January 16, 2009

"Once you went to a spa when you felt tense. Now you feel tense going to a spa."

Oooooh! Maureen Dowd goes to some Florida spa, and, I ask you: Was anything ever more ready-made for Stuff White People Like?

But let's listen to Our Maureen:
I wondered if spas were a bit out of date. Shouldn’t they be offering more cutting-edge fare than the usual back rubs, rock-wall basics and lectures on “The Secret to Perfect Posture” and “Understanding Chakras”? What about face transplants instead of face cleansing? Social climbing in the Obama era rather than rock-wall climbing? Cure you of a man rather than a manicure?
She agonizes, but she's there, in that cornball outpost in Miami Beach.
I went to a lecture called “Let Me See Your Tongue”....
We politely draw the curtain...
As at the spa, it was hard to tell if the lack of a crowd signified that tourists just don’t know this ravishingly rococo spot is open or if real austerity abhors faux antiquity.
This — this — is the anguish of The Maureen.

ADDED: I can't see the point of traveling somewhere to get a massage. If you like massages, find a good masseuse in your own town. You can get massages every week all year 'round for the cost of that one trip. Meanwhile, if you go to all the trouble of traveling, go somewhere where you can see some interesting things. Why go somewhere to close your eyes?

63 comments:

Ron said...

If MoDo can talk about seeing a lecture about seeing your tongue, I feel empowered to put pics of my nose hairs on my blog. What the hell. Why not? Just as much content, much cheaper price than the NYT.

Don't tempt me.

David said...

Obviously, with Bush on the way backstage, she is running out of material.

blake said...

Journalistic ennui?

Palladian said...

This woman won a Pulitzer Prize.

Think about it.

Palladian said...

"...the usual back rubs, rock-wall basics and lectures on “The Secret to Perfect Posture” and “Understanding Chakras”? What about face transplants instead of face cleansing? Social climbing in the Obama era rather than rock-wall climbing? Cure you of a man rather than a manicure?...I went to a lecture called “Let Me See Your Tongue”

Jesus Christ, it sounds like she spent the weekend with Titus.

David said...

Let's hear from you, Titus.

Michael H said...

Maureen Dowd could have gotten much more out of spending a week volunteering at the Salvation Army..although she'd find a way to make even that self-indulgent.

traditionalguy said...

This is another business selling the sizzle instead of the steak. But at least there is some trickle down effect to the workers. A good massage is a true healing experence for people suffering emotional shock from traumas, such as a death of a loved one. But what has died in modo's life? Maybe the old newspaper business is dead. Why do people seek out Shaman's? Just wondering.

Jake said...

Speaking of Stuff White People Like...

Andrew Wyeth has died.

http://www.spyralnotebook.com/2009/01/rip-andrew-wyeth.html

Dogwood said...

Cure you of a man rather than a manicure?

I don't think she has to worry about that one.

Michael H said...

But what has died in modo's life?

NYT stock. $21.14 52 week high; $6.41 close today. People can't get enough of the superb writing and journalism provided by the NYT.

Simon said...

"I wondered if spas were a bit out of date. Shouldn’t they be offering more cutting-edge fare than the usual back rubs"

It's rather like saying that one wonders if bars are out of date because they fail to offer anything more cutting-edge than beer, wine, and spirits. If you've got massage - by hand and foot - you've basically got it all.

Simon said...

Michael H said...
"[What has died in modo's life?] NYT stock. $21.14 52 week high; $6.41 close today."

And it's predicted to fail this year. It'er terrible news, I think: the Times probably has enough life left in it that the people there who were responsible for its treatment of Palin will be put out on the streets in summer rather than winter. Still, the knowledge that these preening buffoons will be out of a job long before Sarah Palin strikes me as being delicious.

jdeeripper said...

I wondered if spas were a bit out of date. Shouldn’t they be offering more cutting-edge fare than the usual back rubs, rock-wall basics and lectures on “The Secret to Perfect Posture” and “Understanding Chakras”?

Great. Like she doesn't know that "spa" is a code word for prostitution in every town in America.

Mo' there are lady spas where you can get far more than a back rub and New Age gibberish and seaweed wraps.

David said...Obviously, with Bush on the way backstage, she is running out of material.

I remember when Abbie Hoffman died in 1989, some say by accidental overdose others say suicide. At the time I thought the old hippie killed himself because now that Reagan was out of office and Old Man Bush was coming in he had lost his last great opponent, his reason to live.

The lefties hated Governor Reagan and came back from the dead hating President Reagan. But Bush I was an old bore and couldn't motivate them.

Now that GWB is gone a lot of lefties and liberals are going to go through hate-drug withdrawals.

Now that they have their Half Black Baby Jesus their only hope is the Alaskan She-Devil.

They live in opposition. Obama-time isn't hope, it's death.

David said...Let's hear from you, Titus.

Jesus God, don't encourage him.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

OMG-it my wildest dreams I couldn't even going to a spa with Maureen.

It would be divine, delicious, delectable, delovely. I would fast and not have any hog just to go to the spa with Modo. Well maybe just a little jerky jerky in the spa sauna.

Love her more than life itself.

She deserves all the prizes in the world.

We would be so good together. OK, that was my 2 cents. Just got back from a fabulous dindin. Now on with the jeans and tshirt to go hunting hog. Or should I say being hunted by hog.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

Hunting and gathering in my world can be so primordial and base.

Who gives a fuck. It's show time! A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

Wish me luck my little doves and mint juleps.

Toodles!

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

FYI-one last comment.

Spas aren't relaxing. You have to get ready and be in prime shape before even considering entering a spa. It is cuttthroat at the spa. One wrong move or word or outfit or second position or lack of third eye and you are ruined for the weekend.

I go to the Berkshires every summer for a weekend "silent retreat" where you don't talk for the entire weekend. Even sexy groans while busting a nut in front of another silent retreater in the whirlpool is forbidden.

Trying cumming while not making any noises whatsoever. That is willpower and concentration.

One of the guys I went to dinner with tonight's name was Richard Handler...Dickhandler.

EDH said...

Maureen Dowd has a voice that is well suited for the print medium.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

Ensemble:

Jeans: Paper, Denim, Cloth

T: Marc Jacobs fitted, black

Boots: Prada ankle height with zips on the side.

Watch: Black/Tag

Belt: Barney's

total price tag: $1250, but really looks about $100.00 but if you look real closely you will observe the taste quality and expense.

Thank you.

Glen said...

Reading this made me feel like Thai hooker servicing a fat Mafioso.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

Can I just say you can never go wrong with Prada.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

Granted, Prada can be pricey but do yourself a favor and get the one necessity all need-a pair of Prada shoes. Not the pointy euro crap but the very bland understated fabulous stuff.

MadisonMan said...

Why would anyone go to a spa in Miami when you can just lay out in the Sun.

She didn't feel tense going into the spa, she felt stupid and just mis-read her feelings.

My favorite spa is in Naantali. Go there in the dead of winter.

David said...

Titus, isn't the point of Prada to spend a ton on stuff that looks like crap, once you get past the label?

Fred4Pres said...

I know lots of op-eds, like Maureen Dowd's column, that have been doing this for years.

EnigmatiCore said...

She's an irish woman.

She's hell in bed.

Unfortunately, that is outweighed by the fact that she is hell OUT of bed.

BJM said...

Palladian won the thread.

jdeeripper said...

MadisonMan said...Why would anyone go to a spa in Miami when you can just lay out in the Sun.

EnigmatiCore said...She's an irish woman.

Exactly. Here she is in 2006 at some events one year after Katrina in the damaged area.

Now does this woman look like she wants to lay out on a beach in Miami?

Palladian said...

Wait, didn't Christopher Hitchens write a much more amusing version of this same column in Vanity Fair about a year or so ago?

Yes, yes he did. What's next, is she going to write a snide little column about being waterboarded? God let's hope so. Who wouldn't pay to see that?

William said...

Sometimes to while away the idle hours, I like to think of all the pretty things my dead 401K money could buy: trips around the world, Steuben glass figures, home delivery of the NY Times. The list is as endless as the long hours of the night....I had never contemplated a spa retreat. Ms Dowd makes it sound rather nice. Buddha said that the first step towards mysticism is sensuality. Perhaps the best place to reach closure over the loss of a beloved pile of money is a luxury spa....Ms Dowd seems to have mastered the art of travel. It is not just that it is done on the Times' dime. The really neat trick is that you get to dine on Kobe steak while bemoaning foolish luxuries. Comp gimlets for the gimlet eyed. High life for the high minded. I have endless envy for Ms Dowd's life. It is scented with herbals and armored with irony.

Patm said...

Maureen Dowd wrote, after 9/11, that she could no longer have meaningless conversations about what sort of nylons she wore.

This woman lost it with the first anthrax scare and never got it back. I always imagined her with a gas mask on one bedpost, Michael Douglas on her speed dial and a bottle of Cipro between her knees.

Wouldn't we all prefer to see Prof. Althouse syndicated?

Paul Zrimsek said...

That was then. Dowd scoffs at terrorism now. Must be one of those conservatives John Althouse Cohen was telling us about.

Michael H said...

Here she is in 2006 at some events one year after Katrina in the damaged area.

Yow. Gin is not the elixir of youth, is it?

Pogo said...

It is not the spa making MoDo tense.

NYC is imploding, at least financially. For the moment, everything seems to her unchanged. But the anxiety arises from the sense that the floor has shifted, her moorings have come loose and she feels perhaps for the second time in her life that her life is going to become very very difficult. perhaps she senses that her modern-ironic-confident-elitist mask will be useless, and very soon.

9/11 was her first wake up call, and it did arouse her, however briefly. But now her love, New York, has been hit by a force far larger than two planes. The papers floating through the street are now metaphorical, but more menacing.

Her newspaper is dying. Her city is reeling. Her nation is facing financial armageddon.

So the spa doesn't relax her, for it cannot, and the ability to be frivolous is wounded. She is looking for comfort, and finding none.

I'm anxious, too, Maureen, waiting for the fall. Sit down. have a cigarette.

Trooper York said...

Spa's are part and parcek of all Trooper's vacation as the wife always insists that we have a spa day. Massages usually tandem, which is were husband and wife are massaged in the same room. Then the wife gets the mani/pedi while you can hit the sauna and the whirlpool. Usually in Vegas there are two kinds of guys in the spa. The gay guys who are often hanging with their young boyfriends drinking margherita's and the old broken down battered guys who just want to soak their aching knees in the whirlpool.

Trooper York said...

That's part and parcel. Sorry.

commenter said...

you can give yourself a good fake back message by knitting a long scarf out of sisal twine, attaching handles and use it on your back while belly dancing in all kinds of position.

but that's just me. i'm cheap. Massages cost $40 bucks a shot. Well, that was when i checked into it eight years ago. You may have that money to blow, Ann. Some of us who comment here dont. I would guess that in hard economic times well over half of the united states doesn't either, especially when heating bills are gonna be horrendous this month.

Off topic: you really didn't go out last week in the cold. must be that sarah alaskan palin is laughing at all us wimps, huh? Bleachers are gonna be ice cold in washingtonon Monday, too. Looks like hippy women might have it good for once.

Ann Althouse said...

"You may have that money to blow, Ann. Some of us who comment here dont. I would guess that in hard economic times well over half of the united states doesn't either, especially when heating bills are gonna be horrendous this month."

My point is only that I think traveling to a spa isn't a good way to spend money. For the price of one trip, you could have massages every week. Just making a comparison. A massage is a luxury on the level of a restaurant meal. Neither is necessary or a good use of money if you don't have extra. But most of us have our indulgences. You probably have some that I usually resist spending my money on. For example: traveling.

"Off topic: you really didn't go out last week in the cold. must be that sarah alaskan palin is laughing at all us wimps, huh?"

I had grading to get done, so it was useful to visualize my options as limited. I'm not afraid of the cold, and I have often walked to work when it was below zero.

Titusdiditlastnight said...

I got laid last night. He was a repeat. He was from Brownsville, Texas. It was fine. Although, he is 35 and lives with 4 other guys. No one at the age of 35 should be living with 4 other people unless they are in some type of relationship. It was a fight for the top so we ended up just jerking off on top of each other. The rare clumbers are now pissed at me. He spent the night and I drove him back to his place. We did not exchange phone numbers. He didn't even ask and I was a little pissed that he didn't ask but I got over it quickly.

FYI-Maureen Dowd doesn't live in NYC. She lives in DC.

Titusdiditlastnight said...

Also he was a spic and was completely hairless except his cooch. It was all natural too. Kind of hot...momentarily.

commenter said...

I neither. Nor am i afraid of the heat. It's just a matter of how much comfort or uncomfort one can stand and for how long. The worst is over now for awhile. I did not miss a day of walking to my office (one mile away the public library, where they pay me in terms of free wifi and putting up an amyrillis for children to watch grow. They are nice like that.

I guess my point waws the same as yours. It all depends on how many dollars you have to spend. (warning: cliché) As einstein would have put it, relatively speaking. And we all know - we all our free to choose our economic situations in this country.

commenter said...

Ann,

Travel is not an indulgence. It is the tuition I pay to get a job well done. I decided not to go to college and waste my money at this age. I want to be a good photographer one day. i want to understand the look in a poor child's eye as much as her grandmother's. The look in a lover's eye as much as the look in a pimps eye.

It's hard to get that all done in Bloomington, Indiana. probably most of it can be, but definitely not all of it. wouldn't you agree?

commenter said...

also,

the good thing about spending $1000 on Turkey was that i got a bonus from my credit card company that is equal to a 5 day trip down to the gulf coast in february.

Considering i won't buy a big screen tv like most of America owns, even poor people. Neither will i hook up nor steal cable or satelite TV service in my home like most of America (90% by Nielsons estimates, I would guess 80%) owns i guess in terms of economics, not just physics, it's called trade-offs, too.

Note to the nitty gritty detail people: i will take free internet that's offered to me anywhere when a pop up screen on my computer says would you like to join the open wireless service....

it's something in the air. technically it might be stealing, but we all know the air in this country is free to breathe even if it contains mad dashing electrnic pulses that go through my computer.

David said...

Commenter, lack of punctuation does not make you cutting edge anymore.

My overall advice to you is to self-examine for pomposity.

chuck b. said...

I think a massage is an excellent choice of indulgence for a vacation--the point of which I would think is to indulge.

I had a facial once in Palm Springs (just a normal facial, not that other kind) and it was very disappointing. I thought facials were supposed to be exhilarating and refreshing (and I do like the feeling of my freshly washed face), but it was just this depressed, middle-aged woman with bad breath rubbing lotion on me. When she started popping my blackheads, it got way too intimate.

So, yeah--just a massage for me, please. And make it a 90-minute massage. Speaking of spas and fake winter, here is an old blog post of mine that combines those two things. Also: red-bellied newt.

AJ Lynch said...

Patm:

Great question you posed. There are some talented voices and minds on the internet. Althouse is one of the top but the MSM is failing financially so it is not seeking fresh voices. One reason it is failing is it has never sought fresh voices.

Pogo:

Great comment and liked your paper metamaphor. NYC and state of California are our canaries in the coal mines.

It won't be long before the govt figures it has to tax all of your assets. That could turnaround the punditocracy fast. When Modo and Tom Friedman and Bob Herbert start having to pay "net worth" taxes on their savings, invested assets, homes, cars, etc.

commenter said...

David,

I don't do such to be cutting age.

Stage one of self examination:

I tried hard to never make a grammar or spelling mistake. A few slipped in to be called acceptably midwestern, small town American.

Stage two of self examination;

(split infinitively with tradition)

totally lacking. type fast as you can, which is still very slow. Have clunky fingers from poor circulation and being in the cold. Carefree: Inserts and deletes at will. Hit send without proofreading. NEVER EVER write in text editor that does the work for you. Be raw.

Stage three:

just to show pompous fools that " Yes, I can," I will rewrite the totally botched paragraph from above in acceptable midwestern, small town American English. not the queen's english!

Considering that, I won't buy a big screen TV like most of America owns, even poor people. I do not use it. Neither will I hook up to, nor steal, cable or satelite TV service in my home like most of America does. Nielsen estimates that at ninety percent. I estimate a little less. I don't watch it when i do have it. In terms of economics, not just hard sciences like physics, it's called trade-offs, too.


Ask any American: Would you give up cable and internet service for one year at $90/month in exchange for a dream trip staying in very frugal hotels?

David said...

Hooray commenter--You are just like my son Ted who knew punctuation and grammar all along and now summons them when he needs to.

I take you at your word on cutting edge.

Things White People Like (#46 or so): Grammar

Henry Buck said...

One of my favorite vacations was a trip to a spa in Sedona. I'm from the East Coast and had never been in the Southwest. We left my one-year old with my mother in law and spent 5 great days hiking, getting massages, taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon, etc. If you ignore all the crap about chakras and vortices (sorry A.A.) Sedona is great.

BJM said...

commenter said: Note to the nitty gritty detail people: i will take free internet that's offered to me anywhere when a pop up screen on my computer says would you like to join the open wireless service....

it's something in the air. technically it might be stealing, but we all know the air in this country is free to breathe even if it contains mad dashing electrnic pulses that go through my computer.


Um. No. It's not air, it's signal.

Picking up free wifi such as at the library or networks advertised as open/free access, is legal and encouraged.

However, logging onto an unsecured signal originating from a paid service (next door neighbor or a business internet access fed into a wireless router for their use)is illegal, federal laws prohibit it.

In most states it falls under utility theft law, as does stealing electricity, cable or traditional land line phone service and it's not cool.

Tantor said...

I blame Bush.

Barry Dauphin said...

Cure you of a man rather than a manicure?

Apparently, MoDo attended the Tom Friedman school of writing or it's contagious at the NYT.

Mister Snitch! said...

"Obviously, with Bush on the way backstage, she is running out of material."

Indeed. The woman (and many like her) are foundering for want of a new hobbyhorse to flog. And Obama is still off-limits, for now.

Anthony said...

"Obviously, with Bush on the way backstage, she is running out of material"

She ran out of material about 7 years ago -- 90% of her columns since then are basically the same 500 words, mixed up at random using one of those novel writing machines from the book "1984".

What gets me is that at one time I read the Times pretty much because of her.

miriam said...

Maureen has reached--and passed--her sell-by date.

comatus said...

I am not a partisan of the spa lifestyle--I once got written up on a medical report for refusing a backrub from a nurse--but the subject is at hand, so I will tell the one thing I know. There is a ripping spa in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (formerly known as Spa, WV). It's less than an hour from Pittsburgh, probably about the same from DC. There's a spooky 1930's-high-tech machinery room for their high-quality mud, a several-star restaurant with respectable local wines, and--this tore it for me--an outdoor solid rock carved spring reservoir called George Washington's Bathtub. Yes, he was there. It's a lovely, old-America spot, and inexpensive in the off-season. If you're in that part of the country, don't miss it. Adults only. No smoking though.

jcr said...

It's hard to get that all done in Bloomington, Indiana. probably most of it can be, but definitely not all of it. wouldn't you agree?

A real artist could do it anywhere in the world, you poseur.

-jcr

Mo MoDo said...

You are all missing the point. Dowd should be admired, not reviled. She managed to snag a really nice vacation on the NYT expense account while they still have one.

If you are on the Titanic, you might as well grab a bottle of champagne on your way to the lifeboat.

tranefly said...

I knew she'd have to pick up a new topic now that her arch enemies Bush/Cheney are leaving.But this?
She's becoming a pathetic old matron..

commenter said...

okay, I will not steal internet. I will write it 100 times, and practice it. 98% of my interneting is at the library, anyway.

I guess i have to keep on working on being a real artist, jcr. My kids live 1000 miles away. I practice photography on my grandkids. I get tired of posting photos of inanimate objects and get criticized as being a narcissist for posting pictures of self. I find it hard to post pictures of strangers on my sight unless I have their permission or their face is somewhat blurred or not identifiable.

I guess I have to brush up on my science, too, especially air studies since i don't know the difference between moving temperatures, moving molecules and moving signals. Can I breath cold wind? Is cold wind air? Why is there air? I will listen to Bill Cosby's album again since i still have it.

Okay, turning over a new leaf on the grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I will run all my posts through text editor. Actually it is a good exercise for your brain, in my opinion, to get rid of being so word oriented. It makes you take notice of other things besides sentences, paragraphs, and structure. It makes you take notice of people, and smells, etc. You stop reading the signs and advertising on California roads and just ride about smelling the mixed conifer forests.

Also as a followup on the tyvek paper, today on my Sunday morning walk, I noticed a building site with a house swaddled in a printed dot matrix grid ofpolyethylene fibers. At least that idea wasn't totally ridiculous and is in use.

CarmelaMotto said...

Wow, Maureen Dowd is Carrie Bradshaw!

theobromophile said...

Oh, I'm not sure about not traveling for a massage. Perhaps one shouldn't travel with that specific purpose, but it's a fantastic addition to a weekend of skiing, horseback riding, or even moseying about wonderful restaurants. It goes with the relaxation/indulging the mind&body thing.

LarryD said...

"I can't see the point of traveling somewhere to get a massage. "

Contemplate the meaning of "Status Display"