Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The $100 Manicure...

I went to the spa this weekend. It was quite a nice spa, in Scottsdale, Arizona. A bunch of girlfriends went too.

Now, as most of you know, I will spend a hundred dollars on a pair of jeans for my daughter, sometimes. And I recently bought a Jimmy Choo bag. Which I will carry around forever, to make it worth it. I figure if I carry it around for 7 years, every day, it really is only, like, $1 a day.

But that's not to say I don't have a problem with expensive things. Or, as I recently found out, I do have a problem. A big problem.

I really needed a manicure. I've been stressed lately, and have bitten off all my nails. That, along with playing in the sandbox at Adventure zone with The Dictator, well, let's just say my nails were nasty ass.

I made a manicure appointment at this spa. When I walked in, immediately I had to pay, which, you know, I never had to do before. Usually, you get the service first, and then you pay after.

I was also stunned that they had included an 18% tip already. I'm fine with giving an 18% tip - after I get the service, if the person is worth 18%. I mean, what if this manicurist sucked? But, I figured, it was a nice spa, so I'm sure they had good manicurists.

When the dude behind the counter, where I was checking in, asked me my method of payment, and gave me the sheet that had the cost of the manicure, I swear, my heart stopped.

The piece of paper, for the manicure, said it cost (with the added 18% tip) $105. Yes, that's right. One hundred and fucking five dollars for a manicure. And in American dollars.

I handed over my visa and said to the dude, "This is the most expensive manicure I have ever had."

He looked at me blankly, and didn't respond. In fact, he looked at ME like I was the CRAZY one.

Is it just me? Do you not all think that $105, American, for a friggen manicure is outrageous?

And the dude didn't even respond! Apparently, there is another world out there, another universe full of people, who don't think $105 for a manicure is outrageous. Because there were a lot of women getting manicures.

I went in thinking, "This better be the best fucking manicure of my life. They better put diamonds on my nails."

And you can bet your ass when they offered me cookies, an apple, and a bottle of water that I took all of them. In fact, I asked for another bottle of water when I was finished.

The manicure was, um, fine. It was nice. It lasted one hour. But, I tell you, when I was living in New York and getting manicures for $12, they were just as good.

And I had already booked, for the next day, a hot stone massage and a facial. I was dreading checking in the next day. I mean, if a manicure cost $105, what would be the cost of a facial and a massage?

I warned the fiance, because, well, I had to put it on our shared credit card, because if I put it on mine, I for sure would have had one of those embarrassing moments when the person says, "I'm really sorry. There seems to be a problem with your card. Do you have another?" (I don't. Except for the fiances, which I'm only allowed to use for our daughter and in case of emergencies.)

And, well, I suppose paying for a facial and massage isn't exactly an "emergency." Because of the 24 hour cancellation policy, I couldn't cancel it. So it turned into a bit of an emergency.

"My manicure cost $105," I told him. "I'm just warning you, because I have a facial and massage tomorrow, so who the hell knows what that will cost."

So I went the next day. I checked in again, before my treatments. The bill for the massage and facial. $585. So, I, of course, had to enjoy myself. I mean, I was paying $585 for two hours to enjoy myself.

But as they did my treatments, all I kept thinking was, "This is costing me $585! How the hell can I relax?" I swear, I was one breath away from having a panic attack.

In any case, I won't be heading back to that spa anytime soon. I mean, for the $700 it cost me, I could have bought the Dictator three pairs of Antik Denim jeans.

But I get why they made me pay first. Because not even the best manicure in the world should cost that much.


Blogger petite gourmand said...

that is insane.
My mani's cost $25. including tip.
I never bother with spa manicures & pedicures because I hate shelling out that kind of dough when my local nail bar is sooo much better and they always last longer.
But facials and massage is another story.
You often get what you pay for.

lucky you to be enjoying some spa time.

10:57 AM

Anonymous GirlyGurl said...

That is ridiculous. For that price I would expect them to carry me around between treatments - oh and send me home in a limo!

10:58 AM

Anonymous ali said...

oh my heavenly days (i don't even watch desperate housewives anymore...but it sure is fun to channel Bree)

that's insane!

see...i hear you on the spending money on material things because they are the gift that keeps on giving...but to spend that much money on a manicure that will chip and need to be removed within, no ma'am.

11:00 AM

Blogger Paige said...

Ahhhhh I am the same way!!

Like a few weeks ago, when I was buying my sister a Longchamp purse in Paris I thought that I had chosen one on sale. NOPE. The lady was already wrapping it up when it was time to pay--there was NO way (nevermind the language barrier!) that I was going to stop that transaction.

But yes.. $109 can equal many manicures. There should have been diamonds.!

11:41 AM

Blogger Cindy said...

Holy Hell! That is totally rediculous. I think I would like to get myself a job at that spa, hopefully they make a cut from those outrageous prices.

11:56 AM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

That's ridiculous. But funny. Although why no wine? At my hair salon (which I thought was expensive till I read this) they give you wine if you are there a long time like getting highlights.
The should at least serve champagne.

11:57 AM

Blogger mad muthas said...

if you can't pay, they throw the hot stones at you. verrrry scary!

1:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god - why didn't you walk out when you heard how much just a manicure would cost??

2:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok well if people want to pay that amount then it's worth it. Economics 101.. whatever the market will support.. It's still way to expensive... but my biggest problem would be paying upfront with the tip included, that is plain arrogant and I don't know what else.. I am at a loss for words.

4:16 PM

Blogger Sheena said...

I remember being a little guilty about my first $75US pedicure a few years back in Orlando at the hotel spa but justifying it in my head all day long how it would last and I'd take care of it and blah blah blah. And then it just ended up getting wrecked that same night in the jacuzzi when the old brit from napa valley put the moves on... heh heh.

5:23 PM

Blogger primetimetvaddict said...

Oh. My. God.

I once had a £80 (that was about $190Cdn at the time) haircut when I was living in Glasgow. I didn't have to pay until it was over, but I think I had a full on panic attack at that moment.

On the bright side, it was the best darn haircut I've ever had. Nobody has been as good since (of course, I have paid nowhere near that price since...)

As for the $700 spa treatments... Oh. My. God.

5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they made you pay first so that you wouldn't ruin the $105 manicure by digging around in your Jimmy Choo bag for your wallet!? Hey - why don't you blog your opinion on Britney Spears finally kicking K-FED to the curb, making him FED-EX....glad you're back online.

6:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish, wish, wish you could let us...out there in blogland, the secret to obtaining a job that you can afford time at the spa and have the $$ to pay for it. You are so lucky!!! I am jealous! :)

11:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've been blessed with so much money to toss around why don't you spend it on more productive things like charitable organizations or your children's education fund. Spending 100 dollars for a pair of toddler's jeans is just obnoxious.

10:20 AM

Blogger Sara Bingham said...

Oh, I've missed reading your posts! You always make me giggle. Oh, and yeah, that was WAY too much for a manicure - it should have been the most AMAZING manicure you've ever had and you should have been raving about it. Will you be going back? :)

10:29 AM

Anonymous lola said...

I suppose it didn't occur to you to check the cost of the treatments when you booked them.

10:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO NO NO that is just wrong. Where is this place? No where in the world, with no amount of perfectly clean dew water from the back of a virgin mutton should cost that much. Do you think they trained the staff to act that way?
I probably would have neded up paying for it as well because, what else could you do really? I cant even think how I would react. I'm sorry you couldn't relax during your treatments - that takes so much of the fun out of it!

11:35 AM

Blogger Sheena said...

ooh... I'm in Phoenix next week. Where should I go? I'm at one of the JW resorts.

5:24 PM

Blogger Kiki said...

That is INSANE!
At least if you had to pay after you may have been able to relax a little.
One day when I (or my husband fiance) can afford to pay $700 for 2 beauty treatments will be nice but I still probably won't, I guess maybe if they put diamonds in it would, no MIGHT have been worth it but jeez.
It makes sense though because if people had to pay after they would probably get a few runners.

7:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

UNBELIEVABLE! yikes!!! oh my gawd!
what color polish?? :)

12:01 AM

Blogger Jen said...

That is crazy! I could easily get all those things done here for $150.00.

I've heard that they often make you pay first so you don't wreck your nails digging in your purse for your wallet, etc.

9:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, someone just mentioned checking the cost of things before booking. But seriously, would you EVER imagine that a manicure, a facial and a massage would run $700? No. I had the exact same things done at a v. nice spa (and one that I think is slightly overpriced) a few months ago, and it ran about $300 (CAD) including tax and tip. I would never in a million years imagine that the same things could cost $400 more. Anywhere. Ever.

10:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To a previous anonymous poster:
If someone can afford to spend X amount on spa treatments, jeans, shoes whatever, who cares - as long as they can afford it. Who are we to impose our values on their purchases?

2:17 AM

Blogger pdt princess said...

Tell me about. I just spemt 100$ on highlights that you hardly notice and I HAD TO BLOW DRY MY OWN HAIR!!!!! I'm going to get my hair done on friday though. But sheesh! I was prepared to dish out the cash because I've been going to this place for years and they always work miracles on my hair: blowouts, trims, cuts, up-dos, curls. You name it they've done an AMAZING job. However this was a HUGE dissapointment.

p.s. Why didn't you ask how much it would cost when you booked the place

6:05 AM

Blogger hautemama said...

Even Spa Utopia doesn't charge that much!! I think it's like $75.

I don't think I'd neccasarily ask the price when booking..I mean when you go to the spa it's never cheap.

When my daughters and I go for the day it's usually about 1K.

10:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a guy, I'm a little out of my element here, but I'm pretty sure my girlfriend gets her manicure's done for $20 Cdn. Including tip.

8:54 PM


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