I’m of two feet when it comes to the whole pedicure-thing. Improbably, I’d never had a pedicure until a few weeks back when I let the Shaman talk me into it. “You’re sixty,” she said, “It’s time.
On the one foot: I have always been uncomfortable with people touching my feet. This aversion probably started at birth when Nurse Callous grabbed them, inked them, pressed them hard onto a paper to create an imprint of my newborn soles and a life-long distrust of strangers in white caps.
My two older sisters, tickling my chubby little baby feet “’till I kicked and cried,” reinforced the lesson that keeping my feet out of the hands of others was sagacious. Ticklish! The word alone holds an agony/bliss sensation. And too, every childhood includes more than a couple stubbed toes, slivers, and various injuries. Some quite painful. Once, a well meaning doctor took a hot device, (which, BTW, looked exactly like the tool that came in the wood-burning kit I’d gotten for my 8th birthday,) and applied it to a plantar wart he’d discover on the bottom of my foot. Enough said?
On the other foot; feet hold remarkable capacity for pleasure. The first time my love kissed each toe, licking deep into the tender valleys between, well…wow, that changed me. That and the slurpy tongue spiral over my sole punctuated with a sharp nip on the heel. Good lord!
Cold feet sandwiched between warm thighs. River water rushing over hot, sore toes. Bare feet walking in warm sand. Certain shoes. An unexpected foot pleasure occurred during menopausal hot flashes when I would fan my toes wide allowing the air to send a blissful cooling through my entire body. Yum.
So, there I was perched on a throne-like chair with my feet immersed in swirling blue fluid partaking in a ritual (and a personal right-of-passage) overseen by the Shaman who sat, glad and easy, to my left. I’d chosen my color: pink. The Shaman choose purple for herself. A young woman pulled up a stool and began scrubbing my feet.
The aspect of social injustice, the struggle to know if this whole pedicure-thing is supporting or oppressing the lives of women, especially immigrant women, nagged at my conscience. Plus, any feminist knows we should at least consider why it is some of us think naked nails aren’t as sexy as polished. I sat there feeling tense and angsty over the whole situation.
It took an hour. All the while a roller moved up and down my spine urging me to lean back and relax. I tried. I had to resist a cornucopia of paranoid thoughts: nasty infections, nicks, pokes, jabs, toxic fumes. Wrong color! I fretted about regulations and oversight. I worried that my husband would find my new foot-look garish and off putting. I had to will myself to stay seated. The Shaman talked sometimes and smiled a lot. It felt special and a bit weird. Precarious and luxurious. The end result: surprisingly delightful.
The Shaman’s medicine –a pink, love/trust-tincture dabbed onto the tips of my toes — because it was time, highlights the fact that I’ve landed with two feet into the great and magical year of 2015. It feels like a miracle. The whole pedicure-thing? Well, this little piggy went giggling all the way home.