I hadn’t really thought about getting a pedicure ever before. Not because I’ve made an active choice not to get one, but it just hadn’t ever come up. The opportunity never presented itself. Well, not until last weekend.
I suppose that when you have a serious girlfriend these kinds of things seem much more doable.
Funny thing is, Emily didn’t even ask me to do it. She had said casually last Saturday, “I need to get a pedicure,” and went on to explain that now that it’s warmer she would want to be wearing open-toed shoes.
“Oh, I’ll go with you,” I said without even really thinking about it. “I’ve never had a pedicure.”
“Really?” she was a bit taken aback, but she smiled, not knowing if I was kidding or not.
“Sure,” I said. “Sounds fun.”
“I think you’ll like it,” she smiled and said. “It’s very relaxing.”
And suddenly there we were, standing on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 10th Street outside of a place called “Pink Nails.” I held the door for her.
The smell of nail polish hit me as soon as we walked in. It was obvious as I was standing there that, of course, that’s what this place would smell like. But I hadn’t thought of it. I was suddenly nervous about what else I hadn’t thought of.
My feet were probably too gross, or my toenails too long. They would take one look at my lint-covered shriveled-up toes and tell me to leave. Please.
Emily picked out a color for her toenails as I surveyed the room: in the center a few rows of tables with Asian manicurists in pink smocks giving women of various ages manicures. Along the wall were 20 or so massage chairs with more women getting pedicures and chatting, while more Asian women in pink smocks crouched at their feet, working away.
It was hopping on a Sunday afternoon, quite the operation.
There were no other male customers there; of course there weren’t.
Emily and I waited a few minutes before being led to side-by-side massage chairs. Warm water and salts were run into the tubs beneath the chairs. I took off my shoes and socks and awkwardly maneuvered myself into the chair. I waited until Emily put her feet in the water before I did.
I leaned back and started to relax. A group of girls on an outing picked out various nail polish colors.
“Oooohhhh, I love this one,” they squealed in unison.
A very cheerful Asian gentleman approached me. I wondered for a moment if they’d given me a guy to make me more comfortable, or if it’s random. He was totally bald and had a Buddha vibe. He did not stop smiling.
He said hello and dived right in. He grabbed my feet and surveyed them quickly before placing them gently back into the tub and reaching for his tools.
His tools were fairly intense shiny chrome instruments and I was a bit intimidated. He started on my right foot, clipping away and digging right into my nails. I was relieved that there was no pain and I started messing with the massage chair controls.
It was actually quite relaxing once I got the massage chair working and after the initial weirdness wore off I read the newspaper and got a 10-minute foot massage.
Emily was getting her toes painted as I was finishing up. The guy didn’t ask me if I wanted my toenails painted, which makes sense as I suppose that if I were the kind of fellow who wanted my toenails painted I would ask for it. Maybe next time. Well, probably not.
But, I’d do it again, for sure. I don’t think I’ll do it often, but I enjoyed it. Surprising thing to learn about one’s self. But I can admit it. I had a pedicure, and I liked it.