I was planning to write about my quest for the best nail polish, which is funny because I never cared about polish until a few months ago. My nails have since been a different color every week. I guess it’s decades of a missed beauty ritual I’m making up for. While gathering my thoughts about this path to the perfect polish (oh, nice title…that one will be coming soon!) I suddenly had this memory about a spa day I experienced.
It flooded my mind as one would imagine sewage water bursting through an old, murky underground pipe. (Yes, the experience was that horrific. ) I threw on a poncho, hopped on a raft and rode through the memory tunnels to see where it would take me.
Keep in mind, this was years ago. Like early college days, pre-kid days, actually care what people think days. I don’t remember every specific detail, but enough to tell about it.
I was so excited to receive a half-day spa gift. It sounded so luxurious and relaxing and pampering and wonderful. I would be fed lunch, have a hydrotherapy tub treatment, a facial, a body wrap and finally hairstyle and makeup. Sounds great, right?
I could barely wait to get there. I burst through the door ready to be fully relaxed and transformed. Instead, I immediately felt intimidated. I looked at the desk and there sat two of the most beautiful girls I’d ever seen. I briefly considered backing out and rechecking the sign to make sure I hadn’t walked in the wrong building. They both smiled, perfect white teeth glowing at me, and offered me cucumber water. That’s a thing? My version of fancy water usually just included ice.
I was escorted by model #1 to a room to remove my clothing and put on a giant robe, which I securely clutched at all times, as if it would fly off at any given second. I was then seated in a room with two other girls in robes. They were there together and very chatty. I then realized, I shouldn’t have come alone. Spa rules for dummies should be linked to the website. I mean really.
They brought my lunch. Some type of tuna concoction on top of grass, I mean assorted lettuces, and more of this cucumber water they were so proud of. I sat alone at a tall table with tall chairs. It took me 15 minutes just to climb in it, attempting to navigate the height plus opening robe situation. There I sat, like I was on a stage, chewing on my foliage for the audience of fellow spa patrons. I couldn’t stop thinking that I’d never eaten alone, or naked or in a dark room with strangers staring at me. It was so relaxing.
It was finally time for the tub. I’d never seen a tub so large. The very nice girl, who I’m pretty sure was still in high school, told me to get in and relax and she’d be back. As the door closed, I surveyed the dim room and realized I had to hang my robe a mile away. Not cool. I finally gathered the courage, knowing my clock had started. I threw it on the hook, tip-toe ran to the tub holding all things necessary from moving and then had to quickly scale a 10 ft. step to get in, which I’m sure I did with the utmost grace and poise.
Heart pounding, I was finally submerged in the warm water. At last, relaxing time. Then, it happened. My mind started racing. When will she come back in? Is that door locked? How well do they clean this tub? What if I go to sleep? What if I have to pee? The robe! How will I get to my robe? She’ll give it to me, right? As I forced myself to stop thinking, I realized my body was floating up. I couldn’t stop it. If I relaxed, I floated. Great. I spent the next 30 minutes forcing my rear to stay down. Also, jets I’m positive were designed by NASA, would suddenly come on and go off without warning. I only screamed the first two times. It was so luxurious
Next came the facial. There wasn’t too much crazy about that. Unless you count the fact that my face is really sensitive and felt like it was on fire as she slowly circulated a mixture of what I decided was sand, gasoline and alcohol on my cheeks. It was wonderful.
Pruned from the soak, burned from the facial and starving from the lunch, I trudged down the hall for my wrap. No longer clutching my robe, because at this point who cares? I walked in and there stands model #2 smiling and holding up a piece of tissue. I instantly feared she was preparing me for tears, but it was worse. That tissue was underwear. Paper thongs, in fact. She merely turned around as I attempted to maneuver the hideous, fragile tissue contraption over my rear.
My stomach clenched knowing I had to take my robe off next. I was a sumo wrestler standing before a ring girl (you know, the girls carrying the signs around the ring in a wrestling match…) As I’m living a complete nightmare, she quickly starts wrapping my entire body with gooey strips of cloth. I was then placed in a bright silver, crinkling jogging suit and plastic bags were placed over my feet, rubber bands holding them on my ankles. Who actually invented this torture treatment? I must find out.
She told me the more I moved, the more toxins would be released from my body. Then she promptly left me alone in my spacesuit to detox in private. I was given a TV to watch workout videos. I turned it on and started to mimic the instructors. With each movement I sounded like I was made of aluminum foil and my feet were beginning to squish with each step. I could barely move. I felt ridiculous and imagined the girls up front secretly watching me and laughing hysterically. I was thankful there was no mirror, I didn’t need to witness the unsightly exercising tin-man. My mental image was enough. I sat down, defeated and willed the clock to move faster.
She returned what felt like 15 hours later and took off my plastic bag shoes. They were full of the nastiest brown liquid I’d ever seen. That came out of me? I gagged a little. Then she told me in a very bubbly voice, “Oh you were just full of toxins!” Great. World record holder for the most toxic shoe bag here. I just couldn’t wait to rip off the paper panties. I felt so pampered.
Back in my own clothes, I was so happy my experience was almost over. My hair was washed and styled. By styled, I mean it was flat to my head. I’m still not sure how they gave me the vacuum sealed do, but they did. After the makeup time, my eyes looked like a sleep deprived raccoon and my face had a slightly orangey-pink tint. I felt beautiful.
I walked out into the fresh air, feeling sore, humiliated and funky. It was right then I decided…
maybe I’m just not the spa type.