Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bliss' last laugh

Going to the spa/waxer/ is always a double edged sword for me. On one hand I am forking over a shit load of money to be made beautiful and look like a twelve year old girl “down there”. And on the other, I usually feel like shit during and right after the treatment until I leave the spa’s door because the Eastern European esthetician doesn’t understand my blasé attitude with beauty. If its not a Friday night and I don’t have free drinks acting as an incentive, I don’t put on make-up and pluck the stray eyebrow. I’d rather sleep in the morning.

My mom and the rest of the family understand this. I went to a women’s college; they know that there are some things that I do that can be construed as femin-nazi/ borderline dyke and after 20 years of bothering me, they let it go. I don’t care if my potential soul mate passes me on the subway because I looked like a ratty NYU student. If it’s meant to be, I’ll find him that weekend in my favorite bar and he’ll buy me a glass of champagne and we’ll fall madly in love when we are both drunk.

My $120K women’s college education fuels my stance on beauty. I can confidently quote my feminist sisters how “beauty” is really a socially constructed patriarchal tool used to oppress women. And I half convince myself that my morning laziness is really a feminist power struggle.

Until I enter the private room where I get my beauty treatments done.

If I go more than four weeks without upkeep on the brazillian, my waxer will tsk at me in her Russian accent. “You don’t have need now, no?” while looking down at my pubic region and implying a dry spell. I can handle the one or two underhanded comments about my lack of sex life or dull skin. But what I can’t handle is when they make me feel like crap by keeping the comments coming. Rapid fire hits at my already delicate self-esteem.

No matter how beautiful you are, the Eastern European esthetician knows where you are most vulnerable about your looks and has no qualms bringing it to your attention. “So many pimples” as her head shakes in disgust and disbelief. Even if you feel like a super model that day, being naked underneath a blanket with a woman standing over you peering into your face and reading in every pore the sins you've committed shakes the confidence of even the most brave.

Last time it happened, I cracked. After my treatment I walked up to the manager of the spa and told her how horrible the esthetician made me feel. My pores were too big so she tried to upsell me $120 face cream to combat them. My arms looked too hairy to her and she suggested an arm wax. Every few minutes she brought up another flaw and had an expensive remedy to treat it. I told the manager how hurt and disgusted I felt.

Obviously, the manager apologized and then she gave me a trial pack of samples to take home. She gave me a fucking $25 trial pack after my $110 facial was ruined. Tears should equal a free facial! Not a fucking $25 bliss soap sampler as an apology for this woman making me cry! Pissed I call the corporate office and lodge complaints throughout the levels. Someone was going to hear my voice!

The spa's general manager calls to apologize and offers me 10% off my next facial. Still no free facial. Pissed that she was treating me like some idiot I reply, “I really don’t care for your 10% off. Actually, let me tell you now that I will never step foot into another bliss spa again. And all of my friends will know what happened and I bet none of them will come here either!"

Guess who got the last laugh? Once the redness faded two days after, that facial was the best I ever had. To make matters even worse, I’ve never been able to find a better place. I'm sure I’ve blacklisted myself from there. And if they didn't, I bet at the very least they input into the computer that I am difficult.

So in desperate need for a great facial, and realizing that the mention of my name will probabley land me a beauty school drop out or a perpetually booked spa, I’ve found a way around my big mouth. I’m making like the serial killers on America’s Most Wanted and adopting an alias. And paying for the treatment in cash. They’ll never know I came back.


At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to let you in on the best secret in this whole city. Pantheon Tannning Spa. Ok, ok, I know it's a tanning salon cum nail salon cum spa (I just like saying cum). But seriously, it's all about Isabel. She is an eyebrow artist, better than some places who have month long waits and charge 3 times as much. And her facials are the best I have ever had. She puts Bliss to SHAME. But you have to promise not to see anyone else there. Not even in an emergency. They aren't close to her caliber and will leave you looking fugly. Plus, its proximity to times square lets me combine my waxing with some upscale clothes shopping on 5th and some downscale porn shopping a few blocks west.


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