Last night, I joined a small group of women from church for “Spa Night.”I must admit, I was reluctant. I’ve never had a manicure (well, I paid for a lame one before my wedding almost 17 years ago, but that’s it) nor a pedicure. I was afraid the evening would be centered on the application of glitzy red nail polish, and that scared me.As it turned out, I didn’t apply any nail polish. Not even natural pink or a clear top coat. I could have, but there was so much more available. I let the more experienced spa types lead the way and offer recommendations. Before long, I found myself standing in front of a gadget I’d never heard of before–a paraffin bath machine.As I was chatting with the ladies, I admitted that I don’t do much to pamper myself–no massages or even luxury hand lotions.”Why not?” someone asked. We were standing next to the hot wax; I was pondering it as they dipped in their hands and held them up, like surgeons that had just scrubbed in and donned gloves.”Why don’t I pamper myself?” I asked.”Yes, why don’t you pamper yourself.”I shrugged. “I’m not sure. It just doesn’t occur to me.” When I’m in the mood to treat myself, I don’t picture getting my heels scrubbed smooth or my cuticles pushed back. I picture myself curling up in an overstuffed chair with a great book and several uninterrupted hours alone.They urged me to dip my hands in the bath of wax. “Just do it. Go on. One…two……..three!”I dipped. My hands came out looking like something from a science fiction show–not quite human.”Do it two or three times, then peel it off.”"This is weird,” I said, holding up my rather ghoulish, paraffin-coated hands. “I feel like the Bride of Frankenstein.”We peeled it off and played with the wax. I have to admit, my hands felt as smooth as one of Anita’s handbags, supple and buttery soft.Then we took turns sitting with our feet submerged in bubbling foot baths, the warm water enhanced with aromatherapy salts. One of the ladies went around with some kind of a foot scrubber that had people giggling uncontrollably. Some of us rubbed lotion onto each other’s hands and feet while chatting.The group was small; the conversation varied. We nibbled dainty mini-quiches and homemade turtle chocolates, and sipped herbal tea. In keeping with the spa theme, I selected one called “Calma.” Nice name…Calm-ahhh.An unexpected highlight was the free massage. Did you catch that? A free back massage. Boy, do I love this church.Yes, we were treated to a brief massage from a therapist who volunteered her services in exchange for meeting us and hopefully picking up new clients. She said my shoulders were tight. I said I was a writer, hunched in front of a computer much of the day. She worked on a knot and remarked again at how tight my left shoulder seemed to be. I stepped away from her chair slightly noodly and promised to perform her recommended shoulder shrugs and neck stretches. She said it could help the tightness. I hoped it might improve my writing, too, getting that blood flowing to my brain. I’ll do anything for a good turn of phrase. As I drove home, I marveled at how much is available to pamper one’s self at home. I even thought I might consider pampering myself a little more than I have in the past.And when it occurred to me that the only items I own that are remotely spa-like are these and these, I concluded that what I really need to pamper myself are a more gadgets. After this fascinating evening with new friends and plenty of pleasant-smelling skin-softening products, my vision of personal relaxation has expanded. There’s still the comfy chair, the great book, and uninterrupted hours alone. I’ve simply added to the scene one of those warm, vibrating foot baths. Well, that, and a cup of calm.