Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Are You Afraid Of?

I'm scared of cockroaches (especially the flying kind) and deep water and tunnels and small, cramped spaces. But it was only on Halloween that I realized just how claustrophobic I actually am.

This Halloween story doesn't take place in a big old haunted house. Instead, it takes place in a luxurious spa villa. On the 31st of October, I booked what was supposed to be an incredibly relaxing two-and-a-half-hour spa treatment, which consisted of a scrub, wrap, massage, and my first-ever facial treatment. For years, people have complimented me on my skin, and I was scared that a facial would change it somehow. But I got a gift certificate and some free time and, well, the sun hasn't been good to me and I ain't getting any younger, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

So anyway, it started off with a scrub. Then my body was wrapped in plastic, and I was a human lumpia. This has always been my least favorite part of any extensive spa treatment because it restricts my movements. Thankfully, Spa Lady 1 gave me a head massage while the wrap worked its magic, so that calmed me down some.

But then we moved on to the facial. Right before we started, Spa Lady 2 warned me, "Ma'am, matatakpan ng mask ang eyes at mouth." ("Ma'am, the mask will cover your eyes and mouth.") I said OK, not fully understanding what I was saying OK to. After she cleaned my skin thoroughly and removed all the blackheads and whiteheads, she began applying the mask--it was thick and heavy and cold, like cookie dough straight from the fridge. (Mmmm cookie dough. But I digress.)

As she covered my eyes with the stuff, I began to feel uncomfortable. (I never enjoyed being forced to keep my eyes shut, whether it was in surgery or during an eyelash extension application.) And then she covered my mouth. As she stepped away from me, I felt a panic I had never known before. I could feel my blood pressure go up, and I absolutely dreaded the thought of being left there by myself, with no sight and sound, even for just a minute. I bolted upright and frantically signaled to Spa Lady 2 to come back (I couldn't talk). I pointed to my mouth, and she started removing the layer that literally sealed my lips. "Pwede wala na sa mouth?" ("Can we not cover my mouth?") I sputtered. She consented. I asked how long it would take. Ten to 15 minutes, she replied. I begged her to just leave it on for 10; she promised to remove it as soon as it dried. Then I asked her to stay in the villa with me the entire time. Again, she consented. I think I would have gone nuts if I was left there by myself. I left her a nice tip.

The whole incident surprised me. I chalked it up to the fact that I've been heavily into A Song of Fire and Ice the last few months, and all forms of torture just ran through my head. The following scenarios have always terrified me:
  • being buried alive
  • being walled up and left to die (and years later, my bones would be found, broken fingers and all from trying to claw my way out of the space)
  • being stuck in a tunnel forever (there's this long tunnel that goes from NYC to Long Island that I absolutely HATE, especially when the traffic is bad!)
The common thread, I realized, is being trapped. I cannot stand the idea of being trapped. And losing my mobility and my sight and my ability to speak just made that fear all too real for me.

Silly, right? To feel this fear during a frickin' spa treatment. Afterwards, I told my husband that I really had to learn how to meditate. So that's on my list now.

At least I have the clearest skin I've had in a really long time!


  1. i'm so freaking scared of cockroach too!akala ko may gumapang na cockroach while your eyes and mouth are covered. hehe =)

  2. Rats, lizards and roaches are my biggest enemies at home. Well practically everywhere I live that is the problem!

  3. Sorry naman, but natawa ako while trying to visualize you with the mask on and frantically signaling to Spa Lady to come rescue you. :) Life realizations come at the most random moments, no?

    I've never had a facial before, since like you, okay naman skin ko, but I want to try it now since my skin feels dirty. I'll try one soon.


  4. Oh my, that is scary! I hardly get scared naman... just the normal stuff. Yes, I hate cockroaches but I don't really scream and run, unless they make a move lang towards me or start to fly. Pero if they're just crawling, okay lang. I used to be really scared before but I'm not so scared na, I don't really know why.

    I am afraid of ghosts, but I haven't seen one, I just know lang na I'd be very scared if I encountered one. So I hate haunted mansions (or carnival rides) that have pretend ghosts chasing you, for real.


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)