So on a mild winter afternoon, I walked a few blocks from my apartment to Providence Day Spa and checked in for my appointment. It had been a few years since I'd been to the new age-y spa and I soaked in the homey decor -- warm colors, comfy pillows, and candles.
After waiting for a few minutes, I was greeted by my masseuse, a hippie-ish middle-aged women with her hair pulled into a ponytail and wearing flowing garb. I told her about the pain, which I self-diagnosed was due to my fibroids and endometriosis.
|Photo credit: NY Daily News|
When the session was done, I was a satisfied customer. I asked the receptionist for the name of my masseuse and she said, "Providence." Since that's the name of the spa, I was confused and repeated the question. The receptionist replied, "Providence," adding the woman who did my massage was the owner of the spa. I didn't know the spa was named after its owner and was honored that I'd been pampered by the boss.
Fast forward to March. While scanning a Brooklyn newspaper, I came across a story about a woman named Providence Hogan, who was accused of embezzling $100,000 from the PTA board of an elementary school in my Cobble Hill neighborhood. As I read on, the article revealed this was the same Providence who did my massage. As the PTA's former treasurer, Providence allegedly took the money for fertility treatments, to pay rent for her apartment and day spa, and as she told police to "keep her family living in the lifestyle they were accustomed to." She turned herself in earlier this week, and if convicted the 43-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison. Talk about a lifestyle change.
Meanwhile, I recently passed by Providence Day Spa on my way home. It's still open for business as usual. But as much as I like the spa's treatments and empathize with her infertility issues, I can't support the shady way she funded her business, and Providence has lost this repeat customer.