This time last year I was tired.
In fact, the adjective “tired” doesn’t even seem to capture the level of fatigue I was living with during May 2012. Looking back on it, I realize that I was trying, at the time, to manage the resurrection of this blog, navigate motherhood with five children, two of whom didn’t regularly sleep through the night, and do all the other stuff I’ve always done during spring. I distinctly remember falling asleep in my clothes one evening. I’m guessing when Sean found me in our bed still wearing my shoes, he thought perhaps I could use a little relaxation for Mother’s Day. Hence, he went above and beyond buying me a spa day at a local fancy pants salon.
When I opened the gift I was actually dumbfounded. It seemed too extravagant both financially and time-wise. I bit my tongue, however, as my mother smartly advised me years ago to never question a gift from my husband. ”Just say thank you and be grateful he thought of you.”
The morning of my day-of-pampering, Sean warned me as I started to do my hair. ”No need for that. You’re going to get wet.” Apparently he’d signed me up for a treatment called a vichy shower. I had no idea what that was, nor did I have time to research it, so away I went hoping I wasn’t about to get sprayed off like an elephant at the circus.
Little did I know what I was in for.
When the spa girl came to get me she explained that I needed to remove all my clothes before the treatment. Great. Seeing as how modesty left the building somewhere during my first labor and delivery, I shrugged it off as just another opportunity for some stranger to be exposed to my nether-regions.
Now, in case you’ve never seen a vichy shower room, let me set the scene. It looks a little like a a mid-evil torture chamber of some sort. Dimly lit with tiled walls, in the middle of the room is a treatment bed (and I use the term ‘bed’ loosely. Honestly, it looked more like an embalming table. In fact, I am damn positive that embalming tables and vichy shower beds are manufactured in the same factory and are simply smacked with different labels when shipped out for sales.) Spa girl told me to disrobe, lie on the ‘bed’, and cover myself with the two washcloths. Once laid out and barely covered, spa girl rubbed me down with some body scrub. Apparently I was being “buffed”. It felt more like I was being sanded.
After the rub down, I was asked if I am claustrophobic. I hate that question. I always say no, but truth be told …it depends. MRI machine? I can handle it. A minivan with three kids for more than a few hours? Hell yes. I am claustrophobic. Deciding that this experience was going to be more MRI and less minivan ride from hell, I said no.
This was my first mistake as she proceeded to basically cocoon me in a bunch of towels in order to let the sanding…I mean buffing sink in. Once she had secured me in what felt like a straight jacket, I made a mental note to profusely apologize to all five of my kids for swaddling them. Until that moment, I was under the impression that swaddling was comforting. Little did I know that my babies were silent while swaddled simply because they were quietly plotting their revenge…which apparently was coming to me in the form of vichy shower.
Of course, not wanting to look like a crazy woman, I said nothing. How much worse could it get?
That’s when spa girl swung the longest shower arm I’ve ever seen over my body. It hung horizontally with the table and had no less than six shower heads. Before I could say anything, she turned it on and I was doused with water. Now, apparently many people find this relaxing. Unfortunately, for me, all I could envision was being water boarded.
Making it worse, when I get nervous I get the giggles. So there I lay, in my straight jacket while being water boarded, laughing. I cannot begin to imagine what a nutcase spa girl thought I was.
Eventually the cocoon was removed, I was flipped, and my backside was pressure washed for what seemed like an eternity. In fact, of the four spa treatments I received during the day, the vichy shower was the longest. By the time it was over, I was mentally exhausted. I’ve never been so happy to exit a spa room in my life.
Since my experience, I’ve talked to many, many women who find vichy showers very relaxing. I’m just not one of those gals.
Which leads to my list of Do’s and Don’ts for Mother’s Day gift giving.
Do Consider gifting a spa treatment/day for the mother in your life. It’s a gift that most women won’t give to themselves.
Don’t Pick out the treatments for her. Let her decide what treatment would be most enjoyable!
Do Consider gifting jewelry for the mother in your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many a bracelet has come and gone in my life, but the treasures I’ve held onto are always picked out or sometimes made by my kids. Nothing is sweeter than having a little boy pick out a necklace of cheap beads for his mom. I love that kind of stuff. (For a great idea for a homemade Mother’s Day bracelet visit Mary Vogle’s blog here. She has a darling idea!)
Don’t Buy some random piece of jewelry. Put some thought into it! The sentiment behind the gift means more than the gift. Trust me on this!
Do Consider gifting flowers for the mother in your life. Hanging baskets are in full bloom at every nursery in the country right now. In addition, consider making a live floral arrangement. Homemade cut flower arrangements can be made inexpensively from grocery store bouquets. Learn how at this link.
Don’t bring home a bouquet from the grocery store and leave it on the kitchen counter. Nothing says “last minute thought” more than a bouquet of flowers from Kroger.
For me, Mother’s Day isn’t about the gift. It’s about showing the ladies in my life who are mother figures to me and my children that what they do day after day is appreciated. Sometimes a handwritten note expressing gratitude for their efforts is the very best gift to give…and receive.
Happy Mother’s Day!