susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Toe-curlingly embarrassing

This is a bit out of order, but this is how I have spent today (Sunday 21 May 2006) so far ...

Before I left England, I kind of pondered, vaguely - should I have a pedicure? Hmm, well, I MOT-ed myself a bit - hair, teeth - feet?

I imagined sinking back in the comfortable padded chair, soft music, pink lights, sweet-scented, cosy toed in warm bubby water- mmmmmmmmm! - somewhere for the ladies, with a neat (female) beautician in trim white, murmuring gently as my feet are transformed from not-too-bad to pretty-good, ending in deep red toenails.

As it happened, I didnt get around to the feet, so today I ended up visiting umm not a beautician, but a chiropodist. Now, chiropodists of my extreme youth were for very old people with disgusting feet, and so far I dont see myself in that category yet.

OK - well, different country, different customs, and a chiropodist appointment is booked, after acres of consultation, by Rodrigo's mother, Monica. Sunday morning? Unusual, but ...

So, off we go, Rachel, Rodrigo and I - a family outing, for which my feet have become the centre of not attraction precisely, but have assumed centre stage prominence out of all proportion to the rest of me. They scream loudly at all passersby: "HEY, FOLKS! LOOK HERE! FEEEEET COMING THROUGH!"

Even better, when we reach the chiropodist's, it turns out he won't be a woman, he is definitely a man - and a young, handsome one at that. My toes are about to turn up with embarrassment. I can't bare my aging feet before a MAN! But, oh, yes, it appears I can, and indeed, I have to ...

And far from the luxury of a beautician's parlour, it is slightly shabby, cold, and clinically white, and I have to lie on a back-killer of a couch. So I lie down, tittering coyly, bluish tootsies exposed, while the young man dons plastic sleeve protectors, plastic gloves, and a mask. Serious business. The feet are examined closely - oh, oh - then he sets to work. First, trim the toenails. Hm, that's OK. I examine the Van Gogh print above his head. Then I look down and see him reaching for a VERY LARGE SCALPEL. My feet cringe in anticipated terror as the blade approaches. Van Gogh has never looked so interesting. Busily, he procedes to remove the soles of both feet. There are few jobs I would less like to do - how on earth did this young man come to choose his profession? Anyway, there is still one final thing - a thorough power-sanding of what's left of toenails and feet. He mimes tickling himself and points to me - no, not at all, I assure him, and away he goes, buzzing with this thing that sounds like a chain saw.

Now, in other stories of medical treatments in distant countries, the patient always emerges glowing and renewed - reborn even. I was definitely looking forward to this bit. With help, I levered myself off the back-killer bench and slide the tootsies, now feeling several sizes smaller, into my sandals.

They feel - how can I say? - rejuvenated? No. Light-as-air? No. Sore? Yes. Bleeding (slightly)? Yup, blood has been drawn. Ashen faced, but still suppressing giggles I regain the street. R&R obviously want a display. Well, they're not getting one. These feet are meant for walking, and that's just what they'll (just about) do. He was a sweet chap, trying out English and French with Spanish accent from behind his mask - but I have ground away toenails and the rest seems much as before, with bloody bits. Heyho!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home