For the past two weeks, I have nicknamed myself Pepperoni Pizza Face. Ever since I took an antibiotic for a sinus infection, I have these tiny bumps on my face. I feel them every time I run my fingers over my face. If I could read braille, I’m sure there would be a story to tell. Maybe even a novel there, because the bumps are everywhere.
I can handle my roots showing from not getting a highlight in 4 months. No biggie. I can handle gray hairs peaking out of my scalp, so I look like a skunk-head punk. No biggie. I can even handle having a self-made French pedicure because I never bother to use polish remover and I keep cutting my nails until the color just grows out. No biggie. But, I cannot handle the pepperoni pizza face. It gnaws at my brain and makes me stare in the mirror too long, so I notice all of my other imperfections.
My 911 for skin emergencies is this great, local esthetician named Julie. She’s much better than an MD. She’s a real skin doctor. She doesn’t just hand me some prescription ointment and charge me a $40 co-pay, in hopes that it won’t work and I’ll be back for another $40, 15-minute talk and a slip of paper that’s the equivalent of picking red or black in roulette. Maybe it’ll work or maybe I’ll have an adverse reaction and will have to apply another 10 creams to fix what was supposed to fix the problem.
After an hour facial, I walk out feeling like someone gave me a skin transplant. I’m not talking about injecting botulism into my skin, either. No, thank you. Just some glycol, a few extractions and a bunch of other creams and masques that somehow do the trick.
Before I had a kid, I appreciated a facial for only one reason. It helped clear up the occasional, pepperoni pizza face. No more toppings, just plain cheese. After having a kid, a facial is like a spa retreat vacation.
I walk in to the sound of classical music. There’s a Zen fountain that echoes the sound of a tiny waterfall. The smell of aromatherapy, essential oils are still in the air from previous patron’s mini-vacations.
There’s a cover-up laid out for me on a long, white table, layered in sheets to provide me comfort. I strip all of my mommy wear off, anything to remind me that my life is no longer just mine. I slip on the cover-up and lay down without falling asleep because a little person may wake me up. There is no need to catch zzzs, just to make sure I can function the next day. This is one hour I want to stay awake for because it’s about relaxing. It’s not about a physical need.
Julie begins the facial and I float off into a world where my own realities seize to exist. It’s all about my senses, right now. As far as I’m concerned, zombies have eaten the rest of the world. Okay, maybe not my family. They’re locked up in a watering hole somewhere with Simon Pegg.
I spend my time trying to figure out the various scents of all of the products used to calm my skin and sooth my nerves. Even the extractions, which I once hated, are relaxing. I now know why estheticians always say, “some of my clients fall asleep during the extractions.” Those women are mothers!
The time goes by too fast. It goes by like the best vacation I’ve ever had and I’m soon in my car again. It’s just as bad as a long plane ride home after a week of relaxing before you had a kid. The kind of vacation you always took for granted. The kind of vacation where you actually slept. Enter reality.
On the upside, my acne isn’t yelling stories to my fingertips anymore.