Many moons ago, pre-marriages, pre-kidlets, pre-responsibility of anything or anyone except myself...I had a pretty luxurious life. I had the sports car of my dreams, I had expensive clothes, a great place to live, numerous vacations, and I pampered myself to the fullest. And by pampered, I mean tortured myself like every other woman trying to look like the perfect specimen that we weren’t, by removing all those embarrassing, unwanted ‘things’ sprouting from our bodies.
Once a month I would get my legs waxed and have a facial. And by facial…I don’t mean one of those little half hour ditties you get at a spa at a 5 star hotel. Those are for women who don’t want a real facial, but want to be able to say they are going to have a ‘treatment’ at the ‘spa’ on their vacations and end up getting a three finger massage on their cheeks for $200.
My facials were two and a half hours of agonizing, excruciating, painful pleasure. I had to mentally prepare myself each time I would visit my facialist. It was an investment of time, because not only did I spend half the morning with her getting poked and prodded, but when I left there, I didn’t want to be seen for another 3 hours since I looked like a pitted tomato.
It would all start out so innocently. I would change into a robe, she'd wrap a towel tightly around my head, cutting off any circulation to my brain; catching my hair in all the tucks and folds; and I would lie back in her chair while she massaged my head, face, neck and shoulders for about 10-15 minutes. It was heavenly. It almost made me forget why I was there. (Probably because I was brain dead for two hours from the tightly wrapped towel.)
When she was done with the best part of the whole procedure, she rolled over the little portable steamer by the side of my chair, and aimed it right in my face. For those of you who aren't claustrophobic, you may not be able to understand this, but having steam blowing forcefully in your face for 15 minutes is like having your head held in a flushing toilet bowl for... I don’t know how long...for…ever? As I gasped for air, praying it wouldn't last long, hoping I wouldn't pass out, I would forget I could just turn my head to one side, away from the steam, to take a breath. When it did occur to me to shift 45 degrees, I would take a breath big enough so I could hold it til the next one, with my cheeks puffed out, while I turned blue. I felt like I was being held hostage by my esthetician.
Once my pores were open wide enough to fit Jupiter inside, the eruptions began. I won't go into the gory details of her squeezing out all the impurities living deep beneath the surface of my facial orb, but if you know what Old Faithful is...you'll know what I'm talking about. She wore goggles and a mask. Need I say more?
After the excavations were finished; once the trenches were burrowed; following the shedding of the layers on my face, with her nail imprints firmly embedded in my cheeks... she then spread this putrid green mask over my forehead, nose, cheeks, chin and neck. My face became more and more rigid and my mouth was frozen in the middle of forming a word, as if I was blowing smoke rings, while the mask hardened.
When I tried talking, she couldn't understand a word I was saying. "Ow uch onger?" I was trying to ask. "Huh?" She responded. "Ha uch loner?" I couldn’t get my lips closed. It was like one of those horrific dreams you have where you're trying to talk but no words are coming out as you lie in a coma fighting for your life. Ok...maybe that's being a little dramatic, but....nah...not being too dramatic. That's how it really was.
Once my face was fully formed into a stone cast resembling the Incredible Hulk, she dipped a towel in warm water and wiped away the Plaster of Paris holding my face together. It felt so great to get that shit off. I could breathe freely again. Good thing I had that towel wrapped around my hair to protect it because only about a pound of the crumbled mask got under there instead of all 5 lbs. And the Moe Howard flat helmet-head look has been a fashion statement for decades, hasn't it?
Since my face looked like a porcupine missing its quills, I didn’t want to walk the streets to my car, having people wonder if I had really bad acupuncture, so I decided I would get my legs waxed that day, too, to give my skin time to heal. Normally I would get my legs waxed on a different day than the facial, but that night I had a formal affair to go to so I had it done all at once. Why not just have four consecutive hours of torture instead of spreading it out over a couple of days?
Having my legs waxed was something I did for only about a year. The problem with waxing...you have to let the hair grow to a certain length before you can wax again, otherwise it won't rip the hair from the follicle deep inside if it's too short. If you don’t mind looking like a gorilla for a few weeks, then you’ll have no problem. But I had to let the hair on my legs grow like an inch. An inch of hair on your legs is like wearing a clinging chimp hanging from your knees.
I looked like a freak in shorts…and forget what I looked like in a bikini…
You had to time your waxing around your menstrual cycle or you were screwed. If you did it while you had your period, you may as well have had a kidney ripped out of you using an ice pick, as it wouldn't have hurt half as much as getting your bikini line waxed at that "time of the month." And ankles? Forget about it...ankles were the most sensitive. I’d rather just chop off the bottom half of my calves in order to avoid waxing around the ankles.
I have a friend who used to get her armpits waxed. Her ARMPITS! Have you seen armpits waiting patiently to be waxed? Not a pretty sight. I couldn’t really understand why anyone would want to get their pits waxed when the time in between waxing was so attractive.
But those days of pampering are long gone…no more facials; no more waxing; no more manicures or pedicures; no more being queen for a day. Anyway, being pampered is too exhausting…said no one…ever. Nowadays I just walk around being au natural…appearing as nature wanted me to appear…I can’t say I’m not upset I don’t have the means to do that anymore and not upset that I have spent every last dime on my kids…but I make do with what I have, and I guess I look ok…here’s the latest picture I had taken…
I think I could give Sofia Vergara a run for her money, don't you?