I like to think that there’s very little I can’t handle. Need me to haul 100′ of feeder cable across the stage? Stick my hand into a sink full of dirty dish water so I can find the hunk of partially decomposed chutney that’s clogging up the sink? Work 16 hours and load a truck without a ramp? Manage a crew of men twice my age who think I’m an incompetent puppy?
No problem. I will do so without blinking, and I will kick ass doing so.
However, try to pamper me and I will loose my shit.
I had a hair appointment this morning. Aside from having a lovely atmosphere, extremely friendly staff, and a blonde little waif of a scissor ninja named Bridget who makes me feel hot again, this salon also provides amazing free relaxation services: mini facials, five-minute deep tissue massages, make-up touch-ups, etc. Which is how I found myself, freshly shampooed, hair wrapped in a warm towel, sitting in a salon chair and receiving a soy oil hand massage.
It was glorious.
I couldn’t handle it.
I run into this issue pretty much anytime I’m experiencing personal services; manicure, pedicure, massage, shampoo, etc. It’s almost like I feel guilty for inconveniencing them, for making them touch my nasty feet or my dry hands. I’m not rich or special enough to deserve these nice things; I’m just a lower-middle class working girl who once in a while likes to have nice feet. Pedicures are the worst; something about a person kneeling in front of me and slaving away at my toenails while I sit on a “throne”, of sorts makes me feel so terribly guilty, like I’m holding them on a leash. A part of it might be because I’m pretty sensitive to the feelings of those in the service industry; working retail I spent my fair share running to fetch this in one size smaller, that in white instead of black, another bottle of water, and so on. I know how tiring and demanding it can be to be ordered around by a bitch of a customer, and I hate the idea of doing that to someone else.
It’s all very silly, of course. I mean, these are services that I’m paying for! Even when I was the server myself, very often it was no trouble at all, and I willingly did it in the name of kindness and a bigger sale. I know I’m not forcing them, I’m not begging them, I’m not inconveniencing them; they are there for the expressed purpose of pampering me, and I am paying them money for them to do so. It is their job, just like it’s my job to light shows. Not only will they do it because it’s their job, but most of them will do it happily and do it well, because they’re hoping for good tips.
And yet, I can’t get over the guilt. Which is why instead of just enjoying the experience and relaxing, I will worry that I’m making their job harder. I will apologize for the state of my hair, feet, nails, etc. I’ll nervously chat, in an attempt to show that I’m not demanding and needy. Even when I try to close my eyes, tell myself to be a little selfish and enjoy, I will be super conscious of how I’m holding myself, and try to go out of my way to help them do the job that I’m paying them to do.
Perhaps the reason that I can handle hard manual labor more easily that I can handle luxurious pampering is because I have more experience with the former than the latter. Maybe I just need to spend more time being pampered before I’ll be really comfortable with the experience. If someone would just send me to the spa for a good week or two, I’d be able to get over my fear of luxury.
(Anyone biting? No? Well, it was worth a shot…)