Keeping Abreast of the Situation in Maine
Well, I went for my yearly mammogram last week. Nothing I particualy relish doing, but at least the place I go has made a bit of an effort to bring us out of the Dark Ages. You remember the bright lights and cold machinery, don’t you?
My place doesn’t look like a medical facility at all. First off, it’s painted in yummy earth tones, like sage and seaform green, soft brown and aquamarine. You walk in and they’ve got Native American flute music playing, with some windchimes thrown in for good measure. There’s soft lighting overhead, and inspirational quotes by famous women on the walls.
The reception desk has no sharp edges. It’s kind of kidney bean shaped, made out of this blonde wood. And everyone talks softly, so softly, it’s hard to hear them over the gurgling of the fountain in the corner.
The waiting room chairs look like something you’d see in a living room, and there’s a setup with coffee, tea, juice, water, friut, and muffins to make you feel at home. Best of all, the magazines are up to date. Outdated magaizes are a pet peeve of mine. (My dentist is the worst offender.) I just hate getting all excited about a fashion tip, only to realize it’s three years old!
So basically, the mammogram place has been Feng Shui-ed to within an inch of it’s life. (That fountain in the reception area was a dead giveaway.)
See, I know a little about this Feng Shui business. My niece Caitlin is a certified Feng Shui consultant. You’ve heard of Feng Shui, right?
I didn’t know anything about it when Caitlin first got interested. This was a few years back. So, I watched a show about Feng Shui on the Home and Garden network, but it’s still hard for me to explain. So, I asked Caitlin to make me up a little card so I could brag about her. I keep it in my wallet.
“Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of organization of a space to facilitate the optimum flow of chi, or life energy.” Or, as my husband Charlie says, “Arranging furniture to make the worst possible use of the available space.” I say, anything that makes you stop and think about what you want out of life, which is apparently a big part of Feng Shui, can’t be half-bad.
So, when Caitlin got back from her certification course, I hired her to come Feng Shui our double-wide. You know, help her get her business started. (Though to be honest, Feng Shui hasn’t exactly caught on in Mahoosuc Mills the way we’d hoped.)
Charlie was a little sceptical of the whole thing, so I scheduled my Feng Shui appointment for Sunday evening. That’s when Charlie plays poker down to the Brew-Ha-Ha with the boys: Bud, Smitty, Pat, Tommy, and Junior.
Charlie knew she was coming, though. As he’s going out the door, he says, “I don’t want to come home and find some big Buddha statue in the living room, OK?”
“Don’t worry, dear. We’ll put the Buddha in the backyard, beside the fountain and the fish pond you’re going to have to put in!”
Well, Caitlin arrived and, God love her, she was so professional. First off, we sat on the floor in what they call the lotus position, except I could only do a half lotus, and only for about thirty seconds before my hip kind of seized up. Yeow! That smarts!
So, we did a centering meditation, Caitlin in the lotus position and me sitting in a chair. Then we talked about my “intentions,” you know, things I want to “manifest.” It all sounds kind of silly when I talk about it now, but at the time, I really got into it.
Anyways, next Caitlin got out this energy map. It was facinating! Apparently, different sections of the house represent different areas of your life: relationships, health, family, travel. We were doing pretty good, too, until we got to the wealth area, which is located in the bathroom. Swear to God, our wealth is in the toilet.
I says to Caitlin, “This can’t be good.”
“Well, Aunt Ida, it’s not neccesarily the best Feng Shui. But the good news is, I can give you some basic cures to prevent your wealth from going down the drain.”
“Just tell me what to do.”
“Well, you might want to buy some plush, green towels. Green symbolizes wealth. And you have to make sure you keep the lid of the toilet closed.”
“The towels are easy. But how am I going to explain to Charlie that not only does he have to put the seat down, now he has to remember the lid?”
“I’ll give you a crystal to put in your relationship area, to enhance communication.”
“Well, make it a big one, because I don’t think he hears half of what I say.” (Which reminds me, I need to give Caitlin a call, because I think that crystal needs a tune-up!)
Anyways, back to my mamogram, I’m sitting in the inner waiting area, in this lovely turquoise robe, reading an article about the latest in anti-aging moisturizers, when they call me into a smaller room for my results. (Nowadays with computers, they can actually give you the whole low-down before you leave.) The mammogram gal tells me everything looks great, and I’m all set for another year. Some little part of me that specializes in worrying lets out a little sigh of relief.
I get dressed slowly, trying to absorb as much of this relaxing atmosphere as I can before going back out into rock ‘em, sock em’ world. I’m telling you, that mammogram place is like a mini-spa-vacation, if it weren’t for the old boob flattener!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)