Years ago I wrote about getting a massage and how I definitely fell in love with my masseuse and planned a whole life together before the session ended and I promptly lost interest. It turns out that blogging is wonderful for one’s self-awareness, because I am now Aware that that exact scenario happens constantly to my Self.
Step 1: Someone I am paying to do a service performs the service.
Step 2: During this event they make an appropriate amount of eye contact and small talk.
Step 3: I am convinced that this means we have fallen in love and going to get married.
It happened again, with my podiatrist.
And… if I am going to tell a whole story about my podiatrist, I feel like I have to tell you why I was there.
Well, do I? Not really. I don’t know why starting a blog makes me feel duty bound to BE HONEST and divulge all my disgusting secrets. No one needs to know why I was there. I could lie. I could tell you it was a manicurist. But it just feels like otherwise I’m deceiving you. And it just doesn’t feel like that’s very on brand.
(Is that the Let’s Get Milkshakes ‘brand’? Just… information you don’t really want to hear that I’m embarrassed to tell you, but I tell you anyway, and you read it anyway? I think I just got a new tagline, friends.)
So. I was there because I had a gross toenail thing going on, they looked bad, they made me feel unpleasant. (Note to any eligible men reading: this was months ago, I no longer have the gross toenail thing going on, those little piggies are sparkly and symmetrical and Tarantino wouldn’t kick them out of bed for wiggling, I’ll tell you that).
The podiatrist was late to start the appointment, and I’d been watching the clock and reading NW magazine and sighing. But then she charged down to the waiting room to fetch me, striding in her practical shoes, and I forgot why I was angry. She looked a bit like Robin Wright-not-Penn. And she was brusque. Oh how I love a brusque woman! Sit there, do that. Stop doing that. So German! I mean, she wasn’t German, but she might as well have been.
And I don’t know if it’s MY podiatrist (the word ‘my’ in this context is what is called a ‘possessive pronoun’; and the word ‘possessive’ in this context, or indeed any context where I am talking about my behaviour, seems apt) or just ALL podiatrists… but she has these ancient looking tools. Like the field of podiatry had reached the 1920s and gone, you know what? We’re good. Progress, feel free to march forward, we’re just going to sit back and enjoy the view from right here.
But that wasn’t all! She had these foot sprays that smelled like rose gardens. Roses, the most Nana of smells, or maybe the second-most-Nana of smells, perhaps after lavender. The whole experience was like stepping back in time. Ha! Stepping! That pun was not intentional. I just made myself laugh. I will allow it to stay.
And – back on the Tarantino theme – I was looking down at her, touching my feet and thinking, is this the start of a potentially confusing, lifestyle rearranging, what would we do together on weekends love affair? Is this… love?
She was being brusque again. Using tools on my feet brusquely, while speaking brusquely about my surname and how she’d read a book by an author who shared it, and was this a relative of mine? It didn’t feel like gentle chit-chat, it felt like I was being questioned by some sort of Bond villain, and I loved it.
You know, a few years ago in the Fiji blogs I wrote a lot about food, a LOT, and reading them back now, I was like… girl, did you not see that you were basically writing food-pornography, and everyone could probably see that you had a bit of a fucked up relationship with carbs, and you were just happily hitting PUBLISH PUBLISH PUBLISH on all your Freudian inner workings?
So, back to me enjoying being yelled at by an older woman…
I had decided that we would spend weekends probably reading classic novels, luxuriating in furs, smoking very thin cigarettes. We would have a butler, who would bring us icy cold beverages when we rang a small tinkly bell. And then, dear reader, she did the unthinkable. She said something about her daughter’s birthday. Her daughter! Reality?!
Oh, Robin-Wright-Not-Penn-Brusque-Germanesque-Woman. No. I cannot question my sexuality and consider starting smoking and plan out a bizarre dreamworld revolving around a woman with a LIFE who EXISTS. Stop! The beauty of falling in love with people who pay you a scrap of attention is that you can project whatever you need onto them. If you have truth I have to contend with, then what?
I felt the furs fade from my fantasy. The butler sure as fuck wasn’t going to be waiting on us, not with the kids running around needing homework checked. The disappointment was real, and felt like it was about to ruin my day, so I made the choice to just pretend she hadn’t said it and stay put in the bizarro dreamworld. Slink back in, furs. Mr Butler, I did not dismiss you.
Months later I was due to go back to check on my toenail thing. (Again, I’ll remind you, they’re are fine now). I spoke to reception to confirm my booking and they said my regular podiatrist wasn’t available, and some MAN would be there instead.
“Oh. That just won’t do”, I said. “I need her.”
Well, the version of her that doesn’t actually exist. But that’s close enough.