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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Friday
Apr142006

Open Up And Say Spa


I am alone in a room. Candlelight flickers in the corner, casting pleasant shadows on the soothing mint green walls. Romantic music pulsates softly in the background. Did I mention I am naked? A woman enters and begins to rub hot oil on my breasts.


Wait, I better start at the beginning.

To celebrate my 29th birthday, my two best girlfriends, Kate and Anna, scheduled three appointments at one of Manhattan's finest spas. You know the type of place... words like facial, serum, anti-aging, foam, gel, peel and moisterizer are printed across brochures in calming blues and tranquil greens - a peaceful yet painful reminder of just how lacking my daily regimen of soap and water truly is.

Before heading off to the appointment I shower, of course, and pick my blackheads, much the same way women I know clean their houses before the maid comes.. God forbid the maid actually sees the toilet skids she's there to clean.

I ascend the subway stairs to Lexington Avenue and Kate and Anna's shrieks of Happy Birthday! Incidentally - I always hate that moment when I'm meeting someone at a predetermined location - you've made eye contact and have nodded hello, but you're still too far away to speak.. That's an uncomfortable wrinkle in time, ain't it? Where do you look? Do you glance away and pretend to be absorbed in the cracks on the sidewalk? Or the exposed crack of the homeless guy pissing in the gutter? Do you continue to leer uncomfortably at the person you're approaching? It's like awkward small talk, without the small talk.

So we take the elevator, walls painted blue, fluffy white clouds skillfully stencilled over the top, to the spa. Upon arrival, we're handed bottles of water and instructed to change into our robes and flip-flops.
"You goin' naked underneath your robe?" I ask Anna
"Hells yes!" Anna, always one for a good time whether in church or a night club is already stripping. Kate opts for underwear. As I don't believe in underwear, I'm on Anna's side of the underwear divide.

SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! We flip-flop our way to the waiting room---... What? Oh! I see.. when I said 'SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!' you thought we were spanking each other on our naked asses, didn't you? Wrestling around, perhaps a little hair pulling and such? Maybe somebody's robe slips off her shoulder a la Tara Reid on the red carpet. Nah.. it was just our spa issue flip-flops on the tile floor. Perv.

So anyway, we flip-flop our way to the waiting froom where, for a moment, I wonder if we've stumbled onto some strange Kabbalah conversion ceremony.. Several other women wearing white robes are lounging on velvet couches, daintily nibbling on cheese and crackers. I search for the tell-tale red bracelet and see nothing but bare wrist. I shrug and proceed to snack trays laden with tiny brownies, cheese squares, crackers and other precious lady foods. Snacks? I can dig this spa action.

Four brownies and six slices of cheese later, a diminutive blonde woman with an unidentifiable accent calls my name.
"Mow-neee-kuh?"
"That's me." I hop up and scuffle after her.
She escorts me to a quiet room off a long hallway and hands me a single tissue paper.
"Put dees on, den take dee robe off. Lay here and I vill be right back."
She leaves me standing there, the delicate tissue dangling from my index finger. I realize it's a string and a slice of fabric that I'm supposed to wear in lieu of the robe. Thank god I showered. Except the smidge of material, roughly the texture of a fabric softener, does nothing to quell the Mormon Muff exploding around it in every direction.
Yikes! No, really. Yikes!
I flop onto the quaint little bed unit and attempt to cover my goodtimes with a towel. This brings us back to the beginning...

I am alone in a room. Candlelight flickers in the corner, casting pleasant shadows on the soothing mint green walls. Romantic music pulsates softly in the background. Did I mention I am naked? A woman enters and begins to rub hot oil on my breasts.
Oh my god, she's kneading my breasts harder than a bread baker on the morning shift! I want to giggle so badly my lips are twitching like Evis.. What does one do when a strange woman is vigorously rubbing her mams? In addition, we all know what happens to a gal's chest when she's laying on her back.. Well all of us except Pam Anderson and Tara Reid. But those leathered husks were like us once.. at one time they suffered the indignity of having bosoms slide sneakily into armpits!

The good woman continues to baste me like a Thanksgiving turkey, then, in keeping with the food theme, binds my arms to my sides with what seems to be Saran wrap. Finally, she throws what feels like an electric blanket around my body.
"Um....?"
"It's called a "Herbie". She answers.
"A who? A what?"
"Herbie.. A Herbal Detoxification Wrap." She conveys in her quirky accent. Polish? Not quite. British? Nah. Swedish? Can't be sure. American with a contrived lilt. Bingo! "It's a heated blend of herbs and essential oils that detoxifies the body, boosts the immune system, stimulates the mind and relaxes muscles." She says this last bit with a twirl of her wrist, a flourish of the hand.
"Okay." I agree. And she leaves.

I lay there quietly. It's supposed to be nice, right? It seems nice, I guess. There I am, wrapped in plastic, my body juices partying with the oil the lady slathered all over my body. Sweat trickles down the crack of my bum. I want to scratch it. Need to scratch it. I try to focus on all the bad toxins sweating out of my body. Jagermeister, trapped in my body, traveling through my arteries to meet up with all the other old Jagermeister rampant in my juices, has combined to become as much a part of my system as my blood. Finally it's leaking out.

Another ball bearing of sweat races from the clutches of the Mormon Muff and pools with the rest of the sweat escapees near my bum. I try to focus on Enya.. she's singing something. But you know how it is with Enya.. what the fuck is she ever on about?
It's wet. My skin is braising in my sweat.
"Monica soup. I am Monica soup."
I have got to scratch my dripping ass. It must be done. No, no.. You're a grown-up, be patient.. sweat it out. But my eyes are covered with this towel I can't see AND MY ARMS ARE RESTRICTED AND I AM FREAKING OUT I NEED TO MOVE I NEED TO FREE MYSELF!
"Helloooo! How are we coming along in here?" My woman sing-songs whilst peering in the doorway.
"Fabulous." I chirp. "This feels very cleansing."

"Let's begin your facial!"
This statement heralds fifteen minutes of popping and wiping. My woman pops a blackhead then wipes the contents away with an expert flick of a cotton pad. POP-WIPE-POP-WIPE. I want to hide.. but that proves tough what with the kleig light and the giant mirror she has aimed at my pores. I'm trapped. Like a doe in headlights, all I can do is stare wide-eyed into the light and wait. "You are having a break-out, I see." She clucks.
"Yes." I say, even though I thought my skin looked fine this morning.
"I am saying I give you a Breakout Busting Task Mask."
"Uhhh?"
"It has blueberry!" She chants like a cereal commercial Mom.
"Okay?" I give in.
"Good! Is $25 dollars extra." She says happily.
"No, no. I'm fine."
"But you are having a break-out."
I want to giggle at the term 'having a break-out'.. like I'm an upcoming starlet in my breakout role.. "Nah. Let's just stick with whatever my friends ordered."
"Oka-ay." She drags out the word, implying that my opting against the Breakout Busting Task Mask goes against the Spa Constitution, but she's given me fair warning so I'm on my own slippery spa slope now. "I leave you again to sweat it out."
NOOOO! DON'T LEAVE ME! I WILL HAVE A FREAK-OUT ALONG WITH MY BREAK-OUT!
"Fantastic." I say.

It's hot. But that's good. I'm sweating out the toxins. Focus on Sade.. This is a good song. You like Sade. Yeah. See? This is nice. You like this. It's relaxing. I need to move my arms. I NEED TO GET THIS STEAMY RAG OFF MY HEAD! I AM HAVING A FREAK-OUT!

I wiggle my arms up to my chest. Having them here, where my fingers can catch a slight breeze feels better. Then I think I hear my woman coming and I quickly slither my arms back to my sides. It's not her, so I shimmy my hands back up to my chest again. Wait! SHE'S COMING! I slink my greasy arms back to my sides.. then make the horrible realization that if she walks into the room when I'm quickly moving my hands back to my sides, she will certainly think she caught me masturbating. Which is worse? Being caught masturbating or defying the laws of The Herbie Detox Wrap?

Eventually my woman returns and I emerge from my herbal wrap like a dewy newborn bird. I'm all slippery and glistening. Speaking of masturbation, I can't stop touching myself. I am reborn! I am as soft as that creepy talking bear that sells fabric softener!
"Here, touch me!" I shout at startled co-workers upon arrival at work! "Feeeeel me!"
When I see Scary Ronnie headed my way, ready to take me up on my offer I sidestep to the Ladies... where I continue to admire my shiny clean pores and luscious skins.

Reader Comments (8)

So could you please finish, dear god please tell us you get to take a nice hot shower and get that pool of sweat around your bum washed off! EEEWWW!! LOL
Do you have any idea the images we all have in our heads!!! LOL
April 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Would you please shave that damn mormon muff, for the love of Jesus. It took up the whole story. Alright, just trim it then.

April 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercunning Linguist
Geez, I thought that people "kneading my bum" was odd! I have always heard of people "kneading breasts" but never experienced from a COMPLETE STANGER!

Why is it we have to say we are fine when we aren't? We even say we are fine to complete stangers when we're not! What is it going to hurt if we tell them...and I quote "I have got to scratch my dripping ass." ... they are complete stangers...it is not like we are going to see them again!

However, I am like you Monica....I'm fantastic! LOL
April 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSM
Thank god it wasn't a man, right? I went for a massage once and it was a really hot guy. I was terrified I was going to fart the entire time. Not a relaxing experience!
April 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
The mormon muff sounds sexy. I am all about seventies porn. I want a women, not a little girl so Monica you keep rockin it!
April 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
How can a male not read this and fall prey to his imagination. Don't worry though - I wont take a trip to the park with a raincoat and umbrella
April 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAussie Bloke
Kate and Anna were very sweet to do that for your birthday...I hope you repleneshed the jaggar that steamed from your pours during the treatment afterwards!

After my husband proposed to me the next day he sent me and my best friend to a spa for a three hour treatment that included a massage, manicure and pedicure. It was a spa I had never been to but it was a client of his (he developes their advertising campaigns). So we go and it is a Chinese inspired place. Bamboo, green tea, budhas, waving gold cats...cute Chinese women working on you...the whole bit. So the massage was great! This woman used hot rocks and actually squatted on my ass like a little monkey to massage my neck...it rocked. Then came time for the mani peddi...it was like a 5 year old had painted our nails in the dark. It was all over our fingers and toes - the worst paint job ever - and it was yellow (not a colour we had picked)! We thought it was bizarre but sort of laughed it off as Rob was very sweet to buy the treatments for us.

As we were leaving we noticed something very strange, we were the only woman there. It was full of men. Very strange for a spa. Then we noticed that the hours of operation ran until midnight every night....bizarre...but we didn't really think anything of it.

A week later on the news it was reported that the spa we went to was being investigated for giving 'happy endings' to their clients. That sure explained why the nails were terrible and our massage was soooo great. I guess not to many men looking for blow jobs from a hot Chinese young thing are looking to get their manicures and pedicures done at the same time!
April 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle

good experience. it looks like you had a pleasant feeling

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergerovital

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