Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Pedi-Cure All

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pedi-Cure All

This week was a hormonal roller coaster for me. For the most part, I am feeling wonderful physically and emotionally, but this week I just felt off. I was disturbed to hear about WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killing his wife and son before hanging himself, and when I found out his beautiful son had fragile X syndrome, it stuck with me all week. Mr. Benoit and his wife Nancy apparently fought about the care of their son before they died. She was feeling overwhelmed, and he snapped. Remind me never to do anabolic steroids.

I am feeling overwhelmed. My friend Shaena witnessed most of a now rare but especially snotty sobbing episode on Thursday and decided it would be best if we did something fun this weekend, so we did.

This concludes the depressing part of my note.

Saturday I put on some going out clothes: A pair of ridiculously expensive, flared jeans I never wear, a baby-pink top that shows I actually have a waist, and cotton-candy colored mules with completely impractical kitten heels that push me to six feet tall. My Barbie outfit. Without the extra 12 pounds I have been carrying around with me, things fit much better. I was very pleased. I drove out to one of our brand new shopping villages and met Shaena in the parking lot. We walked over to get a pedicure at a little nail salon.

I am not normally a fan of the strip mall-type nail place.

Sharp nail implements + Surfaces teeming with invisible bacteria = Horrible infections, the likes of which not seen since the Civil War.

One of my friends has titled each of these establishments here YOU PICK COLOR! in the past, as that is often what is screeched at patrons as they enter these shops. The last time I received any sort of nail treatment was years ago, and they were borderline verbally abusive. However, this experience was quite different.

We walked into a huge room crammed with women of all ages in various stages of nail care. There was dusky peach paint on the walls and no real ceiling. There were just hanging fluorescent tubes for lighting. It was obvious the place was new, as there were only two faded wall hangings on the far wall -- one picture of a pair of gorgeous feet and ankles draped along the length of a piano keyboard (how random) and one picture of hands holding a rose above the caption "French Manicure." A petite woman smiled at us and her mouth moved, but I was unable to understand much of what she said. I assumed it was a much more polite version of YOU PICK COLOR. We stepped over women's outstretched limbs to reach a clear plastic display on the back wall to select our toenail polish. I chose to depart from my favorite 1950s style bright red toes and selected a deep purple. Shaena chose a rich shade of orchid. We made our way to two empty spa chairs in the back of the shop and waited our turn. I found the remote on my chair and could not resist pushing the button labeled "thigh massage." Oh my. I was not disappointed. As we giggled and watched the goings on in the salon, Fox News silently loomed over all of us in the corner on the television by the front door, where there was a continuous loop of a flaming Jeep Cherokee lodged in a terminal at the Glasgow airport after a terrorist attack. The television was largely ignored by the women in the salon.

A man roughly half my size came out and began filling the glossy spa tub built into my chair at my feet. The water was scalding hot, and he gently but firmly pushed my feet off the rest into the tub. I bit my lip to prevent myself from screaming. He then turned on the air jets, which gurgled delightfully against the sides of my feet, and I soon forgot about my blistering skin and impending visit to our friendly neighborhood burn center. Soon I found myself to be extremely comfortable indeed. I looked over at Shaena. She seemed to be enjoying the button on her chair labeled "kneading action." She rocked back and forth as the chair worked her over and looked a little like like she was atop a horse on a trail ride. A woman came out to wait on her, and scoops of some sort of bath salts were sprinkled at our feet, turning the water bright blue. Soon we were being expertly buffed and filed. The man at my feet did not speak except once to ask if I was okay, causing me to wonder if anyone had previously freaked out and fled the shop, leaving a trail of wet footprints past the Lane Bryant store to the parking lot. My two smallest toes are shaped like question marks, and I would be lying if I said I enjoyed having them tweaked or touched in any way. My feet are generally very sensitive. His small, dark hands expertly slid over my calves and feet, slippery from lotion scented like orange blossoms. I'm not sure if I was more afraid of losing control of my relaxing bladder from the sensation of the swirling warm water around my feet or accidentally reaching some sort of horribly timed, socially inappropriate climax from the massage I was receiving. Either way, I whispered to Shaena, it was a recipe for being 86'ed from my our new favorite nail salon. The technicians chattered in Vietnamese, their seemingly serious conversation punctuated by sharp bouts of laughter. The man working on me tapped my foot when he wanted me to move it, and I felt a little like an elephant at the circus being prodded to with a cane to perform for an audience. Soon our feet were being dried in fluffy, white towels and our toes began receiving layers of lacquer. My toes began to gleam, looking a lot like like the paint on the side of a carnival ride on a bright summer day. The technician at Shaena's feet admired the flowers in the tattoo on her lower leg and hand painted matching flowers on her big toes. We were then very quietly and efficiently led to sit with our feet under drying lamps in front of a mountain of dog-eared People magazines. What fun!

From there, we said our thank yous and took our happy feet back to the car, where I exchanged the rubber flip flops I had brought for my pink mules, and we walked across the parking lot to the Italian restaurant to enjoy some crusty bread and hot crab dip with tall glasses of blush-colored sangria poured over ice. Our evening had just begun.

Ah, the healing properties of girlfriends.

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Blogger Amy K said...

Love pedicures because they happen so rarely. They take me out of my comfort zone and into a new place so I can't help but think about what is happening at that moment as you try to figure out if the mancurist wants your foot in or out of the bath, AND is talking about you in korean with all the other employees in the shop. Lol. The polish and soft heels are just the icing on the cake.
Good to take a rest my dear!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Pedicures, girl talk, and refreshments is a great recipe to "happiness." I too have felt heavy about Mr. Benoit and his family. Thanks for sharing your day with us. I might run out this week and get a pedicure myself!

10:30 AM  
Blogger THE PASLAY'S OF IDAHO said...



2:16 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I love pedicures as well and your description of that strange vibrating chair was hysterical. Thanks for sharing your day and reminding all of us over-extended moms to take some time for ourselves. What a good friend to know exactly what you needed! Cheers to great friends!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Thanks for taking us along! Sharing with girlfriends is so important.

I need a pedicure badly thanks for the reminder. I'm trying to stretch them out for three weeks, but they start to show the lapse in between after two weeks though.

There have been too many fathers killing their wives and children lately. I'm sick over it and cannot comprehend how they can because insane people aren't stupid.

My concern is that one never knows what a killer looks like or acts like. I'm saddened by such reality.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

What a lovely time, I think its about time you had a treat! - great to hear your 12lbs down! good work - i still cant squeeze into my favourite flares.. (im a flare girl from way back!)
I have never had a pedicure... or a manicure for that matter - the
smell of acitone as i walk past stays with me for hours, along with a drones of
"you student? i give you cheap! and the people-touching-my-feet paranoia have always put me off a bit.
You have inspired me just a little to maybe try it. I think i will start with a manicure first!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Teresa & Shawn said...

I adore pedicures and girlfriends. Shaena sounds like an awesome friend, and I am glad you got the break.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

How fun! I just got a pedi myself and while it was nice and relaxing... the 18 year old girl kept trying to make conversation with me... I just wanetd to relax! I answered her questions with one word answers and kept my nose buried in my book... probably why she didn't rub my feet very long :)

6:59 PM  

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