With flip-flop season right around the corner, what better time for a man to get a pedicure?
OK, so I just re-read that sentence and it might as well have said:
I love unicorns!
But how the heck else am I supposed to start off a column about a guy getting his first pedicure? (Most popular response: Um, don't.) I mean, sure, I probably could have substituted "bowling shoes" for "pedicure," but that would have been just plain confusing. It's a good thing I'm the columnist and you're the reader. Bowling shoes? I mean, come on. Nice one, Hemingway.
Anyway, as I was saying, on Tuesday I got my very first pedicure. As I walked into the salon, I was nervous. But lucky for me, there were plenty of nice women there to help calm my nerves and tell me exactly what to do. Unfortunately, they did this in Korean.
After about five minutes of pointing and saying what I can only imagine roughly translates to: "Hey everybody, look at the big sissy who wants to get his nails done - I'll bet he like unicorns, too," I sat down in chair No. 6.
After taking off my socks and shoes (NOTE: They would prefer it if you didn't take off your pants), I put my feet in a steaming hot water bath and began to relax. That is, until my pedicurist Jenny asked me, while looking down at my feet, "What color polish do you want?"
While part of me was thinking, "Thank God she speaks English," another, much larger part, was going, "Wait ... what?"
Jenny laughed and then added: "I always like to joke with men when they come in for their first time," she said.
She took my feet out of the water and then, one at a time, began clipping my toenails as if they were her own. Except she probably doesn't pinch her nose when clipping her own toenails.
Soon I got over the horror of a complete stranger handling my feet and started to enjoy the experience. That is, until a woman with toenails that looked like individual bars of soap sat down next to me.
Now I am not exaggerating when I say that the pedicurist working on this woman had to use an actual power drill on her toenails to file them. Yeah. Let that one rattle around in the old noggin for a minute.
Done throwing up yet? Yeah, me either. And I had to sit next to this.
I closed my eyes and tried desperately to forget what I had just seen. What Jenny did next helped me do just that. After rubbing oils all over my feet and removing my cuticles, she smeared some sort of crunchy green gel all over my legs. Before I could even ask what it was, the effects began to kick in. My legs began to tingle like they had been eating Altoids all day. Sure, they looked like I had gone wading, knee-deep through a Lowcountry swamp, but that didn't matter to me. My legs felt so cool and fresh, I almost wanted to kiss them. And I would have tried if Jenny hadn't wrapped them in two steaming hot washcloths.
I reclined in my big leather chair, tuned out the toenail lady and turned up my back massager. It was right around that moment that I began to understand why women love getting pedicures so much.
Ten minutes later, as I walked out the door looking down at my fresh new feet I didn't feel like a woman, but rather a real man.
A man confident in his actions. Confident in his skin. And confident that Candy Apple Red was definitely the right way to go.