My hubby bought me a pretty pricey gift certificate for a posh Austin day spa last year for Mother’s Day. It advertises as being unpretentious in a very “Austin” fashion. They carry organic products to boot! I was ALL IN!
Well, you know, until I started thinking about actually going to the spa. Walking through the door in my clothes that make me feel chubby and not cool enough, saying something dorky, general fear of not fitting in. Even worse… Having to remove my tacky clothes and be 1/2 (or more) naked, so that some young, beautiful girl 1/2 (or less) my age can see and FEEL how chubby I really am. I’ve birthed a lot of babies and I DO love good food… Also, premenopause has not been incredibly slimming.
So, I postponed as long as possible. My Honey has been reminding me since last autumn to make my appointment before the gift certificate expired. I just nodded and gave an appropriately enthusiastic, “Oh, yeah. I’ll call next week.” For months… and then we were all out at this amazing new restaurant a month or two ago, on a SUNDAY, of all days, and the spa called me… The woman on the other end of the phone was warm, sincere and ready to book my appointment. She could not have been more accommodating. Awesome…
I put on my fake happy voice and made an appointment. She suggested I try one of their facials and since I had never experienced one, I took the bait. We agreed I would be there the following Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
I rescheduled 3 times. In my defense, I really have been sick with this lung junk, but if I’m completely honest, I have to admit I was relieved to have a ready-made excuse. As I mulled over whether or not to call to cancel again this week, I decided that it was time to embrace this experience and I committed to savoring the good parts of my spa experience.
Last night I was preoccupied with getting to bed in time to have 8 hours of sleep so that I didn’t have such dark circles under my eyes – because, one good night of sleep makes ALL the difference. I fretted that I ate a hamburger for lunch and potato skins with cheddar and bacon for dinner instead of my usual, healthy, organic fare. UGH! What was I thinking?! My skin would look horrible now! I could just see all of the gorgeous people at the spa rolling their eyes as my chubby “mommy-of-many” body in frumpy clothing, with my dark, sunken-in eyes walked through the door tomorrow…
As soon as I woke up I did my usual coconut oil pull, followed by warm lemon-honey kangan water, then a large glass of cool kangan water and I filled up two containers before I left – one with kombucha and the other with more water. I covered my face with organic cocoa butter. My skin was going to glow, Darn It!
My hair was uncooperative (which means it looked kinda ugly), naturally. So, I grabbed a bandana, rolled it up and put my hair in a little makeshift headband. I donned my Honey’s comfy black V-neck T with my denim clam-diggers and I was out the door. I arrived about 30 minutes early. As soon as I got out of my car, I noticed there was lovely “spa” music being piped into the parking lot. Ahhhh… I just loved that. There was a woman a bit older than me exiting the spa on the ramp as I walked to the front door. She had a brace on her foot and she was squinting in the bright sun. We exchanged pleasantries about the appearance of long-awaited sun. She was kind, normal. It calmed me a smidge.
The girls at the front desk were anything but pretentious, offering cucumber water or tea with warm smiles and genuine tones. I almost forgot about my lack of fashion-sense, obesity, and overall absence of confidence. I filled out the multiple info cards as I sipped my booch, requested only organic products be used, and slowly felt my self-doubt seeping in through the cracks in my wall of false confidence as my appointment time approached.
Once I was in the appointed room, my therapist (who was cute as a button, but not especially warm) asked me why I was there. I replied, “I’m here for a facial.” She smiled in that “no #*@! kinda way, and then clarified, “I mean, why are you getting a facial?” I replied, “My husband got me a gift certificate.” Now she was really trying to figure out if I had much of an I.Q. “What I mean is why do you need a facial? What issues are you having?”
I panicked! Thinking, “Oh Great! You’re supposed to have terrible skin to have a facial, aren’t you?! I probably look like an idiot!” So, naturally, I threw the girl who called me at the restaurant on that Sunday so many weeks ago right under the bus… “Hmmmmm…. I don’t know. Whoever called me originally, suggested I have a facial since I’d never had one before, so I thought it would be nice. Should I….?”
“Oh, no! That’s great! Do you have any skin issues? Do you want to do an extraction? Okay, I’m going to step out, you can change into this (tiny towel wrap thingy), undressing to your comfort level, and we’ll begin when you’re ready. Try to take several DEEP breaths as soon as you are lying down. It will help you relax.” – Well, if I’m undressing to my comfort level, we can get started immediately!… and oh, crap! She noticed I’m not terribly calm…
Once I changed into the velcro washcloth she left for me to wear , I got my body under the sheets asap! Those few minutes while I am waiting for someone to come in after I’ve undressed are among some of the most awkward moments in my life. Thoughts that usually go through my mind:
“Oh. Geez! Remember when your tummy was a valley whenever you were on your back instead of an expanding little mountain range?”
“What should I do with my facial expression?”
“Do I have boogers? Do I have anything in my teeth? What about my breath?”
“Oh, no! Is that gas I feel? What do I do if it is?!”
Various thoughts while the therapy is in progress:
“Am I relaxed? Are my butt-cheeks unclenched?”
“Oh, no! Do I have to go to the bathroom?”
“I hope I smell okay…”
“I should’ve gotten a pedicure!”
“Oh, my word! That feels heavenly!”
“I didn’t know they did that when you had a facial!”
“Hot towels on your face are delightful!”
“Her hands are gifted.”
“I didn’t even know my shoulders hurt that much.”
“I wish I could do this EVERY Saturday… or at least every few months…”
… it was one of the most lovely experiences in my life. The ladies at the front desk were even more enchanting after my treatment. I walked out of the spa feeling uber zen. I put my Pandora on and tuned into a meditation channel. I drove to Freebirds and picked up delicious veggie bowls to take home and eat with my Honey. Then I went to Juice Land so I could get a Bambata smoothie. I walked into both places with big, messy spa hair and shiny, pinkish, spa face and I couldn’t have cared less. I was one with myself – chubby, freckle-faced, no make-up, beautiful me…
My goal is to make another appointment in July and not cancel
more than once…