"This was a mistake."
Last week, I drove my sister-in-law and my girlfriend to get pedicures. The goal was to leave them there to bond with each other, or whatever it is women do when men aren't around. My brother and I planned to kill time somewhere manly, like a dank bar or a bowling alley, but by the time we arrived, the merits of pedicures had been explained to us thoroughly, and when the lady at the front desk asked, "Four?" I immediately said yes. Why not?
What follow are my thoughts during the pedicure:
I hate having my feet touched. Why did I do this?
Didn't I just read an article about how working in one of these places is borderline human trafficking? Why would I say yes? Why would I support such a thing? This was a mistake.
I should look up that article while I'm sitting here.
AGH! WHAT'S MOVING- Oh, this is a massage chair.
Hey. A foot bath. That will be nice.
Oh, someone just dumped that blue stuff they use to clean toilets into my foot bath.
All right. I hope I don't get the weird old guy. He seems chatty.
I don't understand why the maker of this massage chair thought people wanted it to massage their heads. It feels like someone just pushing my skull forward to get me off the chair.
I hope I don't get this other guy either. He looks like he's killed someone.
Good. The guys paired up with the girls. Hopefully, a girl will do my pedicure.
Wait- Why do I care? It's just my feet. And it's not really a massage or anything. They're just cleaning my feet in different ways. Why does it matter what gender the foot-toucher is? It's going to be creepy no matter what.
Oh, whew. It's a girl.
But she's like 15 years old. This is way worse than having a man touch my feet.
All right. Whatever that was is over.
Is that a scalpel? Is she going to cut into my nails?
Oh, it's like a little spoon on my toenails. OK.
I hope she's not freaked out that my toenails are too long. She must hate doing men's feet. They're so gross. I'm so gross. No amount of money can make up for the horror that is cutting my toenails.
When was the last time I trimmed them? I think it was snowing, so it's been at least a few months.
Why is she laughing? Did I flinch or something? Are my toes funny?
Maybe she's laughing and trying to signal me. This is one of those human trafficking places! She's been doing this since she was five and this place is owned by the mob. I should help her. I should call the police.
Or maybe the article was just about how underpaid they are. I'm going to read that article now.
Wait- I can't read the tell-all piece about manicure/pedicure places not paying their employees WHILE I'M AT ONE! What if they see my phone and get offended because this is one of those places that pays really well and they think I'm judging them? What if I drop my phone and they see it and then throw me out for reading about the plight of nail salon employees right in front of them? That would be embarrassing.
What if I drop my phone in my foot bath?
Worse: what if I drop my phone in a stranger's foot bath? Even if the phone worked after that, I'd throw it away.
I'll just watch some Dr. Phil.
Ew. This episode is about people addicted to heroin.
Maybe the only reason this woman is massaging my feet right now is because she needs something to support her drug habit. What other reason could she have? No one says "when I grow up, I want to wash people's feet!" Except maybe that Jesus guy. This is wrong. I should do something.
She's laughing again. Maybe she's trying to write a secret message with her hands on my feet, telling me to call the Feds.
Ow. That tickles.
I'm flinching again. She thinks I'm a wuss. My girlfriend thinks I'm a wuss. I can't take this. I wouldn't last a day as a woman.
AGH! She's taking a cheese grater to my foot. Why would she do this?
Is she going to break the skin? Aren't there huge veins in my feet that will burst and I'll die?
Arg. Can I ask if I'm allowed to skip this part?
That tickles. That tickles and hurts.
Whew. Finally. We're done.
She's wrapping my feet in a hot towel like those hot towels at Japanese restaurants. I wonder if they make you wrap your feet in a towel before you eat in Japan too. They're very particular about their floors. You can't wear shoes in the house. Maybe all the men there get pedicures every week to make sure their feet look good without shoes. I should write this down.
Oh no. The towel's off and my feet are burning. I'm definitely allergic to something they used on my feet. Probably the blue toilet water. Oh no. I have athlete's foot.
No, it's not athlete's foot. It's a skin parasite or something. It's a flesh-eating virus from the cheese grater they used on my foot.
Everyone else seems fine. I guess I'm fine.
Do I want what? Clear nail polish? Well. We've come this far. Sure.
Wow! My feet look amazing! I should do this more often.
Uh oh. My girlfriend doesn't seem happy with hers. I better pretend I'm also unimpressed with my pedicure. Don't want her to think I actually liked this.
Should I wear sandals all day now? What's the point of getting one of these if I can't show off my feet? I'll just wear my shoes.
Wow! This was so cheap. That definitely means they don't pay the employees enough. I'll leave a tip. I'll give the tip directly to the girl who was touching my feet.
She seemed really weirded out by that.
I'm never doing this again.