By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media Group
Sometimes, a boy just likes to feel pretty. In my case, that would involve plastic surgery.
You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have put the “man” in manicure. And I have put my worst foot forward even less frequently to get a pedicure.
But I recently discovered that I like to make others feel pretty, which is why I opened Poppie’s Beauty Salon and Nail Spa. The first customers were my granddaughters Chloe and Lilly.
The girls, who are 6 and 3, respectively, are into fashion and love to get the spa treatment. I have a fashion plate in my head, which means I am more likely to go to a saloon than a salon.
Still, when they asked me to paint their toenails, I resolved to be a beaut of a beautician and make their piggies as pretty as a picture.
The first thing I needed, of course, was nail polish. Since my wife, Sue, wasn’t home, I went through her drawers and stole a few bottles.
“I want pink, Poppie!” said Chloe, who sported rainbow fingernails painted a couple of days earlier by her mommy.
“Me, too!” agreed Lilly, whose fingernails were bright red.
Initially the girls couldn’t decide between red and purple for their tootsies but settled on pink because it matched their unicorn pajamas.
Since it was the morning after a sleepover, I also wore pajamas. They were blue with egg and sausage stains from breakfast, which is part of the service at Poppie’s Beauty Salon and Nail Spa.
In addition to polish, my equipment consisted of a nail file, which I used to file the girls’ nails (file this under “duh”); a hair dryer, which I used on the wet polish (it was easier than a ceiling fan); and paper towels, strips of which I stuck between the girls’ toes so the polish wouldn’t get smudged (when you can’t find cotton balls, you have to improvise).
But first, I gave each of the girls a foot massage.
“That tickles, Poppie!” shrieked Chloe, breaking out in giggles.
Then I started to apply the polish.
“Hold perfectly still,” I instructed as Chloe sat in a chair and I carefully painted the big toenail on her right foot.
Some of the polish got on the toe itself, but I immediately wiped it off.
“Poppie needs more coffee,” I said as I continued down the other four toenails, after which I started on her left foot.
The hardest part was not applying either too much or too little polish. By the time I got to Chloe’s last toe, I had it all figured out.
Next it was Lilly’s turn.
I grabbed her right foot and, pinching each toe, chirped: “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee, wee, wee all the way home.”
“I don’t have to go wee-wee,” said Lilly, who was eager to get it over with.
It didn’t help that she sneezed a couple of times as I applied polish that had to be wiped off her pinky toes.
When the pedicures were done, the girls sat in the family room, their toenails pretty in pink.
“Nice job, Poppie!” Chloe exclaimed.
“Yeah!” Lilly chimed in.
“Should I paint my toenails, too?” I asked.
“No!” the girls responded in unison.
“Don’t you want me to look pretty?” I said.
“Boys don’t look pretty,” Chloe declared. “They look handsome.”
“You’re handsome, Poppie,” said Lilly.
“Thank you, girls,” I said. “You just saved me a fortune in plastic surgery.”
Copyright 2019 by Jerry Zezima