Sunday, May 13, 2012

Equine Therapy: Heidi Gets a Pedicure

Approximately 3 times a year, I treat myself to a pedicure at a nail salon.  Approximately 3 times a year, the nail technicians at the nail salon run to the back room and to do “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who gets saddled with my hooves.
“I’m here for my “shoeing”,” I joked today to the Vietnamese girl who runs the place.  She doesn’t understand what I’ve said, but she knows my feet.  She announces something to the other employees in her native tongue-- something that sounds like:
“Who hasn’t done a horse footed woman, yet?”
I see their faces get longer and their eyes open wider and a younger girl is ushered to the front like a virgin about to be tossed in a volcano.
She says, “Go pick a color,” trembling.
It’s not my fault my feet are nasty…not entirely.  Heredity plays a factor--I got the thick heel skin compliments of my mother, and the petrified toenails from Dad.  I’m also a long way from my feet because I’m tall.  I also have a hard time seeing my feet without my glasses on.  I try to moisturize, but nothing penetrates a thousand layers of dead skin.
Today, the day before Mother’s Day, was the busiest I’ve ever seen place.  I thought about going home, but my feet are so bad, they’re starting to pick up carpet fibers.
As soon as my feet had soaked and were up on the bench to be worked on, I hear my pedicurist say two addition things in English:
Channel Lock Pliers and Goggles
This was not the soothing, spa experience I was going for.  The neophyte was not going to be cowed by my animal heels and was fiercely determined to be the “alpha.”  She clipped and sawed and planed like Norm Abrams on the New Yankee Workshop.  I sat there, smoke rising, toenails flying like B-Bs, like a 2x4 in shop class.
The next step is optional, but I gave her a “thumbs up” and she took out her razor blade and wicked off my dead skin, forming the mini-blizzard of a snow globe turned upside-down and right-side up again.   All the other girls having pedicures turned to watch, and I’m pretty sure the lights went dim and a single, red light shone above me.  There was nowhere to look except down…in fascination. 
“You should leave a little of that on,” I said, trying to relieve anxiety, “for traction.”
All that embarrassment was worth it--my feet look human again, and my husband, Fred, won’t get all scratched up in bed anymore…
…at least by my feet.


Joanne Lee said...

Heidi, that would have been hysterical if it didn't hit home so hard! I haven't had a pedicure in 2 years. The last time I had one I treated myself to a trip to the European spa with my daughter-in-law. The technician was a Colombian man who said very little but just kept looking up at me as he sanded away at my feet. My daughter-in-law finished her mani-pedi and sat down next to me to watch. She finally got up and said, "I'm going home, call me when you're done and I'll come back and get you." Two hours later....

JennyW said...

I have what I refer to as 'retail feet' from years of standing & walking in high heels or just regular shoes. I use a 'tool' that has what's basically two types of sandpaper on it! Rub it over those heels either wet or dry and it really helps. ;)

kristy said...

I never use my real name when I sign in at the nail spa's, Tammy Jo Smith is a favorite. I also try to visit a different one then the last so they might not recall the horror of my farmer like feet.
What a girl needs to go through for some TLC....

Bagman and Butler said...

Wow - I have the same feet! But being a guy, I don't care. I'm just waiting for them to get gnarly enough so I don't have to wear shoes anymore.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

You know, every time I think you've given me a favorite post of yours, you do it again. Loved this one. Love it.
Perhaps because I was cursed with the hooves myself. ;)

ssaretsky said...

Oh, yet another bit of proof that we are sisters. The first time I went for a pedicure, I think the tech kept double checking to see if I was truly a women! I refer to them as my Hobbit feet. Loved the blog and once again...laughed out loud!

Lou Clyde said...

OMG. I am crying. So funny. I've never had a pedicure and now I must go.

Jean Anne said...

This is absolutely the funniest blog I have ever read. Ever. I'm sitting at Whole Foods trying to contain my laughter, and people are staring.

Thanks, Heidi, for crafting a text that transported readers to the seat beside you.