When you’re living in an expensive place like New York, everything is a luxury: taking a cab instead of the subway, laundry service, and getting your nails did.. As a full-time writer, I was on a tight budget in Manhattan, but I always prioritized pedicures, as I love wearing flip-flops and giving my most overworked, under-appreciated body parts a little TLC. My favorite NYC salon was Dyanna’s, not just because one of my good friends spells her name that way, but because it’s one of the most reasonable beauty venues in the city (good to know if you’re in the concrete jungle!). I’ve spent a decent amount of time in salons, both in NYC and California, and here are the types of people you can always expect to see in the pedicure chair, which may or may not have a massage button:
1. The girl on her laptop
This isn’t too uncommon for go-go-go New York, but even at my busiest, I couldn’t simultaneously work on my giant PC and get my toes painted. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll bring a notebook, but that’s my limit. Some ladies can swing it, and I take my hat off to those who don’t drop their computers in the tub when it comes time for heel shaving or cuticle cutting.
2. The squirmer (me!)
I can’t take my laptop to the pedicure chair because I’m jumpy the whole process. As enjoyable as pedicures can be, they’re also painful and ticklish. Your callouses are shaved off, your cuticles are snipped, your legs are punched, your nails are rubbed and picked apart and you may even dip your feet in extremely hot wax. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked whether I’m OK during pedicures, which can be slightly less scary than doctor visits if you have a no-nonsense (but skilled) nail technician. As a wise woman once told me, beauty hurts, and you’ll certainly feel it in the pedicure chair. Some can tolerate the rough parts better than others, but the sensitive ones — myself included — are only driven by the finished product.
3. The person talking (or texting) on her iPhone
Probably the most common pedicure recipient, and if your battery starts to run low, you better hope there’s an electrical outlet within reach.
4. The customer with a book (or Kindle)
It’s hard to find time for reading, but pedicures can take more than a half hour, so why not dive into a great story while someone brightens up your toes?
5. The girl chatting up the nail technician
At times, I feel like nail technicians are similar to taxi drivers. You never know whether they want to talk to you or do their jobs in silence. Some of them like getting to know customers, and a lot of women engage heavily with salon employees during pedicures (and manicures too). Think Elle and Paulette in Legally Blonde. If the same person paints your toes every appointment, you may as well become pals.
6. The reluctant male
I saved the best for last. Men value having healthy feet just as much we do, and I commend every single dude I’ve spotted in a pedicure seat, blushing or not. A few have appeared embarrassed and even ashamed, but they always walked away with nice toes, massaged arches, and soft heels. Guys, there’s no shame in indulging foot care. If you’re athletic, constantly moving around at work or just wanting to look well-groomed, get a pedicure, and if you’re too nervous to go alone, ask a lady friend to accompany you. There’s no better feeling than walking around with soft, clean feet. You’ll see.
What kinds of folks do you usually run into during pedicures, or at the salon in general? What did I miss? Which one of these categories, if any, do you fall into?