Down East 2013 ©
If middle-aged women went on strike, the world would stop moving, the sun would fall from the sky and Satan would be practicing triple axels in hell. Am I right? We are the last line of defense against complete and utter chaos, and nobody knows it (except, of course, other middle-aged women).
Think about it. Who’s running the bake sales, committee meetings and church groups? Who’s taking enrichment classes down to adult ed., exercise classes at the gym, and volunteering down to the senior center? Who’s providing free baby sitting for grandkids and chauffeuring their elderly parents to the doctor? Oh, and who’s taking care of our husbands who are also middle-aged, but refuse to admit it. We are, that’s who!
It’s a lot to shoulder, so when Betty suggested we all do a spa day down in Bangor on Saturday, Celeste, Rita, Dot, Shirley and me, (a.k.a. The Women Who Run With the Moose) jumped at the chance. Betty’s always up on the latest stuff, and she’d heard of this New You Spa that just opened up, which was supposed to be real swanky. So we pile into Shirley’s Bonneville (that’s the only car big enough to hold all six of us), and head for the Big City.
We brought along a little nourishment to get us through the drive. I swear, there was enough chocolate in that car to give Willie Wonka a run for his money! But it was OK, because we were just eating the dark chocolate, which is good for your heart.
It took us forever to get to Bangor because we had to stop at every single rest area on route. We believe that if you have a chance to go, go. You never know when the next bathroom opportunity might present itself. Our motto is, “Carpe Pee-um.”
At the New You, they could only do three of us at a time, so they take Dot away for a seaweed wrap. Betty goes in for a massage and Shirley for her appointment. Shirley told us, “I am not getting naked and letting some stranger touch me. It’s just too intimate!” So she was getting a mani-pedi. (That’s a manicure and pedicure.)
That left Celeste, Rita, and me to wander around the gift shop until it was our turn. I’d had a massage before, years ago in Portland. It was a gift from my niece Caitlin. So I decided to try something new, and get what they call a “body polishing treatment.” I figured, what the hell. I’m a little gem. Go for it!
So, it’s time for my appointment, and Rita, Celeste, and me are sitting there, admiring Shirley’s nails, when a man walks down the hallway to the waiting area. We all stop talking and stare. I mean, this fella is a hunk: tall and muscular. Kind of looks like Billy Ray Cyrus, the “Achy Breaky Heart” guy, only without the long hair. And when he smiles, I realize, in my whole life, I’ve never seen a man with teeth that white.
“Ida?” he says.
Shirley pokes me in the rib. “Uh, that’s me!”
“I’m Brad. I’ll be giving you your body polishing treatment today.”
I’m thinking, There is a God!
So, I follow Brad down the hall, my heart beating hard. When we get to the room, he says, “Ida, please remove your clothes and get under the blanket. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
I get undressed, making sure to fold my clothes all nice and neat, hide my underwear underneath. Was I ever glad I shaved my legs that morning! So, I’m lying on the massage table in my birthday suit with a heated blanket on top of me, waiting for Brad, my body polisher.
There’s a knock on the door and Brad comes in. He explains the drill in this calm, quiet voice like they do, and then asks, “Ida, do you have any questions or concerns about today’s treatment?”
“Brad, I’m putty in your hands. Let’s get to it.”
So, Brad smears my body with this stuff that’s the consistency of that natural peanut butter Caitlin gets down to the health food store. And then, I swear to God, he sanded me like I was a piece of wood!
Then, I go shower off the peanut butter stuff and get back on the table and Brad wraps me in hot towels to open my pores, puts cucumber slices on my eyes, and then, for the grand finale, massages me with this natural moisturizer that smells like a creamsicle. Was it ever heavenly! By the time my new best friend Brad was finished, my body was all pink and tingly and smooth as a baby’s bottom. I’m thinking, Wait until Charlie gets a load of this!
Afterwards, my legs were so rubbery, I had to sit down to put my pants on! I kind of wobbled out into the waiting room. All the girls turn and look, smiling. Dot asks, “So, how was it?”
“Dottie,” I says, “it was so good, I need a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke!”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here. )