Skip has a huge collection of old (and new – they're back in vogue lately) LPs. And, he has several friends who also have sizable (some even larger) collections. They get together roughly once-a-month to play vinyl for each other. It's a version of a men's drum circle. And more power to them. In all sincerity, I think it is great.
For the last few years, the wives and/or significant others of these men have given them Amtrak tickets and Amoeba Music gift certificates for a day trip together to mecca (or, Amoeba Records in S.F. and/or Berkeley) as a Christmas present.
This year, in exchange, they got the "Vinyl Widows" a day trip to a spa.
We don’t all know each other equally well – each of us were among virtual strangers as well as close friends. All but one of us is a mother; mostly of very young children. And regardless, crazy busy. It's taken us since January to pull it together.
But yesterday was the day.
And it was a perfectly magical day. Massages, facials, floating in perfectly warm water with a pleasant breeze to tickle exposed skin, great food, and far and wide ranging conversations – from the mundane to the profoundly intimate – some in seclusion from others, most as a shared conversation among all of us – all in the very best tradition of women together. I can't remember the last time I had such a purely pleasurable day.
It could only have been better if I'd been able to join Skip in a hotel room away from the girls last night in order to maximize the bliss of occupying my body so fully and happily. Short of that – wow, manna for the soul.
Thank god for Vinyl.