It’s hard to accept that I now choose comfort over style in your footwear. Not that I was ever one for high-heeled pumps, but these days, even a little kitten heel gives me pause. I still seek out attractive shoes, but finding flats or low heels that work for my feet is a challenge. Shoe shopping has become as dreaded as swimsuit shopping has always been.
To help ease the angst of this particular side effect of aging, I get a regular pedicure. A pretty set of toes peeping from a sturdy, foot-friendly pair of Merrells or Clarks will remind the world (and you) that you are still a woman to whom appearances matter, no matter that you are confined to sexless, shapeless shoes that were a sign of empowerment in the 60s. Besides, those battered old feet that have withstood years of pavement pounding, carried pounds of baby weight, danced nights away, and been squeezed into countless ill-fitting shoes deserve a little kindness. A thorough sanding and several colorful coats of lacquer will lift their spirits.
But don’t try this at home. You need a professional to be kind to your feet. Good nail technicians have serious skills—they can get the polish as smooth and shiny as the bumper of a beamer. Most importantly, they can actually reach your nails. You may be able get yourself into a position to attend to your toes, but how long can you hold it? Granted, I’m not as flexible as most people I know, but I think it requires an effort for most of us over 60 to double over comfortably, unless you’re a life-long yoga practitioner. And there’s the issue of seeing your toes from that distance and holding your hand steady enough to get four coats of polish on the nails. I have to turn on two lamps and an overhead to even have a prayer of accomplishing this.
So here’s my advice, gentle readers: slide into your Birkenstocks and clomp on down to the nail salon (just be sure it has a perfect health-department rating). You’ll get a relaxing hour in a massage chair with a good book and your feet in warm water. Your soles, corns, and calluses will be scraped and sanded more thoroughly than a piece of antique furniture under renovation. You might even get a foot-and-leg massage. And it will only set you back $30 or so. Your feet will look pretty as any 20 year olds. . . with the added character of 40 years worth of bumps, wrinkles, and bunions.