Pedicure for Males; One Man's Confession
Humour, too, is part of the pedicure experience
A portion of my job duties at work in the website mines includes doing site visits to customers' locations to see for myself what they are all about. I really appreciate this component of my work when the client is a burger shop, for example, or someplace that has beery beverages on tap. A short while ago, though, I was sent off to seek knowledge concerning a type of business that I understand about as well as string theory, the thrill of scrapbooking or my darling wife of 35 years; which is to say, not at all. This mysterious business was a brand new nail salon in East Edmonton called Binh's.
Grace, the owner of the establishment, which still has that "new salon" aroma , welcomed the missus and myself radiating beauty and sweetness like it was a magic power. It's unsurprising Grace selected an occupation designed for a "people person". People pleasing is what Grace is all about. Despite the fact I was not very pedi-curious, I finally gave into Grace and my wife's urgings to give the procedure a whirl. They were both delighted when my resolve crumpled and I found myself in a pedi-chair facing a woman with extremely sharp instruments.
As I sat down at one work station, I was impressed with the foot-bath/massager/recliner thingy as it came complete with beer holder. Sadly, despite the presence of the beer can cradle, actual tins of the stuff was about as pervasive in the salon as WWE wrestling posters. Grace was very gentle when she broke the news to me that the holders I'd spied were actually designed for coffee cups.
The massage-maven Grace assigned to me began kneaded my lower extremities like I was being put through a wringer washer with knobby rollers. This wasn't as bad as the fact the shiny, new pedi-chair insisted on making annoying sounds which sounded alarmingly like someone passing gas. I needn't have been concerned. Not a single customer in the busy shoppe paid the slightest attention to me. I felt like a party-crasher at a strictly female event no matter how much Grace swore that a lot of men get pedicures.
I watched one attendant, whose name was Neysa, bear down on my wife with a scraping tool which I was convinced you could flense a whale with. I was relieved Wifey was made to go first as I avoid being a guinea pig as much as I can. I remained ensconced in my comfy chair soaking my tootsies and trying to not be noticed, hoping they would forget me until it was too late and we would have to leave.
As I endeavored to be invisible, my wife's ankle attendant began 'exfoliating' the shapely legs of my lifelong love. (By the way, for any male readers checking out this blog, "exfoliating" means slathering goop on.) The pedicurist then dragged out what appeared to be a giant Dremmel machine and began to grind, sandblast, and spackle my wife's toenails. I must admit I have never been as careful, even while doing precision finishing carpentry, as the young lady was with those toes. I wondered how Neysa could grasp my wife's ultra-sensitive feet without tickling them. When I go anywhere near the bottoms of those same feet, she is sent into paroxysms of giggling and, unfortunately, vicious kicking.
Then a sweet young woman named Jenny approached me with her flensing knife as Neysa was still up to her elbows in my wife's legs.
"I would have a pedicure daily if I could. It's like heaven," sighed my significant other. Cupcake. "Except for one minor procedure..."
"What procedure?" I demanded to know; my voice betraying my deep suspicion, mixed with no small measure of panic.
"You will know it when she does it to you," she chuckled fiendishly.
Jenny started by massaging my shins as a woman named Julia came by to chat nails with my wife. Julia is a once-a-monther at the salon and immensely proud of the design features on her fingernails. She shared a cellphone picture of the original source material that inspired her selection. My missus was visibly impressed. It occurred to me this sort of dynamic would never happen in a shop that served only fellas. I prayed earnestly for no guy to come in while I was in full emasculation mode.
Suddenly, to my fright, I noticed Neysa had grabbed a cheese slicer and was lopping off huge chunks of my wife's heels like some kind of weird instant weight loss method. Thus distracted, Jenny leapt on the opportunity to smear my lower limbs with what appeared to be lime green Jell-O, for no discernible reason. She pretended not to understand my questions very well but had witty retorts for each query, despite this lack of comprehension.
After the possibly-radioactive gelatin treatment, Jenny gooped up my legs liberally with what appeared to be pistachio pudding though I declined to taste it. I guessed the substance was a pain blocker so she could attack my cuticles, which apparently needed a lot of work. I am stunned that I managed to go 55 years without needing this before, but was assured it was important.
She did mention to my amusement that my feet would be the envy of many a lady; smooth, supple and callous-free . I chalked it up to being a big fan of shoes and socks.
Neysa draped Wifey's legs with hot compresses then suddenly commenced slapping them with great gusto. I knew if ever I attempted to slap her legs around like that, I'd feel her immediate wrath, not to mention a boot to the butt, as well.
"Your poor fingers must get sore by the end of the day," I sympathized. Jenny simply chuckled that nervous chuckle folks use when having no clue about what you're talking about and don't wish to prolong the conversation.
"I must fix your toenails. They're much too thick," said Jenny. I was surprised. usually get that comment about my head. She then grabbed the flesh-eating Dremmel-like device which I suspected would be illegal for use on prisoners of war due to compassionate provisions in the Geneva Convention.
"I figured thick nails would good?" I wondered aloud. "They're for protecting my tender toes, after all."
Jenny just shrugged. "You probably have too much calcium."
She then brought out the dreaded cheese grater and hacked away at my heels until I was certain I was an inch shorter than when I'd come in, She then spread more pudding on my feet bottoms to disinfect any cheese grater wounds.
Following my grating experience, Jenny brandished yet another torture implement; a wooden spatula/sanding sponge designed to tickle foot bottoms. It worked extremely well for that purpose which the ladies in the salon enjoyed visibly and audibly.
Endeavoring to maintain my mangled masculinity, I rejected having my toenails polished up with gaudy paint, unlike my wife who went with "nobility strawberry" which looks an awful lot like pink. My pampering process culminated in Jenny applying a boiling hot towel to my lower extremities which were then slapped silly like naughty kids back in Dickens' day.
"Let's come back every month for our date night," enthused my now-relaxed missus. "That was wonderful! Pedicures are GREAT!"
More like 'grate' in my books, though I'll admit they really dug my cuticles. Perhaps next time, I'll just observe. Jenny did such a fantastic job, I am certain this pedicure will last me a lifetime.