Our fabulous new columnist rosie Green finds nothing relaxing about pampering with her husband, just too-small robes and paper pants anxiety
Hilarious new columnist rosie green on a stressful spa day with her husband
The hotel spa receptionist is telling me 50% of her customers are men. a fact I find as astonishing as michael fabricant’s hair/
Kim Kardashian’s bottom.
really? really? this means there must be thousands, no, millions of sucker-for-aseaweed-wrap chaps, fanaticalabout-facial guys and manicuremad hombres. so how come I don’t know any of them?
I glance at alpha male (am), who has been coerced in here rather reluctantly on the way back from the pool and is now eating the display-only apples and dripping on the marble floor. “can we book you in for a treatment, mr Green?”, the receptionist asks, hopefully. Nb, alpha male’s second name is not Green (I work under my maiden name), but as I have arranged the entire holiday, Green is on everything from the room to the taxi to the dinner reservation. He generally accepts such ignominy as quid pro quo, but I can see it rankles just slightly. I know he won’t make a fuss though as he doesn’t want to draw attention to the banana he has stuffed in his pocket. He slinks off to have a seat, where he makes a very large damp patch on the sofa.
then he starts drinking the water with floaty bits of mint – an alien concept to him and one that results in a fit of choking and spluttering (think dog who has eaten a trebor extra strong mint). When he has recovered I am relieved to hear him decline the offer of an appointment.
once, a long time ago, we had a couple’s massage and it was the most angst-making 55 minutes of my life. the absolute antithesis of relaxing.
firstly am appeared in his robe, which on his 16-stone frame (“all muscle Green”) was dangerously insubstantial.
His shrek feet were shoved into towelling slippers that made him look part-prop, part-geisha. I had a panic about whether he had left his underpants on (do men get paper pants? I didn’t ever find out), but this was soon superseded by the chat he was having with his therapist as she washed his feet pre-ritual. “so,” he said, obviously searching for a suitable topic of conversation in this situation, “what are your qualifications?”
after this it went from bad to worse. as they left us alone to relax in the room’s hot tub pre-massage, am sidled up and said with genuine curiosity, “Green, should we have sex now?” I respond firmly in the negative, but by now my cortisol levels had rocketed up so fast it was way beyond the capabilities of lavender essential oil and deep breathing to get me back into the zone.
lying side by side on treatment beds I was agonisingly aware of his every breath. I was so tense my therapist kept saying soothingly “try to relax”. this, ironically, is incredibly stressful.
alpha male is equally bemused by the “at-home” spa concept. occasionally, when he’s out, I’ll light a candle, dim the lights and mani and mask. I will be just getting into it when he’ll arrive back, having imbibed a few beers. “carry on,” he’ll say cheerfully. but the lights get flicked on, some dubious processed meat is eaten and he’ll just need to check the fortuna Düsseldorf v Holstein Kiel score on bt sport.
However there is a spa area where he redeems himself. He is particularly good at foot filing and sees it as a challenge to dispatch with my parmesan heels. (Nb, I have to stop him when he’s through to bone and we’re both covered in “dust”).
but, in summation, from now on I’ll be keeping spa-ing to toute seule or with girlfriends.
because the only spa(r) am really likes is one that sells scotch eggs.