I got my first massage this weekend.
I have spent most of my life self-assured of the fact that I am not a massage person. Strangers rubbing all around your body with oils while east Asian string music plays in the background. There were just so many unanswered questions for me and the only filmmakers who would tackle the issue usually used their creative license to take the story in a “pornish” direction. Is “porn-ish” right or “porny”. I don’t know, anyhow, my entire frame of reference was limited and skewed.
We went out of town this past weekend with some friends to catch the Avett Brothers concert and enjoy a few other relaxing activities. The first of these activities, was a massage. I remember discussing getting massages on a hypothetical level a few weeks ago. I had reluctantly agreed and suddenly had to face the music. The day was upon me. I was more worried than I thought I would be. Like teenage level insecurity. I worried that I hadn’t showered well enough or I should have used a loofa more so my skin didn’t flake off like it does after a day in the sun. We had a long drive to get there and it was just after lunch. I had a large Coke and some French fries.
What if I had to pee?
What if I had to fart?
Do they rub your stomach region? That would be weird.
What if my feet stink?
Is it harder to massage fat people or skinny people?
Do massage therapists have a desire to bite people like Phoebe did on Friends?
What if this is a ruse to strap me down and steal my kidneys for sale on the black market? I booked an hour so that would be plenty of time to steal my innards and make a getaway.
We arrived for our appointments about ten minutes early which was good because we had to sign disclaimers or release forms or something. I don’t know, I didn’t read it. I probably gave them permission to take my kidneys. I finished my release form and went to the restroom to eliminate my fear of having to pee. I stepped out and was greeted by a lady who informed me, “He is ready for you now.”
I hadn’t really considered who would be administering the massage. Not that it matters but I had made the sexist assumption that most practitioners were female. I suddenly understood, to a small degree, how women feel self-conscious at times. When my wife puts lots of effort into getting ready to go out to places like Walmart or the gas station she often tells me that it isn’t for my benefit or being attractive for other men but for deflecting the judgement of other women. As I walked towards the second door on the right and stared into the blackness beyond I understood. I felt my physical flaws with each step. I was certain that I would encounter Zeus and he would strike me with a lightning bolt for my untoned core. I could hear Hans and Frans from Saturday Night Live talking about “flabby muscles”. Why did I agree to this shit?
I stepped into the room.
“Hello, my name is Nick.” Nick was not Zeus. He was an unassuming man in his late forties. I felt better already.
“Have you had a massage before?” He was eating a peppermint and started coughing. “Sorry, the juices went down the wrong pipe”, he creaked.
“No problem. This is my first one.” I thought that perhaps he has Ebola and I am about to be infected by patient zero.
He cleared his throat. “Oh good. Well, undress to your comfort level and climb under the sheet there and we will get started.” He left the room.
I got down to the boxers and hopped onto the massage bed, covering myself with a low thread count sheet that didn’t quite deflect the AC from the vent above me. Nick returned to the room and walked around the table until he was standing above my head. He pounded on what sounded like a soap dispenser to get a handful of some kind of oil. I was nervous for a full thirty seconds until he started working on the muscles in my neck. Nick was an acupuncture hand pressure ninja. I gave exactly zero flips what or how he was working his magic. I almost fell asleep twice. I don’t think he had Ebola either. It was just the peppermint.
It was nice having attention paid to every little tension and knot in my shoulders, back, and legs. He rubbed the muscles in between my toes. Glorious toe rub. I left the room relaxed enough to fall asleep sleep standing up.
If you have ever gotten the rub down from a man, this post is for you. You’re welcome. I know you are out there, afraid to admit that it was a good massage. Well, on the off-chance Nick ever happens across this blog, good job!
-Underdaddy to the rescue.