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Elizabeth vs.
The Pedicure

So Julie my coworker and self proclaimed "Liz Buddy" decided that we need pedicures.

What reason, you ask? Well, she is in attempts to try to woo a certain piano player named Billy in Willoughby and decided to pull out all the stops and beautify her feet. And she had a coupon.

There I was, lunchtime at work, when she springs this on me. "I have two appointments for us. And our pedicures will be free!!"

"Oh, that's nice Julie." Oh wait. Did I mention I haven't shaved in two days? Because I haven't and I'm Sicilian so hair goes twice as fast as regular people. So me not shaving in two days is like a normal person not shaving for a week.

But as you can guess from my previous odd adventures, I have a bit of a problem with saying no….and so begins my journey with the pedicure from hell.

So after work, Julie pins me in my office, as if she was afraid I would forget the pedicure appointment or something. Darn. I was just about to sneak out. I mean, come on! I haven't shaved! I don't want some poor woman having to touch my legs!

"Are we ready?" Julie asks blocking the door out of my office.

"Julie, look, what you did was really sweet, but, um, I didn't shave."

"So what!! They only touch your feet right."

"You never had a pedicure I take it…"

"No, but I want to look nice for Billy."

"Do you really think he will be looking that close?" And by the pained look in her eye, I took that as a "yes." I grab my purse and follow her out the door.

We arrive at some pavilion mall, walk though doors adorned with pictures of women's hands and are instantly hit with the smell of acrylic. Rich looking women are seated in front of Asian Americans in face masks. Pistons controlling the airbrushes are heard above the elevator-style jazz.

Great. Why am I here all unshaven and toes awry? Oh, yeah. Julie's obsession with Billy. 'You are doing this for the good of young love, you are doing this for the good of young love.' I repeat to myself. No, scratch that. 'You are embarrassing yourself for a friend's delusion, you are embarrassing yourself for a friend's delusion…'

A woman steps from the back office of the small cramped boutique "You here for manicures or pedicures?" She asks in a thick accent.

"Pedicures." Julie announces. "Two please."

We are taken to the back of the shop where two large black office-chair-like monstrosities sit in front of small foot tubs. We each take a seat, and the tubs fill up. And the chairs start rocking.

"Massage chairs" The woman tells me apparently guessing my tense look. Yeah, sure lady, I figured out that I was in a massage chair, the look I am giving you is because I haven't shaved.

The woman moves to work on Julie and I am sitting there alone with my thoughts. Sitting close to the acrylic sander machine and someone getting their nails fixed. Then I see my pedicurist. Not some elder woman like the one who greeted us, no that would be too easy.

Nope, this chic looked like she just woke up after a night of partying like there's no tomorrow, wearing jeans that were too small and a shirt that didn't quite fit right. And, whoop, bra all hanging out. Can someone say 'boob job'?

Nice. Not only am I here with feet and legs that should have been taken care of beforehand, but I also have to avoid looking down for the duration of the pedicure.

"Listen, um…I'm really sorry [don't look down]….but I kinda forgot to shave…[don't look down]…I'm really really sorry." I hesitantly look down to see if she heard me.

Her face changed to a second of "ewwww gross" before she answered "That OK. We get all time." She grabs my foot, pulls it out of the water and starts filing them with a block of sandpaper bigger than my head. And she files. And she files. Skin, nail, it was all the same to her.

I breathe deeply to compensate for the pain. The immense pain. And I know what you are thinking - tell the chic to stop filing everything in reach. But I couldn't I was too embarrassed by my horrible feet and legs and, boy, those fumes are nice.

"Hee hee." I start.

"You feet tickle…?" The woman begins.

I turn to Julie, still avoiding an accidental downward glance. "Feet, now that's a funny word. Fah - eee - tee. Hee hee."

The old woman who was working with Julie glances over at us. She looks at me, she looks at the pedicure chic filing away at my feet, and then she looks at the acrylic sander machine. The other customer is seated not too far from where I am and by the looks of things, actually by the smell of things, she is getting quite a nail job.

In between my giggles, the slightly annoyed glares from Julie, the bra popping pedicurist's thrash filing, the old woman yells to manicurist "TURN DOWN MACHINE, IT AFFECTING CUSTOMER!"

"Wow!" I turn to Julie and in a whisper that was completely unlike a whisper, "I didn't know I could speak Korean!"

Now both my pedicurist and the old woman look at me. A moment of just looking at me, as if both are trying to either replay what I said in their heads, or what the most customer-friendly response should be.

Finally the old woman speaks. "Was English."

"Ohhhhhh. I thought it sounded familiar."

Yep. Leave it to me to turn a bad situation worse. As the airbrush machine is turned low, I come back to my senses. Great. Not only am I sitting here with hair on my legs and nails that should have been pedicured before the pedicure, but I just insulted an entire people.

Gee, while I am at it, there are some children outside, why don't I just steal their toys and tell them they were adopted. Or better yet, I should nuke some country, prolong world hunger and criticize Mother Theresa. Yeah. 'That old bag!'

I am a horrible, horrible person. I must repay my debt to society with a very large tip. I empty my purse, and with slightly damp toenails, I run as fast as my little disposable flip-flops would take me never to show my face in public again. Ever.

Hmmm. That's odd, I seem to be always trying to escape something with the most inappropriate shoes on.

Now that reminds me of another story…


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