Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Springtime Atonement for the Sins of Winter


Jews may atone for their sins in October on Yom Kippur and the Catholics may do it as often as possible in the confessional, but darlings, for those who have to stay a "sample" size 8, atonement comes in the spring -that's when my girlfriends slip out of town for a pre-summer tune up at their favorite fat farm. The main items on the menu are detox and weight loss, but if they also need a little nip and tuck or a bit of botox and a peel, they'll get that, too. The conservative girls head to Florida or California, while my more adventurous friends jet off to Switzerland or Brazil. Oh, and it's not supposed to be mentioned, but often the men go too; there's more reasons than one for the two week Congressional spring break.

Me? I set the "out of office" reply on my email, hang a "go away" sign on the front door and make Washington my spa. There are so many options for self-pleasure in this town. Let me count the ways.

First of all, I time my self-contrived Washington spa week for when Mr. Strange and his cronies are off on their annual Bermuda golf trip. On an island he can get into mischief, but not that much mischief. Having the little Georgetown manse to myself, I go into spa mode. Pastora heads to the market with my shopping list and returns with enough green leafy vegetables and nonfat yogurt to mastermind a serious fast, detox and de-puff. Coming from a country where they believe in miracles she is my perfect ally. She also concocts a wicked vegetable juice that becomes the main event of my diet for the week.

But there are other allies in this city of hidden possibilities. David Keller shows up every other morning to triple my standard fitness routine. When he's done putting me through boot camp in the back garden, on the C&O Canal towpath, and up and down the "Exorcist steps," my body is as worked out as if I'd taken every class at Rancho la Puerta and Miraval. On the alternate days, I spend a few hours with Steve Kostorowski at Water Street gym. You can hear my screams out on K Street, but how else to get the lower regions ready for the Tara Matthews dragonfly string bikini? As a reward for the sweat and strain, each afternoon I slip into "Down Dog" for an hour or so of relaxing yoga. When I return home my Egyptian masseur kneads out the kinks with 90 minutes of deep tissue work after which Pastora treats me to a tall glass of green goo, a ready hot bath and my bed turned down to look like the welcome mat at heaven's door.

Lest you think my home spa program is all torture, let me assure you it is not. Toward the end of the week I ease up a little and indulge more. My favorite is the two-hour time treatment at the Mandarin Oriental, where they serve tea in a serene dark room, massage my feet, scrub me with salt, drip hot oils, massage with hot and cold stones, cover me with herbal mud and wrap me in warm linen, rinse and send me off like a Geisha. It's after this that I usually call Mr. Strange at the Mid Ocean Club and encourage a little phone sex.

I finish my last day with a facial from Lance at Blue Mercury and pedicure and manicure from Colleen George at the Four Seasons, then zip over to get my color and cut at Cristophe. By the time the G-5 lands at Reagan with hubby and pals I'm as fresh and dazzling as a bouquet of Casablanca lilies and ready for Churchill Downs for the fast horses, Monaco for the fast cars, and Cannes for the fast actors. Oops, did I say that?

Readers wishing to get in touch with Michael can email her at:MichaelStrangeDC@aol.com


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