An Open Letter to Anyone About to Get Their First Mani/Pedi

Dear Polishless Patron,

The first step is always picking a color.

After the nice woman at the counter asks why you’ve come to see her, she will point to the wall of polishes, asking you to scan the seemingly millions of shades for our own personal Waldo. The seriousness of this choice is evident. Choosing the right shade leads to weeks of endless bliss, while choosing the wrong shade dooms you to months of unending distress. It’s science.

When you turn around, another woman will be waving to you beside a leather chair and you must make your way to her, carefully avoiding eye contact with everyone else in the salon for no apparent reason.

Then, the pedicure will begin.

First you are guided in the art of foot soaking. A.k.a the wetting of the disgusting, dried up skin on the bottom of your feet, so that it is easier for the woman to work out any issues from her childhood while she scrapes at it with a brick of sand paper.

Afterwards, you will look down at your feet, assuming they are now the softest and cleanest that they’ve ever been, and that your toenails are now ready for polish. This however, is a defense mechanism; your vision is clouded by false hope. When the woman reaches towards her cart, she will not grab the purple nail polish you selected and begin painting, but rather grab an unidentifiable silver tool that is a soft-core torture mechanism. To her, your toes have not even scratched the surface of clean and she will begin to dig under your nails like that kid on his front lawn in the Eggo waffle commercial, looking for China. Only difference, she’ll find it and you will forever be disgusted with your dirt hoarding toenails.

Next there will be a wide variety of goo. The woman will take your feet in her hands like a breakfast burrito and spread the goo atop your toes like hot sauce, allowing it to slowly sink into your skin and do ridiculously refreshing things.

At some point you will try to predict her next move and shift your foot to be of some help. Know that this is a mistake and that you will probably bump her boob with your wet foot and your eye contact will cease to exist.

The woman will then reach into a small container that looks like lip balm, but is actually heated lotion, and she will apply it to both your feet and lower legs. Upon application, you will realize you forgot to shave your legs and you will reach a new level of shame. Shockingly, this moment will only get worse as she spreads the lotion between each of your toes with a motion reminiscent of one used to milk a cow and you will realize it is possible to be violated via toe. She will then retrieve a hot towel and place atop your outstretched legs to “further moisturize,” translation: to hide your gorilla legs, saving everyone the agony of looking at them.

When the painting finally does begin, it will end upon the completion of seemingly one blink. And as you leave you will forever wonder why it takes you a half hour to finish one foot, only to stand up to get a snack and kick a remote corner of your couch, staining it forever with “Passionfruit Purple”, and causing you to start over.

The woman will then carefully slide your shoes on your feet, swiveling the sandal like it’s a bank robber in a field of laser sensors, and ask you to shuffle your way to the manicure table. A similar process to the pedicure will follow (goo, lotion, milking of the fingers) furthering your disgust with your digits, and you will contemplate how anyone has ever spent any time with you and your phalangic filth.

Again the painting will take place at lightning speed, and you will notice the drastic difference in appearance compared to your DIY nail art from sleepover’s past. There will be no “Ruby Rose” spillage on the floor and none of your nails will look like you painted them while falling down 4 flights of stairs.

At last, you will thank the woman, stand with your newly magenta’d nails and start making your way to the UV lamps to dry your polish. While on your way, you will notice that the woman is following close behind you, and at first you will be alarmed. Don’t fret, she is just reacting kindly to the glacial pace you have set, moving each leg like a newborn giraffe, in an attempt not to find any remote corners, to not repeat history

WARNING: At times, history WILL repeat itself. When this occurs simply turn around, wearing an expression easily recognized as the love child of guilt and worry, and ask for a touch up. Do NOT hulk out and smash any bottles of nail polishes.

I wish you the best in all your polishing endeavors.

In time, I know you’ll nail it. HA.

Sincerely,

An informative, pun mastering, newly pedicured patron.

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