beware the discount spa

it had been a long week. work was wretched, lots of rain, and dani and i were both burnt out. saturday seemed like an excellent day to hit the spa. neither of us are regular spa goers, but the idea of relaxing and having someone beautify us while we sipped wine and chatted sounded like an amazing idea.

we wanted specific things: a pedicure, a facial, and a scrub or wrap of some sort. all the spa packages at nearby places were either extremely pricey or they didn’t include the services we wanted. we finally found usha salon, which was willing to work with both our budget and the services we wanted, allowing us to combine them into a discounted package. great, right?

we arrived, and dani was herded upstairs for her facial while i got my pedicure. while the pedicure was nice and the nail technician very friendly and warm, it wasn’t really worth $58. i might be spoiled, having lived in asia for two years with cheap, amazing nail places scattered about, but if i’m going to pay that much for a pedicure it better be amazing.

dani and i swapped places – time for my facial. at first, it was great. the room was dim and warm and there was soft music playing, and the robe i was wearing was cozy and the table comfortable. unfortunately, the second sharon stepped into the room, the relaxing atmosphere disappeared. sharon was loud, rude (she burped during my sister’s facial without excusing herself), and unprofessional. she spent the entire time talking about herself – her problems, her family, her waxing, her job. she complained about how the threading portion of the business was cutting into her waxing clientele, and how she found it very “difficult” to work for someone from another culture. she kept bragging about her waxing prowess, claiming to give the best brazilian waxes ever, and nagged me about getting one, telling me if i could get my sister to agree to also have one that day she would give us a discount. it was extremely uncomfortable, as i couldn’t think of a polite way to tell her to get the (swear word) away from my nether regions.

during my facial, sharon left the room multiple times and after one disappearance she came back complaining she’d been overbooked and just had to run out to do a quick eyebrow wax. i understand this happens, but i don’t feel she handled it very professionally – she might have just excused herself quietly with no explanation, and that would have been fine. at one point, as she was walking out of the room, she told me i could “go to sleep” if i wanted. as if i could fall asleep while such a psycho held me hostage, butt naked, in a room on an empty floor.

for the salt scrub, she simply rubbed a salt solution into my skin and then tried to wipe the salt from my body with a series of small washcloths. this wasn’t very effective, and then she had me turn over so she could wipe the salt off the other side of my body, which was ridiculous because i was then lying in the piles of salt she’d just wiped off. sharon told me repeatedly if i still felt sticky afterwards, i could take a quick shower in the room next door. when i told her i would like that, she said she would have to get the shower started for me. i thought that was a bit odd, but i waited for her. while waiting, i heard her go into the next room and turn on a shower, which she let run for a couple minutes. she then came back and told me the earthquake the previous week must have “broken” her shower because it wasn’t working.

1. i didn’t realize earthquakes made a habit of breaking showers while leaving the entire rest of the building intact.

2. i had just heard her turn on the thing, so i knew it was fine.

regardless, i had to get dressed while still covered with salt and feeling very sticky.

i then had to wait downstairs while my sister had her salt scrub. i made friends with a few women nearby, but i mostly tried to eavesdrop while the receptionist complained about her boob job and how she just couldn’t get used to how large her chest was now.

the icing on the cake was when after we’d paid for our ‘discounted spa services’, dani noticed a sign listing their monthly specials. it turns out they’d charged us twice as much as what was listed. after comparing notes, we also realized sharon had yanked the sheet covering both of us off while we were lying naked on the table, so she’s probably a bit of a pervert as well as a terrible aesthetician.

moral of the story: never go to the usha salon in towson unless you want to be prodded, exposed, handled roughly, and charged dearly for the experience. *

* unless, of course, you are going for the threading. those women looked quick, efficient, and friendly and their threading gets rave reviews. but steer clear of the other spa services!


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