Ed Albanesi: Losing my ‘man’ card

Jessica Vogel and the St. Augustine Ballet's Nutcracker at Medi Nails and Spa, located in the St. Johns Medical Park. Contributed photo

Jessica Vogel and the St. Augustine Ballet’s Nutcracker at Medi Nails and Spa, located in the St. Johns Medical Park. Contributed photo

By Ed Albanesi

About six years ago I had to turn in my “man” card when I became an aficionado of ballet. I really had no choice because my daughter was appearing in several local dance productions each year.

Since then I have come to understand that dancers who are serious about ballet are accomplished athletes. And they shouldn’t be penalized because the fruits of their efforts are beautiful to watch. There are also far fewer fights at a ballet than at a hockey game. But I digress.

My “man” card was reissued when I discovered the athletic nature of what ballet dancers accomplish. Unfortunately I did something a couple of months ago, which I fear might result in yet another revocation of my “man” card. I received a pedicure.

I’ve been cutting my own toenails for most of my life. But following a total knee replacement this past May my lack of flexibility made it difficult for me to work on my toes. So Carol, my wife, bought me a gift card to Medi Nails and Spa. The gift card was good for a signature pedicure.

I hated the thought of losing my “man” card once again but I bit the bullet and called Jessica at Medi Nails to make an appointment.

Understand I have size 11, Triple E, flat feet. Two years ago my right foot underwent a bunionectomy. Foot model photographers are not exactly knocking down my door.
Jessica would work on my “dogs” and I felt for her like I feel for the dental hygienist who cleans my teeth twice a year. Not your dream jobs.

Jessica is the manager/nail tech at Medi Nails and she could not have been nicer to me. She took me to a private suite and soaked, scrubbed, exfoliated and massaged my feet. She also trimmed my nails and cuticles.

Everything was as innocent as could be but the experience was pleasant enough that I fully expected the vice squad to crash through the front door at any minute. Losing my “man” card was the least of my worries. I began trying to recall my lawyer’s phone number. Luckily the need to do so never arose.

Then it was over and I was allowed to leave. No sirens, no police, no “man” card confiscators. And even though I didn’t opt to have Jessica paint my nails (automatic “man” card revocation), I have to say my toenails and feet looked marvelous. Well, maybe not marvelous, but at least a tad better than they did when I walked in.

But there’s more to this story. Remember I wrote earlier about my daughter being a ballet dancer. This has evolved into efforts Carol and I (and others) engage in to support the St. Augustine Ballet, a local non profit responsible for producing the St. Augustine Nutcracker each Christmas season for the past eight years.

I mentioned to Carol that ballet dancers have toes and, well, their toes might enjoy a little pampering. Long story short, Carol and Jessica put their heads together and figured out a way for Medi Nails and Spa to support dance in our community and the St. Augustine Ballet.

During the months of October and November clients of Medi Nails and Spa who mention the St. Augustine Ballet can have 20 percent of their charges donated back to the Ballet. This is one of those win-wins.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Medi Nails and Spa is a competitively priced facility and employs medical grade sanitation by an advanced trained team to ensure safety and satisfaction. And all procedures, including manicures, pedicures, massage and facials are performed in private suites.

Medi Nails and Spa is located in St. Johns Medical Park and can be found online at www.medinailsandspa.com. The phone number is 904-342-5948.

And if any of my fellow dance dads are worried sitting for a pedicure will compromise their “man cards,” fear not.

You will discover having your “dogs” worked on by Jessica or any of the other nail techs at Medi Nails and Spa is without question the “manly” thing to do.

So please do it for the Ballet.

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