Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Awful Things* #3: Segregated Spas

I have a long list of pet peeves that includes: (1) being told to have a blessed day; (2) people who spit while walking on sidewalks; (3) tourists, generally; and (4) the use of "their" as a singular pronoun to avoid dealing with gender problems of "his," "hers" or "his or hers." 

Not on the pet peeve list are: (1) passing a bed of black eyed susans on the walk home from work today;

(2) the ominous sky before a big storm before dusk tonight (though why I took the picture in instagram is beyond me);

(3) instagram, generally; and (4) spas, generally.  I love spas.  The spas where I can get a no-frills massage behind a screen, the fancy spas with lush massage and other treatment rooms and plush robes where they bring me everything I need, the spas with multiple whirlpools and saunas, all spas, all of them.  

Except ... segregated spas are awful. Not spas segregated by race (though those are truly awful, if such places actually exist any more).  But spas segregated by gender.

I was recently at a spa in Brooklyn where men and women were supposed to wear bathing suits because we were all together in the tubs and whirlpools and steam rooms and saunas.  Nice, but who wants to wear a suit in a spa?  That's as counterproductive to the relaxation experience as wearing a suit while swimming out to the middle of Walden Pond at midnight on a warm August evening to lay back and watch the meteor showers.**  Why ruin a such an experience with a swim suit?

Years ago I was at a Turkish spa in Berlin that was segregated -- women only -- and we all luxuriated in the decadence of it and our nakedness.  And I've heard from friends about Korean spas here which are the same (though possibly less decadent than the one in Berlin.  But isn't most everything in DC less decadent than in Berlin?).  What I don't get is why we can't all luxuriate together.  

I met a guy at my building's rooftop pool this last weekend who's opening a spa in our neighborhood.  Yes, he was wearing a suit when I met him.  As was I.  Anyway, the spa will be in one of these buildings across from Busboys and Poets:

I'm not sure if it will be where the now-defunct(?) stripclub ("Louis' the Rogue") was, or next door.  But it should open in a few months.  I'm very excited.  Though I hope when it does open, it's naked and non-segregated.  

Have a blessed day,

* "Awful things" are a sporadic list of things (I usually like) picked by Disgruntled Co-worker for me to write about how awful they are.  
** Not that I'm admitting to having done anything like this -- that might not be approved of by the fine folks working at Walden Pond -- during my years in the Boston area.  Or encouraging others to do so.

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