One of my Christmas presents from Steve was a gift certificate to the local spa. The certificate was too much for just a massage but not enough to cover a full Day of Beauty and Relaxation, which I assume involves plastic surgeons and a team of spa elves dispatched to your house to clean it during your absence. So I mused over the product menu (trying to find the right balance between price and price) and finally decided on a facial, a foot thing, and the 90 minute massage. I was really looking forward to it.
You know, I hadn't realized that we had a local spa but sure enough there it is behind the teeny-tiny post office. And it was quite lovely too: massage chairs in the waiting nook, interesting teas, tinkly New Age music and nice fluffy white robes. I was just settling into feeling very Zen when I was introduced to my therapist for the afternoon, Theodosia. She was a surprise. You know the bartender at that roadside bar? The morbidly obese one with the salty conversation and her share of prison stories? Well, that was Theodosia.
After applying my mask she left me for what seemed like an extremely long ten minutes. Of course, with that damn music playing the same bars over and over again and your eyes plastered shut with cucumber gelée it is hard to get a good sense of things, but I know I was bored by the time she returned for me. She confessed that she had gone out to a garage sale. During the next two hours she further informed me that her first husband was an alcoholic who beat her. The father of her 3 year old son left when she was seven months pregnant and has never seen her since. That she had worked at the quarry but they fired her when she got pregnant but she hired a lawyer who got all of her money back. That she was a crank addict when she got pregnant and was terribly worried about the health of the baby, especially after her five previous miscarriages. That she was sexually abused by a cousin as a child and later lost her virginity when she was raped by not one but two men. That her friend was raped by them too and she has been in a mental institution ever since.
I began to get the impression that my Scheherazade of the Spa was a bit of a dramatist. But what good is a spa getaway without the accompaniment of a toe-curling series of revelations, eh?
So I have further confirmation that people always tell me more than I ever needed to know. Also, that I really need to work on my Polite-but-repressive but I have apparently mastered Sympathetic-and-nonjudgmental even whilst nude and flat on my face.
After all these confidences she felt comfortable enough to look at me critically and tell me I needed to have my eyebrows tended to. For thirty-two years I have allowed them to simply grow wild like raspberry bushes and it took this generous-souled Daughter of the People to say "Enough." Suitably chastened, I meekly returned to the spa this afternoon and let her wax my face. And you know what?
Who knew that those unkempt eyebrows had been causing so much trouble?