Mani-Pedi Horrors from a First-Timer

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

Toe Sprouts - Surprise by Marianne Kuzimski 2005

Quite a few years ago, Mani-Pedi’s were quite the rage. Personally, I’m not big into fingernail polish because it usually ruins my nails, but toenails are a different story. Since I liked my toenails painted for the summer, it wasn’t long before my curiosity won out and I tried a Mani-Pedi for the first time.

It was a birthday gift. The plan – to go to a popular nail salon and see what it was all about.

I love an adventure! Don’t you?

It started out fun. Even though it was difficult to understand what the nail tech was telling us to do, Mom and I we were excited when we were directed to choose our nail polish.

There were so many colors! Finally able to decide, we headed over to the massage chairs with the bubbling foot baths.

The nail tech got us comfortably seated in the chairs and had us remover our socks and shoes. After getting our bare feet soaking in bubbling water, he showed us how to work the remote for the back massage.


As we leaned back into the massaging fingers, I couldn’t help my curiosity about what all a pedicure entailed. Luckily, there was a lady just finishing her foot bath a few chairs down so I could see what we were in for next.

The nail tech pulled up a stool by her bath, picked up one foot and toweled it off. Holding it steady with one hand, he picked up this tool that looked an awful lot like a cheese grater and went to work filing off all the calluses from her foot.

He shucked that foot like a good farmer would sheer a sheep – fast and with expert hands like he could do this in his sleep if need be.

I sat in astonishment staring at the piles of dead skin falling into the footbath below. I never knew there could be so many calluses on a person’s foot!

It looked an awful lot like grated Parmesan cheese, which grossed me out completely, but it wasn’t just the cheese grater that had me squirming.

This lady had curly hair on the top of her big toe at least an inch high, and I don’t know how she could have worn shoes with those toenails! They were long and gnarly, growing every which way like they hadn’t been trimmed in months.

I don’t know anything about mani-pedi’s, so maybe this is a ritual some woman perform every couple of months so they don’t have to deal with foot care? Whatever her reasoning for letting things get out of control, that nail tech deserved of a HUGE tip!

Before I slip my shoes off for exposure to the public, my feet are clean, hair free, and the nails are always kept trimmed.

I started worrying about how the nail tech would treat my own feet and cringed at thoughts I’d be bleeding by the time I left the massage chair.

It wasn’t long and I was next on the cheese grater list.

Do you ever notice how ticklish you get when the doctor starts poking at your belly during a routine exam, or is it just me and I am extremely ticklish? As you can imagine, when the cheese grater made contact, my foot went flying toward the nail tech’s nose.

A near miss.

“Oops! Sorry,” I said, giggling. “My feet are extremely ticklish,” I admitted.

He tried a few more times, and I swear he was asking for a bloody nose. Every time that cheese grater zipped down my foot it sent my foot flying.

Finally he gave up shaking his head in frustration at my lack of self-control.

Next, he started trimming skin around my toenails and clipping my already short nails back even further… OUCH! And here I thought I escaped the bleeding feet.

Relieved when he reached for the nail polish, it wasn’t long before my toes were prettily painted in burgundy-red with little white flowers on the big toenail.

They were so pretty!

He slid some disposable flip-flops gently onto my feet and pointed me in the direction of a manicure table.

I hobbled over feeling every bit of those extremely trimmed toenails pinching me with every step and had a seat in the chair. He motioned for me to put my feet under a light bar to harden the nail polish, and placed my fingertips into a bowl of green liquid to soak.

Mom was seated far away from me like the chatty girls are separated in school… probably so we wouldn’t be whispering about our sore feet.

After a good soaking, the tech went to work at my cuticles, clipping them back so they were hurting about as much as my toes. It took a bit for him to understand I didn’t want the nail polish, but he finally gave up trying to polish my nails and led me to the final drying area.

Mom shuffled in beside me whispering, “Do your feet hurt?”

I laughed, “Yeah! Do your fingers hurt?”

“Yeah,” she laughed.

And that was our first Mani-Pedi experience.

The following year my sister-in-law convinced us to try her favorite nail salon where we finally enjoyed a “GOOD” Mani-Pedi.

Looking back at the whole experience, I should have researched it a little more so I would know how to choose a good salon. But I still laugh at that woman’s feet and wonder how I ever had the courage to try a Mani-Pedi again.

Have you ever had a Mani-Pedi? How did it go?

#manicure #pedicure #nails #salons

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