My friend Tina enjoys shopping at Nordstrom. I take that back. She loves shopping at Nordstrom. She is what one would refer to as a VERY GOOD CUSTOMER.
Tina was such a good customer in 2011, in fact, that she was invited to their “Winner’s Circle.” (I am pretty sure it isn’t called this. But what she was offered reminds me a lot of what the casinos in Las Vegas do for their VERY GOOD CUSTOMERS.)
Being part of the Winner’s Circle has its benefits. Among other things that I don’t even know about because I have spent less than $20 at Nordstrom in the past two [unemployed] years, she got a Spa Party where she and three friends could choose two custom spa treatments each, in addition to a cosmetics makeover and complimentary lunch at the Bistro Cafe.
She chose me to join her! What a treat!
Yesterday was a fabulous afternoon, to say the least. Lunch was decadent and full of laughter. And booze. We made our way to the spa just before our appointment times. I chose a hot stone massage and a facial. I’ve only had one facial in my whole life and someone else recommended that one to me, so I didn’t really know what I was ordering this time around.
I got changed into my robe and slippers and joined our other friends in the Foot Soak Area. A nice woman put a bamboo bowl under my feet and poured hot water with bath salts in, washing my sins stress away. I was then whisked away for my massage. It was blissful. I get a massage every month as part of my triathlon training/recovery. Those massages are not so much about relaxing as they are about hard work. Like, dig your elbow into the knots in my shoulder blades until I cry uncle. Hurts so good, right?
This massage was not like that. I purposely chose a massage that was not deep tissue, but long relaxing strokes with plenty of heat. It was perfect. I spent another minute in the Foot Soak Area before I was whisked to my facial. The nice esthetician got right to work, asking if I’d ever had a facial and what my current skin care regime is. Typical stuff. Then she begins to apply something wet to my face saying, “This is going to sting. On a scale from 1-10, let me know if the pain gets to be about a 6.”
What the hell did I sign up for?
As this is stinging the shit out of my face, she asks if I’ve ever had a chemical peel. Ah. That explains it. I picture Jack Nicholson falling into the vat of acid in Batman and wonder if I’ll come out of this tiny room as The Joker.
Admittedly, a bunch of girlfriends and I did a peel at home once, but I’m not sure if that counts. Too late now anyway. The 90 seconds of level-6-stinging is up. As she’s rubbing soothing stuff on my face she says, “Don’t go in the sun for a couple of weeks.”
This is not ideal. Ironman training has officially begun. I had already scheduled a 35-mile bike ride for Sunday and the weather forecast shows nothing but sunny skies all week. Just as I’m reassuring myself that I’ll make this a swim-centric week, she mentions, “And don’t go anywhere near chlorine. It’ll sting like hell.”
Also not ideal.
Finally, I gathered the courage to ask if my face is going to be red and scaly and peel off in sheets (as I’ve heard about). BY THE WAY, I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW ON TUESDAY. Thankfully, this isn’t that kind of peel. So I’ve got that going for me.
I asked what I should do if I would find myself (ahem) in a situation where I have to (ahem) be in the sun. She said to slather on the sunscreen…otherwise I’ll get sun spots. This is probably one of the worst threats someone can make to a 37-year-old woman.
Alas, today was a gorgeous day and there was no way I was missing out on a ride with a good friend just because my face no longer has its outer most layer of epidermis. We shall ride!
About an hour before the ride, I applied my first so-thick-I-look-like-a-ghost layer of SPF 110 sunscreen (with zinc). That absorbed within a few minutes and I applied another round. I did this two more times before we left. We were out about 2 hours and I don’t think I did any permanent damage. My face looked a little red when I got back, but I think that was just from the wind and exertion. It looks and feels great now. I think I’ve dodged a bullet.
At least until tomorrow, when I’m prescribed to do an 18-mile ride. And there’s a swim scheduled for Tuesday. I guess we’ll see what hell stings like, right?