This is one of those stories that I swore I would never tell anyone. But the passage of time has dulled the edges of pain that I experienced when it happened, so after telling just my family and closest friends, I'm now willing to tell the world. Or at least the world of the six or seven people who actually read this blog.
Hubby and I went on a cruise this past spring during my Spring Break. We had cruised the Caribbean a couple of times, and we wanted something different this time. So we flew to Los Angeles for a cruise down the western side of Mexico: Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. The weeks leading up to the cruise were busy, of course, and I checked off almost all the things I wanted to do before we left. The one thing I didn't get around to was getting a pedicure for wearing my snazzy sandals and lounging around the pool. And Mexican bars. Ole.
Hubby and I had already had the discussion about not being reluctant to splurge. We figured we had earned the right to treat ourselves to whatever we wanted, and if our final ship bill was astronomical, well, we'd just..... we'd just...... we'd just pay it.
So after we had boarded the ship and settled into our junior suite on the fantail of the ship WITH a balcony, I tripped right on up to the spa, which was directly above our cabin. I made an appointment for a pedicure on Tuesday with a darling girl from South African whose name I cannot remember. I have probably blocked it out of my memory so I can resist the temptation to track her down and throttle her.
In all fairness, I have to admit that she offered full disclosure. She told me from the beginning that she had a degree in psychology. At the time I wasn't aware that it was a warning, that she wielded that degree like a saber. Probably sabre where she comes from. Whatever.
All I wanted was the roughness smoothed away from my scaly heels, my toenails trimmed somewhat evenly, and a coat of a pretty colored nail polish. Pedicures at home cost around $22, with tip. I figured after three quarters of a school year, sending my child off to the Persian Gulf (again), and a four-hour flight, I deserved a pedicure. Even if it cost $40....gasp.
Of course, these pedicurists (do they have another name?) don't just do feet. They talk. They are a cheap form of therapy. Cheap! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That's a good one.
I don't remember how the conversation began, or at what point I became sucked into a vortex of tangled words from which I could not emerge unscathed.
You have to picture the scene. The spa was located at the back of the ship on the 9th deck, and her spot was right next to a window that jutted out over the decks below. I was sitting on this raised up chair that felt a lot like a throne, with beautiful blue waters all around me. It felt like I was sitting on top of the world.
We talked about her job and how rewarding it was, and she talked about all the places she had been. She said she felt sad when women came into the spa and turned down some services because "It costs too much" or "My husband won't like it" or even "I'll have to ask my husband." We tsk-tsked women who were afraid to pamper themselves or turn loose of a few dollars and enjoy themselves on a cruise. She had me agreeing with her, saying it was a pity. I took the bait, the hook, the sinker, the line, the fishing pole, and the deep-sea fishing boat.
When she finished, she brought back a little card on which she had written down all the products she had used on my feet and legs. She went over each item with me, and she had written detailed instructions about how to use each one. When she was finished with that, she looked at me and said, "What do you think? Would you like to try these?" Of course! I want my feet to look this good every day! I want my feet to FEEL this good every day! How much could it be?
It could be $300. For a long-handled skin brush (that was supposed to cure everything from dry skin to constipation), a tiny bottle of oil, a slightly larger bottle of a DIFFERENT oil, a ginormous bottle of lotion, and some sea-salt/oil mixture. It was only with difficulty that I caught my breath. But I couldn't let on that it was extreme; I had just sat in her chair for an hour and half, indicating that I had earned the right to treat myself to such a luxury. Besides, she had it packaged up all nicely already.
To make matters worse, in my panic I tipped her on the total amount, not just the pedicure itself........which was a mere $65. SIXTY-FIVE FREAKIN' DOLLARS!!!! I wrote out a tip for $30 and totaled that bad boy up............$330 total. And I felt bad that I only tipped 10%. It took a long time for me to drink up $330 worth of hurt.
I went back to the same girl later in the week for a mini-facial. This time I paid for the service, turned down all the products, and retired to the bar immediately.
The picture below is NOT a $300 pedicure. I just thought you might want a visual.