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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By ANDY MAHER, Clearwater Central Catholic
Guys, I know how we treat our feet. They are little more than our Nike holders; we’d practically forget them if they weren’t attached to our ankles. But after receiving my first pedicure, I have experienced a paradigm shift regarding my paws.
It happened at Goddess Nails. As I tiptoed into the salon on Gulf-to- Bay in Clearwater, hoping no one would see me, I was queasy. After all, I am captain of the wrestling team, a model of masculinity. And I was walking into Goddess Nails, for crying out loud.
I sneaked up to the counter as if I were involved in some not-so-savory business. Did I imagine the man at the desk smirking a little as I asked for a pedicure? That didn’t help my confidence.
He pointed a long skinny finger to the last chair at the end of the room, and I made my way back. In what seemed to be the longest walk of my life, I thought I saw nasty glares from blue-haired women as they whispered to their friends. I was sure they were talking about me.
Just when I didn’t think things could get any more uncomfortable, I sat down on a throne of pure pleasure. A huge leather chair massaged my back. My feet were immersed in perfectly warm water. Suddenly, things weren’t so bad.
Tina, my personal foot specialist, arrived at the throne with what seemed to be a toolkit of torture devices. Pliers. Scissors. A cheese grater. These implements did not ease my anxiety.
“Relax. You’re too nervous,” said Tina.
Okay. She was reassuring, even if her tools weren’t. I sat back, relaxed a little, noticed the calming Asian music playing softly in the background. My worries were melting away. I let the pampering begin.
My feet properly soaked, the pedicure started with nail clipping, pretty relaxing, no blood. For the next 10 minutes, Tina meticulously worked the skin around the edge of my nails. I thought she said she was removing “cubicles,” which I didn’t even know I had. Obviously I was so relaxed at this point I wasn’t paying close attention.
Next, Tina took out a block covered with sandpaper and started rubbing the bottom of my feet with it. Okay, I’m quite ticklish and this routine had me giggling like a schoolgirl. She then used the cheese grater thing, and any composure I had left was lost.
I quieted down, though, for the final phase: a heavenly massage with mint gel. At that point, I could have died a happy man. Sadly, my time in paradise was over. I sulked back to the counter, paid my $20 and walked out the door, pondering the next occasion for me to return.
Guys, I know it may be out of your comfort zone, as it was mine, but I promise, you will not regret getting a pedicure. It’s nearly prom time, and I know that our usual routine involves showering and picking a tie, if that. But consider pampering yourself like your better half. Better yet, why not schedule a pedicure for two?