After a beautiful weekend spent updating the site and sitting here:
My Desk

My back turned to this:

At work this morning, I was in such excruciating pain in my shoulder, I broke down and called the day spa near me and booked an appointment for a massage.

Every time I’ve gone to get a massage, I’ve been given the lecture about how I should get a massage more often. I don’t know if that’s true or if the massage therapists are just really good sales people, but I dread that lecture in the same way that I dread the dentist telling me I need to go more than once a decade. At least the massage lecture ends with a massage, where as the dentist lecture ends with a root canal.

The lady who worked my knots today was one of those chatty types, who refused to let me just fall asleep like I do at the end of yoga class. I don’t mind the chat so much, because silence can sometimes be nerve-wracking. It’s just this lady was a little too obsequious for my own sanity.

Case in point:

Massage lady: What do you do for a living?

Me: I work in sales.

ML: That is SO AMAZING. You must LOVE IT.

Me: Yes, sales gives me the rare opportunity to you know, sell things. I think just under 75% of the population does that for a living.

ML: You have great skin and hair, what’s your secret?

Me: I only shower three times a week.

ML: You are SO FUNNY! I love it, you are my favorite client.

Me: No, really, I only shower three times a week. I hate being wet. The benefit is that my skin and hair don’t dry out. If it’s good enough for the Europeans…

ML: You know, people think that we are so smart, but the Europeans invented a lot of things before we did, and perfected them.

Me: Yeah, I guess like, everything that came before 1492 they can take credit for it.

ML: So what do you think of this music? Does it work for you?

Me: (I checked the CD afterwards, the music was from the “Sounds of Life” collection and is called “Dreams of Angels.” It’s basically the sound of waves crashing set to a tempo.) It’s very… non-invasive.

ML: That’s EXACTLY what it’s supposed to be! You are so smart. Let me rub this oil on your face and abruptly end the massage.

So after an hour, my muscles felt great, my mind was a little wonky and my skin was slick with the floral massage oils. I was pressured into signing up for massage on a monthly basis, but demurred my way out of it. I’d go again, if I promise myself to spend another weekend indoors and not spending any money, I can probably justify the cost. I’m just not sure that obsequious massage lady is for me, but now I feel like it would be so rude if I were to book with another person. I’m just going to have to find out her schedule and never go when she’s there, and book under a fake name. Perhaps Noelle Tannenbaum?

Tomorrow, I’m getting up early to take a one day trip to Boston with my boss. There will be many interesting things that we won’t stop to see because we have meetings all day. Bummer. While I sit in the car and try to come up with four hours of conversation topics I can rest easy knowing that my muscles are nice and loose, and that’s the only thing that’s getting me interested in tomorrow. That, and I set up the coffee pot alarm for the first time. If all goes according to plan, fresh coffee will awaken me before the cat does.

13 responses to this post.

  1. I have had a massage only once in my life, and I think awkward conversation is one of the very key reasons I haven’t made more of a habit of it. At least when the dentist makes pointless small talk, he’s got tools in my mouth so all I have to do is grunt and nod.

    Also, you hate getting wet? Obviously massage lady doesn’t know about your champion swimmer status…

    Let me rephrase that I don’t mind being wet when I’m submerged in water, but I hate being wet when I’m on dry land. Ick.

  2. The best way to make an awkward conversation more tolerable is to make totally bull answers to pass the time. Way to go. I liked the part where she “awkwardly ended the massage”. I’ve never had a massage, and I really don’t want to. I don’t know why…I was having lots of back problems at the end of next year, and my neurologist gave me a prescription for physical therapy for it. The prescription is hanging on the fridge (unfilled), and my back has been mostly better ever since. Apparently all I needed was a piece of paper to make me feel better.

    Stefanie – The dental hygienist makes well timed pauses while cleaning my teeth that allows me to respond without slowing the pace of the cleaning. She and I talked so much last time, and discovered that our kids had so much in common that we got them together at the playground last week. Funny.

    I have to say, you should try the massage, it’s awesome. I think I have some kind of unreasonable problem with chatty people. I do love that you made play-dates at the dentist. Totally worth going for that, I guess.

  3. I used to get regular massages, back when I had more free time and money. I miss them. Maybe I should treat myself. I’ve got a birthday coming up.

    They are so worth it, but the problem is that then you want more. I should just get Birmingham trained in massage, except that I only see him once in a blue moon anyway…

  4. I don’t know if it’s common practice, but I can tell you that the one time in my life I went to get a massage, I was told that I needed to get more of them — and often. A suggestion that, at the time, seemed sweet and out of a concern for my health, but in retrospect sounds like a sales pitch. Either way, it didn’t work.

    Also, apropos of nothing, I need to change this avatar picture. It was funny seeing the dude from Nickelback like, the first two times, but now it’s making me nauseous. Plus, I’m afraid people might think it’s a picture of me.

    You mean that’s not what you look like? Because that guy could totally use a massage. I hate the up-sell feeling myself. Arg.

  5. Also, I think you need to adjust your time zone settings, because it’s telling me I just posted that last comment at 1:59 pm, when it’s actually 10am. Here on the East Coast, anyway.

    Which makes me want to go “East Syyyyyydeee”.

    Despite the fact that I just schooled you with “Quail” on triple word score, I’m not smart enough to fix my time stamp. Do you know where to do that?

  6. Do not be afraid to book an appointment with someone else! It’s her fault that she is a crazy chatter.

    Have fun on the car ride to Boston! Four hours in a car with your boss sounds GREAT.

    Thanks, I’ll take that into account, I’d just feel mortified if I passed her in the hall. The four hours wasn’t so bad, but I am glad to be home now!

  7. I stopped going for massages after the lady I went to started to view me as her own personal captive therapist. Also, when she talked about something she was stressed about, she’d take it out on my back.

    After I messed up my back last year I started going for acupuncture. It’s not as enjoyable as massage (although it doesn’t hurt at all) but the effects last longer. Plus, for most of the time you’re by yourself in the room, so you don’t have to make conversation. Although, the replay of your conversation was hysterical.

    I know the feeling, I actually have to work at relaxing, so anything stressful is counterintuitive. I’m not sure about the acupuncture, I like the immediacy of how great a massage feels. By the way, I’ve been enjoying your site!

  8. Posted by nancypearlwannabe on September 5, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    You’re coming to Boston?!

    Dammit, Noelle Tannenbaum, you need to come visit! 🙂

    I came, I went. It was so sad to see and have to leave. Perhaps sometime in the near future I can go for pleasure, and I’ll let you know, NPW!

  9. Oh, tell Boston that Bossy says ‘hi’.

    They just said SoutheYYYYYYYYY!!!. It was odd.

  10. As I read your response, and reread my comment, I realized that I said I had back problems the end of NEXT year. Uh, yeah…it was last year. I’m not having futuristic back problems. Heh.

    That’s funny, I didn’t even notice. If you could predict those things, however, could you change the future?

  11. I understand your visit was brief…and yet I echo NPW’s sentiment (a rare time we are in agreement; mark this date).

    Seriously, though, end of October. Zombie Party. All the cool kids will be in Southern NH. I ain’t lyin’.

    “Quail” was almost ridiculously unfair. Who gets a 10 point “Q” and the helpful “U” on their first go?! To answer your question, though, look under “options”, then “general” on your WordPress menu. There should be a section to offset date/time (I think mine is set to -4).

    I got totally lucky on Scrabulous, I admit. My calendar is getting booked, so I’m going to try and make some room for you in late Oct. Maybe I can even drag out the elusive Birmingham.

  12. I think just under 75% of the population does that for a living.

    So true. I think our whole economy is one big pyramid scheme. If we didn’t sell each other stuff we don’t need, we’d still be living in caves.

    Thanks to pointless desk jobs, we all have better, meaningless lives.

  13. Wow someone else who hates being wet! I was a swimmer for entirely too long and now I would rather not go outside if its raining in order to make sure I don’t have to dry out… YUCK. I hear on you the wet thing.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. Being wet is the worst, especially if it’s rainy and cold and you have to be somewhere. Ick.

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