The Ottumwa Courier

August 13, 2012

Nailing it

Et Cetera

Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — I waited until age 60 to have my ears pierced. I was so pleased with myself, mainly because I had always told myself I wouldn’t succumb to unnecessary pain — like sticking a needle in your ear lobe.

I remember Mom showing me the faint reminders where her ears had been pierced when she was a girl. She let the holes close up and wore clip-on earrings — every day, even to the store.

Not for me, I said. Why take the pain? I had enough of that in dentists’ chairs to last me for years.

But gosh, I was still working and wanted to look nice. Everyone else had pierced ears. And clip-on earrings were getting harder to find. Thus, one day in a mall, with my daughter looking on, I had it done. No regrets.

So, nearly a decade later, I considered another bold move. My good friend who wears fancy flip-flops almost year-round has for months and months extolled the joys of pedicures. Turns out, she said, it’s just not going somewhere and having your toenails painted. Oh no, so much more involved. And she absolutely loves it. Her toenails always look pretty — sometimes even downright fancy. Well, that’s for her, I thought, and other friends who have tickled their toes in front of me.

I always wondered why Mom, in her older years, went to the podiatrist so much. Well, it wasn’t because she had bad feet. It was because he cut her toenails, a chore that gets harder to do when one ages, especially if one has an extra pound or two to carry around.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I don’t eat enough Jell-O anymore, but my toenails are not in the glorious health they used to be. And it is a definite chore to keep the nails trimmed.

So, just recently, I told my good friend I would go with her to her next pedicure procedure. What a busy place — ladies getting their fingernails and their toenails all prettied up.

It’s like a spa. You sit in a massage chair and right away something starts kneading, tapping and doing other movements on your back. And your feet are in a very clean, small tub of whirling water. Wow. That felt good. After the required amount of soaking, the pedicurist starts trimming the nails, pushing back the cuticles, then using what looks like a small lemon zester to scrape off those nasty calluses. Another contraption smooths the skin — it reminded me of the dental apparatus that polishes your teeth. Then, it’s the best time — lotion is added and your foot and calf of your leg are rubbed and massaged for several minutes. Man, that felt good. Adding the nail polish was like icing on the cake.

All these months I have resisted doing something that feels absolutely wonderful.

Wonder what great thing I’ll discover in the next 10 years?

Judy Krieger is a retired Courier editor.