By Molly Freedenberg
My Dad was one of those people who cared about money and the success he thought it implied. The doctor son of an East Coast Jewish family, he seemed to think his red BMW, sprawling SoCal house, and ski cabin timeshare in mammoth proved he was, indeed, the golden child his (almost entirely female) family always told him he was.
Me? I never cared much for the trappings (and pressure) of upper class society. I just hoped to one day earn enough income to pay for the basics — plus a weekly spa treatment and really nice sheets. I somehow always felt that it was experiences, not stuff, that made life feel full and rich. And every experience is enhanced by a happy, healthy body. Unfortunately, at age 31, I still find myself scrambling just to pay rent. Thanks to my Mom and her indulgent Christmases, my bedclothes are awesome. But regular facials, massages, and body wraps are still painfully out of reach (and shockingly ignored by health insurance companies, though I whole-heartedly believe that if we all had more of such treatments, we’d need less trips to the doctor, dermatologist, and chiropractor later on).
However, I still find my way into a spa whenever I can: to celebrate friends’ birthdays or weddings, to take advantage of sales, or, sometimes, just because I can’t stand waiting anymore. Most recently, it was for an eyebrow wax at Cocoon Day Spa, which happens to be my friend on Facebook. I noticed a message advertising half off any waxing service, as a way to train a new aesthetician. I calculated quickly: I couldn’t afford a leg or bikini wax, even half off, but the eyebrow wax would be $9 after the discount. And I hadn’t had someone else shape my brows since 2003, so it seemed about time. I was on the phone half an hour later, and in a cab two hours after that.