Not anything to get excited about, right? People get pedicures all the time. Well, some people do. But not me. I'd never partaken of that small indulgence before. I always thought paying someone to do my toenails was a silly way to spend money, much like buying high-end cosmetics or having watermelon in mid-winter. But since I was heading for my barefoot paradise, and since my hand-to-mouth days are in the past, I decided to give the treat a try.
I didn't know my first washing machine would show up to haunt me.
What does a washing machine have to do with my pedicure? It goes back to the first year of my marriage. Not long after we were wed, Tom and I moved into a townhouse, renting with an option to buy. We moved in our things and bought some necessary things we lacked: a refrigerator, some curtains, a utility shelf to keep items off the basement floor. Still young, with modest incomes, we didn't Go Out and Decorate. A block-and-board bookshelf kept us linked to our student days and made our life together slightly bohemian. The closest we came to being middle class was occasionally buying stuff that made the water in the toilet bowl blue.
There was, however, an annoyance in schlepping our dirty laundry into town once a week. Finding quarters, hanging out in the laundromat and coping with the too-hot dryers finally took their toll. We had the space and the money; off we went to Sears.
I had no idea the purchase would be so traumatic. I was OK as we listened to the salesman, made our choice, paid and arranged delivery, but on the way home I burst into tears.
Tom was mystified, and my explanation didn't help. I wailed, "It's so middle class!" Somehow, I equated buying a washing machine with lost youth and the idea that now I was just another newlywed, not someone who was going to knock the world on its butt with my charm, talent or brilliance. A washing machine. How ordinary!
Fast-forward to the pedicure. It's no longer about lost youth or major purchases. (Heck, Aloe House is on its third washer. Heck, Aloe House exists.) But that little bit of pampering made me feel so ... well, pampered. Have I become one of those matrons who order their days with spa treatments, shopping and gallery gawking? Am I one of the "Ladies Who Lunch"? Now that there's a little expendible income in my life (thanks to Tom, not me), it seems that enjoying it with a pedicure calls into question my relevance as a human being.
Ah, but there was a bit of good news on the other side, just days after the pedicure. On my way to North Caicos, I found myself at the dock on Provo more than an hour early for Branford's boat. It was very, very hot. I looked around for shade and saw only the table by the water where fishermen gut their catches. I left my bags on the dock and walked over, then perched myself on a dusty pallet under the table.
Imagine how a scaly fish table smells on a hot day in June. Not very pretty. But it was either shade and fish guts or sweltering and sunburn. "I've been in worse places," I thought.
And I have. I suddenly realized that on the other side of Pedicure Jody is Fish Table Jody. I waited in balance with my pretty toes.