I have a conference in Miami later this week. Now, considering it’s currently 30 degrees here in Maryland, to say I’m not ready for sandal season would be an understatement. As such, I went to get a mani and a pedi tonight. I worked until 6pm, so I was tired, but I had to do what I had to do. So off to the local mani/pedi place I went. It’s a mass production place. You walk in, they tell you to pick a color, you get who you get. They are quick, they are reasonably priced, and they do a far better job than I would do at home. But is the cheap experience worth it?
Here’s the thing. A few months ago, January 11th–my birthday, to be exact–I had a spa day. I went to a true spa and got the works. Massage. Facial. Mani. Pedi. They put warm booties on my feet. They gave me a heated aromatherapy neck towel to lean back on. They took their time, offered me wine, tea, soda, etc. Was the mani/pedi portion of my day far more expensive at the spa than the $40 I paid at the mass production place? (That includes a $7 tip.) Absolutely. But at the mass production place, there was no warm towel. There were no booties. It’s possible I could’ve had these things, but then it would’ve cost more and taken longer. And if they had given me these things, I would’ve been on display as opposed to enjoying the opulence and privacy of a day spa.
Yes, the mass production places have their purpose. I got in and out and the job at hand (pun intended) was accomplished. But I felt rushed. There was no connection felt with the woman providing my services. And yes, there was a language barrier. Not to mention that everything went so fast, pushing my cuticles back was a total non-event, I think she even missed a few fingers and just went straight to the trimming part.
Remember when getting a manicure and a pedicure was a relaxing experience? Remember when it was an experience, period? These days it’s become something that has to be done and is no more something to look forward to than grocery shopping or getting the car washed. We’ve reduced what was supposed to be a therapeutic, unwinding pleasure–to the equivalent of a drive thru lunch special–but it ain’t all that special.
I get it, time is of the essence. We want to look good. When you look good, you feel good. But don’t we deserve more than a, “How fast can you get this done so it’s dry enough not to smudge because I have things to do?” Maybe there’s not enough time or money to do a spa mani/pedi every week. But shouldn’t they be scheduled more than once or twice a year on special occasions? Yes, the mass production place is great in a pinch. And certainly something lives in between cheap and super spa.
Ladies, we make time for work, family, and just about anything and everyone but ourselves. Surely, our hands and feet, at a bare minimum, can get more attention than what’s on the dollar menu. I think we’re all worth more than the Big Mac experience. (No offense McDonald’s.)