Exfoliation. A new york story.

Last Thursday night I’m at dinner w/a bunch of my college friends. We are NYC gals, we like spas, we’ve basically got very decent lives and no complaints.

This one girl, C.C., has a major banking job, major bucks, loves the good life, loves the fancy wine and all of that. She’s brilliant and funny – she appeared in and was one of the producers of Lewis Lapham’s movie, the excellent and overlooked American Ruling Class (Lapham is the former editor of Harper’s mag.) She’s also pretty wild.

So we’re talking w/CeeCee about spas and the conversation goes like this:

C.C.: “Oh, I can’t go to Janet Sartin [fancy nyc skincare spot] anymore. They won’t see me.”

us: “Why? what did you do there?” (unspoken: what did you do there this time?)

C.C.: “Well, I sent her a homeless guy to be exfoliated.”

us: “you did WHAT?!?”

C.C. “Well. . . there was this homeless guy, and no matter how many showers he took, I was just, you know . . . there was still that smell. It gets in the skin. So I called up Janet and told her I was sending someone for a full-body exfoliation.”

us: “So HOW do you know this guy!?”

Turns out he was a street artist she met who lived on Pier 63, and she liked his found object sculpture, and she wanted to help him out. He’d been on the streets for a coupla years and was pretty gritty. So she took him to get cleaned up.

At one of the most expensive European skincare salons in Manhattan.

C.C. “Well, she called me, and you know that accent she has, and Janet said, ‘It took three hours! and we had to use sandpaper, on the elbows! What are you doing to me?!?!’ and  after that I just can’t get an appt there.”

me: “Um, so how was the guy afterward?”

C.C.: “Oh he looked wonderful! Twenty years younger! He felt great and that smell was gone. He’s living in a store now.”

My pal Alice and I looked at each other and had a vision of going over to St. Peter’s Church, or St. Bart’s, or one of Manhattan’s soup kitchens, and handing out gift certificates for spas, to the homeless guys. Maybe we can get C.C. to produce a new reality series: “Wellesley Eye for the Homeless Guy.”

yeah, it’s kinda stupid. yes, the homeless need a lot more help than that, yes, it’s superficial. But seriously, a little human touch and kind physical care – there’s really not a lot wrong with that. everybody deserves to feel really good once in awhile. and that smell . . . would be gone!


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