A Nice Young Woman made me fill out a form that I THOUGHT might include detailed birthing info. about all of the four sons (but didn't) and then helped me hang up my bag and coat (yes, it is March in MI!) I was instructed me to lie down on a draped chaise. No problem there.
She hemmed and hawed and did NOT tell me I looked YOUNG for being 56 and having four adult children. (I did have to write down how many live births I'd had. Guess she's not concerned about that little miscarriage. I still think about him/her though ... and play that "Sliding Doors" game until I remind myself I can drive myself crazy thinking like that.) She asked if I had any problems with my skin. Oh come on. Who likes to admit to their SKIN problems. Wanna talk PROBLEMS? Let's talk ME/CFS. Or diabetes. Or kidney stones. Or aging. Or pretty much ANYTHING ... has she seen the news lately? But she wanted to know about my skin ... which really did make sense given her job. So I offered up, "I get a little dry in the winter." YES. Now she's happy. I have skin issues. YES, my skin is dry because, YES, I am 56 and didn't use the right astringent as a teenager; I used SeaBreeze. YES, I probably don't drink enough water. And, OMG, YES, I picked my zits as a teenager. YES, there IS a scar down there near the bottom of my left (facial) cheek. ARE WE HAPPY NOW? I had a terrible complexion as a teenager (and upon finding my birth family realized this was GENETIC, not from eating chocolate or "doing things to myself" as my mother often suggested. Gutter mind.)
So we agreed upon dry skin and yes ... some clogged pores. Ok. Let's get on with the pampering.
Oh. Not yet. First I learn the difference between black heads and white heads (apparently I HAD both.) Black heads are clogged pores that have sebum built up in them that are EXPOSED TO AIR. (I knew this but didn't interrupt to say so.) White heads, on the other hand ... or chin, as the case may be, are NOT exposed to oxygen because in MY case ... there has been insufficient exfoliation. Good. More skin problems. More products to push.
The Nice Young Woman decided upon what products to use and commenced. This is MUCH better for awhile. She patted, she spritzed, she wrapped (loves me a warm towel!) and then ... she steamed. I lay there quietly trying to encourage myself to enjoy this freebie facial. To relax. To remember to breathe from my diaphragm. And to drink water when I got home.
Until she asked, "How's your pain tolerance?" This gives me pause. Yes, I did put "high" on the four paged questionnaire I filled out. And it is. Four kids, many surgeries, ME/CFS. Yeah. I shoot up w/B-12 every morning. Yeah, I can do pain. Especially when lying in a salon draped with warm towels. Uh huh. Bring it.
And she did. First she went after the white heads in my hair line. MY HAIR LINE? Yes. I now have a blemish free hair line. Next? My chin. No brainer. I knew I had bumps there. I was quick to point out I probably had some white heads hiding in the crevices on either side of my nose. Yup. Those were next to go. I was actually getting into this "cleansing" as was she ... we discussed the condition of my (facial) cheeks as she happily dug into the left one, over and over and over again. Just as I was wondering if my RIGHT (facial) cheek was about to undergo such vigor she asked, "What do you do on your left side?" I dunno. Apparently my right (facial) cheek was unblemished, but the left? Attrocious. Finally she asks me what on side I sleep. Ok, my left. MYSTERY SOLVED. But not until she asks, "Just how much time DO you spend in bed?" This is a dicey question for a PWC. On a good day, maybe 12 hours. On a bad one? 24? 48? More? With potty breaks.
I give up "12" hours a night and keep my eyes closed so I don't have to see her reaction. Then she asks how often I change my pillowcase. Ok. We've discussed my childbearing history, my adolescence, my (H2O) drinking habits, my sleep regime and now my laundry techniques? Will she ask for my home made detergent recipe? REALLY??? I'll admit to once a week, and no, I don't change my pillow case every day. Well ... apparently all the grinding of my middle aged face into a grubby pillow case makes me break out. I find myself mildly jacked up. WHAT? I'm DIRTY? ME??? I mean, I know I am when I don't waste my "spoons" on showers but in general? ME? HECK NO! She herself washes her sheets on Sunday but on Monday flips the pillow over. On Tuesday she turns the pillowcase inside out. On Wednesday she flips the pillow over again. And then .... from Thursday through Saturday nights she sleeps on a DIRTY PILLOWCASE.
I'd have sat up and stared her down if I wasn't in a supine position with her looming over me with an "extraction" device. I will admit she did have great technique. It really didn't hurt very much at all and I was pleased by her audible sighs of relief when she had achieved her mission. I envisioned the clear skin of youth I never had.
One my face was CLEAN I was then exfoliated and masqued. It was lovely. At the end of the hour I actually did book another facial for late April, a week before Mr. Sensitive's college graduation where I will posses a youthful glowing appearance, and I actually DID purchase the exfoliant she recommended as insurance.
Before I left I took a look in the mirror when she was done and thought, "Hey ... you are NOT BAD for 56 and four kids. NOT BAD AT ALL." Then I went next door to TJ Maxx and bought more pillowcases.