A week ago today I was getting my very first massage. I got a gift certificate for Christmas that I was too scared to use. I just didn't want to subject a stranger to rubbing me. I felt badly. What if my back is just super gross? I realize they are getting paid and it's supposed to be relaxing. I can't be the only person that gets nervous about a massage. I don't think I am.
I had been talking about it to my friends for weeks/months. (I'm sorry, guys) Trying to convince myself it was going to be great. Finally, the time had come. I made an appointment. I was worried.
I got there and in my head I was playing it cool, not letting my nerves show. Apparently in my head was the only place I was playing it cool cuz a woman asked me, "Is this your first massage?" "Yes." "Are you nervous? You seem really nervous." "Oh, well yeah I'm nervous." "Do you want a drink?" "Absolutely." So I take my clothes off in the very open shower room. Put on my big white robe and head to the relaxation area where wine and paper work were awaiting me.
I down my wine. Fill out my papers and sit and listen to a couple ladies that clearly had done this all before. They get taken off to their beauty treatments. I sit and wait and pretend that all of this felt normal.
My massage therapist was so super nice. I wasn't expecting her to behave like Hitler or anything, but she was just nice. She told me to just relax and try to enjoy it and not to be afraid to speak up.
She left the room. I had to undress and put myself under a blanket face down. I put my head in the head hole and braced myself to be rubbed by a stranger. First she just rubbed me for a minute while I was in the blanket and I thought "Oh what was I worried about? She won't even see all the freckles all over my back." then she moved the blanket. Okay fine. I was fine. I'm certain I have zits on my back. That's what I was most worried about, my back, just because I can't see what it looks like to others. She got to my shoulders and told me I had a lot of knots in my back. "Oh, yeah. I'm sorry." I was apologizing for having knots in my back like some sort of weirdo. She got them out! I could feel her rubbing the knots out of my back. This woman was a miracle worker. A tiny, blonde miracle worker.
Do you think that made me relax though? No. She tried rubbing my arms and I turn into roboto stiff arms. She had to keep telling me "Just relax. Relax." I was concentrating on relaxing. She would shake my arms around to try to make me loosen them up. "Let yourself go limp. Make your arms loose." I was telling myself in my head. It was hard work trying to remain relaxed! It's just the kind of person I am. All twitchy and worked up all the time. Letting my arms hang loose or letting my neck go limp just aren't in my nature. I tried though. I didn't want her to think I was some kinda nervous weirdo. Even though I am. I don't see how this tiny girl had the strength to keep rubbing someone like that for an hour. She did though.
My hour was up. I had some weirdo moments, but I survived without feeling like a gross idiot. Then it was time to put my clothes back in. I go to the shower room. There it is. Bare ass right as I walk in. Fine. This is just like high school. Just have to deal with strangers seeing you naked and tell yourself they don't give a shit about seeing your boobs. They have their own boobs they're worried about. So I get dressed slowly so no one thinks that I must be nervous to be naked. I don't know why I had to prove that to strangers. I just did.
I left feeling like I accomplished something by laying and getting rubbed by a stranger.
Immediately afterwards I went to my high school history teacher's (and my teenage idol's) funeral. Very strange day. This weekend looks to be less exciting. Thankfully.