Saturday, February 21, 2009

My First Facial . . .

Sooooooo . . . as you might notice in the super-zoomed in and poorly-lit photo (taken with the camera on my brand new Mac here at work) to the immediate left . . . I did the borderline "unthinkable" today.  I went to a spa (sorta) and I had my first facial.  That's right.  Yuck it up, pally.   My nose is less blackheadish.  My skin is clearer than it has been since it better resembled a baby's bottom.  My cheeks are rosy and glowing (in a hydrated vs. oily context).  I feel good about my face today!  

Here's the thing about my facial.  It was a gift. Part of my Valentine's Day "haul" from Wifey, to be specific.  And it was something that I asked for (not her subtle way of telling me that my face was a horrible place to rest one's eyes).  As I've gotten skinnier I've become even MORE vain than I ever was (difficult - but not impossible) and I've decided that I am okay with the balding and the nose and ear hair (genetics being what they are) but I am not okay with clogged pores, these terrible zits I am still getting . . . 20 years later . . . and not looking as healthy and youthful as I should look as a 32 year old man that has never been a smoker and who generally takes care of their skin.

There was just one real problem with the facial . . . well TWO.  One, I don't like my general appearance or discussing it with people and two - I can't STAND being touched by strangers (I don't even really enjoy the business handshake in some situations).  This general anxiety made me less than psyched for my gift and made me more than a little irritable towards Joy about her gift (which I regret, in hind sight).  

So - I got in the car this morning and I drove to the Eric Fisher Academy on the West Side no less (that is a Wichita joke - the locals, especially my fellow East Siders are laughing uncontrollably right now) and I checked in at the counter of the salon/spa hoping and praying they would not have my reservation/appointment or that they would say "Oh, sorry, we don't treat fat and ugly people here.  This is a salon/spa, Mr. Ugly Ape." or that they place would have a fire drill that precluded my service or something (I would have taken a flat tire on the drive over at this point) and I waited and waited and waited.  

I got taken to the back spa, out of the noise and chaos of the hair salon, the nail salon, the massage center and the waiting room and I was told that I had to turn off my cell phone ("But, but, but, but . . . I am Sean.  I must be reachable," I considered arguing (hoping to get sent away)) and that I had to whisper the whole time we were in the spa . . . now, again, if you KNOW me - you know this is a problem.  I am the loudest person in the history of the world and my "whisper" is just about deafening to most people with only moderate hearing damage.  Again - please send me away for being loud, I prayed.

No dice.  I got taken in the back and I helped fill out all my paperwork and screening questions, etc. and I was then told to go ahead and take off my shoes.  Huh?  "No, no.  I'm here for a FACIAL!" I explained (with moderate disdain) to the lovely woman who was saddled with touching my face.  She paused - as though to explain - and decided to just let me go.  Then she told me to go ahead and disrobe.  "No, no.  I'm here for a FACIAL!" I again explained (with moderate disdain) to the woman who was saddled with touching my face.  She paused and said I should at least take all my shirts off (I had on three today - long story) as the "product" she would be using (ugh to people who say "product" without a sense of irony) might stain my shirt(s) if I was not topless and then I should lay on the table - safely covering my moobs with the sheets and blankets provided.

So - she left and I stripped and got on the table and then I got in a full blown panic.  What was I doing?  How terrible was this going to be?  How bad was my breath?  Could I make a run for it still?  Do my feet stink?  What if I have an allergic reaction to this thing and look like a walking lesion for the next 48 - 72 hours?  Oh dear Jesus.  What have I done?  

The nearly 90 minutes that followed . . . I'm both embarrassed and thrilled to tell you . . . were AMAZING!

The woman who took care of me was amazing (No, Ben, no "happy ending" involved (smile)) and it was relaxing and calming and "fun" (in a weird way) and it was something that I am totally glad that I did/tried/experienced.

I don't know if I will be making facials a regular part of my life but I WILL be back for another one eventually . . . and I walked out of there (sucker that I am) with $45 worth of product (said here with MORE than the "needed" amount of irony) that will help me take better care of my skin in the meantime. 

Long story long . . . I've now tried another "new" thing and I've tried something that I always wondered about but was always too scared, self conscious or otherwise self-prohibiting from doing in my former, fatter days.  

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