The tunnel of doom

Last week I was getting my hair cut, and the salon where I go was hosting a free skin-care clinic.

Unsuspecting women would come into the spa, probably hoping for a nice free facial and maybe some advice on make-up. Instead, they would be ushered over to what could only be described as The Tunnel of Doom.

This was a big box-shaped contraption with a curtain on one side and some sort of view finder on the other. The Tunnel might not have been so bad if it was hidden in the back of the spa or, better yet, locked inside a private room.

But instead, it was pretty much in the center of the salon, and it was operated by two very perky women with perfect skin, white labcoats and surprisingly loud voices. They would greet the victims clients with a series of questions that would lead them to reveal their innermost feelings about their skin.

“So, how would YOU describe your skin?” one of the ladies would ask.

I had my head buried as deeply as possible in a magazine, hoping that neither of the women would happen to glance over at me with my head full of foils. I was trying to keep my eyes and smile frozen in a position that might create the fewest number of wrinkles just in case they happened to look my way. And I was trying to think what the appropriate answer would be to the question.

“How would YOU describe your skin?”

I think the first woman gave the only correct answer. “Combination.” I mean, really? WHAT else CAN you say?!?

But then, it was time for The Tunnel. The poor woman went underneath the curtain, and the perky labcoat lady on the other side would shout out her incredible findings like she had just discovered the cure for Alzheimer’s. Her high-pitched voice screeched through the lulling spa music with commands to help her further her investigation:

“Oh, wow! That ring of red dots on your cheek looks like it might be eczema!”

“Could you move over a little, I want to examine that yellow patch on your chin now?”

“Could I see that oily place on your left cheek?”

I was squirming in fear that they might spot me and force me to go under the curtain. I didn’t hear the woman scream out in pain, but I could only imagine that she was hoping a secret trap door would open in the floor and she would go flying out into the street through a hidden chute.

She couldn’t be so lucky.

Apparently, once released from The Tunnel of Doom, it was time for therapy.

“How many kids do you have?”

“Five? Oh, my. Well, I know it is hard to think of yourself. You are always giving to the kids, right?”

“Now how many are girls?”

“You know your girls are watching you. They see how you treat yourself. Do you want them to grow up to put everyone else first in their lives?” (“Like you,” she did NOT add.)

“How many fruits and vegetables are you eating each day?”

And FINALLY, we are getting to the point of this post.

Because right then, that perky lady with the red hair said something that almost made my head turn in her direction.

“You know that 80 percent of your hydration comes from the inside.”

Eighty percent?

That got me thinking. So perhaps instead of spending hundreds of dollars every year on skin care products that don’t seem to be doing a lick to stop my 40-ness from spreading across my face, into my laughlines and all the way out my crow’s feet, I should just drink more good old fashioned almost-free water.

Then, she told the lady that she needs to eat eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I mentioned this to my wonderful hair stylist when she came back from cleaning the hair dye off of her hands. I told her eating that many servings of fruit and veggies seemed less probable than getting my boys to wear clean clothes everyday.

But being the kind, helpful, soft-voiced person that she is, she gave me two life-changing words: V-8 Fusion. (I suppose that’s actually one initial, a number and a word, but whatever.)

So, now, I’m on a mission to eat five (not eight) servings of fruits and veggies each day and drink eight glasses of water. The V-8 Fusion has one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables in one 8-ounce glass, which is almost half of my goal. I’m finding that now that I stopped drinking sugar… yes, three weeks and still going strong… that I easily eat the other three servings without even trying.

I guess The Tunnel of Doom wasn’t all bad after all. For me, anyway.

What about you? Do you find it a challenge to eat your fruit and veggies each day? Do you have a good strategy to drink eight glasses of water? I would love to hear about it!


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