Strawberry Fields Forever

Date: 14 November.

Location: The Green Room. For later discussion.

Half-naked, I suddenly remember why I’ve put this off for so long. I’m lying on the beautician’s table, vulnerable parts of me are coated in hot wax, I’m paying for the privilege — and I’m being scolded for not exfoliating.

Little wonder I kept cancelling this appointment.

“Annnnd how often do you exfoliate?” Ali, my beautician, drawls the question.

“Um. Twice a week?”

“Good girl.”

I beam.

“And do you moisturise?”

“Yes.”

“Great! Now, is your exfoliating mit fine or coarse?”

Oh god. What’s the right answer?

“Fine?”

Ali tsk-tsks me. “Babe, no.” Sad face. “You gotta use a proper mit.”

Later, I carefully negotiate my way out of purchasing any heavily marked-up exfoliating products, despite feeling like a lesser human being for doing so. So, I’ll never glow like Ali. But me and exfoliating mit seem to do just fine.

This is also the part of going to my hairdresser that I dread. After you’ve been lulled into a soapy stupor by a head massage, your split ends go from something you’ve not noticed to a symbol of shame under the hairdresser’s gentle hands. I’m a bad person: I use Coles brand hair elastics, I wash my hair every day, I have a straightener, I brush my hair when it’s wet and I’m a huge fan of the top-knot. Caro, my hairdresser, looks at me like I’m an expectant mother telling her my plans to snort the coke I just bought from the friendly dude in the alleyway and wash it down with homemade potato vodka whilst in the hot tub.

And I love getting a manicure, but the way Tee at Modern Nails twitches when she looks at my ragged, anxiety-gnawed cuticles makes me squirm in my jiggly massage chair.

My facialist is just as bad.

Enough! Since when did not knowing the retinol content of your night cream make you a bad person?

It’s funny how wrapped up we become in our own professions and specialisations, how painfully myopic. To Ali, it’s incomprehensible that I don’t give proper thought to my exfoliating mit, to Caro spending $60 on shampoo is only natural and to Tee it seems that my cuticles simply must be causing me acute shame.

But, now that I type this, it occurs to me: aren’t I a bit the same? I get a funny look on my face when someone tells me they haven’t tried yoga, and I get pretty confused when someone doesn’t know where Top Paddock is. I do the slow, dazed blink if I have to explain why I’m drafting a ‘SPA’ and not sitting in it, and I expect everyone to be able to commiserate with me about the horrors of Tom Bradley at LAX. Talk about self-involved snobbery. It’s time to smarten up.

Love

Alex

 

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