Monday, August 20, 2007

e's Present to Herself

One of the things I did to celebrate my emancipation from The Man was to book myself a 110-minute massage on Sunday. That's right - a nearly TWO-HOUR massage! My husband gets me spa gift certificates for both Christmas and my birthday (or, should I say, I TELL HIM to get me those and he is a smart guy so he does), so I had been saving them up for this day. However, the woman I usually go to - a plump, Nordic masseuse named Helena - wasn't available yesterday. What I love about Helena is that she doesn't try to talk to me during the massage (I want to RELAX, dammit!), she doesn't brutalize me (I hate when they try to "dig into your knots"... I'm always high-strung, I can live with it - I don't want to get MORE tense trying to brace myself against the masseuse's fingers of steel!) and she always begins each session with a sing-songy order: "Ooooo-kkkkaaaayyyy.... reeee-laaaaxxxx, let your stress and worries floooowwww onto the taaaable." She rocks.

But Helena wasn't there, so I went with a new person, Renee, instead.

In preparation for this event, I had stopped using my beloved Jergens Natural Glow for several days, and had been vigorously trying to slough off all remaining traces of it with a loofah sponge every time I took a shower. But it was NOT COMING OFF! My knees were all white, but on my calves and thighs I was a faded yellowy-tan with spots. I just figured I would start up the lotion again after the massage, but I wanted to begin with a clean slate or else all of the discolorations would remain.

So imagine my luck when I met Renee and she said that an earlier appointment had canceled, and she therefore already had an exfoliation treatment mixed, and would I be interested if it was at no extra charge? Would I be interested? Is my black lab black? Hell yes, I was interested! So she said that she would do the normal massage for 90 minutes, and then the exfoliation for the remaining time.

While I had tried out a spa service called a "cocoon" before, I had never had an exfoliation. A cocoon is where they mix all this crazy crap together (mud, seaweed, etc) and spread it all over you like frosting on a cake, and then wrap you up in foil (I'm not lying - it's aluminum foil!) and then wrap blankets around that so you are literally in a cocoon. It is not for the claustrophobic or those prone to feeling like they have to itch their nose or head when their arms and legged are pinned down (I speak from experience on the latter). An exfoliation is where they rub sea salt mixed with a bit of aromatherapy oil all over you and pretty much take off the top layer of your skin.

While initially it feels a bit rough, it doesn't really hurt, and the only part I had a weird reaction to was when it was put on my stomach. YOU try getting oily salt rubbed all over your stomach and see if you aren't ticklish! The gist of the whole experience is that you feel like you were put on a beach and rolled around in the sand, with the benefit of not getting any of it on your face or in your hair.

If you don't think that sounds like your thing, I can't say I was too sure about it, either, until it was over with. My skin has never been this soft EVER. It is like I am "Baby e" all over again. And all of the Jergens spots were defeated on top of it! I am back to being my ultra-white self, only smoother.

The unfortunate part about all of this is that nary 24 hours later, the effects of the massage have vanished. I was just outside walking my dog and all of a sudden, I sneezed really hard. One of my flip-flops flew off, that's how hard I sneezed! But I also must have contorted my body in some strange way because now it feels like someone has a vise grip between my left shoulder and my neck. I must've pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve or something. Perhaps it is The Ghost of The Man, trying to ensure I don't enjoy myself too much now that I am away from his lair. If it doesn't go away soon, I may have to give the spa a call and see if Helena OR Renee are around to save me!

- e

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