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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Keep Your Hot Rocks to Yourself, Please!

I have been putting off going for a pedicure for several reasons, but with the announcement of an upcoming weekend heat wave and the happy synchronicity of my blue, "previously-stubbed," toe nail growing out, tomorrow may be the day.
The results of a professional pedicure are indisputable; glossy red toe nails; silky smooth skin; cuticles whacked back to no longer resemble caulking, encroaching along the sides of an ancient tub. No question, I need a pedicure, and yet I hesitate. 
The ladies who have mastered these "footy" arts are invariably Thai or Vietnamese. They are sweet and pretty and smile muchly, but I cannot understand their particular version of this English language, which I usually so enjoy. They, apparently don't understand me either.
They are frequented by clients who don't mind spending an hour of their lives soaking their feet, and who positively crave having hot wax treatments massaged into the calves of their legs. As far as I am concerned, my feet stop at the ankle. I don't want anyone I don't know reasonably well rubbing my legs.
So, when I walk into a nail salon and get through the smiling, head-bobbing, greeting phase; pass the little altar with it's ribbons, bells and/or incense burning; and try to explain that all I want is a pedicure; short version; no frills. I always wonder what lies ahead.
This is how it usually goes:
My feet soak and I feel as if I have already spent more time than necessary getting hot and pruny. The girls are good though. They trim and snip and apply oils. They act surprised and a little offended when I fend off their approach with the hot wax. Did I not tell you I don't want that? Please just paint my nails and let me out of here.
They are tenacious. Back in numbers, one woman tries to talk me into a manicure, which for gardening, horse riding, construction business me, is a lost cause. She hints I may need other painful services involving hot wax. No, No, Not I! The final assault is from behind. They come at me with hot round river rocks and rub them on the back of my neck and shoulders. Again I am a curmudgeon and resist.
I suspect that these ageless girls understood all along that I wanted a fast track, minimally invasive pedicure. I believe that by feigning  incomprehension these business women put me in a position of paying for the more complete services which have been forced upon me.
We are into the final round of our battle of wills. This is the part I understand and appreciate.
My pedicurista applies multiple layers of lacquer. Clear then red, red again then more clear. Shellacked like a corvette, my toes don't look half bad.  


  1. Brave woman!

    Just going to the hairdressers is bad enough for me,


  2. Golly, I'd take the lot! Could you just possibly misunderstand the bit where they mention the cost at the end? And only pay for what you asked for?
    I love being pampered, it's such a rare treat. All I can manage, is my 6-weekly trip to the chiropodist to get all the hard skin, corns, rough edges round the heels hacked off, which have accumulated while dog walking, gardening and traipsing from store to store on town pavements.

  3. OMG I freak at strangers *touching* me.You're a brave girl ER!!!

  4. Although I should probably keep my male nose out of the pedicure lounge, just wanted to toss out the question : Are you by any chance familiar with Michael Frank's song "Popsicle Toes" ? It is on his wonderful album "The Art of Tea", and can also be found on YouTube... if not, well, give it a listen, seems pertinent to this post...

  5. Hi Owen, Not familiar with that, but I was with your pigeon poisoning reference on Steve's blog. And, by the way, manni-peddis are quite acceptable. PRobably should limit the color choices though, if you wear sandals to work.

  6. ER ! Oh dear ! What an idea... me showing up at work in sandals with my toes looking like cherry red corvettes ! Am off to bed grinning ! Maybe midnight blue would be the better part of discretion at work ? And I'll take the hot rocks too !

  7. Hope you have the weather to show off your gorgeous toes. (I'm not taking my socks off until at least the end of the month!)

  8. Never had a pedicure. Never had a manicure. Both feet and hands live the natural life.

    However, a back massage is a wonderful thing.

  9. Hi Jean,
    Unfortunately, I can't get away with that here. Well groomed nails are part of the "put-together" look, like oiling your horses hooves.

  10. You are missing out on the Hot Rock treatment. I am not one for being nassaged or messed around with, but I did get a hot rock massage a while back and, expensive as it was, I wil be doing it again soon.

  11. Dave. I agree that the hot rock massage can be nice. I object to it being obligatory and far far removed from having asked to have my toe-nails done. I want freedom of choice to allocate those precious free moments in time to things I really want to do.