I started writing about how awesome my birthday was, because it was. Seven kinds of fantastic, truly. I don’t want it to end but enjoyed taking down (some of) the birthday shrine I’ve built on my dining room table. Not because I want it gone (although really I’d like to be able to use the table again) but because I went through the cards again and just soaked up all the ‘good’; all the warmth, love, and just plain kick assedness of my friends and family.

A pretty big part of the ‘Angela is 40 Extravaganza’ was how I spent my Saturday afternoon. I was gifted with a beautiful afternoon at the spa where had a salt scrub, mud mask, and a relaxation massage.  In fact, I’d like to walk you through my day at the spa because well, if you’ve never had a treatment like this before it’s nice to know what to expect. I had a spa day once before, in 2004…I think this was fairly similar but had forgotten some of the finer points of the spa experience.

I arrived ten minutes early as per my instruction seat. I proceeded to a lovely waiting area where I started taking selfies and was snapchatting (silently) much to the confusion of the other woman there waiting. She clearly had not been informed of the Extravaganza and for this I forgave her sideways glances as I posed and tilted my phone and head this way and that.

Then my spa attendant came and got me. She was a really lovely young girl who spoke softly and gently and led me back to a lovely little room where she soothingly suggested I take off all of my clothes and put on what appeared to be a paper thong and a hair net of sorts. Then off she went so as to give me some privacy…or at least the illusion of it because by the end of the afternoon I think she likely was more familiar with my body than I am.

I did as she asked and felt slightly like maybe I was going to have my organs harvested rather than be pampered – the paper underwear and hat had me feeling a little operating room-ish.

She also told me when I was done changing to lie face down on the bed and cover myself with the towel. Never one to disobey, in all my barely clothed glory I hoisted myself up onto the table, face down, and tried to artfully arrange what basically amounted to a place mat over my body. I am not a big woman. I am pretty average sized…I hope they have different options for different bodies is all I’m saying. Soon there was a gentle knock at the door and I let her know I was ready and she could enter the room.

She asked me if I was comfortable and I said that indeed I was (as comfortable as one can be in nothing but paper attire and their modesty at the mercy of a hand towel) and with that she said nary another word but instead went to work and I was soon being scrubbed with salt. Sccrrrrubbbbbbed. Girl was not messing around. I was being exfuckingfoliated.

I had a cup of coffee not long before this all started and was slightly overtired. I was essentially naked and a stranger was scrubbing me with sea salt. To top it off the music playing was, I’m sure, a compilation of shitty 80s movie soundtracks. I was literally biting my lip to not burst out laughing and also wishing I had a paper and pen so I could jot down all of the thoughts running through my head for the sake of this very post. I was  failing pretty hard at the relaxation part at this point in time!

Once she was done with the scrubbing I felt what I thought was warm oil being rubbed all over the freshly salted surfaces. It was actually mud. Duh. I knew I was getting a mud treatment too but Jessica (that was her name) was pretty coy about letting a girl know what was up next. She did ask me if the temperature was okay and carried on. The back side of my body was covered and she held the towel up and asked me to roll over onto my back.

It was at this point I became truly concerned.

It’s one thing to have your ass cheeks scrubbed with salt and then rubbed down with mud by a stranger but the ‘girls’? Hm, hard no. Luckily when Jessica did speak she always had purpose: “Would you like your breasts done?”

Nope. Thanks, all set here. Instead I demurred a polite, “No, that’s okay” all the while wondering does anyone actually opt to have their bosoms scrubbed with salt and covered in mud? And poor Jessica! What if they do and she’s just gotta go about her day pretending she doesn’t have a handful of a stranger’s boob and wonder with a mixture of awe and horror of what it is that happens to the old knockers as one ages? How many people does she have to go to second base with? I’m sure it’s like a physician and one boob isn’t any more interesting than the next but at the same time, hm, no. Not for me. Respect to all the estheticians and spa attendants out there who some days have to get all up in everyone’s business (waxing….need I say more?)!

Anyway, I did not subject her or I to that business because I wanted to relax and was feeling quite significantly so once I knew the girls were safe and would remain untouched by a stranger – professional and polite or not. I prefer my ta-tas unsalted.

After all the rest of me was done, she wrapped me up like a human burrito, turned down the lights, and said she was going to leave me for 30 minutes. Okay, sure. The first 5 minutes of that 30 were spent in a fit of trying not to laugh out loud, imagining my face was itchy and panicking because I couldn’t get a hand free to scratch it, and just about falling off the table when in the midst of the music the word “Spppaaaaa” was said with such clarity I thought perhaps someone had snuck into the room and was just stating the obvious. I had been half dozing when this happened and then learned it was the Sirius XM Spa station and this was a commercial. Jesus.

Dozy doze dozed again for a bit because I was quite warm and comfy and then before you know it Jessica was back and she brought flip flops and a robe because it was bath time! Off we went to the tub room next door. I threw away my underwear and hat and lowered myself into the biggest tub ever and was instantly aware of some pretty aggressive jet action. The mud and salt came off with a little scrubbing and I sipped the water she had left for me on the side of the tub and then tried to figure out what the hell to do with my arms. If I just tried to let them relax I was at real risk of whacking myself in the face due to the sheer force of the jets. Part of me enjoyed this treatment (no, not that part…stop yourself) because it felt like some sort of lymphatic massage and I don’t even know if that’s a thing or not but I felt like I was getting the full benefit of the jets and water in any event!

Then back to the room where I was allowed to put my own underwear back on and again lied face down on the table. Relaxation massage time! Jessica was a goddamned saint and barely said a word and went to work doing what she do and I dozed on and off and thought of starting my own spa service (where I would be the boss and not provide any treatment because I do not have the maturity to do so) where before someone comes in they can choose their own play list to listen to while being pampered.

All kidding aside, this was a truly wonderful treatment and I felt like a new woman when I left but I can’t help but think of how great it had been if I was listening to Adele, 70s soft rock, and maybe a few 80s love ballads while I was being scrubbed, mudded, and massaged. It would have been heavenly and I likely would have spent less time trying to think of the names of 80s leading men that I thought would star in the movies where they clearly had gotten the music from. I figured Eddie Murphy and Michael Douglas would be top of the list and then started thinking about just how many movies Michael Douglas did star in during the 80s and listed them off….and well, this is why I need spa days kids because the old brain works a little overtime now and again.

In summary, I may suck at relaxing but had the best damn birthday ever! My husband is a rock star, my daughter and mother are gems, my family is top of the line, and my friends are better than yours. Well maybe not but I do have a pretty stellar group of individuals I am lucky enough to be able to call friends!

Thank You does not do justice to the level of gratitude and appreciation I want to express but for now it’s all I’ve got. Thanks a million times over to each and every one of you who made the day/weekend so special, including Jessica from the spa, because I now have the silkiest smooth skin of all time – well except for you-know-where but I moisturize on the daily so I think they’re okay for a couple of 40 year olds…

Forty has started off pretty fantastically and now it’s up to me to make sure this decade lives up to it’s spectacular start!



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