This morning, I went to Bliss Spa for a morning of relaxation before I start the new job on Monday. I had a wonderful massage and a lovely pedicure. It wasn’t cheap, and I couldn’t have afforded it on my own, but I was the recipient of some generous gift certificates, thus making it possible. All I had to cover were the tips for the massage therapist and nail technician. That’s it. I did my research (to be sure I followed the proper etiquette), found out that 20-25% is the right amount to tip, and was ready.

Now, I’m OK with simple practical math. I can calculate a tip without thinking (I use the “move the decimal over and double it” trick). I’m good at confusing cashiers by giving them 7 cents so I’ll get a quarter back. This should not have been a problem.

However, the massage and the pampering must have made me somewhat brain-dead (I was absolutely out of it after the massage – it was like being mildly drunk) because only now, 5 hours after the fact, did I realize that I only tipped the massage chick something like 9%. Embarrassing. Embarrassing because I stiffed the girl, and she did a GREAT job. Embarrassing because that was stupid. Embarrassing because I’m feeling ashamed of the fact that I short-tipped a MASSAGE THERAPIST at a swanky spa. At the W Hotel. In Hoboken. I should feel badly about it, but that first-world shame/liberal guilt jumps in and starts asking questions about how that extra $$ could have been spent to help the world at large.

What did I do? I called the spa and ‘fessed up to this Shame of Privilege, asked if I could add a tip over the phone via credit card. Nope. Have to be there in person to charge to a card (OK – fair enough).  But I can’t get back there until Saturday, and that’s waiting too long. So, I asked a good friend to do me a huge favor and walk down the block (she works close by), leave an additional tip for massage chick — and I’ll pay her back when I see her this weekend.

Now I’ve roped another person into my first world problem and shame, but friends are good like that.

So… positives from today:

  • Not once did I think anything negative about my body.

    Hydrants! Meters! Rats!

  • I was actually really comfortable — and I’m not regularly naked, with a stranger, and (partially) under a sheet.
  • I could have had all the ice water, tea, olives, cheese, crackers, cucumber slices and brownie bites I could consume in the ladies’ lounge since I was the only one there at 9am.
  • The decor in that lounge was awesome. Silver couch, lime green and fuchsia throw pillows – and silver wallpaper with a pink damask print that, on closer inspection, was not an abstract floral graphic, but was composed of fire hydrants and parking meters and rats. AWESOME. I did a little searching and it’s a wallpaper called “City Park” by Flavor Paper. A sample of that pattern is floating on the right here.

It was good. My feet were in sad sad shape, but they’re less horrifying now and painted a bright shade of purpley-pink from Essie called “Big Spender” (I’m a funny girl sometimes).

I’m looking forward to an evening of TV, reading and tea. One must hydrate post-massage.

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