April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Bud Herron: Uncovering the secrets of pedicures

Editor's Note: This column was originally published in The Hope Star-Journal.

One of the few things I have learned about women in my 65 years of studying the subject from various angles is that they keep a lot of secrets from men.

Of course, women never admit this. They always claim they have told us everything, that we were just watching the football game on TV and paying no attention.

I used to buy that. I know I sometimes just turn on my "yes dear" recording and miss a few things my wife is telling me -- little inconsequential things like the color she is going to paint the living room, or where we are going on vacation, or why the cat needs to be put to sleep -- but most of the time my attention is focused and my recall is excellent.

That's why I know my wife has been hiding something called "pedicures" from me for the-lord-knows-how-many years. I learn about this part of her "double life" recently while she and I were in Chicago visiting our daughter, Rachel.

On Saturday afternoon, I noticed the two of them were quietly preparing to go somewhere and hadn't included me.

"So, where are you two headed?" I casually inquired.

"We're just going out for pedicures," Ann replied, in a voice that told me she knew she had been caught and that she had betrayed the whole female sex by letting me in on the secret.

"Fine," I said, a faint husk of betrayal edging my voice. "I will go with you."

Thirty minutes later we were at something called "Lumera" at 2950 N. Clark Street. The sign painted on the window said "Manicure, Pedicure, Body Waxing and Reflexology."

Inside, along one wall of a long, narrow room stood eight, leather recliners with what appeared to be tiny whirlpool baths where the footstools usually are. Perched in four of the chairs was an assortment of Anglo-looking women reading magazines, while an equal number of diminutive Asian-looking women busily messed with their feet.

I suspected we had entered one of those places my brother-in-law had privately told me about when I was a teenager, shortly after he returned from a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Korea. But there were no soldiers here, just women with glowing faces reading magazines while little, dark-haired dynamos worked on their feet.

Ann brazenly ordered up three pedicures (with a style and confidence that let me know she had been here before) and the next thing I knew I was in one of those chairs -- my back being massaged by mechanical fingers and my feet in a whirlpool of warm water than kept alternating in color between pink and blue.

A smiling woman sat at my feet and talked quietly to me in some unknown language while her hands played music on my feet and calves. She soaked and clipped and sanded and massaged and buffed while I leaned back in total relaxation. I must admit, for all my misgivings about this adventure, it was a heck of a nice way to spend half an hour -- and for about the same price as a round of golf.

I am still a bit miffed that women evidently have been having these pedicures for ages without ever cluing the male sex into the joys of it all. However, now that I know about it, I plan to go back whenever I can afford a round of golf and the Colts are not on TV.

And, as we were walking out of Lumera on our "new, soft feet," I noticed a sign on the wall that made a return visit even more intriguing. It listed other things you could do there, under a heading that said "Waxing."

I am not sure what "waxing" is, or what it is for, but if it is as relaxing as a pedicure, I am ready for it. According to the sign, they will do your lip for $5 or your eyebrows for $10. Evidently you can also bring in your Bikini and have it waxed for $25. (I am not sure why you would want to do that.)

The most expensive wax job ($50) was called "Brazilian." I am not sure how that works or whether you get to wax the Brazilian or the Brazilian gets to wax you, but it must be pretty good at that price.

Whatever, there didn't appear to be any Brazilians in the room to ask for information -- just eight Korean-Americans with very good hands. But the next time I am in Chicago I may just have to give the "Brazilian" a try.

I am no longer fooled by the women in my life. I am on to their tricks.

[[In-content Ad]]