The girls from the cast of 101 Dalmatians were nice enough to get me a spa gift certificate as a wedding present.  I took advantage of it in September, wrote this longhand in the tea lounge, and just got around to posting it today.

I am from the Midwest.  I am not used to being waited on.  Yet one rainy September afternoon I found myself at the Setai Spa in Manhattan, courtesy of the 101D girls.

I had been running late.  It was six days before my wedding, and I had about nine million things to do.  I found myself staring down the clock at 4:00, then hastily dialing the spa to inform them I’d be late.  The endlessly calm receptionist re-arranged my appointments and I was out the door in Daisy Dukes and rain boots.

I have spent most of my adult life running late.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to amble into a spa with time on my hands.  I think in fact I prefer to run late, at least to a spa, so that I can be hit smack in the face with a wave of Enya and incense.  “Hush!” the spa coos.  “Put on a robe and slippers.  Relax.”

And relax I did.  When I arrived, the hottie desk attendant led me on a short and useless tour of the spa.  Why are spas always such labryinths?  I could not have found my way anywhere were it not for Sondra, the ladies’ room attendant, who literally took me by the arm and walked me from the locker room to the lounge.  She then plopped me in an overstuffed chair, brought me a glass of (complimentary, unlimited) wine and urged me to sample the macaroons.

Manny, my male masseuse, met me in the tea lounge to escort me to my massage.  I am not one of those squeamish girls who has to have a female masseuse.  Manny was kind, attentive, and gay enough that I immediately felt we could get drinks after he got off work.  Words cannot describe Manny’s magic hands.  By the end I felt energized, not sleepy, and not sore.  Which was good because I was facing Anna next.

Anna met me in the lounge and escorted me to her waxing station.  Where Manny had been deferential and smooth, Anna was chatty and, after a 60-minute head-to-toe massage, a little overbearing.  But you need someone to take control when it comes to waxing your vagina.  After all, you can’t see down there.  Anna and I exhausted a full range of topics, from children to horror movies, while she yanked and pulled and sang the praises of  a straight line of pubic hair.  I agreed passionately with everything she said, whether I agreed or not.  Mostly, I tried not to tense up.

I gleefully awarded myself with a splash afterward in the Aqua Grotto– a fancy name for a Jacuzzi.  I bathed fully naked while Sondra brought me a second glass of wine pool-side.  I felt like a Roman empress.

Which is precisely the point.