That's me. It's clear, completely clear. I do not belong on this planet, or maybe just not on this part of this planet. Whatever.
This morning I got an email from someone I vaguely know at NWU (let's call her A). Someone else I know at NWU has announced her engagement (let's call her B). So, A sent me this email announcing that she and C have decided to have a spa day as a shower for B. The cc list included women faculty members from across NWU.
On one level, that's a great idea because B doesn't really need the traditional shower gifts to start up a household.
But, as I read the invitation, I realized that I didn't find the idea of a spa day with 15+ of my not closest friends even slightly tempting. But I'm sure A and C think this is a great idea, and they must have checked it with B, right? So they all think it's a fun idea.
I read on: the spa's in another city, some 90 minutes each way. And the schedule says the day will run from 10-4, and then we'll have dinner at 5. Minimum, six hours at a spa and three hours driving time, plus two hours for dinner? Yes, my math gives me 11 hours.
I read on: we're supposed to rsvp with the spa services we'd like. There's a price list attached. I clicked the price list, because I was curious.
The list starts with massages. Not just massages, these are therapeutic massages.
The descriptions, to be honest, sound painful, and I'm averse to pain. (I like getting a massage, but these sound more painful than the usual.)
The prices start at $40 for 25 minutes.
Now, back to my basic math: say we get there and fart around for an hour, and then fart around for another hour at the end. That leaves four hours. You can see where I'm going. I'm thinking, massage, and then read a book? No, probably not. So I looked further.
The next things sound even more painful: craniosacral? lymphatic drainage? I'm not even sure what these are, but I hope my lymph system's just fine as is, and my skull's managed to stay in one piece for 46 years, so I'm passing on those.
Acupuncture? I don't know from acupuncture, but putting needles in my skin just for kicks doesn't sound like my idea of fun. I give blood because there's a chance it helps someone, not just for the fun of it.
Well, moving on: there's the body polish. I polish my car on occasion, but my body?
Bikini wax? Again with my aversion to pain. And, seriously, if you're going near there, we'd better be intimate or you'd better have a nursing or medical degree.
Then there's the selection of facials, manicures, and pedicures. So, let's not talk about the face. My hands? They're gardening, bike riding, dog-playing hands. My feet? Probably my best physical feature; people admire them on occasion when I wear sandals (which I do as often as possible). And while a foot massage rocks, I don't want polish on my toes. Nor do I want a stranger rubbing them, really.
Okay, so I'm cheap, obviously. I don't think anything of dropping $200 on books. But on a spa day?
And I'd be uncomfortable being in a state of semi-dress with faculty women I don't really know well. Yeah, I have a middle-aged body, average at best, and a pretty average self-image about my body. I don't run screaming when I see myself in the mirror after a shower, but I don't imagine that any young Hollywood types would feel threatened in the least, unless they thought I'd sit on them.
For some reason, facing my discomfort at the thought of the spa day made me feel uncomfortable, alien. I wonder if I'm the only recipient of this email who doesn't look forward to the day with anticipation? Am I the only one who's going to decline?
And am I declining because I'm just that uncomfortable with the whole spa idea, or my body, or the cost, or?
So I took myself out for a bike ride, and saw some ground birds I couldn't quite identify; I was thinking quail, but I'll have to look them up. I saw a small group of Cedar Wax Wings; they always catch me by surprise. The day was strangely perfect for a midday ride, cool and overcast, with almost no one on the trail. I felt really good, relaxed.
I derailed at one point, so I got my hands all chained. A perfect nightmare for a manicurist, no doubt.
But after 25 miles, the "soothing legs" spa treatment seemed more tempting than before!