Spa-ing part­ners

Our fab­u­lous new colum­nist rosie Green finds noth­ing re­lax­ing about pam­per­ing with her hus­band, just too-small robes and pa­per pants anx­i­ety

Woman & Home - - Contents -

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.

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