As I sit here shaking my head, I still for the life of me just don’t know how to tell this story and give it the correct justice. So bear with me.

For my birthday (my 50th birthday), my sister tried to think of something special to give me that would be like nothing I’d ever had/experienced before. I sat there nervously as I opened the birthday card and was thinking how I’d never been on a cruise before – wheee. That would be a cool surprise. I thought my Kitchen Aid standup mixer would never fit in this envelope. I thought, “I sure hope she’s not talking about a tattoo.” (I’d probably bleed to death) A lot of thoughts ran through my head before I got to the inside of the card.

Inside was a certificate for a Spa Day for the two of us for the next day, Christmas Eve. This Spa Day was to include an hour in their Spa Capsule with a detoxifying full body steam and exfoliating body scrub, followed by a refreshing vichy shower. Then 90 minutes relaxing with a Swedish Massage. AND that’s not all. Then a spa pedicure. And afterward, lunch would be served.

I can hear the masses, green with envy, oohing and aahing in delight at what a wonderful idea that was. I know. There are many people out there that LOVE to be pampered and froo-froo’ed (that’s my word). Me? I’m a different animal.

While I do love my sister and I DO appreciate her thoughtfulness, I have to apologize to her for being a “simple” sister. One who isn’t accustomed to anything froo-froo past straightening my hair (and I don’t even do THAT every day) and a little lipstick. And one certainly not used to being pampered. I’ve been a single mom to two boys for 20 years. There was no froo-froo in my house and certainly no one there to pamper me. I’m quite accustomed to that and quite okay with it as well. So the thought of being pampered left me sitting there a bit . . . . frightened.

Yes, I was frightened of my Spa Day. As well I should have been. You see. . . I know me. I know my comfort zone.


And this Spa Capsule (as it turns out) is not on my Comfort Zone Safety List. Not even close.

After assuring me that everything would be WONDERFUUULLL and that I would just LOOOVVVE it (said in singsong voice), I agreed to go. After all, it was Christmas Eve and I HAD been pretty stressed trying to pull together a festive holiday for the family. Plus, I didn’t want to hurt the sister’s feelings.


First off, they had us fill out a pretty standard form while sitting in this quiet, peaceful room with the zen music chinging in the background. The form asked “What do you look forward to the most in your spa experience today?” I wrote, “Putting my clothes back on.” Sister couldn’t believe that I would really write that. Does she KNOW me?


Well, off we went to get naked. **cringing** We put our little bathrobes on. **not attractive** Then they took us to separate rooms where we were each introduced to our own little capsule. I looked at it, puzzled, thinking, “HOW does this thing work?” I had envisioned the capsule to be like a mini-sauna or a mini-jacuzzi. . . . I was w.r.o.n.g.!


The girl began to explain how it worked and what I was to do. O-O!! What? I had to disrobe **cringing** while she held my robe over her eyes (thank God!) and climb into this contraption. There was a small towel to wrap over my lady bits like a diaper and another small towel to drape over “the girls”. (I was wondering if they had a bigger towel) She would then close the lid. That’s when it started to feel sauna-like, steam followed by a warm shower. Then she lifted the lid (Yikes!) and began the body scrub. (I’d already taken a bath before I left the house, and thank goodness I shaved my legs). She closed the lid and then the misty shower started up again. In the meantime, I was thinking “WHO applies for this job? Who wakes up and says I want to give strange people baths everyday?” I felt bad that the poor girl felt like she had to resort to this. [Later I found out that people actually go to school for this shit - really?]

I can’t even describe what it was like exiting said capsule all slippery and awkward. Let’s just say that this poor girl saw more of me than she signed up for. I may be getting a bill in the mail for her therapy soon.

I’m sure I’ve missed parts in describing my “experience” because I was actually too busy humming my way through it, chanting and singing “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” just waiting for my “experience” to be over.

I managed to live through it and I DID come out with silky soft skin, but I will NEVER EVER again go NEAR anything that remotely looks like a capsule again. My dreams of going to the moon are SHOT!


Next was the massage. Ninety minutes of massage. Although I was still naked, it was less torturous and slightly less uncomfortable. My mind was no longer humming and chanting to itself (thank goodness). When the massage was over, the sister asked me in her same singsong voice, “Well, did you relaaxxx?” I said, “No, but I DID manage to figure out how I was going to schedule getting Christmas dinner on the table.” I can’t turn this brain off. . . ever.

With that being over, I was allowed to finally reconnect with my clothes. Yay! Hello pants! Hello shirt! And off we went to get the pedicure. I was bubbly by this point purely because I finally got my clothes on.


We got a nice pedicure and I sat in a little vibrating chair because, of course, I needed MORE massage.


Then they had a nice lunch waiting for us of soup and sandwich in this little room with the funky table. Yes, it looks like a tree.

Overall, I was just glad it was over. I was glad to say that I’ve experienced a massage before. I can strike that off my bucket list. But more now than ever I know that I already have the ticket to relaxing. . . it’s called Miller Lite. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.

Thank you, sister, for a birthday I will never forget!!