this little piggy

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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.

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The Author

Quintessential Berkeley Homemaker

9 Comments

  1. Patricia says

    Very pretty feet, my dear sister, and the “pretty in pink” complements quite nicely.
    I, on the other hand, I have bony, crooked, toes and hesitate to wear them in public. I do, however, have a pedicure regularly in hopes that the beautiful, saturated red, called “I’m Not Really A Waitress” will distract!

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  2. mmmm….delicious indeed. The licking part especially and I noticed you haven’t abandoned the practical side of those feet either, because I know those slippers are actually made to dust mop the floor. What fun you and your little toes can have now! I loved your reluctance and surrender and there they are still your good old companionable feet.

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    • Good eye, Christie. It’s the quintessential Berkeley housewife in me. You know what they say, ” she may polish her nails but what she really cares about are her polished floors.”

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  3. Sometimes life is just ridiculously perfect. I had not read LJ’s blog until just now and when I did, I could not help but laugh out loud. For Christmas, not knowing any of this…I went about to find the perfect luminous blue nail polish for her. Yesterday, Linda Jean bought the second pair of shoes that I bought, one a size 7.5 MINE and the other…too big for me and just right for her! ORANGE! I love this post. It just seems that all your “pedicure thoughts” could be caught from the bubble above my head. I think I am going to pay big attention to my feet this year. xox t

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  4. Barbara wrote me an email which included this: Welcome to the amazing pedicure journey! They are one of my great delights in life. But I have gone through very similar feelings about having my feet touched, the Vietnamese women (who I adore!) and their plight, and the fumes I sometimes have to confront ! It’s another one of those female mysteries, I’m sure! Loves your blog….
    Thank you all for playing BLOG with me.

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