As all of you should indubitably be sure of—especially if you are one of the lucky elderly fellas who is able to catch a glimpse of my naked bod while I’m lathering up after a tough workout at the South City “Family” YMCA (you’re welcome for the confidence boost Benjamin)—I am in fact, despite several high school sports chants designed to imply the contrary, a man. And as such, I understand the expectations and social norms that my genitalia, and thereby our culture as a whole, have thrust upon my shoulders and wholeheartedly assume that I will live up to. Grow a baller neck beard (check). Eat delicious meat while not knowing if it is genetically modified (check). Shoot crossbows at homeless people for sport (check). Put my hands down my pants in public without giving a F about what any housewife celebrating her child’s 7th birthday at this particular Arby’s franchise has to say about it (double check).
And I get pedicures, or at least I have recently started to after my girlfriend informed that she was willing to pay for me to either get a 1-pedicure or 2-double foot amputation in a bold ploy to make my toenails less green before our big Labor Day Weekend in Hotlanta. That’s when I walked into JC Nail’s on South Hampton for the first time. That’s also when I noticed that our social conventions have got pedicures pegged all wrong.
Because pedicures are not for woman. Pedicures are not for men. Pedicures are, unequivocally, for me. Pedicures are, and should be, for us all. I learned why by refusing to be restrained by lazy gender tropes at JC’s Nails on South Hampton. You all will learn why by continuing to read this blog…
Reasons To Get A Pedicure
1) Pedicures Make Your Feet Look Less Like The Bottom of a River Bed-My feet are, undeniably, the grossest thing on my body. If I had to compare them, in appearance, to a common figure in popular culture, it would either be Gollum, the monster in The Goonies, or John Lithgow’s forehead. And those comparisons, my friends, are unrealistically generous. Every pair of shoe's I ever sent out to be shined has been forcibly destroyed after their strong scent overcame the shoeshine and knocked him out cold. That's one reason why I now only have 9 pairs of Sperry's instead of my standard 11.
The bottom of my feet are especially grotesque, as rough and coarse skin has swallowed them up and caused them to reach a point where they now tear holes into diving boards all over town whenever I endeavor to do a hilarious cannonball and liven up a local country club full of old white people just enough to confirm that its members have a pulse. I have tried every possible remedy in an attempt to fix this problem with my feet’s texture. I broke my Ped Egg. I got tetanus by trying to shave skin off of my feet with a rusty can of Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo. I peed on the bottom of both my right and left foot individually, on separate occasions. My urine did, ironically, make both of my feet moister. It also caused them to get infected with some sort of non-sexual, urine transmitted disease.
The only thing that has worked is whatever vibrating tool the small Vietnamese woman who does my pedicures uses to make the bottom of my feet look like they belong to a human being and not an iguana who is too lazy to go to the local CVS and buy some Vasoline. That, my friends, is high quality technology. That, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.
2) Getting A Pedicure Feels Good-Imagine that your feet are being put into a bathtub made of pure gold that is filled with Michelle Obama’s tears (of joy obviously) and heated to a comfortable boil using the fire from one of the dragons on Game of Thrones while a brass quartet plays the softest jazz music known to mankind and Louis Armstrong’s ghost sings of trees of green and red roses too until you drift off to sweet, sweet sleep as a Vietnamese woman openly weeps because your bunions have made her life, and the lives of her children who she will ultimately take this pain out on, infinitely worse. That is a lot like what a pedicure feels like. I think. I’m not sure if Louis Armstrong is a singer or the first guy to walk on the moon so…
3) Getting A Pedicure Helps People-Let’s say that you’ve “borrowed” your girlfriend’s Discover card from her purse and you are looking to spend 45ish of her hard-earned dollars on yourself because you are both less rich and more morally bankrupt than she is. What’s going to be more helpful to the regular folk out there that work hard to make America great: buying yourself a pedicure and forever proving to a family of Vietnamese immigrants that their decision to uproot their lives and travel from Hanoi to St. Louis was the best one they could’ve ever made in spite of our city possessing a murder rate 19,000x higher than that of their previous home? Or buying yourself 24 McChickens and donating the other $21 to a soup kitchen where they are smart enough to realize that McDonald’s serves breakfast all day long now? Keep in mind that there is no other choice. There are no other options. This scenario is black and white; one or the other.
That being said, the pedicure is the obvious selection. Because I, unlike Donald Trump, do not believe that all immigrants are rapists. Do all of them have foot fetishes on the other hand? No. Of course not. But apparently at least some do. And that is positive news for a country where rich older woman are always in search for some who is amendable to massaging their gams.
4) Kris Humphries Does It-Apparently. Based on the picture above. And he got 9 rebounds and had sex with a Kardashian one time so...ringing endorsement am I right? Spoiler Alert: I have no idea who Kris Humphries is or if that is in fact his face that is being displayed in the image above.
5) Pedicurists Have Access to All Kinds Stuff That You Don’t-Pomegranate lotion. Foot bathes filled with water that had been stolen from the Sea Turtle habitat at the local zoo. A message chair that may or may not possess a setting meant to make you feel as if 100 loose gerbils have been set loose on your back. There is no way that Joe (Anne) Blow can get his or her hands on this stuff. Well maybe if they have a gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond or a Sharper Image they could. But even then, it seems unlikely.
6) Pedicurists Don’t Judge You- This was evident from the moment I stood up in the foot bath without rolling up my trousers and all but ruined by GAP khakis by covering them with someone else’s foot water, and the small Vietnamese woman tasked with pedicuring my feet declined to make me feel as dumb as I should have felt for being the jabroni who clearly doesn't know how either pants or water worked. What did she do instead? She just pointed at me, began to chuckle nonstop while making overt hand gestures to her co-workers that drew their attention in my direction and said something in Vietnamese that, according to Google translate, sounded a lot like the word that means “Penis-breath” (one word in Vietnamese apparently) in her native tongue while I smiled and nodded at her unabashed kindness. Man those pedicurists would never talk bad about anybody. Man those pedicurists always treat people right…
7) Pedicurists Are Willing to Touch Your Feet-There are a lot of bad jobs in our world. Scraping dead possum carcasses out of the road. Holding a cellphone sign in the exact middle of the exact same road 20 seconds after a possum was run over there. Low-class prostitution. Wal-Mart greeter. Proctologist. You get the point. Our society is not deprived of jobs that not many people want to do. Our society is not deprived of professions that, quite frankly, suck ass.
Touching my feet belongs to that aforementioned category, both because of the previously described grossness of my feet and also, much more importantly, because pedicurist are often treated like poop by greedy salon owners, and the fact that someone is both willing and able to trim my greenish-yellow toenails for a couple of measly pieces of paper with Harriet Tubman's face (wishful thinking I know) on them just shows how desperate not to be homeless that very same person is. I applaud that desperation, and honestly wish I had it. Because I am writing this blog post at 2:36 P.M. on a Wednesday afternoon where I have done less than 4 minutes of any sort of “work,” so…something tells me that I will be out of a job pretty soon. And if my options at that point are homelessness or proctology school…you’ll soon see me sleeping by the dumpster. That’s how much I (unlike some other people out there) dislike butts.
8) Pedicures Allow You To Tear Down Stereotypes-Read above. Because guess what America? Men have feet too. And no matter how hard you try to marginalize our feet, or depreciate their value, or cast them aside, we are here to say that you cannot. That you will not. That this is our moment to rise up and tell you that enough is enough. That this is our moment to say that we want some gosh-dang pedicures too.
I have a mission statement for this blog, and my mission is stated as follows: that the next time I walk into JC’s Nails on South Hampton I will not be alone, isolated, unlike every other patron who sets off the chimes when they press their fingertips on that now slightly smudged piece of glass that covers the front door. That the next time I walk into JC’s Nails on South Hampton, I will be welcomed by customers of all kinds. Black and white. Male and female. Rich and poor. Teenage girls getting ready for junior prom and men in their early 30’s who have goatees and are trying to increase their very low sense of self-esteem (i.e. my future). My mission is to ensure that the next time I walk into JC’s Nails on South Hampton we all will be included.
I get a pedicure so that some young boy who’s out there looking out his window and dreaming of a day where he can go to the beach with exposing the world to a smell that should only be possessed by cellular decay knows that there is hope. Your feet don’t have to be a dumpster fire son. There is pomegranate lotion in this world. And, if you have at least $40 to your name, there is also someone out there that is willing to rub it on you.