Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pore Decision

The funny thing about a bad idea is it doesn’t always immediately seem like a bad idea. On the contrary, it is not until you are in the middle of implementing that idea that you realize… this is an awful idea.

I started a new job this week. It’s a whole new position in a completely different industry. I was looking to feel refreshed and rejuvenated so I didn’t roll into my first day of work looking like this:


I didn’t have time for a vacation or a getaway. So I thought if I couldn’t actually feel refreshed and renewed, I might as well appear so. I will get a facial!

And yes I am aware this can be added to the least manly things I have done in my life. But hey, celebrities get facials and I am planning to be really ridiculously successful so this is basically just planning ahead.

Way ahead.

I heard it might be a little rough and there might be some discomfort but I could handle it. After all I had been to the dentist earlier that morning. I had dealt with my pain threshold for the day.

The place I chose was bustling with many eastern European women with dazzling skin, escorting (mostly but not all) female clients in and out of tiny rooms in a large labyrinth of facial care.

I checked in and was escorted by one blonde eastern European woman to a tiny room 6 feet wide and 12 feet long with an accordion door. She looked at me and said:

Is this your first time here?
Top off, robe on, and make yourself comfortable.

And she slid the door closed and left.

The confusion immediately set in. Robe? What robe? I looked around the room and noticed a full massage table and what appeared to be a dry cleaning steamer.

Why did I need to take my top off? What were they going to do to me? Did every man’s facial come with a complementary chest wax? I did not want a complementary chest wax… I did not want ANY chest wax. I tried to ignore this thought as I spotted a large green silky robe hanging on the wall and traded my shirt for it.

Fact: Dressing like a Hogwarts Professor is not my idea of “getting comfortable.” I was reminded of my time at the dermatologist, but comforted by the fact that this time I got to keep my pants on.

I sat down on the bed, and then decided to lie down and fold my hands over my chest to try to appear as nonchalant as possible. (Read: Not very nonchalant at all) Eventually a tall eastern European woman with dark hair and large dark spectacles entered the room. In her thick accent she introduced herself.

My name is Madonna and I will be your aesthetician.

But what she SHOULD have said, was,

My name is Madonna and I am about to squeeze the shit out of your face.

I asked her how my skin looked thinking I did a good job of face maintenance.

It’s a little dry and a little clogged.

Dry and clogged? So the face that I was proud of had the exact same qualities as a dorm toilet. Awesome.

I’m not sure why my skin was clogged. Perhaps I had spent 1 too many nights pretending I was a dirty pirate.

Who knows? As she was getting herself setup she also said to me:

We put on hat gloves.

Hat gloves? I tried to imagine what a hat glove looked like? Was she going to put a winter hat on each of my hands? Or was I going to have to put my hands inside of a hat on my head (which she had already wrapped in some sort of shower cap/ turban combo).

She must have seen the look of confusion on my face because she repeated.

We put on hot gloves.

Ohhh hot gloves ok, sure. I’m not sure what this has to do with a facial, but sure.

She then coated my hands in a lotion, covered them in tissues and slipped them into a pair of plastic/aluminum oven mitts that were plugged into the wall.

I was a bit concerned about being PLUGGED INTO A WALL like a toaster. This is something I try to avoid. She said:

If they are too hot, just take them off.

I had no idea how that would be possible, considering I was bound and plugged into the wall like some kind of electric mental patient. But luckily I was quickly distracted by something else.

She began rubbing lotion on my face and covered my eyes with a wet towel. I then felt the sensation of a dry cleaning steamer on my face. I started to feel claustrophobic. I think she noticed because she pulled it back before she left me me lying on the table to... steam?

After about 10 minutes she came back in.

How was that?
Good, very relaxing.
This part won't be. (Small laugh) Now I clean out your pores. Let me know if it is too hard.

I thought this was just a courtesy, a way of making me feel comfortable.

No, she was serious.

Madonna went to town. I'm not sure if she was using her nails, or actual carpentry nails, but I think she was mad at my face. Like, really mad. So mad that she was trying to ruin it. I was not prepared for this amount of pain. I was wincing and wondering why I didn’t hear screams coming from the other rooms? If other people were experiencing this much pain shouldn’t I be hearing swear words and blood curdling screaming? Because I tell you, that was my inclination. Was I just a wuss?

I must be bleeding I thought. There is no way I am not bleeding. SURELY she can see the blood coming out of my face right? Why does she continue to squeeze if I have a bloody face? Just because her name was Madonna didn’t mean she had to turn this into the Passion of My Face.

She finally finished and it was all I could do to not actually scream out praise for the actual mother of God.

Then she said,

Do you see the light?

And I really panicked. Oh shit I am dead. I died. I knew it! The mother Madonna is here to escort me into heaven after squeezing my face into an early grave.

As it turns out, what she actually said was

Are you alright?

I mumbled yes as she took the towel off my eyes.

And that is when I felt the tears spill out and roll down the sides of my face. The pain had been so great that I hadn’t noticed my eyes welling up.

She had finally managed to unclog my face, and I managed to moisturize it myself.

She did give me a bit of advice as well.

Next time, shave.

Ha! Like there’s gonna be a next time.


DangGina said...

I've wondered about facials. I've done the at-home facials before, but never at a spa or anything.

You just convinced me that I've been making the right choice all along. I can live with dry and clogged.

PS I laughed all the way through this post...

SilverNeurotic said...

This was a very important public announcement. I always thought facials were nice, relaxed affairs. So glad I read this before I considered going for one. Whew!

Los Schoenys said...

Beauty knows no pain.

It's All Good said...

"Do you see the light?

And I really panicked. Oh shit I am dead. I died. I knew it! The mother Madonna is here to escort me into heaven after squeezing my face into an early grave."

hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa ahhh this is great.
I've never gotten a facial but I do get bikini waxes, I think I can feel your pain...

turtlebottom said...

Makes me glad that the facials, where I live, are more face massage than facial!!!

Great post!!!

Bet your skin looks great though!

Hannah said...

Hmmm. So, when is your next facial scheduled for? You know, the second time could be sooo much better, right? Especially if you remember to shave. However, I'm thinking that, maybe, dirty pirate is the way to stay at that rate. lol

JerseySjov said...

i've heard nasty things about facial aesthetitians. you should have been more clear about wanting a soothing-massage facial not a steamy-extraction facial.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Cringing. Yikes. Remind me to ask what exactly happens at the facial BEFORE I get one. If it includes any of that I am OUT.

They should have paid YOU for going through that!

Caroline B said...

Y'know, you really are your own worst enemy! You will put yourself in these situations...I don't think facials result in death generally although there is always a first time....
Good luck in your new job - hope they appreciated your freshly squeezed face!

sarah :: this is jackson riley said...

Mmmm.... facial extractions. I have to tell you, they hurt like hell, they are super expensive (especially considering that you're paying someone to remove blackheads) and they do pretty great things for your (or anyone's) face. I bet people all over town were saying "Wow, he seemed dry and clogged before... now he just seems so fresh, moisturized, and OPEN." I say you might end up going back with comments like those :)

Lady Hill said...

I was laughing so hard that there is no diet pepsi all over my keyboard and monitor. The part about Seeing the Light almost killed me.
Thanks for the warning about facials, I will never be getting one.

Sweta said...

ARGH my eyes!They water!!I'm glad I'm not in a position to say*been there,done that*.NAH-UH!

Carolyn said...

I love that you wrote about this but is it weird that it made me want one? I am addicted to pain-for-beauty exchanges. I would love a big Romanian woman to squeeze out all my blackheads. I can't wait to book one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear Lord. That sounds horrible! I'm such a wuss. Especially with face-related pain. I can barely handle having my eye brows done. I probably would have kept my dry clogged skin and told Madonna to take a hike. Way to hang in there. I'm sure your face looks fantastic :)

Laury Ann said...

Facials are WONDERFUL! I used to get them it's whenever I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror anymore when my skin gets BLAH! It really does give you that "glow," and help unclog pores and icky-ness.

It takes a big man to admit he got a facial, shows how comfy you are...way to go! Second times always better ;-)

The Girl said...

But wait? Did it work?! Did your new colleagues compliment you on the unclogginess of your face?

Stephanie Ann said...

I just laughed all the way through this post but only because I feel your pain. This brought back memories of my first facial. If you go regularly they are much more pleasant because there isn't so much... umm... unclogging. And you can tell them to skip that completely and just do a mini-massage on your face and neck. Now that is relaxation and refreshment.

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

The last time I got a facial my "lady" ('cause I can't spell astectichian) went to town, afterwards I thought I'd feel like I was glowing instead like blotchy teen going through puberty!

Good luck in your new gig, I got a new one too, started this week...same case - new industry new position, yeah for us!

Ava said...

I laughed out loud. So few things provoke great laughter like that. Thanks so much for the great post. Put that one in Rich's Greatest Hits.

dogimo said...

You bring up a good point: there really ought to be a daily deductible of pain. Once you reach that point, all your pain after that for the day is 100% covered.

Pat said...

Wait. I thought these "spas" were supposed to be relaxing and all that stuff. But sucking the crap out of my pores doesn't exactly cut it for me. Thanks for taking one for the team. I appreciate it!

Tahereh said...


that was like the FUNNIEST thing i've read in a long time.

you get a standing ovation.

(serves you right for getting a facial. hehe.)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Hilarious post! I got a facial once, but NEVER AGAIN! I kept cringing the whole time because it was so uncomfortable. I thought going to the spa was supposed to be relaxing, but apparently I'm incapable of relaxing.

Hater Von G said...

hahaha. next time, get a brazillian wax... those are always fun and refreshing.

AbBeYLeiGH said...

haha this is crazy! Where is your post facial picture?

Nancy said...

I know what you mean.. some parts of the facial are not so nice, but just reinforces you need to go more often. :-)

Pat said...

Next time shave. Does that mean "I" have to remove MY moustache? Crap!

I thought facials were supposed to be relaxing.

Maybe you reminded her of her misbehaving son or something.