How I Spent Black Friday

While thousands of my fellow Americans were engaged in combat with each other, vying for a bargain price on an 85-inch big screen TV or shoving to the front of a long line of like minded people in order to have the best shot at this year’s most asked for toy, I was tucked cozily beneath two layers of blankets on a massage table, enjoying an oh, so soothing facial.

I know it wasn’t a competition, but I’m pretty sure I won the day.

A Little Slice of Haven

For Mother’s Day my son purchased a couple of gift certificates for me for services at Haven, a spa in Tallahassee. I’m a big fan of spas and believe there should be one on every corner, like Starbucks or McDonalds, where patrons just walk up to a counter and order “a deep tissue massage with a side of facial.” Now that would be a perfect world.

I do treat myself to spa treatments fairly regularly, but I’d never been to Haven. Their website was great, and I was able to book my appointment online. That was a big plus, in my book. 

Being a bit of an overachiever, I scouted out the location of the spa one afternoon last week when I was in the neighborhood. Inside Haven the vibe was just the right sort of mellow. As an added plus, one of my favorite local caf├ęs, Canopy Road, was nearby. 

Today was the big day. I arrived a few minutes early for my 60-minute acupressure massage with Steve Peuckert, and was met at the door by a friendly young woman, Pam, I believe, who had me complete the easy peasy paperwork for a first timer. 

One of my pet peeves is going to a new spa and having to fill out two sides of a form. By the time I’m finished I’m more stressed than I was when I entered. But Haven’s questionnaire had five quick questions. Even I don’t mind answering five questions.

Steve took me back immediately and soon I was drifting away into the land of ahhhhhs. I’m an aficionado of great massage therapists, and Steve skyrocketed to the top of my list. The man knows his stuff. I rebooked before leaving the salon.

Haven Spa offers discounts to customers who check in on Facebook, Google+, or Yelp when they arrive at the spa. That’s about as good as it gets, right? Haven might not have a franchise on every corner, but they make it easy to get a wonderful and affordable spa experience.

I didn’t receive any products or free services for this piece on Haven Spa. As usual I just wanted to let my friends in on a really great business. Here’s a link to their website:

Peace, people.

Death and Facials

One of the nicest things I do for myself is to schedule regular facials. I’m fortunate to live near an Aveda Institute where students in the noble art of esthetics practice their burgeoning skills on willing participants for a fraction of the cost of the same service at a regular salon. 

My esthetician today was poised and competent. From the initial handshake I could tell I was in for a great experience with Madeline, and I wasn’t disappointed. But this post isn’t about her; it’s about me, as always.

Not long after I’d gotten settled on the table and Madeline began her routine my mind started wandering. Not to a happy place on a beach, or to a ski resort in the alps, but to my future deathbed. Yes, I’m weird that way.

I thought about how many times I’ve gotten a special, one time only event totally wrong. Like the year my sorority in Kansas chose me as their sweetheart. I believe my exact words were, “You’re sh***ing me!”

Or the one time a good looking teenage boy picked up my teenaged self and flirtatiously threw me into a swimming pool. Again, I believe my exact words were, “You’re shi***ing me!” 

So I began rehearsing my deathbed speech. Oddly enough, it started with, “You’re sh***ing me!”

Naw. Just kidding. In my fantasy I told everyone gathered around me how much I loved them, and recounted one beautiful memory from my time with each individual. It was moving. I hope I can remember all this when the time comes. But if all else fails there’s always the old standby.