Thursday, January 31, 2013

#15: Ask yourself: What do I want to do today?

One of the greatest luxuries of being a spinster is being in charge all the time. All the time, that is, that you're not in the office. Unfortunately there's nothing you can do when you're at work. Unless you're 40 and the boss. And if so, good for you.

Being in charge all the time can have it's drawbacks. On any given saturday morning, a spinster may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices at her disposal. You could go to the movies by yourself, wander idly through Target, go to the flea market, eat brunch at your spot, shop for fine jewelry, get a pet, go back to sleep, make your apartment messy, or an infinite number of other things. So, today's post is about figuring out what you really want to do with all this time and power. Just ask yourself: What do I want to do today?

This seems almost ridiculously simple, I know, but I've found that it actually works. The point here is to eliminate possibilities just as much as discovering them. As I continue to grow into myself and my spinsterhood, there are things I have to admit to myself that I don't really enjoy all that much, or I'm just not interested in doing. Obviously cleaning my apartment is not what I want to do today, but truth be told, I'm not crazy about sushi either. I mean, it's all right, but to me, it's nothing to write home about. And you know what? That's fine. It doesn't make me less intelligent or less cultured. It just doesn't, like, bowl me over like it does everyone else.

But back to the main point. When you stand in the shower this morning, say to yourself - aloud or otherwise - "What do I want to do today," and then start giving yourself suggestions of the possibilities. And then, in a way that will admittedly verge on crazy cat lady, answer yourself as if it is a holiday made just for you, and you (the you that's asking all the questions) will make whatever you (the one who's answering) would love the most happen.

Confused enough? Me too, kind of, but I hope you get what I mean.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#16: Get a Robe

If you're going to be taking a lot of showers and spending a lot of time in your apartment, it should be apparent - nay obvious - by now that you need a robe. I like to go with a good robe-over-pajamas combination finished off with a good thick pair of socks in the winter. However, I'll leave the details of your loungewear ensemble to you. The most important part is that you have a robe.

Being a veteran robe dweller, I feel I should impart some of my findings to you on what you should be looking for:

1. Seasonal Appropriateness: You'll want different robes for different weather. Your summer robe should be a lightweight terry or waffle fabric, preferably with short sleeves and at least a knee-length hem. I've been looking for years for a robe with short sleeves but a long hemline, but alas the only ones I can find are clearly made for grandmothers. I am particular about robe length as I like to sit on the floor to apply my makeup.

Your winter robe should be a heavier fabric  such as a chenille knit or a terry cloth. I would not suggest fleece, though it is tempting, as fleece tends not to be very absorbent, and when you are washing your face or getting out of the shower, this is of the utmost importance.

2. Robe Construction: My friend Virginia's mother prefers a zip-front robe, and I must say I have yet to try this option. For now, I prefer a classic belted robe with two generous patch pockets in front. This way, you can put your glasses in your pocket while you wash your face and not have to search frantically for them once you are finished. The belting is just a more secure feeling to me.

3. Size: Normally wear a small? Go up a size. You want to make sure you have plenty of cozy robe for your lounging bliss.

4. To be fancy or not to be fancy?: Currently, I don't own a silky robe or matching loungewear-and-robe set, but I think they're cute. I will say, though, I don't think they're as functional (re: absorbent) as a classic robe and therefore serve an altogether different purpose. However, I think I may invest in such a set soon just for my own personal satisfaction.

5. When to wear it: Pretty much all the time. As soon as you get inside your front door, take off those pants (as I've said before), and get into your pj's and robe. You know it's better than what you were wearing all day. And you also know you're not leaving your apartment again now that you're there. So robe up.

In conclusion, if you don't already have a robe, get one, stat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#17: Get a pet

People are always telling me I need to get a cat. And, truth be told, I do love cats. I especially love kittens. I even just love photos of kittens. I find kittens so unbelievably cute that sometimes I just need to google "baby kitten," to get me through the work day.

Speaking of work, though, my hours are the reason I don't actually have a pet. I'm afraid that my erratic schedule would render any relationship I would have with a potential pet somewhere on the "neglectful" spectrum. And on top of this, since my preference is of the feline persuasion, I am worried that a cat would shred my apartment to bits out of sheer spitefulness over my absence.

So, I don't have a real pet, but I do have Hastings. Hastings is the next best thing to having a pet. He's a taxidermic deer head my dear friend Ellen's father gave me last Christmas. His brother had it tucked away in his attic, and when I mentioned I'd like a deer head, one showed up in a giant box at my office.  Now, Hastings is not only one of my prized possessions, but in a way, I feel like he's somewhat of a companion. In fact, I'm sitting here on my couch right now just below Hastings as he keeps watch over the rest of the apartment.

If you don't work crazy hours, though, I think you should have a pet. Everyone knows spinsters are known to love cats, and I am no exception. However, you can still be a respectable spinster if you have a dog or, say, a ferret. However, I think we can all agree that the line is drawn at reptiles and amphibians.

Monday, January 28, 2013

#18: Wake up early

One of the unexpected blessings that has befallen me in the past couple of years is an inability to sleep late. The latest I can usually sleep is, like, 8:30 AM. While this was initially a bit annoying, I've come to really enjoy an extra bit of day before everything starts up.

When the weather was nicer, I liked to wake up at 5:30 AM to go running while the streets were still so deserted I felt like I was Astoria's sole inhabitant. The peace and quiet at that time of morning made me feel centered and productive. But now that it's too cold in New York, I like to spend my mornings doing spinster things.

On a weekday morning, I like to wake up aroudn 6AM so I have almost two hours to check email, do a little online shopping, check out some blogs, watch the Today Show once it starts at 7, and of course eat my breakfast in bed. This also gives me enough time to get in an extra shower to warm up and wake up before I go to work. These extra hours also give me the freedom to do important things like make my apartment extra messy with all the outfits that didn't quite work for me that day. Which is really important.

On a weekend, though, waking up early feels like I'm getting bonus weekend hours. There is, of course, some morning news to watch, breakfast to eat in bed, and some Hulu to catch up on. But then, I can also have a shower, go grocery shopping, and go to the movies all before it's even lunch time. And then, of course, I can have lunch, and the day's not even halfway over.

So, all of this rambling is to say this: wake up early! It's like bonus spinster time.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

#19: Have your makeup done

On a daily basis, I don't actually wear that much makeup. Every time I'm in a department store, though, I find myself lingering at the makeup counters in hopes someone will ask if  I want a touchup. Because of course I do!

One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is put on a good outfit, some minimal makeup, and head over to Henri Bendel's where I'm sure to be attacked by the first available cosmetics salesperson I pass. While i know the sole purpose for their inviting me to have a seat in one of their tall chairs is to make a sale of often obscenely overpriced beauty products, for the opportunity to have someone professionally paint and powder my face while explaining what they're doing, I'm willing to buy whatever they're selling.

Generally the salesperson will ask you about your life and what you do and where you live while they gently brush, blend, and gloss, which is a nice bit of attention as well. They give you all kinds of tips on how you could be doing your makeup better with their products, and admittedly I believe everything they say. It just feels so nice.

When it's all over, the artist likes to stand back and call their colleagues over to ooh and ah over how beautiful you now are. Of course this is yet another excellent perk. And this, my friends, is how I end up with such arbitrary items like glitter eyeliner, five different kinds of cream shadow, and neon pink lipstick. But you know what? To me, it's worth it.

So, go have your makeup done. It's like a non-aggressive massage for your face where they tell you you're beautiful at the end. Seems like an all-around win to me.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

#20: Fall Asleep on the Couch

Now, admittedly, you may have covered this post as a natural ending to the night in I'm hoping you had last night. However, in case you didn't, let's talk about it.

I like to fall asleep spontaneously as much as the next person. You know you're really relaxed when you wake up three hours later and don't remember trying to fall asleep. However, sometimes the joy is in the preparation.

So, first you'll need to figure out what you're going to watch. It needs to last long enough for you to slowly drift into sleep without the disruption of channel-changing or hitting "play."

Next, you need to scurry off the the bathroom, wash your face, brush your teeth, and put on your pj's and housecoat (more on this in a later post.) After this, you need to get some pillows to wedge in the intersection of the couch arm and seat. Personally, I recommend real sleeping pillows off your bed. In fact, I keep two on my couch at all time.

Now, pull a blanket over your shoulders, cuddle the side of your face into that pillow, and navigate to that Law and Order marathon or press play on your movie.

A few helpful hints:

1. Get a blanket that's long enough to cover you from head to toe and three of you side to side. This way you can make yourself into a cozy burrito if you want.

2. It never hurts to take a little Zquil. It makes the drifting gentler but faster.

3. You're going to wake up in the middle of the night not knowing where you are. But something tells me you've fallen asleep on the couch before.

Friday, January 25, 2013

#21: Have a night in

It's friday night, and you've been working hard all week. Good thing you don't have to go on a date and pretend to be agreeable. Instead, you get to go home, take your pants off on the way to the sofa, and eat cookies as an appetizer while you wait for your takeout to arrive.

Next, you get to pick out a movie that strikes your fancy(and possibly no one else's), and start an episode of Law and Order while you eat your cookie appetizer. you don't even have to worry if you don't have Netflix. Law and Order is always on somewhere. And you know every single episode can suck you in. Don't even deny it.

Next, you'll want to locate your glitter polish. But we've already talked about that. You can get a couple coats in while you wait.

Two to three coats in, though, your doorbell should be ringing, and you should be scurrying around trying to find your bathrobe because, remember, you took your pants off, and now you have wet toenails. Once the delivery guy is paid and tipped, you are free to relax into the giant pillow you took off your bed and wedged into the corner between the sofa back and arm, takeout resting on your belly as you find out the verdict and start that movie you've been wanting to watch.

Now, isn't this so much better than a date or some loud bar? I thought so. Have a night in, girl. You've been working hard for the money, so you better treat yourself right.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

#22: Hone your skills

As a spinster, you probably spend a lot of time in your apartment, especially when it's cold out. At least I know I do. And what am I doing with all this time in my Spinster Lair? Well, I'm so glad you asked!

In addition to watching all eleven seasons of Frasier, I like to hone my skills. Now I know you're thinking it doesn't take much skill to eat cookies in your bed, and I suppose you're right. But that's not what I'm talking about...this time.

I wish I could tell you I'm honing my cooking skills, making healthy meals to share with my neighbors and coworkers. But alas, I am not. I am honing my Photoshop and Illustrator skills. They help me make that paper, girl.

Not into Creative Suite? There are plenty of other useful and spinsterly skills you could be honing. For example: Baking, speaking in an english accent, wearing large undies, watercolor painting, spreadsheet making, and/or the old classic choice: knitting.

Whatever skill you choose, sharpen it to a fine point. It captures your interest, and it makes you interesting. I'm guessing, though, you're already pretty interesting in the first place. Most spinsters are.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#23: Don't do anything you don't want to do

The idea here is simple: Don't do anything you don't want to do.

Don't want to clean your apartment? Don't.

Don't want to wash the dishes? Use paper plates.

Don't want to go to the grocery store? Stop at the Rite Aid.

Don't want to make dinner? Eat cereal or order takeout. (Hint: Cereal is probably less effort).

Don't want to get dressed on the weekend? Stay in your Pj's. Just put your coat over top if you're going out.

Don't want to do your laundry? Send that business out. Fluff and folds exist.

These are just a few of the things that make it wonderful to be a spinster. No one is going to judge you for using paper plates if they don't know about it. And they won't know about it unless you tell them. And if they are judging you for using paper plates, they don't have enough things to think about in their life. But that's just my opinion.

When you're in a relationship or live with other people or...well, just when you have to deal with other people at all...there are always concessions to be made. When you're spinstering in your own spinster lair, you do whatever you want. And you don't do anything you don't want to do. So, live in a pile of dirty socks, and dry your feet on the clothes on your bathroom floor. No one has to know, and if they do, so what? Just remember: The floor is the biggest shelf in your apartment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

#24: Become a Connoisseur

My mother had two spinster aunts who were nurses on the Ship Hope in World War II. when they died, my sister and I inherited all their fabulous vintage costume jewelry from their travels.

But my great aunts weren't just into costume jewelry; they also collected china, silk, and find jewelry. Fine, fine jewelry. My grandmother (their sister) once told me that Aunt Daisy always waited for the bus in front of the display window for a Jewelry store. One day the bus took so long, and a pair of diamond studs were calling to her so sweetly, she just said "what the hell," and bought some diamond studs before the bus came.

So, once I decided to embrace my Spinsterhood, I knew I'd need to start a fine collection for myself. Thankfully for me, the diamond district is just a solid block of jewelry stores all right there for me to enjoy. The old men behind the counters are so nice, and everyone tells you you don't look a day over seventeen. Really, who could ask for anything more?

But if jewelry isn't you thing, there are clearly so many other things of which to become a connoisseur. There's food, for one. Gastro-tourism is an incredibly desirable and understandable obsession. Then, of course, you've got books, art, party planning, any number of things. If you're going to be a spinster, live it up! Be an interesting woman of taste!

Monday, January 21, 2013

#25: Make that paper, girl!

One time I heard a DJ on the Big DM 101 say "Make that paper, girl," and I immediately adopted it as my own personal mantra.

So you're a single, unattached female with no husband, no boyfriend, no kids, and maybe a cat. But I don't even have a cat. Cats aside, though, you've got a lot of freedom. Freedom to be a gangsta. So have a job, and be good at it. Who says you can't out earn the boys? No one. It's 2013. Be a hustler, and derive some satisfaction from knowing you're good at what you do. (By "hustler," I do not mean you should be a prostitute. That's incredibly un-spinsterly. Don't do it.)

Now that we've had the pep talk, let's talk about why makin' that paper is awesome. Of course, money can't buy happiness, but let's be real here. Manicures are awesome, and so is traveling. And so is shopping...even if it's just online when you're eating lunch at your desk. Also - and this is my personal fantasy - one day, someone else can clean your apartment. I mean, unless you're really into cleaning. Weirdo.

Now that #25 is out of the way, I'd like to close this post with a bit of poetry from a wordsmith known as DJ Kool:

"Now, all the ladies in the place,
if you got real hair, real fingernails,
you got a job, you goin' to school,
and y'all need nobody to help you handle your business
make some noise"

...you can still make some noise if you have acrylics, though.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

#26: Go to the movies...by yourself

I love a good movie. Heck, I love a mediocre movie. The truth is, I just love going to the movies. I love it so much I usually go about once a week. 

On Monday, everyone asks what I did over the weekend, and when I say I saw this movie or that movie, they always ask with whom I went. But I never understand why they look so sad or confused when I say "myself."

The truth is, as I've said before, going to the movies by yourself is a sort of freedom and relaxation that just can't be had when others are around. And now, of course, I will tell you why:

1. What you see: When you're going to the movies, you can see whatever you want without having to convince anyone else it's worth seeing. And once you get there, if it's not that great, so what? You can leave, or you can stay. You're not responsible for anyone else's enjoyment except your own.

2. When you see it: One of the best parts about going to the movies alone is that you can decide you're going, like, five minutes before the movie starts. There's no need for coordination. If you go before 12 pm, most movie theaters have some kind of half-price deal. No one ever wants to do this with me, though. But what else am I going to do since I can't sleep past 8 AM? 

3. No Talking: Now, it is a pet peeve of mine to be asked questions or whispered to during a movie. No, I do not know what's happening any more than you do. We are watching the movie in the theater at the same time. Neither of us has seen this movie before. However, I will say that in my spintsterhood, I have become that annoying theater patron who turns their head sharply to the side in hopes that the person behind me will notice that their chatter is disturbing me. Already on the way to cranky old lady. 

4. Snacks: Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I'm a spinster is that I absolutely hate to share. I feel like it becomes a competition at some point to either make sure you get your half of the given treat, or conversely to leave as much for the other person as possible. In the end, get your own treat. I like to stop by the ol' Rite Aid and grab myself a little bag of fun-sized candies and hide them in my spinster-sized purse.

5. Hand-holding: You just don't have to be concerned about whether this is or is not happening. Or is or isn't supposed to be happening. You're free to draw your knees up and cross your arms if you want. Or hold your coat. Or laugh really loud. Do what you gotta do.

6. Leaving: I'm not a credits-watcher, but I know some people are. I'm always trying to leave the minute the first bit of text starts to roll, but then there's always that awkward moment when you realize you're catching a flick with someone who politely watches the credits. Then you feel like a jerk. But you also feel like you're holding everyone else from leaving the aisle. It's so complicated!

In conclusion: Go to the movies by yourself today. Bonus points if you sneakily double feature. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

#27: Have a Manicure

It's Saturday, and you've earned at least a little pampering. Really, though, since you're a spinster, you can have as much pampering as you want. What else are you doing?

I feel rather spoiled as a mani/pedi in Astoria, on average, runs about $18 total. At this price, how could I resist letting someone hold, paint, and lotion my hands as often as I can find the requisite hour?

Of course having someone else paint your nails is luxurious, but I also find there is something really enjoyable about painting your toenails while watching tv. Personally, I think the enjoyability leaps tenfold when I use a nice glittery polish. There's something about it that reminds me of spending summers at the lake watching reruns of I Dream of Jeannie. They even make ones that have little star- and heart-shaped glitter pieces in them.

So, whether you're enjoying having your nails done like the lady of luxury you are or painting them in front of the TV like the spinster you re, you should have your nails done. That little bit of color will make you feel pretty and polished (pun pretty much intended).

Friday, January 18, 2013

#28: Find Your Spot

As a spinster, you probably like to spend a lot of time at home with Netflix. But, you need to get out sometimes, and I suggest you find yourself a favorite spot.

My favorite spot is a place named Cafe Bar a few blocks away from my apartment. Some reasons it fits the bill as a perfect favorite spot:

1. Proximity: It's near enough to my apartment that it's no big deal to walk there. Additionally, it's located such that it's easy to triangulate to the the movie theater and/or the grocery (two necessary spinster stops) quickly and easily either before or after any trip.

2. Discretion: I've dined with company a few times here, but the vast majority of my trips to my spot, I'm dining one top. The wait staff never acts like this is weird or a big deal. Though, one time I did have to sit at the bar.

3. Tea: They have good tea at this place. I know some people like coffee, but I'm a tea lady. And they have good tea at this place, which is an obvious must for a good spinster.

4. Table Size: It's important that your spot has tables that can accommodate your book or journal plus whatever you're consuming. If your dining one top, sometimes this can be a struggle.

5. Menu: Your spot won't last long as your spot if they don't offer something you like to consume. My spot is open 24 hours, and their dinner is as good as their brunch. And they have delicious fresh squeezed orange juice.

6. Sensibility: You want your spot to have the right feel for you. For a little while after I moved to my neighborhood, I tried to make a place called Pomme Cafe my spot. Unfortunately, though, they were too attentive to the one-top-diner, and men felt free to approach me. "Can't you see I'm spinstering!?"

Once you find your spot, you'll start to become a regular. That's a good feeling. Even if they know you're that girl who always comes in by herself and orders and orange juice (not a mimosa) with her brunch, and reads a book or writes in her journal.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

#29: Read a Book

Some of the best books out there are written by spinsters. And if you find yourself manless, who's better than Mr. Darcy to occupy your time?

But you don't have to read Jane Austen or Emily Bronte to be a good spinster. You just have to make sure to be spotted now and then with your nose buried in a book. Personally, I think I'm seen this way more often than not.

I like to do the bulk of my reading on my commute, but if you aren't taking public transit to work, I don't suggest you do the same. Other excellent places to be seen reading? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here is a list of my favorites:

1. Eating alone at your favorite spot.
2. At the Laundromat
3. At the Airport and On a Plane
4. Waiting...pretty much anywhere (It is a necessity that your purse is big enough to accomodate your reading material. You never know when you're going to need it.
5. In the Bath (This only applies if you have a peeping tom.)

Also, get a library card. You're not cool unless you're hanging out at the library and checking out the "librarian's picks" section. Bonus points if you are a librarian.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

#30: Have a Shower

When I was in college, I relished the idea that I didn't have to shower every day. In the first year, I suspect that had something to do with the fact that it was a hall shower, and I had to wear shoes. The rest of the time...I don't know. My one rebellion?

Now, though, I relish the idea of a good shower. In fact, I do some of my best thinking with the water running over my face. (Most of the time I think about the time my friend Jason told me that sometimes, when he writes his name, instead of an 'o' he puts a little tiger paw, but that's beside the point.)  So I try to get in at least two showers a day. But, as a shower takes roughly 15 minutes, and the after-shower ritual of drying, robing, etc probably comes in at around 5, theoretically, I could take 72 showers a day. Of course, that's only if I didn't sleep. But think of all the good thoughts I'd have!

Bonus: Since I'm a spinster, I can use all the hot water and leave my clothes on the bathroom floor. You should try it sometime, but I'm guessing you already have.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#31: First Things First

There's nothing quite so luxurious as breakfast in bed. It's even more luxurious when it's cookies or cake or candy. But I won't tell you what you should eat. I'll only tell you that you should eat and that you should eat it in bed.

Everyone knows Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to jump start your metabolism for second breakfast, brunch, lunch, 3pm coffee (re: snack), dinner, dessert, and bedtime snack.

Helpful hint: if you keep a tin of cookies beside your bed, you don't even have to get out of bed to fix your breakfast. This adds to the luxury.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starting Tomorrow: 31 Ways in 31 Days

Valentine's Day is about a month away, and as a spinster, it looks like you're not going to have a date. So what? If you met a guy tomorrow, and you started dating him, Valentine's day within the first month would probably be a little awkward anyway.

So, starting tomorrow, I'm counting down 31 ways in 31 days to spinster out hard core and love it. Because wouldn't you rather be livin' it up spinster style instead of worrying about what you're supposed to get someone for Valentine's Day?

I thought so. Check back tomorrow for some suggestions on how to luxuriate in spinsterly bliss!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weeknight Spinstering

Last night, in true spinster fashion (no pun intended), by 7pm, I was in my apartment, in my bed, wearing the delicious outfit you see to the left, eating jelly toast for dinner while I watched Tuesday's episode of Pretty Little Liars on Hulu. I was asleep before 9pm.

True spinster for real.

In case you're wondering, you can get an amazing sleep shirt like the one to the left at such fine establishments as Rainbow and Conway. Mine, however, was given to me by a coworker at my former job. It's perfect, really. I love cats, and I'm stressed out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's not hard to say goodbye to yesterday

 I was so hot all day yesterday that I smelled like bug spray. And I got super sick at the trade show. Nice.

Then after work, I went to Lord and Taylor, and while I didn't find what I was looking for, I did take my socks off in the dressing room and shove them in my purse. I forgot, though, that wearing hightop wedge sneakers without socks would just make my feet sweaty.

When I got back to my apartment, I realized my shirt was halfway unbuttoned and had been all the way home.

Needless to say, I'm glad it's a new day.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Laundry and Indian Food

In spinster life, today was pretty near perfect. I woke up at 7:45 and worked on an illustration project until I felt it necessary to take a shower, and then I did my laundry.

I'm always incredibly surprised how almost none of the things I need to wash are actually clothing. Towels, socks, and underwear make up 90% of three loads of laundry. Really, what do I wear to work? I'm pretty sure I wear clothes at least some of the time.

I love doing laundry, though, because it gives me time to read while being outside of my apartment. So, I feel like I'm engaging with the world, but sort of still in a spinsterly way. I think I may be the only person at my laundromat who compulsively needs to use different detergents for each load. But really, you just can't use the same detergent for black clothing and regular clothing. I don't care what you say, they make woolite dark for a reason. And it's a darn good reason.

In other news, the Indian Restaurant around the corner from my apartment finally opened, putting me out of my misery with some finality as the Chana Masala was decidedly up to par. However, combined with the chemical stench of my chartpak markers, I may need to sleep with the window open tonight. Good thing I've put on all this blubber for the winter.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sloth

I tweeted this to The Ellen Show and Kristen Bell today. They didn't say anything. But I thought it was pretty funny.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Massages

So last night I went out to have a chair massage at a place with neon signs called "Queens Relaxation Center." I think I've only been there twice before as the massage tables are separated only by shower curtains, the chair massages are given out in the open beside the front door, they only take cash, and the last time I had a table massage there I was serenaded by a muzak rendition of "My Heart Will Go On." While the song was (and is) lovely, I spent the entire massage trying to conjure Celine's majestic voice.

I believe it was after that particular massage I decided I was no longer a table girl and for these reasons:

1. Getting Naked:
While It's completely true you may leave any and all of your clothing on, convention dictates that you remove at least your main body coverings. This would be fine, I suppose, except it leaves me with the odd sensation that I might wet my pants - or lack thereof - at any given moment. Not to mention letting loose a fart. And a naked fart...i don't even know.

2. Getting Dirty:
Compounding my uneasiness, the nudity welcomes those odd creams, lotions, and/or oils the massage therapist believes will enhance your experience. In truth, though, these goops just leave me with the feeling of being disgusted I'll have to wear my clothes back to my apartment before I shower. And then I'll have to do laundry.

3. Getting Beaten:
Ok, maybe not beaten, but massage therapists can be aggressive. And something inside me refuses to admit to the masseuse or masseur that I do, in fact, feel I am being beaten or possibly tenderized for consumption. I believe the last time - the time with the Titanic sans Celine - the masseur actually mounted the table to torture the knot in my shoulder. It must be some latent asceticism in me that believes this will somehow lead to feeling much better in the end. And then some how I just feel sore.

4. Getting the Sniffles:
Invariably, my nose starts running, and once it does, I spend the rest of the massage worrying what they must think of me for dripping on their (supposedly) pristine floor.

So, in light of all this, I've become a chair massage lady. And, after spending much too much time fully clothed and under the covers in my bed, the desire for  a chair massage drew me out of hiding yesterday.

When I arrived at the Queens Relaxation Center, there were two men sitting in leather recliners with their feet in what seemed like short plastic trash cans. No one in the Relaxation Center fully speaks English, so through a mostly-gestured conversation, we all understood I'd like a chair massage but that there would be a 40 minute wait.

Just feeling accomplished to be outside my apartment, I told the lady that I'd just wait in one of the luxurious beach-towel-covered lawn chairs set up in what I take to be their waiting area, but her face registered disapproval. She motioned toward a bed draped in two pink-and-white striped beach towels, out in the open front room. "You want to try? For Free?"

At this point I just wanted to not to worry about me anymore, so I hopped on.

A man strapped me to the table at my ankle and just above my knee and pressed some buttons on a keypad next to my elbow. It started slowly at first, but in no time I felt I was weathering an ocean storm in a boat filled with golf balls.

From what I could feel, there must've been about six golf ball-sized rollers under the wafer-thin cushion if the bed, and the stopped at such terrifying places as the small of my back, just under my skull, the end of my tailbone, and the back of my knees. I felt sure they had confused the "massage" setting with he "torture" setting. They must have. It's the only explanation.

I tried closing my eyes to put myself more in the mood or concentrate in the fact that this would all be over soon, but it was just so jarring. I felt I was being pummeled by tiny, angry fists from below.

When a rotund gentleman entered the Relaxation Center, I thought surely my time must be up soon. But the man pointed at the bed next to mine and laid right down, covering himself with his coat. I mean, he seemed like a real pro.

It wasn't long before his grunting and sighing commenced. I wondered how on earth he could be enjoying this. There were two options: either he was a masochist, or there is a certain amount of....personal cushioning, shall we say.....required for the beds.

I was just staring to get awkward when the timer went off, and I knew at last I would be free. The table had cajoled my body such hat the restraint hat originally rested above my knee was now around my upper thigh, and the ankle brace was restraining my shins.

An employee came over to liberate me, but just as he got to my elbow, I realized he was no freedom fighter. He was restarting the machine! I settled in for another round of jaw-flaring and molar-gritting.

When my second round was finally up, I was sure I was paralyzed. Surprisingly,though, I could still walk.

"Did you like it," an employee managed, leading me to the massage chair that faced the flickering neon sign in the window.

I shook my head. "No."

After all that pummeling, the last thing I wanted to do was get another "massage." Thankfully, though, this one was gentler.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that, at 9:42 AM, I have already been awake for more than an hour.  This is when you know you're getting old and/or are a real adult. When you'd love to sleep in but you just can't.

To the left you'll find a photo of the fine fellow with whom I passed into the New Year. If you think he's a taxidermic fox head, you'd be correct. He sat next to me at dinner. We did not share a New Year's kiss. He had an aftermarket tongue.

I've been watching The Today Show since I woke up while I perused tweets with the hashtags #spinster, #singleforlife, and #singleprobs. Twitter has been offering me a consensus-based view of how many ladies did what I considered doing last night: eating in front of the TV. Honestly, it looks like they all had a pretty good time.

Instead of biting into a brownie as everyone else kissed each other, though, I enjoyed a nice dinner of Lamb Chili with my lovely Single Lady Neighbor and her Brother, his wife, and their lifelong-cross-continental best friend. And, of course, my foxy date. Sorry, I couldn't help it.

Happy New Year!