What a Difference a Day Spa Makes

By staff March 2, 2007


I ain’t too proud to accept press perks.


Thursday morning, the email went out from me to Megan the copy editor:


Subject: I NEED…

Message: …A HAIRCUT.


Fortunately, Sanctuary Day Spa was holding its own opening celebration/press party that very Thursday, just steps from our humble cubicles in Burns Court. And we had managed to score invites. Being somewhat south on the SARASOTA totem pole, Megan and I usually get the hand-me-down invites—your hobo galas and dumpster commemorations and whatnot. So the Sanctuary event was a bit of a coup for us.


The thing with press events is, you never know what you’re in for. They can be tedious affairs with information packets and podiums. Or they can serve booze. This was the latter kind.


And what’s better than a red wine spritzer at 4 in the afternoon (other than, say, a bourbon spritzer at 4 in the afternoon)? Free eyebrow landscaping, that’s what.

NOSTRILS AHOY: I gleefully submit to a thorough eyebrow treatment.


Not that my enthusiasm was immediate. We walked in the door of Sanctuary’s surprisingly spacious building (which abuts 5-One-6 Burns) and were almost immediately offered manicures. “Hannah, you look frightened,” said hip young PR superstar Nicole Kaney. Oh, I was. I pondered a professional going to town on my oft-gnawed nails—I don’t frequent spas (on account of my budget and laziness), and styling pros know a limping gazelle when they see one. The pack was moving in. I felt a faint primordial urge to sprint across the savanna.


They got me by the eyebrows, though. I placed my forehead in the hands of the skin care specialist and off she went. After some efficient trimming, waxing and plucking, I swear to God my face felt lighter. I’m now sold on the investment of regular professional brow care.

CHEEEEESE: Post-plucking, pre-haircut, but damn, I look pretty pleased with the results so far, right?


At that point, the event was already a success in my eyes (heh). When the stylist offered to “do something” with my hair, it was an added bonus. Her offer turned into a full-on shampoo, trim and styling—all for the mere investment of 45 minutes I otherwise would have spent in the office.


The evening couldn’t possibly have gotten any better from there. But, boy, did it try.

FINISHED PRODUCT: Eyebrows? Gorgeous. Hair? Fabulous. Blood sugar? A little low, apparently.


We had also inherited an invitation to that evening’s opening of the Lee Roy Selmon’s restaurant off University Parkway. Again, we took into account the potential sucking of any given event on any given day. But to our delight, the PR person greeted us at the door and explained the rules thusly: “Order whatever you want off the menu—including drinks. When you’re finished, the waiter will bring you a bill—don’t pay it. Just leave a tip.”




I’ll leave you to read about the food on Judi Gallagher’s blog. (I will say, though, that poor Megan, a vegetarian, was a little handicapped by the menu’s ubiquitous meats: in greens, in grits, in mashed potatoes—everything. Me, I had the ribs.) But the non-culinary highlight was Lee Roy Selmon himself, who spent a little time at our table as he made his rounds. The man is incredibly sweet and charming—it’s no wonder he was so popular as a Buccaneer, and no wonder he’s been so successful since.


As for me, I’ll gladly accept more handouts from successful people. In the meantime, I’m off to research the ethics of journalism as they apply to bloggers.
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