1. Anything. I didn't know anything about getting a pedicure. I know that Ma Pista is some sort of spokeswoman for them and seemed to find my own ambivalence to be a character flaw. What kind of woman doesn't want a pedicure. Shrug. I don't know. Maybe the kind who has figured out how to turn her pajamas into business casual?
2. Where to go. JCrew answered this by revealing a still fresh month-old pedicure and stage-whispering: "Go to (redacted). Seriously. They use a bunch of illegal tools like cheese graters, but they're fantastic." Sold? I said with my eyebrows. "You have to pay cash," she added.
3. That my feet are so grotesque. I guess I knew this. My toenails are thick and yellowed talons strong enough to pop the top of a soda. My heels and the balls of my feet have a matching thick, cracked rind. The pedicurist's stoicism in the face of my feet could mean only one thing: She was a professional, capable of stifling the strongest urge to recoil in horror. Not even a twitch.
"Is this your first pedicure," she asked politely.
We both knew that we both knew.
4. That it would tickle, getting grated and watching it snow parmesan sized flakes of skin into this woman's lap. And it was the kind of ticklish that forced a fake-sounding, cartoon-like, laugh. I literally curling my toes and saying "TEEHEE! TEEHEE! TEEHEEEEE!"
5. That it would hurt, having my nails shaped, wayward skin flaps tugged and clipped and my cuticles tamed. "Virgin feet," I said with each wince. "Careful with the virgin feet."
6. That this isn't just a foot thing, pedicures. This involves everything south of the knees. The threat of that exfoliating mud gumming up my leg hair had me in a brief tizzy until I remembered this would be much more pleasant if I unclenched my calf muscles.
7. That the muted movie playing on a couple different screens in the room would hold my attention so completely. That, at one point, I'd Google "Fresh Prince of Bel Air as matchmaker" and realize I was watching "Hitch." (Confession: And then, days later, I'd stream it again to see how closely my version of the silent film matched director Andy Tennant's one with dialogue.) ((Speaking of Andy Tennant: In this photo he kind of looks like alternate universe Don Johnson. Like, if instead of "Miami Vice," Don Johnson had been shuffled to the "Ernest Goes to Camp" acting track. That's all.))
8. Etiquette involving toenail dryers, disposable flipflops, tipping. I would have wondered how my shoes and purse would get from Point A to Point B, but a sort of Cruella-ish Real Housewife of Hm ... Duluth? (I guess) snapped her fingers at a man who was carrying her shoes and purse to the drying station.
"Young man. Young MAN!" Snap. Snap.
"Those are NOT my shoes," she said.
He smiled, her friend was a kidder and he seemed to think this was an extension of her friend's charming personality. It wasn't.
"I'm SERIOUS," she said, hobbling along, her hot-pink weapons leading the way.
9. That the meaning of $30 would change so drastically in 45 minutes. Pre-peddie me would have said "Hm. That seems like a lot of money for four coats of greenish-grey-black and a go-round with a cheese grater." But watching the pedicurist clean up her station afterward, wondering if my skin and nails had ruined her lunch or maybe even clogged the station's drainage system -- that made me think that $30 is nothing. Nothing at all.