A friend of mine gifted me with a manicure/pedicure/facial last week.
It had been years since I had a mani/pedi; I've never had a facial.
I am now the proud owner of ten "Mrs. O'Leary's Barbecue" burgundy-colored fingernails, as well as ten burgundy toenails.
My younger daughter told me they are a bit gloomy. I felt very autumnal when choosing this color. I also felt slightly "Mrs. Robinson-esque" when my talons had finally dried.
The whole experience was quite decadent. I read my fair share of People magazines whilst the pedicure took place. Later I had multiple layers of warm towels and salves applied to my weary brow.
In addition to clean pores and burgundy nails, I also took away a bit of wisdom.
The woman who did my nails was a cheery semi-retired lady, who had been a certified nursing assistant and a lab technologist in her past life. She had worked with a broad range of people, from Alzheimer's patients to developmentally disabled individuals to prisoners.
She chose nails for her next occupation because she wanted to do something fun.
Not all of us would consider foot care fun. But she did, and does.
She told me this while seated at my feet, massaging my run-pummeled calves.
She also told me about her fifty-plus year marriage to her husband. She told me about her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She told me about her move to the Midcoast several years ago, after living for many years in Southern Maine.
Her secret to a good marriage (one that began when she was 16): play together. She and her husband play golf. They take vacations and weekend trips to the little golf courses that dot the Maine landscape.
They also spend time with their family. And they work part-time.
Not so complicated, really.
Shared interests, and an appreciation for the life they live. Friendship. Love. Joy.
My fingers and feet were blessed to be touched by such a kind spirit.
My mani/pedi/facial gift came with the gift of a story. And some perspective.
Which is the best gift I could have received.