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Free Idea: Get A Pedicure While Reading A Self-Help Book


Because the weather is unbearably hot, because life is often unfair, and because you are a good person who deserves 30 minutes of unbridled tranquility, heed my words: Get a pedicure, and read a self-help book while you do it. It is the most perfect activity.

If you enjoy basic grooming but also value personal development and growth, I truly cannot think of a more wonderful way to spend an early Sunday afternoon. Doesn't that sound nice? It does, because it is nice, and I know because I do it once a month at Jin Soon's Tribeca salon. Their Essence of Soul pedicure, with rose essential oil added, is the most relaxing pedicure in New York City, bar none. The nail artisans are deft; the air smells vaguely of spring florals; Marc Jacobs may be casually sitting next to you, also reading a self-help book. He's living his truth—why aren't you?

It doesn't have to be a self-help book. Maybe it's from the Family and Relationships section of Barnes and Noble. (To be clear, that is basically an extension of the self-help category, but I am being polite and sensitive.) Perhaps it's the new Zadie Smith novel you keep lying to your friends about having read, or maybe it's this article, copied and pasted several times into a Word document you printed out. If you must ask for recommendations, I have to endorse How To Be A Person In The World, the brilliant compilation of Heather Havrilesky's Ask Polly advice columns. But the text doesn't matter! The only thing that matters in this universe, for 30-45 minutes, is you.

There is only one way to do it wrong. Please, for the love of Christ, don't bring your laptop or iPad. Do not perform an Excel shortcut, or browse tennis skirts on Net-a-Porter, or, oh my God, tuck in to an episode of American Crime. American Crime is a critically-acclaimed anthology television series best enjoyed with full attention in the comfort of your own home. This is not the American time.

The polish you get is irrelevant—why are you asking me this question? Do what ever you normally do, which is: Opt for a bold color, then chicken out and go with Essie Ballet Slippers. It's fine. I'm not judging, and nor is Marc Jacobs, sitting quietly nearby.

To recap: Relaxing foot treatment. Self-help book. Chillaxation. Here is the link to Jin Soon's appointment portal if you live in New York—if you don't, here is a link to a Google search for "spa pedicure near me." All you have to do is enter your credit card information.

(And enjoy.)

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

And here are a bunch of other things you can read during your pedicure. Warning: These ones are extremely chic.