Quote of the Day: “Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together….”
- Carl Zwanzig
Nineteen long years.
I don’t know how she does it.
Yes, folks, today is my 19th wedding anniversary which means that for nearly two decades, Carrie has put up with the likes of me and to tell you the truth, I don’t know how she does it. I guess there are worse husbands but there are damn sure better ones and somehow she looks past that and sticks around. Must be the stumbling good looks and all the money.
I’ve been racking my brain for weeks (OK, days) to figure out what is the perfect gift for her. I did manage to get the card you see above last summer. I was in a bookstore, saw it, and knew I had to get it. Then it sat in my work desk for months until I gave it to her today. If ever there was a perfect card…
I had considered setting up a cruise for us which means I came up to Carrie and said “you think we should go on a cruise?” and then stood back and watched her go to work.
She researched it and after we (she) couldn’t find the perfect cruise, we (she) decided we should put it off until next year when it’ll be our “20th”; more of a milestone that “19th” anyway.
The reason we could not find one was because I didn’t want to go for more than 3 days and she didn’t want to go on the same one we had gone on years ago. Come on, people, stop looking at me like that. Being on a cruise for more than 3 days starts to get painful. MAYBE five days if I grit my teeth and stay drunk but these week long cruises? Better bring a big net capable of fishing out a drunken idiot bent on swimming back to shore.
Now I was stuck with what to do. Hmmm… I got it! How about a spa day?
(All the women’s eyes get big and round, all the men’s slit…)
I know, I know but it’s for HER. Let’s face it, anniversaries are not a “guy” thing; it’s a chick thing and I knew she would enjoy it. All I had to do was lay down the duckies and BOOM, works over for me.
Being smarter than the average bear, I contacted my friend Marisa who lives in the city and who I know did a couple’s spa day with her husband a few months ago. She gave me the information and I…. gave it to Carrie so she could do the research and make the reservation.
Hey, the hunt is part of the gift, right? Back me up here, fellas!!!
We decided to make it a whole day thing so I took her to Chinese buffet for lunch, therefore stuffing ourselves silly before the next step which was NOT going to the spa. I had another little surprise for her… well, it was a surprise up until I told her about it so she could call up and make appointments. Part of the hunt, people!!!!
The appointments were for… um… we kinda…. it was….. OK, it was for manicures and pedicures which, when you stop laughing, I will point out that I absolutely refuse to call it “mani-pedi” because I have to salvage a few molecules of my masculinity here.
No matter how much I justify the necessity of a pedicure by pointing out that bad toenail situations can take a distance runner out of the game, I have no excuse for the manicure other than she was getting one and this was something we were doing together.
The chair they put me in was a piece of crap. It didn’t seem to go back far enough and the little remote control looked like it had been through Nam. The only way I could feel the massage part was if I pushed back really hard which, yeah, real comfortable.
The whole pedicure situation is almost bearable until they start scrubbing with the hard sponge on the bottom and then it’s pure torture. I mean, is it NOT supposed to tickle like crazy? It was like SERE school.
Now compared to most men and in turn, most runners, I have uncommonly good feet and toenails. They basically look like they should and not some rock formation like a lot of men. And through some freak genetic combination, my feet don’t get callous, dry, and the toenails don’t look like a chemistry experiment gone bad. For what I put my feet through, this should not be but I’m not complaining.
So there was not much work to be done and everything went fine until they used a defective buffing pad. Obviously I didn’t want any paint or little damn flower or anything. They offered the as-manly-as-they-could-manage buffing and like every other question they asked me, my response was to turn to my wife and wait for an answer. She said yes to the buffing so a-buffing they went.
But the pad they used was, as I found out, not working all that well. It buffed but it created a lot of heat. She kept stopping and looking at the surface which was starting to tear in places. She would go back to buffing and the heat would start up again creating a rather uncomfortable situation but what the hell did I know, I thought it was supposed to be like that.
I still shutter when I think of it. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.
It wasn’t until the second foot when she gave up on the buffing sponge and opened a new one. With that one, things went a lot better and no heat was created and the shine was like a damn mirror. Ooooh, so THAT’S the way it was supposed to be.
Great, shiny toes.
The manicure was about the same and when all was said and done, I had shiny fingertips, too. I have to admit, they did look clean, healthy, and unlike the normal jagged teeth-chewed stubs I normally sport.
Ok, so now we were stuffed full of Chinese food, my toes were on fire but shiny, and my fingertips looked good enough to get beat up by any of my Marine buddies. It was off to the spa in downtown San Diego.
We were greeted by a tiny pixie smaller than my 12-year-old with a voice that could shatter glass. She was SOOO happy to see us for some reason.
Pixie showed us to our separate bathrooms and of course, I had mine all to myself because no self-respecting man would find himself in such a estrogen-laden establishment unless it was his wedding anniversary or something.
Pixie gave me a key to my own locker and when I went in and opened my locker, there was this big oversized terrycloth robe and some flip flops. I stripped down, put on my “uniform” and checked the place out.
The sink area had all kinds of crap, topped off by scented candles everywhere. The lights were low and some New Age music was pumping through the speakers. They had mouse, gel, hairspray, and 20 other different kinds of “product” ready to spooge into your hair. They had deodorant, body spray, shaving cream (although no razor so WTF?), and a glass jar full of blue liquid and black combs. They had soaps, moisturizers, and an assortment of other liquids, semi-liquids, and powders that I had no idea where to put on my body. I’m pretty sure one of them was for my ass but I wasn’t about to experiment.
I was told by Marisa that the big deal in there was the showers so I grabbed a humongous white towel from a stack of towels that I knew I was going to soil if I had to spit on them and headed for the shower. At these prices, EVERY towel was going to get used for SOMETHING!!!
I don’t know why but there was two shower curtains set apart. OK, I’ll use them both but I wasn’t sure why. Maybe just to create a little changing area but since I was the only guy there and was pretty sure I would remain that way, I was prancing around in the clothes God gave me when I was born.
OK, I wasn’t “prancing.” It’s a figure of speech and I don’t want you getting the wrong idea. Can we move on?
Anyway, the shower WAS pretty cool because it had a big pan straight up that just dumped water straight down like a rainstorm. But the coolest part was that they had three more nozzles on each side shooting straight across. So you got 6 jets throwing water sideways and one big one dumping straight down.
You had to be a little careful because the nozzles were at chest level, groin level, and knee level. The first and last were not the problem. Turn the wrong way and that middle nozzle would definitely grab your attention not only based on the temperature of water you were using but the force at which said water hit areas not exactly built for ropes of water shooting straight at it, if you know what I’m talking about (and I think you do.)
After finishing with the carwash treatment, I got out and used about 4 towels where only one would have sufficed. I donned the robe, pulled out a black comb soaked in some kind of blue liquid that smelled of turpentine, and contemplated using all of the other amenities until I discovered I really didn’t have enough hair to waste the time.
By the time I got out to the lounge area, Carrie still wasn’t there. If they had the spread I described above for the men, I could just imagine what they had for the ladies. It must have looked like a cross between the feminine aisle at Costco and main candy room in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
When Carrie emerged, we went to the lounge area and realized that being ½ hour early would be great. Being there 1 hour and 15 minutes early was not so great.
Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to hang out with my wife before our dual-massages but there is only so much sitting around naked under a robe while listening to New Age music, watching candles flicker, and wondering what exactly the blue liquid stuff was that was now in my hair.
We did manage to get a glass of wine each in the deal so that, of course, shot up the masculinity factor by quantum leaps. I mean now not only was I in, for all intents and purposes, a giant womb, but now sipping White Zinfandel out of a wine glass.
I think it was at this point my penis fell off.
We were finally called back to the room they had reserved for us. Two women were ready to do what they do and I was actually looking forward to getting my 50-minute massage. The original concept was that we were doing this “together” but “together” meant being in the same room during the massages. The problem was, it didn’t take long before the relaxation bubble that formed around me completely excluded everything and everyone in the room and thus, my lovely wife of 19 years could have been a Yeti and I wouldn’t have known nor cared.
Like they always tell you, you strip to “to your comfort level” when they leave and then get under the sheet. My “comfort level” for these is simple… nothing. To me, it’s the most non-sexual situation so I go down to the buff but as the old joke goes, why is it that you feel comfortable stripping down in front of your spouse and your doctor but not when they are both in the room? Same goes for masseuses, in case you’re curious.
The package we bought not only included the 50-minute massage but a heat wrap. They get these sheets and soak them in some hot water with some kind of moisturizing something-or-other and then wrap you up like a tamale. They have a couple of layers of this and then put a space blanket thing around you and zip you up.
You literally look like a big Chipotle burrito.
After simmering to a medium boil, they unwrapped us and the massage began.
Mistake #1: If a masseuse ever asks you if there is a certain spot you are having trouble with that you want her to concentrate on, NEVER tell her, under any circumstances!
Because they will hone in on that sore spot and treat it like it said something bad about their mother.
Overall, I have to give two thumbs up to the massage, other than her drilling down into a sore spot on my back until I wanted to slip the silvery bonds of this life.
But again, this was supposed to be something we did together and it wasn’t long before I realized I was not experiencing ANYTHING with my lovely wife. I was immersed in a world of massage.
I did have a fleeting thought at one point if she was still even in the room. I couldn’t see over where she was and I couldn’t hear anything either. I wondered if I was the only one getting the star treatment. Sucks for her… I mean, I hope she is enjoying it as much as I am.
When we got done (always seems too soon), they left the room so we could get dressed and exit when we were ready. Carrie and I compared experiences and she was thinking the same thing I was when she was getting her massage.
So in that way, I guess we DID experience the same thing at the same time.
I wanted to hit the steam room one more time before we left. Before the massage, we tried it but it didn’t have any steam, just the heat. I thought it was a pretty shoddy steam room but now, after the massages, the steam was there in full force so I tried it out. Carrie passed because she didn’t like the concept of an ultra-muggy, hot room where you can sweat your ass off. Women!
I lasted about 2 minutes before stumbling out a soaking mess with beads of water all over my body. I went into the bathroom, dried off (with a fresh towel, of course) and went back in for one more. I lasted about 3 minutes on that try and I had had enough. I was done.
Back in the locker room, I found I was still the only man in there and I got in the carwash again. This time I used the pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. In fact, I pushed the pump bottles until my hand was overflowing with the product just so I could use as much as humanly possible and much more than I actually needed.
Getting out of the shower, I used yet another towel. Two, in fact. One for my hair and one for my body. Then one for the floor as I changed. By the time I was done, it looked like a football locker room in there. I was a one-man wrecking crew, thank you very much.
Walking out to the entry way, I looked and felt like Rainman. I was so relaxed that I just sat there like a little kid while Carrie settled the bill. Pixie had been replaced by some other young thing and I was glad when the bill and tip got paid and we strolled out of there on our way home. I wanted to do nothing but take my shiny nails and my relaxed, cleaned up ass home where I would do nothing for the rest of the night except eat and crawl into bed.
Yep, ladies, eat your heart out. That’s what Carrie rolled on the marriage Roulette Wheel and for 19 years, put up with similar putziness.
All kidding aside, I am constantly amazed how lucky I got to spend my life with such a wonderful woman. No man earns such luck, it’s just plain blessing.
Free Advice for Today: “Keep valuable papers in a bank lockbox.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.