It’s Monday night and I’m undulating like a stadium-ful of spectators doing The Wave, except they’re horizontal and I’m vertical, scrabbling to stay in a massage chair doing its best to hurl me to the floor.
I find the button on the remote marked “deep tissue rollers”–it’s highlighted with the only giant red LED on the remote, probably to signal extreme danger–and flick it off. Instantly, my pedicurist gives me a stern look and switches it back on. My sudden urge to spend an hour pampering myself has granted this woman permission to dip my feet in scalding pink wax, attack my heels with pumice, nip and tuck and grind and slap and tickle things half to death…and apparently pummel my spine.
This isn’t the way I remember pedicures, but it certainly spices up an already varied week.
The name of the game lately has been “daytrip.” It started with Friday’s three-hour drive to a memorial service for a friend, held in a park far north of town, by the river and under the redwoods. It was calm and peaceful, with children playing and laughing in the background, a wonderful place for a sendoff.
We connected with old friends under those trees, made new friends, talked glass, laughed and cried. Mostly, we laughed, because Dennis was a fun, funny guy and it didn’t seem right to make his sendoff sad. I think we can count that one as successful.
A dozen or so women around me are swimming through their own pedicures, lower extremities bathed in goo, wrapped in towels or plastic bags, wincing and jerking and ticklish but determinedly deep in their smartphones and tablets and magazines. Perhaps a dozen nail ladies scurry and squat and scrub, prettying up our toes. If you squint just right, it kinda looks like we’ve all been posed by Hieronymus Bosch.
Mom came down on Saturday; we filled the car with light fixtures and chatted, our first real girl’s day out in maybe a year.
Lighting stores are odd places, filled with heat and light and cheesy lampshades and bachelor pad chrome. We watched a man struggle through a notebook of wifely instructions, selecting fixtures for their new home. “She says NOTHING brass but bronze is OK,” he tells the salesclerk, scratching his head, “What the heck is the difference?”
Behind me, woman talks to her babysitter, “Give her another bottle and if I’m lucky she’ll sleep till I’m dry.”
Sunday started early; the Oregon Glass Guild went to Pilchuck. More about that in another post, but for the moment work seems serene compared to the stuff going around in my off-hours. Especially when people-watching in a pedicure chair.
Catty-corner, a woman and her teenage daughter are having their legs gooed up and wrapped with something green. Mom watches her daughter entering ritual womanhood, smiling softly, fondly, lovingly. The daughter chats into her phone, blissfully unaware at first. Then she catches a glimpse of her mom’s face and stops.
“Call you back later,” she says, and shuts off the phone, taking her mother’s hand. “This is fun, Mom. Thank you!” she says, as if having your toes done in a strip mall nail shop with your mom is the best thing in the world. And maybe it is.