Wednesday, June 19, 2024

We Have Ways of Making You Squirm

I had my first pedicure on Sunday. My wonderful wife, who was completely out of ideas for what to get me for Father’s Day, decided to roll the dice and go for a fun first experience kinda thing.

She had no idea what to get me, because when she asked me what I wanted I gave her no help at all and just did the “I dunno” shrug, because I completely forgot that I need a new firepit poker. I also need a pool pump that doesn’t leak, but that’s a little out of range for Father’s Day gifts.

With no help at all from me, she got the pedicure idea and put a mystery event on the calendar for after church. When we left the house, she pretended she wanted to stop at the 7-Eleven for a Diet Coke, but when we pulled in and parked, she said, “We’re actually here.”

“I know. I just parked.”

“No,” she said, “I mean we’re here, for your surprise gift.”

I’m pretty low maintenance, so I figured she meant I was getting one of those 7-Eleven bacon-wrapped hotdogs or something, and I was momentarily pleased. Then she pointed at her nail place, which is right next to 7-Eleven.

“I’m not getting my nails done,” I told her.

“Not your nails, you idiot. We’re getting pedicures!”

“We’re doing what, now?”

I’m almost positive that stepping through the door to Lucky’s Hair and Nail was the first time I’ve ever actually been inside a nail salon. I’ve seen them in movies and TV shows, but I really had very little idea of what to expect.

The line of gigantic leather massage chairs with attached foot baths was pretty impressive. My wife and I each had our own foot technician lady. My wife had her regular nail lady, and I had an older woman, who looked pleasant enough.

We sat down in the chairs and my lady asked about my water. All I heard was “hot” and I didn’t understand the question. My wife told me she was asking how hot I wanted it. She was already filling up my tub, and even when I knew the question being asked, I had no idea how to answer. I don’t have a specific Fahrenheit that I like my foot bath water to be.

I do, however, know that I like my foot bath water to be far less Fahrenheits than what my lady chose for me. Holy wow! I guess the first step in the pedicure process is scalding. Probably makes it easier to remove all the skin off your feet.

The second step is to clip the toenails. That part was welcomed, because I have a hard time breathing while I clip my own toenails. I could breathe just fine while she did it. About that time, I noticed my chair came with a remote control panel.

There were a lot of confusing pictures on the buttons, and almost no words, so I chose the button that just said “Auto,” and immediately regretted it. The seemingly pleasant leather recliner chair was harboring a secret compartment of what I’m guessing was rebar, and it unceremoniously jammed it all into my back, right between my shoulder blades.

I scared both our ladies a little when I flinched dramatically and screamed in pain, but they are pros, so no damage came to my pinkie toe she was operating on at the time. I finally found the off button, and the rebar retracted into the devious backrest.

My lady then picked up a pair of pliers and began to be very unfriendly with my big toenails, both of which have a history of becoming ingrown. I tried to be brave and winced a smile at her, and she smiled sweetly back at me.

The next twenty minutes gave me the impression that prior to working at Lucky’s Hair and Nail – conveniently adjacent to the 7-Eleven - perhaps my lady had had another life as a master CIA interrogator.

I’ve seen those movies where the interrogator swaps back and forth between brutally torturing the captive and pretending to be their best friend. My pedicure was exactly like that.

She started by plunging my feet in boiling water.

Then she cheerily clipped my toenails.

Then she took the pliers to my big toes.

Then she rubbed pleasantly-scented oil on my feet.

Sandpaper heel torture.

Wonderful calf massage.

Stuff my foot in a plastic bag filled with molten wax.

Massage the other calf.

Molten wax the other foot.

Delightfully ticklish wax peel with toenail buffing.

I was a roller coaster of emotions. Does she love me? Does she hate me? The chair is so comfortable now, but is it plotting to kill me?

It was diabolical. I would have given her any information I had, but she never asked me a single question.

I left the building on edge, but with very clean, tingly feet. That being said, I’m almost positive I had my last pedicure on Sunday, as well as my first.

I just can’t take the psychological torture. I’m going to go start a written gift wish list.

1) New firepit poker

See you soon,



Copyright © 2024 Marc Schmatjen


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