Okay, I will admit that my feet are not my best asset. They are big, but I’m 5’9″, so small to medium sized feet would not serve me well. During the winter months, I often go long periods of time without giving them any love or attention (unless I’m dating someone, then they get TLC on a regular – C’mon ladies, don’t pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about!). This winter has been particularly cold and my feet have been imprisoned in boots and more boots, oh, and my Nikes on the few occasions that I have gone to the gym in the past several months (Hey, don’t judge me – that’s about to change!) Honestly, I usually forget to put lotion or any type of moisturizer on them after I shower (unless, like I said before, I’m dating someone – then I bring out the super duper moist Shea Butter!) Also, did I mention that despite the fact that my awesomely wonderful big feet have been incredibly resilient and forgiving and have sustained me through years of yo-yo weight loss, weight gain, twisted ankles, two broken toes, hours upon hours of treadmill time, and not to mention my own vanity when I used to wear five inch heels or shoes that were too tight and pinched. Yes, I’m guilty of not giving my poor feet enough love on a regular basis. Last April, that all changed. The following story is true. The name of the other person involved has been changed simply because I’m a writer and I have a thing for aliases – I love creating them! So, while his name is not real, the story is!
It was a warm April day in 2013 – the birds were singing and the sun was shining, springtime pollen was in the air and I’d had a freshly done pedicure only two days before, courtesy of my daughter, who treated me to one, along with hers. She was preparing to go on vacation in Jamaica the next day and a pedicure was on her agenda. My daughter left for Jamaica and a day later I had business in downtown Atlanta. I was running a little late for the appointment and couldn’t find one of my favorite sandals that morning, so I slipped on a pair closed-in ballet slipper shoes and headed out the door.
I arrived at my destination and parked in the lot adjacent to the building I was about to enter. I went inside and discovered that I the person I needed to speak with that day had called in sick and was told to come back the next day. I left after less than ten minutes and returned to my car. As I approached my car I wasn’t sure that what I was seeing was right. There was a big yellow and red “boot” on my tire. Yep, my car had been taken hostage. No, this was not happening today! I couldn’t believe it! I looked around and that’s when I saw him – The boot man aka “Roger.” I was livid and I immediately started yelling at him. “Why is my car booted?” I demanded to know. Very calmly Roger explained to me that I was parked in the wrong lot. I yelled even louder, “How could this be the wrong parking lot when it’s next to this building?” He calmly pointed to the sign that was practically hidden behind a tree. The sign said that you could only park in this lot if you were going to building B. All others are in violation and your cars will be booted and/or towed at your expense.” What!? This was madness! “Where is building B?” I asked. Boot man pointed in the other building – the one I didn’t go in – the one behind the building I went in.”
My heart sank and I was speechless. I knew that I was going to be fighting an uphill battle – I was in the wrong and now it was going to cost me money that I didn’t have – at least not money to give to the boot man. Roger stood there quietly looking at me. Finally I calmed down and asked him how much it would cost me. “It’s $75.00, Miss,” Roger stated. My heart sank again and this time, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. Lord knows I didn’t have $75.00 to give to this guy! I walked back to my car and sat down inside. I didn’t know what to do. I said a quick prayer and asked God to help me – He knew my financial situation and I couldn’t call my daughter to drive over and help me because she was in Jamaica. “Lord, what am I going to do?” That’s when I heard Him say, “Ask Roger for compassion.” Oh no! that meant I’d have to apologize for yelling at him – I was still mad! But I did it anyway.
I got out of the car and walked over to where he was at in his. I gave him the nicest smile I could muster up. I apologized to him for yelling and told him that I was just upset and shocked. I explained to him that I didn’t have $75.00 to pay to have the boot removed and simply asked him if he could please show me some compassion and do me a favor and remove the boot for me. While I was talking to him, I noticed he was looking at me strangely – well it wasn’t so strange – I’d seen that look before. The he said something strange to me. He looked down at me feet and told me that I had ants crawling around my ankle. What? I didn’t feel any ants, but I looked down and stomped my feet just in case. I continued to plead my case to him, my eyes teared up again – this didn’t seem to be going well. He seemed like he was only half listening as he continued to run his eyes up and down my body, lingering on my feet. What was going on with this guy? As I continued to speak, he interrupted me by saying I still had ants on my ankles and now they’re going into my shoes. Oh great! that was just what I needed – to be bitten by ants right now. I wasn’t in the mood!
I quickly bent down to brush away these invisible ants and decided to step out of my enclosed shoes as I did so. I picked up my shoes and shook them as I stood barefoot on the warm cement in the middle of the parking lot. I shook the shoes, but never saw any ants. As I was about to put my shoes back on, I noticed that Roger was staring down at my beautifully pedicured feet, boldly sporting Fabulous Fuchsia nail polish with a pretty gold design on them. They really did look pretty! Before I could finish slipping my shoes back on, Roger had walked over to my car, bent down and freed my tire from that dreaded boot! Hallelujah!! For the third time that day, my eyes welled up with tears. I thanked him profusely as I got into my car. Wow, he really took pity on me – he showed me compassion! “Lord, you were right!” I said to myself as I started up my car. I was just about to thank Roger again when he leaned into my window a bit and said words to me that both shocked and amused me. “My name is Roger – You have beautiful feet. I would love to see you again and pay to have you get another pedicure anytime.” WHAT??!! You mean it wasn’t my teary eyed, sad, but true, story that I told him that moved him to release my car?? It took me a minute for his words to register in my head. I was dumbfounded. Roger went from my car’s captor to my pedicure benefactor in less than thirty minutes!
When I found my words again, I told him that I appreciate the offer but that certainly wouldn’t be necessary. By now I was ready to get out of there! He said that I should take his card and call him if I ever changed my mind. He then said that if I ever needed to come back to this office building again, he’d gladly let me park there next time. I managed a big smile – by now I was totally amused. I thanked him and pulled out. As I drove away, I shouted a big THANK YOU to God – it was HIM who had directed me with what to do and I’m so glad that I obeyed. Then I shouted out a big THANK YOU to my daughter for getting me a pedicure two days before! In all honesty, I don’t think it was my tears at all that moved Roger as much as my toes did. Either way, I’m still grateful to this day! Oh, and I did return the next day, but I parked in the inside parking garage that belonged to the building I was going in – the garage that I missed the day before. I just didn’t feel like pimping out my toes again – I’d had enough the day before.
Moral: Never underestimate the power of pretty feet – A $30.00 pedicure saved me $75.00! Spring is coming, Ladies. Time to start giving those feet the love they deserve. Guys, you don’t get a pass because you’re men. We women like to see well groomed feet on you as well!
This has been a public service announcement!
SPECIAL NOTE: CHECK OUT THIS LINK FROM ABC 20/20 IF YOU MISSED THE REPORT ON NAIL SALONS – VERY IMPORTANT