Last week, just before we left for Seattle, I used a one year old gift certificate to the Spa Grande I spent 2 hours floating and soaking in various pools, and sipping hot cocoa whilst I flipped through a spa magazine, and lounging in the steam room with cucumbers and cool towels over my eyes. I do love me a good spa. However, there is one little detail about this particular spa that will cause you to sit up and take notice. (Or at least, it certainly did for my friend visiting from Georgia, whom I had not prepared adequately.) In this spa, it is women only. And in this spa, the women feel free to walk around naked. And get into pools with other total strangers. Naked. Stark Ass Naked.
Now, for the most part, people control themselves. We avert our eyes, do not stare, and most of all, try not to compare. When you are getting into a pool (there are several large pools, with and without bubbles, one hot, one cold, one scalding) and there are other women in there, you don't go sit right next to them. Personal Space is key. And the biggest rule of thumb is the 7 smaller soaking tubs are INDIVIDUAL SOAKING TUBS. And unfortunately, my dear friend was at the receiving end of some very bad spa manners, when she was soaking away peacefully and another woman climbed into the INDIVIDUAL SOAKING TUB accommodating my friend. My friend's modesty was very clear - she had her swimsuit on in a sea of nudity, because God Bless Her she is a lady and ladies don't wander around naked in front of strangers. And this woman who jumped in her tub was letting it all hang out. All of it. She had subjected herself to The Wax. And by that, I mean there was not a hair to be seen. Nothing to offer her any sort of modesty or privacy. Nothing to conceal any part of her as she climbed down into the pool. It was all Right There.
I have never seen a stricken look before like the one that came over my dear friend. I thought I was going to have to pull some sort of lifeguard maneuver and rescue her by pulling her over the wall into MY tub, but then again, I was naked and definitely didn't want to make her even more uncomfortable. So. We all sat there awkwardly. My friend could not get out of her tub without climbing over her new tub-mate. I could not leave her there alone. So we sat. And sat. And got quite pruney. Until finally my friend, after a polite amount of time had passed, stood up and slipped sideways past the woman and out of the tub.
So on this particular visit, I had that all in my mind as I was lounging in one of those soaking tubs, and had taken up basically the whole end of the tub as to impede anyone from getting in without having to actually climb OVER ME. And every time anyone drew near, I shot them a look that said "do not even think about it". And one of the times that I was shooting the laser beams, I found myself face to face with someone that appeared to be human, but in fact had so much plastic in her body that clearly, she was a sort of half-woman, half science project.
It wasn't just the boobs (though god knows those were fake) - it was the hair, the lips, the nails, the skin, the LACK OF HAIR, the very bone structure in fact. It was all "done". As in, not existing in nature, but rather after months and years and tens of thousands of dollars worth of tweaks and adjustments and "improvements". And I am sure, to some, she was perfect. The perfect specimen.
To me, she was a traveling freak show.
And in perfect droid fashion, she was ALWAYS nearby. I would move to a different pool, she would step in. I walked blindly into the steam room, and as my eyes adjusted, there she was. I don't know how she was taking the heat - the fact that she did not actually MELT is testament to the quality of the workmanship on display. And my self-image, rather then feeling challenged, was strengthened.
Those big fake boobs will never feed a child.
Her hair was newly colored, and yet, there was just a shadow of roots already. Which looked tacky.
She looked literally uncomfortable in her own (?) very taut skin.
So I relaxed, and thought about how nice it was to be able to float around in chlorine and not worry about my hair turning green, and how nice it was that I didn't have to worry about my nipples popping up out of the water because whatever was implanted under them was so incredibly buoyant. And that my skin tone was from being outside, and not from lying under a lightbulb.
And then I made an appointment for a very overdue bikini wax. Because I am human.
4 hours ago