In a gender-normative society, my experiences has been that most men do not think about getting a pedicure. Long a fan of breaking gender norms, I have, for several years, been tentatively interested in pedicures, but up until recently, have not pursued this new experience.
Up until recently.
While preparing for our trip to the NACADA Region 8 conference in Vancouver, B.C., Canada the other week, a number of my colleagues started to plan a side-adventure to get pedicures, and asked me if I would be interested in joining.
After walking a not-absurd but somewhat far distance from the hotel (it was like, 8 blocks or something, so like, half of what I walk to work everyday), we walked into the establishment. It smelled like nail polish, which I find to be not an unpleasant smell.
First up, we collectively chose our colors. Getting my toes “done” was enough of a new thing for me, I stuck to a solid, masculine color. Black, is what I mean. Or liquid leather, as the label read. We all read our color names, and I learned a lot about nail polish names. Mostly that they are not the color they actually are, but some fun name variation.
Then we each sat in our massage chair with a foot-bath at the bottom. I put my feet in the water and it was hot. It took me a few minutes of in-and-out to get my feet comfortable with the water temperature. The massage chair did its massage chair thing, massaging and stuff. The pedicurist started the pedicure. It has been a few weeks, so I do not remember the sequence, but there was definitely a sandpaper-y thing that tickled a bit, a bottle-opener thing that removed the dead skin from my foot, a 1920s torture device that cleaned my toesies, and a few other things.
I perused the magazines sitting on the table next to me, there was a selection various North American celebrity gossip rags that seemed to have been published either around the Oscars or sometime in the middle of last year. I did not really understand what was happening in them. Many seemed to be similar to skateboarding magazines in that the content was mostly based around ads, with a few articles or magazine sponsored photoshoots interspersed.
After the cleaning of my feet was complete, the pedicurist brought out these tiny flip flops that barely fit on my feet. I was the only of my colleagues to get pink ones, so that was fun. My toes were painted, then I was moved to this bar-like space that has this light that dries toe-nail polish. We had to split into two groups and I was in the first group, so we waited while the other half of our group had their pedicures.
All-in-all, it was a pretty cool experience. I have to say, I really love having my toenails painted. I think it is kinda fun to come home at the end of the day and take my shoes off and be all “oh hey my toenails are black! that’s fun!” I would not go out of my way for another pedicure, but if an individual or group asked me, I would likely not say no.