At the Salon

Here I am, and at my age, often glancing at my brightly polished toes housed in sandals instead of my usual socks and sneakers. A friend and I, having decided on a ladies’ day out, drove miles to Grand Island yesterday for a nice lunch and to shop for some things I needed to complete my mother-of-the-groom outfit, the wedding being just around the corner. Lastly—and this was the real reason for our excursion—I followed my friend into the shop to experience what she said I would love, a pedicure.

It seemed to my sedate and staid self the very height of frivolity, We took our places as directed in massage chairs, each quipped with a footbath, across from where the manicures are given. Working in the salon were three  women, who, all while performing their ministrations, conversed among themselves in Mandarin, perhaps, or Cantonese. Because of the height of the chair and the humble nature of the task, I found myself gazing upon the bowed head of the young woman holding my feet in her capable hands.

Uncomfortable at first, I was like Peter saying to the Lord, “You shall never wash my feet!” But washed, scrubbed, trimmed, soundly buffed, and altogether given kindly attention were my feet, which afterward were the better for it. His touch while bathing the feet of his disciples would have been less impersonal; thus footwashing is sometimes called a sacrament. Still, yesterday, I could not help but see in that cluttered, humid, cheerfully lighted space in the mall, three angels, their little bottles of colors and lacquers accomplishing beauty or the illusion of it. They are there again today, I am sure, bent forward on their low chairs, their lustrous dark hair swept back and pinned to keep it out of their way.

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