Yesterday I cashed in on a gift certificate my parents gave me for my birthday and went to get a massage and pedicure at a local salon. Just FYI, if you are ever in the market for a gift for me, massages and/or (best bet = and) pedicures are surefire winners. In fact, there should be some sort of “Massage of the Month” club so that people can purchase membership as gifts for a friend/daughter/sister/mother/girl-they’ve-never-met-in-real-life-but-read-her-website. Is there such a thing? Surely there is. I can imagine that if I received such a gift, I might have a hard time not just saving up all the months until the year was almost over and then scheduling a twelve-hour massage marathon. Whoa. Seriously though, I’m pretty sure heaven is probably just rows and rows of heated tables with a hole for your face, and miles and miles of masseurs ready to knead your muscles into mush. Of course, I guess you won’t be holding any tension in your body in the heavenly afterlife. Or even have a body. So maybe I’m off on that.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, right – I arrived at my appointment on time, and by “on time” I mean “in time to hear my masseuse get reamed by the owner for some such thing that I very much tried to pretend like I couldn’t hear.” It was awkward. I was in the same hallway as they were, and they were talking loudly, and I was trying to look very interested in the blank wall in front of me (thank you acting classes!) until finally one of them noticed I was there and went from “I DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M TELLING Y- Oh, hello Mrs. Ellis, come on back with me and we’ll get you all set up for your relaxation session!” Ok, great! I’m feeling loosened up already!
Let’s get real though – someone was about to drape me in warm cloths and rub my 30lb.-toddler-holding muscles with scented lotion while generic Eastern-sounding music played softly in my dimly-lit room. I was not feeling picky about the preambular ambiance.
The massage therapist had a heavy foreign accent – something Eastern-European that I couldn’t place. She asked, “Vat jew vant from dis myahsage? You he-yav probellum air-deas?” I told her yes – my problem area was my body. Just massage that. She laughed and said, “Ho-keh. Vee jus do EVERYTING den. Heh heh.” The whole time I kept thinking – I do not think this woman showers.
It’s not that she smelled bad, she just smelled…unshowered. Which is not necessarily the kind of olfactory sensation you want to encounter during a massage, I gotta say. It kind of consumed my thoughts the whole time I was face down in the padded hole. I could see her toes, and I thought, “What does she smell like? I mean, B.O., sure, but come on, Rachel, let’s test out that ol’ schnozz! Now think: where have we encountered that particular aroma before? The kitchen? Yes, yes, I think you’re on to something! Food! She smells like food! But the question is, what food?” This seriously went on for the entire thirty minutes. If it had been an hour-long massage, I would have figured it out, no problem, but the time ran out, and so the mystery remained unsolved.
I left the spa area all greased up like a pig at the county fair and slipped into my pedicure lounge chair for some more kneading, this time mechanical. As I sat with my feet in the frothy warm bubbles and read all about the life and times of TomKat in a back issue of Allure, I forgot about the mystery of the malodorious massage just long enough for it to marinate in the thalamus juices at the way back of my brain and then slowly bubble to the top to the section that was processing the fact that Suri Cruise wears outfits that cost more than my monthly insurance bill. It popped up suddenly there, clear as day, like a sign in the middle of Times Square on a Friday evening, and I had to physically restrain myself from yelling it out to the nail technician who was ever so diligently applying the second coat of Sweet Kiss to my left pinky toe. Instead, I gave myself a mental high five and imagined myself leaping to my feet and shouting it out like the winning answer at the end of a Trivial Pursuit tournament of champions.
I left the salon a few minutes later, feeling significantly more refreshed than I had when I arrived.