Beauty Bar Betty

I go to spas or beauty places very occasionally. Sporadically and on a whim – that also describes my beauty regimen.

Regimen is far too strong a word – it implies some kind of consistency. Fleeting thoughts is more like it. Followed by thinking I really should do something about that.

If I do end up going, I’ll go under the guise of “treating myself” – a phrase I know was made up in a board room by a group of marketing people. But it is also a mistake. If I need a treat, then I’ve been too busy, which means my schedule has been dragging me around for weeks or months and I haven’t taken time for myself. In this state, I’m not thinking clearly.

There was an “open house” this week, that showed some of the most recent technologies for youth and beauty at a spa that I’d visited on my last post-deadline stress out. I made an appointment to go, even thought I knew what it would be – a sales pitch for the latest beauty line. And it was. Complete with crackers, cheese, sparking non-alcoholic wine and awkward conversations about what I was thinking about getting done. Which was nothing, until now.

There was  woman who must have been in her late 80s. She was testing out the latest in skin tightening treatments.  I will call her the Beauty Bar Betty. She knew her way around the beauty treatment scene. The skin across her forehead was stretched tight and wrinkle free. Her make up was very evening-like, but it was early afternoon. I was staring. I’d never seen someone close-up who spends a lot on surgeries and beauty treatments. I feel myself judging, which I realize is unfair. I didn’t know her. Maybe she didn’t get anything done and had hearty and youthful genetics that concentrated themselves solely in the forehead area.

When she took off her robe to get on the testing table, the floral dress she wore revealed that she was in amazing shape.  She transformed before me from a woman with “too much done” to a woman who knew what she wanted and took care of herself. Which made me feel like a schlub. And a judge-y one at that.

She wanted to look her best. I don’t know how she got the money – these treatments run in the thousands of dollars. She happily discussed her impending trip to Europe and how she’d left her credit card at home. She’s come back tomorrow to get this done once she’d tried it out with the test treatment. I couldn’t tell if she was a rich woman with disposable income or a shrewd deal-finder who got lots of free treatments under the guise of buying them “tomorrow” – either way, I was impressed.

For me, I was impressed enough to sign up for a series of treatments with a down payment. Which I regretted by the time I got home. How stupid to just spend a bunch of money without thinking on something I hadn’t even researched. I got no sleep that night, worried about money and not having enough.  I wanted to do a lot of things…why spend money here….I need a vacation…what if there’s no more work….how will I pay for anything…like that. All night. I think I slept for about an hour.

The next day, I decided that I’d have to get out of it. With a good story, of course. A story of woe and sadness that they couldn’t say I had already agreed. A personal emergency. That’s vague enough that I am not actually lying, but sufficiently tragic sounding that they wouldn’t want to pry.

I got the charges reversed after some doing, but was so paranoid that I canceled my credit card (it was expiring anyway) in case they came after me. Ha. I showed them.

Until I went to pay for parking and had to walk 5 blocks to an ATM because I had no credit card. Yup. Sure showed them.

Thanks a lot, Beauty Bar Betty. I blame you, but if I see you again, I’m going to buy you a glass of wine and talk about life.