Pedicures are Self Care

Lately, I’ve been going to one of the local nail salons in Tbilisi called TenTen for pedicures regularly. People know I’m semi (ok, completely) obsessed with painting my nails, but it’s a little known fact that I loathe dealing with my toes. I’m quite long and somewhat inflexible, so the convoluted position I need to force my body into to get at my toes is very uncomfortable. Plus, I really hate feet. The only thing I hate more than painting my toes is the sight of unpainted toes, so I’m forced to intervene in some way. When I do it myself, I tend to slap polish on my toes in a messy, haphazard way. The kind of technique where I end up painting my whole foot instead of just the nails. And then I leave it there for months.

Enter, professionally done pedicures. I’d much rather let someone else deal with my feet (I tip well, mind you). It always looks a million times better and saves me the agony of doing it myself.

I never get regular pedicures in the States even though I enjoy them very much. I can’t really justify spending $40-60 a month on a part of my body that usually is shoved inside shoes and all around neglected. Plus, as much as I enjoy it, pedicures are quite time-consuming. I’m very much an “acts of service” type of person, so allotting two hours to myself often seems wasteful to me. That time could be better spent playing with my animals or hanging out with Sean or getting meals ready or something else, so I’m not focused on me.

But, when overseas, some rules and practices just go by the wayside. For one, salon services are much cheaper here. I can go for a relaxing pedicure in Tbilisi for just over $10, which is much more in-budget if you ask me. Also, after learning about culture shock during our first tour, I’ve tried making it a point to take care of myself in terms of building up resiliency.

I know “resiliency” has become the new “wellness,” you know, that word you hear and then roll your eyes, but hear me out. I’m significantly saner this tour than I was in Dushanbe – for many reasons – but a big one is knowing when to recognize my need for some “me time.” Yes, Sean and I love being together – he’s my favorite person after all – but one area we’ve struggled in the past is entwining our lives so tightly we lose a sense of individuality. We make a point to plan some resiliency building outings together, but these pedicures are my way to check out completely, watch an English movie (perhaps dubbed in Georgian), and stop worrying about everything for a little while.

As a brief departure from the resiliency narrative, TenTen Nail Studio is absolutely fabulous. If you live in Georgia and haven’t tried it, I give it my highest recommendation. The tools they use are brand new for each client, and my toes always look great. The front desk staff speaks English and making appoints are easy online or on the phone. 

As silly as it may be to be this excited about pedicures, it’s become a bit essential to my happiness here in Tbilisi. Sometimes it really is the little things that make all the difference. In my case, if I’m feeling particularly annoyed with life overseas, two hours of pampering does the trick. Don’t be ashamed to find your little slice of happiness when you need it, no matter how odd it may be. Trust me, your sanity will thank you in the long run.


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