What, you ask, Could this Julie possibly have done to so ingratiate herself with you, Ms. StrainedConsciousness?
She gave me a foot massage.
But not just any foot massage. Oh no. This was an all-out, no holds barred, wonderful world of - um - wonder foot massage. With rocks. Hot ones.
I went to the usual nail place by my apartment. I rarely get the spa treatment there because it's just so darned expensive. However, it's been a rough week, so I decided to splurge. Suffice it so say, this is a once-every-6-months kind of splurge. It cost the same for a manicure and pedicure as it costs for TWO manicures and pedicures at my mom's nail salon. Or, I could get my hair cut and buy hair product and tip my hairstylist for the cost of this manicure/pedicure combo + tips. But that's beside the point.
Rocks. Hot ones.
When they handed me the little laminated sheet with the prices and services included in the spa manicure/pedicure, I waved my hand and said "Sure. Lavender, please." Yup. You get to pick your scent. Watermelon? No thank you. Citrus? It would have me craving sorbet. But lavender is relaxing. It's soothing. And combined with the awesome deftness of Julie's little fingers, it's enough to leave a girl in a puddle on the floor.
She removed my old nail polish, trimmed my toenails, cuticles, and cleaned the toejam out from under my nails. All standard procedure, all done while my manicurist filed my nails and trimmed my cuticles, etc. She used a pumice stone to soften my heels and remove the calluses. Again, nothing new, here.
Then, I saw a glimpse of heaven. Julie pulled out a plate with four artfully arranged bowls on them, the kind you get in sushi restaurants with little mounds of pickled ginger and wasabi that I never use because I don't like either. She took a scoop of sea salt from the foot-condiment tray and began rubbing it over my feet. It was very coarse and tickled like blue blazes. She used a different salt for my calves and ankles, which was less coarse. Then came the lavender pumice cream. Yes, cream with little bits of pumice stone smashed up into it that moisturizes and exfoliates at the same time.
When she was finished with the pumice, she put my feet into the water basin attached to the shiatsu massage chair and rinsed all the salty pumicey goodness off my legs and feet. It also kind of tickled. I'm very ticklish on my toes, okay?
She pulled my feet out of the water, placed them on a nice clean towel, free of sea salt and pumice residue, and squirted lavender scented oil on my legs. At this point, the manicurist walked over with a bowl of water. In the water were 10 river rocks, big enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The pedicurist and manicurist (who had done the same thing to my arms, but not quite as gently) each took rocks out of the HOT water, and began rubbing them over my skin.
This went on for 10 minutes for my hands and forearms, and 20 minutes for my feet. That's the period of time most pedicurists will massage your legs for a pedicure, if you're lucky.
But, oh no, Miss Julie wasn't finished. She proceeded to rub lavender scented lotion into my skin for 20 more minutes. Heaven! Pure heaven!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a complete and total sucker for having my back scratched, kneaded and pummeled. The same goes for my legs. Especially when there are smooth, warm river rocks gliding over them.
I am now riding high on a wave of endorphins, usually released only by eating copious quantities of bacon or ice cream (I actually just ate bacon as part of my dinner, so, you know, double-whammy).
I love Julie. I LOVE HER.
And I gave her a big tip. I'm not ashamed to buy my love.