I was getting a pedicure the other day (have to admit, along with my slight addiction to shoes I'm a fan of having nice feet to put into those shoes...), and it wasn't a very good one.
The place I typically go is usually quite fabulous but for some reason this time wasn't thrilling at all (and, yes, I'll spare you the details). So as I was sitting there, reminiscing about good old days when I had my last pedicure (which was quite fabulous), I was thinking about how important it is for animals, including us humans, to experience touch.
I was thinking about the different ways that connection manifests itself and how touch is one of those ways. There's the obvious things we think about when we think of connection and touch: getting a hug from someone we care about, patting a child on the back when he does something cool...
I was also thinking about other ways we encounter touch, and how meaningful they can be. Sitting next to someone we care about and (even accidentally) brushing up against them is physical connection; getting a massage can be physical connection; any of us who are around children know how much physical connection kids like! As I sat through my latest pedicure (which wasn't bad enough to put a stop to) I missed what is usually present in those pedicures- physical connection.
There's something about the way most of the people in this place take care of people they are working on that this particular woman just didn't have. Maybe she was grumpy, distracted, sick, hates her job... I don't know. Maybe this is just how she is as a person. I really don't know. What I do know is that although she did her job sort of ok, sort of, there was something distinctly "not connected" about the way she was fixing up my little feet.
It didn't end up mattering too terribly much. I won't go back to her, and I am fortunate enough to have sufficient connection in my life that I don't need her to contribute. But the experience did make me think about how much we all need physical contact in our lives. And it made me think how (as so often is true) it's the little things in life that end up being the crucial ones- a pat on the shoulder here, a squeeze of the hand there... just small touches that remind us we're not alone, we're all in this together, and we're connected to each other.