Spa Brain

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it”—Sidney Harris

October 17, 2014 | | Blogs | Community | Leisure | Two Blue Boots

Is there such a thing as being “too relaxed”? Recently I had the pleasure of partaking in an ultimate Spa Day at a local resort. The day ended, however, with me sobbing uncontrollably in the reception area.

My morning consisted of lazing in the comfort of a beautiful lounge. I sprawled onto a comfy couch in front of the glow of the fireplace. Classical music filled the air. I was enveloped in delicious warmth. I sipped hot tea. I read, I dozed, and I chatted quietly with my friend.

Eventually, an attendant ushered me into a lavish treatment room. For the next few hours, I enjoyed a manicure, a pedicure and a luxurious treatment called Indian Head Massage. Aromatic oils were dripped onto my forehead and massaged into my temples, hair, neck and shoulders. Soft flute music floated magically. The aroma of scented candles filled the room. Total bliss!

Afterwards, I spent the afternoon poolside, wearing a decadent fluffy robe, and sipping a glass of cold Chardonnay. The view of the Hockley Hills was a like a spectacular utopian paradise. My friend and I were enjoying some delicious “girl talk.” We compared nail polish colours. We giggled and laughed like teenagers.

Ultimately, it was time for our day of luxury to end. We had to head back to the real world of chores and family obligations, grocery shopping and laundry. We sighed and glanced over our shoulders at the stunning Hockley Valley panorama. We traded our soft fluffy robes for our civilian clothing, paid our dues, and retreated to the parking lot. Once we arrived at our cars, we lingered for a last hug, a few more laughs, and some remaining tidbits of gossip.

Once we’d said our final goodbyes, I climbed into my car, tooted my horn and waved farewell. As I reversed from my parking spot, I thought I heard a very subtle thump. I shrugged and hit the open road. I marvelled at the fact that my shoulders felt two inches lower. My breathing was slow and shallow. I was completely at peace with the world. I loved my life and everyone in it.

I glanced at myself in my rear-view mirror and laughed at my image. Each strand of my oily hair was sticking out randomly on end, above my makeup-free face. I was quite the sight to behold. Did I care? No, I did not. The only plans that I had for the rest of the day were to read and nap on my favourite chair.

I pulled into the driveway and reached over to get my purse. I patted the passenger seat and it was not there!? I looked into the backseat and there was no purse to be found!? My heart started to race as I raised the hatch of my car and searched the trunk. Nothing at all! Zilch!

My mood changed dramatically. I went from Queen of Zen to raving lunatic. I suddenly recalled the soft thump I’d heard as I had pulled away from my parking spot. Could I have set my purse down beside the car? Would I have been so irresponsible as to have driven over it and continued on my merry way?

The drive back contrasted sharply with my drive home from the spa. I was a mad woman. How much cash had been in my purse? How would I replace my credit cards? …my writing journal? …my favourite lipstick? …my new hairbrush? I hated my life and everyone in it.

I squealed into the parking lot and bolted to the place where I had originally parked. There was no purse – nothing – empty tarmac all around! I was crestfallen. Where did it go? Could someone have taken it? Of course someone had taken it. It was gone.

I took a deep breath – a Good Samaritan had likely found my wayward handbag and taken it to the front desk. I assured myself I would find it there. I scrambled for the front door and ran inside. I sprinted to the desk and breathlessly implored the uniformed young woman, “My purse – has anyone seen my purse? I put it down in the parking lot and drove my car over it. Has anyone seen it?”

The desk attendant gave me a sympathetic glance and whispered to another staff member who assured me she would check in the back. I was positive I heard giggling. How could they find this funny? This was not a laughing matter! Finally, they returned and informed me that nothing had been turned in. At this moment, I “lost it.” I went into a full-blown frenzy – what Oprah refers to as the “ugly cry.” I stammered and staggered and hyper-ventilated.

Mid-tantrum, I happened to see myself reflected in a large mirror. I was shocked at what I saw! My hair was wild and greasy, flailing in every direction. No wonder the staff had been snickering! I looked like a mutant Ronald McDonald or a crazed circus clown. My no-makeup face was tear-stained and full of self-pity. Snot bubbles had collected below my nostrils. I was clad in my yoga pants and an over-sized t-shirt, ironically emblazoned with “Stay Calm and Carry On.”

I ignored the judgemental gazes from the other guests. I ran from the building, frantic and inconsolable. I drove back home sobbing and hitting my head against the steering wheel. How could I have been so foolish?

When I arrived home, I was surprised and very relieved to see my purse sitting on my front porch. There was a note beside it that read:

Dear Laurie,

I watched you as you drove over your purse and then proceeded to drive away. It was kind of funny. I guess you were so relaxed after our Spa Day that you didn’t even notice. I tried to catch up with you, but you’d gotten ahead of me and I had to stop for gas. Anyway – thanks for the great day. I feel so tranquil and calm right now and I hope you do too. Let’s get together and have another Spa Day soon.

Love, Your Spa Buddy xoxo

Needless to say, once I recovered from the shock of the entire experience, I was filled with relief and gratitude. I am looking forward to another Spa Day, but next time I will keep my purse firmly on my shoulder.

Epilogue: By the way, the contents of my purse were relatively unscathed. My phone survived, as did my wallet and all of my credit cards. Unfortunately, my favourite lipstick and my new hairbrush were crushed beyond recognition. My ego took a bit of a bruising as well – but I eventually recovered.

About the Author More by Laurie May

Laurie teaches Grade 4 at Island Lake Public School in Orangeville and writes in her spare time. She lives in Mono and looks for the humour in everyday country life. Check out her blog “Two Blue Boots”.



  1. Great story! You are such a wonderfully quirky character – in a very good way, of course! Never a dull moment around you. Love how you’re able to paint a picture of it for the rest of us. Nicely done. Great writing. I now want to go on a spa day with you just to see what trouble you’ll get into. Thanks!

    Joan Doane from Brampton on Oct 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply

    • Hi Joan: Thanks so much for all of the kudos. As a fellow “quirky character”, I’m sure you can identify with my many misadventures. Thanks for being a tolerant friend and a fan of my blog post. I really appreciate your support. 🙂


      Laurie May on Oct 26, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply

  2. Hi Danielle: Hmmmm…..I will remember that advice about the universe teaching us a lesson. I have also heard the adage “when you leave something behind, you have an unconscious desire to return to that place”. Perhaps I just wanted to return for another Spa session. Hee Hee! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post.

    Laurie May on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Reply

  3. Laurie, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who looses stuff. I always find it amazing how every time I’ve lost my wallet, it’s always found its way back to me. Almost like the universe is teaching us a lesson in patience and kindness, not to mention organization.

    I love reading your blogs, they make me laugh. You are a talented writer! Can’t wait till the next post.

    Danielle on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:29 am | Reply

  4. Hi Laurie
    Love your blog. Things like this must run in the family!!!!! As I’ve done a few things like that too

    Betty Newman on Oct 20, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply

    • Hi Betty: I could write an entire book about all the places that I have lost my purse. I have nightmares about it. You’d think that I would have learned by now. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Laurie May from Mono on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply

  5. Loved this. Your humor is infectious. Proud of you.

    Dorothy Blair on Oct 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Dorothy. That’s the best part about a funny story—when everyone else joins in laughing. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

      Laurie May from Mono on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply

  6. Hi Chrysty: Thanks so much!!! It’s funny how (sometimes) the worst experiences can turn into laughable life lessons.
    I do believe, however, I seem to get more than my share of these.

    Laurie May on Oct 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Reply

  7. Laurie,
    I had a great time reading this and can just see how you went from Zen to frantic. Your life is full of amazing stories as always, and life lessons that keep me coming back to read month after month!

    Chrysty from Ayr, Ontario on Oct 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Reply

  8. I loved reading your story and could feel everything you were feeling. I’m proud of you for wanting to do it all again. Have to wonder where that vicious “hammer” comes from, when otherwise you feel so happy and safe. Have felt it too – like leaving a mall and stopping at the door to retrieve keys and having to completely empty my purse to find them. We drove to the Carlisle post office and back one time with our neighbour’s keys (we were suppose to check their house while they were away) on top. What a chore we had to find them when we needed them! What a relief when we did! Our emotional life is like being on the world’s bumpiest teeter-totter. Looking forward to your Mom sending me your next blog! Gail

    Gail Smith on Oct 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    • Hi Gail: Thanks for sharing your stories. It’s always fun when readers can make a connection to their own lives. Don’t get me started on car/house key stories. That could be a topic for an future blog post. Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment. I appreciate it.

      Laurie May on Oct 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Reply

  9. Laurie, this story sounds sooooo much like your Mother!!!!

    Larry Gee on Oct 18, 2014 at 8:39 am | Reply

    • I have to agree with you, Dad. I learned all of my “coping techniques” from Mom. But–you have to admit–there is never a dull moment when we are around!

      Laurie May on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:17 am | Reply

  10. You can tell a story like no one else. I could see that happening to you. Luv your work.

    Njgee from Collingwood on Oct 18, 2014 at 7:59 am | Reply

    • Thank-you NjGee. Yes….I do manage to find myself in unusual predicaments. At least I’m able to turn my misfortunes into story material. I appreciate you taking the time to read them.

      Laurie May on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Reply

  11. Oh my, Laurie.
    I’m sorry you were jolted from your zen state after the spa day, and I find this adventure very funny to read.
    I can feel the calm, and I can feel the panic.
    Excellent storytelling!

    Rosaleen Egan from Alliston on Oct 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Rosaleen. I had to re-live the calm and the panic as I was writing this story. What a day that was!

      Laurie May on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:14 am | Reply

  12. Laurie – I love your honesty about how quickly our perspective on life can change so drastically and rapidly without notice and bring out the best and the worst in our efforts to live a ‘calm and serene’ life that only offers rainbows and sunset evenings. Your willingness and ability to describe what is happening on the inside as we put much ofl our energy into presenting a strong and reassuring front on the outside.. is awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    Denise on Oct 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Reply

    • Denise: Thanks so much for your amazing comment. You get it! You understand! It never ceases to amaze me how fast (and how far) our moods can swing! Sometimes the only thing we can do is laugh.
      Thanks for reading.

      Laurie May on Oct 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Reply

  13. Incredible story Laurie! Thanks for sharing!

    Codey from Toronto on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply

    • Well—yes— it was not so funny at the time—but looking back, it is quite hilarious!

      Laurie May on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply

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