Routine Maintenance or Why I Appreciate My Pedicurist

pedicureA recent conversation on Facebook has forced me to examine whether or not I would elect to have cosmetic surgery (or Botox, or collagen injections) to, if not halt, at least slow, the aging process. It’s a complicated question, but the simple answer to it is, “Maybe. Maybe if I had the money, I would.”

The truth is that some days when I look in the mirror I do think about making some improvements. The harsh reality is that I can’t. I know that it’s just not economically feasible for me to spend that kind of money on myself. It’s selfish. We need all of our money for things like college tuition, a new mattress and box spring, and, well, food. So, there’s that.

Also, I’m a person who has a hard time parting with the money it costs for a haircut or a pedicure — both of which I am sorely in need of at the moment, both of which fall into the category, especially at my age, of “routine maintenance”. I’ll get the haircut and the pedicure — because they are necessary. Necessary or not, I wouldn’t mind that pair of magenta sandals I spied last week, either.

I’ll be forced to spring for the haircut because if I don’t I’ll soon have to resort to the headband to keep my hair out of my eyes. And, really, unless you’re Olivia Newton-John singing “Let’s Get Physical” in an 80s music video or you’re under the age of sixteen, a headband just says, “I give up!” And I’m no quitter. But neither am I Mrs. Gottrocks. The shoes will very likely remain a pipe dream.

I’ll get the pedicure, too. Because I have to — for therapeutic purposes and not just because the brown polish that I’m currently sporting — on the color wheel, I’d place it somewhere between “raisin” and “chocolate” — is not the color I had chosen the last time I went to the nail salon. (I picked a delicate shade of purple. Or, I thought I did. Clearly there was some sort of mix-up — a mix-up which I was too distracted, ensconced as I was in reading a year-old issue of People magazine, to notice. Until, that is, it was too late to ask the poor girl to change it.)

I’ll get the damn pedicure because, even more than I want to rid myself of poop-colored toenails, I need it to soften the calluses on my feet. I think that guy who walks around barefoot in the woods — the long-haired survivalist from Arizona who is featured on one of those crazy shows my husband watches — has softer feet than I do. And he walks around barefoot in the woods for days on end. That’s his job.

My job is to pay extra for callus removal and to overtip the pedicurist. Because I, myself, rely upon tips to pay my bills, I often overtip for no good reason. Where my pedicurist is concerned, I have two very good reasons for tipping generously.

The first is because it takes her forever and a day to soften my feet. She could probably give three pedicures to normal-footed people in the time it takes her to attend to my hideous paws. So, there’s that.

The second is because she doesn’t judge me. She just does her job competently and, more importantly, quietly. These are fine qualities for folks in almost any line of work where tact is integral to a job well done. I, myself, have to be careful not to widen my eyes and gasp at the 300-lb. man who not only orders a Porterhouse for lunch, but who won’t even consider choosing a green vegetable or a salad as a side. My feet are the equivalent of the 300-lb. man who eschews all things green and leafy, which is why I appreciate the attitude of my pedicurist.

Of course, it probably helps that she doesn’t speak a word of English. Our language barrier doesn’t leave us much in the way of options where idle chit-chat is concerned. Still, she could show her displeasure in other ways — by “tsking” for example. She doesn’t do that or anything else that would indicate that she isn’t delighted to be sanding off my hard skin with a rock. I often wonder if, after I leave, after she lords my large tip over her coworkers, she doesn’t roll her eyes and think, in her native tongue, “Whew! I’m glad THAT’S over! That lady has some gnarly feet!” (I’m sure every language has an equivalent for “gnarly”.)

I’d like to believe that she doesn’t shudder when she sees me coming, but who knows? She always seems happy to see me, but I’m not foolish enough to believe that it’s because she likes me on anything resembling a personal level. I cannot imagine she wakes up in the morning thinking, “I hope that distracted lady with the horrible feet comes in today. It will be my pleasure to service her!” No. I’m fairly certain that she greets me happily because her kid needs new tap shoes or she’s short on the rent this week. Whatever her reasons for going about her job professionally, she and I have, if nothing else, a symbiotic relationship.

If I have to budget for haircuts and pedicures, I can’t foresee a time in the near future when I’ll have the means to finally get myself that chin I’ve always wanted. I won’t be scheduling a collagen injection to rid myself of that under eye puffiness that has plagued me for years, either.

As it is I’m pretty sure that I’ll have to win the lottery in order to replace my mattress and box spring — have you seen the prices of those things lately? And, really, don’t even get me started on the cost of food. I often leave the grocery store feeling like I’ve been, if not bamboozled, at least hoodwinked. I mean, come on, $3.99 for a pint of strawberries? That’s just ridiculous.

Photo credit: pedicure

19 thoughts on “Routine Maintenance or Why I Appreciate My Pedicurist

  1. Pedicures are the best! I’m so thankful for the women that give them… it’s nice to be pampered.

    I don’t know about box springs because I have slats under my bed, but I got my last mattress at IKEA – they sell more than just the roll up kind – they’re reasonably priced and super comfortable!


    • javaj240 says:

      Another sophisticated Jersey girl — nice to meet you!

      We checked out Ikea mattresses when we bought my daughter’s bed there, I wasn’t a fan. I’m old and cranky and need my beauty sleep. I need a decent mattress, LOL!


  2. diannegray says:

    I MUST have another pedicure (thank you so much for the reminder). I walk around the farm bare-foot and I shouldn’t, but I’m sure the lady who does my feet wants to run away as soon as she sees me coming πŸ˜€


  3. I had my first pedicure a couple of months ago. I never thought it would be something I’d enjoy – and, to be honest, I didn’t actually enjoy the process of it – but I was incredibly pleased with the results. I have a very bad back and I soooo appreciated having pretty toes without the usual pain/agony of trying to paint them myself. So for me, totally worth the money. πŸ™‚


  4. MommyBegins says:

    I wish wasn’t so scared of damn needles…. if they only created needle-less BOTOX shots


  5. Emily says:

    I feel the exact same way when I get a pedicure! I am so mortified that this person has to deal with my feet and yet she does so without saying a word or giving an eye roll. And yeah I’m with you on all the other stuff – if I had the means, I’d be tempted, but I guess not having the choice makes it simple for now….


  6. You are very funny. And real. Both things I love dearly. Because I make my money keeping women’s hair out of their own vomit and pretending that they aren’t pooping while they are pushing their babies out I also appreciate anything anyone does for me. Service is hard, giving good service is priceless.


    • javaj240 says:

      I appreciate ALL medical personnel, as well. Actually, I appreciate anyone that touches any part of my body for a living. For that matter, I also have great respect for my garbagemen — another job I would never want to do. Let’s throw in astronaut and landscaper while we’re at it — just because I wouldn’t want to be launched anywhere on a mission from which I might not return and I’m allergic to bees, pollen, tree mold, and grass. LOL!

      Your job, while very rewarding, would definitely make the Top 10 in terms of jobs I’d never want to do πŸ™‚ I do, however, applaud those of you who do it — especially those of you who do it well and are as dedicated as you are πŸ™‚


  7. swo8 says:

    And they tell us there is no inflation! I’ve taken to cutting my own hair and have been doing it for years. It all started when I paid a small fortune for a cut that was terrible. I came home and took a pair of sheers to my hair to just get it out of my eyes. I’ve been doing it ever since. Also a pumice stone to the souls of your feet everyday will take care of those calluses.
    As for the Botox, they can make mistakes with that stuff. Be very careful. What is more important is a good mattress. If you don’t get a good nights sleep – all is for not.


    • javaj240 says:

      There are some things worth paying for — any surgical procedure, anything motor vehicle-related, and bodily maintenance fall into this category, at least in my book. I can’t cut a straight line, hell I can hardly walk one. Therefore, cutting my own hair would be out of the question. Plus, I don’t really “do” the back of my hair — because I’ve convinced myself here on Planet Jackie that if I can’t see it, no one else can. I’m like a one-year-old who thinks they disappear when they play peek-a-boo in that respect. Odds are, if I took to cutting my own locks, I’d be sporting a very unflattering mullet, LOL!

      I am entirely too lazy to pumice my own feet. I know it would only take a minute, but I’ve got mice to catch, dishes to do, and games of Bejewled to play. I’ll leave my calluses to the professionals.

      I applaud your frugality and your gumption, I really do. I just can’t see myself being as proactive as you are. Keep up the good work!


  8. That’s one job I wouldn’t aspire to!


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