The Wind Beneath My Bathing Suit Parts: I’m Not Cut Out for The Spa

I’m so fancy! You already know …

–Charli XCX on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”

I’m no fancy. I don’t play things cool.

Indicative of the spa experience -- even this posed photo looks like it's caught in an uncomfortable moment.

Indicative of the spa experience — even this posed photo looks like it’s caught in an uncomfortable moment.

Lovely pool area!

Lovely pool area!

Also lovely personal hot tub -- I now require these at every place I stay. No communal bathing facilities for this one! (Not really, but reminds me of how my very cautious parents once told my preadolescent sisters and me that hot tubs were a great place to catch STIs from. Once, while we were staying at a Grand Hyatt, we did go in the spa, but only waded in up to our knees. By way of explanation, my little sister pointed to the mosaic tile "GH" logo on the bottom of the spa and loudly announced: "We're not going all the way in. GH is for genital herpes."

Also lovely personal hot tub — I now require these at every place I stay. No communal bathing facilities for this one! Not really, but reminds me of how my very cautious parents once told my preadolescent sisters and me that hot tubs were a great place to catch STIs from. Once, while we were staying at a Grand Hyatt, we did go in the spa, but only waded in up to our knees. By way of explanation, my little sister pointed to the mosaic tile “GH” logo on the bottom of the basin and loudly announced to a stranger: “We’re not going all the way in. GH stands for genital herpes.”

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Conventional wisdom says that spas and salons provide relaxation and beauty. But on my latest trip there I realized they only give me anxiety and a makeup aesthetic that “It” the horror clown would deem garish.

We also got a manicure/pedicure. This is our before picture.

We also got a manicure/pedicure. This is our before picture.

And after! Not done in the same lighting, of course, and note Deepak's complete boredom with my quest to document spa effects (he's texting through my shoot!).

And after! Not done in the same lighting, of course, and note Deepak’s complete boredom with my quest to document spa effects (he’s texting through my shoot!).

Let us go then, you and I, / When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table.

–T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Food was everywhere, constantly. This may create a relaxed or anxious state, depending upon the person.

Food was everywhere, constantly. This may create a relaxed or anxious state, depending upon the person.

Let’s break the experience down. We all know the oneiric trope of showing up in a public place naked. Important presentation today, but oops! You’ve forgotten your clothes. This turn of events rightfully prompts anxiety.

*weighs self* "I'm a MONSTER!" *sees sign* "Nevermind, I'm a bantam!"

*weighs self*
“I’m a MONSTER!”
*sees sign*
“Nevermind, I’m a bantam!”

And yet when you visit a spa, the first thing the attendant does is direct you to cast your perfectly good clothes off, don a blindfold and lie nude under a strange towel. Now, this sequence of events — strip down, surrender control, don blinders — could create a fun 9 1/2 Weeks vibe if played under different circumstances.

We ate a lot of the food, admittedly!

We ate a lot of the food, admittedly! (Gaining weight while at the spa = increased bodily surface area = better value on the treatments?)

But in this supposed house of relaxation, you’re to calmly wait for the privilege of having a fully clothed person burst in on you, Kool-Aid man style. There are so many opportunities for this Kool-Aid man moment to take a turn for the Eli Roth filmography. Does nobody else think of poor defenseless Janet Leigh in her Psycho shower? Best case scenario, you’re greeted not by Norma(n) Bates, but by a khaki-clad frau with questionable unguents and a dismaying enthusiasm for pummeling your nude flesh while forcing chat about the latest weather patterns.

All this pampering, pummeling and painting gave me intense flashes of the part of SUNSET BLVD. where poor Norma hits the spa treatments excessively in preparation for her big comeback.

All this pampering, pummeling and painting gave me intense flashes of the part of SUNSET BLVD. where poor Norma hits the spa treatments excessively in preparation for her big comeback.

I FEEL PRETTY! OH SO PRETTY! But also like I have undergone a flaying.

I FEEL PRETTY! OH SO PRETTY! But also like I have undergone a flaying.

Sadly, I'm afraid all my primping may have proven just as otiose as Ms. Desmond's.

Sadly, I’m afraid all my primping may have proven just as otiose as Ms. Desmond’s.

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero? / You’re everything I wish I could be. / I could fly higher than an eagle, ’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”

-Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings”

“Did you ever put back my towel? I wish I were anywhere but here. I’m not sure why I’m now spread eagle. But I can feel the wind beneath my bingo wings.”

-Violet on Orange spa original

We were encouraged to make our own spa products. Naturally, I gravitated toward herbs with the highest price by weight. Clinician was a bit confused by my "saffron, vanilla, cardamom" concoction, admittedly. Great time to play the "Indian by association" card!

We were encouraged to make our own spa products. Naturally, I gravitated toward herbs with the highest price by weight. Clinician was a bit confused by my “saffron, vanilla, cardamom” concoction, admittedly. Great time to play the “Indian by association” card!

Read on to see the in-depth breakdown of my two major treatments: Red Flower Shower and the diamond-tipped microdermabrasion

One Comment
  1. Pingback: Spa Me The Embarrassment: Red Flower Treatment (Part 2 of 3) | Violet On Orange

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