I have an acquaintance. We don't see each other very often, but when we do, we usually have interesting conversations about things like art, travel and ... massage. Bet you thought I was going to say music. No, it's massage.
See, this acquaintance had, at one time, a lot of pain. I mean, all kinds of pain for all kinds of reasons. She quite literally had pain from head to toe! Not the dull, aching kind of annoying pain, but the real get-in-your-face kind of pain. She got some relief from some different modalities: I sent her to my chiropractor (oh, see, that's another thing we talked about) and it helped a bit. But one day she came to me and said she'd found the most wonderful, spectacular, talented myotherapist ever!! Yeah, there were definite exclamation points in her voice when she said it. And she kindly shared with me her myotherapist's name and number so I too could be pain free. I put it on my desk and, quite frankly, forgot about it. I didn't mean to forget about it, but have you seen my desk lately? No, neither have I!
So one day I'm at the mall. Well, actually my car was near the mall, at Sears, and I had to be there with it since it's not allowed to drive alone. But while my car was there getting what turned out to be a $29 special oil change that only cost me $100 (that's a whole other story), I decided to run (well, more like limp) over to the mall to run an errand. When I say limp, that's actually a term that denotes much more speed than I had that day.
You see, I was in serious pain. My knee, my hip, my back, probably my eyelids, were all in pain.
I slinked on over to the Post Office to pick up the mail and headed back through the mall to my car. I never realized how far away that Post Office actually was from Sears Auto. Where's my daughter when I need her to navigate me or stop me from doing foolish things like actually walking through the mall!!!
As I'm heading back, I notice all the people passing me up. Now, that wouldn't normally bother me, but when this old guy with a cane and a crooked leg limped past me, I was ready to trade in the car for a new set of wheels, preferably one of those cool scooter models that goes over carpets with ease and make tight turns around living room furniture.
About that time I decided, hey, the car can now wait on me! It's not my boss. I don't live on Honda time. I'm just going to stand here for a while and stare at the window of one of the shops till I get enough energy to walk away.
And that's what I did. The shop window was not adorned with much that was interesting, but it had a big sign in it that I started reading. Then this diminuative Chinese lady approached me and pointed to the sign. "Massage," she said, smiling and nodding her head. I looked at her. She pointed at the sign, nodded and said again, "Massage," just in case I didn't speak English well enough to get it the first time. I followed the direction of her pointing finger and for about the first time realized, hey, they do massages here! I've got to wait for the car to get fixed anyway, so, why not!
Well, the inside was very bare, lots of space with very few furnishings. I wasn't interested in those silly chair massages; I wanted the real thing. So I followed my new little friend to the end of a hallway at the back of the spacious room where two small akeshift cubicles were set up with colorful pieces of material that pulled across the entrance of each to allow for "privacy." Okay, I thought, this is like a really economic trip to the Far East. So let's go for it! You know how I love all types of cultures!
My little friend points at a hook on the wall and a basket on the floor. "You take clothes off," she instructs me, smiling and nodding. So I did. I mean, I didn't know what the culture was. She told me to take off my clothes and that's what I did, right there with her watching. Then I climed butt naked onto the table where she covered me with what was the size of a tea towel. But I didn't care!
Let me tell you, she might have been little, but there was power on those magic fingers of hers. She poked and prodded and grunted and groaned as she massaged out all the kinks I had. She even climbed on the table with me at one point to work on my back. It was a very interesting experience.
Finally, she slipped out through the curtain and I thought, well, I guess that's my hour, better get dressed. So I climbed down and reached out for my clothes, but before I could put a thing on, she was back.
Oh, no, no, no, she chided me. Oh, well, okay, she said. And as I stood there, naked again, she put hot towles on my back and then beat the daylights out of it. It was great!
Dressed once again and back out in the mall, I texted my friend to tell her what a great massage I'd had! Not only that, I was walking like a 20-year-old. I was tempted to go find the old guy with the cane and challenge him to a race, but I why rub it in.
Well, I mention all of this because today I went for a massage. Yes, I had e-mailed my friend (for about the third time) for the name and number of her masseuse, but for some bizzar reason I wound up with an appointment at a day spa. Yeah, you heard me right! A day spa.
I told them I needed deep tissue massage, and they assured me that I could get whatever I wanted. Now, I realize that my normal massages are the kind that would bring tears to the eyes of Sly Stalone, but this massage was perhaps the greatest waste of money I've spent since buying that Chia pet back in 1971. It's not that it wasn't relaxing, or I suppose it would have been had I not been waiting for the deep tissue part while ticking the minutes off in my mind. But it left me feeling more like a side of Kobe beef (you know, the expensive Japanse beef that comes from contented cows that get daily massages) than anything else. Of the table was comfty, and the warm towels over my eyes and back, etc., were kind of neat, but I wanted a MASSAGE!
It must have been that form they made me fill out beforhand that led to the excessive slathering of Freeze Gel that she used. I mean, I mentioned having arthritis, but it's only in my right knee, and a little in the left knee, oh, and my left big toe, but you know what I mean! Since they didn't ask the location, I guess they figured they'd make darn good and sure they covered it with this smelly jelly stuff. She lathered it all over my face and said, Breathe deeply, which I stupidly did. Then it went into my hair. Then it covered every other part of me till I smelled like a reject from a menthol factory.
I paid my bill and left, not much better but a lot wiser, and went home where I promptly showered off every vestige of Freeze Gel with my wonderful smelling Rainbath!
Ah, so the title of this piece? Well, it's kind of a warning. I'll be sending a copy of this piece to my friend, you know, the one who recommended the most fantastic thereapist in the world. You'll hear her, no doubt, yelling clear from one end of town to the other: I TOLD YOU SO!!!! I just didn't want anyone to be scared at the sound.