I Know I’m Going to Regret This

I just hope this isn’t one of things that seem like a good idea at the time, I said to the woman at the spa as I settled on to the table. She didn’t really get me, so I explained. My face doesn’t like facials. It turns red.

Oh, you won’t turn red. she said.

She got the box–this is a facial involving stuff that comes in a box–and started reading from it. You might turn white. Or yellow, but it will fade. Before you even leave the spa, you will return to your normal color.

Well, yeah, if I’d spent the day on a beach with no sunscreen and a light reflector under my chin.

I don’t really mind. I knew it would turn red. Especially after she put the laser lights on me (the little goggles should also have been a clue, they looked like they belonged in a tanning booth) and read me the rest of the directions. No make-up for four hours (there’s one they might want to mention ahead of time, too…). Wear extra sunscreen. Don’t immerse your face for a week.

But I’m supposed to swim 1/2 a mile across a pond on Saturday!

Okay, it’s too late to turn back at this point. She thinks for a minute. Vaseline, she says. All over your face.

That doesn’t sound like something that will improve my skin, but here we are. She keeps reading. My top layer of skin is going to peel off, revealing better skin underneath. My better skin will have more collagen. And the collagen will talk to the free radicals, and that will be good. I may have misunderstood that part. Don’t pull off the peeling parts.

I am going to hate this. I hate peeling.

So I knew I was going to turn red. How could something that does all that not turn you red?

But this is really, really red.

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