I love a massage. I love everything about it. The aroma of scented oils in the dimly lit massage room, the gentle new age-y music, the way the therapist speaks in hushed tones. Even the padded face hole in the massage table pleases me. If I could afford it, I’d have a regular spa appointment once a week. Maybe more.
And it wouldn’t matter what other treatments the spa offered — defoliating scrubs, body wraps, facials — I’m interested only in massage. Twice John has given me a spa day as a birthday gift, and both times I eschewed any treatment that didn’t involve being rubbed.
Although I did make a fairly critical mistake on my first visit. I signed up for the warm mud massage — it had the word “massage” in it, after all — and while the initial hands-on portion was sublime, once the therapist smeared on the mud and left the room for a while, all I could think about was how much time was being wasted; time that could have otherwise been filled with a whole lot more rubbing and a whole lot less lying there sweating.
I do have one very strict rule when it comes to receiving a massage: other than the intermittent whispered instruction to roll over or to ask if the amount of pressure she’s using is adequate, the therapist must remain mute. I’m not patient with chitchat during massage time. I don’t need to know where the therapist grew up or what her children are studying in school. Likewise, I feel no desire to report my life story to her. I’m on that table for one reason and one reason alone, and that’s all I want to think about. Massage me. From head to toe.
Oh hang on, I almost forgot. There is indeed one massage spot I’d prefer the therapist skip over. Two spots, actually: my ears. When she starts kneading my ears it makes me feel silly. I have no qualms about other extremities — each toe and finger thanks the therapist for the individual attention — but when she grabs for an ear, all I can think about is…big floppy ears. And I have small ears, strangely enough, the right one even freakishly tiny. Still, when someone touches them during a massage it’s like I’m Minnie Mouse. Or Dumbo.
No matter. Putting up with over-handled ears in order to be massaged everywhere else is a sacrifice I’ll make without qualms. So when a friend offered me one of her pre-paid massage appointments, I jumped at the chance. She had to give up the appointment because of a spinal problem that will likely require surgery, and I did suffer a pang of guilt for accepting her gift under such a circumstance. Yet the feeling only lasted a second or two. In my world, you see, the prospect of a free massage trumps all else. I’m not proud of it but hey, I can live with it.
Especially when someone’s rubbing me.