The Mani Pedi Makeover

If you want to feel like you’re getting somewhere in this whole “new year, new you” business, I highly recommend a mani pedi.

Maybe your desk is still a mess and you haven’t called your mother back yet and you actually gained five pounds instead of losing them…but you can see your toes sparkle and know progress was made somewhere.

They are little beacons of hope.

The comforting scent of acrylics, acetone and formaldehyde greets me the minute I arrive.

I wonder…why doesn’t a manicure last longer if my nails are embalmed?

My brain goes into vacation mode the minute I slip into the leather bucket massage chair and slide my feet into the little jacuzzi.

On each chair is what looks like a hospital bed control panel combined with the TV remote. You have to push every single button to see what happens.

Well. I do.

Sometimes I look for the ‘translate’ button if my pedicurist has a particularly heavy accent.

As she’s aiming very sharp pointy implements at my foot, I always smile and nod regardless.

Then she goes to work on my feet.

I would like to tell you how relaxing it is.

But I can’t.

I giggle every time she touches the arch of my foot and grimace every time she decides to work over a callous. I begin obsessing over my toes. Why are they so wonky? Look at them! They’re twisty, lumpy and stubby and the pinkie toe barely has a nail worth painting.

But then the foot massage starts and I basically lose consciousness from the bliss.

I’m pretty sure I chose the best color among the display of hundreds, but you don’t change your mind half way through the polish. This makes the ladies speak very softly and at length in vietnamese to each other.

When you’re done, don’t rush. Don’t ruin your manicure rooting around in your purse for the payment and tip, and don’t twist an ankle in the parking lot because your lotioned-up feet are sliding around in your sandals.

Be a lady.

Get all the way to your car before realizing there’s still cotton between your toes.

One year I performed “Makeover Mission Impossible”.

After spending a week camping at Idyllwild, we were scheduled to attend Hubby’s 20th high school reunion. We came down the mountain at 2pm and went to a fancy hotel party at 6pm.

It went something like this:

Empty the car. Dump the mountain of laundry. Dump the mountain of children. Resist dumping either pile into the pool for pre-soaking.

Grab a very hot very fast detox shower and dash to the salon in sweats; the only clean clothes in the house.

Plop down in the groovy chair and plop still grimy feet into warm water. Pedicurist puts on her face mask, adds perfumed salts to the darkening water, and gets to work.

A manicurist on either side of the chair takes a hand each and starts buffing up acrylic tips.

I literally had ladies-in-waiting! Cinderella never had it so good.

I did actually take a minute to imprint this memory because, knowing a fairy godmother sized bill was coming at the end of the transformation, this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Glass slippers are cheaper.

No matter. My hair was styled into glossy curls and once my dress and shoes were in place, no one would have ever guessed I was, only a matter of hours previously, covered in mountain debris and smelling like a grimy back woods pack mule.

From Sherpa to Shazam!

Thanks ladies!