Went for a massage today. I like to say that, kind of casually, as if it’s part of my weekly routine. Not that it wouldn’t be a part of my weekly routine if I had a little more disposable income and had not inherited my mother’s guilt complex.Whenever my mother tasted something or experienced something or was given something really extraordinary, she’d say, “That’s too good,” suggesting she was not deserving of anything as decadent as a piece of Godiva chocolate.That’s how I feel about massages.They are just too good.I went today because I have been more stiff and sore than usual and because my husband was starting to pressure me about using the gift card to a local spa he gave me two Mother Day’s ago. Rick hates gift cards.
He’s always convinced the place is going to go out of business before we use them, so this particular gift card was making him nervous.It’s not that I didn’t want to use it. It was easily in the top five gifts he has ever given me, ranking slightly higher than the TV he got for our bedroom last year. “I knew you wanted it,” he said, grabbing the remote.I remember the first time I got a massage. Well, I sort of remember. I was covering some team somewhere some time ago when I was stranded by a snowstorm and figured I’d give it a try. I remember afterward asking everyone I knew if they got massages and wanting to talk to them about how unbelievably great they were if they did. I got a lot of strange looks.But I didn’t get my second massage for years. And when I finally had another one, I did the same thing I did today. I talked through the whole thing and almost ruined it.I kept thinking about the poor girl giving me the massage. Wasn’t she tired from rubbing people’s backs all day? Her fingers and hands had to be in agony. Mine would be. And who did I think I was just laying there, enjoying myself, when I could be making it a less tedious experience for her?I know, it’s a sickness.The funny thing is, I don’t particularly like when strangers talk to me. On airplanes. In waiting rooms. And especially during massages. Once, I had a lady masseuse who kept yelling at me that I needed to breathe. I mean, the woman never shut up. Over and over, “Breathe, you have to breathe, don’t forget to breathe, it’s very important to breathe. You’re not breathing.” I wanted to actually stop breathing altogether just to spite her.Today’s woman was fine until I started bothering her.It wasn’t like we talked about current events or our families, but we did touch briefly on her migraines and on whether her husband rubs her back when she points to an especially painful spot and begs for just a little help. I told her mine tries, for maybe 10 seconds, then begs off with the lame excuse that he’s afraid he’s going to do some damage, like he’s Lou Ferrigno.
I also felt it was only polite to ask her about the various muscles to which she was causing such deliriously exquisite pain. She seemed to appreciate this and shared some very interesting information about where the tendons attached to the bone, something that should come in handy next time I am taking my masseuse exam.Of course, there is the slight possibility that she might have been annoyed that I was talking and throwing off her concentration while she was trying to find my scapula, but this never occurred to me at the time. And so I killed the next few minutes conducting a survey on the gender preferences of most massage clients. Apparently, both men and women prefer to have a female doing the massaging. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do know that the one time I had a masseur, the pain was not the good kind but rather the painful kind that made me want to call for help and had me cursing him for the next two days.I am guessing men, much like George Costanza, simply don’t like other men touching and rubbing and I can understand this. But what does that say about women who prefer a woman masseuse? It’s kind of like the theory among t
he uninitiated and really stupid that women sportswriters are in the business so we can ogle naked men in the lockerroom. If that’s what they think about sports lockerrooms, what does it say about the male sportswriters in there?You can see now why I can’t completely relax and enjoy my massage with such deep thoughts.Like I said, it’s a sickness.