Monday, April 2, 2012


Toenails grow much more slowly, as we all know, than fingernails. They need far less attention. Nevertheless, from time to time they need to be trimmed. I imagine that my nanny took care of this when I was very young, and perhaps my mother took over when I began attending kindergarten. When I left for boarding school at age 8, the terms were never more than 14 weeks, so my mother may have continued to do the trimming. By the time I became a Naval Cadet at 13, I had probably learned to cut my own toenails "as needed".

As I entered my eighties, cutting my own toenails became more difficult. I don't think I ever tried to con Barbara into the job, because at that time I decided to try a pedicure instead. Since then, I have always patronized a nail salon,usually about once every three months. When I stretched out this interval, after my first pedicure, the assistant at the nail shop remonstrated with me, suggesting that I should go there more often. As my toenails had begun causing holes in my socks, I knew she was right.

I don't really require the full treatment--the foot washing, toe cleaning, etc., but that comes as part of the pedicure. The price I pay ($17) is quite reasonable. (I have recently been nudged by a friend into increasing the tip from $3 to $5. I'd happily pay five bucks just to have my nails clipped, but I go with the flow.)

In our part of Northern California, the operation of nail salons seems to be the monopoly of Vietnamese. I do wonder who did the work before these immigrants arrived in the US, and I also wonder if Vietnamese monopolize this work in areas far from the Left Coast, such as in the states of Kansas, Maine, and Alabama..

I can still cut my own fingernails, although I prefer it when my assistant (Jane) graciously undertakes this chore.

Some years ago, Dr. Iishi (my Kaiser podiatrist) offered to operate to remove my toenails. I set a date, but then chickened out. The idea, of being able to forget about trimming toenails, appealed to me, but the prospect of the initial discomfort and pain did not...


  1. It's the best money I spend on myself!!

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