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The Path To a Pedicure Is Painful

When my mother was gestating me back in the days of yore, she was told she was having a boy. For ten months I listened (in utero) to people referring to me as a 'him.' My parents bought blue baby clothes and lovingly picked out a boys name to bestow upon me when I finally made my grand entrance.

When Dr. Rose held my squalling slimey body up by the ankles for my exhausted mother to view for the first time my father looked up and joked I had the smallest penis he had ever seen.

I was born without the promised stem. I've been trying to recover it ever since.

Perhaps due to all the subliminal manly messages I received as I was percolating in the womb, I have never been much of a girly girl. I can count on two fingers the times I paid a stranger to glue fake nails onto my finger tips, only to spend the next 96 hours chewing them off like an angry beaver.

I am a boy stuck in a woman's body. I'm okay with that, mostly because I get to play with my boobs whenever I want to.

My husband knows this and sadly accepts the fact his wife is often more manly than he is. He jokes that I'm woman enough in the bedroom and that's all that matters. Really I think he only puts up with me because I can string barb-wired fence and never curse about breaking a nail.

But last week I decided I was going to change my manly ways and try embracing the feminine side of life. I started wearing an apron while cooking (only because it had skull and crossbones on it) and was somewhat surprised by how feminine it made me feel.

There might be something to this woman crap, I thought to myself. So in a daring maneuver I phoned my friend, a local business owner who runs a small spa in a town nearby and told her I was coming in to see her.

"Why? To make fun of me again?" she laughed?

"Nope. I decided to try out one of those pedicure things you are always harping about. It's sandal season and I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about."

I really didn't think much of it before walking into the salon. When I saw all the other gussied up women I looked down at my grubby jeans and stained teeshirt and was just thankful I remembered to run a brush through my stringy hair so I didn't look like a completely homeless bum.

My friend saw me and lit up like a christmas tree. Then she saw my cowboy boots and sighed.

"Tanis, would it have killed you to wear sandals? Sheesh."

"Whaat? What's wrong with the boots?" I asked, genuinely befuddled. "They're comfortable!"

She shook her head and led me to her pedicure station and told me to roll up my pants and take off my boots. After I pried my foot wear off  and tried to rub all the sock lint out from between my toes she sighed and muttered something about having her work cut out for her.

Gesturing to the tub of hot water beneath the chair she told me to stick my feet in and just relax. "Let the water work it's magic," she told me.

Peering down I half hoped to see magical water with leprachaun blood or something mixed in the water. Sadly, I was disappointed.

"Magic eh? Whatcha got in there? Acid?" I half joked.

She rolled her eyes at my naivety and then said something about hoping to one day try fish.

"Fish?" I asked. "I just got the cutest aquarium. But I don't think these tubs would make a great aquarium. Hard to see through the plastic walls." Cuz I am a dumbass.

carp_fish_pedicure"No, you dumbass," she laughed. "Carp. It's all the rage in the high end sophisticated salons of the world. I'd like to try it myself and see if it's worth the hassle of keeping them."

Puzzled, I scratched my messy hair as the water swirled around my feet, feeling very unmagical. "You mean a fish pedicure? How does that even work?"

She explained that dozens of little carp chew off the dead skin on the feet and help soften the skin.

"That's disgusting." I mean, what next? Beavers used to trim the toenails?

"You are such a hillbilly."

"No, I'm a REDNECK. Get it straight woman," I laughed while still trying to get over the gross image of fish nibbling on my toes.

After the nonmagical waters swirled for what she deemed to be an appropriate amount of time she lifted on of my feet out of the tub and towel dried it. "Sheesh Tanis. You have hobbit feet."

"I do not!" I huffed very indignantly. I have cute feet!"

Apparently my version of cute feet and hers are very different, or so she told me after explaining to me that cute feet don't have enough hair on their toes to shear and weave into a small blanket. What-evah. Muttering something about wanting to wax my toes (wherein I snottily replied "Over my dead body!) she leaned over and grabbed a wicked looking tool and held it to my feet.

cheese-grater-big"Um, what is that and what are you planning on doing with it?" I asked as I eyed the curious looking implement. It reminded me of a cheese grater.

"I'm going to shave the dead skin off your feet. This might take awhile. Hold still so I don't cut you."

Words every virgin pedicure victim wants to hear. Great.

As she went to town on my stumps a large pile of skin shavings quickly grew. Then she slipped.

"Ow! That hurt!" I said as I yanked my foot out of her talon like grasp.

"Whoops. I told you to stay still."

Feeling duped by this distinctly and now bloody unmagical experience, I held my foot as still as stone and hoped I would be able to walk after she got down shearing my flesh off.

With a sigh of relief (from me) and a shudder of disgust (from her) she reached back into her tool box and grabbed another tool.

Then she started jabbing at my toenails.

"Ouch. What the hell?"

"I'm making your feet pretty. Don't be such a baby," she growled as she stabbed at the nail bed of yet another toe.

Oh ya. This experience? Truly magical, I thought to myself as I peered at my toes to see if they were bleeding. After what seemed like forever, she then grabbed her chainsaw toenail clippers and asked how short I wanted my toenails to be.

"You mean you don't just trim them all the way down?" What kind of weird ass pedicure is this anyways?

"No Tanis," she sighed and then started talking to me like I was a tantruming two year-old. "Some people like theirs a little longer so they look prettier when painted."

"Isn't the whole point of the pedicure just an overpriced experience to have one's toenails cut? You're telling me some people don't even want them cut?"  Rolling her eyes so hard I'm sure she hurt herself, my friend (who was likely wondering why she was my friend in the first place) just sighed and started hacking at my nails.

Then she filed them. With a vengeance. I'm sure she was taking out some of her inner frustration because when I yelped from the heat of the friction she was creating she laughed. An evil laugh. And called me a pansy.

I squeezed out three kids the size of overgrown watermelons and I'm fairly certain it was a more pleasant experience than I was experiencing in a small  swanky spa.

When she was down filing my toenails down to the nubs, she looked up and laughed at my facial expression. "Come on sissy. You are almost done. What colour would you like your toenails painted?"

"None," I huffed. "Keep them bare."

"Tanis, you said you wanted the full pedicure experience. That includes a paint job. And trust me, your feet need all the help they can get to be pretty and distract from the ugly hobbit thing you've got going on," she joked as she pulled on my toe hair.


My hobbit feet before the pedicure.

"Fine. Red. Bright red. To match the blood pouring out of my feet." An old lady sitting next to me getting a pedicure looked up in horror and then quickly gazed at my feet to see if I was really bleeding. My friend grabbed more toe hair and yanked as she smiled to the elderly patron and told her to "Ignore my friend. She tends to exaggerate whenever they let her out of the mental ward."


How my hobbit feet were supposed to turn out after the pedicure.

The old woman looked at me to see if I had a sign stamped "Nut Job" on my forehead and then nodded and once again turned her attention to her own nasty feet.

After my friend painstakingly applied the red polish to each of my now somewhat shorter toes, I looked down and asked, "Is that it?"


What my hobbit feet rather look like right now. Only with more hair and less pigmented skin.

"Nope. Now we wait for the polish to dry, then I'll lube your feet up and give you a good massage to get you on your way."

Funny, that sounds startling familiar to what my husband might say, I joked. The old lady next to me did NOT laugh. Heh.

When all was said and done and I stood at the register to pay for my bill my friend smiled coyly and said, "Don't forget to tip me."

"Are you kidding me? First I'm shelling out big bucks to have you to hold a razor blade to my skin, stab at my toes, surgically shorten them and then apply paint to cover up my injuries. Now you're telling me I'm supposed to tip you? For hobbling me?" I laughed incredulously.

"Yep. If you think that's bad, wait until you have to tip me after I convince you to let me take a weed wacker and some wax to your bush."

After I hobbled to my car, I decided I wasn't cut out to be a girly girl.

It takes bigger balls than I have to be beautiful.

Somehow, I'm okay with that.

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Reader Comments (48)

Beware Bushwhackers! lol

Can't believe that you didn't actually post a picture of your real feet. Pussy.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Cracking up! I adore pedicures and I am totally not a girly girl! I would go weekly if I had the budget!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPgoodness

This is a completely hilarious description of a process that I normally completely enjoy. I don't indulge very often, but when I do, I have always thought it was quite luxurious. I'll never think of a pedicure the same way again.

Also? Where are the picture of your real feet??!?! We need those!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMommyTime

“Whaat? What’s wrong with the boots?� I asked, genuinely befuddled. “They’re comfortable!�

I've heard my 12 yr old daughter say that at least a million times, I had hope she'd outgrow it...thanks for killing my dreams...LMAO!

“No, I’m a REDNECK. Get it straight woman,�

That same 12 yr old daughter has said this exact same thing to me at least a million times too...geez, there really is no hope of changing her...hahahahahaha!!!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Oh yeah, and even I have had a pedicure and got my nails painted.


June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

I totally agree with you on the girly-girl thing. Not my cup of trucker coffee. However, I save up for months to be able to justify a pedicure. While there they try to convince me to let them wax my toes, put acrylics on my toe nails (because I keep them shorter than is medically advisable) and wax my legs (because I am so freakin' white you can see the hair under my skin, so I never look shaved). They are lucky I let them paint 'em. I'm just in it for the calf massage. I don't know who thought up that, but I'd have his baby.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

I cannot imagine what the hands of the people who give pedicure's all day long smell like.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBadass Geek

Dude. I'm so glad it was you and not me. I've never had a pedicure, and now I never need to, thanks to you. ;)

Girlie girls can suck it.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchurchpunkmom

the girly girl shit is overrated anyway let us call our selves 'WOMAN' and leave it at that

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlilredneck

I recently got my first pedicure, not being much if a girly girl either. And I was kind of put off by how much it can hurt. But I tried it again, hey I had a gift certificate to use up! And I found out that the lady who speaks no english did a much better job and it was actually a relaxing experience. So I will take no converstaion and no pain over a rush job where they whack at your feet any day.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

My mother is always exclaiming when she sees my hands and feet, "You must come with me to the salon, girl. You would love the pedicure and you NEED it too!" Then I look at her perfect nails and toes and think, 'I would wreck that in five minutes, and she paid $XXX for that??, forget it!"

But I'm glad you tried to enjoy it. Those carp eating your dead skin.. you didn't tell us what that felt like. I keep imagining pariana's. !LOL!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGirlLi

I miss my pre-baby days when I could get a pedi in peace *sigh* Although there were a few girls who stabbed/sliced and bled me dry ... maybe I should just stick to doing my own at home for free! LOL

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBellamomma

Not a girlie girl here. The only way I'll ever get a pedicure is if they do it with the toe tag already on me!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

you can't improve a redneck girl. they are already perfection.


June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertony

i'm sure your feet weren't hobbitlike. good for you for embracing your inner shi-shi woman. i find pedicures kind of addicting. they hurt, but everything looks so, i don't know, smooth and baby-butt-like after, it's a rush. also, when i try to paint my own toenails, i get out of breath from pushing down on my gut to reach them.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhomeslice

I'm with Avitable (whoa.... I never thought I would EVER say such a thing...) - lack of real Tanis foot photos is a huge letdown!

My personal problem with pedicures is that I USE my calluses. They're ugly as all get out, but they are FUNCTIONAL.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDella

Angry beaver. Heh.

I suspect that, like other activities I could name (but won't since you mention them in almost every post so I'm pretty sure you know what I'm saying) this might actually be better the second or third time, once the layer of dead on your feet is less than a mile thick.

Finally, I'm with Adam - where are the real feet, Tanis? Or did you cram them right back in your boots while they were still wet such that by the time you got home you'd never know you'd left the ranch?

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbadassdadblog

I'm right there with you. I've also never had a pedicure, partly because it just seems wrong to have a row of Asian women bowed at my feet. Also, I don't care about that stuff as much as I should. Sometimes I'll paint my toenails just to fulfill my girly duties, and then I'm usually the asshole walking around with purple polish when everyone else has a French Pedicure. I give up.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterYellow Trash Diaries

Where's the actual picture of your feet? I want to see these hobbit toes.

Mmmmmm...feet! I'm with everyone else, you should've cracked 'em out!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Files

Ya know, I've always wanted a pedicure, but being a diabetic, I've been told I have to be careful with them. After reading this, I think I'll just have the hubster paint my nails and be done with it.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterellieranc

And after reading the comments, I now fully understand why Mrs. Disclosure decided to keep the toes under wraps...

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmo

Ok, my pedicure story?

I went with my sister and my mom for mother's day a while back...

My "pedicurist" (what do you call the person who does your pedicure anyway??) had six fingers on one hand. Seriously. Six. She had another finger growing out of her thumb. And she held my toes with the sixth finger. *shudder*

My toes came out beautifully though. Wasn't sure if it was because she had an extra appendage to manhandle my feet with or just because she was skilled.

So. Yeah. Mental image just popped back up, so I have to go mentally shake it back out.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMotorMouth

Omg... I'm still a pedicure virgin.. I think after reading this, I will remain one for the rest of my life!!!!


June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

You know you're going to have to end up showing everyone your toes. And next time I think you shouldn't let a friend give you a pedicure. Pay a stranger and they'll be extra nice. Maybe there should be a spa trip at BlogHer to go with the tattoo run.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Wise woman. I love how pedicures look, but hate the process. And I don't let them use that friggin' cheese grater. I did once and couldn't walk for days without limping... And waxing...

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJCK

WHERE did you find that last picture???
It skeers me.

CARP? seriously? oh mah holy hell.
I got yelled at for wearing my Justin's the first time I went in for a pedicure, too.
I love my pedicures now, but I don't allow them to use the grater, or the poker thingy ;-)

Damn but you make me laugh woman.
oh. I totally want an apron with a skull on it now.

Whoa whoa whoa.... no pics, no proof. I think you fabricated the whole story. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go blog about the magical journey I took through the candy-cane forest, on the most beautiful unicorn last night. What?! It could happen!

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe @ Irrational Dad

The only reason I get pedicures is to sit in the vibrating chair for 30 minutes.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercorrin

I'm as ungirly as it gets, but ALL feet are too gross to not be pedicured. Don't give up on it!

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMac & Cheese

I get exactly one pedicure a year, the day before I leave for BlogHer. Because everyone is always looking at everyone else's sandals, and I can't have my (slightly hairy if I forget to shave them) (freakishly tiny) toes in their usual state of ugliness.

But the salon I go to has these chairs, Tanis. These massage chairs with a big remote control that lets you control what kind of massage it gives your back, how hard and how fast even, and yes, it's just about as orgasmic as it sounds. Helps me forget that goddamn cheese grater thing.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Pretty whiny for a manly girl ;-)
I had a foot massage and pseudo pedicure when I was in China - it didn't make my feet any prettier, but they felt better!

Funny sh!t.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterian

I had my first mani/pedi the night before my wedding. I wanted to be pretty.
I’m also a serious tomboy who tends to not wear shoes and has been so rough on my hands my fingerprints are obliterated.
I didn’t find I had too much of a problem with the pedicure. But the manicure? The woman cut off the tip of my index finger.
Nothing says “pretty� like carrying a blood-soaked hanky in your wedding photos.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecoming-mommy

I think I may have once declared my love for a small Asian man (and begged him to marry me) during an ill-fated pedicure appointment once. All I know is he looked at me with a blank expression while my eyes filled were nothing but eager wanting and my feet were in his hands.

Because of that day, I've since had to rely on the magic of my PedEgg. I love that thing about as much as I thought I loved that man!

All that reading and we don't even get a picture of your feet???

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Marie

I wrote about Peanut's first pedi last week. She's 5 and didn't whine as much as you did.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbove Average Joe

All I can say is, bring your own sterilized tools. Here in Californeigh-A, a lot of those Vietnamese nail salons were giving women some pretty nasty infections. . . apparently when they *say* they sterilized the foot bath/whirlpool thingamabob on the end of the massage chairs, they really only rinsed them, didn't flush the jets, and man-o-man, some people were getting some hellacious infections!

Just sayin'. I know your salon you went to was a friends, but if they don't have an autoclave, and do the whole sterile flush of the whirlpool footbaths, AFTER EVERY CLIENT, then you're SOL.

Some she-she magazine recently had an article that said salon's are not taking offense to women bringing in their own tools, either. I'd bring my own polish in, too. But then, that's my nurse head talking.

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

omg.... as hilarious as it is reading about your pedi experience, I think you're CRAZY!!!!

I wouldn't say I'm a girly-girl by ANY stretch of the imagination- but having someone ELSE tackle the mess that is my (hairy-toed also) nasty feet and actually MASSAGE them- it's heaven to me!! and Oh- the vibrating chair... at the place I go to regularly, the chair has a setting I like to call "who needs a man"... heaven I tell you!!

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrsFinn

That was soo funny... I like some girly girl stuff but I think I tend to neglect my feet.. Even my husband has made comments oh well. Really enjoyed this hilarious!

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Yikes! After reading comment 38 above, I say just leave on your cowboy boots and leave it at that!

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

That was truly lol funny. I am such a girly girl, but the way you described the pedicure makes me imagine my boyfriends reaction if he were to get one. Funny!

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Please check out my site nominated for the best blog design. http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/73022. I hope you will vote for me also. Thanks!

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmilie

I was dying for a pic of the real feet!! I LOVE me a pedicure! And I'm so glad you mentioned the carp . . . I was thinking of them before you even got there. Disgusting indeed.

I had a pedicure once at my mother's insistence. The woman cut my nails so short that I couldn't wear closed toed shoes for 2 weeks. Never again. But other people's feet look pretty after them.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

we wants to see the feets!

i go to a spa for a pedicure regularly. the massage chair, and the wine, make it all worth while.

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEricka

Once a long time ago on some very distant shore I stepped into a clear ocean and looked down to see hundreds of little fish sucking on my skin. The thought, usually pushed into the far, far confines of my scary brain, still makes me want to hurl. Thanks a bunch for bringing that memory back. Ugh. ;-)

Love the hobbit feet! Makes me smile

June 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Bowie

I'm no girly girl either (I had the fish pedi down YEARS ago when we'd dangle our feet off the end of the pier and shriek when the REAL fish came and nibbled on them) but I do enjoy a good pedi. Once they don't have to get the grinder out to take care of your callouses you'll enjoy it more (says the gal who wants to get laser hair removal on her feet).

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