I was at the salon last week getting my hair done. Well, I don't really get it "done" - I don't want you to picture me sitting under the dryer with my hair in teeny tiny curlers while I read Reader's Digest. Also of note, my hair is not yet blue and does not need to be "set". Anyway, I was at the salon getting a haircut when my stylist (who has cut my hair for 16 years) suggested I get a facial. She is not pushy about these things and rarely suggests anything so she must have sensed that I was somehow open to the idea. Maybe I had complained about my perimenopausal acne  - I can't remember. So, she suggested a facial and - much to our mutual surprise - I said, "Sure. I'll do it."

My appointment was this afternoon which meant that I could spend the morning saying things like, "Oh, I can do that but I have to be done in time for my facial" and "I really need to grab lunch before I go to my facial". This made me laugh...and also made me feel ridiculous.

So, I showed up at my appointment and checked in by answering all these questions about my skin like, "If we pop that big bump on your chin, will spiders crawl out?" and "Have you ever used a palm sander on your face?" Okay...those weren't real questions but only because I am not the one who wrote the questionnaire. There were, however, many questions about my skin care regimen and I am going to share my trade secrets with you right here, right now - I wash my face with water in the shower in the morning. Sometimes I use soap. Sometimes I do not. Do with that information what you will.

The facial person took me to the back and suggested that I go to the bathroom. I had been told that this was a 16 minute facial so I figured I could probably hold it that long but then worried that I wouldn't be able to and would be squirmy so I went to the bathroom. The woman then escorted me into the room which was softly lit and had lovely classical music playing and I noticed that there was not a chair. There was just a bed. Suddenly, I had a bad feeling that I was going to have to take my clothes off which confused me because 1) I don't wear clothes on my face and 2) see #1.

I am only comfortable naked when I am in bed with my lady friend, skinny dipping in the dark with friends after I've had adult juice and at the gym. I had not mentally prepared to be naked for my facial. I stared at the bed. I stared at the woman. She smiled at me and I said, "Um...how does this work?" She then told me that she would recommend stripping to my underwear. Because I need precision in my instructions, I asked, "What do you mean? Like just underwear? No bra?" She nodded. She said, "If you're not comfortable with that, I have a robe that you can wear." Because I was not in bed with Luisa, was not drunk and was not surrounded by old ladies at the gym, I said, "I'll take the robe." So, she handed me a robe like the one pictured and left the room. I must be tall for my face because my robe basically covered boobs to pubes. I took off my bra and put on the robe and then wondered if my black dress socks would be considered "underwear". We had not discussed socks. I decided to leave them on.

Fortunately, she had told me which end of the bed was the head because I was thoroughly confused. Without a regulation pillow, how do you really know which end is which? There were covers on the bed and I had no idea what to do about that so I just sat cross legged on top of them in my black socks and my little robe (which I now realize I had on backwards). She came back in and suggested that I get under the covers and I did. The bed was heated and the blankets were kind of heavy and I felt safe in there - black socks and all.

She explained that she was going to do a facial and light upper body massage. I closed my eyes and she began to apply mysterious unguents to my face in a very slow circular rhythm. I didn't want to tell her how to do her job but I was a little concerned that she wouldn't finish in 16 minutes. It went on and on and it was very relaxing and I started to forget about the minutes and, when she started to massage my arms, I began to worry about other things like, "Did I shave my armpits this morning?" and "Did she think it was weird that I kept my socks on?" and "Oh god...I hope she doesn't touch my feet because I'm not ready for that type of commitment." She did not touch my feet. She just massaged my face and my arms and the top of my chest for a really long time and, when she finished, I realized that it was a sixty minute facial, not a sixteen minute facial.

She left the room and, despite all of my ruminations, I felt relaxed...for me. That is to say, I was still wondering about things like, "Do they wash those sheets after everyone?" and "How many warm towels did she use on my face?" and "What kind of laundry bill must they have to deal with the sheets and the towels?" I wanted to stay under the covers on the warm bed and ponder these questions until I fell asleep but - though it had not been discussed - I knew I couldn't stay in there forever. So, I finally got dressed and stumbled into the light.

I liked it. Who knew that I would enjoy a facial? And now...my face is as soft as a baby's butt. One that doesn't have diaper rash or other weird baby butt things.

Next month, I'm going to get a massage. I know it will be an underwear only kinda deal so I am mentally preparing for that now.

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