If you’ve been following along with this blog, you know how I feel about being naked in public from this post. Yeah, it’s not my best skill. But in theory, I still love getting a massage. Because 90% of the time, I’m a little ball of stress/anxiety/worry and my body is nice and tense as a result (100% of the masseuses I’ve met agree). Still, I don’t seek out massages all that often. I love them in theory…I’m not so good at them in practice. But if they are part of a fun weekend/event, I’m game. This past weekend was my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party which included a day at a gorgeous spa. So here we go…
When we arrived, we went into the locker room to change into our robes. Despite my fear of showering at the gym, I did okay in the locker room. But I do not take off my underwear for a massage. I know you’re supposed to. And I’ve been told that the masseuse would go after all the tension in my hip more if I did. But I just can’t. And I know I’m not alone in this because at least one of the girls in the group agreed with me. 2 out of 12 may not be a majority…but it’s also not a “everybody does it but you” statistic!
Here is a locker room photo of me and my sister. A girl who shares some of my feelings about being naked, but is braver than I am when it comes to spas. Just read this post on her blog to see what I mean!
Next we moved to the relaxation room which is where you wait for your massage. Naturally, this room stressed me out because the rules say “no talking” and yet most of the people in there are whispering. I’m a rule follower and also delightfully awkward so I spent half the time sitting perfectly still and trying not to make a sound. I spent the other half being teased by my sister for how I was acting and then whispering with her about the awkwardness of having to be so quiet. Yes, the relaxation room was super relaxing for me…
Then the masseuse called me back for my appointment. She did a good job of giving me instructions for laying on the table. I appreciate this because I’m always stressed that I’m going to do something wrong and then she’s going to come in and be like “nope, we have to rearrange you” and I’ll be like “but I’m (mostly) naked and perfectly positioned so you can’t see me. Moving around is not an option right now!”
Now here’s where this massage started to be a little more stressful than others I’ve had. The masseuse took a sip of water before she began and promptly started choking on it. Just one of those “down the wrong pipe” situations, but still the coughing was aggressive. I asked twice if she was okay and then did a lot of laying there and worrying about her because she would basically just say “yes, I’m okay” between coughing fits.
Once we got that out of the way, this masseuse was also interested in a lot of small talk. I had not experienced this before. I thought a massage was supposed to be quiet time (isn’t that what the relaxation room was prepping me for?). So then I had to play this fun game of trying to shut down the conversation while also answering her questions enough such that I didn’t feel rude. It’s hard to always be focused on being polite…I should probably go back and reread this book so I can work on that.
When we finally settled into quiet time, I was also able to settle into my usual massage monologue:
Ahh this is relaxing. All that tension in my neck and back will be gone at the end of this hour. OH MY GOD a stranger is touching me. Like a lot. What is the stranger thinking as she touches me? NO. This is relaxing time. This is her job. STOP IT. RELAX. Take a deep breath. You can do this. Okay feeling better…she’s definitely working on that knot in my shoulder. This is going to be great. Ahh…try to relax more. It will make it better. I wonder how many minutes have passed. HOLY CRAP a stranger is touching me. This is so weird. Why do people do this? NO. IT’S RELAXING TIME. STOP THINKING….Why are you still thinking? I TOLD YOU TO STOP. Okay. I’m relaxing now. Deep cleansing breath. Why don’t you try to fall asleep. Okay, that’s probably not possible. But you seem really relaxed now. Good job. WHOA she’s touching my lower back. OKAY. Calm down. This is normal…you have tension there. This is good. I like this, right? This is what I’m paying for? Yes. You’re doing great. Just relax.
And then at some point the massage ended and I politely told the masseuse that it was great and thank you so much. And I walked out feeling less tense than I did when I went in. Either because the massage was good…or from the relief of not being naked in front of a stranger anymore.