Needing more pampering than usual, in the past week I have had my hair cut and colored, a manicure and pedicure, and a massage!  I’d like to share some thoughts about the visit to the nail salon.

Typically, I get my toes done every 2 or 3 weeks, so the folks at the salon, know me well.  When I walk in, iPad in hand, they take over, make me comfortable in their fantastic massage chair and I chill.  Yesterday was no exception.  Chair begins vibrating, rolling over my shoulders, down my spine to my buttocks and back up.  It is heavenly.

While this is occurring, my eyes are closed and I focus on how great it feels.  I used to practically eat People magazines, though I would never stoop so low as to buy one!  But now, I don’t read, I focus on my lovely relaxed state and I do look around.  I notice the other customers, the nail techs, the owners, and the children.

One prepubescent girl, around eleven, sat next to me.  The nail tech asked, “You want flower?”   She said, ‘No thank you.”  Her mother, sitting next to her, chimed in, “What, no flower?  They are so cute.”  Then Auntie said, “The flowers are so darling.”  The girl did not relent.  No flowers for her. 

I was secretly admiring her demonstration of will.  I was thinking, “You go girl!  You know what you want!”  She was nonplussed by all of this attention, quietly texting, ignoring all suggestions.  Not in a negative way, just unconcerned with their strong urgings.

I began to close my eyes again when I heard new customers arriving..  I have noticed that very large women love to get pedicures.  Perhaps it is one way for them to be feminine and dainty.  Who knows why?

As the nail tech works on my feet, suddenly she whips out a mini cheese grater!  I think, OMG!  The cheese grater!  Not that!  I just got toes done two weeks ago!  This instrument is to scrape away dead skin.  It makes it easier for the tech to remove it, rather than just rubbing with pumice.  But I have never had one used on me before.  I think, “Well at least it is the mini one.”

The massage begins soon after that, oil mixed with a heavenly scented lavender are combined to glide over my legs.  I choose this particular salon because of the long massages.  Oh, it is truly blissful.

The girl next to me is finished, and now her family is praising her choice of polish color.  “Oh it’s raspberry!  Beautiful choice!”  The girl smiles, but still doesn’t care what they think.  I really like this girl!  She reminds me of my granddaughter, Kila, who is also very self-assured.  Nice.

After my polish is on, I am moved to the manicure table.  My tech, who speaks Vietnamese, but little English is very kind and solicitous.  She mouths her words carefully, whispering.  (She thinks I am deaf).  It doesn’t matter.

From my new position, I have a great view of all the other customers, techs, the action.  It is so interesting, not unlike an airport, where the diversity amazes me.  I find nothing quite as interesting as people, and most of us belong on Saturday Night Live.

As I am watching one customer, a large woman with tiny feet, I see the nail tech whip out the big cheese grater!  I mean this is the real thing!  As she begins, deftly sweeping the instrument over her heels, the chunks of dead skin fall on the towel below.  I am mesmerized.  Huge amounts of skin falling down, piling up……I am thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if that skin was valuable?  This woman might be a millionaire! 

I have never seen anything like it.  The customer was sitting there, reading People magazine, oblivious to the pile of skin that grows with every stroke.  The massage chair is in full tilt now, jiggling her around like a roller coaster and she is having the time of her life.  I stare at the pile of skin and wonder when it might get large enough to fall over. 

When my manicure is finished, I am brought to the drying table, and who am I facing but the woman with the excess foot skin!  I stuff my giggle and force myself to think of something else.  Maybe the weather, anything to stop thinking about saying, ‘Hey!  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could cash in on all the dead skin they remove!”

Probably before my polish is quite dry, I think I’d better get out of there, as quickly as possible!  I gather my purse, sunglasses and shuffle out across the parking lot, with the toe separators still in place, and into my car.  I am happy.  I had fun and no one even knew it!  Fun with my own ridiculous thoughts, and pleasurable feelings as my feet were pampered.  As I drive away, I ponder, “I wonder what surprise the next time will bring.”