I stepped into the peacefully decorated space and remembered I'd left my flipflops in the car. Back to the car to shed my slightly smelly walking shoes and sweaty socks. I looked at my feet. Yep, I was long overdue. I think it was about this time last year when I had my last mani-pedi. My tootsies have been safely hidden away within the confines of my shoes and socks all winter. I did take time once this winter to chisel off a few leftover layers of deep pink from a late fall application and apply a quick coat for my anniversary but, other than that, my feet haven't seen the light of day since then -- except to shower and at bedtime, and then slipping back into my shoes come morning. I looked at my feet and they were pretty sad. But about this time every year I splurge on a pedicure before I go to the beach, and officially (at least for me) usher in the pleasures of summer.
The room was painted a cool sage green and a sparkly chandelier hung in the middle of the room shedding a soft light on the business being conducted below. This was going to be fun. The door was propped open so the breeze could be enjoyed by all. I guess the salon needed an airing out after winter just like my feet. A sweet Asian woman directed me to one of the spa chairs and made sure the water was just the right temp. I noticed as she prepared for my pedicure that one of her fingers was partially missing. I wondered how she lost her finger and hoped that it wasn't from a slippage of one of the pedicure tools and she was putting my feet at risk. After all, they're the only feet I've ever had and they need to last me. I felt embarrassed inside even thinking that, but wouldn't you? At the same time I admired her for using her hands to offer a service where your hands are your paycheck. But she was a doll, so sweet and pleasant, and she gave me a perfectly wonderful pedicure...you know, the kind where you want to slink your whole body down into the blue water bubbling around your feet if you could but only fit? She indulged me in an especially relaxing massage on my calves and shins. I might mention here that I was a bit embarrassed that I had not shaved my legs but I'm pretty sure she had seen worse (I promise I had shaved my legs since last summer!). But I was in heaven. I moved to the manicure table where an equally sweet and capable young woman did my manicure, again making it hard for me not to slither out of my seat. I don't know if she was trying to give me an extra bonus because she liked something about me or if she did it for all her customers, but she completed the mani with what I think might be the best massage I've ever had on my hands and forearms.
Another source of pleasure for me during this much needed pampering time was ironically the little daughter of the owners. She appeared to be about 10 years old and she flitted around the salon talking to the customers. I had my eyes closed taking in the moment and the sound of her voice gave me such a serenity. Some people might've thought it annoying to have a child in the salon while they were being indulged, but to me it just added to the experience. The laughter of children always makes me relax and feel more comfortable. It was evident that she was was solidly in the "tween" years, for she never ran out of things to talk about and her countenance was adorable. Children have an innocent magic to them and I welcomed her presence. She was very well-behaved and a blessing. In fact, I intend to go back to this salon because of that young lady. She touched my heart with her smile and her unencumbered presence in the room. By the time I left that place, I was literally good for nothing except to come home and plunk my relaxed body down on the sofa and my freshly-painted toes on the ottomon. But somehow I think that's the way it's supposed to be...allowing a moment of pure indulgence set the pace for a relaxing day.
As a wife and mom and grandmother, I'm usually thinking about how I can do for others, but every once in awhile I'll do something just for me (remember my weekend in the hotel last week?!!). I don't know if a pedicure is to "save face" since I usually go to the beach in May and I don't want to be seen in sandals without it, or if it's because I feel I just might deserve a small luxury after living in the woods for a month, or maybe because it's Mother's Day. Who really needs a reason, right? But just like anything you don't do very often, you can really appreciate it when it's a once-in-a-while indulgence. I normally paint my own toenails and fingernails which is not very often...let's just say if a nail breaks, I clip it or file it. I color my own hair and don't pay a fortune to have it trimmed every few moths, and I've learned how to trim my own bangs quite well. So I guess I get excited about these small pleasures. If you're one of those who gets services on a more frequent basis, you're probably wondering why in the world I wanted to talk about my pedicure. But here's the thing. I feel very thankful for people like these sweet ladies who offer a service and make it so pleasant and I don't take them for granted. I read people ranting and raving all the time on social media about the service that went all wrong or how someone in the hospitality industry was so rude to them. Why can't we talk more about the good we see in people every day? You never know when you might connect with another over the manicure table or under the hairdryer or over your meal while your waitress refills your glass for the fifth time. But if you should feel a nudge when you're being served, you should say thank you, even if they're being paid to do it. And don't you even dare think about being on your cell phone...how rude is that? Even though we think we are owed kindness, I believe kindness is always a gift. I believe the extra mile comes from a person who has the heart to go that extra mile, give that extra special service, and smile and speak kindly even if they don't feel like doing it.
Because whether or not you know it, it's your untold duty to be the one who makes another's day easier, makes another's day better, or maybe just be the one who reminds them that there are still good folks out there in the world. The weight of this responsibility falls on me and it falls on you.
And if you don't feel that way, maybe you should keep your toes in those running shoes all summer.
Make someone's Saturday happy, folks!
Other happy pleasures on the trail this weekend...get outside and enjoy!
Posted by CC
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