According to dictionary.com a Resort is "a place to which people frequently or generally go for relaxation or pleasure, esp. one providing rest and relaxation for vacationers." In my family, The Resort, is what my sister, stepsisters, and I refer as to my mom and step-father's home. When Mom and Bill got married they each had homes in different parts of Georgia. My mother's home sold right away, but with the recession and the decline of small town America, Bill has had trouble selling his home. So, as for now, they're renting an apartment in Alpharetta, GA (a "burb" of Atlanta). For those of you out there who live in Mega Cities, and rent places as well, I use the word "apartment" very loosely. For me, living in an apartment, meant paying out of my ass for a rickety, old place with paper thin walls, and crazy neighbors who fight constantly. For Alpharetta, an apartment means a condo style home with crown molding, and a kitchen bigger then my old bedroom in LA. At this complex, you're gated in, you have three very swanky pools to choose from in the summer, a very clean and up-to-date gym, tennis courts where round robins are frequently held, a place to have your car washed, and a Manager's office with chandeliers bigger the tops of most trees.
During my longer then planned stay at "The Resort", I decided to go to the gym one day. For those who know me, know I don't work out. Lets face it, I would rather be in high heels then Nikes, I don't like not having make up on, and sports bras hurt. I have, also, found that when I do work out, my legs swell, I get supper hungry, and tend to put weight on. Weird, right? But I needed to do something to get my mind of my ex. So I went to the gym. While there, I discovered that "The Resort" has it's own tanning bed. Seeing this was like angels singing to me from the heavens above (please no comments on how tanning beds can cause cancer... this, I already know). Upon noticing that the door to that beautiful, beautiful bed was locked, I went to inquire about using it with at the front office. Apparently, here at "The Resort," one has to buy tokens to start the bed. One token is five bucks, and buys you 20 minutes. Now, the last time I went to the tanning bed, a single visit was 15 to 20 dollars. So, this seems like a small gift from the universe. I grab a 20, run back to the office, and buy four tokens.
Alas, I was now free to visit my Mecca...
I open the door, and there before me is this old as the hills tanning bed, that was probably built the year I was born. But, never judge a book by its cover (or so I had been taught). I spray it down, use all the strength in my upper body to open the lid, took my clothes off, pressed the start button, and got inside. There I tanned for 20 minutes.
I'm not going to totally complain about the tanning bed at "The Resort." I got a little color, and it was only five bucks. But, I learned a good lesson, one I hope to take with me to my new life in New York. You pay for you get, and sometimes you're worth paying for something good. I know in our failing economy people are cutting back, which can be a good thing, but in my two year relationship with my new ex, a lot of my likes went on the back burner so his needs and likes could come first. Maybe that's just a side of my passive personality. Or maybe it's part of being a woman. Haven't we all seen our mothers and grandmothers do it for their husbands? Men never put their needs aside, so why should we?
Well, The buck stops here. You might think it's just a tanning bed, but for me it's something bigger. I have no one to answer to but myself, and damn it, if I like to tan, then I need to add monthly visits into my budget. It might mean other things get cut back, but that's OK. And I have this feeling that if I really start taking care of myself, then I'll really start to like myself again. I'll be important to me again, and that is worth all the tanning beds in the world.
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