Getting addicted to luxury goods and experiences

Today was my friend’s birthday, so to celebrate her big 33, some friends and I went to the Burke Williams Spa with her at the Westfield Shopping Center. It was pretty nondescript, and the doors leading into it were not labeled, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was even walking into the place until I opened the doors. It’s a luxurious, high-end respite in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco and the shopping center it is in. It has a large hot tub, a spacious steaming room, and a nice sauna. The spa has pretty much every amenity you could think of, from spa-grade soap, shampoos, and conditioners to dry shampoo, hair pomade, and even hair curlers and straighteners… and something I’d never seen before: color-treated hair protection spray?! There are herbal teas and cucumber and fruit infused waters, as well as fresh fruit and nibbles and even a large selection of magazines to read.

We had pre-booked spa services with discounted gift certificates we’d purchased around Christmas time during their specials, so my friends were having massages and mani-pedis, while I opted for the spa facial. As the esthetician was looking over my face with a harsh light, she declared that I had very good skin and that it was clear I took care of myself, but I just have some old acne scarring. “The acne scarring could be treated by microdermabrasion,” she said to me. “It would likely only take three to four sessions before you could have these scars fully removed from your face – just something to consider.”

Microdermabrasion. That word has come up during my skincare reading, but I always thought it was more for people who had facial discoloring/hyperpigmentation or really bad acne or wrinkles. I didn’t realize that people actually did it for minor scarring like I have. It sounds like an excessive luxury. Shouldn’t I just be happy with the way I look right now? In some ways, to erase my acne scarring is like a cosmetic procedure I would liken to having freckles or non-malignant moles removed — 100% for superficial reasons and just far too self indulgent, even excessive.

But I guess this is another case in point of people who get exposed to luxury goods and experiences and simply get addicted to them. Once you have a taste, it’s hard not to go back for more. That’s probably why I’m still contemplating having this done to my face… if the price is “right.”


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