Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Scared of Spas - Part 1

No, not "spazz"... I'm one of those quite frequently. Or react that way frequently.

I recently had a really bad spa day. "Bad spa day!?" you say, "How on earth could one have a BAD day at the spa, with all the pampering and selfishness and having other people serve you, you haughty bitch?!"... and at first I would tend to agree.

But I know better now. Much much better. Times two.

I'll start with the most recent one, which resulted in me being told to "get the hell out of my salon because I don't have time to deal with this."

The aesthetician took me into a little ghetto back area without enough room to completely move around. She explained my package would include a facial and 30 minute massage. I had originally booked a manicure, too ('cause I thought, what the hell, maybe it will stop me from chewing my nails off for another week). I cancelled that part two days before because I had a doctor's appointment I needed to be at later on, and I didn't want to cut it too close.

What, late? I know, unfathomable.

Anyway, so she assured me there would be enough time for the manicure. I said no. She INSISTED yes, it would be dry in time. I caved. Drawn over to the selection of 18 polish colours, I felt neon was not in my best interests. She assured me that french polish was "classy and sophisticated". I used to think that, too, in my youth. I went to the trouble of getting one for BF's sister's wedding, only to realize that everyone but me thinks they are ugly and not desirable.



As I aged, I also realized that lots of porn stars have them. You know, because other people told me.

Google told me these were porn stars named Stormy Daniels and Monica Mayhem. Google.

But she said it would be classy. Sophisticated even. I knew BF wouldn't jump up and down for it, but figured he wouldn't notice it anyway. I figured it would last longer and be easier to extend the life of versus neon effing yellow. And I knew it was nothing I could ever do properly on my own, so I thought I would try.

So we begin in the room, me already second guessing the whole manicure. She advised me to remove my clothing from the waist up, and get under the sheet.  No biggie, I've done this before.

She pulled back the top sheet. I am pretty sure the sheet below was dirty.

There was stuff on it.

I looked away because I was disturbed but knew there was nothing I could do. Maybe it was just lint from the dryer?

Feeling somewhat repulsed, the massage started. (She did leave the room while I partially undressed which is more than I can say for a physiotherapist I once saw who has scarred me for life, but I digress). I requested that she just focus on my neck and back. She really really really wanted to focus on my back. My lower back. Or, more specifically, the area immediately surrounding my butt crack, and the odd swipe of/near/into the butt crack.

My diagram I shall carry with me and share with any future massage therapists.

Not only was I feeling mildly violated by this spa-stranger-bully-woman, but I worried she'd then spread butt crack germs up my upper back. I needed a therapist, a lawyer and a shower. In no particular order. (Okay, maybe shower first).

I never know what to do in these situations. Yes, that was pluralized.

So I prayed to Jebus it would end soon and then the facial started. I felt hopeful of the sanitation of that, because she gave me a hairnet before all this to keep my hair out of the way and goop-free. Then she added that headband thing they do before a facial.

Only after the dampened cotton pads were off my eyes, and I was getting re-dressed, I saw the thing was FILTHY. Sure, women's make-up and other facial oils would get on there, but had this spa not heard of a)bleaching b)boiling c)borax or d)oxi-clean? I may have vomited a little in my mouth.

It was seriously gross. Maybe try disposable? Or using a washing machine between clients? Image Credit

She furiously worked away on my sophisticated nails while I was laying down in the room. Now keep in mind they use dim lighting in these places. And I had that little soaky thing resting on my pelvis. And it was crooked and spilled water all over my stomach and pants through the dirty sheets. UUUUUUck.

She left the steam on my face for an extended period of time, since my skin is RIDICULOUSLY sensitive and she wanted to do extractions. (For those not "in the know", "extraction" is a fancy spa term for popping all your zits under a magnifying mirror. The steam is supposed to open your pores and make it easier and less painful. Mind you, no less disgusting).

She turned off the steam. Then worked on my nails more. Then set my hand down on a towel and effed up the polish. Then started on the right hand again. Then changed her mind and re-did two more nails. Then said she wanted to change polishes because this one was "thick". Then worked on the left hand. Then I might have fallen asleep and dropped a finger or two. She had to touch those up. This went on for an eternity, and the worst part was having my eyes covered with the barely-dampened pads. The steam was off for a LONG time.

I so wanted it to end.

So then I was instructed to leave my hands to dry on a towel on my pelvis (while still laying, awaiting the completion of the facial). Then she went to start extracting.

I asked "Are you sure that you can still do that with the steam being off for so long?" twice. Twice people. And she said yes it was fine (but she knew I was time limited and had just spent a good part of my thirties trying to rectify the worst manicure of my life).

Extractions effing hurt. Bad. Especially when your pores (and your butthole) are incredibly tightened due to stress, duress, and you don't trust the person getting close to either region.

Did I mention I have sensitive skin? When I left, I looked like I was covered in chicken pox. It was awful.


Thank goodness the time was up. She put cuticle oil all over my hands then told me to get dressed. She also told me that my nails weren't dry, so to be careful. I wanted to throat punch her, but did not. I asked for something to at least gently wipe away the oil, since I didn't feel like adding the cost of ruining my two shirts and bra to this spa day.

Seriously - if you have to get dressed, go out into the world and function (say, like hold your wallet or health card or child's hand) who the hell anoints your damn hands with OIL?

Under the full lighting of the room I saw my nails. I know they are only fingernails, but it looked like I had given Schultz his first and only practice at being a nail technician. I've tried french manicure at home with better results than this.

I've used old school white-out (remember when it used to be a noxious liquid, none of this easy-breezy dry-tape stuff they have these days?) with accidental better results. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry or press charges for her inappropriate touching. Maybe call the health unit. Or that salon show that teaches nasty spas what to do?

I should have gone straight to the police station and gone all CSI and had them dust my butt for prints.

Still getting the hang of it....

I also was due to be at my appointment in ten minutes. I still had to get there! I saw the filthy head band. My hair still somehow got coated with an oily residue. My pants were soaked with nail-dish water. My face was greasy and sore and I couldn't wipe it because my hands were still covered in unwipeable-off oil. I had huge red welts from the extractions. My nails looked like shit. And were still wet.

I was pretty sure my doctor was going to think I was a sophisticated hooker with extremely questionable hygiene. [Edit: I realize there is a difference between porn stars and prostitutes, but anyone who has ever seen my body knows there is no way I could be mistaken for a porn star.]
I walked out of that room ablaze. It was if they had been playing Michael Bublé the whole time. I told her that the manicure looked terrible and that I was extremely unhappy and in a hurry. She offered to take $5 off the price. At this point, I was so completely worked up, I don't think it mattered what either of us said. I was pissed and rushed and greasy and angry. She went to ask her supervisor if it was okay to take off the $5. I explained that there was no way I was settling for that because my nails looked terrible.

Sophisticated indeed. Multi-coloured, uneven and dirty looking. Classy!!

They both studied my hands for a period of time. There was no denying that Schultz would have done better (see people - this is why nails should not be done while laying down in a dark, questionable room).

I said "I HAVE TO LEAVE, I AM GOING TO BE LATE!" (yes, I said it in all caps)

The manager then told me to get the hell out of her store and not pay anything for my nails because she didn't have time to deal with me. (I had pre-paid the other stuff....) There was only one other lady in there getting her 'hair did'.

I asked if I had to sign anything (not that I could have with the oil spill on my hands.. I didn't even have time to wash them...BP would have been proud).

They said no, so I literally ran out the door and onward to my appointment. Looking like a sophisticated hooker with extremely questionable hygiene. Extremely questionable hygiene.

Part 2 is here. Even more nudity and discomfort awaits, another spa, another day.

p.s. it is really hard to take a picture of your own thumbs, did you know that?

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  1. okay, that does NOT sound like a relaxing day at the spa!!
    i once had a manicure SO ridiculous that it looked like i had done it myself, in the dark while riding a mechanical bull. also? even when i get a manicure and it DOES look good, the nail polish chips like, on the way home. what i don't understand is when i get a pedicure i need a JACKHAMMER to get the polish off my toes. WHY IS THAT?!
    also? if i had a massage and they were that close to my crack i would probably run screaming from the room! the only massage i've ever had was a hot stone massage and it ruled because it was a) hot and b) NO HANDS TOUCHED ME!

  2. Oh my Stephanie....I think you should have walked out at the first sight of the dirty sheets! This is a horrible story! Where did you go for this spa day?!?

  3. Oh Yuck! This is why I stick to mani/pedi's only.

    Okay, and the occasional eyebrow waxing. . .

  4. *jess* - I don't get that either, but I will wear the HELL out of that kind of a pedi. Next time I will at least TRY to find a salon with a mechanical bull so there is a good excuse for the results.

    *Jody* - I wanted to, but I had sooo been looking forward to my spa day... I tried to convince myself it was just lint. I was so wrong. And I feel so gross.

    *A Mom on Spin* - Smart moves. Even then, never know what you are going to get, unless you've been there before and they don't suck. lol.

  5. Holy crap! What a nightmare. I'm generally not a fan of the whole spa experience either. While there have been a few exceptions, I no longer trust anyone to do my nails and if one of those spa technicians even thinks about doing extractions I will have to go kung fu on their ass. As for dirty sheets or head bands I will call them out on that in a second. Definitely report them to the health department!
    -The Empress

  6. So gross....yet so funny !
    I love that you can find humour in almost anything !!


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