I blame the following incident on Jill James. Truly, I do. In one of her comments after her lovely blogpost on Tuesday, she mentioned getting a pedicure. "Hot pink with flowers," she said.
I glanced at my colorless toenails and thought, gee, I could probably use a pedicure, too. You know, just a dab of color to brighten them up.
So, today I went to a local nail salon. Just to show you how out of style I am, I will share that this was my first pedicure. Now had I known the male nail technician would push my capris up to my knees to rub lotion into my legs, I'd have shaved the "forest" before I left the house. But, WHO knew?
I grimaced as he ran both palms up and down my hairy legs, fearing that he'd pull back bleeding, skinless hands. Then he started chatting to the nail technician working next to him. And while I don't profess to speak Vietnamese, I could tell what he was saying. "Awwwl, this woman's legs are like sandpaper!" Both guys (early twenties, I'd say) laughed until their faces turned red.
When the kid lifted my feet to examine the many calluses on my soles, he sucked air. His gaze slid to mine and he slowly shook his head as if he'd never seen such a mess. So he started. First he used a block-hone-thingy, rubbing it across those calluses, reminding me of "wax on, wax off" from the old movie, The Karate Kid.
When that didn't faze years and years of neglected calluses, he soaked my feet some more. Then he lifted them out of the whirlpool foot bath and took a brush to them.
Realizing he was getting nowhere, he turned around for a canvas bag with a horse's head painted on it. He pulled out a thick curry brush he'd no doubt used on old Paint the night before and, with his tongue tucked between his teeth, set out to obliterate those calluses. Folks, sweat ran down the sides of his face as he scrubbed the soles of my feet with that brush. It reminded me of the time we had our hardwood floors sanded.
Once more he rattled off a string of Vietnamese--cursing my feet, no doubt. Next he went for his tool box and, after digging through his hand tools, he pulled out an assortment of twelve inch files.
Like a man possessed, he ran those files over the soles of my feet--and I was sure I saw sparks fly. Still, my pesky calluses persisted. Lastly, he pulled a hand planer from the tool box and, with a fiendish gleam in his eye, began shaving off my calluses. Before long a pile of skin shavings grew on the floor.
I tried making myself invisible, really I did, but since my feet were held captive by a kid determined to reign victorious over those blasted calluses, I was there for the duration. I'm not exactly sure at what point I began to feel like a medical experiment, but I did.
Still, for all the pain and humiliation, my toenails turned out quite nice, don't you think? Thanks, Jill.