There is frankly nothing more annoying than a bad massage.
Okay, that’s a lie.
Having to fire your weekend Nanny and then spend Saturday and Sunday cleaning and doing laundry and parenting your own children. That is annoying.
And because Nanny #2’s departure has left me irritable, I decided to take Babysitter #1 and Nanny #1 up on their offer: go to dinner with H. On the Continent. Where he was working. That way I could take full advantage of the childcare that remains firmly in place, spend time with my husband, and still get back to do Nanny #2’s—ahem, I mean my—job.
Which is how I found myself last week being slapped around with a bamboo shoot.
I know. Even now I’m not quite sure how this story evolved. Well, that’s a lie. I told Fancy PA to book me a massage at the hotel. After all, H was going to be in meetings all day and without the Minis pulling on my luxury hotel robe it wouldn’t take me long to get through the more urgent of my emails.
Now, I’ve had great massages in my life. And I’ve had shitty ones. And I have had quite a few that fall somewhere in between. The best? That little Japanese woman looked tiny but man was she powerful. The time out on the beach in Mexico is memorable. And then there was the bizarre cage in Tahiti where the therapist hung from a bar and used her feet to dig into my back.
The bad ones, well, there’s no reason to make me relive those, is there? I mean lying on a bed, clenching my teeth, feeling my blood pressure rise in response to some well-meaning vegan’s desire to “sweep away the bad energy” rather than doing what I want her to, which is rub the fuck out my aching body. No, don’t make me go there.
But this one, well this was just bizarre. Neither good nor bad, but odd.
It started with the therapist insisting that I put on the paper underwear. Now I understand many women don’t feel comfortable lying naked on a massage table but I’m not one of them. So I tried to explain that I wouldn’t need them. But she was adamant. And as my legs were each thrown over a bamboo stick and twirled in big circles around the room, the reason for her insistence grew sparkling clear.
Then came the “massage” part of the process. This is when the therapist climbed on the bed and began using the dried trees to literally roll me out like a pie crust.
Tap, tap, short roll, short roll, loooonnnnnggggg roll, turn.
So here I am. Back at home. The weekend was both pleasant and painful. Lots of quality time with my kids. But no one to unpack my suitcase. No one to clean up the dinner dishes. No one to give me a lie in on Sunday mornings.
And only the memory of a woman beating me with a stick to sustain me.
Clearly the solution is another massage. Possibly in the South Pacific or East Asia.
Either that or hiring a new Nanny. One or the other. And soon.