10 December 2012


In my last post, I admitted that, more often than not, when Paul leaves, I slip into a bit of depression. The last few extended trips have allowed me to see the signs and determine what I need to do so that I can keep sane. The key factor, I have determined, is to keep active.

Nic, friend that she is, also knows about my down times and ensured I would not be spending my nights alone. Since her own husband would be ditching her for the evening to join the boys at a bar watching a rugby game that didn’t start until 10:30 p.m., she decided that we needed to have one heck of a girly evening. There would be nail polish, lavender masks, a Nicholas Sparks movie and sloppy joes.

Over the last year, my doctor and I have been working on my cholesterol, which happens to be that of a 300-pound man. If I were a 300-pound man, this might make sense, but I am 5’1” (1.57 meters) and I weigh 125 pounds (57 kg). I should not have a cholesterol problem.

My most recent visit with my favorite doctor caused me to make a big lifestyle change. I have since cut sugar (not stopped eating sugar altogether, but I think seven days of cake the week before my blood test might not have been the best idea at the time), limited carbs at dinner and started working out five days a week. I tell you this to point out that  Nic is well aware of my non-dairy, no sugar in my face, no carbs at dinner if possible diet but she threw it all out the window for girls’ night, which, in my opinion, was totally justified.

There were sloppy joes on bleached, white flour buns. There were scones made with Mars bars throughout. Then there were actual Mars bars placed on the table in between the 30 nail polish bottles. And I had wine. I had a lot of wine. I knew Sunday would have to be a healthy day.

We began with the feet: stripping existing nail polish, clipping nails, filing nails and then soaking in a bowl of warm water with a dissolved salt cube. We used an exfoliating scrub and then finished with lotion before adding some fancy new nail colors.

We opted to do the facial part of the evening before moving on to the hands because, let’s be honest, knowing that I would be using a facial scrub and a clay-based mask on my face and rinsing both, I would totally have messed up my nails beyond any and all repair. I know that I need an hour of doing absolutely nothing to ensure that I will not chip, dent or smudge my good work.

We placed ourselves in front of a mirrored sink and started massaging the apricot scrub into our skin. The feeling of the little scrubbers was great, though the initial texture of the cleanser was quite thick and rough. We took turns rinsing and then we prepped for the masks.

I have only had one professional facial and have only self-applied one mask in my life. To be honest, masks intimidate me. The thought of thick dirt-like gunk being rubbed on my face, drying and having to be rinsed in layers intimidates me. For better or for worse, our masks were atypical.

I picked up the purple striped package and started reading the instructions. We were advised to rub our fingers in circular motions to ensure that the mask adhered to our skin. O.K., that sounds normal. Then I read, “Leave the mask on the face for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel mask and discard. No need to rinse.”

“No need to rinse?” I repeated aloud as Nic ripped into her pack. “What the…” I heard her say as she pulled out a flimsy white sheet that was folded like a business letter. When she began unfolding, we started laughing – she bought us actual facial masks.

The masks unfolded in two layers, one being plastic lining that we peeled off and threw away. The other layer was the actual mask – a cold, wet oval-shaped piece that had two round holes cut for eyes, a slit cut out for the nose and a crazy cartoon mouth hole. When we started to apply them, we laughed so hard! Nic was screeching and I was bent over, nearly falling on the floor, eyes watering.

Nic kept looking in the mirror, in my direction, and laughing at how ridiculous I looked. She stretched out an arm and pointed at me while squealing, the entire time focusing on how horrid I looked and not realizing that she looked just as stupid.

I decided that we needed to take a photo since this was 1. hilarious and 2. likely the worst photo either of us would ever take in our lives and we needed the memory.

I sent Paul an e-mail with the photo so that he could see what Nic and I were up to. “That’s not what I was expecting,” he said. And then, “You look like Hannibal Lecter.” 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we were also decked out in flannel pajamas.

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