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Sunday, April 29, 2012

beastly beauty

I had yet another regrettable chat with a beauty expert last weekend. I don’t mind getting things done, waxing, plucking, tinting, blow-drying, I just absolutely don’t like talking about my skin, hair, eyebrows or toenails in any way at all. It only ends in tears.

“You look for something for skin?” I was in France for the weekend with my bestie and the lady in the pharmacy had spotted me. I wasn’t of course; I was trying to find one bottle with a price on it so I could get an idea of how much the range would cost me. My plan was to get it cheaper online. But there were no price tags. 
“Yes” I lied “something for very, dry skin”. (That part was true, unfortunately.) She looked at my face and nodded 
“Dry? Yes? And the spotty?” 
“Well, dry.” I said, magnanimously not taking offence. Maybe she meant scaly?
“We have something here for the spotty?” she continued.
“And dry?” I asked.
“Yes, the dry and the spotty.”

This reminded me of the one and only time I ever had a facial. My SSIA had just come to fruition, and I decided that from then on it was monthly facials and glowing skin. The very first time I went, purely for the sake of conversation (because even though I was paying through the nose for the experience, I thought it was my job to keep some kind of conversation going. Lest I relax at any point.)

As always, I worded my opening gambit in a way that would be difficult to answer in a negative way. “So, does my skin look just about ok for someone my age?”
There was a silence and then 
“Well, you have the unusual combination of blackheads and wrinkles.”

What do you say to that? Well, most people, in some attempt to limit the irreparable damage to self-esteem will say nothing. But oh, not I! Stunned I gabbled cheerily 
“But I look ok around the eyes, right?”  
Really, this was her answer.
“Well, we should probably change the subject; I don’t want to depress you.”

There and then I decided that I would never, ever get a facial again.      
Anyway, to finish up our weekend away, me and my bestie decided to get a massage. The idea was to return home to husband and kids feeling relaxing and happy rather than exhausted and hung-over. So, on the Sunday we booked into a fancy spa that was on the way to the airport. It was one of those places where everyone sits in dressing gowns and slippers in the “relaxing room” while they wait to be called out, one by one, by the massage therapists. There was whaley music in the background and everyone, bar us, lay back with their eyes closed, little glasses of mint tea at their elbows. It was one of those times that every time I closed my eyes they popped open of their own accord and within minutes we were suppressing loud, uncontrollable giggles. 

This only got worse when we noticed that there was a man and a woman lying on a long couch opposite us, their heads meeting in the middle and each with one arm held uncomfortably over their heads so that they could hold hands.

To try and regain some decorum I decided to refill our mint tea glasses. I stood up and immediately walked into a table, skinning a toe and making a loud clatter. My friend lost it and we were quickly ushered out (limping and sniggering respectively) and into our massage cubicles.  

I lay down on the massage table, my head in the hole and my foot throbbing wondering what “sore” and “toe” were in French. 

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