My husband is a manly man, so professional massages have not been on his list of to-do’s. As data consultants we get quite a bit of tension in our shoulders and upper bodies. Occasionally I will run out to see my favorite masseuse who will work wonders on my body. After quite a bit of convincing, I finally got him to go see her. It doesn’t matter that you are very well-draped under the sheet – the idea of undressing for a stranger to rub your body down is an uncomfortable one, especially if you have never done it before. It helps that this masseuse is happy to chat if her client wants to do so. I’ve had sessions with her where we talked the entire time and others where I have nearly fallen asleep. Eddie pushed through his initial reservations and went through with the massage, emerging refreshed and relaxed.
An opportunity presented itself to try a couples massage at a new place, so Eddie surprised me with it for my birthday. We both assumed that since we would be in the same room it would be a nice hour of us talking about whatever came to mind as we had the knots worked out of us before we continued onto our afternoon of wandering through wine country. Oh boy were we wrong!
Despite being told that they were booked solid and only had the 11:30 a.m. appointment available, we pulled into an empty industrial parking lot and drove right past the entrance. The signs were hardly visible and we found it only by the suite number on the side of the building. We walked in and filled out the required paperwork, identified where the bathrooms were (a necessary habit for me to know where these are wherever I go), and patiently waited on the couch. Out walked two women to escort us to our room. The first (let’s call her Frick) looked to be so shy and frightened that we thought she was going to sprint out of the room if anyone spoke above a whisper. She identified herself as Eddie’s masseuse. That left me with the fräulein/angry lunch lady (we’ll call her Frack).
On Sunday mornings during baseball season, the ritual is for one or both of us to head downstairs, open the sliding glass door for a cool breeze, and dropping onto the couch with the Red Sox game on. For a couple of workaholics who have their brains on all the time it is a wonderful way to turn the brain off to take a nap and enjoy the game. Since this was interrupted by the fact that there was only the one appointment available for the massage, Eddie asked if I wanted to listen to the game. Of course I did and so he started it up on the kindle. In walk Frick and Frack who walked straight to the kindle, scowled, and handed it to Eddie demanding that he turn it off. For just a moment we thought they were kidding. Just a very short moment before the uncomfortable silent looks were exchanged between the two of us. Eddie said that we would like to listen to the game and was denied. Frack said that they wanted their clients to fully immerse in the experience so that they could relax. We said that we find the game relaxing, but in chimes Frick with “If you wanted to watch the game, you should have booked your massage for another time so that you could watch it at home.” Wow! I was ready to walk out right then and there, but Eddie shook his head and turned the game off.
With a testy start, Frick and Frack ask the standard question – Are there any specific areas that you would like us to focus on? I said my shoulders and upper back, Eddie says that his left shoulder has been bothering him. And so began the longest hour we have ever spent on a table. Frick spent much of the time whispering into Eddie’s ear. Despite being far too young to have dentures, she sounded like she had them and they kept threatening to fall out. Ultra-relaxing. Meanwhile, Frack spent a majority of her time rubbing down my gluts. Mind you I did not feel properly tucked in with the sheet draping me. I could feel her breathing on me and grunting as she worked my muscles. They flipped us over and continued the torment. Frack moved towards the – you guessed it – the breast area. The cleanest and kindest description I can come up with is this: I felt violated.
After the initial “spanking” over the kindle, we weren’t sure if we were allowed to talk to each other. We didn’t even look at each other for fear of retaliation while we were naked under the sheets. As if all this wasn’t bad enough, we had environmental stimulus to add to the horribleness of the situation. There were squawking monkeys and pan flutes mixed into the music (we would have been much happier if they turned it off). Then there was the water fountain running the entire time, reminding us of how much water we had powered down before the massage. As soon as they left I jumped up, threw on my clothes, and nearly ran to the bathroom.
As if the assault on our persons was not enough for Frick and Frack, I came back out to the reception desk to see them hoovering over Eddie as he was paying to see how much their tip would be. Unreal! Needless to say that when Eddie got a call last week from Frick, he turned down the “maintenance massage” being offered. I can laugh at this now, but first I cried.