For years now I have grumbled and fretted about the time when I would need someone to wipe my chin (and, worse yet, my ass). Happily, that dreaded moment has not arrived quite yet but....I have just recently discovered that there is another similar threat which has indeed come upon me.........the inability to trim my own damned toenails. And don't for a minute think that it is because I cannot reach them. Nay, I am still able to bend over and put my palms flat on the ground while not bending my knees even smidgeon.....the problem is that I can't see well enough do the silly task. Well, you might say....you have those wonderful caregivers now......why not get one of them to do it. Sure, smarty, don't you think I thought of that myself? Trouble is, they are not ALLOWED to approach your person with any even slightly sharp instrument for fear of wounding you. Its a RULE.
Consequently, I have recently been scraping and defacing my parquet floors with toenails my cat would be proud to own. No friends are able or available to enlist for this dubious task and it is simply too expensive to fly my cousin down from Portland, Ore. to do service on my toes every few weeks. Don't you dare laugh........this is serious stuff. I was totally flummoxed by this problem till Ann, my lovely Wednesday and Saturday caregiver, said, "Lois, why don't you let me take you for a pedicure?"
Now, I realize that this idea probably occurred to most of you about six lines back, but you have no idea of the horror and other mixed emotions which swept over me at those words. I have never had a pedicure. I have never wanted a pedicure. To me, pedicures represent the quintessence of sinful, slothful self-indulgence. In fact, I have always looked down my nose with disdain, disgust and general loathing at those shallow women who frivolously waste their own or their husbands' money on such things. I am not sure just where, in the hierarchy of loathsome lacks this indulgence falls......somewhere above being able to assemble and wire your own lamps but possibly below the ability to change a tire. (I always hated that).
Anyway, it took me several weeks of mulling to realize that I was being the nearly perfect idiot about this......a pedicure was the perfect solution to my problem and I did not even have to dig out my Groucho Marx disguise.......no shame was involved here..........I am actually disabled! So, last Wednesday my trusty Ann and I went forth to her Pedicurist and it was, to say the least, a fascinating experience.
From the moment I settled into the chair and plunged my feet into the lovely, warm bubbling water I realized that I had been wrong, wrong, wrong. This was not an indulgence, it was a practically a necessity. And when the giggling little oriental expert (she thought it was funny that I had managed to get so old without ever having had a pedicure) asked me if I would like the chair to massage my back while she worked, I knew that I was lost. When the chair's fingers (yes, fingers......what else can you call them) began to make their way up and down my aching back it was all I could do to keep from losing control and uttering one of my orgasmic moans (usually reserved for the perfect Stuffed Portobello Mushroom or Lox and Cream Cheese on an Onion Bagel). Meanwhile, amazing things were happening at the ends of my feet and I was only vaguely aware that my toes had been transformed until my little Foot Angel asked me how I liked the nail polish I had chosen. Migod......my feet were gorgeous! It was like when Ronald Reagan removed Jane Wyman's ugly black rimmed glasses in the movie "Brother Rat" circa 1937) and revealed her to be the beauty that she really was. Those sturdy, dependable much abused pedal extremities finally were permitted to come into their own.
I still cannot stop looking at them and wiggling those lovely enameled toes at myself. As Lee Wiley sang in one of my favorite songs.............
."What a dunce I was before......
What a break, for Heaven's sake,
How long has this been going on?"
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
1 hour ago