Open-toed shoes are part of everybody’s uniform in Florida, especially during the summer. This is nice, for the most part, but it can socially handicap you fast if you don’t take care of your feet. I’m not just referring to the ladies here. Guys, I’m sorry, but hobbit feet are just not cute. Hair, long toenails, calluses—if you’re gonna wear sandals, you have to get that nonsense under control.
Oh, stop complaining that it’s “girly”. I don’t know very many people of any gender who’d pass up the chance to soak their feet in hot water and let somebody rub pomegranate-scented lotion up and down their legs.
I’m not the best at doing this on my own (certainly not because I’ve got toenails that grow diagonally or something. Nope. Nuh-uh). Fortunately, my beach town has several great nail salons, and they’re more than happy to help out those of us who have difficulty in this area. However, as someone who’s more than a little socially awkward, getting a pedicure presents a unique challenge. How does one interact with someone who knows exactly how much dead skin has accumulated on your tootsies? Is it okay to focus on the backrub you’re getting from the massage chair, or are you required to make small talk? How much are you supposed to tip?
Lucky for us, in the grand scheme of things, getting a perfect pedicure isn’t that important. All that matters is that you let yourself be pampered—and treat your nail tech with respect. Here’s some ways to make sure your pedi is perfectly okay.
What is not sucking? In the realm of foot-related spa and salon services, not sucking is defined as getting your feet pampered without causing an awkward situation… or making a mess of your feet.
- Make an appointment. Nothing’s worse than waiting an hour for a walk-in foot massage, except maybe listening to somebody complain about waiting an hour for a walk-in foot massage.
- Dress right. You don’t want to wear a skirt to a pedicure—the cosmetologist will see far more of you than they ever wanted to. In summer, wear shorts. In winter, wear pants that you can comfortably roll up to your knees.
- Choose a color. There’s way more to a pedicure than getting your toenails painted, but if you’re opting to get some pigment on your piggies, try and expedite the color-selection process as much as possible when you get to your appointment. If you’re dedicated to regular pedi maintenance, feel free to pick a dark color or something neon. If you’re like me, the toenail polish you select is going to stay on your toes for half of eternity because you won’t bother to remove it, so try and choose something natural looking.
- Decide how social you feel. This is best done on the day of your appointment before you leave your house. Feeling like some silent contemplation is on tap today? Bring a book or magazine to the appointment. Feeling chatty? That’s awesome. Go forth and be pampered sans accessories.
- Then, act accordingly—and politely. No matter how social you feel (or not), you can never ever be too nice to someone who touches feet for a living. Say hello. Ask their name. Ask how their day is going. The conversation can end here if you’d rather be reading, but if you feel like bonding with your beautician you can ask about their kids or their last vacation or even start talking about your own life—as long as you keep in mind that there are other people in the room with you.
- Don’t. Move. Don’t move your feet when the person giving you your pedicure is painting your toenails. Don’t move your feet when they’re putting your feet back in your shoes or stuffing your toes into the little Styrofoam spacer. Don’t move your feet when you’re sitting under the dryer. Just don’t move them and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of screwing up your paint job.
- Tip. Fifteen percent minimum, folks. Budget for it.