whaddaya mean there's no goo?

Mr. Lemony gave me a very thoughtful gift for Mother's Day this year...a gift certificate to a spa people are always raving about right here in Quiet Village. The Lemonettes will be out of school for the summer in less than a week, so I figured the time to use that certificate was now.

Being the goat old girl...and having the skin of somebody who is goat old...I am, I decided a facial would be the best way to spend my time (and Mr. Lemony's money). My face can use all the help it can get at this point, right? Wrinkles, age spots, and crow's feet aren't pretty.

You'd think Mr. Lemony would be happy that I thought it best to stave off these things for as long as I can, but no. He was oddly annoyed.

"I thought you'd get a massage!" he said when I told him I'd made the appointment.
"Well, I'm getting a facial," I said.
"But I thought you'd get a massage," he said.
"Maybe they'll massage my forehead," I said.
"Good for your forehead," he said.

Dude is WEIRD.


When I got there a woman with a very soft and overly-soothing voice had me follow her to a room with not much more than a wooden bench/bed, a sink, and a chair in it. She was very explicit in her instructions about what to do with my bra.

"Now you want to tuck the straps down under your arms," she said. "Because the procedure we have you scheduled for includes a shoulder, back and chest massage."

Well, okay, but isn't just easier for me to take the thing off?

"Oh. Well, yes, I guess it is. Do that."

She left me alone in the room to get semi-naked, which I did, but then I just kind of stood there in the middle of the room with my bra dangling from my fingers because I didn't know where to put it. I didn't want to put it on the counter next to the sink since I didn't want it to get wet and I figured the lone chair in the room was meant to be used for sitting...you know, by the esthetician person who'd be massaging my forehead.

I was really concerned about this for a few seconds. Really. I don't know why, but I was bothered by this. Then I decided, eh, it's a bra, who cares, so I shoved it in my purse and that was that. Why that took me even a half-second to decide is a mystery.

So there I was, alone, in a dark room, all naked from the waist up, lying on a heated mattress thing, covered with white sheets, listening to new-agey piano music. It was kind of...weird. I think it was the music. Is there a reason all spa music has to be a trio of flutes played over the sound of crashing waves? What's wrong with Sarah McLachlan?

When the esthetician finally came back she immediately began smearing whatever it is they smear all over your face all over my face. Thankfully this felt quite nice and the smeary stuff smelled pretty good, so I forgot about the annoying music and the semi-naked thing.

I was thinking "This is great!" until she put ice cold thingys over my eyes and directed some vicious steam up my nose.

Okay, I get it. Steam is good for your face. It opens the pores up. Or something. But honestly, hot, humid air blowing in my face isn't really my idea of a good time.

(it's not like i'm a facial virgin or anything, but the steam thing gets me every time)

She massaged my hands with oil. My carpal tunnels were ever-so-grateful for the attention, especially when she put plastic bags and warming gloves on them. She did the same thing to my feet. Let me say this about hot oil on your feet...you stop caring about the steam that's doing a pretty good job at smothering you.

She massaged my head with essential peppermint oil, too. I don't really get why peppermint OIL in your hair is a good thing, but it felt fabulous so whatever, man. It was alllllllll good.

When the steam thing shut off and she wiped the smeary stuff off my face, she put new ice cold thingys over my eyes. It was a bit of a shock after the heat of the steam, but it did wonders for the migraine I felt brewing behind my eyes.

Then she turned on a light, aimed it at my face and said, "I'm sorry this light is so bright but it really helps me see which of your pores need extraction."

Now I may have been woozy from the peppermint oil, but she sounded very excited. Like she was looking forward to shining a very bright light (and it was bright, baby, even with the ice cold thingys shielding my eyes) on my face and extracting my pores. Me, I was thinking EW and this is why I am not an esthetician...goo extraction from pores. EW.

She went at my face with gusto. Turned my head to the side and started pushing around at the side of my nose. Turned my head in the other direction and started to push around at that side of my nose. Turned my head straight, poked at my chin. My cheeks. My forehead. Poke, poke, poke.

I felt her move in closer and start stretching my cheeks out with her thumb and forefinger. And then, in the most disgusted tone of voice I've heard since my son shared his opinion on the previous evening's dinner, she said, "You have the most boring face."

What does one even SAY to that?

"I'm sorry."
"Well, yeah, but my ass is really funny."


I ended up saying nothing because she slathered some sort of mask cream on before I could open my mouth. She left me alone for a few minutes to "relax" and "enjoy the calming oils." But I couldn't relax and enoy the calming oils because all I could think about was my boring face.

I have dark circles under my eyes and a slew of freckles. That's visually interesting, right? And my eyebrows are in some mutant growth phase and are sprouting up like tiny little spiders all over my eyelids...come on. There's no way that's boring.

Boring. Bah.

When she was done and I'd fished my bra out of my purse and strapped it back on she told me my skin was just "the tiniest bit dry." Apparently dry skin tends to wrinkle earlier than oily skin, so "It's never to early to think about using some anti-aging moisturizer. You won't always have such young skin."

This would be where I told her, "But my skin isn't young! It's pushing 40, just like me!"

That would be where she just STARED at me until I felt kind of squirmy.

"You have no extractable pores and your skin does not look or feel like 40-year-old skin. Did you make a deal with Lucifer or WHAT?" she finally said, and I swear she sounded angry.

I should be grateful, no? I mean, that's a compliment, right? That's how I'm taking it, anyway, lest I end up spending eternity in a very hot place.

And? The next time DH gives me a gift certificate to the spa for Mother's Day I'm getting a pedicure. Nobody would ever look at my feet and think I've sold my soul for those amazingly stubby toes.