This is Margaret….
Part I – The Massage
My husband recently had a conference at a ski resort. I tagged along with 2 out of our 3 kids. I have tried skiing on many occasions, and as athletically inclined as I’d like to think I am, I absolutely, without a doubt, Can. Not. Ski. It’s not like I haven’t tried. I have tried short lessons and day lessons. Each results in frustration for all involved. I resemble a large clumsy animal on ice and I spend more of my time in the snow than skiing on top of it. It’s very deflating. Three instructors have failed me, or rather I have failed them. I have never left the bunny hill. So, like any mother who despises being cold and can’t ski, I booked ski lessons for my two sons, had lunch at the top of the mountain with husband and his co-workers (it was delish, in case you were wondering) and then had a massage at the spa. It was wonderful. Until it wasn’t. My massage therapist thought it was her personal mission to work out EVERY knot on my back. This was not possible without giving me some serious problems…apparently I carry a lot of tension. I woke up with severe neck pain at 3:00 am. I could turn my head left, but not right. The right side of my body was absolutely wrong. This is a problem, unless you are ambidextrous. Then the left side of your body can take over, but I’m not. Ambidextrous that is. I can’t even ski.
Part II – Cold and Painful
I got home with two crazy boys and a neck that I could only turn left. Upon entering, I realize that the inside of my home seemed COLDER than the outside of my home, which is no small feat in the dead of a North Idaho winter. I call husband who I think can walk me through fixing the problem. No answer. I call my mom and tell her how cold I am. She gives me sympathy, but what else can she do 1400 miles away?? Eventually husband calls back and tells me he will call someone he knows to “check it out.” I spend the next two hours in the down jacket I never took off, gloves and added another layer of clothing until someone from a local heating company rang my doorbell. I open the door and invite him in. He doesn’t take off his dirty wet work boots before walking across the carpet to inspect the thermostat. Shouldn’t they carry booties to wear over their boots – especially in winter?? I’m too cold and in too much pain to speak up about it right now so I just pretend I don’t see it. If I make him mad, he may not fix the problem as quickly as he could otherwise. Or overcharge me for being a pain in the ass. At this point he can wear wet dirty wet work boots or a pink tutu if he can make my house warm. The problem was a dirty flame detector. Problem solved for $65. Small victories.
Part III – The Rash
Back to the neck pain. I really want to be a natural remedy kind of girl. I want to put lavender on mosquito bites, drink peppermint water for stomach issues and put frankincense on my wrinkles for eternally youthful skin. Turns out I am extremely allergic to essential oils. I’ve known this for a long time, but have insisted I can overcome these allergies in the name of being natural. Well that and I spent a small fortune purchasing all the must have essential oils which supposedly can treat every ailment from A to Z without any help from the evil pharmaceutical companies. When husband got home he offered to give me a neck rub with some Deep Blue, which is an essential oil blend designed to help with muscle aches and pains. The next day I woke up with a horrible rash. Maybe worse than all the other rashes I’ve ever gotten from essential oils. Combined. So I now have neck pain AND an excruciating itchy red bumpy rash in the same area. Fantastic. I spent the next two weeks begging my family to scratch my neck/back because you can only reach so much area with a hairbrush and taking scalding hot showers that should have given me certifiable burns (believe it or not burning your skin feels better than itching) and swearing off oils for good this time. My mom came to visit for my daughter’s birthday and I had her pack every single oil I had to take with her. Hasta la vista essential oils.
Lessons From A Cautionary Tale
Lesson #1: It’s ok to go to a ski resort and not ski, especially if there are free lunches and dinners involved. Ski resorts are charming and this one in particular, had cute shops, cafes and breweries. It’s ok to go and just relax. However, I would advise doing this with a book in front of the fire with a glass of wine. I don’t think one can get hurt doing that.
Lesson #2: I’m all for using your voice. If you have a no shoes policy in your home, you should be able to ask people to take their shoes off without guilt. BUT, it’s ok if you choose not to when said people have come to fix a problem you have (like turning the heat back on in your house) for fear of retaliation. Being cold is terrible. Being overcharged is also terrible.
Lesson #3: If you want to be natural, but it causes unnatural results for you, it’s ok to use pharmaceuticals, like the rest of America. My PSA for today is work with what you are given people.
*Sidenote: I forgot to pack swimming trucks for the boys and had to buy some in the gift shop. Casey would die if she knew how much I paid for those trunks. I could have made the boys swim naked and provided her grocery budget for the month.