Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Comedy Club, Parc Brasserie, Overnight at the Warwick: I could get used to this!
As a special touch during a fabulous week of 60th birthday celebrations that included an evening in the city and a great party the next day, Yaj and Sher treated me to a manicure and pedicure in Chestnut Hill. I usually tuck gift certificates for things like these away for three years before hauling them out and realizing that they have lost every penny of their value. Because, I tell myself, I am too busy to be pampered! Plus I feel badly being scolded by those hapless souls whose job it is to beautify me.

Saturday, my manicurist/pedicurist was an exuberant Russian woman named Marina. She examined my hands and sighed, deeply and dramatically. “Ahhh, your skin eet’s so so dry. Do you drink vater all day? No? Dat is vat I thought. Look, I rub in lotion and dry skin eet comes right off. You vill do dat at home, yes? Rub in lotion every day? OK yes! And I vill not cut nails as short as you do. And you vill not cut short nails from now on, yes? OK yes! You say you vant clear polish? No you do not vant dat. You vant a light peenk color, like so. Dere!”

And that was just the hands. I looked at my poor old feet and saw them as Marina would: dry (of course), thickly callused (I like to go barefoot as often as I can), with chipped, uneven nails. I quickly plunged them into the whirlpool so that they were less visible, but Marina knew. Each foot rated its own heavy sigh as my beauty professional used some weird buzzing tool to scrape off the calluses, then moisturized (a lot), and applied polish (NOT clear). Dere!

I didn’t get a massage this time, but have had them a couple of times in the past. These are the moments when I am described as “incredibly tense” with “muscles all knotted.” Note to masseuse: calling someone “incredibly tense” just makes her incredibly tenser. At home, Sheridan sometimes will rub my shoulders, and even he (my own offspring!) will be critical of my tightness and tension. “Try to relax!” they all say. This advice brings me right back to labor and delivery, where I was told to “try to relax” between mountainous contractions. Didn’t work then, either.

I guess I am just not a good spa candidate. I looked around the salon the other day at all the happy, relaxed, soft-skinned women drinking their complimentary tea, and knew I was totally out of my league.

Soft feet and polished nails! It's a birthday miracle!

Three days post-treat, my nails still look nice and my skin still feels soft, but I know it’s just a matter of time. Pretty soon I will be back to my old jagged-nail, dry-skinned self, and I will shrug my incredibly tense shoulders and get on with life. But I will always be so grateful to my amazing family for this fairy tale birthday week, when 60 did, indeed, feel like 30.

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