The massage is so wonderful I am sure it is removing my pores. The 16-nozzle shower that follows probably sluices them down the drain.
It is while having my legs waxed that I begin to feel that maybe God wanted me to go to tractor pulls at the Meadowlands. I mean, here I am, half-naked, coated in scalding wax, having my leg hair—which I don't think ever offended anyone anyway—ripped out by the roots. And the ripper-outer is giving me the unsolicited information that while most men are no damn good, her husband is O.K. because, "I made sure I married someone who doesn't watch football and stuff on TV."
I am getting the overwhelming feeling that I am to spend this day as a square peg being knocked through a round hole. While waiting for my facial, I examine the other patrons. No one in this room has ever dived for sponges or worried about a pennant race. Two women on a settee next to me are talking. "Every summer, my sister flies in for a day and we come here to be made over. It's what we really enjoy doing together," says one.
My mind flashes to my own sister. A trophy-winning first baseman, she has recently replumbed my mother's bathroom and is now enrolled in a heavy-equipment repair course. It occurs to me that with a little pipe dope, my sister could fix those annoying leaks in the salon's 16-nozzle shower.
The face lady does not criticize my pores. She says my throat is aging prematurely, but she has some cream that will save me. I assume all the owners' wives, and probably the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, use this cream. I commit to buy some. I tell her my tiny broken capillaries are caused by my skin-diving mask. She looks puzzled. She says she will use moose makeup on my face. It takes four beats for me to get Bullwinkle out of my mind and realize she said mousse makeup. In an accent I can't place, she tells me she's making up my face in my perfect makeup shade: turtle shopping. I am embarrassed that I cannot understand her, so I commit to purchase a bottle of turtle shopping.
In the waiting room, again, I am parked next to a tray of sample perfumes. I try a bottle embossed with ancient Greeks falling into each other's arms. Probably a bottle of this belongs in the bottom of my duffel bag next to the Right Guard. It is getting expensive to become the wife-of-an-owner.
The hair man, who himself looks like the wife-of-an-owner, sneers at my long locks as if someone had just plunked a string mop in his chair. I am getting crabby. "So how about those Orioles?" I say with mean spirit. In return he snips, mousses, shakes and squeezes the mop.
When I come up for air, I catch myself in the mirror. I look again. My eyes—how nicely lined and shadowed—widen. I am slowly being turned into... Phyllis George! My God, I think. I am going to have to buy those tailored $189 blouses with little bows, and wear black pumps.
I would be more worried, but in a flash a pedicure lady who speaks little English but sighs in several languages plops my feet into little tubs of hot soapy water. She hands me Vogue. At this moment, I would kill for a copy of Hot Rod or Field & Stream. I mean, do you know anyone, or even know anyone who knows anyone, who looks like the women in Vogue? I am thinking that men liked me just fine with gold glitter on my face and burgundy hair. As a cabdriver told my husband once, "You sure are lucky to have a woman who knows her quarterbacks the way she does."
While I soak, a nice lady comes by to bring me my little bag of must-haves: the cream to save my prematurely aging throat, some moisturizing sunscreen to save my outdoorsy face, and the turtle shopping makeup—$114. I recall that the last time I bought a bag of better-life products I spent $80 and lost them six minutes later. I left them at the 7-Eleven when I stopped to nuke a quick burger.