Dreaming of Nightingales

I was dreaming last night…dreaming of nightingales. I was dreaming that nightingale birds flew over my face and pooped on it. And after they pooped on my face it was all shiny and bright and I looked 10 years younger.

I was dreaming about nightingales because on Saturday, my daughter A and I had our Geisha Facials at the Shizuka New York Day Spa in NYC. The Geisha Facials are famous because they include a special natural ingredient – nightingale droppings.

Who would have thought that bird poop could do wonders for my face? And at 50+ years old, I am willing to try anything to perk up my wrinkles and improve my skin. Sooooooo, when A called to ask if I wanted to go to Shizuka for their famous Bird Poop facial for only $50 during NYC Spa Week, I signed up right away.

“Victoria Beckham gets these facials and they are usually $180,” said A. “They must be good.”

“Victoria Beckham gets these facials? Wow, and they are only $50 this weekend. Make the reservation,” I said to A, “Sign me up, I’m ready to be a Geisha. I want porcelain skin just like a Geisha.”

As I lay down and readied for my treatment, I was relaxed and released. (Although, I was disappointed not to get a Japanese robe to put on like it said in the Shizuka brochure. Instead the esthetician put a towel around my neck to cover my shirt and gave me a paper cap to cover my hair.)

First she wiped off my skin and then it was time...time for the bird poop.

"I'm putting nightingale droppings on your face now," said the esthetician. (I almost started to laugh as she put the droppings on my face. I knew the facial included bird poop, but I wasn't sure exactly what kind of bird poop it would be. I was so glad to find out that it was poop from beautiful nightingale birds and not from NYC pigeons. I don't like pigeon poop, not in my hair, which has happened to me before in NYC as the pigeons fly overhead, and especially not on my face.)

According to the Shizuka New York Day Spa website, nightingale droppings "were once only known to kabuki dancers and the Geishas themselves. Geishas found that regular nightingale droppings facials could be used not only to remove makeup but to brighten, heal and retexturize the skin due to their natural enzymes and guanine, which imparts a pearly luster to the skin. At the Shizuka Spa this ancient and prized Geisha beauty secret is artfully revived. The droppings are perfectly safe to use on facial skin and are sanitized through exposure to ultraviolet light before being milled to a fine powder. Shizuka mixes the nightingale droppings with delicate Japanese rice bran to enhance its inherent exfoliating and facial lightening properties."

After the exfoliating bird poop, the esthetician used a tool to extract the excess oil in my skin. Then she used a seaweed mask to calm down my skin. She finished off the facial with a lovely coating of lavender oil. (Oh, how I love lavender oil. In fact, my lovely boyfriend L bought me my very own bottle of lavender oil at Whole Foods. I really wanted the lavender oil to mix with my Epsom salts to add to my bath, but now I may also start smoothing it over my face each night. It is heavenly and helps me relax before bedtime. In fact, maybe I should get some nightingale birds to sing me to sleep too. Yes, I bet if I had nightingale birds around my house, I might sleep better. And, then I could create my own nightingale bird poop to put on my face...just like a Geisha. Wonder where I can purchase some of those birds?)

I definitely was glowing after my Geisha facial. My face felt like porcelain, just like a Geisha. "You have very nice skin," said the esthetician as she led me out to the waiting area. "I do? Really? Well, thank you, " I replied, as I thought about all the various anti-wrinkle creams I've applied to my face over the years. Maybe these creams are making a difference.

I will definitely go back to Shizuka Day Spa again. And I might just treat myself to the full-priced Geisha facial next time around, especially since they would not let me use my Spa-finder Gift Certificate that I had won at the BlogHer conference last summer. I may just have to go back to Shizuka and put my $100 gift certificate towards another Geisha facial.

A and I left the spa and headed off to Loehmann's for another mother-daughter bonding experience. My feet were so sore by the time we arrived back to A's apartment later that night. I could have used a foot massage by the end of the day. I think I likely had stepped in some pigeon poop during our three mile walk up and back, but it didn't do anything to my feet. Wish those NYC pigeons were like nightingale birds and provided some health benefits instead of being so annoying. Maybe then my feet wouldn't hurt so badly.

Like the poet Lord Byron, I think I do now have a special affinity for the nightingale:

It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour when lovers' vows
Seem sweet in every whispered word;
And gentle winds, and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.
Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,
And in the heaven that clear obscure,
So softly dark, and darkly pure.
Which follows the decline of day,
As twilight melts beneath the moon away.

- Lord Byron

Could someone tell the NYC pigeons to fly south and send back some nightingales in their place?


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