5 Ways to Treat Yourself Nicely

If you're not going away this long weekend, don't be glum. There are still things you can do to reward yourself for the year you've spent laboring. 

Dear lovelies:

For a while now, I've been thinking that the more I do to make myself life a happier, brighter person, the easier it will be for me to find another happier, brighter human who will walk on in to share my life.* And there are plenty of things about me that I could improve on. For instance, I could be less of a work-a-holic. (Where's it getting me?) A work-a-holic who hasn't taken a real vacation--if you don't count friend's weddings, a college reunion, and one trip out to LA when I was thinking of moving there, to scout apartments--since FEBRUARY 2001! Which is when I went to St. Maarten's with some buddies.

So I am thrilled to report that, for the first time ... um, ever? ... I actually ORGANIZED a little vacation with a few old friends for this weekend!

Considering it's LABOR DAY weekend, I think this is especially appropriate.

Here's how it happened: Some old friends--a group who'd gotten close when we lived in DC--had gathered for dinner, and we were talking about how much we needed to get away ... and that night, when I got home, I hopped on CraigsList and looked around to see if there were any good vacation rentals in upstate New York. I spotted a gorgeous little house on a lake, near all sorts of hiking trails, and a couple miles from a cute little artst-craftsy town with a killer farmer's market. It wasn't terribly far away from NYC, or terribly expensive ... and it was big enough to house the whole gang. So I sent around an email, saying, "What do ya think, me hearties? Shall we?"

And then said yes ... and I emailed the woman who owns the place, sent her a deposit check, and, hell, it was just that easy! We head up tomorrow!

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Guys--if you're not going away this weekend, there are still ways to be nice yourself. May I suggest ... ?


I swear, on some days, I think this is as important for your health as eating your vegetables. Looking at them all weekend--and thinking of how you've beautified your life--is worth it! And even here in Brooklyn (surely one of the most over-priced places in the U.S.), you can get snapdragons down at the farmer's market for only $4. Go ahead.


Like some fancy lotion from Thymes. I got a bottle recently as a gift--and it smells SOOO good, and I feel so cared-for and lovely and clean when I smooth it on, I've promised myself I'll get another (even though it's about double the price of my usual moisturizer) once it runs out.


I don't care if you have to go by yourself--even better, in fact! (That's another good single-chick experience.) Sit out on the patio, if you can, or grab a nice seat at the bar--whatever you like best. Read your favorite book, or a good magazine. Or pick a place that has some kind of music--maybe a little jazz trio, or some such--and dig on that. Order a delicious Salade Nicoise. (If you're really craving it, go for the burger and fries!) Sip some wine, too, if you feel like it. This probably won't run you much more than $30, if that; and after a year of toil--whether you've been working in your cubicle, or pounding the pavement to find a new job--you deserve it.


Maybe it's simply that very cute polka-dotted umbrella in the window of The Gap. Maybe it's a necklace made by some local craftsperson. Or, if you're me, maybe it's that adorable pair of earrings you noticed in that Park Slope boutique a few weeks ago, that you can't stop thinking about. If it's been on your mind for a while ... maybe it's in your budget, too, huh?


Figure out what time the sun will go down in your neck of the woods by checking on Weather.com. (Punch in your zip code and you'll see the ETS--or estimated time of sunset--towards the bottom of the page, at the bottom of the daily forecast box.) Then choose a great place in your city or town: near a body of water; on a friend's roof; in the middle of a big field or at the top of a hill. This is absolutely free and yet--sorry to sound like a credit card commercial--priceless!

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Guys, please have a nice weekend--and be good to yourselves!



*This reminds me of what one of you said last week. Laura wrote in to say: "After I went through a divorce, I finally understood it was MY responsibility to create happiness for myself." I hear you, sister!


also PS: Jet: I was more than willing to hang out with him again--I just wanted to take some of the pressure off! Which is why I was upfront about the spark. And he's the one who said, if it wasn't there, we couldn't hang any more. But still: I hear you! You're probably right. I just get so nervous about building up the wrong expectations. ... At the same time, if he'd been like Laura's dude, maybe he would've hung in there and things could've developed more naturally? I dunno. ... Anne Christine: How cool are you, here for the summer from Venezuela! Rock on. ... and Raye: I have heard other stories like yours, of the sudden-chemistry-from-a-kiss. Interesting. And it's a good point!