So until recently, I had never had a real massage. By “real” I mean one I paid a licensed professional to do, as opposed to an unsolicited mashing at the manly hands of my high school gym teacher, Bertha. So I was super excited when my friend recently suggested over drinks that we go for a “couple’s massage” together. Actually initially I was confused (“wait, is this a date? Are we on one now? How many other dates have we been on?!?!). And then I remembered I wasn’t her type, what with my lack of a penis and all, at least in the physical sense……Aaaaaanyway. I am about to take you on a journey. Buckle up, buttercup.
It started out with brunch. At 2.30pm. Because I don’t know how to adult and managed to miss a bajillion buses and then get lost. In the country I was raised in. Great! It was like a million degrees and I was sweating and an absolute hot mess.
But this was a semi classy place (I know this because the waiters all had jaunty hats and disdainful expressions), so I pretended to be serene and in control of my sweat and hair and uncomfortably high heels (should point out I had also never officially been to brunch until that day – unless you count my hungover scramble for anything edible at midday when I wake up most weekends – and figured you should definitely wear good shoes). We had a drink and then another, and then remembered we had actually booked that massage we talked about the other day and the appointment was now and in another part of town….the massage place very kindly offered to postpone the appointment, so we went to catch the bus (by “went” I mean “staggered”, subtly and elegantly of course).
The massage place turned out to be quite a walk from the bus stop, so we google-mapped our way through the convoluted back alleys until we found it. By this time the heat and shoes were really getting to me, but I was cheered up immensely by the fact that the massage place had a miniature house outside it, claiming to be a cat home. It had a paw print painted on the door.
The woman who opened the door, however, was less cheerful. Actually she looked pretty pissed.
“You have an appointment?”
“Um, yes?”we said.
“Well pretty much, yeah”
“Both of you? One after the other or together?”
“It’s a…um…couple’s massage?”
She grunted, and let us in. We stood in the smallest hallway ever while she made a very loud phone call. It turned out that there was more than one massage place, and we were in the wrong one. The appointment was actually taking place about 5 minutes from where we had been having brunch half an hour ago….Balls.
So back we went. By the time we finally got there, I was so sweaty and gross, the idea of having a stranger rub oil all over me was not exactly appealing. I just wanted another damn drink. On the plus side though, I did get to take my clothes off, so that was cool (literally). Next thing I knew I was laying butt-up wearing nothing but my underwear…..not exactly unusual for a Saturday afternoon. What was unusual, though, was the fact that I was probably the closest thing to a man in the room, and somebody was washing my feet. I had no idea that this was part of the massage experience, and I am incredibly ticklish. Like, dangerously ticklish. So naturally I started laughing hysterically and kicked my masseuse in the face. She was pretty cool about it (I’m sure that kind of thing happens all the time), and, rather unexpectedly, did not give up, but doggedly continued trying to wash my flailing limbs. When that ordeal was finally over, The actual massage started. Again, this was not exactly what I had been expecting. She started out on my back, which was fine, but then she moved down….to my bottom. So it turns out it was not a back massage, as I’d thought, but a full body massage (which made the foot-washing a little less confusing). Being the giant child that I am, a butt massage is almost the funniest thing I can imagine, and I was having a REALLY hard time being discrete. I’m not sure whether it was the snort or the shaking that gave me away, but the masseuse quickly moved elsewhere (sighing in disapproval). Eventually I managed to control myself and resume pretending to be a real adult and she finished up doing the entire back side of my body.
Then she asked me to turn over….I had been surprised by her thoroughness on my backside, suffice it to say I was SLIGHTLY concerned about what lay in store for the front…Much to my relief, the massage did NOT have a “happy ending”, in case you’re wondering. What it did have is some rather aggressive back-cracking. Let me explain. She proceeded to climb up on the bed behind me, wrap one leg around my waist, hook both her arms under mine and over my shoulders, and then fling my body around 180 degrees as if she was trying to rip me in half. At this point I wasn’t sure if this was still part of the massage, or if this was payback for me being a shitty customer. I looked over at my friend, who had been comparatively quiet and well behaved throughout this whole experience, to discover she was asleep. Either that, or she was pretending so as to avoid the same treatment as I was getting. After another couple minutes of wrestling – sorry, “massaging” – my masseuse yelled “Ok done!” And abruptly left the room, leaving me disheveled and confused, but remarkably limber. My friend, meanwhile, was gently roused from her apparent slumber by the dulcet tones of her (much gentler) masseuse, who proceeded to retrieve her clothes for her and offer her some water. My friend began to comment on what a relaxing experience this had been, and then, glancing at my bird nest hair and post-marathon complexion, stopped talking. “Um….drink?” She asked. “Yes.” I said.
So while I feel like I’m neither classy nor mature enough to do lady stuff, like brunches and massages, I had fun. 10/10 would repeat (pretty sure my masseuse would disagree, but hey, plenty of fish), only next time I’ll ask them not to touch my feet. Or my butt.