Sunday, March 14, 2010
My gal pals exchanged nervous glances. “Yes you are. We all are. It’s already booked and we can’t cancel.”
I continued my cranky complaining. “But I hate spas ... I don’t want to go. You go without me.” My mind was made up and I was determined.
She hesitated before speaking. “It’s your birthday present, and it’s all paid for.” Insert both feet and fists into mouth. Oh God ...could I have been any more obnoxious?
I tried to quickly retract the bitchy comment but the damage had been done. The saddened eyes signalled that I had hurt the feelings of two of my most treasured friends. After several minutes of my desperate apologies and gutteral grovelling, I almost convinced them that I had been impulsive and thoughtless and that I was indeed lucky to have people who take such care in providing me with special experiences. The tsunami of regret and shame I felt was relentless and left us all in emotional tatters.
I am on record as hating surprises and my friends and family are always careful to steer clear of them. I become a bull dog the moment I catch wind of a surprise in the making. Simply put – I put everyone through hell and become one giant pill.
As it turned out the spa they had chosen (with the input of far away sister) was spectacular ... a series of log buildings set amongst the pines. Steaming hot pools followed by temperate and frigid pools, new age music and chirping birds surround-sound, and wood burning fire pits. Lots of lounging bodies cloaked in white spa robes slumped back in high back Muskoka chairs as they milked the ZEN of the place. Impressive. At first sight of a half naked aging gentleman descending into the hot bath my stomach became acrobatic. Tension mounted and I silently berated myself for not keeping up with my fitness regime. Darn those floppy thighs and wings. I don’t look at myself in my bathing suit never mind parading around a bunch of strangers ... I was comforted to find out my masseuse’s name was Rachel and not Rick. She was in for a fistful!
I finally let go just a little and the girls and I stripped down to enjoy our spa adventure. We donned our one-piece suits, made a towel cover more than one would think possible and watched with envy as the other seasoned spa-goers wrap their half nakedness in their crisp white robes. We headed for the steaming pool ... and just as we pushed the door open, we had to laugh albeit very quietly at the sign that announced, Silence beyond this point. Impossible! And so very funny. We shook our heads, contained our giggles and headed off to be steam cleaned and rubbed.
And after all of the cr#p I put my sweet gal pals through ... I thoroughly enjoyed my rub down once I let myself relax. Maybe I am rigid, and a control freak (adjectives courtesy of those closest to me). I’ve always preferred to think I just know what I like ... but I can see the signs of hardened “stuck in my ways” behaviour setting in.
So last week I learned that I have better friends than I deserve; that in spite of my chatty ways I am extremely shy and a little self conscious; sometimes you just have to go with the flow; and that there is no way, no how I cannot speak for more than a few minutes ... not when I am with my pals anyway. I also learned that I am truly blessed – and for that, I am very grateful.