My daughter was appalled at the state of my feet. “They’re all horny, Mum!!” Really? I thought that everybody had callouses on their heels with very painful cracks that the dirt tends to get into. Does not everybody go to sleep in their socks with the Eulactol Heel Balm when it all gets too sore? Is it not normal to snag one’s rough heels on the sheets when one rolls over in bed?
Obviously not. “I’m getting you a pedicure for Mother’s Day, Mum. We’ll go together”.
That’s why I ended up in a salon with my feet soaking in a footbath, gazing out at the shoppers walking past who very kindly averted their eyes from my discomfiture. Lots of posters of rainforests, or pictures of beautiful thin young women advertising products I cannot pronounce. On a shelf in the corner behind the cash register, like a little shrine, there was a gold good-luck cat statue, raising its arm rapidly and methodically in a Heil Hitler salute.
How curious. I sat on a hyperactive chair that quivered and poked behind me: I’d no sooner think ” Mmmm, that’s rather nice” than it would go into malicious mode and start drilling into my shoulder blades, or squeezing my head. How relaxed I must have looked, my glasses jiggling up and down on my nose, with my neck thrust forward as some unseen monster mugged me from behind.
The young gel pulled up a little stool and sat beside the water bath. Ah, how good to see that our immigration and vocational training systems have worked together to overcome the desperate shortage of people to do one’s feet. And so well trained too- a wall covered in Diplomas! Your garden-variety brain surgeon surely could not be more credentialled.
Her inscrutable features barely moved as she pruned off the toenails, dug away in places I’ve never been able to reach with a small pick and then- ye gods!- pulled out a razor blade that she inserted into one of those lemon-zester grater things.
You know those chocolate curls you have on top of birthday cakes? Well…..
What sort of scrub did I want? Berry and vanilla? Lime? Mango? Mint? Decisions, decisions. Think I’ll go the berry and vanilla. That will taste nice. And then they put my feet into plastic bags with hot squishy liquid in them, that solidified around my feet. “Now don’t move. Don’t go anywhere” she said. As if.
So here I am, safely home, with lovely smooth feet that smell of berry and vanilla. Actually, I think I might go again, next summer, when the beach and thongs are doing their worst and the callous-crevices open up again. Thank you, daughter. A whole new world of indulgence has opened up for me.