I was at Slows with a friend last month and as I glanced over to the next table I was horrified to see an entire family of people flaunting their calloused, scaly, thick-nailed talons in some of the ugliest sandals to ever grace this earth (I think they were Tevas). And they appeared to be completely fine with that! No shame about sticking their legs out from under the table or crossing their legs and bringing a foot dangerously close to dining level. I mean please, I am trying to eat a chicken wing!
This is going on all over the place and it has absolutely got to stop. Speaking as a person who didn’t even wear a sandal until he was past the age of 30 due entirely to the fact that I didn’t want to offend the world with un-cared-for feet, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect people to pay attention to the appearance of ALL their uncovered skin. Detroit, you need a pedicure.
Obviously the best solution is you just go to a nice day spa, like the Woodhouse Day Spa on Woodward or something like that, and have them transform those nasty hooves into normal human feet.
But ok, maybe you are uncomfortable having someone take care of your feet (although that’s stupid - they don’t mind, it’s a job they chose to perform), or maybe you are just cheap and lazy. Either way, you can get your feet to the point where they are at least presentable at home with only the most rudimentary tools and basically free products.
A candid photo of my last home spa pedicure
Disclaimer: if you are diabetic or have circulatory problems in your feet please don’t even try this, because I refuse to be liable if you fuck up and get infected and have to have your foot amputated. Go see a podiatrist like God intended.
1. Pour a glass of wine, turn on music or television or something to entertain you, fill the tub with very warm water. Pick a spot for pedicuring and position the tub in front of it. Be sure to put towels all around the area.
2. Add bath salts or bath gel to the water. This will help soften the skin on your feet and also clean them, which you obviously need to do since you are wearing open-toed shoes in the city. If you don’t want to spring for special bath stuff you can just pull a Madge and use Palmolive. Put your feet in.
3. Sit and drink wine. Hopefully you remembered to keep the bottle nearby because there is really no getting up for refills at this point.
4. After a period of foot soaking that is neither too long nor too short, pull out a foot, dry it off, and start working on it with the foot file. There are several kinds of foot files. Some are all pumice stone-y, but really that is for people who regularly take care of their feet. You will file for hours with that. There are the sandpapery ones, which are pretty good, but if your feet are really calloused you need to use the cheese grater kind. It sounds nasty but they will get the job done. I recommend using that for starting out then finishing off with the sandpapery one.
Work on the tough areas first, but don’t forget to hit the entire sole of your foot at least lightly, and also the sides and heel. Put this foot back in the foot soak and repeat the process on the other foot. Work both feet twice.
5. Working on your feet yourself is also a good opportunity to stretch your legs. Pretend this is also yoga class and there are health benefits. Drink more wine.
6. Once you have removed a disgusting amount of dead skin from your feet, which is now on the towels or floating in the foot soak, it’s time to address your nails and cuticles.Your cuticles on your feet get nasty really fast, but using cuticle scissors to cut them is an advanced move and something better left to professionals. They are very soft now so you can just use the tip of the metal nail file to scrape them off. There is also something called a cuticle remover, which is like a specialized cuticle scraper, which is helpful in this regard. When you get to your little toe it is really just easier to use the metal file across the nail to smooth it all out.
Trim your nails using the nail clipper if they are long, but don’t trim too short, and don’t worry about getting them perfect. Use the emery board to file down shorter nails or rough edges from trimming with a clipper.
7. Rinse off your feet in the now-cold foot skin stew that once was your foot soak and dry them off. Go over your feet and address any unacceptably rough spots with the foot file or the emery board. Your feet may not be perfectly baby-smooth, but they'll be much improved.
8. Apply foot cream or other moisturizer all over your feet, including nails and cuticles. Finish the bottle of wine while you wait for that to soak in.
9. Call the maid to clean up.
If you have a significant other, now is a really good time to get in the sack with them. Your feet will feel amazing and they won’t be repulsed to the other side of the bed like they normally are. But most importantly, your feet will look acceptable while you are out on the street, and you can feel good that you are doing your part to increase the beauty level of Metro Detroit.