I’m Addicted To The Spa

Up until quite recently, I had lived for nearly 40 years without ever setting foot inside of a spa. They’re a ridiculous waste of money and time, a luxury of spoiled rich women who have more cash than they know what to do with. Eventually when they ran out of material shit to buy, the spa industry was born to fill the void.

The notion of paying a person to “pamper” your body with oils and herbs is stupid; that’s the same way I prepare a chicken to roast in the oven. I would never willingly participate in something that reeked of so much frivolity. At least that’s how I felt before my mother suggested full-body massages for the both of us for my 39th birthday. “It’ll be fun,” she said. “We’ll feel amazing afterward!”

I had always been weirded out by the thought of a stranger rubbing their greasy mitts all over me so my inclined response to her proposal was a resounding “no,” until she added, “It’s my treat!”

It was my birthday; why not humor her this one time?

The spa was located inside of a resort hotel we were staying in. Beyond smokey glass doors awaited a foreign world filled with scented oils and bubbling fountains, candles aglow in darkened rooms. Soft, willowy music permeated the air and I half-expected to be met by a hippie Wiccan instead of the conservative receptionist who greeted us.

The business woman guided us into a small changing room where she instructed us to undress, underwear optional, and to place all of our clothing and valuables into small lockers for safekeeping. We were given fresh robes that weighed about fifteen pounds apiece and told to step outside when we were ready to begin.

After she left, my mom and I looked at each other as we began to disrobe and simultaneously asked one another, “Are you ditching your underwear? I don’t know, are you?” We both agreed that yes, we would get butt-nekkid. We were on an adventure together and we were doing this shit right.

We shuffled out to meet our masseuses (masseusii?) and from there we parted ways. Led into a warm, dark room illuminated by votive candles, I was left alone to remove my borrowed drapery and slip beneath the blanket on the bed.

What followed were some of the most magical 60 minutes of my life. Aside from holding back a couple of potentially deadly farts that threatened the safety of a tiny room harboring open flames, the level of relaxation I experienced was like nothing I had ever felt before. I was hooked.

Afterward, my mom and I went to dinner and barely spoke to one another, we were so high on tranquility. As we quietly waited for our meal to arrive, I slowly began to notice that the tip of my index finger hurt. A lot. It was burning, in fact. I couldn’t quite understand why that could be, it was a mystery, until I looked down and saw that it was resting in my coffee.

After dinner, we returned to our room for a three-hour nap because we just could not go on.

We didn’t even check out of the hotel before booking our next spa treat, body wraps, for my mother’s birthday vacation the following month.

If you have never had a body scrub and wrap, you need to remedy that shit. Now. I’m not even kidding. You have not known a full bodygasm until you’ve been scrubbed all over and wrapped up like a taquito. The skin on my limbs, neck, chest, and back was gently-but-vigorously scratched with cinnamon-vanilla brown sugar before heated, pumpkin-scented oil was applied. As if that bliss was not enough, hot, wet towels were wrapped around my hands and feet like giant mittens and I had to quell the instantaneous urge to pee, right before a foil sheet was pulled up around my body. A heavy, heated blanket was bundled around me and carefully tucked in all the right places. The icing on my cake was a scalp massage before being left alone to rest with my thoughts.

I lay quietly in the dark, a vanilla-pumpkin-scented human burrito, feeling delicious and not at all claustrophobic. I never wanted it to end. As my mind drifted away, I almost began to panic about what I would do if my nose started to itch until I made the conscious decision to banish such thoughts out of fear that I would cause psychosomatic ticklings to spite myself. I let go and sailed off to sleep.

When it was over, I experienced a walk-in shower with six (!) shower heads to rinse everything off. Up until that point, I’d only ever seen those in magazines filled with pictures of upscale homes and decor that I will never be able to afford. I decided the spa really should have posted a sign that warns visitors to “Shield Your Nipples Upon Entering” because the top shower streams on either side of the stall seemed to be aiming right for them like tit-seeking missiles. I covered them with my hands and stood still, letting the water wash the rest of my cares away.

Unlike the massage, I felt completely invigorated after the treatment. My entire body felt like a baby’s butt, minus the poop, and I smelled like a freshly-baked pumpkin pie. I was ready to take on the world in my revitalized state.

My mom and I are on a mission to try something new the next time we travel together, but I’m afraid I’ve already set the bar incredibly high and nothing else will ever compare to the wonders of what I’ve already experienced. Still, I remain an addict lying in wait for my next fix; the spa is my drug of choice and I’m its groveling crack whore.

 

 

Here Be Spam Dragons

Some days I feel like my Gmail’s spam folder deserves a big hug and a chaste kiss. Like a chivalrous Knight Of The Round Table, it ceaselessly defends and protects me from ridiculous annoyances on a daily basis. It never takes a holiday, it never goes on vacation to the Bahamas, leaving me to fend for myself.

No. It is unyielding in its efforts to slay all of the Spam Dragons who would dare to breach the sanctity of my personal fortress.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

As a show of appreciation to my spam folder — and spam folders everywhere — here is but a glimpse of what mine battles every day:

thisisatestThis is one test I won’t have to take. I get to continue living in a gauntlet-free zone.

russianbridesThey never look like their pictures. Take my word for it. You might think you’re getting a hot, lonely, undersexed supermodel until a hosebeast with a face full of hairy warts shows up on your doorstep with a raggedy suitcase, a bowl of borscht, and a toothless smile.

freecellphoneThe asterisk says it all. Sounds like there’s probably some sort of catch involved, like it’s free* in return for the blood of your firstborn.

weightlossrevealedI bet it involves one weird trick I won’t have to worry about falling for.

getanynowA_N_Y .. O_N_E .. I .. W_A_N_T ..? Really? Any one? Like, in the whole wide world? Hey slow down a minute, maybe we should talk about this…

christian mingleWhy on earth…? The last (and only) time I dated a Christian, his whole church-going family lovingly referred to me as “that heathen.” To my face. It probably didn’t help that I wore a hex bag around my neck and performed a spirited voodoo incantation right before I used my teeth to rip the head off of the chicken I intended to roast for dinner.

Just kidding. I’m not a voodoo-ist. I’m Pagan. The store-bought chicken was already headless.

3dudesI don’t know what they’re waiting around for at the loft condo by Coors Field, but the invitation sounds kinda rapey. My purity is sure to remain intact, thanks to my knight in cyber armor always looking out for me.

He acts as the bouncer at my personal club, the Lancelot to my Guenièvre, the Alistair to my Hero of Ferelden. Spam might be flung at me from every conceivable direction but he is constantly there, battling those unwanted advances from faraway armies that vie for my attention on a daily basis.

I can offer only this in return: Thank you, Spam Folder, for always having my back.

The Trollops Have Been Released!

IT’S HERE!
It’s here! It’s here!

And yeah. I’m late. It’s a day that ends in “y,” did you really expect anything less from me?

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee is available on Amazon! Get it today! Or tomorrow! Or next week after your paycheck gets deposited! No pressure!

35 reader reviews are in so far and they all say what we already knew to be true: the book is awesome.

From the press release:

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee blends more than forty heart-warming, funny, and authentically told stories about the craziness of being reared and raised with the hard-hitting anecdotes that keep mothers sane. Whether it’s a traditional lesson about the value of money or a hilarious outtake about the proper way to shave, any person who cherishes their mother will relate to the stories in the book.

“When you were growing up, your mother’s advice might have made your eyes roll in exasperation, squeeze shut in frustration, or tear up with emotion—all in one conversation. Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee brings you back to those days, in a very good way,” says J.D. Bailey, humorist and creator of Honest Mom®.

Mike Cruse, blogger at Papa Does Preach, shares Bailey’s sentiments. “We spend our youth thinking our parents are crazy, lame, and have no idea what they’re talking about; and then we become parents ourselves and find out that we, in fact, were the idiots. This book shares some of the best advice received from moms as told by some of the most hilarious authors writing today.”

See? You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

For The Love Of Writing

So… a lot has been happening. It’s as though the universe decided to pave a section of my rural paradise and put up a parking lot filled with good things. While there are no Dodge Vipers or Porsches sitting out there, if my writing career proceeds onward the way I’m working my ass off to make sure that it does, there just might be. Some day.

(Or maybe, at least, like a newer Jeep or something.)

While my novel is still in the works (and will be for some time), I recently had two essays accepted into anthologies! I’ll be sharing more information about them as they get closer to their release dates:

 

 
Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee
Edited by Crystal Ponti; Published by Blue Lobster Press
(ETA: Spring, 2015)

trollopsFrom the editor: “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee is filled with the crazy, brilliant, and unforgettable lessons we’ve learned from our mothers—stories shared by more than forty word-crafty writers. Some of the tales will make you laugh; some will make you cry; and a few will leave you questioning how we ever survived our childhoods. Although they may seem a little faulty, trust me, our mothers (and motherly figures) could drive like Andretti, cook like Julia Child, and shake someone up like an Italian mobster. We’ve survived and thrived, and never forgotten their enlightening words.”

 

 

Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!
Presented by Shannon Day & Tara Wilson; Published by Tipsy Squirrel Press
(ETA: June, 2015)

martinisFrom the publisher: “There will be heartfelt stories (with not even a hint of cheese) that’ll fog up your glasses and make you feel even luckier to be a mom. There will be scenarios, and hilarious turns of phrase, that’ll make you spit out your coffee and run off to the loo. There will be relatable, and sometimes unbelievable, mom-sufferings, told with humour- sure to make you feel a bit less alone and maybe even proud of your own tales of survival.

Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder Woe & WTF?! will make you feel like you’ve just shared some drinks, some stories, and some laughs with a group of fun moms, who remind you of your own pals.
The book is currently in production mode but will be here just in time for the Summer (cocktail) season.”

 

The essays I wrote are both true stories, unlike the fiction I’ve been weaving in my (as-of-yet-unnamed) novel. I’m so proud to be included among such brilliant and supportive writers and I cannot wait to read these books when they come out! An anthology is especially nice because you can read a story or two, stop to do laundry or cook dinner, and then come back to it later when you have the time to read one or two more. Anthologies also expose the reader to a wide variety of voices and styles – writers whom they might not have discovered otherwise. They’re just terrific avenues for everyone, writers and readers alike.

(And if you are an aspiring writer, yourself, I highly suggest writing for anthologies if shorter stories and essays are your thing. Contact me via email or in the comments – I’m happy to share all of my bookmarked resources for anthologies/publications!)

I hope you’ll consider purchasing copies of “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee” and “Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!” when they are released in the near future, and I’ll definitely keep you posted about any book signings that are organized for each, even if they’re not in the OH/PA/WV areas where I would likely travel.

And I know right? Holy shit – that means I’ll be participating in book signings. As in, to autograph books and meet readers face-to-face. Talk about surreal. When the time comes, I hope I don’t disappoint people. I’ve been told on more than one occasion, “Wow. You are not what I expected.”

I never know if that’s a good thing, or not.

 

 

Bathroom Cheesecake

Recently, my husband bought one of those boxed, “No Bake Cheesecake” mixes from the grocery store. If you’ve never heard of such a thing, allow me to explain: all one has to do is beat fresh milk into pre-measured dry ingredients and cheesecake filling is magically created. It’s just that simple. The resulting cheese goo is poured into a ready-made pie crust and the entire dessert is placed in the refrigerator to set for about an hour before it’s eaten.

So. Easy. And tasty, too – lactose intolerance be damned.

The only real trouble was, on this particular night when a cake of cheese sounded most divine, both of our kids were home. Greedy parents that we are, we did not want to share.

“Whatever shall we do?” Whovian asked of me as he paced the wooden floor of our upstairs bedroom. “The children are downstairs in the living room at this moment. Verily, they will hear the sound of the electric mixer and surely know that something sweet is afoot in the kitchen!”

“Hark, dear husband,” I replied. “Do not trouble thy mind with such fanciful worries, for indeed there is a solution to our predicament.”

I had his full attention. I spoke once again:

“The children are engrossed in their YouTube videos. Go down to the kitchen, husband of mine. Fetch all of the supplies we will need to forge this cake of cheese. A mixing bowl. The electric mixer. A measuring cup filled with milk, the pie crust and the mix. Gather these things quietly and bring them up hither.”

“What then, mine wife? Surely the noise of the electric mixer will echo throughout the house, even from upstairs.”

“Aye. ’Tis wherefore we will make it in our bathroom, with the door closed. The din of yon bathroom fan will muffle the racket of our cheesecake-making and the children shalt ne’r know what we hath wrought.”

Whovian marveled at my genius resolve for but a moment before another concern flashed in his eyes.

“But soft, goodly wife,” he said. “We must refrigerate this cake for it is made of cheese and milk! How dost we hide it in our refrigerator for one hour? Surely our spawn will find it during their next search for snacks, for such expeditions occur every fifteen minutes!”

I wistfully looked through the glass of our bedroom doors, the ones that lead to the second-story balcony.

“My dear husband,” I said as my arm made a grand gesture toward the whirling snowstorm outside. “It is but five degrees Fahrenheit on this night. We need not a refrigerator, for nature hath given us all the chill we will need to set our cheesecake in complete privacy.”

A slow smile spread across Whovian’s face. It was the smile of a parent who knew that his children had been outsmarted.

And lo, but one short hour later, we sat on our bed together, partners in sweet conspiracy that we were, eating cheesecake and watching Netflix.

Aye verily, ’twas beautifully delicious.