For my first wedding anniversary, I came up with the perfect idea -- a cruise. Not only is it something neither of us has done, but also we like the spontaneity of a cruise in that at any moment it could blow up or turn into a filth-ridden, aimlessly drifting vessel with people puking over the sides.
Though our anniversary is in April, we scheduled the cruise for late May because the last thing we want if our cruise turns into floating petri dish of disease is to be freezing on the upper deck while we're puking in the ocean.
That left us with nothing to do to mark our real anniversary other than the usual flowers and dinner out. Being the accommodating nice guy I am, I told her we could do anything she wanted on our actual anniversary date. When her eyes lit up, I immediately regretted my decision.
"Ooo, pedicures!" she squealed.
"Um, can't we try something that both of us might enjoy, such as alligator wrestling or scorpion juggling?" I suggested.
Winning an argument with your wife is about as easy as trying to escape Earth's gravity by jumping really, really hard, so I relented -- under one condition: No man was allowed to touch my feet.
I'm not homophobic, and I'm perfectly fine with gay marriage. (I'm not going to do it, so I figure it's none of my business.) But I don't like men touching me. It just creeps me out a little. I didn't even like for guys to slap me on the backside when I played football and baseball; a verbal "atta boy!" would have sufficed for me.
Of course, when we get to the toxic-fumed nail place, there are only two guys in the building -- me and some fella messing with customers' feet. So, my wife whispers to one of the ladies that the man can't touch me, which means we have to wait even longer in the toxic fumes for the other ladies to become free.
I don't have to explain to you ladies how the rest of this goes, but you guys may not understand exactly what happens in these places. First, they escorted me to some chair with a bucket of molten lava at the bottom that they called water. Then comes the best part -- the massage.
And, no, I'm not talking about one of those massages you hear about on interstate billboards where they advertise "truck parking." This massage is provided by a chair, not a scantily clad woman. Problem is, the massage chair's controls are more complicated than an Xbox game controller. I couldn't find the setting for a gentle, rolling massage and somehow kept winding up on a more intense level. I couldn't tell if it was the chair or if Chris Brown was dating my back. The Asian ladies working there kept yelling instructions at me regarding the controller, but I couldn't understand a word, so I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to press a different button or just don't eat the controller.
Then a little old Asian lady manhandled my feet and did a nice job making my toenails less Freddy Krueger-like, much to my wife's delight. I had no problem with that, but then she began to rub something on the bottom of my feet, which caused me to writhe wildly in the seat from tickle torture while the little old lady cracked up. I'm not sure this was part of the procedure or some gag they'd worked out with my wife beforehand.
The "ha ha" during this was the only thing the lady -- or any lady in there -- said that I understood all day. Every time they asked if I wanted something, I had no idea what they wanted and would just tell me wife, "Um, whatever she asked, just tell her no."
We had a lot of conversation, me and this old lady. She'd say something, and I'd nod, and they'd all giggle. I'm pretty sure the translation was something like this:
"You pretty stupid, huh?" Nod.
"I like to beat you with hammer." Nod.
"Squirrel Corvette moon kneecap thimble." Nod.
After the tickling incident came a version of a foot and leg massage which consisted of the lady punching my feet and karate-chopping my calves. Between her going all Mr. Miyagi on my legs and the chair going all Chris Brown on my back, relaxing wasn't really possible -- especially with the TV in the place tuned to CNN, which was talking about North Korea and adding to everyone's tension.
But I'm happy to report that my toes and I survived our brush with girliness, and I'm just as much of a macho caveman as ever. I'd elaborate, but I'm gonna have to wrap this up and get home. We're having a "Twilight" marathon tonight after we check out some of this year's summer dress fashions online. Besides, these heels are killing me and I could use a Midol!
Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. Connect with him at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or email@example.com.