Tuesday, June 9, 2009


My wife and I had just checked into a Caribbean resort for a week-long vacation when she informed me that my toenails weren’t beachworthy.

“Why don’t you call the spa and get a pedi,” she said.

I looked at her like she had just suggested we swap clothes for the week. “I’d rather call the front desk and see if I can borrow an electric hedge trimmer from the landscaping crew,” I said.

“Lots of men get pedicures,” she said.

“Lots of men wear guyliner, and sing show tunes,” I said.

“Getting a pedicure isn’t gay,” she said. “It’s metrosexual.”

“I’m not sure I’m ready to be labeled as a metrosexual,” I said.

“Well, if you show up on the beach with those feet, you’ll be labeled as a hobosexual.”

I booked a pedicure.

I’m sure most people know what a pedicure is all about, but for those straight guys out there who don’t, it’s like getting a shoeshine without your shoes.

Marie, the pedicurist, plunked my dogs in a tub of warm water and offered me a magazine. The choices were Vogue, Elle, Allure, and W. The chick on the cover of W was particularly hot, and I’d have liked to see more, but I passed. What if someone recognized me and took my picture? Getting a pedi was bad enough.

Marie made the usual hotel small talk, like where are you from, and what restaurants have you tried so far. All my answers started with “my wife and I,” just to make sure she knew these were hetero toes she was dealing with.

“A lot of women would kill to have your feet,” she said.

It sounded like a compliment. Or did it mean I had girlie feet? I had to know.

“Why?” I asked cautiously. “Why would women kill to have my feet?”

“These women insist on buying shoes that put their feet through torture. You should see some of the ugly feet I have to deal with — bunions, cracked heels, hammer toes, all kinds of problems. Your feet are beautiful.”


“Really,” she said. “No deformities, no fungal infections, and they don’t stink.”

“Those have always been my three basic criteria for dating,” I said.

We both laughed, and I finally sat back in my chair and started playing with the massage button options. Marie began rubbing my feet, and I wanted to drift off to sleep, but I kept one eye open to make sure she didn’t trot out the nail polish.

When it was over, I felt terrific. And I over tipped, so I know it was good for her too.

Then I headed for the beach to meet my wife. She waved when she saw me, and I skipped over to her chaise, singing “I feel pretty.”