I love getting phone calls from my friend Byron, because he is always enthusiastic about something or other he has discovered--a work of art, a piece of music, a movie, a book. At 80-something, he is more engaged with the life of the mind than anyone I know. It is a surprise, then, to get a call about the life of the body.

"Dominique? Where are you? Alex [that is his beloved] is at the movies with her friends, and I want you to join me for lunch. And then we could do something else. Something amazing. Something I've just discovered. You won't believe it."

"I'm so sorry. I'm in Rhode Island. I can't dash down there. What is it, anyway?"

"Pedicures! I'm going to get a pedicure. I've just discovered it. Have you ever had one? It is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. Fantastic. They massage your feet. They scrape stuff off, but don't let them use the razors. They make everything soft. Just incredible. I can't believe how easily my socks go on now."

Well. I almost did dash down, I was so carried away by his enthusiasm. And no, I don't get pedicures. I'm not even sure I could sit still long enough. The few times I have gotten manicures I felt my nails were suffocating under their layer of plastic, and it made me anxious. But Byron got me thinking about that delicious feeling of being able to slide your toes up, down, into, or out of anything--without a snag.

So I welcome you to my Beauty of the Beach Salon, for Surf and Turf Pedicures. Free, too.

My feet always feel incredible by the end of the summer, and it is because I try to walk a couple of miles in the sand at least four or five times a week. After my conversation with Byron, I think this exercise can also count as getting a pedicure.

First, there is the exfoliation factor. No razors, ever. Just nice, soft, crumbly sand, alternating between wet and dry. It is an excellent idea to dig your feet into the sand and get a real rub going, the way a dog does when she is wantonly digging for...well, what exactly are those dogs always getting excited about? Who knows, but they have a few things to teach us about having fun at the beach--in particular, we could all do with a few more leaps and bounds, to say nothing of licking faces and wagging tails. But I digress. The main thing for optimum exfoliation is to make sure you dig in your heels. Always a good idea, anyway, particularly if you are having an argument with a certain someone.

Next, the seaweed treatment. I have not a clue what seaweed does for the skin, or for most things, but there must be a reason people pay gazillions of dollars for beauty treatments containing seaweed. Or maybe not? Is seaweed part of the Weird Ingredient Racket? Anyway, I always let the seaweed squoosh between my toes because it is a delightfully childish thing to do. Children particularly, and men too, think you are quite brave if you touch seaweed, so this is an excellent way to score points.

Then, toughen up your soles. This is important preparation for the future. Now, we all know that women should be doing Kegels, all the time, right? Okay, most of the time. If you don't know what those are, you are probably a man. Or a fifth grader. Think of walking barefoot as Kegels for your sole. Take it easy at first, but tread lightly over those half-buried rocks, flexing your toes. You should get to the point where you are able to pick up small stones with your toes. Soon, your feet will be ready to dance.


quintessence said...

So true - my feet are always in much better shape after time at the beach - never indulged in the seaweed part of the treatment however - must try that. I have to admit that I do like a little color on my toes, especially in sandal weather. And I much prefer pedicures to manicures because you can read during the process and get a massage at the same time - oh dear, I guess I'm back to multi-tasking.

Charlotte K said...

Oh, this is so funny! A great way to start the day.

I'd MUCH rather get your sort of pedicure than the other.

Cristina said...

...everything but the seaweeds, please!

Unknown said...

How wonderful! Right out your back door! Looks like you could have some awesome stone therapy too with ocean sounds thrown in for free!

Anonymous said...

I love pedicures. I like your method but when there is no ocean try the alternative and indulge yourself.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

I am with you regarding pedicures.
Feel I should be doing something and I really like doing my nails myself. On the deck in the beautiful sunshine I did my nails yesterday. I miss the ocean and agree with you regarding the sand.
Think I will buy a bagful and just rub it on my feet. I walk all the time and groom my woods - not barefoot. But loving going barefoot on my new lawn.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You're right. This is a wonderful alternative to pedicures. Although, I'm with Byron in that I do occasionally succumb to the wonders of the manmade variety. The lady who does mine is a genius - she spends over an hour massaging my feet and legs with the most deliciously decadent goos in the world. I can never stay awake. Not often do I do this. But occasionally, there's nothing quite like it.

I love your photographs. I'm drooling over all the shells and that last one is delightfully macabre, a la Peter Benchley.

William said...


A post about pedicures??? :)

I think it might be time for another book. How about a prequel of sorts to Slow Love Life chronicling your career from the start culminating with your experience at HG with a focus on your business experiences.

I'd be first in line to buy it.


Thea said...

i love manicures and pedicures. sometimes it's the only way to sit and rest for a long time. Sometimes I nap (and I wonder if the ladies laugh at me, but not enough to care) and for some reason I read Cosmo. Wow, has that mag changed since i was in my 20s. but fyi - you have nice feet. and Will - this is about doing slow things!! sheesh!

Karena said...

Dominique you are so right!! I loved walking alog the beach in San Diego and Coronado! The best!

I have a New Giveaway from the French Basketeer I think you will love!

Art by Karena

Julie Gatherum-McGuire said...

I love your blog. Simple, simple, simple but so good for the soul. I am just starting your book right now. We have also known corporate downsizing as a result of this lovely recession :) To put your experience in your beautiful and almost poetic writing has been very refreshing and comforting to me. That and the fact that our oldest is leaving for college for next week...it's been a very melancholy, yet honestly a very, very happy time. Thank you for sharing. I have listed your website as a top spot on my blog!

Julie McGuire

Unknown said...

Made me laugh! "Kegels"....smiles.

Anonymous said...

Glad I am not the only one who feels as if my nails are suffocating under polish! Love your writing. Barb

Anonymous said...

I am soo happy to find your blog.I wondered what you were doing now.And I will buy your book.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

A pedi, whether by man or sea, is part of "slow life." I'm all about treated feet! :)

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