What is it about having a pedicure that is so darned special? For a pittance ($20 or so), I can sit in a relaxing massage chair with my feet in deliciously warm water while someone else (alas, always a petite Asian lady) rubs and scrubs, pampers and paints. At the end, my tootsies look mahvelous and I feel like a new woman.

There are nail places on practically every block in most major cities, so evidently it’s a profitable business with seemingly endless demand. Apparently, I am not alone in my love for this simple, inexpensive indulgence. Like most women, I have my favorite spot, and the pedicurists there don’t speak much English. Though I thank them afterward and tip well, isn’t there something disconcerting about paying a stranger with whom I can barely communicate to squat on a short stool cleaning my hooves while I read a book or check email during an otherwise hectic workday? Isn’t it one of those debasing jobs that should be outlawed?

Be that as it may, this is my long-overdue tribute to the hard-working, detail-oriented ladies who make me feel great for a brief while. Sure, there are snarky ones who hate their jobs and talk trash about customers in a foreign tongue (avoid those shops!). But my gals at Sassy Nails are anything but—always friendly, always giving off good vibes and always doing a fine job no matter how busy the salon on any given day.

Indeed, there is something restorative about having one’s hard-working, underappreciated appendages tended to by a fellow human—something very nearly sanctified about it. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary (http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries), “in the ancient world with unpaved roads, feet easily became dirty and had to be washed often. From earliest times, hosts offered to wash their guests' feet (Genesis 18:4 ), and this was usually done by the lowest servant (John 13:3-14 ).” Nevertheless, according to another Bible-study website (http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-was...), “we need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world” (so true!). Several Bible passages make it a high honor to “anoint” another's feet (Deuteronomy 33:24; Luke 7:46; John 12:3).

While I don’t elevate my pedi to divine proportions, and I typically don’t quote from the Bible, I’m nevertheless thankful for freshly-scrubbed feet sporting ten perfectly-painted talons (this month, attention-grabbing neon-orange!). It serves as one small but significant reminder of all the blessings I enjoy in my mostly stressful life.