I prefer T-shirts and tennis shoes to dresses and high heels.
I don’t buy makeup because I like the face I got for free, and the only jewelry I wear are my wedding ring and the locket Zac gave me our first Christmas together.
I have always politely declined when Alicia Davis, the owner of Rastore Spa, has offered to let me try some of the services there when I am writing about her business.
I don’t know what changed my mind earlier this month. I said it might make a good column. Maybe I wanted to see what all the fuss is about.
It’s possible that the spa’s slogan, “Escape and Rejuvenate,” seeped into my subconscious and the frazzled woman inside me said, “Hey, I need that.”
So on Valentine’s Day I visited Rastore Spa for the first facial and massage of my life.
Even my “me time” wasn’t my own. As I was leaving the office, my boss asked if I could cover something at 1 p.m. I told him I would be at the spa until 2.
He responded, “Good. The other thing I have for you starts at 2.”
As I sat in the waiting area at Rastore Spa, I tried to distance myself from reality by concentrating on the smell of coffee and hot chocolate brewing and the soft sounds of music playing overhead.
Then Bennett Boylen, the esthetician, came to get me for my facial.
I was expecting green goop and cucumbers. Instead, Bennett used fragrant oils and a lot of other things that helped me relax.
I didn’t ask questions. I just kept my eyes closed and told the nosy reporter in me to shut up (in a very Zen-like manner, of course).
Somewhere in the silence, I realized how long it had been since I could sit quietly without worrying about work, Wyatt, romance, bills, scummy dishes, dirty clothes and the rest of the never-ending list.
Thirty minutes of blissful nothingness flew by and then it was time for my massage.
I have always disliked the idea of getting even partially undressed for a stranger. After having to expose myself to a roomful of doctors and nurses during the birth of my son, a massage didn’t bother me so much.
Plus, there are draping laws that the spa staff strictly enforced.
All was going well until the massage therapist, Renee Manasco, said, “You have a nodule here on your left shoulder. Did you know that was there?”
The word “nodule” echoed in one ear as the other heard the door slam shut on my relaxing day at the spa.
Renee assured me that I shouldn’t be too concerned. She said her husband, Dr. Brian Manasco, would know what it was. So I stopped by his office later.
“You have a rib out of place” was Dr. Manasco’s diagnosis. He said it wasn’t dangerous, but I would eventually experience neck tension and headaches.
I had dealt with both of those symptoms for months and blamed it on stress.
I yelped so loud during my first chiropractic adjustment that some of Dr. Manasco’s patients probably bolted from the waiting room. However, it wasn’t really painful, just noisy. I wiggled my toes after the cracking stopped to make sure I could still feel them.
One person at the office said I ended up at the chiropractor because I took “bad energy” into the spa. I’m glad that I did, though. The problems with my head and neck are much better now.
I went back to Rastore Spa two days after my facial and massage to get my hair cut.
The stylist, Morgan Thompson, and I talked the whole time. We had several things in common, including curly hair, a mutual friend and sons who are about a month apart in age.
I understand now why people say socializing is one of the best things about going to the salon.
I was in a carefree mood that day so I agreed to let Morgan straighten my hair, which I had never done before.
Zac really liked the new look. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets me a gift certificate to Rastore Spa for my next birthday or our anniversary.
Thankfully, Zac also loves his “low maintenance” wife. If I go too girly on him, he gets worried.
The same week that I announced I had made an appointment at the spa, I brought home several copies of “Alabama Weddings” that the publisher had given me.
His quiet response to my odd behavior — “Are you divorcing me? Because I kind of need to know.”