hello summer

By Brenda Tadych
Woman Newspapers

Unkempt toes are a toe-tal turnoff. When it comes to baring your feet, summertime is no time to cut corners.

I’m a foot phobe. Because I once dismissed the pain of a dislocated toe as simply arthritis, I now have a toe that leans distinctly toward the next one. I became very self conscious of my crooked toe and had to find a way to improve the look of it (or at least provide a distraction so it was less noticeable.) Allow me to introduce you to my salvation: the pedicure.

Actually, a pedicure is a routine that ought to be practiced by more people, especially this time of year. Here’s what really bothers me: I see a woman with well-coifed hair, appropriate attire, the right splash of jewelry, and then I look down and have to choke back a gag when I see her unkempt toes. Why on earth would she stop at her ankles?

In my mind, there ought to be a law prohibiting the public display of feet whose welfare has been compromised by a general lack of concern and disregard. In fact, I’m willing to propose legislation if it has to come to that.

I know what you’re thinking: Not everyone has the time or money for such high maintenance. I’m not saying you need to budget for a professional pedi every month. Well, okay, that is what I’m saying, but please, at least get one pedi for the summer season.

I’m not out to bash unpainted digits. Professional pedis and polish aren’t required. Let those piggies strut in the buff (although there is such a thing as clear nail polish), but please, PLEASE, clean under those nails and shape up those cuticles! Broken, chipped and peeling nails are bad enough on fingers. Five different nail lengths on each foot should not make you want to choose flip flops for your footwear. And keep those neglected feet turned away from me. Don’t make me run away screaming.

Respect your feet. Do you realize the mileage we put on them every day? They get a workout, going up and down stairs not to mention stuffing them into shoes that aren’t even comfortable (but darn it, they’re the cutest shoes ever!) In short, feet deserve a break.

Today marks one week since I’ve gotten my most recent pedi. It started with a long, tingly soak in a mini foot jacuzzi - aaahhhh - followed by buffing away ugly callouses and neatly trimming the cuticles. Next was a foot mask underneath warm towels - ooooooooh - with an application of moisturizer and, my favorite part, a foot and leg massage. Yes…yes!…YES!!!

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and I’m admiring my new purplely-blue polish. My tootsies are happy, prancing about in flip flops. My nails are picture perfect and best of all, I barely notice my troublesome crooked toe!