Stress-Free Zone

Oprah’s having a “Live Your Best Life Spa Week” contest, and the prize is seven days with Oprah and Gayle at the Miraval Resort, 400 acres outside Tucson, and it’s “the land where stress dares not tread.” Where’d they get THAT land? I lived outside of New Orleans. Guess we talked to the wrong real estate agent.

What’s it going to take to win? A postcard and fifty words or less stating why I need a spa vacation. Let’s see, I teach almost three times that many teenagers, so I can’t list all their names. I’m a writer. I should be able to burp up fifty words before I brush my teeth in the morning. So, what’s the problem? I’ll tell ya the problem. It’s that darn word NEED. I don’t NEED a spa vacation; I WANT one. And while you weren’t looking, I slipped away from the keyboard and, being the word nerd that I am, looked them up in the dictionary. (a dictionary and a thesaurus are writer’s PDRs.) And therein lies the problem: need vs. want. My husband has a television the size of an 18-wheeler. (I have a theory that television screens are replacing cars as the new phallic symbols.) Does he need that? His answer would be, “Absolutely!” Meanwhile, I’m slobbering all over myself in the corner apologizing for the blatant display of consumerism and extravagance, all the while peeking at the high-def, exquisitely detailed pimple showing up on Katie Couric’s chin.

I feel guilty wanting things I don’t need. But if Oprah felt that way, she wouldn’t be inviting fifty people to join her. Alleluia. I rationalized and justified my way right back into the contest. And, what a great idea for my students. They could choose characters in novels/stories and have them write postcards, in those characters voices, stating why they need a spa vacation! Wait———–if this is what I’m thinking, maybe I do need…………..


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