As a 43-year-old male, I find myself at a podiatric crossroads. After four plus decades of wear and tear on these bad boys – and the subsequent complaining I’ve been doing about it – my wife told me I should consider getting myself a pedicure.
Disgusting, I thought. No human being should ever be forced to see my feet, let alone touch them.
To be honest, though, my wife is probably right. I could use a pedicure, but there is no chance I will ever let her know I think that. Unless she reads this.
I have no issues with a full body massage, and by the time the masseuse gets to my feet, I’m in such a relaxed state that it doesn’t matter what I imagine they think to themselves when they see my not-so-tender appendages. I also enjoy scented candles and applying fragrant scents to aching body parts, so this isn’t a machismo thing.
I just have a passive-aggressive relationship with my feet. They are cracked, bent, dry, sorrowful looking things. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate all they do for me, and I’m sure they could use a hug and some TLC. I also feel they don’t deserve the attention and they should shut up and do their job. It’s evolutions fault when you think about it. I’ve felt this way since I was five years old.
True story: One summer day back in 1982, my grandmother took me on our annual trip to Stride Rite to buy a pair of those tacky brown leather sandals. You know the ones. They had that cheap metal strap and diarrhea color that perfectly epitomized the ‘70s and early ‘80s? I looked her straight in the eye and, in my half decade old high-pitched voice, said, “Men don’t wear sandals.” I took one of the pretzel rods at the front desk, along with a pair of sneakers, and never looked back. Since that day, I haven’t ever worn a pair of open-toed sandals.
Socks and shoes, even in summer? Oh, yeah! Flip flops? Only when I’m at the beach and with the ability to quickly bury my feet in the sand. Barefoot? You crazy?!
My feet – all men’s feet – are not meant for visual consumption. They just aren’t. Even the best ones. Women can dress their feet up with pretty paint colors and all sorts of scented soothing lotions. That’s socially acceptable and perfectly understandable.
I know some men who openly admit that they make routine visits to the nail salon. They even love it! Many of these guys are far more manly than I am, even despite their pedicure admissions. Yet, despite their urging, I can’t bring myself to make an appointment.
I fear the time is coming when I may not have a choice. At this moment, however, I simply Pedi-can’t.