If you really want to treat yourself, get a pedicure

I think that everyone should get pedicures. And massages, too. But let’s talk feet, shall we?

I don’t think I had a pedicure before say, the age of forty. And I cannot remember what occasion demanded I get a pedicure – perhaps attending a summer wedding, but after I had my first one, I thought, “This is something that I need to do for myself on a regular basis.”

There is nothing quite like a pedicure. You are seated in a fabulous, cushy recliner, which is just like your recliner at home, except that it happens to end in a footbath instead of a footrest.

When I walk into my salon, unless I have requested a specific type of salt in my footbath, I get a lovely whiff of a delicious scent that is a surprise to me. Today it was papaya. Other scents have been coconut, vanilla, orange, peppermint – all different, and all delightful. I am seated in my comfy throne, asked if I would care for a beverage, and the experience begins.

Now, as far as I am concerned, all experiences should begin with a beverage. (I doubt that I have ever started a work day, or a column, without a caffeinated drink.) Sometimes I have my pedicure with a cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s cucumber or lemon water. Occasionally, when I spring for the more expensive option, I’ve had a cocktail.

Today, I had no beverage, but that was because I had already had many cups of coffee at home. So I eased my feet into the perfect temperature water, and started to relax.

And that’s when the pedicure begins.

First, I peruse the nail polish samples. Sometimes Lucy accompanies me (she is an incredible nail artist herself, so she likes to check out others at their work), and I double check my selection with her to make sure that I am not stuck in boring colors. Today, I selected “Black to Reality,” from OPI’s holiday collection, which is a shimmering dark burgundy – so dark that it looks black when you first see it. Both Lucy and I loved their gold polish, too, but I am saving that for Christmas.

While I am taking forever to select a polish, Cindy, my pedicurist, takes off my old polish. And there is always old polish, now – I am at the age when I do not like the way my toenails when they are unpolished. David Sedaris – one of my favorite people to read – once wrote “I’d never understood why women bothered painting their toenails, especially my mother, whose crusty, misshapen talons resembled the shattered, nugget-sized Fritos found huddled in the bottom of the bag.”

Well, David, it’s because of the Frito resemblance that we paint them. At least that’s why I do – or why I pay people to do it.

After Cindy strips off the old color, she clips and shapes my toenails, and I soak the foot she’s not working on. Then everything gets massage and lotion, which feels great.

Then the new color gets put on, and I feel like a million dollars.

On one of my last few appointments, the occupant in the chair next to me was a very tall man, somewhere in the 40 to 50-year-old range. When we both gave out a sigh when we put pour feet into the water, I said, “It’s so nice to see a man here. Your first time?”

“Yes,” he said, first time for my salon, but he was planning to come back. He was looking for the best nail salon in Nashua, and he really liked this one. We talked about the importance of salon cleanliness and experienced nail technicians.

“I have to say, ma’am, I wish I had started doing this earlier. Men should try it.”

I agree.

I try to take good care of my feet, so I visit Cindy regularly, which my podiatrist appreciates. He feels that regular pedicures, by well-trained nail technicians, prevent a whole lot of problems. I agree, and I have experience to prove it.

Plus, besides doing a beautiful pedicure, Cindy is a dog lover, so I have the added benefit of being able to share Rilian stories with her, as well as the occasional cocktail.

So, if you want to treat yourself to something great, get a pedicure. If you want to know my salon, send me an email. I’ll be happy to share Cindy’s number!

June Lemen is a freelance writer from Nashua. Her column appears the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Email her at june@junelemen.com.