I got up from the spa waiting room and introduced myself to the woman who would be my masseuse for the next 50 minutes. The spa in question was an oasis of citrus smells and calming sounds stuck in the middle of the suburban sprawl, a necessity for ladies who lunch, wealthy housewives, and overworked office drones with clipped coupons and stockpiled gift cards.
As I followed the masseuse through the obscenely serene spa, she chatted with me.
“So when was the last time you had a massage?” she asked, as if she were a doctor inquiring about my last menstrual cycle.
“Um, I think it was about a year ago? Maybe more?”
Her eyes bulged. “A year? Girl, you shouldn’t wait that long.”
“Yeah, I know.” I did know. The aching in my back had turned 8 hours of sitting at a desk five days a week into an exercise in agony when I finally booked the appointment. When I actually winced like an elderly woman as I got up from my office chair, I knew it was time. I had a gift card left over from my birthday, but I generally like to put off massages until I am in excruciating pain.
She led me to the room and in we went, suddenly enveloped in a haze of lavender essential oil and a womb-like coziness. I wanted to melt in a puddle on the floor and just be there, forever.
“Okay, I’m going to leave the room for a minute while you get ready. I’ll knock on the door before I come back in.”
The masseuse left the room, while I stripped off the robe to the sounds of gently tinkling piano. Crawling under the covers, I made it in just in time for her to rap on the door.
Needless to say, she had her work cut out for her. My back was as knotted as one of the Ents from The Lord of the Rings.
She kneaded and pulled and smoothed, running over my back like a luxury car over an unpaved road…filled with potholes…and land mines…and random blitzkrieg attacks.
At one point during the process, tears come to my eyes, it felt that good. In that moment, I promised myself not to wait so long next time.
See, it’s not that I’m a masochist. Getting a massage just seems like such a self-indulgent luxury. I can imagine my hard-working great-grandparents rolling over in their graves as I spend money to relax for an hour.
Then I tell them to get over it. They don’t have Ents wreaking havoc in their thoracic region.
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