Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hittin' That Sweet Spot

Aaaaaahhhh...a massage. As I have aged and my earning threshold has progressed, personal gratification (which sounds obscene, but is SO not) has become more a part of my regular routine. Manicures, pedicures and massages, which I once considered only something extremely wealthy people could indulge in, have become a monthly occurrence. Mainly because they are not nearly as expensive as I thought they would be. OK, that's a lie. Mainly because I like them.

My first massage was entered into with great trepidation, thanks to a gift certificate I won at school. I made the appointment and showed up at the massage center and was immediately thrilled with the decor, the lovely candles and music and the soothing, almost soporific atmosphere. And then the massage began. I was prepared for the most fantastic experience of my life. It was one of the most...painful.

In hindsight, I don't know why she didn't notice me cringing, moaning and trying to crawl away from her off the table. Maybe she thought that meant I was enjoying it. Luckily, as I limped into the waiting room like a whipped dog, just looking for the closest exit, the manager asked me with an expectant smile, how was my massage? I gave her a rueful smile and said I thought it was just not for me. I didn't realize a professional massage hurt so much. The smile slid from her face and horror took it's place. No, no, no, no, it should not hurt. You should ENJOY it, it should RELAX you, it should be FABULOUS. She insisted on booking me a free massage and explained that I should tell the massage therapist that I wanted light pressure, very light pressure. Thank heavens I ran into her. I would have never had another massage and would have missed out on some wonderful, relaxing experiences.

I'm not exactly sure what the proper etiquette is about making sounds when you get a massage. Did you see that episode of "Friends" when Phoebe is massaging Monica and she is moaning with ecstasy, so much so that it becomes almost sexual? And Phoebe just can't do it any longer? Well, I do stay on the moral high ground - I don't make any sounds at all. But, sometimes? When the massage therapist is really good and they do something like gently pinch up that layer of skin all up and down your back? I feel like one of those Southern preachers in a white suit at a tent revival and I'm mentally going "Oh, Yay-es, Lord, Yay-es, I have seen the light!"

But here's the thing. Don't you just hate it when you fall asleep during a massage? This had never happened to me before until just recently. I was getting a great massage, she started working on my upper right leg and then I kind of jumped and realized she was working on my left foot. Whoa, she must be going back and forth. Surely...surely I didn't fall asleep and miss the entire massage on one leg? I waited for her to go back, but then she covered up my legs with a sheet and headed for my neck. I had slept through part of my massage. I was SO ANNOYED. I want to relax, but c'mon. I don't want to miss it!

Then it happened again at another massage. She was working on my back and then, all of a sudden, she lifted one of my arms. What happened to the rest of my back massage? Dang.

And I guess the students at the massage school (yeah, talk about a great price - check out your local massage school!) must talk to each other because here's a conversation I just had with my massage therapist.

She: Just lie down on your back and we'll start that way.
Me: On my back? We usually start face-down.
She: Well, I see in your file that you really like your feet massaged, so I thought we would start this way, then you can turn over and go to sleep.
Me: ????

Did she just say that? Is it in my file that I fall asleep? Or was she just talking, like, in general, that I could relax and sleep. When I leave, are they whispering and laughing about the lady who falls asleep during her massage? This is a little...embarrassing. I feel like a little old lady whose head is nodding and bobbling while she is riding on the bus.

Am I alone? Help me here. Please tell me you fall asleep during your massage?


Nikky said...

I have never had a massage, so I can't answer your question, I just wanted to tell you that I am SO jealous!!
And, of course, that being a FRIENDS junkie, I LOVE that episode!!

Lucy's Mom said...

I DO fall asleep during a massage and it is SO very annoying. I am obviously enjoying it and totally relaxing, but I don't want to miss the whole experience! It's very frustrating. I lie down, I close my eyes, she starts, it feels good and suddenly I wake up and it's over. DAMN! I've missed the whole experience. Maybe it was TOO good?!? This is a weird problem. You want the massage to be good enough to totally relax you and feel good, but if you feel good and you're totally relaxed, you will probably fall asleep. How annoying! I can SO relate to your problem.

boo said...

I'm thinking she was talking about the fact that you like to your feet done - that's what she read in your file - not that you fall asleep. The experience is so relaxing I'd say many people fall asleep or at least doze a bit. I'll double check with Chris and get back to ya! :)