Yesterday I drove to Springfield to surprise my friend Jenny for her birthday. Her husband had emailed me a couple weeks ago, asking if I'd be available to come down for her birthday party on Sunday. He said she wanted a party. He didn't think he could pull off a surprise party, but he thought if I showed up it would be a good surprise. I agreed to attend. A couple days later, he left a message on my answering machine, asking if I could come on Monday instead? Strange, a party on Monday? We played phone tag for several days before he finally got ahold of me and told me he decided he couldn't pull off the party, but wanted Jenny and me to have a spa day instead. Doesn't that sound fun? Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
Well, I figured it would be INTERESTING if nothing else. I was also interested in Jenny's reaction when A. She didn't get a party and B. I showed up unexpectedly at her work. My guess was that she would be furious about not getting the party and not too thrilled about a surprise half-day of work. I thought she'd be happy to see me and happy about the spa, but I wasn't sure the happiness would outweigh the anger. Fortunately, I was wrong. Her husband misunderstood something she told her daughter. She didn't actually want a party and said if she had she would have arranged it herself. Her husband also told her he was picking her up to take her someplace nice for lunch so she was completely prepared to blow off the afternoon of work. Phew! She was happy to see me and thrilled with the spa plan.
We drove around a little and ate Avanti's gondolas (her favorite I brought from Peoria) before our 12:30 appointment. We walked into the spa having no idea what to expect. We were greeted at the front desk and led back to separate rooms for our facial/massages. I changed into some towel thingy and laid down on a bed and covered up with blankets. Ugh, it was hot! The massage woman kept asking if I wanted my arms under the blankets but I didn't. I would have sweated to death! She started with the facial and did all kinds of cleansers and creams. She massaged my head, shoulders and feet and then applied some kind of mask, covered my eyes with gauze pads (I was a bit disappointed it wasn't cucumbers, but oh well) and turned steam on my face. She then left the room for like 15 minutes! I'm the kind of person who likes to be doing something pretty much every minute I'm awake. It was soooooooo boring to just lay there with gauze over my eyes, listening to awful easy-listening music. She FINALLY returned and removed the mask and applied moisturizer and left me to get dressed.
Jenny and I met back up in the manicure room. This was the part I found to be totally hilarious. I have never even considered getting my nails done. I have a filthy, filthy job. What's the point? I can also probably count on one hand the times my nails have been painted- I think one time by my friend Aaron for a school dance and a few times by Kaylin. That's it. My (uh) nail technician was a nervous wreck. I think it was her first day at this salon. She was shaking and sweating and seemed terrified that the owner woman was sitting next to her doing Jen's nails. She was one of those people who aren't shy or afraid to speak, but she spoke very quietly so you had to listen hard to hear her. This was tough over all the other salon noise.
Dorie worked and worked and worked on my filthy nails and cuticles. She exfoliated my hands and arms. I had to get up twice and go rinse off in the bathroom. It was weird and totally different than what I expected. When it was time to choose a color of polish, the head lady said "She's a zookeeper, she probably just wants a clear coat." I immediately replied "No. I want orange nails with black tiger stripes." Dorie nearly stroked out, going on and on about how she didn't think she could do that. I told her I had confidence that she could but she kept insisting she had no training in "nail art." I told her I'd be happy to let her practice on me and that I just wanted some black stripes on my orange nails. I figured she could give it a shot. She kept insisting she couldn't do it and I kept insisting that I wasn't leaving without tiger-striped nails. Finally, the owner agreed to put on the stripes.
Meanwhile, Jenny was already getting her pedicure. Deb (owner woman) was striping my nails when Jenny suddenly yelped that her right foot (at that time covered in callous remover, inside a plastic bag soaking in the foot bath) was burning. Deb hollered at Dorie to get the bag off her foot and rinse the foot. Jen had a nasty chemical burn on top of her foot. Deb spent ~15 minutes torturing Jen by applying aloe and pouring water over it and patting it. Jen finally begged her to just STOP and leave her foot alone! Deb finished striping my nails and Dorie got going on my pedicure. It was now 2:30. It took an hour for the facial and an hour for the manicure.
Dorie was completely obsessed with removing all the dirt from around my big toes. I explained to her that I'd recently spent an hour barefoot in the tortoise mudpit and didn't expect that dirt would come out anytime soon. Dorie disagreed. She picked and picked and cut and picked some more. I was about ready to scream. She was nowhere near done with my pedicure when Jen was finished and able to walk out to the salon for her haircut. Dorie continued picking at my toes and cutting pieces of cuticle and exfoliating my legs and giving my feet a "glorious" (her word, not mine) massage while yakking on and on (very quietly) about her love of karaoke and how much practice it takes and how the bar owner's son sang a Garth Brooks song because she asked him to. AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Stab me with pokers but SHUT UP about karaoke!!!!!!! When it was FINALLY time for the polish she asked what color I wanted? I said white with black zebra stripes. Dorie went pale and started sweating some more. I told her I was kidding and picked a bright, sparkly purple that Kaylin would have chosen. My pedicure took TWO HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the time I was finally done, Jen's haircut was almost finished. We were at the spa for FOUR HOURS. They were out of soda so we were dehydrated and starving!
We left the spa and went directly to a gas station where we each got a gigantic drink. We then went to a restaurant and got gigantic horseshoe tenderloin sandwiches drenched in homemade cheese sauce. Best. Food. Ever. We then went to ShopKo for bandages and Neosporin for Jen's burnt foot. It didn't help. Plus, she was wearing sandals that had a thick strap right where the burn was. We decided to just go back to her house and talk. I planned to leave about 8pm but we were suddenly hit with severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. I ended up staying until 10 when things calmed down. It was a weird drive home. Power was out in all the small towns around hers. The giant truckstop/gas station/McDonald's was completely black. The billboards and streetlights on the interstate highway were out. There was constant lightning most of my drive home but the rain was light. Weird stuff.
Anyway, I'll try to wrap it up... The day was a blast! The spa was a little long, but I'm glad I did it once. Jenny and I got tons of time to talk and the whole idea of being at a spa together was priceless. I would have another facial and possibly a manicure if needed for a special occasion. I doubt I'll ever have another pedicure. Especially if they normally take two hours! This morning I showed Logan my nails. I asked if he like my tiger nails? "Nah." I then showed him my purple toes and asked if he like them. He crinkled his nose and said "Medium." At least Kaylin liked them! The people at work thought my nails were totally awesome. Actually they thought the whole thing was pretty funny. I chipped off probably a quarter of the polish on my right hand and every time I glanced at my nails I thought I was bleeding. Eh, I'm glad I did it once. Thanks Mike!