About Face!

I joined some girlfriends for a facial at the day spa yesterday.  (They had gift cards which they offered to share with me, so keep your smarmy “Gosh, for an unemployed stay at home mom, you sure do live it up!” comments to yourself.)

And?  And while it’s always fun to spend time with these dear friends who-share-their-spa-giftcards-with-me, I’ve decided facials aren’t really my thing.

Here’s why…

First off, I shouldn’t have had the Del Taco bean burrito with green sauce before I headed over to the spa.  Why??  Because my stomach rumbled alarmingly through the entire treatment and I spent the whole time wondering if Kimberly, my sweet-as-pie aesthetician, could hear it over the annoying pan flute music being piped into the room.  (As a side note: Do spas actually think Zamfir doin’ his pan flute ‘thang’ is RELAXING?!  ‘Cause it’s not.)

Next, there’s a serious decision I need to make about my bra.  On?  Or off??  After Kimberly gives me the rundown on how to use my assigned wrap-top, she floats like an angel out of the room, discreetly giving me time to change.  It’s only after I make my bra decision (off) and put on the wrap-top, that it occurs to me the whole scenario now seems WAY too much like an OB/GYN visit, so I quickly have to take the wrap OFF and put the bra back ON!  The whole time I’m doing my panicked fumble-fingers schtick, I’m worried Kimberly will POP! back in unexpectedly and catch me in some sort of inadvertent seduction mode.

So I’m happy to be lying down on the table (bra ON but straps pushed down to my elbows with the wrap covering the entire glamor-don’t) by the time Kimberly returns.  Phew!  I just hope the erratic breathing resulting from the bra clusterbomb doesn’t make Kimberly think I was doing anything…er…inappropriate to celebrate the kick-off of my facial.

[“Morning in the springtime meadow” with piano AND pan flutes starts up in the background…] and Kimberly asks me if there’s any skin issue I’m worried about.  Yeah!  Someone replaced my dewy 20-year-old, East coast skin with that of a 45-year-old from Colorado!  Can ya help me, doc?!  Yuck – yuck – yuck!!  “Oh, no.  Just here for the fun of a facial.  But I did have this nose zit last week that was so painful.  Right there on my nose.  But on the inside.  But now it’s kinda outside.  So…well, just wanted to mention that”  [trailing off into silence….]

And so it begins.  I’m all cozy in my hospital bed covered by a warmed sheet and she begins to work her magic.  I note that we have a citrus scent theme going.  First it’s oranges.  Snnniiiiifff!  Ahhhh, refreshing!

Then it’s lime.  YUmmmmmm.  But I don’t think the around-the-eyes…SMOOSH in…around-the-eyes….SMOOOOOOSH in thing she’s doing (oddly in time to the Morning Meadow music) is helping the wrinkles.  Should I say something?  No.  No.  She’s the pro.  I’ll let her work her magic.

After the lime-y scented product, comes…MEN’S AFTERSHAVE FLAVOR?!?   gaaaAAACK!  Why did she have to choose THIS flavor to rub all over my shoulders and back TOO?!  Surely there are more citrus fruits we could’ve explored?!?  While I’m grossing myself out about the lotion flavor, Kimberly begins to pinch my nose shut, one nostril at a time, under the guise of working on my black-heads.  Turns out this is the “self discovery” portion of the event where I discover that I can only breathe out of ONE NOSTRIL!  How did I not know this until JUST NOW?!??  This discovery forces me to discreetly prop my mouth open for the remainder of my time here so that I can…uh…BREATHE!!!  But propped open just a little bit so that I can still live but so that I don’t get aftershave in my mouth!  

[“Sad summer day in July” begins to play.  ONLY piano this time; Thank Heaven we ditched the pan flute!…]  Kimberly has put some sort of steamer thing on my face so it actually DOES feel like a summer day.  In July.  In North Carolina where you SWEAT like a sumbitch.  In fact, the steamer is almost panic-inducingly oppressive with all the heat and humidity blasting out of it.

And wait!  What??  What’s going on now?!?  Why is she taking my ARMS out of the sheet?  Am I being molested??  If she touches ANYTHING under my wrap, I’m gonna shout, “Stranger Danger!” and run.  Ok.  Settle down.  She’s just massaging my arms, dirty bird.  This is an upscale spa.  No molesting going on here.  But now I’m worried that somehow she’ll get arm-massage-cream on my bra straps because I pushed them down EXTRA far so I wouldn’t get aftershave scented face-neck-and-chest cream on them.  But now maybe I pushed them down TOO far?!?  G*&^%MN BRA!!!

[“Evening comes to the shady glen”, complete with crickets chirping and thrumming cicada noises, plays softly…] After Kimberly slips both my hands into plastic bags and then into heating-pad-hand-warmer devices, we bring the “I’m going to die in this hot, locked car because it’s 100 degrees out” feeling full circle.  At which point she begins to rub thick grass-scented stuff all over my face with a bristly brush.  Turns out grass actually isn’t bad in terms of a spa flavor.  And it’s really refreshing after being locked in that hot car.  But by the time I realize this, Kimberly has put wet cotton pads on my eyes, turned off the lights and slipped out of the room.  A nightlight has come on and I can see it out of the corner of my eye.  Yep, it’s still there.  Yep.  Still there.  Why do I keep looking at it?  It’s till there.  Stop looking at it.  It’s not gonna be relaxing if you keep looking at it.  It’s still there.

[“The noble rebel valiantly marches to his doom but in slow motion” is now playing.  Oh joy.  This time it’s piano AND violin….]  And I decide I’m going to press the cotton pad down so I can relax and not focus on the wack nightlight.  But when I lift my right hand-encased-in-a-heating-pad, my other hand comes with it because…my hands are TETHERED TOGETHER!!  WHY ARE MY HANDS TETHERED TOGETHER?!?  Ok.  Think about this.  It must be the heating pads.  They must be connected.  You can do this.  Just move BOTH HANDS at the same time.  You have an MBA.  FIGURE IT OUT!

By the time the Cotton Pad Mission is accomplished, the weird zit on my nose which I previously overdiscussed with Kimberly starts to itch like a mother and I’ve gotta do the locked-in-handcuffs routine AGAIN to itch it.  At that point something clatters to the floor.

$h*t!  $H*T!!!  Now she’s gonna know I was squirming around in here and not relaxing.  $H*T!!!  Then I get a weird feeling that maybe she already KNOWS I’m squirming around and not relaxing because she’s WATCHING ME ON A CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEVISION IN THE BREAK ROOM!  And she’s pointing me out and laughing with all of her colleagues as they see how I react after I realize that my hands are tied together and that she’s STRAPPED ME DOWN TO THE TABLE!!

STRAPPED TO THE TABLE?!??  No.  NO!  STOP IT!!!  You are NOT strapped to the table.  That’s silly.  That’s a total violation of fire code, A.  They wouldn’t strap clients to the facial table, B.  WOULD THEY?!?  If they did, ’48 Hours’ would have busted this scam wide open already, right?  So that’s C.  And the bed might seem like a hospital bed, but I’m not IN the hospital – or a danger to myself – or a violent MENTAL PATIENT!!  So we’re up to reason D as to why I would NOT be strapped to the table.  But…what if I’M STRAPPED TO THE TABLE?!?? 

Unidentified crap has already fallen on the floor.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  So I start bucking around to confirm or deny that I am/am not strapped to the table.

Phew!  Not strapped.  [BIG SIGH through my partially opened mouth I was kinda panicking there, wasn’t I?  But I’m glad I confirmed that I’m NOT strapped to the table without actually having to take OFF my hand-cuffs.  I just hope Kimberly had her back turned to get something out of the microwave while I was lurching around and therefore missed that particular video feed from the spy camera in my treatment room.

[A single harpist is now playing what I call “Fairies descend from the heavens to guide the dead hero into the nightlands”…] and speaking of DEAD, I wish that nightlight would DIE ALREADY!  All the bucking and heaving has dislodged my cotton pad and I’m all focused on the nightlight again.  And also?  I may have to pee.  The large-sized soda that went with the bean burrito now seems like a bad idea…BAD, BAD idea.  Because I really might have to PEE!

But before I can downward spiral AGAIN, Kimberly’s back.  She’s lost her floaty angel persona and instead is in brisk nurse mode.

She clicks on the light.  Cleans the grass off my face.  Spreads pineapple scented lotion on (I KNEW there were more citrus flavors!).  Provides some product advice.  Tells me to change.  Indicates that she’ll meet me outside.  And she’s off again!  Hmmmm…maybe she DID see me on the camera and doesn’t want to be alone with me? 

As I do my quick change routine which is awfully reminiscent of my after-highschool-gym-class-locker-room-scramble, I head out the door.  Happy to be done.  ESPECIALLY since those humpbacked Kokopeli flute dudes have taken up where Zamfir left off.

And?  It’s confirmed.  I gotta PEE!

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