My mom getting a kiss from me
with two friends (who love to talk to her)
at my daughter's wedding last May.
My mom is the kind of woman who loves a good conversation. She has always made others comfortable and has made acquaintances easily. People are attracted to her. Conversation, is connection and people easily connect to my mom.
Mary was 82 and had never been to a spa before last Christmas. Christmas approaching, I wracked my brain as to what to give a woman whose needs are met and whose wants are simple. With what I thought was a huge risk, I put together a spa package for me and my mom as her gift. Mixed with wine and a description of her day, the gift was given. She would either love it or hate it. To my delight, the gift was welcomed with delight, so on New Year’s Eve we went to the spa where my mom had a facial and a manicure and I had a massage.
We walked into the spa and changed into our robes and were led to the Quiet Room to await our treatments. As we sat, mom loudly said to me, “What are we supposed to do in here.”
We happened to be alone at the time so I softly said, “Mom, this is the Quiet Room. You can relax. You can read. They have different teas and waters over on the table that you can have if you want.”
Mom picked up a magazine and read it as others joined us in the Quiet Room. “What are you having done here?” mom asked one of the strangers sitting in the Quiet Room.
She started a three way conversation, with soon everyone knowing that this was her first spa visit and all of the different treatments that they were having through the day. There was discussion about the whats and whos of each treatment option. Talk filled the Quiet Room. After a while the manicurist came to bring mom to her first treatment and the room fell silent once again. Since I was only having one treatment, I enjoyed the luxury of the silence.
Sometime later my mom came back to the room. Very excited about her nails, she showed me them and then began to show them to others in the room. Mom asked me a question and I responded softly. “Why are you speaking so quietly? I can hardly hear you,” my mom queried.
“Because it is the Quiet Room,” I replied.
To my surprise, my mom said, “Quiet, schmiet. I don’t like quiet.”
In walked two women, just having finished treatments and awaiting their next. “So, do you two have plans for New Year’s Eve?” my mom asked.
Both women, in their late 20’s began to talk to mom about their plans. Soon joined in by others waiting in the Quiet Room, they began to talk about their plans, the spa and other things. My mom, the center of the conversation, asking questions, and laughing heartily. I sat, a bit incredulously, observing and thinking, “This is a Quiet Room.”
Soon my masseuse and her facial specialist came to take us to our treatments. “Bye, Mary. Have a great New Year’s,” was heard as she and I left the room to be pampered.
We finished our day at the spa and left for a dinner to top off our day of indulgence. “So, mom, how did you like the spa?” I asked.
“I loved the manicure. I don’t think I ever had one quite so nice,” she said. “And I liked the facial, but not as much. You know, the woman who kept putting the creams on my face, wasn’t talking much. But she did a bit. One thing I didn’t like was the Quiet Room. But that’s OK because people were talking anyway.”
Yes, mom, they were talking. You were leading the conversation.
Fast forward a couple of months with mom’s 83rd birthday quickly approaching. “Mom, I am coming down to see you in April. Can I give you a late birthday present and take you to the spa again?
“Ah, honey, that is so nice. Let’s go just for a manicure, though. I really don’t care to sit in the Quiet Room.”
My mom is the kind of woman who loves a good conversation. She has always made others comfortable and has made acquaintances easily. People are attracted to her. Quiet is not.
Happy birthday, Mom. Today is your birthday. I can’t wait to celebrate it with you in a few weeks when I see you in April. And yes, we will only go to have a manicure. You do not need to wait in the Quiet Room. And I happily look forward to much conversation.
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