SPA — March 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Mission In-SPA-sibble: Guy at the Spa

by

Men are ritualistic creatures. They like to eat the same thing for lunch everyday and read the same section of the paper first. Even rituals that one might consider an indication of a deeper underlying instability, like wearing the same pair of playoff socks for two months straight without washing them, seem perfectly logical to males. So what exactly is it about a trip to the spa that has most guys running for cover and has a little body pampering unfairly labelled as a girls only event? Every female I’ve ever spoken with has done nothing but rave about the Spa experience at White Oaks, so I took it as my serious man duty, to launch a recon mission and find out if the spa really is just for gals.

Upon arrival in the spa lobby, a pleasant flowery scent begins to immediately soothe me…but figuring it could be a chemical agent disguised to knock me out and thwart the mission,  I fight to maintain man-consciousness. I am required to fill out a few forms, which puts me at ease…clean, clinical, procedural. Good familiar guy stuff. I change into a comfy robe and flip flops, and the new playboy me is taken to relax on a comfy couch in the meditation room, filled with a billowy blanket ceiling and a fish tank. I focus mainly on the fish tank and begin to feel more like a fearless Jacques Cousteau. This spa stuff is great! I feel so relaxed and inspired. Then I’m told my CoffeeBerry Facial is ready to begin. There’s more?

My facial begins on a massage table in a tranquil dimmed room. I am pleasantly cocooned under blankets and make a note that the heated neck pillow is pure genius. My skin specialist clearly knows a thing or two about faces, and quickly sets to work on my “combination” skin, applying several layers of lotions and peels, bringing about both warming and cooling sensations. Breathing in the coffeeberry aroma, a scalp and neck massage has me completely soothed for some “extraction”. I’m not sure exactly what is extracted but I’m so zenned out it could have been my teeth and I wouldn’t have noticed. Several more expert layers later and my treatment is complete and has left my face feeling soft, smooth and undeniably glowing.

I’m guided to the next room in a trance-like state and find myself sitting up in an elevated chair for a Pedicure. It’s a bit unusual, but reminiscent of being at the barbershop, which ranks pretty high up on the manly scale. My feet don’t typically see the light of day but the foot expert seems unfazed and starts to work her magic on my nails, as I casually browse a selection of magazines. While my feet are soaked, scrubbed and massaged, an article about males in Asia, and what they call “peacock syndrome” catches my attention. Apparently because there are so many more males than females, the competitiveness to find a mate has driven many guys to become obsessed with their looks and adapt extreme skin care regimens. And as as my pedicure is finished off with a clear coat and a slick layer of lotion, I begin to see the allure of skin fitness. Not only has the spa left me totally relaxed, but being pampered and looking good…feels good. And there’s nothing unmanly about that! Even if my toenails are shining.

Man’s Man Tip: Guys, if you’re a little apprehensive about discovering your spa side, try something you can do as a couple, like the Re-Connect Massage. You’ll have back-up and afterwards, your lady will be willing to overlook your dirty socks on the floor for quite some time.