I don’t get the chance to have Spa Day very often, but thanks to the recent Christmas and birthday gifts from my in-laws, I was able to go today for the works – a 50 minute massage and 50 minute facial. Heaven.
Today’s special event was at the Crescent Hotel Spa, which is terribly hoity-toity, and therefore intimidating to me to some degree. Lots of society-types with a gaggle of girlfriends in tow lazing about the ladies “lounge” in terrycloth bathrobes and rubber slippers, sipping lemon infused water or hot chamomile tea. I felt a little more comfortable and somewhat ironic when I sat down on the couch and saw that Paula Deen was on the television, cooking extraordinarily fatty desserts and saying “y’all” a lot. Even better, my favorite thing in the world was added to this display. The closed captioning was on! I simply ADORE closed captioning. And whoever or whatever was doing it was having a field day trying to make heads or tails of Paula’s accent. Half the words typed were so wrong I felt I might have to apologize to closed captioning on behalf of all Southerners. I can’t imagine that Siri can understand a word out of that woman’s mouth. But, back to “Spa-palooza.”
My masseuse was a lovely woman who did an amazing job of finding every little (a.k.a. huge) knot in my neck and right shoulder. Notorious troubled spots. She practically “squeed” with excitement at having a real challenge before her. (I am notorious for my neck knots. Believe me, no socialite has the boulders in her shoulders that I do.)
When I was on my stomach, she worked her way straight down either side of my spine – from the neck to the waist – and I jumped out of my skin. Apparently, when muscles are tight, and you apply just the right amount of pressure, it can create seriously ticklish spots. When I jumped, the masseuse jumped, and I could tell she was wondering if she should try it again or just skip it. I wasn’t going to give her any clues. Hey, she’s a professional, I can’t be the first person to respond like “Surprised Kitten” to her ministrations.
Yes. Surprised Kitten. I assume you’ve seen the cute little ticklish kitten video. If not, please refer to this link and witness what was taking place on the massage table.
I swear, in my head, that’s totally how I responded every time she touched my back.
Eventually, we got past this awkward little dance and on to actual relaxation, during which I started thinking about my very first massage experience. I was probably 23 or so and went to South Padre Island with a friend. My mother recommended a masseuse and offered to pay, so I, of course, accepted and scheduled an appointment.
Having no previous experience with massages – except from boyfriends who were really just trying to pass off a bad massage as acceptable foreplay, (which, by the way, it’s not), I had no idea what to expect. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a clue something was wrong with the whole scenario when she started talking…and talking… and not just “Gee, the weather’s really warm.” This conversation went something like, “I had a dream last night and realize now that it was actually a flashback of some kind.”
“Oh?” I responded, trying to feign interest.
To my horror, the woman continued to describe to me her dream and the resultant conclusion – she had been sexually abused by her father. Yep. Nothing more relaxing than a massage with someone describing child abuse to you. Stranger yet, as she rambled on and I lay there with a sheet covering me, feeling terribly vulnerable in my first massage session and wondering if I had wandered into a Candid Camera episode, the nimble little minx climbed atop the table I was lying on and began WALKING ON MY BACK, without ever breaking the conversational flow. (Or saying, “Hey, I’m gonna’ shimmy up onto the table and walk on your back while talking about this very personal and horrifying topic, so don’t freak out or anything, okay?)
I cannot believe I ever tried massage again. The human spirit is indeed resilient.
Meanwhile, back to the actual GOOD massage. After the ticklishness/jumpiness passed, all went well. In my semi-comatose state, I was directed back to the lounge to await the facial person. Facialista? Facial therapist? Aesthetician?
I have to say that she was as nice as could be when she told me my face needed a little extra exfoliation – for a little extra money. It’s always amusing to me when they ask how long ago your last facial was. I told her probably some time in the past year. “Oh, why? You don’t think about it? You forget?” Yes. I tend to forget about my face as often as I can.
Regular facials are just not in my typical monthly budget. Are regular facials in anyone’s budget – other than those who are featured on “The Real Housewives of…?”
Maybe they are, but I prefer to go in offering people a real challenge. It takes a lot of time and work to get these knots in my shoulders and dry, non-exfoliated skin on my face and neck. These spa days cost a lot of money, and I see no reason to make it easy for them.
They DID remind me that Mother’s Day is coming up – so maybe they’ll get another shot at me before too long. In the meantime, I’m going to go enjoy my jello-like state. And maybe make some biscuits and gravy with a stick of fried butter on the side.
Damn you, Paula Deen. You and Surprised Kitten have annihilated my hoity-toity day.