Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Yesterday was my birthday. Instead of celebrating at a Pirates home game like we've done for the past three years, I requested only one thing: rub my feet. It was my birthday, and dammit I wanted a foot rub (and chocolate cake, but that goes without saying).

I spent the day reading placement exams for incoming freshmen on campus and then I was supposed to meet Corey for dinner, followed by my foot rub. It occurred to me after about 150 freshmen essays about Axe Body Spray commercials that I should get a pedicure. They rub the crap out of your feet during a pedicure. Who cares if we were supposed to have dinner at People's at 5pm? We aren't 80 years old! I decided to get a foot rub.

I took the bus from Oakland to the gritty little nail salon on Graham and Centre, walked in, and announced my goal: pedicure. I climbed aboard those massage chairs, plunged my feet in the blue water, and prepared to be pampered. I haven't even been playing rugby, so I was excited that they wouldn't have to get out the dremel to take off my rhino hide. They didn't even need the cheese grater this time! More foot rubbing time for me.

Kevin, my foot artist, turned up the water jets and asked me weird questions about being pregnant. Like does it hurt me when the baby kicks. Then he started rubbing the lotion onto my feet, the massage part. The best part of the pedicure. I sighed.

Then, all the ladies in the salon started screaming at him in a foreign language (Mandarin? Perhaps Thai?). I got scared. The snoozing man next to me jolted awake. There was a great to-do. Kevin dropped my foot into the blue water.

He told me that he was not allowed to rub my feet because doing so could cause a miscarriage. He pointed to a place on my heel and another on my ankle that are, supposedly, the danger spots. Then he gently rubbed peppermint-smelly stuff into my calves and painted my toes.

Could Kevin be right? I started freaking out because Corey (who desperately hates feet) has been rubbing my yams in the evenings. It feels so darn good and he hasn't touched them since June, 2001 when he gave me a foot massage in a successful attempt to get into my pants. Is Corey's act of good will hurting the baby? Or is Kevin full of crap?

After Kevin put on the cherry red polish and walked me ever-so-slowly to the nail dryer, he said, "Your husband come get you, right? He pick you up?" Apparently the small rubbing of my feet was a big deal, very bad. Luckily, Corey was parked outside reading a magazine and waiting for dinner. I waddled on out of there.

I did not get a foot rub last evening, but I did get an awesome gift certificate for a "Nurturing Massage for Mothers to Be," which promises: Specialized positioning on our unique body cushion is used to ensure the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. Helps to relieve tension in your lower back, hips and upper back and alleviate any swelling in the hands and feet, while easing your mind and uplifting your spirits.

Sounds to me like they are going to rub my feet. Which is all I wanted for my birthday!


Laura V said...

Ah, cultural differences.

The folks at the nail salon on Forbes near Shady did not freak out about a foot massage with me the other week. They are Korean; perhaps the people are your nail salon are not.

mil said...

Yeeks! Think of all the other cultural taboos you don't know about. We're probably all lucky to be alive. I'm glad Corey got you such a good (and pretty smart from his point of view) present.