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A Foot Spa and A Lost Soul

Every so often, by which I mean, a few times a year, I get all puffed and indignant by the loads of laundry I’m schlepping, and my kids and husband who are throwing balls around my head, and decide, “I can’t take it anymore! Enough is enough! Something must be done for me!”

That’s when I march myself in to get a massage, but of course, I don’t go to any fancy schmancy spa, I’m way too practical and not nearly important enough for that. I go to the local foot spa where for $28, I get to lay down on one of their couches and just close my eyes for an hour.

The foot spa is a dark, questionable hideaway in between a Domino’s Pizza and a small jewelry store, but by the time I’ve shuffled my broken body through the door, I am beyond caring. There are no deadlines or children tugging at my shirt. No legos to step on or video games going beep beep beep. You don’t need an appointment or to give your name. You don’t even undress. It’s just… quiet, while the hands of a faceless person rub you to snore-dom. In that room, everyone is invisible, including you. Bliss.

Today, I was desperately in need of a moment. My body ached. My brain ached. I went to the foot spa on the precipice of mental collapse or consuming an extremely large ice cream sundae which I would lovingly regret. I needed this.

I was silently led to my couch, and barely even noticed the fellow lost and exhausted souls lying nearby. I took off my shoes and my sweater, leaving me in sweats and a tank top and lay down. Ahhh.

His hands were upon me quickly, uh, a little too quickly, kneading my face and my hair. I tried to relax, but his fingers were moving so fast on my face I began to feel like he was molding me into a candy dish. And he was kind of pulling my hair. Ow, dude.

He moved down and started working on my shoulders and neck. I relaxed. This was why I was here. His hands were strong like an ox. I like a deep massage, but his rubbing was taking deep to new depths. I tensed. He was double knotting my knots. I peeked at him through my pretend relaxed closed eyes. Holy mother, he was Asian Hulk.

When he moved onto my body, things only got worse, if you can imagine that. He massaged down my legs with such aggression that I practically jumped from the bed. Hello? You don’t squeeze someone’s thigh!  When he rubbed down my back, I was sure he would break something. I didn’t think this place had great insurance.

Not even close.

Not even close.

I mentally talked myself up to verbalizing a complaint. I told myself again and again to just say, “A little softer, please.” Instead, I mutely mouthed, “help” while convincing myself that soon he would move on to another body part. There was no relaxing, only squinting and holding my breath till he stopped poking my pressure points through to the other side.

Then, it was over.

I survived.

I zipped up my sweat shirt and put on my shoes. My angry masseuse was waiting for me with a peaceful smile and a Dixie cup of water. I had hard time meeting his eye. Did he really not know? I tipped him for beating the crap out of me, embarrassed to be doing it, but more embarrassed not to, and left.

Why couldn’t I just open my mouth? Why did I lay there mute? I heard my thoughts in answer, “You can take it.”

That’s right, I can. But I don’t always have to. Why do I always have to? Next time, I resolved, I’ll say something. Better, I’ll treat myself to a real massage. Maybe. Hopefully. Ah, whatever.

In the comfortable safe haven of my car, after a day of crazy and an hour of torture, I opened my kindle and popped a butterscotch sucking candy. My shoulders dropped as I sucked its sweetness and lost myself in my book. Finally, finally I relaxed.

Have you ever stayed quiet when you should have spoken up for yourself? 

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

22 responses »

  1. Love the talking to yourself and silently mouthing “help”! Speak up for yourself! Lesson learned.

  2. ‘We’ just experienced that last night when out for dinner. My friend ordered a drink that by both our standards, was not good (like diesel). She waffled about saying something. I suggested that by speaking up, she was actually doing a public service- possibly saving someone else. Thankfully she did. She felt better and got it taken off the bill. It’s funny how hard it is though…

  3. Winnie Schindler

    you and million mindless women like your self subject our selves to self imposed tourture. in order to steal minutes of bliss away from reality. love it and love you

    On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:59 AM, Icescreammama

  4. We want to appear as tollerant as possible ,as good tempered as possible,just very pleasant people…
    Why , if “they” don’t deserve it?

  5. No needs, no wants, no waves – yep, I know it well. I’m getting better at speaking up for myself, but it’s never easy. And Asian Hulk would have scared me too! Let’s lean the other way and be divas for a change – just for fun!

  6. I’m getting better at this actually. Especially when it’s hard earned money involved. “Hey, I’m still paying for preschool, remember?” That’s what I tell myself. And, I’d like to pay for more preschool. That would be my real relaxation time anyway, right?

  7. Yes I have. It’s awful. I did it over and over and over with my father. I wrote a whole book about the consequences of shutting up. This post was great though! I’ve had hard massages before and there’s nothing worse when you expecting to be able to relax!

    • so true, but as a friend pointed out, the extra gentle massage is almost more annoying. having said that, it would be nice if i could tell someone i’m paying not to hurt me. 😉

  8. This is right on point for me. I just wrote about massage (scheduled for next week). I am totally freaked out by the idea, but found a place that uses a Spa Capsule! It just uses water jets so I don’t have to deal with a stranger touching me!

  9. I would have second guessed myself out of speaking up by convincing myself that this was how the massage was supposed to be; I had accidentally requested the deep tissue beating massage or something! My mother is the worst at speaking up. She rarely even returns anything because she doesn’t want to deal with confrontation!

    • i just think it’s really hard to tell people that they’re not doing a good job, even when you’re paying for it. but i knew right from the beginning that he was wayyyy to tough. i wish i borrowed some of his tough! 😉

  10. The Asian Hulk…hahaha…this is so funny and yes, I’ve been there. Just lying there saying to myself “Say something. Now. Okay…NOW.” Fortunately, I found a great massage therapist that I’ve been going to for awhile who knows where my problem spots are. I’m to the point where I can say “That’s the spot. Right there.” And that Serenity place I went to closed.

    • thanks for reading! and yeah, i got to get me a place that knows what they’re doing! i don’t know why i have such a hard to speaking up or why i’m so cheap with myself! apparently, i’d rather be beaten. haha.


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