37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Skin Is In

Well, we had our 'mother-daughter' bonding skin care experience today. Courtney was given a hooky day off from school so we could go when it wasn't overbooked. Good heavens...what an odd morning.

First, let me say that I've never been a good 'beauty patient.' I dislike people poking me and prodding me so I find it difficult to relax. I think this may stem from a childhood trauma. It was impossible for my mother to keep her hands off our faces when we kids; she'd chase us down and sit on us until we let her pick at any stray hairs, blackheads, or pimples. She also had a habit of making us spit on napkins and then rubbing our own spit into imaginary food spots around our mouths until our skin turned bright red and began to peel off. So I grew up with a morbid fear of letting anyone touch my face.

Now, Courtney was so excited about this that you would have thought I was taking her to see Hilary Duff herself. Courtney loves stuff like this. I think this may stem from a childhood trauma; her mother never held her down and picked at her face. In fact, her mother rarely held her. So I think maybe she's making up for lost attention.

When we got to La Petit Salon, we were greeted by none other than (gasp!) La Petit Napoleon. You remember, my hairstylist from last week? Seems she's a cosmetologist as well. All the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention. Courtney, however, waved nonchalantly, sighed as though bored with the world, and sat down in the reception area with a glamour magazine. A true beauty veteran already at the age of ten.

Her appointment was first, and she elected to get the full European Facial and skin analysis. I half expected her to come out looking like Brigitte Bardot. She was called to the back of the salon, and she smiled coyly and gave me a little wave before tossing her hair like a true California Girl and sauntering off to be 'done.' She was gone for an entire hour, and when she emerged she looked as though she'd been smoking pot; she was so relaxed I was pretty sure her bones were liquid.

La Petit Napoleon than crooked her finger and gave me the hairy eyeball. My stomach aquiver, I walked the green mile to the room of gloom and doom. The lighting was low; I assume that was supposed to help relax me. All it did was make me wonder what implements of epidermal torture were hiding in the shadows.

I changed into the modesty gown and laid down on the table. She proceeded to mummify me from shoulders to toes in egyptian cotton towels and fuzzy blankets. I never did like getting tucked in; it makes me feel panicked, and just then I was so tightly tucked I could barely breathe. Plus, I am on the downhill side of the slalom race toward menopause; the addition of blankets was totally unnecessary. I popped with sweat instantly. After a hissing steam machine was stuck over my head, I was pretty sure she was trying to drown me in my own body fluids.

She stuck a bright light in my face and proceeded to examine my every pore. She seemed disappointed when she couldn't find anything wrong with my skin. "You don't have any blackheads," she pouted. YES! Score one for vegetarianism. I used to have tons of them; my face looked like a connect the dots picture. But after abstaining from meat, my skin cleared up. No zit sucking machine for me today! Hooray!

For the next thirty minutes, I was slathered in a variety of potions and goo, had my face and upper chest muscles pummeled into submission, and spent about half of that time trying to control my bladder, which had been sent into a frenzy of urinary desire by the 'soothing waterscape' soundtrack playing in the background.

Although I emerged only sightly less relaxed than when I went in, I must say that the hot towel part of the facial was a treat. If she would just dump the hot, wet towels on my face and leave for half an hour, I'd be happy. I liked the hot, wet part. (AHEM! Get your mind out of the gutter...there isn't enough room with me in there already.)

We celebrated our new high-class glamour with lunch at La Belle de Taco, and went to Target to buy Courtney her own hair dryer and 'styling wand.' I should have seen this coming...she's now desperate to use it on my head. More prodding and poking. Oh,well. At least when Courtney does my hair it ends up looking good.


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