Ever since I found myself growing a human being inside me, I’ve had to cut down on some pampering luxuries in an attempt to keep myself as toxic-free as possible. And while most of what I thought I should avoid are in fact quite safe to do — manis, pedis, hair coloring and your occassional massage — now that I think about it, are things I shockingly haven’t done in years.
I’ve always found the bit of pampering therapeutic. Before I moved to Bergen, I had a rather luxurious routine of hair blowouts (when I was too lazy to wash my hair) and hair treatments, and the monthly visit to the nail salon and face spas, on top of my weekly massages — all of which would cost me no more than $100. It was my elixir and it helped to perk me up whenever the stresses of big city life — long work hours, manic commute, bills, expensive and private healthcare, etc — began to feel like I was being dragged into an ever-expanding bubbling tar pit with no means of escape.
And now that I’m living in what has recently been declared the happiest place on Earth where the stresses of life are perhaps not really stresses at all in comparison to the world’s many problems; where education, healthcare and potable water are free, and new mothers get paid to stay home with their newborn for nearly a year; and workers have the right to take 5 weeks of paid vacation; I find myself wanting even just a modicum of pampering but am unable to do so because I can’t for the life of me justify spending $100 on one simple mani/pedi. So for the last 3 years, I’ve gone without any of it and while I’ve survived so far, the call for a good lacquer and highlight is finally ringing loud in my ears.
I mean, I haven’t been paying too much attention to my feet these days (what with it being winter and all, and the fact that I can no longer see them unless I’m propped up on the couch) but the sight of them (at 2.30am as I am writing this piece, mind you) all swollen and neglected from being pregnant has prompted me to do something unthinkable — almost akin to me getting more than 2 haircuts a year, and done with a lot of hesitation! — I booked myself a mani/pedi at a professional spa.
It took a lot of convincing on my part as I am not so easily swayed to part with $100 unless I’m getting something of equal value from it. I mean, I can’t even be persuaded to buy my child a $30 onesie if I know I can get it for a fraction of the price somewhere else with just the same quality and using the same organic fabric. What more a mani/pedi that would probably last me a good 3 weeks? A baby onesie would last a fast-growing baby longer than that.
Then again, I have to remind myself that I am no longer without a job and I finally have comfortable savings set aside, (not to mention that I can no longer touch my toes without having to do some ill-composed yoga pose) so perhaps a one-off spend wouldn’t be so bad?
It makes one rethink one’s needs and desires, and what it really takes to keep a sound mind in a world (and by world, I mean, societal pressures) that just won’t let you stop. What would be a simple cup of tea for some may be a 3-week holiday in an exclusive resort in Seychelles for others. It’s all about perspective and what we’re used to, I suppose. What our view on reality is, and how open we are to wanting to see beyond our own looking glasses — because really, there is a much wider world out there for us to truly see, and many more realities to consider.
In the case of my vanishing feet, however, it’s making myself feel just a tad bit pretty (even for just a short while) at a time when, despite this mythical “glow” that only others seem to see, I feel like a seacow out of the water.