Dear Diary: a Cranky Publicist’s private record of spa week 2017

Dear Diary,

It’s lowering to admit that my spirits fell in the approach to spa week. The company is wonderful, the setting lovely, the services superb — and yet.

The specter of the Stupid Scoreboard loomed with all the inherent horrors of last year’s Biggest Loser status.

I bravely persevered in the face of such agonizing memories, packed up the soft clothes, the books, the magazines, said goodbye to the dh and headed to the Fortress of Silence (aka Nora’s house). The drippy Saturday weather narrowed the day’s goals to cozying in nest to a roaring fire in a lovely suite.

First though, I had to run the gamut of happy dogs.  I haven’t been up to the Fortress since February so my arrival was my first interaction with Atticus.  His human woman proudly reports he’s house broken but they’re still working on not jumping. Apparently I was that perfect storm of new human AND wearing a white sweater.  He jumped. Lesson learned.

Nora and BW had already loaded the car with her clothes, champagne, workout gear, the Wii (blech :0) and Fabulous Prizes.  JoAnne, Mary Kay and I arrived at the same time so we completed the loading in and got on the road.

I felt a prickling on the back of my neck and when I looked over my shoulder there was the Scrabble box, staring down at me.  The memory of the Stupid Scoreboard mocked me, but I resolutely ignored it for the drive.

Nora navigated through increasingly bad rain over the mountains and gaps from Maryland to Pennsylvania and got us to our home for a week before 12:30 (her personal goal). We piled out of the car, happy to let the hotel staff deal with unloading the intricate puzzle of bags and stuff.

While we waited for the keys to the suite, Nora began the dread discussion: “what games should we play tonight?” Then my “friend” looked directly at me and said “Laura, you should play Scrabble tonight so you can get it over with.”  JoAnne and Mary Kay laughed.

I sulked, Dear Diary, I sulked.

We toasted the week of friendship (Diary, I had reservations about who my true friends were at that point), unpacked, snacked and then those who had treatments went on their way.  I’ll admit, Diary, that I stewed about the Scoreboard, games and the perfidy of “friends” during my treatment, but then a revelation struck:  what if I embraced the Stupid Scoreboard and became One with it?  (What can I say, when you’re floating on the clouds of a treatment, the brain opens up to all possibilities.)

Kat arrived with her 2017 edition of The (Non) Stupid Scoreboard, drawn free-hand.  And this time she created a rebus for the title:

Drug + Inns + paw + grills + turnip + mint = Drunken spa girls tournament

I contemplated this new idea of accepting the scoreboard through dinner, then accepted the inevitable when I was part of the first Scrabble group which included the fearsome and mighty Elaine (past Grand Winner and killer Scrabble player — the last time I played with her, Elaine scored 47 on the first word.  I suggested we stop playing right then, but my “friend” said we had to play.  Elaine won by 47 points.  Who was right Diary?) But I digress.

With my newfound Zen attitude: One with The Scoreboard, I concentrated on words, ignored the score.  At one point, Nora — who was organizing the Just Dance portion of the tournament — wandered over, checked the score and was amazed I was competitive.  I didn’t actually know the score so I just kept going.  The highlight of my round was Peaky, which I tied into dog to make Doge.  And came up with a boatload of points

My “friend” Nora, took a photo to commemorate.  I had to contort myself to fit in the frame but it was done: 

Diary, I completed the round first!  As Elaine tallied up the score, she commented, “Laura, you’re just three points behind ME.”   She swears she didn’t mean it the way it came out.  But I wonder if I have another person to put in the “friend” category.

So I came in second, three points behind the mighty and fearsome Elaine.  Not a win, not a loss.  Very Zen.

Nora, Kat and JoAnne worked out the Just Dance song for the week. They practiced with Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), then chose Don’t Wanna Know as the song we all have to perform.  JoAnne stunned us with a win in her round.

[From JoAnne’s Spa Notes:
Dear Diary — who was that holding my Wii remote tonight??]

Sarah and I danced — me against yet another Grand Winner — and I handled it respectably.  Meaning I came within 1,000 points of Sarah.

The final act of the night was bowling.  Nora decided to capture all the moments in the round:

JoAnne didn’t like the shot.
Sarah, strike. Of course.
Me, dancing during bowling.
Mary Kay, the winner of this round.

[Excerpt from Mary Kay’s Girls Spa Week 2017 diary:
I won my round in bowling!!!]

And that was the end of Day 1, Dear Diary.   Much more to come.


22 thoughts on “Dear Diary: a Cranky Publicist’s private record of spa week 2017”

  1. What a gift! I suddenly decide to check my mail and here’s this funny missive! Good for you, Laura! This will make it all much easier and relaxed (Zen) for you. Looking forward to the next account of events! Thanks for the great laughs.

  2. Laura, personally I believe you should get a 1000 points for showing up. I think that shows all kinds of brave. I doubt I would have made it.

  3. Dear Cranky Publicist,
    It sounds as though you’ve been so worried about your score that you couldn’t do very well. Keep up the positivity and don’t worry be happy. (Don’t worry be happy now.)

  4. Laura-
    It sounds as though you’ve been so worried about your score that you couldn’t do very well. Keep up the positivity and don’t worry be happy. (Don’t worry be happy now.)

  5. First of all, was Nora the navigator or the driver? Games are just fun, or not. But i just realized you are hiding your talent under a bushel. You have real comedic talent. Nora would hate loosing you, but why not jump in and write comedies?

  6. I love it! You are too funny Laura! Well, at least you didn’t lose right? I hope y’all are having a great time. Love reading about friendly spa week games.

  7. Dear Zen Mistress,
    I applaud your efforts in the world of competitive combat. Meditation is most helpful in preparation of events such as these. If meditation doesn’t help may I suggest sipping from a bottle of whiskey. Using a straw is more ladylike but the choice is yours . Good luck. I send good vibes for the next round. Remind your “friends” that karma is a bitch…or is it payback.

  8. Wonderful read, Laura! You brought a smile and a laugh to my Monday morning. Best wishes in your personal Zen quest.

  9. Love your Diary! It kind of felt like I was reading a real life scene based on the competition at the Beach House in “Savor the Moment”. ??

  10. How wonderful to have friends with whom to spend a fun-filled spa weekend. Good company, fun games and total relaxation. Zen is a great place to be when competing. No one likes to lose. My sister, who used to be a terrible speller, now consistently beats me at Scrabble and other word games. We just drink wine and laugh and argue whether it’s a word or not (she usually wins that argument). It’s the companionship that’s the best part – all the rest is just scenery.

  11. Laura, your “friends” should make an award for you. *Most Consistent Loses* Not everyone can remain on the bottom so consistently, contently and so fabulously! Take it as an honnor! Enjoy your week and let no one get your spot!

  12. Well, is it my imagination, or do we have a closeted writer in Laura? What say you all? Laura, dear girl – you have a writing talent. Very fun to read, easy to imagine. So, the question begs: when do we get to read one of YOUR books? It could be the melding of the Noras — your very own and the wonderful Nora Ephron (who left us way too soon). Go on, girlie — give it a try!
    And sign me up as your first customer.

    PS – Thanks for the giggles.

  13. Laura, I am sort of like Eve. An entire week at a spa, with rubbing, slathering, putting on all types of lotions and potions, would be deemed as punishment. I could handle a couple of hours, no more! I am terrific at SCRABBLE, I have friends who won’t play with me anymore, and I can dance a little bit, but the rest of the Wii stuff, I just sit and watch family members play them. I applaud, laugh, etc., but do NOT participate. Keep us apprised of what’s going on.

  14. I may be showing my inner 12 year old, but I’m loving it that FART was played as a Scrabble word 🙂

  15. Not a game person either. Hate Scrabble and Bowling. Two left feet with dancing. Would be a sport about it, and comfort myself with the treatments and lots of reading. Revenge: read other authors this week. :D.

    You’re a great friend Laura. {hugs}.

    My daughter just got married. This MOB could use a spa week.

  16. Oh Laura I had a hard day at work and was so happy to see this, you saved my day!! You go girl and don’t worry about the scores. I love all the stories on the blog but I have to admit that this week and all the stuff with the scoreboard are my favorites. I just think it all sounds so lovely that you all spend the time together but I live for those scoreboard stories!! Have fun and thanks for letting us enjoy your special week too.

  17. Dear Not-So-Cranky Publicist … I’m not a games girl either … Apparently they expect you to follow RULES in games! Go figure! :0) I think your zen approach is admirable … & as suggested by someone above could be aided by some adult beverages … That always helps me feel zen! :0) Thanks for the breakfast giggles (I’m in Australia) & enjoy the rest of your spa week … Looking forward to more reports. Bear Hugs! KRIS xx

  18. Laura, If your Cranky Publicist career doesn’t work out for you, you can fall back on a writing career. Look forward to seeing how the rest of week goes for you. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Laura, you are a great writer. I like your zen approach. Do you get extra points for multitasking? Dancing and bowling at once? Bonus points, my friend, bonus points. I hope you all have a great time. Love reading your stories.

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