Posted by: Kate | November 9, 2008


I was supposed to get a massage this morning.

I got up early – well, kind of, sort of, at least before 9:00 – on my sleep-in day, and stumbled into the shower.  I washed my hair, scrubbed my face and, in honor of the occasion, shaved my legs.  This is a big deal, because I am a very bad wife who is confident enough of my ability to attract my husband that I don’t typically bother with a razor between the months of, oh, September to May.

OK, not really true.  Sometimes I’ll shave for a dress-wearing occasion or, ahem, a nothing-wearing occasion.  But as a general rule, in the winter months, I consider shaving my legs to be an extravagance rather than a social necessity.

The prospect of being touched by a stranger in comparatively intimate, extended sorts of ways qualifies, in my book, as an occasion requiring some extra grooming.

I was in the car and on my way by 9:30, with a stop at a gas station to use the world’s s-l-o-w-e-s-t pump, and made it on time to the quaint old brick building.  The quiet, quaint old brick building.  The locked-up-tight, dark, uninhabited, empty, quaint old brick building.

I tried the appropriate door, locked and solid and immovable.  I knocked, looked for a doorbell, knocked several more times, and general stood around looking baffled for several moments.  I walked the perimeter of the building, trying everything that looked remotely like a door, still no luck.  I went back to the car – because I had very carefully left my cell phone out of my purse to prevent any possible telephonic distractions during the appointment – and called the massage therapist.  Twice.  My first message was jovial and a bit bemused, “Hi, I’m standing outside looking clueless, are you perhaps inside and out of sight?”  My second message was less friendly and more dejected, “Well, it looks as though I’ve been stood up.  Please give me a call.”

After one more dying-hope circuit of the premises, I  trudged dejectedly back to the car and headed down to Massachusetts.  Conversations with my mother and friend Barb helped soothe some of my frustration, as did lunch with Jenny and the discovery that the Godiva chocolate store sells milkshakes.  (Oh. My. God.)  But, still.  No massage, and such a disappointment there.

I wrote my list of 100 Things about a year ago, and have been slowly plugging away at the items therein.  I didn’t want a three-year list of specific items, because not everything I want to do needs to be done within the immediate future… but I wanted it all written down, because it was fun and provides a good excuse to do some things I really want to do.  Things I might not otherwise have done, but, “Well, it is on my List…”

One such thing is massage therapy, at least twice a year.  I have chronic low-grade pain in my lower back due to vertebral compression; there’s some complicated and scary kind of arthritis of the spine that has been diagnosed on my mother’s side of the family, so it may be related to that or I may just be lucky.  It’s not bad enough to require medical intervention, but it’s there and annoying, and especially bad after an hour walking around the grocery store or doing certain forms of yard work (raking and shoveling, mostly, which I already just looooove to do).  Massage helps, plus there’s the whole prioritizing myself thing, just like a healthy adult.  Go figure.

Twice a year seemed like a reasonable start, and I had my first of 2008 on the beach in Jamaica.  Then somehow, suddenly, it was November and 2008 was almost past-tense.  I made one massage appointment and had to cancel due to illness, and rescheduled for this morning at 10:00.  I was a little apprehensive – being mostly-naked in front of strangers has that effect on me – but mostly excited.

And then she didn’t show, thus proving to me that I couldn’t pay someone to see me take my clothes off.  Alas.

After several hours of feeling sorry for myself, I got a phone call from the masseuse.  She said there had been a family emergency, and she offered to reschedule with a complimentary massage to make up for it.

The only way I can possibly like the word “FREE” more is if it is followed by the word “massage.”  Thus it is that I have yet another appointment tomorrow at 2:00.  I’m realy becoming quite desperate to disrobe in the presence of non-family and then be manually manipulated, so if something goes awry and cancels this appointment, I may well end up in your living room.  Just giving fair warning now…


  1. Oooooh. FREE massage. Can’t really beat that!

  2. Oh, once you get started, you won’t be happy to settle for just twice a year!

  3. Yay! Freebie! You know, when I was freshly divorced and single, it bummed me out that the only physical contact I was getting was to pay someone to touch me. My masseuse, people. Let me tell you, I am so over that.

  4. Bring yo video camera. Pileazzzzzzzzzzzzze. Just so I can see what relaxation is supposed to look like.

  5. Oh enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!!

  6. What a buzz kill that must have been! (I’m thinking that it would probably equate to “blue balls” for a man, no?)

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