Until this past weekend, I had never really questioned my manliness. I am a happily married, relatively athletic, ESPN addicted male who donated two knees to his college football team and have watched almost all of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies no matter how absurd. Plus, I drive a pick-up truck. If that doesn’t scream “all male,” what does?
I have gone 50 years without a “maleicure” and was planning on going another 50. Then, my daughter, Abby, came home after graduating from college. She simply batted her beautiful eyes at me and all my tough manliness melted into some strange mango peel exfoliating sauce.
Here’s what happened: We were enjoying a lovely Sunday afternoon on our way home from church when we passed a nail salon. Before I could say, “microdermabrasion,” my wife, daughter and mother were climbing out of the car and dragging my manly son, David, and me into the salon. I was anticipating handing over my credit card enabling the ladies in my life to indulge in a feminine nail clipping session while we men strolled over to Home Depot to look at chainsaws and bolt cutters. But then Abby batted her eyes.
The next thing I knew, we were sitting in one of those fancy massage chairs like the ones at Brookstone we men sit in while waiting for our wives to finish their shopping. But these massage chairs had a little foot Jacuzzi. We were quickly de shoed, pant legs pulled up to the knees, and our feet were placed into a warm, jet-propelled whirlpool of delight. Then, a tiny lady sitting on a stool made for short three-year-olds held up a bottle of something indicating she wanted to add it to the Jacuzzi. My daughter gave a reassuring nod, so in it went.
The pleasant odor mixed with the Jacuzzi jets and pulsating massage chair forced a gentle sigh to escape my lips. I leaned back into the knuckles of the massage chair and couldn’t help but think, “What have these women been keeping from me all these years?” along with, “This chair would look great in front of the big screen TV at my house.”
I was dangerously close to entering REM sleep when the tiny lady gently lifted my right foot out of the Jacuzzi and began a deep tissue foot massage. This caused my left foot to become extremely jealous and impatient for its turn, which finally came, but only after many delight filled moans caused raised eyebrows from every other patron in the salon.
I have no idea what “paraffin wax” is, but I like it. My feet and calves have never felt better than after she put that wax stuff all over them and wrapped them in hot towels. The only real problem I had was with the “glycolic foot peel” and callous removal. As it turns out,I have rather ticklish “glycolics” and just about knocked the tiny lady sitting on the little stool across the room with a karate kick I didn’t know I had.
The final bit of nail snipping and cuticle repositioning wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but I suspect it was due to the calming effects of the paraffin wax and salt scrubs. I was therefore a bit sad when my “male-icure” came to an end.
Placing my feet back into my Sperry’s didn’t seem quite as right as the women walking out with Japanese styled flip-flops and toe spacers. Onlookers would instantly know they just had a pedicure and would be green with envy. My tingly toes, on the other hand, would remain hidden without giving the faintest hint of calluses scraped or glycolics peeled. Of course, neither my son nor I will ever tell.
But next time my wife heads off to the nail saloon, I just might slide my “mancard” out of my wallet and sneak out with her to enjoy a special ladies’ day out.
Ed Thompson is President of LOGOI Ministries and a frequent contributor to this newspaper. Follow his blog at www.edthomsponlive.wordpress.com