The Gift of Indulgence


Ladies, you don’t need to read this post; it’s really meant for the men in your life. If you have a man who doesn’t read this column (and shame on him!), set him down right now so he can learn. You’ll thank me.

Gentlemen, allow me to make your lives easy this year. With the holidays approaching, we all have the same problem: what to get for that special someone (or someones, if you’re that kind of player; I don’t hate the game). It’s a constant struggle, especially once you’ve been together for a while and you’ve gone through the usual things (chocolate, lingerie, jewelry, brand new car… okay, I’m kidding about the car, settle down). This year through pure luck I have stumble across the perfect gift, one that she will love you for and that you will get to enjoy too (and no, it’s not more lingerie, as much as you’d like to think otherwise).

Last week My Not So Humble Wife and I were tired and stressed out from life’s trials and tribulations, and she made a wonderful suggestion: why not go for a massage? Now I know what you’re thinking: “real men don’t get massages, except from certain types of establishments that I would NOT take my wife to.” Well that’s where you’re wrong (about the massage, not the establishments). Allow me to point out that professional athletic teams have sports massage therapists on staff for a very good reason, so it’s perfectly acceptable for “real men” to get a massage. As I was saying… I was expecting to just go in for a massage, but it was so much more. It was a spa day. You may have heard the lady in your life talk about a “spa day” with her girl friends before and had no idea what it meant, or perhaps like me you just imagined it involved manicures, pedicures, facials and saying nasty things about whoever wasn’t there. For all I know that’s what they do, but that wasn’t my experience at all.

When we arrived at Lansdowne Resort, it turned out to be a beautiful campus out in Leesburg, a sprawling estate that housed Spa Mineralé, the spa we were going to visit. The spa itself was beautiful, a serene and lovely room with a welcoming staff. Each of us was taken to our separate dressing rooms. I can’t speak to the women’s dressing room, and frankly I don’t care. My Not So Humble Wife tells me it was just as lovely as I described the men’s dressing room to her, so I’ll go with that.

In addition to having all the amenities imaginable, including a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool (because really, you know you’re worth it), I personally found it was the little touches that sold me. Individually wrapped combs for when you finished your shower (with house-branded shampoo, conditioner, and body wash provided, of course), razors, shaving cream and after shave in case you need to freshen up, and even individually wrapped combs so you can make sure you’re presentable. They even had mouthwash to make sure you were at your best. There were both separate men’s and women’s lounges as well as a joint lounge in case you wanted to see each other at some point. The lounges included tea and two kinds of trail mix, some light reading material, and the most sinfully comfortable chaise lounges I have ever been in.

Believe it or not, I still haven’t even gotten to the best part, or even the reason we went in the first place. Perhaps you recall mention of a massage? I was given a choice at booking between deep-tissue and Swedish massage. I was a little nervous since I had been told by more than one person that with the deep-tissue massage “they really dig in”, but since that’s what the wife was getting I could hardly back down- that is to say, I would follow her lead.

As it turns out, I had nothing to fear. What they call “deep tissue massage” is what we referred to in my youth as “massage”. If the Swedish massage is a lighter, gentler version I’m not sure exactly what it is they do other than gently pet you and tell you you’re pretty, although if anyone is willing to pay for me to find out I’m willing to take the risk and report back. I can say, however, that my masseuse was an expert, who did more in 75 minutes for the muscle pain I have been having than all the pills I have taken, and it was an amazing experience besides.

The entire staff deserves a moment of recognition. They were never intrusive, but they were always available, and very polite. They made me feel like a king the entire time I was there. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I can’t wait to go back.

Needless to say, I’m pretty sure my wife knows what she’s getting this year. Gentlemen, if you know what’s good for you (in every sense of the word), you’ll take my advice and do the same.

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2 Comments on “The Gift of Indulgence”

  1. I think this is the best post Iv’e read in a long time. 🙂

  2. Got my husband to read your post (first post he’s ever read) and his reply is: “Multiply turned down flat!!” because he’s suggested this (“many-a-time!!”) and I’ve always “turned it down flat!!” [this was dictated] “But it’s true!!”. However, I do have a friend who regularly goes for a similar treat with her (wait for it) son, and swears it is a cure-all.


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