You know how sometimes you put off doing something that badly needs doing, almost because you're waiting it to get a *little* bit worse? Maybe you never do this, but the prospect of a car wash immediately comes to mind for me. A good car wash is pricey, so I don't want to waste my money on it when my car's only a little dirty. Then there are other mitigating factors like rain in the forecast or the knowledge that a gang of toddlers will soon be sharing the space. I feel like there's never a perfect time for a car wash, really.
And it was through similar thinking that my toenails reached the sad state of disrepair they were caught in yesterday. I kept thinking I should remove what was left of the toenail polish from last summer. But then I didn't. I hadn't trimmed them in a month, but by then I knew I'd be soon leaving it up to professionals, so I waited it out just a wee bit more. By the time I walked into the nail salon today I was scanning the price list for "The Wolverine" treatment, figuring I'd have to pay a premium.
Here's the thing. Usually I take care of my own nails. My own almost everything. I don't know if it's economics, time, or feelings about being pampered, but I have just never made visits to any salon for any reason a priority. I've had three pedicures in my life. One was for my wedding, and the other two were during my pregnancy. I think those were the only times I felt worthy of the special treat.
Today's New Activity: The Just Because Pedicure
At some point this week I decided I'd treat myself, if for no other reason but that I wanted pretty toes for the coming summer. The problem was trying to squeeze in this event between work and other obligations, as I wouldn't dream of asking Monkey to sit still through the thing. So I found a place by my old work that was open late on Saturday and secured a spot.
When I walked in I recognized one beautician and the client at her station as customers from my old bank branch. That was nice because it ensured there was plenty to talk about while I was there (and--a first for me--to talk about across the length of the salon. There were only 5 of us total at that point, including employees, so it was comfortable, like a scene from Steel Magnolias). I've touched on this before...it can be really uncomfortable, the long silences when somebody is working on your hair for example, and for me it's exponentially worse when a quiet stranger is at ground level, working on your feet.
In fact, that's the main reason I've avoided pedicures (apart from the time and the financial aspect--ok there are plenty of reasons). I could never make peace with the idea of somebody crouched over my calloused, freaky-ass feet (or anybody's feet for that matter), cleaning and scrubbing them (and believe me, there was a load of dead-skin removal to be done this time around. It seriously looked like a workout), and dealing with whatever was going on down there.
But then, I also know that the women in this profession are eager for work. It's customers who keep them employed. The more business, the better. The woman who did my pedicure this time around was so hungry for work, in fact, I could almost say she tried to hustle it. She asked toward the end of the pedicure if I wanted a manicure too, and though I said "no," she got up while the first coat of polish was drying and said she'd just clip my fingernails to make the lengths uniform. She then proceeded to file and buff them and dose my hands and forearms with lotion. I *almost* felt guilted into paying for a manicure, but I reminded her midway through all that that I didn't want a manicure, so I didn't feel responsible for whatever she was doing for an extra tip.
What I can do to reconcile my conflicted feeling about pedicures in general is to bring my business and to be polite, respectful, appreciative, good-tipping, and willing to send referral business. I'm sure it also helps to shave my legs (since all the pedicures I've had included a calf massage. So nice...) and to make sure my feet are free of fungus. Easy enough.
I'm so happy I can now go barefoot or out in sandals without risking some kind of citizen's arrest for indecency.