Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I've written many a blog post about my obsessive need to use every coupon I see and my excessive enjoyment of finding good deals. While I'm a far cry from those coupon hunter crazies on TLC or whatever channel it is, it's still an unhealthy habit for my wallet. My latest finds that feed my addiction are Groupon and LivingSocial. Big savings at local places. Well, big mistake. Heed my warning if you are a coupon fiend such as myself.... I avoided joining for many, many weeks, as I feared the inevitable decline of my bank account and increase of purchases. But I am weak. And I gave in.

Day 1 after signing up for their tempting emails I made a purchase. Day 2, I made a purchase. Day 3, I made a purchase. Thankfully, at least, it was only one purchase each day. Thankfully, at least, it was only one purchase from Groupon OR LivingSocial and not both. So anyways, only three days after joining I forced myself to stop opening the emails. It's like a 10-step program. Hopefully... eventually... I will be able to open the emails, look at the plethora of good deals and just say no. But I have to take it in baby steps. Right now the subject line headings with their "deal of the day" mentions are hard enough to handle. I'm proud with each delete I manage. But it's a struggle.... it's difficult to talk about.

This here blog post is a story of one of my Groupon purchases. I bought a facial at over 60% off as a little treat to self. I had never had one before and again, it was a good deal, so I thought why not? Well, I show up yesterday at this "spa" which is really a one-woman show in a tiny space where the lobby-slash-store and one "treatment room" combined are about the size of large closet. The business owner is the only beauty technician, or whatever they're called, and she's also the receptionist, and the seller of beauty items at 20% off. I mean... good for her, owning her own business and running it all. No complaints. Just describing the setting for you here. Recreating. Business must not be doing too poorly, since when I walked in at 6:25 for my 6:30 appointment she asked if I'd mind waiting 5 minutes since she had back-to-back appointments all day and didn't have her lunch yet. Then again, maybe she's so busy from all of her Groupon sales, from which she may actually be losing money (despite the benefit of potentially gaining new clients). When I made this Groupon purchase I was the 250th person to do so... I remember because I was happy that it was a nice, clean number. That's a lot of facials for one woman who works out of a closet.

Anyway, once I'm in the room she's chit-chatting, small talking, asking questions away... way too much energy for a woman who had been working all day through her lunch (maybe her 5 minute lunch was a redbull). I respond with my usual short but polite answers which clearly give off a vibe that says "I'm shy and quiet and prefer not to talk". Vibe is either not recognized or ignored. I feel as though a big part of the job of any beauty technician (still don't know their title), or hairdresser or whatever, should be feeling out how social your clients are and acting accordingly. Nothing's worse than a stylist who relentlessly tries to small talk with someone who's clearly not having it. It's awkward. I generally prefer the awkward silence. But I was perfectly polite and after about 15 minutes fully gave in and catered to her need to talk... asking her questions about the business, appropriate skin care routines and her life. Despite the small space and forced conversation it wasn't completely unrelaxing. There was one of those natural sounds CDs playing in the background so whenever she paused to breathe I got to hear some waves crashing or rainforest bugs chirping. And the chair was heated, which was nice. After a "hot steam rinse" I got about 8 different peels or masks put on my face, all of which she supposedly customized to my skin's needs, accompanied with 8 heated towels and one mediocre arm/hand massage. I had the choice of an extraction or a mini back massage. I chose the extraction since it's more facial-esque. Little did I know choosing between an extraction and a massage is basically choosing between extreme pain or relaxing comfort and of course, I went for the pain. She covered my eyes to protect them from this crazy bright light and then proceeded to injure my face. I have a high pain tolerance but I'm girl enough to admit it hurt. The worst part though, was the bright light. The curse of my blue eyes is how sensitive they are to light. Despite being clenched shut and covered, my eyes were tearing to the point where it looked like I was full-on crying. My self-conscious, prideful self wanted her to know that these were not tears of pain but mentioning that would have been even more lame than if they were tears of pain, so per usual, I kept silent. For the final "calming mask" she left the room for 10 minutes so I could relax. Twas peaceful. At the end she said I may breakout from the facial. Great side effect to a supposed skin cleaning, no?

All in all, worth the full price? Not at all. Worth the Groupon price? Maybeeee. Will I do it again? Probably not. Well, unless I find a coupon.

Tune in soon for my zipline adventure story... yet another Groupon purchase. Luckily I've managed to steer clear of the Escape Getaways. My wallet thanks me.

I was expecting something like this...
candles... quiet... relaxation....

But this more accurately depicts how I felt