For my birthday, Kat gave me what is easily the most unique gift I've ever received: three sessions in an isolation tank. Normally a loved one telling you to go lock yourself in a water-filled tomb might put some people off, but it was something I had mentioned several times before that I wanted to check out, so I was pretty excited.
It was surprisingly difficult to find a spare hour to float alone in a silent, dark pod, but I was able to book my first session a mere 10 days later. I wasn't quite sure what to expect: I've heard varying reports on the experience, from "peaceful floating nap time" to "mind-altering, overwhelming dive into your own terrifying consciousness that will permanently alter your thinking or maybe even drive you insane." Which when you think about it would not be a great birthday present at all.
I showed up slightly late because I'd gotten into an argument with Kat, because when you're about to spend an hour alone with only your thoughts you definitely want to be agitated and upset with your spouse. The lady at the counter asked me if someone had told me to come early, which is a really polite way of saying, "You're late, fucker." She asked if I'd done this before and, when I said no, made me sit down with a little tablet to watch a helpful informational video about floating that I pretended to watch while skipping forward when she wasn't looking.
"Nope, I think the video covered it." She nodded and led me to a dark room with a spaceship in it.