Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Unrelaxing Pedicures and The Need for Attention

Last night in bed I attempted to read my book "Lost on Planet China." You know, to brush up on my geography knowledge because it is so vast and impressive.

What was affecting my concentration was my husband, who had decided he was starved for attention at that very moment.

The attention-getting tactics he employs are not unlike a deranged grade school boy who puts frogs in girls' hair.

"Rub my back," he requested. I was already settled in facing the opposite direction and did not want to move. I said no.

He moved well over into my space. The heat generated immediately made me sweat.

"Move over, jeez," I said. He wrapped a leg around mine and moved in closer. I could feel him looking at me, his face just millimeters away. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was intently studying my face, something he knows makes me supremely uncomfortable.

"You know," he said, "your face is really very hairy."

"What," I shrieked, offended. There are no stray hairs coming from anywhere on my face. He succeeded, however, in getting my attention.

I am very sensitive about the state of my personal grooming.

It is something I should be taking more care in doing, I know, but at this point in my life I am performing the bare ass minimum. I brush my teeth and most of the time comb my hair.

Alas, the highlights in my hair are pretty much gone. Quite possibly for the first time in my life it is the natural color: dirty dishwater blond. Sad.

As are my toenails. The last pedicure is but a memory.

After a month or so of picking at the chipping polish, I was forced to go out and actually purchase fingernail polish remover to take the rest of it off. Minus the tortured polish the current situation isn't much better as I can't find the toenail clippers and there is some unsightly crud accumulating under the big toes.

I have just never been one to fastidiously take care of my feet. I wait until my heels and are cracked and catching on my bedsheets before I do something about them.

I have to be honest, my first pedicure scarred me. Actually both of the pedicures ~ I have had only TWO in my life (scandalous, isn't it?)~ have not been the best experiences for me.

The first one was performed shortly after the news stories were released about women who had contracted crazy-gross infections from pedicures. Graphic pictures were emblazoned on the screens of television sets across the central Iowa area. Horrified, I perked up and paid attention.

It was something about the water jets, improper cleaning of equipment and that little razor thing they use to shave off the excess skin on the feet.

Fear was incited within me, therefore, when the woman at my feet with the scars on her arms (I know, freaky right?) whipped out this tool and began using it on my heels.

My understanding of pedicures was that they are intended be relaxing and pampering, yet I couldn't get the pictures of gaping, oozing leg wounds out of my mind. So I sat, rigid and completely unrelaxed, gripping the arms of the chair until my fingernails turned white.

It also didn't help that my aestecian was quite unfriendly. I worried about what she thought of me, particularly after the moment she dug the gunk out from underneath my toenails, and with an undisguised look of utter disgust, she rolled her eyes at me.

I did a little blase little shrug, but what I really wanted to say was, "Back to work, wench. Why the hell did you think I came here in the first place?"

The second pedicure was earlier this summer. My mother and I traipsed up to the Walmart nail salon. Mistake number one. Nothing good comes from Walmart.

It was crazy busy and I urged my mother to reconsider. "Let's just go across the street," I begged, mindful of the time.

But she was driving and she parked herself in a chair to wait. I did the same. We were eventually summoned by the little man in a mask, and with the grand sweep of his hand we were shown to our seats. We sat with our feet soaking for the better part of an hour, waiting for someone to come to our aid.

The thing about my mother is that she can be quite mean. I don't like to be mean to other people. I mean, I yell at my husband and kids but I am generally a nice person in public.

My parents, however, have gotten to an age where they are greatly unappreciative of those individuals and companies who Waste Their Time and they aren't shy about making their displeasure known. It's a bit mortifying.

After the tongue lashing Mother gave to the girls who finally attended to us, I felt the need to be extra nice . The whole experience was a let down and I walked, rigid and tense, out the door. My toenails DID look pretty fantastic, though.

I wondered why I paid someone to do something I could theoretically do myself. At the very least, I could paint my toes. I have the PedEgg hidden away somewhere, so I could technically do the bare minimum requirements of a pedicure at home.

I love to have my feet rubbed, however, much to the dismay of my husband in the evenings when he is trying to play his online-geek-world-domination game. I plunk these beauties on his lap and ask him to rub them. He usually says "no." I honestly can't say I blame him.

What I really think would fix our need to be rubbed and massaged would be a couple's spa day, where we could spend the day together gazing into each others' eyes. We would tire of this fairly quickly, but our mutual need for foot and back rubs would be satisfied.

Therefore, he could sit on the couch without my feet in his face, and I could read in bed at night without him encroaching upon my personal space.

A winning solution for all.

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