In volleyball a "facial" refers to someone, usually a guy, who takes the full force of a 100 mph hit [or "kill"] in the face. It was, and still is, I think, the ultimate humiliation for a player. Suffering a face plant doesn't mean it was a really great hit, since at the upper levels, they're all great hits. Nope, it means that you've lost a step. You couldn't react fast enough to dig the ball, or just get the hell out of the way.
The end result is everything from embarrassment to dislocated noses, cheeks, teeth, anything breakable that might have been in the way. The other evidence of chagrin is often a lingering, stinging redness from forehead to chin.
That pretty much describes how my face looked and felt yesterday. And I paid to have someone do that to me. Never mind how much. For over an hour my face was in the hands of my faithful Russian cosmolopagus who specializes in making me look like I skidded on a patch of gravel, for the express purpose of maintaining my youthful good looks.
First she moved my hair out of the way with a headband -- all the better to launch her attack on my skin. Next she poked around my face like a chimpanzee looking for bugs. Occasionally I heard signs of "Aha!". And the offending ugliness would be dispatched. Meanwhile, hot steam pumped into my pores cleansing them of evil impurities, while opening up holes big enough to park a car.
Then she started massaging my face with and array of creams. I lost track after the cucumber, avocado, and citrus blends. My eyes were next, covered with moist, soothing pads. Then, while my face soaked up the goop, she creamed my hands and feet and covered them with heated gloves and booties. I was tryinig to enjoy the new age music and the aromatic smells, but I kept thinking I must look pretty silly lying there, especially with those booties on my feet.
Suddenly, she left the room. What now? Meditate? Contemplate what I'd look like running outside if there was a fire?
Somehow I managed to fall asleep. I guess she returned when my hands and feet had baked long enough. After removing my heating elements, she put an icy cold cloth on my face, a final layer of cream and I was good to go.
As long as I didn't mind the cries and whispers.