I don’t know whether you’ve ever been to a spa. I hadn’t, despite people (well, other women to be specific) telling me how wonderful it all was, how they wished they could go every day, how it was their favorite way of relaxing. It just didn’t seem to be my thing. And then, on my birthday, along with my present, came a Mother’s Day gift as an added excitement to the day. A gift card! For a spa! Being the kind of gal that I am, I didn’t manage to book a day until almost half a year had passed for me to get used to the idea and I had remembered to pick up the phone and call. Yesterday I became one of those ladies in the white bathrobes.
I had booked in for the Bliss package, which included a facial, a manicure, and a pedicure. After I got to the front desk and signed my life away, I was led to a locker room and told to undress and get into the white robe. Now, I had no idea why undressing was essential, since my face, hands, and feet can all be accessed with clothes on, but I had made up my mind that I was going to do this thing wholeheartedly, so mostly naked I got. I stepped out of the locker room with the robe covering all my lady parts and sat gingerly in one of the chairs. Almost immediately a nice young lady spoke my name and led me away to a dimly lit room with a massage bed. I was directed to disrobe and get on the bed under the covers, face down. Odd, I thought. How’s she going to reach my face? Unbeknownst to me, this was one of the special facials that included a light back massage. And would include three types of facial masks. And a facial mask for my back. And a lovely arm and hand massage. The last mask she put on my face had to stay on for 10 minutes, so she left the room and I, being relaxed, drifted off to sleep. Until I woke suddenly to realize that I wasn’t very comfortable anymore, that my neck was starting to ache, that my feet were falling asleep, and that the towel wrapped around my hair was digging into the back of my head. How long had she been gone, anyway? It certainly felt a lot longer than ten minutes. And now my leg was itchy. Was she ever coming back? Had she forgotten me and moved on to the next client? What was happening? All these thoughts blew through my mind like an insomniac storm and completely undid all the destressing she had carefully and quietly done to me. By the time she got back, I’m sure she could hear my brain buzzing. After it was over and I was once again robed, I was told to go to the sanctuary. Sanctuary? What the heck was that? I left the room, walking back to the waiting room, when I realized that the waiting room was the sanctuary. I chuckled a little and started to sit down in one of the chairs when I heard my name again. Ah, manicure time!
I am a nail biter. I have bitten my nails since I can remember. For the past five years, though, I have been able to let them grow a nice length before I’ll gnaw them down, so my nails were good. Instead it was my robe that was causing me a little anxiety. Halfway through, I realized I was gaping a little and started to fixate on my robe. Being a rather modest girl, the thought of showing someone my assets was a little upsetting. It is hard to cover yourself up when your hands are wrapped up in bags of paraffin wax and towels, but I managed. And while my mind was still upset, I was asked to pick a nail colour. I ended up with purple. Not only a colour I haven’t worn in ten years, but a colour I have a determined hate of. And I secretly really like it on my fingers. It’s like playing dress-up with my hands!
Last came the pedicure, the one I was really dreading. I don’t even let my husband touch my feet, let alone a complete stranger. I am so ticklish that I have actually kicked one of my sons when he dared to tickle my toes. However, it was all OK. Not mind blowing, nothing to get addicted to, but OK. I only flinched when she was filing down the calluses, and didn’t kick once. The only problem came after she was done. “Don’t wear socks or shoes for two and a half hours,” she warned as she sprayed something on my toes. “The polish needs to set.” I nodded earnestly while wondering how on earth I was going to get home. My socks and shoes were waiting for me to put them on in the locker room. She put a pair of disposable flip-flops on my feet and directed me back to the locker room. I went in and put on my clothes, all except my socks and shoes. And then I sat on one of the stools in there, socks and shoes in hand, and thought. Could I possibly walk out with those flip-flops on? Not very easily, it was all I could do to keep them on my feet the short distance to the locker room. Dare I go barefoot? It was only 6 degrees Celcius out. I wasn’t up to that sort of cold, not to mention the rough pavement on my recently de-callused feet. It took a few minutes, but I rolled those socks up and put them on my polished toe nails as carefully as was possible. I then slipped on my shoes and started out the locker room door. Who do you suppose was on the outside of that door? Miss Pedicurist looked at me, looked down at my feet, and back up to my red face. I did the only thing I could. I slunk out of there as fast as I could making no eye contact with anybody. I don’t think I am a spa girl after all. It is far too stressful.