2 April 2012

My New Favorite Spa

Last week I upgraded from my regular spa, known as Mount Sinai Hotel, to a far superior spa, known as St Anne’s. Everything there is better. White hooded fluffy robes instead of thin blue cotton coverings. Pedicures instead of X-rays.  Pillow top beds rather than a narrow examination table. And an afternoon bobbing in the outdoor hot tub, rather than a waiting room.

Our Room with a View at Mt Sinai St Anne's
I ended up there courtesy of a favorite friend who decided we both needed a break from the city.  As we were driving away from Toronto she asked what I was going to do about my hair. I honestly hadn’t thought about it.  This would be my first post-canceritis watery playground, and I was so excited about the getaway that I hadn’t developed my wig strategy. I pondered for a moment and decided that I’d just play it by ear.

Upon arriving at the spa we slipped right into our bathing suits to go into the pools. I took off my hair and hung it in my locker. But going from a swing brown bob to short gray brush cut made me feel like grandpa in drag – so I grabbed a towel and made myself a giant turban. Much better! (There’s something about a head covering that balances my body and makes me feel secure. Without it I just feel like an exclamation mark).

The turban worked beautifully in the waters, and was absolutely appropriate as we wandered about the facility. Taking it off would have been fine too. Almost all the guests are floating around the facility in an Aveda haze wearing only their robes, and if they’d paid any attention to me at all would just have assumed I was a lesbian.

For dinner, we put on some clothes, and I put on my fake hair. Let me point out that everyone in the dining room looks beautiful. Most people are make-up free with dewey skin, and looking twenty years younger when they rolled off the 401. Also, most people had a bit of an alcohol glow. This spa, unlike Mount Sinai, encourages one to bring your own wine and most people were a bit drunk. The lady beside us, Janet,  was a lot drunk. We’d bonded in an earlier yoga class because we shared the same first name. We also apparently shared a love for red wine. We were casually discussing our similarities when she said, ‘But you have much nicer hair then me.’ 

I wanted to laugh. Which I did. I wanted to tell her that it was a wig, which I didn’t. Even though I thought she deserved to know that she was actually the real winner of the ‘Which Janet has Nicer Hair’ competition, I decided to keep quiet.

So I wore the turban the next day too. I could have taken it off, and probably should have. But there were two reasons why I didn’t.  Firstly, I’m shallow, and really enjoyed the compliment.  Even though it’s not my ‘real’ hair, I did have it cut to my liking and had invested a bit of time with my blow dryer.  And secondly I didn’t want to bring up anything to do with chemo, and the other, less enjoyable spa on University Ave.

I don’t mean to knock Mount Sinai. After all, it does save lives. But it doesn’t have a hot tub, and they don’t give you lemon water and biscotti in the lounge. And I may have been there about forty times, but it only took one trip to St Anne’s to know that I like it a whole lot better.

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