Monday, May 05, 2008

The value of the spa...

How do you get a guy to understand the value of a spa treatment? (That's not rhetorical...if you've got the answer, please let me know).

My sister and I are planning to bring my mom with us for a mother's day spa retreat. We're trying to look at what would be a good package to do that will also be budget friendly. As I tried to discuss this with my husband, he expressed this sentiment:

"Its just so much money when all you get out of it is to feel relaxed for a while".

And, as a budget-conscious consumer I concede his point. Kind of.

Because a spa treatment, whatever it is, provides SO much more than just a little relaxation. And although, yes, it is a luxury and certainly not necesary, but its more than just the feeling of relaxation while you are getting done what you are getting done. And, while I won't say that I particularly deserve this type of treatment, and I'm not usually materialistic, high-maintenance, or otherwise me-centered, I tend to believe that if my husband is making the call that I continue to work so we can "enjoy" the lifestyle we have now, then I should get to choose what we (or I) enjoy sometimes. I'm not someone who goes to the salon regularly (in fact, its been almost a year since my last visit to the salon for color and nearly 18 months since I've had a haircut). In the last six months I have had a pedicure or two, but I'm certainly not someone who insists on regular personal care. I don't even insist on a shower daily.

But when the opportunity comes to celebrate mothers AND my mother is in town, it is nice to consider a day at the spa. And when I say a day, I mean, whatever I can convince my husband to "allow".

Now, remembering that anything I spend would be 1.5 times the original cost because I'm splitting my mom's cost with my sister, we looked at what we could afford and should afford to do. The ultimate package, including a body treatment, massage, facial, spa pedicure, spa manicure, hair treatment and blow dry is around $365. So, it would be about $550 including my mom's treatment. That, my friends, is a lot of money.

But lets say I indulged myself with my mom and my sister. What would it mean to me? Much more than relaxation. I would get to clearly enjoy the treatments and that in itself, would be relaxing yes. But, I would also get to spend time with my sister and mother, being plainly a woman. Not a mom. Not a wife. Not an employee. Not a housekeeper, pet-parent, or cook. Not a graduate student. Just a woman. Me. For half a day, I can pretend to be carefree. I can pretend that I don't usually get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. I don't usually wake up, spend 15 minutes getting ready, head out the door, rush to the daycare, rush back to the train station, rush to get to work at a decent hour, get as much done at work as I can before I have to leave, rush back to pick up the baby by 5:30, rush to here or there to attend family events or run errands, get home and spend two hours with the kiddo, including figuring something out for dinner between the two of us and get a bath, spend 30 minutes as a pacifier as the kiddo goes to bed, rush to get some school work done, or laundry, or dishes or all three, pretend like I have enough time to exercise someway (because its already 10:30), read the Bible, and hit the sack. by 11:30. All by myself. Four days a week. The other days I get some help with the errands or picking up the kiddo, which allows me to work a longer day. I get to know that sometimes, if only every 6 months to a year, I can take half a day to rejuvenate. And that encourages me as I go through the routine, daily, the other 364 days of the year with little rest.

It would also be a short time for me to spend prepping to "look my best". To get rid of some of the tension in my back that causes me pain on a daily basis due to the stress (and the 27 lb baby) I carry. A few minutes that I can spend to look and feel my best for myself, and, of course, for my husband.

Of course I don't need this physical indulgance. I know there are more rewards that are far more eternal than a massage or a pedicure. And, I know I'm complaining about receiving a luxury while billions of people around the globe are starving, and I'm completely selfish even bringing this up. I get that. And, I lean toward that side of the table in terms of what i spend my money on, which is why I don't get these services regularly, if at all.

The point of my post today is just to say that it would mean more to me than a couple minutes of relaxation.

I know for a fact that I won't be getting the full package mentioned above. The guilt of spending that much money would eat me alive to the point that the services and the benefits of them that I do experience would be wasted. And, of course, the reality of that money exiting my bank account wouldn't be pleasant either.

But, I would like to imagine that I could get them if I wanted to, without being told that its nothing more than a few minutes of relaxation. (and therefore, hinting that, the work that I do day in and day out is not worth the few minutes I would get). Again, this is a completely spoiled snotty post that I'm ashamed of really, but thought I'd get my feelings out there.

I feel better already!


Raina said...

This post is anything but snotty! Yes, it's a luxury, and you're aware of that. But to want to take a few hours to relax and BOND (guys will never understand the bonding that goes on in that type of setting) when you're a very hard working woman, is completely understandable. Especially when you know you're not going to go broke or have to feed your child less or something in order to do it.
Maybe try to total up the money saved from 18 months without a haircut, (say $40 every 8 weeks) and you have justification for most of it right there! Definitely for a smaller package and lunch at a tea room!

The Duece Crew said...

I think whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed this one time of the year is what you should do. Yes, it may be extravagant, and some people may not agree. However, you do whatever's in your budget and you feel like you deserve to get you thru the rest of the year. I definately agree. A $300 package sounds great, but of course not everyone can afford. You should definately visit the salon more often for your hair. You deserve it and a new cut and color makes everyone feel better. Hope you have a great day at the salon!