I had the privilege of discovering how "the other half" lives today.
I was treated to four hours at a luxury spa. To say I was looking forward to it this morning at 7am is a big understatement.
Because my 8-year-old daughter actually said, "Mom, why are you acting so happy?"
If you came to my house on any other day at 7am you would understand her confusion. I am NOT a morning person and trying to get everyone dressed, throw breakfast on the table, pack lunches and snacks, and fly out the door to the bus stop in less than an hour is not a mood-enhancer in my book.
But today definitely was different.
I was going to be pampered.
Of course plenty of guilt pours over me at the thought of actually taking time to do something for myself.
Fortunately the price was right and I wasn't about to let an opportunity like this slip on by - guilt or no guilt.
On one hand, I like to think I'm not all that different from the typical clientele at a spa. I use my manners. I'm courteous. I like to drink water with fruit in it.
But on the other hand, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to actually knowing how to utilize the place.
You see, I'm one of those people that needs to read a book called "Spas for Dummies." No really. I'm quite unaccustomed to the ins and outs of a spa experience. And the people working there are so used to the environment they forget to mention the details.
Like how you won't be able to see your hand in front of your face when you enter your private steam/shower room. So you'll turn on the shower just so you can break through the steam, only to discover a soft - now sopping wet - towel lay folded on a bench for you to sit on and a drowned cup of water with - yes, fruit in it. If I would have been able to even see seating in there I could have enjoyed that whole experience a lot more.
Or it'd be nice if they'd tell you that you may burn your leg on a steam jet because you are, well, an idiot. Or that you simply stepped into a poorly designed corner of the shower. Either way, ouch.
Not exactly relaxing.
But I like massages. Generally. Only they should ask you if you're ticklish. The tension in my body obviously elevated as my massage therapist began to rub my upper arm just gliding near my armpit. He kept massaging with deeper motions and I was doing all I could to avoid laughing out loud! When you're sighing with relief when the guy finally puts your arm down and moves on, the massage probably isn't reaching its fullest potential.
My problem is I can't stop thinking about what the massage therapist is thinking. I imagine it to be, "What a strange place for a mole." or " "Wow, her fingernails need clipping." or "I've never experienced such tense upper arms!" Or I lie there and wonder if his hands are getting tired. Did he want to come to work today? Is he daydreaming about his lunch plans?
It kinda ruins the whole "it's all about you" concept of a spa.
But overall, it was a good massage and I would recommend it. Just be sure to tell him if you're ticklish.
Next it was time to hit the facial room....
Where a sophisticated woman rubbed crushed diamonds all over my face until I was red as a beet....but on my way to looking five years younger!
I even underwent the "Madonna treatment" (as it has been touted) - an oxygen infusion. Basically pumping oxygen into my pores and forcing the serum of my choice into various layers of skin. But it sounds and feels like someone is passing gas on your face.
Seriously. The technician even said, "It's going to sound really strange."
Translation from sophistication to simplicity: "It's going to sound like a fart."
Who knew Madonna would be so in love with flatulence. Nevertheless, I don't look like Madonna. At least not yet.
So far, just red, blotchy "wind-burned" cheeks. But I'm told in a few days I'll look so young I'm sure I'll be grabbing a wooden spoon belting out "Material Girl."
After a catered cuisine, my final stop was the pedicure chair. Ah, a place I at least recognize. (Not that I frequent them, but I see them at the mall!)
As crazy as it sounds, my favorite part of the day was probably seeing my sparkly purple toenails as I put my magazine down to grab my keys and head home.
I am grateful for the experience, but honestly I wouldn't pay money to do it again. But that's why it was a gift, and I'm appreciative of it.
But I'm also appreciative of the fact that I can spend a couple bucks on sparkly purple polish, throw a strawberry in my water glass, and be just as happy.
As for those diamonds? I still treasure the ones on my finger more than the effects of those on my face.
And let's face it, I'm the mother of two boys. I can get that gas-in-the-face thing on a daily basis.