This weekend I had the opportunity to cash in a gift certificate for an entire spa package at the Stillwater Spa. I’ve been dying to use it since I received it 6 months ago, but the timing was never right. So Saturday was my day to experience 8 solid hours of blissful relaxation. The last time I’d been to the spa was when I was about 9 months pregnant and got to experience the wonder of a Mama Massage. Ladies, if you haven’t had one of these, I STRONGLY recommend it. Just imagine, fitting your belly into this cushion and laying on your stomach whilst someone’s beautiful hands gently relaxes your tight back muscles, your sore calves etc. Seriously, I completely forgot that I was pregnant for that hour…not to mention the shower…but I’ll get to that later.
Back to Saturday. I get there late for reasons I won’t get into, (suffice it to say it was the babysitters fault) try to find cheap parking on a Saturday afternoon downtown Calgary is next to impossible. Anyways, I blow into the main reception all flustered and in prime condition for a relaxation massage. By the time it was over I had unwound sufficiently, ready to fully embrace the rest of the day and mostly had forgotten my family on the outside. On my way out, my massage therapist handed me a glass of spa water (spa water always has shit in it…cucumbers, oranges, lemons…)and strongly suggested to drink at least 3 more of them. I had an hour to kill before my next treatment (the one i was most looking forward to) so I went ahead and drank all the water I was required, wanting to make sure I experience everything the right way. There’s one thing that I’m never sure about…when they give you the robes, do you still keep your underwear on? The bra is a given, especially when you’re getting a massage…but what to do about the ginch?
To while away the time I decided to hit up the hot tub that is located in the ladies change room. Here’s where I had a bit of a quandary. Earlier I had seen another lady in the tub with a swim suit on…so off I go, throw on the suit and head to the tub. A lady was already in there, but here’s the thing…she was ass-crack naked. The Lord was on my side for that moment because the jets were on, so I saw nothing but her breasts. The fact that she was naked didn’t bother me…but that she was naked in a jetted tub that I was also in…well that kinda didn’t sit too well. On one hand I was kinda grossed out, but on the other I was now self conscious…was I supposed to also be naked? No one warned me of this. Is that what regular spa-goers do? She looked so carefree with her breasts dancing in the jets…was I the one who looked out of place fighting with my tankini top to stay in place? I was so confused and awkward, I had to get out. And it was time for my next treatment…a Detox Mineral Wrap. Wonderful.
I’d never had one of these before and when I stepped into the room I felt like I was in an episode of Dexter. A giant sheet of plastic was stretched on the table with some towels on top. It was a shower room, so it was all tiled. Anyways, after being exfoliated I was slathered with mud and wrapped in the plastic and a blanket taco style. It was very pleasant. While I was marinating the technician massaged hot peppermint conditioner through my hair.
“Ohmahgah….keep doin’ whatcha doin”….
Remember those 4 cups of water I drank? Yah, I’d forgotten about them too…until now. The WORST possible moment. My inner dialogue sounded like this…
Bladder: “I have to pee”
Me: “Shut up, I’m enjoying this. We can make it. I’ve waited a long time for this moment.”
Bladder: “No no, I don’t think you’re hearing me right…I HAVE to pee”
Me: “ooooh so pepperminty…shut up shut up shut up! Not now! I knew this would happen…maybe she’s almost done…we can do it.”
Me: “…I can wait another 30 mins, it’ll go by so fast.”
Me: “…I’m not sure if I can wait…is she almost done?”
Bladder: “I REALLY have to pee”
In a bittersweet moment, I asked the technician. She said she was done anyways, so all I had to do was shower off and I could run to the bathroom and then come back to finish the rest of the treatment. I did what I had to do, but felt SO stupid. Typical me. AND to add insult to injury, she gave me another glass of water on my way out the door. I’m pretty sure I hit the bathroom another 4 or 5 more times after that.
My next treatment was a facial. I’ve never had one of these before. The technician went over the treatment and it sounded pretty nice except for one part…extraction. Have you ever had this done before? Do you know what extraction is? Yah, it doesn’t sound nice…its not a “spa word”. She basically did what my mom did for free when I was a teenager…but used some sort of tool (my eyes were closed and all I felt was something sharp and pointy) and started digging out my blackheads. I’m pretty sure that this is a form of torture. No wonder it’s called “extraction”, I was ready to spill every dirty secret 2 minutes into it. My eyes were teary and I had to hold my breath. “Relax” she says…pffft. I did relax when she started the face massage. This was definitely an “Ohmagah” moment. I could have kissed her.
My last treatment of the day was a pedicure. I’ve had one of these before, so it held no surprises for me. However, the minute I put my feet in the tub I honestly was this close to weeping, I was so relaxed and happy. It was sublime. The final icing on the cake was my final shower as I got ready to leave my heaven and return to earth. The showers at Stillwater are one of my favorite things. And almost caused a divorce the last time I was at the spa, I spent so much time in there. The stall has a rainshower head above you and two adjustable heads to hit your back, all with unlimited amounts of hot hot water. To a 9 month pregnant woman this is the ultimate shower experience.
By the time I was finished, dressed and blowdried I was getting “are you on your way home yet?” text messages from M, who’d been babysitting all day. I quickly stuffed every free amenity into my bag and used all the lotion, mouthwash and whatever product I could use, I exited to building to join the toiling masses and head home. To top off an amazing day, I get home to a baby (and husband) happy to see me and I realize it’s the longest I’ve been away since becoming a mama…8 hours and it wasn’t all that bad. My return to work will be similar….right???
In conclusion…beg, borrow or steal whatever you have to to get yourself to a spa and experience a little bit of you time. If you feel bad about stealing, use the $100 you get every month from the government to treat yourself…you will be glad you did!!!…just don’t drink the water.