For our second interview, Mrs. Claus suggested we meet at the Polar Spa & Meditation Center, located at the far end of the Village. After a wonderful mud bath and massage we sat in lounge chairs wrapped in warm blankets, sipping eggnog and rum drinks.
JE: So, Mrs. Claus, I assume business is back to normal in the Toy Factory?
Mrs. Claus: Oh yes, but no thanks to my husband. While his Highness napped, I met with the leader of the Elfsters union and agreed to an increase in hourly pay for those elves working the night shift and an added bonus incentive for any elf working more than eight hours. It’s nonstop production now until the big night. We can’t afford to lose time over industrial disputes.
JE: Well, thank you for spending this time with me.
Mrs. Claus: I do need a bit of ‘me time’ every so often. Turn off the phone. Stop texting. Listen to my inner voices.
JE: So, does your husband use this spa to relax, too?
Mrs. Claus: Oh, heaven’s, no. This place is exclusively for females. I open the doors to the public during the off-season.
JE: Do you get a lot of visitors?
Mrs. Claus: I mentor a group of women. The Princesses. Ms. White, Ms. Ella, Ms. Beauty, Ms. Belle, Ms. Ariel to name a few. They all like to come in May, just before the summer. Believe me, they need a lot of counseling. When they first got here, they actually believed in that ‘kiss-a-frog theory.’ But I’ve set them straight.
JE: How so?
Mrs. Claus: We have therapy sessions, group meetings, lectures. And then I have an online group focused on keeping them away from all that “happily-ever-after”‘ fantasy thinking. I try to instill the three S’s: Self-respect. Self-worth. And Selfishness.
Mrs. Claus: Sometimes you just have to put yourself first. You know what I mean?
JE: I think so.
Mrs. Claus: Women have come a long way from those days of smiling pretty and putting a meal on the table when their husband comes home, but too many young girls still believe in the prince and that shiny white horse nonsense.
JE: So, besides working with young women, do you and Mr. Claus do something together during the off season? Do you take a vacation?
Mrs. Claus: Matter of fact, we do get away. Last year we went to Las Vegas. Only problem was, we arrived during an Elvis Impersonation week and my husband insisted on entering as a Santa Elvis.
At this point, Mrs. Claus rolled her eyes.
JE: So, I gather that bothered you.
Mrs. Claus: Of course. There we were trying to get away from work. It’s always the same. You can take the man out of the Pole, but you can’t take the Pole out of the man. But I will tell you a little secret.
JE: And that is?
She leaned over and spoke in a soft voice.
Mrs. Claus: I do like him to dress up as some of his impersonators. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Art Carney are my favorites.
Mrs. Claus: Don’t blush. A bit of role playing keeps the sex alive. After all the years we’ve been married, we need something every now and then. How long have you been married?
JE: A long time.
Mrs. Claus: Then you know what I mean.
Before I had a chance to say anything, Mrs. Claus’ alarm went off. Relaxation hour was over.
Mrs. Claus: Now if you’ll excuse me. I must get back to work. But why don’t you join me for the Big Night? You’ll see multi-tasking at it’s finest. I sure hope the GPS is working because we don’t need another disaster like last year.
JE: May I ask what happened?
But her answer would have to wait until our next interview. Text messages were coming into her iPhone like gunfire.
As Mrs. Claus hurried to change into her work clothes, I stayed and relaxed for a bit. Off in the background I could hear the elves singing. Everything was right in the North Pole. For now.