Sunday, August 29, 2010

Detoxify your life with fancy skin products that bring on snazzy new expletives

We have this unwritten reward system in our house. Whenever life really starts wearing me out and I work super hard not to end up yelling at stuffed animals and throwing meatloaf, my husband says to me, “why don’t you take a bath?”
And I do. Because I love baths. Sylvia Plath wrote, “There must be a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know any of them.” Amen, sister.
A hot bath, coupled with locked doors, a humming fan, a good book and a glass of wine are just the things I need to de-stress and de- freak and relax. Coincidentally, it’s also a good time to slather my face in mud to de-tox my skin and fight with tooth and nail the inevitable wrinkles. (I’m no girly-girl, but having a face that looks like my old leather hiking boots is just plain wrong.)
And so, after a long day of sifting through not one, not two, but three people’s clothes and rearranging one entire bedroom (see upcoming column on Thursday for full explanation), when he told me to take a bath, I sprinted up the steps, wine in one hand, book in the other.
It had been literally months since I’d last let the hum of the faucet drown out background children noise, a seemingly perfect decibel for ignoring the turn of the locked door, the argument over pajamas and toothpaste going on in the other bathroom. Stepping into the steaming water, I couldn’t remember the last time I had gotten a chance like this to unwind.
Settled in, and face prepped, I applied the detoxifying facial mask I paid too much money for. Sitting back against a moldy bath pillow, I rested in and cracked open my book while the heat from the water began to release every tension from my body.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, my face which is supposed to be resting and releasing the toxins starting burning like I had razor burn from my forehead to my chin and someone pushed me into a pool of rubbing alcohol. I started saying things like, “Good Charlie Brown in the morning with turkey for breakfast!” (OK, I really didn’t say that, but what I was honestly thinking isn’t proper lady talk. And yes, I just made up that entire expletive phrase. And yes, feel free to use it next time you stub your toe or see your second cousin from Wisconsin at the gas station.)
My face was on detoxifying fire. Apparently a summer of sun and wear and tear without any proper care was too much for this special European formula. I quickly grabbed the bottle. Nowhere did it say, “the tingle means it’s working!” It just told me to keep it out of my eyes, and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Reeeeeellllllllaxxxxxxxxxx I told myself. The tingle means it’s working, I lied to myself. I pretended to read a chapter in my book while every so often glancing into the reflective drain to make sure my face hadn’t combusted.
When I could take it no longer, I plunged my whole head into the water and held my breath while I submerged myself, attempting to relieve the stinging sensation that had ruined my entire restful, rejuvenating, and rewarding experience.
Of course the first thing I did upon exiting was to check the condition of my face. Mostly I wanted to make sure I still had eyebrows and that my special freckle on the tip of my nose hadn’t been burned off in the escape of the obvious tons of toxins that were being harbored in the flesh of my cheeks.
Surprisingly enough, they were all still there, intact, and after a quick fingertip test, feeling smoother than ever.
Charlie Brown in the morning with turkey for breakfast, that stuff really worked! No pain, no gain!
Face smooth and book still in hand, I’m looking forward to my next chance to do it all again. In another four months.

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