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White Girl Repents

I am so going to hell.

In the last 48 hours I have blown a ridiculous amount of cash on frivolous fu-fu girl stuff. Stupid, vain, spoiled American going-straight-to-hell-with-no-turning-back foo-foo girl stuff. Plum, caramel and blond highlights, a hair cut, an eye-brow wax job and a trip to a day spa where I received my first facial. I'm completely ashamed of myself and I feel like I might puke.

Normally, an awareness of my guilty, white, American cultural inheritance prevents me from participating in such consumerist bacchanalia. But I slipped, people. A lesser woman might blame Oprah and her minions who gather in stylish boardrooms with fresh-cut flowers and exotic teas, deviously plotting new ways to widen the influence of their consumerist propaganda. But on Judgment Day I will have no one to blame but myself.

How could a well-intentioned, tortured soul such as myself get sucked into this frenzy of abominable spending? Allow me to retrace my steps and we both shall discover the roots of my fall.


I believe it all began on Christmas morn when I excitedly opened several presents only to discover that I had not received a single item that I actually wanted. What was it I wanted? Hell if I know. All I know is that I didn't get it.

Boredom and emptiness set in. Not the good kind of emptiness where you feel unattached and at peace, but the other kind of emptiness where you feel irritated and must distract yourself with mind-numbing entertainments and sensual pleasures such as bad tv, handful after handful of little foil-wrapped chocolate balls and the misuse of trendy, vibrating pillows.

Slowly, a sense of entitlement rose up within me. Surely I am entitled to something that I want. After all, I am an American and I am entitled to the pursuit of happiness, no matter what the cost. In fact, let there be bloodshed and environmental destruction, I will get what I want! And what I want more than Swedish, minimalist furniture....is....is....to feel pretty. Yes, I want to feel pretty. And witty. And gay.

I found myself again and again returning to a brochure I had picked up somewhere for a day spa. Oh to have a Rose Petal Facial or a Chocolate Fondue Body Wrap! When suddenly, my boyfriend, sensing my discontent, asked me the question for which I will forever devote myself to loving him: "Do you want something out of that brochure, Baby?"

"Um....yes," I replied in a meek, kitten-like manner.

"Will this cover it?" He asked as he whipped out a crisp Ben Franklin.

"It'll have to do," I sighed, if only to mask my raging lust for spa treatments.

I immediately made an appointment. As tempting as the Chocolate body wrap sounded, I'd rather eat chocolate than have it smeared all over my body, so I opted for a European facial instead.

And while the devil had me in his wicked little grasp I might as well make a trip to my favorite hair salon, quickly now, before I come to my senses and realize how much freakin' money I'm blowing!

Oh, how I'd love to tell you all about the salon, how I sat down in the barber's chair and explained that my hair has a natural curl and I'm tired of trying to force it to be straight and the two gay men who piped in with the "Amen, sister! Let that curl out! You don't have to be straight any longer!" But I'm anxious to move on to the day spa experience...

So, I walk into the day spa and am escorted to my own private room lit solely by candles and the fading afternoon light. New age music is playing softly and the scent of lavender and chamomile wafts through the air. In a hushed tone my "facialist" says to me, "I'm going to step outside for a moment and I'll need you to take off all your clothes, lie down on the table and pull the covers up to your shoulders."

"Take off all my clothes?!? For a facial?" I say incredulously.

"You can leave your pants and bra on if it'll make you feel more comfortable but I'll need you to tuck your bra straps under your arms," she explains. This is because the facial also includes a "deep, relaxing massage of the face, neck and shoulders."

I'm starting to get a little nervous here. What have I gotten myself into? Nobody told me I'd have to take off my clothes. The woman steps out and I hesitantly take off my blouse, tuck my bra straps under my arms and get under the covers on the table.

I lie there, waiting, for what seems like an eternity while my imagination runs it's usual nerve-racking course. What have I done? How can I get out of this? Surely God will punish me now. I'll be on Sixty Minutes in a segment about a day spa scam in northern California where clients were forced to take off their clothes and lie on plush tables while thieves rushed in and grabbed their purses! Or maybe the building will catch on fire and I'll have to run out into the street half-naked with green goop on my face while highly attractive fire-fighters point and laugh!

I close my eyes and silently pray over and over again, "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

The spa woman returns and I stiffen. She sits in a chair behind me and I hear a farty, squirting sound.

"I'm going to begin by gently cleansing your face with a mild, soothing cleanser," she whispers.

"Don't lie to me bitch! I know you're going to blind me with hydrochloric acid!" I scream silently to myself and increase the pace of my inward pleas to God.

Please God, strike this spa woman dead and I swear I will serve you most faithfully for as long as I shall live.

Then came the steam torture, followed by "manual gentle extraction." God, that hurt. I think I blacked out a couple of times but I made many promises to God and was spared an unholy death-by-spa treatment. Finally a "customized masque" was applied "to help tone and remineralize the epidermis."

When I got home I looked closely at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. That bitch missed a zit! I was saving that one especially for her! But other than that my skin looked fantastic. Pretty damn spiffy! Gonna burn for all eternity, but looking pretty!

As I laid down to go to sleep that night I thought of all the victims of the tsunami in Asia. I fucking suck. I'm a shitty, ungrateful American. I really wanted to somehow return the facial, to give it back, go back in time and not do it. Or at least get up and rub cat turds all over my face and shave my head. But I didn't.

I woke up at 1:00 in the morning with a burning, red rash all over my face, neck and shoulders. And you know what? I'm relieved.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ygolonac
Jan. 1st, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)
Didn't receive a single item you wanted?!?

I'd like to point out to your readers that I did give you something you liked quite a bit and that you stretched the truth with the crowbar of artistic license.

If you must assuage your white girl guilt, you could always live like this guy

createdestiny
Jan. 2nd, 2005 01:05 am (UTC)
That guy is living high on the hog compared to some Orthodox nuns I know who live out in the Alaskan bush.
mystic_savage
Jan. 1st, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
Sounds familiar. Especially the guilt.
lcurtis
Jan. 1st, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
You poor tortured soul, I love you.
Dad
johnwinger
Jan. 2nd, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
Repugnant, yet I can't look away
Interesting read. I haven't seen "consumerist bacchanalia" used that casually since I read the complete writings of Che Guevara.

Your comments about the people from Harpo are dead on, although I caution you not to be so public about it...if you get my drift.

dietcokehed
Jan. 2nd, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
Don't feel guilty...you're a girly, we all need to do things like that once in awhile. You didn't tell me about your hair!! I need to see it...NOW! :)
Missed you the other night. Bug said Dirk could have come over sick and we could have given him some tea and a blankie. We could have used the intellect of you two while trying to play the CSI board game drunk...
I hope your kitty comes back soon :( Have you checked over at the old house or even your apartment? Since you moved next door, maybe he's hiding out over there. Or he could have gone back "home" to your old place, since animals have such a keen sense some have been known to do that. Do you have pics that you could post up in the neighborhood? A few years ago my cat went missing for like two weeks. We put up signs after about a week, and then the next weekend we put up colored ones (yes, that was pricey) When we were done that day we were in the kitchen and suddenly heard her meow. She was coming through the backyard from the front gate. We don't know what happened to her...she was either locked in someone garage or someone stole her, saw the posters and felt bad and dropped her off (my mom swears she heard a car door right before we heard her meow) Anyway, she was well, just a tad thinner (but she was a fatty to start with so that was ok :)
He's probably just out whoring around, being a boy and in that neighborhood...or maybe he's across the street getting drunk!
http://individual.utoronto.ca/stan_hamstra/recipie4copy.jpg
karmajones
Jan. 4th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oh you're burning in Hell alright, but not for going to a spa. Nope, you're going to Hell because you blasphemed Oprah! How could you?!?
I was going to give you this exrta ticket to her "Favorite Things" episode for next year - but since you've decided you need to reject those filthy indulgent tendancies I'm taking Rachel instead.
Did you go to the spa before or after the Tsunami? 'cause ya know - Oprah's retribution is mighty...you just may be at fault for it all...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )