Many months ago, in the middle of a particularly stressful time in my life (which is saying a lot since I tend to be a big ball o’ stress), Christopher bought me a spa package at a very trendy salon. Called ‘Zen,’ it included a facial, massage, and choice of two things like a manicure, make-up application, or reflexology treatment. Just the sort of thing to make a girl relax, and an extremely generous and thoughtful gift.
However, I’ve been too busy or, ironically, too stressed to take advantage of it. Finally, last week, I decided I’d just have to make the time for it or I’d never do it. So, I called the salon and booked the appointment for yesterday, selecting a manicure and the reflexology to finish off the menu.
Knowing that I was getting a massage, I cut down my usual morning coffee to one cup of half-caff, and started hitting the water bottle asap. If you’ve never had a massage, you should get one, but make sure to drink a ton of water as it flushes a lot of trapped ‘toxins’ out of your body. With litre bottle in my cup holder, I headed off into town for my fun day.
I arrived at the salon just before the appointed 9am start time and was told that Barb the esthetician would be right with me. Indeed she was, and we went upstairs to one of the small rooms with ambient music, subdued lighting, and all sorts of unguents and equipment. I was told to strip down and put on the facial robe (a terry cloth shortie tube with elastic at the top–so that your shoulders are bare), climb onto the bed, under the sheet and blanket, and she’d be back in after I was set.
All comfy, she came in and placed a heated pad over my lower abdomen and hands and quietly said that she was going to have me smell three things–I was to pick two. I tried to identify them, being the geek that I am, and she gently said, ‘this isn’t a quiz’ and began her work. I mentally bitchslapped myself decided to stop thinking. Definitely the right choice.
The facial went on for what seemed like hours. I’m still not sure how I didn’t fall asleep. It was fantastic. Scrubbed, buffed, masked, steamed, cool pads for the eyes, neck and head rubbing…absolute heaven.
At the end, Barb told me that she’d meet me in the hall to show me to my next event, the massage. She gave me a regular robe to change into, some slippers, and left the room. One quick look in the mirror and I could see how my skin was just glowing (even though it had just broken out in a most major manner the day before) and I felt half-stoned.
Out into the hall, and there was Barb–standing next to a beautiful man. Not that his face was gorgeous, but he had to be at least 6’4″, sunbleached hair, and just a perfect body. Not muscular like a body builder, but perfectly toned like a yoga master, with every little muscle in his forearms visible. This was Martin, the masseur.
For half a second all I could think was: this lovely stranger is about to rub me all over–eep! I almost felt guilty, but then my rational head kicked in and I knew Christopher wouldn’t be jealous–after all, this was this guy’s job.
Martin shook my hand, and in I went to his room. Onto the table, under the sheet/cover, face into the face holder thingy, and it began. 90 minutes of rubbing, with 15 minutes more of foot work (reflexology) added in. I was in heaven again. In about 30 seconds, I totally forgot about him being a strange (and handsome) man whom I didn’t know yet who was rubbing my practically naked body. He could have been Quasimodo for all I cared–just as long as he kept doing what he was doing. He found little muscles in my back that I didn’t know existed. He tapped, kneaded, stroked, and prodded about a billion different ways, and I could feel tension in other places just melting. Weird how that works–he worked on one part of my back and the constant cramp I’ve had for weeks in my left buttcheek went away. Ahhhhh.
By the time that was done, I was barely coherent. I went on to my manicure, but, frankly, by that point I was pretty much useless. I had a lovely coral polish applied, tried to suggest some ways to help the manicurist get work as a photographers’ stylist (what she really wants to do), and went to pay tips to all my providers. I have a feeling most of what I actually said was something not unlike drunkspeak–smiling, slurring, and utterly forgettable.
From there to the nearby Whole Foods for some sushi for dinner later, and then the drive home–both of which I hardly remember. I think driving after Zen should be prohibited. I was just too relaxed! I think the only reason I survived was because of the idiots in the Whole Foods parking lot who kept parking their giant SUVs in spots marked ‘compact’ in which Mame the Miata hardly fit. The frustration of the back up in circulation these schmucks caused gave me enough of an edge to pay attention to the road.
Still, I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day, which was fine with me. I had to make normally uncomfortable calls to docs (finding a new shrink, etc.) but it was much easier in the ‘ber-relaxed state I was in.
In fact, I didn’t really snap back into reality until I went to take the recycling to the curb at about 7pm and had a much too close encounter with a very large garden spider.
But that’s another story…