The term Metrosexual has been ascribed to those men who partake of activities not usually considered particularly masculine. Men who have their hair “done” as opposed to “cut,” or use “product” instead of shampoo and partake of activities like manicures and pedicures fall into this category. They buy designer clothes in brighter colors with name brands that usually have been modeled on a runway. Now, I have never really made a big issue of being “Macho” or even particularly masculine; but I have always considered myself a man’s man. I go to a barber shop, not a salon. I trim my nails with either a pair of scissors or a knife (or sometimes my teeth) when they get too long. I buy clothes off the rack.
It is not that I think such activities are feminine, they just do not appeal to me. I can think of any number of things on which to spend my money. I understand that women love the spa treatment and I understand that many men do as well. I have long said “more power to them” for doing it. If they like spending a small fortune primping and spoiling themselves, who am I to criticize?
Well, the other day my wife and sister announced that they planned to go to a nail salon to get the spa treatment: manicure and pedicure. I figured it would be a good time to lube the car or go fishing or watch Nascar…waitaminute—that’s not me. No, I thought I might read a novel, or perhaps write a blog or any other activity men do when the wives do their thing. Then my younger brother and his wife both said they were going to join them. I looked a bit askance at him for his metrosexual ways, but did not chide him. Like I said, to each his own.
Well, all of them to a person suggested—no—insisted that I join them. “It’s great, you’ll love it,” they all said. I assured them that I would not get out of the experience what they did and that I was quite comfortable as I was thank you very much. I offered a little more resistance to their insistence, but they did get my attention when they mentioned that the pedicure comes with a foot massage.
Now, I can think of very little as comforting and relaxing as a foot massage (except maybe a scalp massage) and since I suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS) I really have come to appreciate foot massages. My brother topped the persuasion off by offering to pay for the pedicure. Well, since it wasn’t costing me anything, I figured I had nothing to lose. So off we went to the salon.
Now, most women and some men will understand when I say the smell of a hair salon is a singular odor. It is one that, once enjoyed, is not quickly forgotten—no matter how hard you try. It’s one that you really cannot get used to either, unless maybe if you work in that environment on a daily basis. Then, after six or seven weeks of unrelenting exposure, and if you haven’t given up the location of the rebel base and any other secrets they want, you may develop a desensitivity to it.
The good news is that the salon had several open spa seats and could take us right away, thus allowing us to get out of the smell that much sooner. After removing socks and shoes, I put my feet in the boiling cauldron that was the foot wash. After about 10 seconds, I pulled my beet red tootsies out with a yelp and the nice attendant offered to adjust the temp. From then on, thankfully, the experience was actually quite pleasant.
While soaking in the foot wash, the chairs had shiatsu massage giving my back a workout. Several of the Cadillac type chairs had the shiatsu along with vibra-massage, but the vibrating mechanism was broken on my chair. After soaking for a while, one of the salon workers came along and asked if I wanted my feet scraped with a razor. Now I’m thinking that she’s after state secrets again; the image compounded as I watch my sister having her feet jabbed under the toenails with what looks like a dental pick. Of course, this was not the case, and I did have my feet scraped and it actually felt quite good—even the part where they pick at your cuticles with the dental-pick-looking thingy.
But the best part was, of course, the foot massage. Oh, I could sit for the rest of my life while someone runs a firm thumb along my plantar surface while squeezing my metatarsals. I think I lost track of time during this part, although I am sure it didn’t last long enough. Bliss, your name is foot massage. Sadly, the massage eventually ended, and the lady told me to put my socks and shoes on.
I wondered briefly why—as they did for my sister and my wife—she didn’t ask me what color I wanted for my nails. Some questions are best left unanswered I guess. Maybe it was because she saw that I was a man’s man. Perhaps she knew that, despite having just enjoyed a pedicure, I was not a metrosexual. Somehow she just knew I was not needing my toenails painted and thus did not ask what color I wanted. My brother Dean got blue.