Last week I had my first massage.
Ok, that’s a lie. I had one the day after my first (and only) attempt at snowboarding, but it was more of a “hey, my whole body feels like it got punched, can you please gently rub my back so I’ll stop crying” type of thing.
Last week was my first real massage.
Hey! Switched it up on ya! That wasn’t what you were expecting to hear, was it?
Me either. I was so excited for my appointment, but once the time finally came, it didn’t quite meet my expectations, which mostly involved a lot of me feeling super relaxed and pampered.
First of all, the girl told me to “undress to my comfort,” and I was like, “...so...I’ll just leave all these clothes on then? Yeah?”
She laughed like I was joking and left the room.
I tried my best to ignore the feeling that somewhere beyond that soothing music, mood lighting and the mini-waterfall they had going on in there, someone was watching me, and they were laughing.
The girl came back in, and I was suddenly super anxious about whether or not I was supposed to talk to her. I didn’t want her to think I was rude for not trying to make small talk, but after about five seconds I decided it was best to just lie there with my eyes closed, because it occurred to me that looking up into someone’s eyes while they’re giving you a massage is just about the most awkward thing you could do.
Before I go any further, I should tell you that this girl was tiny. She looked like she could maybe bench press a large handbag. Maybe.
She started out on my collarbone area. It hurt so badly. Sooo badly. It was like she was finger-punching me with her little child-sized hands. Besides being shocked and confused by the sheer strength of my elfish woodland fairy of a masseuse, I felt I had been bamboozled. I had been completely taken in by the soft lighting and dreamy Asian music they had playing, so I was not at all prepared to suddenly feel like someone was walking on my chest while wearing soccer cleats.
Also, the collarbone area ended up being the worst part of the whole experience (punishment for having a desk job) but I had no idea things weren’t going to get progressively worse throughout the massage, so not only was I in severe pain; I was faced with the very real possibility that if things got much worse (and I had every reason to believe that they would, considering my reasoning that a person would be prone to ease another person into that sort of torture if they ever wanted that person to return to their place of business – meaning that this was her idea of starting out slowly) I was going to lose my mind and end up running (almost) naked through a heavily populated building just to escape.
The rest of the massage wasn’t as bad, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the distinct feeling this chick’s main objective was to bruise as much of my body as was possible in the span of an hour.
Two thoughts kept running through my head. The first was, “I wonder if this is what it feels like to be embalmed.”
The second was whether masseuses (spellchecker didn’t tell me it was wrong...so that must be the plural of masseuse) operate on the theory that the reason people feel so great after a massage is that they experience an overwhelming sense of relief...which is best achieved by beating each part of the body within an inch of its life, and then setting it free. This creates the illusion that the body has been “born-again” in a sense, and that the masseuse in question is a kind and merciful ruler. (All these feelings occur on a sub-conscious level, of course; otherwise, why would ANYONE voluntarily return for another full-body massage?) Now I’m not so paranoid-delusional as to think she was actively trying to hurt me...but I’m close.
My momma didn’t raise no fool, so when I got home, I drank a half gallon of water.
The next day, I threw up.
Just kidding! Gosh. I wanted to end it there so badly. Sometimes I don’t understand my own sense of humor.
I was confused as to why I was so sick. Sarah’s gotten two massages in the last couple of months from the same girl, and she hasn’t been sick at all, even though I double checked with her on her level of fluid intake the night after her first massage and made sure to drink twice what she had, just to be safe. She wasn’t sore either, which made me seriously start to wonder if I am just a huge weenie with absolutely no threshold for pain.
The general consensus among my friends and coworkers is that “I just must have a lot more toxins floating around in my body than Sarah does.”
It’s the little things people say that can really make you feel good. Or like you’re a giant walking heap of garbage.
FYI, the Hazmat crews have asked that if you’re going to stand within thirty feet of me, you would wear a surgical mask as well as protective eyewear.
NOTE: I feel compelled to mention that I'm mostly just trying to be funny and that the girl who gave me my massage was very professional and just doing her job. It's not her fault I'm a giant baby.
Also her hair was pretty.