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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, May 18

Gapers Block

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Erica / April 20, 2005 2:35 PM

My best friend would want me to say because she got me a gift certif from there. However, I haven't gone yet, so I don't know (although any place that swank must pamper you good and well).

For now -- and not to be cheeky or anything -- my husband is really sweet when it comes to pampering me and the best part is that it's free. He's spoiled me, really.

Rupaul / April 20, 2005 2:50 PM

I go to Erica's husband too.

Andrew / April 20, 2005 2:50 PM

Not exactly the classical sense of the term, but I pamper myself with a night off with no chores or activities, a nice glass of scotch and the TV. If it's early enough, I'll hit a record shop or Chicago Comics, mainly just to browse.

Eamon / April 20, 2005 2:54 PM

Home. I'm not big on pampering anywhere else. I hate massages and such, and obsequiousness drives me crazy with annoyance and/or guilt.

jenny / April 20, 2005 3:12 PM

Hot Chocolate, the new dessert restaurant...w/ a Dad who went to pastry school, Mindy Segal's is like a little bit of home (only w/ way hipper decor)

vavaboom / April 20, 2005 3:39 PM

I go to Barneys and play with the make-up and try on the Marc Jacobs clothes I cant afford.

Fil / April 20, 2005 4:17 PM

I like the Red Door Salon. I used to go on weekday evenings, then you don't bump into as many snobby mag-milers.

emily / April 20, 2005 4:29 PM

I buy myself new underwear. Nothing makes me happier than some pretty new drawers.

Michael / April 20, 2005 4:30 PM

O'Donovan's on Irving & Hoyne.

Leelah / April 20, 2005 4:32 PM

Shopping is always a good way to pamper yourself! I second underwear purchases!

I don't bother with girlie things like manicures, though, so I pamper myself with food... Green Zebra is my place of choice.

j3s / April 20, 2005 4:38 PM

Usually some combination of sushi (Mirai or Kaze) and dark chocolate. Jenny - the chocolate souffle at Hot Chocolate is amazing! Especially paired with the salty caramel ice cream.

Also, this is more "taking care of myself" than pampering, but I would say my Saturday morning Iyengar yoga class at Yoga Circle (Jane's 11am). It's pretty tough, and requires a mellow Friday night, but I love it. I leave the class feeling so centered, happy, and calm. Very in my body. So, during class it doesn't feel like pampering, but afterwards it sure does.

Kate / April 20, 2005 4:46 PM

I have my boyfriend come over and he takes me into the bathroom and hits me with 12 whip cream pies. After that, he pours 10 gallons of chocolate and vanilla pudding on me. It is great to feel the slop run down my body and curves and drip onto my pretty feet and to be completely messy.

jen*nee / April 20, 2005 4:56 PM

Beer and nachos at the ballpark. That's the high life as far as I'm concerned.

Carrie / April 20, 2005 5:02 PM

I go to Thousand Waves Spa on Belmont. They encourage you to come an hour before your massage so you can sit in the steam room, sauna, or hot tub (or do all 3). After you get your massage or wrap you can spend as long as you want in the relaxation room. They have blankets, magazines, tea and a nap area. They also provide slippers, a robe and a locker for you. I always forget that I'm in busy Chicago when I go there. I love it. The prices are no more than a fancy salon where you wouldn't get the nice little extras.

Sorry guys, it's for women only.

Carrie / April 20, 2005 5:13 PM

I've also escaped to my favorite island in Mexico. It was me, the beach, beer and naps the whole time. I've never come back from a vacation feeling so relaxed. No tv, radio, or newspapers really helps to de-stress. I'm trying to make that a once a year vacation.

Michael / April 20, 2005 5:18 PM

I don't often have the cash for such luxuries as massages, facials, etc. (although an ex-girlfriend once did purchase me a pedicure at the Four Seasons as a birthday present--I spent half the time giggling and squirming in my seat like a child, as my feet tend to be somewhat ticklish) That being said, I usually just throw a thick juicy steak on the grill. Yeah...that ain't bad either.

Emerson Dameron / April 20, 2005 5:50 PM

Any diner that serves chili. An enormous bowl of chili, even mediocre chili, usually gets me back in the game.

Mo / April 20, 2005 6:29 PM

It's interesting how many people pamper themselves with food. I like to have giant banana splits, preferably from Margies, but as I am lactose intolerant, it's a form of pampering with dire consequences.

I get a pedicure 2x a year, but both of the salons I loved in Chicago have since closed.

When I want to indulge at home, I rent lots of really bad horror or action movies and lay on the couch for hours, just me and kurt russell.

amy / April 20, 2005 8:08 PM

Pedicures and facials are my weakness when i have the cash. But just for cheap pampering: my boyfriend rubbing my feet, fresh home made popcorn, and marathon Sex and the City episodes. If only I could get all 3 to happen at the same time...

Patterson / April 20, 2005 8:38 PM

I find that Jewel has the best deal on Pampers in town!

w / April 20, 2005 10:52 PM

my parents' house.

e_five / April 21, 2005 12:24 AM

Why do people, especially adults, think they need or deserve to be pampered? Spend the money for the spa weekend to volunteer in your own community, go somewhere where you're needed, or travel in a Third World country. You'll learn a lot more or feel much better about yourself if you do.

Benedict / April 21, 2005 1:20 AM

I agree with e_five. None of you deserve to eat chili, watch Sex and the City, or buy new underwear.

lacey / April 21, 2005 1:31 AM

I work for peace all the time, so I feel alright about a little pampering every now and then :)

I can't thank you enough Carrie for the Thousand Waves Spa link. I am totally going to try that place. I'm excited just thinking about it.

Nothing beats a pedicure (no need to have more than a few a year), and there are millions of places that do it. Look for spa pedicures, don't settle for less.

amyc / April 21, 2005 7:23 AM

You know, e_five, that "if you're doing one thing, you're obviously not doing something else" argument is tiresome. How do you know that the posters here don't already volunteer in their communities or engage in other activities that you consider worthwhile? Is it not possible that someone can travel in a Third World country (such an outdated phrase, by the way) and enjoy the occasional massage?

When I'm not trying to save the world or subvert the dominant paradigm, I like chocolate cake.

w / April 21, 2005 8:45 AM

Yeah e5! Don't be such a meanie!

New Family Guy May 1st. Pamper yourselves and watch it.

Kevin / April 21, 2005 8:46 AM

I like to pamper myself but it's getting harder and harder to find Pampers in my size.

I do what Andrew does; just substitute the scotch for a good cup of coffee.

Kevin / April 21, 2005 8:50 AM

(obligatory cowtowing to buzz-kill e5's demands)

Oh and when I'm done with my coffee, I go downtown to lower wacker and hand out food parcels to the homeless.

paul / April 21, 2005 9:20 AM

I have several bartenders throughout the city that pamper me very well.

kerry / April 21, 2005 9:51 AM

I go to the bar at the Four Seasons on Delaware. The service was getting a little spotty for a while, but the last time I went it was perfect. I got my favorite waitress so the service was impeccable and the crowd wasn't too rowdy. It's the only place in the city I've found is really worth the $13 for a martini.

anne / April 21, 2005 9:58 AM

I recently just started getting pedicures once a month, and it's the best pampering for $30. I get a great calf massage and foot rub, and feel all pretty and fancy by the time I pour myself out of the chair. Plus, my old favorite cheap treat was buying a new shade of nail polish (the best under $5 makeover you can get) and this way, I get the polish, without adding weight to my teetering medicine cabinet!

Bettie / April 21, 2005 10:09 AM

No one said sex, so I'm saying sex. Sex with boys, sex with girls, sex with yourself and sex even with the homeless people in the Third World countries. Sex while watching Sex in the City, while eating chocolates and sex and banana splits and chili and steak. Sex after having a pedicure. Sex after yoga. Sex in islands in Mexico, at your parent's house, at the Four Seasons on Delaware. Sex at Chicago Comics and sex in your new underpants.

e_five -- no sex for you!

Bettie / April 21, 2005 10:12 AM

OH, WHERE do you go to get pampered --
ANYWHERE you can have sex. Which, according to many Jerry Springer guests is truly ANYWHERE.

e_five -- no sex for you, not even in this Third World country you speak of. I kid, I kid.

robin.. / April 21, 2005 10:18 AM

a good cuppa coffee.

*no* underpants.

an evening spent cooking something delicious.

drinking a beer in the shower.

sitting quietly with no obligations.

making paper collages and stuff while listening to old albums and singing to myself.

oh, and also saving the world through the power of little baby duckies and adopted children and sandbagging flood regions in developing nations while protesting the dams that cause said flooding and boiling a (free range!) chicken carcass at the soup kitchen and protesting something or other while also working a gaddamm 40 hour work week in the heavy season and riding my bike to work, being in 2 book clubs and reading on the side, cleaning and recycling, packing books to send to women in prison and feeling bad all the time that sometimes i just want to sit queitly with a beer on the porch and listen to the windchimes down the block on a sunday instead of being high-horsed by you, e5. you work your way, and i'll work mine.

Staci / April 21, 2005 10:30 AM

Oh, e5, why so critical? Pampering is great, even if it takes a little time away from saving the world. I like Bettie's ideas and think sex is a great way to feel good. But a stop by my guinea pigs' cage to pet them also is nice when needing to be pampered. And enjoying a cold vodka tonic with a big slice of lemon is super awesome.

Leelah / April 21, 2005 10:34 AM

Hey! Thailand is a third world country where you can get a pedicure (or manicure) on the beach for $2! Best of both worlds!

I have done volunteer work through Earthwatch, and it is hardly pamper-riffic, but it is rewarding. Trust me, when you have dug in the dirt in Spain in sweltering August every day for two weeks straight, you're going to want--and deserve--the pampering!

Maureen / April 21, 2005 10:40 AM

I do live and work my ass off in a developing country (one that the U.S. State Department says not to travel to at that!), and man let me tell you, at the end of the week I am ready for a strawberry margarita. Yes, there are developing predominantly Muslim countries in which one can get a strawberry margaritas. Damn good ones at that. And since Friday's my day off, that's what I'll be doing tonight.

e_five / April 21, 2005 10:43 AM

This is why makeover shows, greed-promoting drivel (The Apprentice) and celebrity news dominates TV.

roderick / April 21, 2005 10:51 AM

I love to go to the darkroom. Nothing relaxes me more than seeing a print slowly materialize before my eyes under the safelight. A close second is anywhere I can walk with my head in the clouds for a while.

e_five, how come you're spending your time criticizing us and not saving the world right now?

Shellie / April 21, 2005 10:56 AM

I love Gapers' Fuel because it's mostly light hearted and lets people voice their opinions in a non-confrontational way, many times about fun stuff and current events that make us happy. This post is about pampering and from what I gather, it includes all of the above, except for e's buzz kills.

pamˇper    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (pmpr)
tr.v. pamˇpered, pamˇperˇing, pamˇpers

1. To treat with excessive indulgence: pampered their child.
2. To give in to; gratify: He pampered his ambition for wealth and fame.
3. Archaic. To indulge with rich food; glut.

rachael / April 21, 2005 10:59 AM

I go to Paradise Sauna on Montrose, just over the river: 2912 W. Montrose Ave. 773-588-3304. You get access to a whirlpool, a hot tub, a cold tub (brrr!) a steam room, a sauna, and a resting area for 18 dollars -- and you can stay as long as you like. They also have decent rates on scrubs and massages, although I've never had one there.

Carrie / April 21, 2005 11:15 AM

e-five, just because people pamper themselves doesn't mean that they're not doing good stuff for the world. I volunteer every week and donate to what I think are worthy causes. Why should we spend our lives working and working and not do anything to take care of ourselves? Pampering myself is taking care of myself. I don't do it every week or heck, every month. If I can't afford a super pampering day, I'll take a bubble bath and drink a glass of wine.

Lacey, I'm glad that you're going to try out Thousand Waves. :) I've always had good massage therapists there, but Heidi is my favorite (if you can get her)

Michael / April 21, 2005 11:29 AM

I would agree with those responding to buzzkill_five's comments. It all goes back to being able to love yourself, before you can love others.

accident waiting to happen / April 21, 2005 11:29 AM

ahhh, a beer in the shower is a fine treat indeed. i knew there was a reason robin and i got along so famously.

other delights that i share with myself, money and time be damned, include:
an egg salad on dark rye from leo's
sneaking off to the occasional killer action movie
a new comic book, or two
an architecture appreciation course
a quiet pipe in the evening
and, my favorite, an empty apartment, excessively loud rock music on the stereo and a bottle of bourbon.

Lady / April 21, 2005 11:36 AM

Aw e-five, why the poopoo face?

you enjoy hard work, obviously. you know it so well, you are doing your part to save the world.

we are so grateful. lost without you.
now take a day off.

davin / April 21, 2005 11:56 AM

my friend ben works at the peninsula hotel spa and got me my first pedicure. never done that before and have to say that it was a pleasurable experience. at a reduced price of course.

Cinnamon / April 21, 2005 12:14 PM

I enjoy getting the hand massage part of manicures, but the cuticle clipping freaks me out. (What if this scissors slip and I lose all feeling in my sewing finger?) But I adore getting my hair done. I have to do it every 6 weeks so I don't incur a lecture from Rev. Billy (@ Milios) but having someone comb your hair for you, and having someone confident wash your hair for you is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Michael / April 21, 2005 12:34 PM

"Self love is not so vile a sin as self neglect."

-Henry V

O'Donovan's awaits.

Huggies / April 21, 2005 3:07 PM

My parent's house. When I plan to go there, my mom stocks the fridge with my favorite snacks and beverages, she gives me pedicures (mostly because she's ashamed of the way I keep my feet), and both my parentes indulge me with compliments and hugs.

Oh, and my therapist's office! Seriously, aside from my mom, she's my biggest cheerleader.

Thurston / April 21, 2005 3:34 PM

I find it interesting that for so many females it seems that a special indulgence often involves some kind of special treatment of the feet, whether it be a pedicure, foot massage, etc. I'm not criticizing this, I just strikes me as curious. Is there something guys are missing out on, or is this perhaps an indulgence that women are best suited to appreciate? Is this becauae so many women wear heeled shoes, which (I assume) mangle one's feet?

anne / April 21, 2005 3:40 PM

I think guys are totally missing out on pedicures! (and lately there's always at least 1 guy in the chairs at the place I go to, so it's not a completely female-dominated indulgence) Guys probably take care of their feet much worse than girls do, yet girls are the ones who mostly spend extra money getting themselves groomed. I think girls do end up doing more damage to their feet with heels, etc. but guys' feet could use a good trim and pumacing more often then ours. Boys! Don't fear the pedicure!

Big Fat Prude / April 21, 2005 3:49 PM

I have been to Thousand Waves and although there are great things about it (including the wonderful living room/common area), I wish someone had warned me first about the naked women. I unsuspectingly walked into the locker room and was greeted by a hot tub full of .... how do I say this ... not particularly attractive naked ladies. (I'm no Giselle Bundchen, but that's why I don't surprise strangers with my naked butt.) What I experienced may not be an everyday occurence, perhaps Carrie or others could speak to that. But because I was uncomfortable with the locker room scenario, I haven't gone back. I have found other places (like Kiva on Pearson) that are just as relaxing but not as naked.

Carrie / April 21, 2005 4:17 PM

Sorry, yes there are some naked women at Thousand Waves. I was a bit uncomfortable with it at first, but decided if they're comfortable walking around nude, then I should be comfortable with their confidence. erm, something like that. Maybe the gym locker room also prepared me for it a little and that's why I don't mind it so much. Most of the times I've gone, women have either just been topless or in swimsuits; full nudity seems to be rare there. (I also tend to sneak in early when it's pretty dead)

Big Fat Prude- you're not prudey, I know plenty of women who would also be uncomfortable. I'm glad that you at least liked the relaxation room and have found another place where you can go to relax. taking care of yourself is tops.

Mo / April 21, 2005 4:38 PM

I, too, try to avoid the naked spas. I have absolutely no problem with nudity. I love naked people. I love people who love naked people. What I have a problem with is sitting where someone else's naked butt recently sat. Because, bluntly, your butt is never as clean as I would have it. But technically, nakes is supposed to be more hygienic than clothed, because it gives bacteria less space to live and breed and seep off onto sauna benches. still, though...

Fetishista / April 21, 2005 4:39 PM

Have you ever had a foot massage? It can be better than ... yeah, that. Really. Especially if girl/boyfriend is the giver.

Guys can appreciate that, no?

Mo / April 21, 2005 4:40 PM

*naked*, not nakes. I hate letting a typo stand.

Naz / April 21, 2005 6:41 PM

Full body massages are amazing. Foot massages are amazing. Any type of massage is amazing. If you want it relatively cheap, take a gander at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy.

The best massages are post work-out or long cycling, running, intense active excercise. I agree with Festishista, sometimes, it can be as good or better than that.

Though, if you are with someone, things tend to progress towards that post-massage anyhow...

CVAL / April 22, 2005 8:28 AM

I go to my friends house and watch him take her into the bathroom and hit his girlfriend with 12 whip cream pies. After that, he pours 10 gallons of chocolate and vanilla pudding on her. It's an exotic dessert hopefully comming to Charlie Trotters .

Kelly / April 22, 2005 8:35 AM

I go to Sisters Salon in Skokie for the best waxing ever. It's relatively painless, and the atmosphere is nice.

A word of warning: I got a Brazilian at Milio's last time because their prices were so much lower than Sister's, I figured, what the heck? Well, not only did the dude not wear gloves (and if someone's going to be poking around in my pink bits and the pink bits of others, they better damn well wear gloves!) but he left a ton of hair behine. And it grew back in record time. AND I got a bunch of really attractive ingrowns. AVOID.

Kevin / April 22, 2005 8:49 AM

The concept of pampering and having hair removed from genitalia should never be in the same paragraph. Yeouch!!! Of course I'm a guy so I haven't a clue.

JT / April 22, 2005 9:16 AM

I second (third) the Thousand Waves shout-out. I've gone there for ages, and now my close friend Jennie is managing it (if you go, tell her Jodi sent you).

For serious money-involved pampering, I'd do a massage followed by a salt scrub at Urban Oasis. But I have kids, so I haven't had that done in years.

For beauty pampering, try the Aveda Institute at Clark & Diversey -- a haircut & style is only $15. They also do facials and other pretty stuff.

Lulu / April 22, 2005 4:28 PM

"I have to do it every 6 weeks so I don't incur a lecture from Rev. Billy (@ Milios)"

Ha! I'm familiar with Billy's lecturing.

Mindy McCourtney / May 8, 2006 11:30 PM

Don't worry about the nude women, you will totally get used to it in a hurry!

The first time I ever went to a spa I was nervious about being nude, and now I am quite comfortable walking around nude.

If you can grow comfortable being nude yourself you won't give a second thought about other women being nude!

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