Before I became a mother my idea of relaxing was loading up my Saturdays with all the local Zumba classes and then catching a blockbuster movie with my bodybuilder boyfriend after an indulgent Italian dinner.
Or during weeknights, my idea of relaxing was lighting a bunch of candles and turning the air down to 70 degrees, pulling on my favorite sweatshirt, climbing underneath my goose-down comforter and reading a good historical mystery novel until I was drowsy.
Now that I’m a mom, I find I’m not the cool “Let’s complain about our kids over wine and yoga mom.” Here’s why: the most recent yoga class I went to, I got kicked out of — I talk too much! So for me, when I have the afternoon off, I start my day like this:
Table for 1
When you’re single and praying to God that you’ll marry the hot guy in your Chemistry class one day, the idea of a table for one might make you cry. Now that I’m happily married and a mom of two great kids, I really enjoy the whole table for 1 scene. My only rules for eating breakfast alone are that it has to be a booth, not a table, and I have to have something I can’t make for my self at home (this is getting more and more difficult as my cooking prowess increases). Then I spend the breakfast enjoying my latte, blintzes or french toast and hot chocolate eavesdropping on the retirees surrounding me.
Ok, truth be told, my husband and I can both be considered tight-wads. I’m not the girl to run to the mall and buy whatever on my Amex card, but I do love a quiet lap around the mall. Maybe its silly, but the mall makes me feel young and in-step with the snap-chatting generation. I walk slowly, holding my purse in one hand and a water-bottle in my other hand, admiring how the displays have changed to note the seasons. It brings me back to my high school days of working in an overpriced furniture store at a mall in Philadelphia. I guess at what the clerks in the stores want to do when they’re done college. I guess at what other mall walkers are there for. Bonus points if I can catch a hooker pretending to be some old man’s date (Pretty Woman anyone?)
After about an hour of mall walking, I head to my favorite nail salon. Mimi always does a great job, although she always gets me to bump up my basic pedicure to a deluxe one. The fountain in the background, and the rustic flute music all contribute the the peaceful atmosphere of the afternoon. And with any luck, the salon will not only offer you water, but a coupon on your next visit.
I don’t know about you, but my husband and I didn’t realize how different our taste in movies were until after we got married. So on this relaxing day to my self I like to follow up a visit to the salon with a visit to the Cinemark. I buy the big tub of popcorn, the soda that I like, the peanut-butter M&Ms, and I sit my self third row center (I once heard that that is where the audio techs check the sound quality), and I wait for the movie to start. If it was based on a book, stars an unknown ingenue, or will be something set in a far off land two hundred years ago, I’m in! 2 hours of phony accent bliss! Sometimes a friend will tag along for this part of my relaxing day, but honestly? I’m surrounded by people everyday of my life, so sometimes its nice to sit in an empty theater.