Friday, May 29, 2009

A little advice from somebody who knows

(Disclaimer: I haven't had a long post in a long time. This one will make up for it, so feel free to skip it if time is an issue. :-)

Three things about me that will help you understand the upcoming story:

1. I am not a big fan of being touched by people whom I do not know. I'm not even all that excited about being touched by people whom I do know. It's just one of my things. I'm not obsessive about it, but I am much more comfortable when those around me respect a healthy amount of my personal space. I'm not sure when I became like that, but my mom says that it was that way pretty much since birth. Even as a toddler I wasn't that fond of being held and cuddled. Apparently that is just part of my package.

2. I also am a bit of a cheapskate. That's the less than flattering way to say that I am reluctant to spend money that really doesn't need to be spent. I would rather have money in the bank than expensive clothes in my closet or a fancy car in the driveway or lots of jewelry on my body. I don't remember when I got like that either. I just know that my family teases me about keeping the first babysitting dollar that I ever earned, until one of them stole it from me (because I'm not sure that any of them have this same trait). And I'm pretty sure that I pulled a tooth or two that wasn't really loose once I discovered that the tooth fairy would show me the money if I supplied her with what is certainly an expendable body part.

3. I am not high maintenance. At all. And I'm proud of that fact. I think this is also something that I was born with, but over the years it's been compounded by #2 above. It's hard to be high maintenance if you don't like to spend money. When I worked at BYU I always warned the male students who worked for me that they needed to be careful about high maintenance girls because someday they would be the guy doing the maintaining if they married one of those girls.

So, there's the background. Here's the story:

Last week I had my first ever pedicure. Last week I also had my first ever facial. The touching thing combined with the money thing and the low maintenance thing have kept those activities off of my to-do list until now. I went with some friends for the pedicure after Phil thought I needed to do something a little girly to follow up all the softball games that I've been playing. I was a little uncomfortable, but then thought "It's just my feet. I can do that. I can let a total stranger touch my feet. And I can spend the money since it's not something I do all the time."

After talking myself into it, we showed up at the salon and before I knew it we were seated side-by-side in pedicure chairs and there was a girl putting my feet in a warm bath. At that point I'm thinking "I could get used to this." I keep my toenails really short (I HATE it when my toenails snag on my socks or my sheets - another one of my "things") so the filing thing was extremely brief, as in she didn't file my toenails at all. Because of that, I got an extra long soaking while my friends endured the filing. I was good with that. The girl left me there soaking while she went to gather polishing supplies and I was actually feeling pretty relaxed.

Then, she came back and handed me a box full of polish and told me to pick out a color. She then pulled one foot out of the water and dried it off. Then she started rubbing my feet and I started feeling really awkward. Then it got worse because she started rubbing my calves. Huh? Pedicure means feet, doesn't it? I was suddenly very grateful that I had shaved my legs that morning and I sat there feeling very tense. I couldn't even ignore it enough to pick out a polish color, so I finally handed her the box and told her to pick a color for me. That stopped the rubbing as she took the box and rummaged until she found the brightest red ever made. My friends thought that would be a "great" color on my little toenails and I just let it happen because I did not want the calf/foot rubbing to start again while I picked out my own color.

She painted my nails, added little flowers on each of my big toes, and it was done. In spite of the foot/calf massage, I actually enjoyed the pedicure and I think I may even be able to do it again at some distant point in time. If that day ever comes though, I'll go in with a slightly better idea of what to expect and I may be able to relax a little more. Maybe.

Next was the facial. My dear husband gave me a night away at the Homestead resort for this past Valentine's day (yeaaaaa Phil!). Along with the overnight stay I had a gift certificate for any of their spa services. Phil thought I should get a massage. I KNEW that wasn't going to happen, so I decided to browse their menu of services. Pedicure? Already done, so that was out. Manicure? Painting and yard work this week meant that a manicure would be ruined within a day or two so that didn't make sense. Body wrap? Uhhh . . . no, for reasons already stated. The only option left after all that was a facial which actually sounded pretty good. So I made my appointment and then showed up bright and early Saturday morning for the treatment.

I have never been to a spa. When I got there I was greeted by a 110 pound little girl who apparently was going to the opera or something during lunch judging by how much make-up she had on. Her nails were about 3 inches long and she was wearing 4 inch spiked heals - not exactly my choice for 9:00 on a Saturday morning, I don't care where you are working. I think she thought I was lost at first, but when I told her my name she showed me to a dressing room. She gave me a robe and told me to put my clothes in a locker while she went to get me some slippers. I think she must have seen my recently pedicured feet which was an obvious clue that my feet were used to being pampered. I stood there for a moment thinking "Why do I need a robe? I'm getting a facial. She must be confused." but being the cooperative person that I am, I undressed and put the robe on. I then stepped out of the dressing room and was met by a 105 pound little girl who introduced herself as Whitney (isn't that a perfect spa name - I wondered if it was an alias. I mean really, if she had said her name was Edith or Astrid I'm sure I would have questioned her "spa" credentials.)
Anyway, Whitney led me down a hall and directed me to a chair and asked me to sit (with my feet in another tub of warm water and bath salts). I then spent 5 minutes smelling oils with my eyes closed because Whitney said that would allow me to pick an oil "intuitively". After deciding on an oil (vanilla bean is apparently what my intuition told me) she dried my feet and told me that she would leave the room while I disrobed and laid myself down on the bed in the room. She told me that she would need access to my shoulders and my chest so she didn't want anything (namely a bra) to interfere. Again, I'm thinking, "For a facial??!" but she was gone before I could mutter a response.

I took off the robe and climbed onto the bed and pulled the sheet up to my chin just in time to hear Whitney's knock on the door. She came back in, turned on some calming, nature sound music, and the facial began. She did all kinds of things to my face, which I expected given that I was there for a facial, but there were several things that were totally unexpected. As she had said, she rubbed stuff on my shoulders and on my chest which would probably have been enjoyed a lot more by somebody else. I did appreciate that I had a bit of a warning just a few minutes prior, but that clearly wasn't enough time for me to talk myself into just enjoying it. I had my eyes closed the entire time and at one point she said that whatever she just put on my face needed to sit for a few minutes and then she got up. I thought "Okay. I will maybe just doze off about now" but the dozing didn't happen because I felt Whitney pull the sheet off of my feet and she began rubbing my feet and my legs. Whutttt??!?! All kinds of thoughts rushed into my head. "This is a facial." "What are you doing to my feet?" "Why are you touching my legs." "On no! I didn't shave today, and she's touching my legs." "This is a facial!!"

Needless to say, I survived it and so did Whitney. The spa experience was great, although I was definitely out of my element. The Homestead was beautiful and I will hopefully go back someday. If I make it back to the spa - any spa - I will go a little more prepared for what's to come. And for any "spa" novices out there, take this advice from somebody who knows: Anytime you go anywhere to be pampered, shave your legs.

One of these days I'm going to get my first manicure and you can bet that I will shave my legs before I go.

Here are a few more pictures from the Homestead. I have heard about it for years, but never been there. It's a beautiful place and Phil and I decided that we will definitely go back.

The view from the crater - Gorgeous!
Flowers between our room and the spa
Our room



You were just trying to 1 up my big toe story!

I am going to have to let Maddie do my toe nails like she beggs me to frequently!

Allison said...

I laughed my butt off! As you well know, that's quite the laugh. OK, the next time you get a pedicure, tell them that you have painful varicose veins in your lower legs. That's what I do and they are usually bright enough to know that I do not want a massage! If they don't pick up on it at first, a face full of water flicked from your foot usually helps them to understand. Oh, and you won't need to shave your legs for a pedicure at most salons. Maybe at the Homestead. We've been friends for 17 years and I don't think that we've ever hugged. How funny, it's possible that I have issues with being touched too. As I'm sure Wayne would agree.

Melissa said...

Hahaha oh my goodness Julie... we are SO the same!!! First off, I think feet are gross. I don't touch other people's, I don't let their feet touch me, nor do I let people touch my feet. I feel this is something that is awkward and unnecessary. I once was talked into getting a pedicure. I had to look away and fight kicking them. It is safe to say that is not one of my most favorite activities...

Julie said...

Big toe story? I clearly need to go check out your blog. I'm on my way right now.

Julie said...

Melissa - I think you should do as I'm going to do and consider Allison's advice for your next pedicure - kick water in their face. Brilliant!

KJae said...

what's with all the toes today? you're sicking me out!!

i enjoyed this post almost more than any of them. hilarious!!

my favorite is the deep scalp massage. sometimes the neck and shoulders are included, but the head thing is amazing!! i'm with you on the other stuff being touched though. Nuh-Uh!!!!

Savanna Landrum said...

can I put mascara on you dad? Trust me Ju, you dont need to shave your legs for a maincure.

Julie said...

I would love to trust you, Savanna, but my experience has taught me otherwise. You probably would have told me to not bother shaving my legs for a facial either, but we now know that you would have been dead wrong.

Julie said...

And Kelly, how can you say that my toes look sick? They have flowers on them for goodness sake.

KJae said...

i can say the toes are sick because they're toes. plain and simple. way to dress them up and try to fool people, but i see right through the disquise.....

still toes!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW Ju, and to think you girls gave me a "surprize" massage certificate a few years back...... and to find out what you really think of them........Remember? You made me be sure and shave my legs, not knowing why. It's a good thing I love you.....

Swim Mom said...

This made me laugh out loud, which is really painful due to some rib issues. However, I can totally relate. I have had quite a few manicures, but never any other spa treatments. I have never even been to a spa. I keep thinking I might go, but you just ruined it for me. I would be stressed for weeks, just thinking about someone touching me.

Nathan said...

As someone who will never be in that situation, it was nice to get a sneak peak into what goes on in a spa.

People have told me I should go sometime and that they have great treatments for guys, but I'm sorry. It's a lose-lose situation for me.

I'm married, so it would be awkward to get a neck massage from a girl, and getting one from a dude?

Not happening.

I'll just have to live vicariously through you.

Michelle said...

I have been dying for a facial ever since I read this. dying I tell you! I'm totally a touch-feely I guess. Massages, pedicures, manicures.. love it all!!! But I've NEVER had a facial. Have I ever tried to hug you and made you uncomfortable? I'm sorry if I have... oops. Ü Very funny post, I was laughing so hard I almost had an accident! tmi?

TitansFan said...

I'm really glad I'm a guy cuz you ladies think so much it hurts. The other day my wife told me to make sure the Pedicure Massage Chair was installed before open toed shoe season. I understand now but she couldn't seem to be able to vocalize a reason when I asked. She was right though, that thing is in constant use!