Becoming a Manny

26 Mar

Watching a man receive a pedicure through a window evokes many feelings. Mostly I want to yell something like, “Come on man, are you serious!” Then the lighter side of my manhood and my liberal upbringing tries to come to his defense. He may have extraordinarily disgusting feet that require small teams of Korean women to hack at his little piggies like deranged butchers. Maybe he has beautiful feet and enjoys wearing open-toed sandals. This has to be some kind of absurd mandate from a wife or girlfriend. He can’t be single and think that sprucing up his feet will get him laid.
“Oh they’re beautiful!” An old woman with that unmistakable ‘give granny a kiss’ intonation gestures toward me.
“What”? I reply, still fixated on the man’s toes.
“Your kids, they’re so handsome!” she continues. I forget momentarily that I am standing next to two young boys.
“Oh, they’re not mine. I’m not the father,” I say with the conviction of a two-time guest on the Maury DNA test results show.
“Then what are you”? says the old woman.
“I’m their older caretaker man friend.” The old woman looks very concerned. She politely nods, takes out her cell phone and either calls child protective services or Dateline: How to Catch a Predator. I don’t comprehend the creepiness of my statement until the five year old asks me what an older caretaker man friend is. “Well buddy, it’s a vaguely pedophilic term that I use to explain my job rather than tell people I’m a male nanny. Using my twisted logic, it’s better to sound like a pervert than come across as slightly effeminate.” The kid looks at me blankly, and then like the champion conversationalist five year olds are, he smoothly changes the topic. “Why is that man getting his toes painted? Isn’t that for girls”? The man looks through the glass and smiles at us. I shake my head slowly. “I really don’t know boys. Apparently not.”

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