must have one of those toilet bowl cleaners in it or something. I figured that was a good enough cure for athlete’s foot. Not that our local athlete’s frequent the nail “Spa” or anything, but one can never be too conscientious.
I tried to make small talk with the woman scrubbing my feet, but she had already answered a call and was having a heated conversation I couldn’t understand. I knew things were getting bad though, because the louder she talked, the harder she scrubbed.
I didn’t need those first two layers of skin anyhow.
I was all alone, one foot in the blue water and the other on a pair of black spandex pants.
That’s when I decided I needed a new color nail polish.
I was afraid to say anything. This woman held the future of my foot in her hands.
Her world was already hostile. Would asking for the coral polish push her over the edge?
I didn’t know, but I knew I was going to live with this decision for another five years and I wanted to love my toes, so in my nicest voice, I said, “Excuse me, but I think I’d like to change my color if that’s ok.”
Her call got dropped, because she took it off her ear and shook it few times, pressed the green button and then shrugged her shoulders.
“You want different color?” She asked.
I shook my head yes.
No words were needed. We were close, this stretchy woman and me. We’d been through a foot washing together. In Bible times, I may have had to kiss her cheek in brotherly love. I’m not sure.
I ran to get my beloved bottle of coral.
I paid my twenty dollars and gave her a nice tip. I wondered if she ever thought about hiring a cleaning woman, because she absolutely should. Then I walked out the door a new woman.
Five years from now, I might pick a slightly more upscale (think cleaner) nail spa, but today’s pedicure was just the ghetto cure this girl needed.
Bring on the flip-flops!