In Which I Make Plans to Seriously Relax

Can I take a break without making fun of it? (Answer: No)



Not long ago, after almost a year of planning, I hosted a large family event. After spending all that time focused on preparing for a full weekend of activities, I’m left with the feeling that there must be something I’m forgetting to do. In fact, I’m sure there is something I’m forgetting, even though I send myself multiple reminders on my Blackberry, such frequent reminders that after a while I start ignoring them, which of course results in forgetting about whatever it was I was reminding myself to do…

Anyway, with this milestone event successfully accomplished, someone suggested that I reward myself with a little rejuvenating getaway. That someone, by the way, was me. I did a little research and decided to take myself up on the suggestion. Sometime soon I will be retreating to a spa, where I will—don’t laugh!—learn to meditate. Yes, trust me, I need to LEARN. I will also participate in fitness classes and maybe even do some tai chi, which I found out, on reading the brochure, is not a cooking class. My point is, I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity to try out the array of activities at this spa. And I will try very hard not to mock every aspect of the experience while I’m there. (This will probably require more effort than doing kettlebells, which is also on my list.) Instead, I’m working on getting the mockery out of my system well in advance.

I thought maybe I’d sign up for what the spa calls a “body treatment.” There’s a long list of possibilities. I read the brochure carefully and came across a treatment known as a “detoxifying ritual,” in which “you’ll be intensely cleansed with Moroccan mint tea and silt purifier, and vigorously scrubbed with coffee, olive stones and fresh lemons. A rich rhassoul clay will then be applied to your body to draw out impurities. You’ll recharge with quince and orange blossoms and then have all this goodness sealed in with…cardamom, jasmine, bergamot, amber, and clove.”

What? I am simply sharing a description with you. Didn’t I say I am not going to mock it? Even though this bears a striking resemblance to my pumpkin pie recipe, I am NOT GOING TO MOCK it.

The scrubbing with coffee and olive stones does sound a little uncomfortable, though. And, in spite of the thoroughness of the description, I think they left out one thing—When you’re finished with this treatment, you’re not only “rejuvenated,” you’re also fully compostable.

Okay fine, probably what will happen is, I will arrive at the spa, check into my room, and spend three days sleeping late and watching John Hughes movies on cable. Come on, The Breakfast Club can be very relaxing and meditative! Breathe in…repeat Judd Nelson one-liners…breathe out…call room service…

For more from Paula Whyman, see www.paulawhyman.com and her online parody newspaper www.bethesdaworldnews.com.

About This Blog

“Semi-Charmed Life is a blog about my personal impressions of life in the Maryland suburbs and the greater D.C. Metropolitan Area. How’s that for giving myself permission to write about anything? There we go: It’s a blog about anything. Please stay tuned.”

Paula Whyman is an award-winning writer who grew up in Montgomery County. Her stories can be found in literary journals and anthologies, and her humor essays have appeared in The Washington Post and on National Public Radio. She is working on a novel. Plus, she can teach any dog to sit.

For more on Paula and her work, see www.paulawhyman.com. Also see Bethesda World News, the parody newspaper founded by Paula’s alter ego, Isabel Brooke.

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