Wheaton’s Way

The joys of staycationing

It was my birthday last week.

I won’t tell you the exact date, as my best friend Lynne is convinced that foreign governments are just waiting for this last piece of information before they make a move on my bank accounts and steal my identity.

With multiple cats in the house, combined with our own general state of laziness, a staycation seemed like more of a hassle than a gift. We’d have to get someone to look after our moggies, then there would be the issue of packing a case… the inconveniences mounted up in mere minutes. Surely, it wasn’t worth it.

At the same time, friends were posting endless feet selfies, with the sea and sand in the background, raving about their resort experiences. We were happy being at home, but then it would be nice to get a break from being pet servants. In the end, we decided to book a short staycation at The Ritz-Carlton. The price was very reasonable and we could also reserve a daybed on the beach – one of Lynne’s bucket list dreams.

After losing 26 pounds on Weight Watchers (thus far), it occurred to me that I might be able to wear a swimsuit in public. I had deprived people of that glorious sight for far too long. I would emerge, like a butterfly from a plump cocoon, and strut about on Seven Mile Beach. Ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.

Of course, that meant reacquainting myself with a razor. Years of wearing the modern equivalent of a burqa had led me to cancel any personal gardening or waxing contracts I had in place. If we were going to staycation, I would not dare grace the powder-white sand with anything less than smooth legs; it was time to break out the Bic.

The first unhappy discovery was realising I needed bifocals. With a prescription for nearsightedness, the thighs were too close for me to wear my glasses and the ankles were too far away for me to do without.

I flipped the spectacles up and down on my face like the lid of a candy box, depending on what quadrant I was attacking.

Positioned on the edge of the bath in the altogether, I don’t know why a flash of the scary woman in ‘The Shining’ popped into my mind. Speaking of REDRUM, my legs were getting a hack job from their owner, as I nicked my way from toes to top.

With no styptic pencil to grab, I was reduced to ripping off thumbnails of toilet paper and sticking them to the compromised areas. At this rate, I would be more scabs than skin.

Needless to say, I took better care when approaching more… sensitive regions. I still had to suck in my stomach to actually see what I was doing, which is always a joy. Choosing between breathing and shaving should never be an issue, but it be.

The next day, we threw some things in a bag and I broke out my fancy coverup and sunglasses. We were officially ready to hit the resort!

I slipped my newly pedicured feet into sandals sporting Taylor-Burton-sized rhinestones, preparing to dazzle all who encountered me. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that the metal prongs holding said stones had an irritating habit of hooking onto the bottom of my floor-length outfit. After hopping and tripping a few times as I passed the pool bar, I decided to carry the shoes. They caught the sunlight nicely and I was still rocking this.

What followed was an amazing, relaxing day on the daybed. I was loving it so much that I spent that first afternoon trying to figure out how I could make one for my back garden out of some repurposed wood and a queen mattress. Because that’s what I do when I have time on my hands; I make furniture from scratch, in the hot sun, with no discernible skills at my disposal.

We swam in the sea, we baked in the sun and revelled in every moment. Salt water and freshly shaved legs is not always a dynamite combination, but after the initial stinging sensation, things calmed down.

Floating atop the lilting waves, I recalled what a friend had said on Facebook a week or so before: “I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for the beautiful place where we live, now I’ve had a chance to take a break and actually enjoy it.”

As we packed up our things after a stunning sunset, I resolved to do this more often…
… but maybe next time, I’ll wax.

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