A Massage a Day…

8 Jan

I love massages. Foot massages, hand massages, deep tissue massages, massage chairs, you name it. I love them. I’m one of those people who sit in Brookstone until a tiny, twelve-year-old employee has to call his manager to “deal with a situation in the chair section.”

You can call me, “The Situation.”

A lot of people think it’s weird that I like massages. Namely my mom, who can’t seem to understand “how I could let a smelly stranger touch me.” Because apparently – in her experience – a lot of manure connoisseurs double as massage therapists…

(Really I think my mom is just bitter because for the first five years of my life I refused to hug her under the pretense of “not liking physical interaction,” when really I just didn’t like the smell of her perfume.)

Today, I had a massage. And it was a great one, don’t get me wrong! But, certain *aspects* of it lead me to think about how and why someone could not love being massaged.

Element #1: Awkward Waiting

As with most spa appointments – and appointments in general – I tend to show up late and distressed, with my sunglasses in a knot on top of my head and some long-winded excuse about a dog in the road and false alarms about thinking I saw Anne Hathaway at Starbucks.

Today, I had a legitimate excuse for being late. Yes, Anne Hathaway was actually at Starbucks!

(Just kidding. I was late because I decided to watch “Sex in the City” instead of getting dressed on time.)

After finally arriving, my masseuse was tardy. Which was just fine with me because it meant I could drink an abundance of orange-infused water and catch up on my correspondence (A.K.A my Instagram and Snapchat accounts).

And so I sat, for fifteen minutes, chugging water, spilling water, making weird faces at my iPhone camera, and quietly shunning the receptionist, who was looking at me like a camp counselor looks at the hippie camper with mismatched socks and a tofu lunch.

Element #2: Unclear Safety Parameters

When you get a massage, the spa has to cover its ass by making you fill out a form about your allergies and aches and pains and injuries and “other concerns.”

I mean, how are you supposed to interpret “Other Concerns”? The form they hand you is basically just a place where you can write about everything that’s ever been wrong in your life.

“Funny you should ask, because yesterday I ate a bad clam, and today my dog ran away, and last year I found out that my dad is a drag queen, and I have a gluten intolerance but I work at a bread factory, and I’m worried I’ll never find true love…yadda yadda yadda.”

I decided to just write “Amoxicillin” under allergies and call it a day.

This fret-about decision turned out to be unnecessary because apparently they do not put “Amoxicillin” in their spa products.


Element #3: Blinding Pain

Deep tissue massages are for warriors with steel muscles. If you happen to have steel muscles, that’s awesome and I’m sure you could get your own reality TV show. You should definitely look into that.

For those of us with regular muscles, deep tissue massages lead to blinding pain.

During today’s massage, I stopped breathing because I was so uncomfortable…which prompted my masseuse to remind me to “keep breathing *chuckle* *chuckle*.”


To put it in perspective, though, complaining about the pain of a deep tissue massage is like getting famous and then complaining about the paparazzi. No one wants to be “That Bitch.”

Element #4: Accidental Loss of Fluids

My massages always begin face down, with my face squished into a tiny chair hole. It’s not particularly uncomfortable…unless you have a head cold and your sinuses have become an irrigation hotspot. I’m pretty sure my sinuses are more fertile than the Nile banks right now because of all the phlegm.

Needless to say (even though I’ve already said so in a rather blatant metaphor), the face-down orientation can lead to some accidental sinus releasing…which is embarrassing, and which leads to anxious thoughts like, “Oh shit, I hope the masseuse doesn’t accidentally slip on my sinus fluids and fall and break her coccyx.” (Try massaging your way out of that one!)

Element #5: Alarming Declarations

There’s nothing like hearing someone say “Oh dear” while massaging your back. It’s an alarming declaration, which – much like the fluid loss example – leads to anxious thoughts.

Oh dear…you have such alarmingly impressive back muscles; you should be a fitness model?

Oh dear…this is the best back I’ve ever seen in all my years of masseusing.

Oh dear…have you looked into registering a zip code for that town-sized mole on your back?

Oh dear…I accidentally pushed back the blanket and your ass is exposed and I looked, #sorrynotsorry.

Oh dear…I saw you release sinus fluid on my floor and am now going to vomit.

Today, my masseuse’s “oh dear” was in reference to my “swollen back” and my “displaced vertebrae.”

“Okay, don’t freak out,” she said, “but your back is kind of swollen and you have two vertebrae that seem out of place. Any idea what could have contributed to these?”

I told her I’ve been lifting a lot of weights recently. Which is 1.38% true because I lifted weights for 20 minutes of my day last Wednesday. Besides that, all the “lifting” I’ve done has involved my right arm and a remote control. But let’s not minimize that, people. I have a TiVo remote, and those are notoriously heavy.

Element #6: Anxious Thoughts

A few anxious thoughts that – despite my desperate attempts to imagine myself on a beach, near a waterfall, clutching a fruity drink – always manage to creep into my mind.

I can’t believe people complain about massages. They’re so…OUCH. OH GOD. THAT HURTS. Okay, we’re breathing, we’re breathing. I’m on a beach. Ooh, I love beaches! This fruity drink is so good. Is there pineapple in this drink? There should be pineapple in this drink. I wonder who coined the word “pineapple”? Are pine trees bitchy to apples because they got primary placement in the order of their offspring word? Is there an East Coast vs. West Coast kind of grudge between the two? I wonder which side is better at rapping…Do most people have these kinds of thoughts? Why aren’t I more concerned about real things, like money troubles and my future and world peace? Wait, crap, now I am really concerned about all of those things. And my back is still in pain. Damn you, pineapple!

Element #6: Re-interacting With the Receptionist

After a massage, I always feel like a drunken sailor on land for the first time in twelve months. Everything is hazy and my speech is slurred and I’m really, really thirsty.

As I stumble out of the massage room to meet my masseuse in the lobby, I take several deep breaths and try to get myself together.

The masseuse and the receptionist both greet me with pleasant grins. My masseuse tells me that “Katrina” (names have been changed to accommodate my horrible listening and memory skills) will take care of my payment and then leaves the room.

Katrina looks at me and bitchily asks me for money. When I present her with a gift certificate, she acts like I’m handing her a human ear.

After quickly calculating tip on my iPhone, I politely request more orange-infused water – which I intentionally spill on the ground – and stumble out of the establishment.

So, friends, those are the six stages to a massage. Should you choose to embark on this journey, may I recommend timeliness, an awareness of the ingredients in topical gels, steel muscles, a Neti Pot, a Xanax or ten, and plenty of orange-infused water.

Sounds relaxing, right?


8 Responses to “A Massage a Day…”

  1. alaskab93 January 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Just discovered your blog and it had me laughing. Especially the comment about the gift certificate and your mother’s perfume. I’ve just been away with my mother and we ended up, a little tipsy, purchasing ‘authentic perfume’. I’ve spent the rest of the week reassuring her that her £10.99 Channel number five perfume doesn’t smell like odor de brothel.

    • sophpearl January 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading! That’s too funny about the perfume. Tipsy shopping is always a risk, but can lead to the best stuff!

      • alaskab93 January 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

        Haha i know. I’m a big fan of your blog, do you have any tips for me as a beginner with a similar tone to youself?

      • sophpearl January 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

        Thank you! I would say to just keep writing on a regular basis. I was unsure of my style and wasn’t as confident in the beginning, but after almost two years of blogging, I feel like I’ve gotten into a comfortable rhythm. Don’t be afraid to take chances and write whatever you’re thinking because chances are, someone will like it. And as for followers, keep reaching out to other bloggers. Engage in conversations and people will check out your work!

  2. essbee14 January 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Ha – I swear I’ve had the *exact* same anxious thought stream-of-consciousness while getting a massage. Too funny!

    • sophpearl January 14, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      There’s just no way to control my thoughts! I’ve tried. Glad you can relate!

  3. Sammy Ann January 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m not a deep tissue fan but the Swedish Message is incredible. I took my friend as a treat for her birthday and it was one of the most relaxing events of my life. That could also be because the only way for us to go together was for us to book as a couple, so it was the “romantic” package (candles included).

    • sophpearl January 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      Swedish is great! Defintely a more relaxing alternative. And anything for a good deal!

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