It Is IMPOSSIBLE To Rub Me The Wrong Way

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I am currently blogging under the influence.

Of a TWO HOUR massage.

So there’s this company called Massage Envy, and if you sign up to become a member you get one massage every month at a really reduced rate. And if you get busy and/or forgetful like me, then the massages have a tendency to pile up, and THEN if you want– and who in their right mind wouldn’t?– you can book a two hour massage. Which turns me into jello. Seriously? I probably shouldn’t have driven myself home. Between the fact that the amount of oil on my skin easily surpasses the ‘greased pig’ level , and that I was in a semi-comatose state following two, count ‘em two hours of a really good massage– I dang near slid off the seat and under the steering wheel every time I turned a sharp corner and I was so relaxed I kinda wanted to stay there. Nobody gets their money’s worth out of a massage more than yours truly.

I respond so thoroughly to massage that I even had a therapist with me for the births of both of the girls. For Madi, the therapist just stopped by early on in my labor and worked on me for about an hour and went home, because as you may or may not know, Madi’s birth took approximately a year and a half. But for Charlotte’s birth, my trusted (and more than a little space-cadet-ish) masseuse Krystal-with-a-K showed up at the hospital and after massaging my hands, feet, head and shoulders I became so relaxed that HELLO, Charlotte’s about to be born now! So suddenly my crunchy-granola massage therapist unexpectedly had a front row seat to the whole thing. Russ, God bless him, made the (in retrospect, monumental) mistake of handing her the video camera. Yikes. Krystal-with-a-K had never witnessed a birth before so she was thoroughly entranced with the whole process… which the video clearly shows. And by “clearly shows” I mean “no one will ever see this tape, even Russ, heck, even ME and we were both there!”

I’m a massage purist. I’m not that interested in hot stones or aromatherapy, I just want to totally relax and maybe get rid of some of the lumpy giant hamsters that appear to have taken up permanent residence between my shoulder blades. I want to have my head massaged and my feet rubbed until I am half-asleep and making involuntary purring noises. Actually, I have also been known to cry during massages. Not often, but every once in a long while if I have been under a great deal of stress, when my knotted muscles are having the kinks worked out of them and I can feel the tension slowly ebbing from my body, I have kinda teared up. Not big heaving sobs or anything, just tears slipping out of my eyes and running down into my ears and then I have to ask for a kleenex to blow my nose and–BONUS– I completely freak out the massage therapist! They usually think they’ve somehow hurt me, so they start anxiously asking if the pressure was too hard and I have to explain that no, I’m not injured, I’m just stressed and apparently when I get DE-stressed, I turn into a big ol’ titty baby. And then I try to make a joke out of it, but by that time they are shaken and nervous and obviously concerned that I might snap completely and jump off the table and start running around the massage place buck nekkid yelling that I’m Napoleon or something. So it kinda puts a damper on the rest of the massage. The moral of that story is that now I try to get massages often enough that I’m not a big bag of nerves when I go in so I don’t risk crying, thereby keeping the massage therapist from having a breakdown of his or her own, and considering another line of work because people are just too weird.

It always boggles my mind that there are some people out there who say they honestly don’t enjoy massages. I once gave a massage gift certificate to a friend of mine and after a year she finally confessed to me that she had never used it because she ‘just didn’t like’ massages. How can a human being not like being rubbed down with nice-smelling oil until their tense and sore muscles completely relax? Come on. Especially head, hands and feet– what is better than that, people?! I wonder if it has more to do with their discomfort over being naked under a sheet with a stranger putting their hands on them than it does actually not enjoying the feeling of a massage. Luckily, I have the modesty of a jaybird, so hey, no problem here. I don’t even mind male massage therapists, in fact I almost prefer them especially for the two hour sessions because they are usually stronger than the female therapists. I got over my initial hesitation about male therapists during my pregnancies. My obstetrician was a man, and Lord knows going to see him presented way more opportunities for me to feel vulnerable and overexposed than seeing a male masseuse– at least during a massage nobody LIFTS UP THE SHEET! It also helps that the first male therapist that every worked on me kinda looked like a nerdy/hippie algebra teacher with Birkenstocks and a stringy ponytail.  And I happened to be about seven months pregnant at the time with swollen ankles and an attitude, so trust me, this scenario did not lend itself to lustful thoughts. For either one of us. Maybe if I ever ran into a Brad Pitt-look-alike massage therapist, I’d be a lot more self-conscious and uncomfortable. But I’m thinking that guys who look like Brad Pitt usually choose another career path.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes with certain males of the species, the word ‘massage’ is usually automatically (in their head at least) coupled with the word ‘parlor’?  Especially for men who have never actually HAD a real massage. There is always just a hint of something sexual about it to them, and when women start talking about getting a massage those kind of guys either get nervous and jokey or kind of leering and creepy. I have talked to several massage therapists about that over the years, and they have all said that those misconceptions drive them crazy, and that’s why they use very specific words to describe what they do, like ‘licensed,’ ‘therapeutic’ and ‘non-sexual.’ As opposed to, you know, words like ‘exotic’ and ‘sensual’ and ‘boom chicka bow wow.’ To me, it’s just another spa service like a facial or something but I do think that there are still some people that feel like there is something slightly scandalous about getting a massage, at least among my parent’s generation. And, as hard as it is for me to believe, apparently some people could honestly just take them or leave them. Like Russ, for example. He’s had many massages over the years especially when he has had an injury of some sort, and while he thinks they are useful and pleasant enough, he obviously doesn’t consider them The Best Thing Ever Invented. “I enjoy them,” he once said to me with a shrug. “But unlike you, it’s not a religious experience.”

So what about you guys– do you ever get massages? Do you ever even want to? If not, is there some kind of soothing, stress-reducing treatment that you do enjoy? I’m curious! (Also? Greasy. )

35 Responses

  1. Stribet Kat

    I am smiling and wanna be a puddle now.

    Massages sound delightful but since I can scarcely *endure* hugs I’ve steered clear. So do take an extra hour again for me…your posting ‘under the influence’ was entertaining and laughter being good medicine, I’m feeling much better ?

  2. rachelbaker

    I’ve never had one, but I’d like to try.

  3. bettyrwoodward

    I’ve only ever had a couple of massages but agree. Fabulous!

  4. jonny

    Yes to a massage, anytime! I’m apparently also good at giving, not just receiving. Actually, I got into giving massages when fourteen years old and living at a rehabilitation boarding school. One way to get cigarettes from others was by giving a massage. Those who gave the better massages got more smokes. Plus, I just liked being really good at it.

    As to some unfinished business regarding the last post, I’ve also found many wonderful buys on e-bay. The things I’m into are usually not easy to find at second hand places.

    OK, now something I’ve been debating whether or not to share for a few weeks now. One reason is I wasn’t sure myself it was something I should go for, attempt, but now I am. Along with this blog, there is one messageboard forum I’m actively involved with. More guys there. It’s also connected me with others involved with an on-line, 24-7 old time radio show. Well, many of those I’ve come to know through all of this will be at a convention end of September at Hunt Valley, Maryland. I’ve never done anyting like this before, or arranged going to, or attended in any way, a convention. Nor have I ever been to the east coast. Aside from all that it would require quite a bit of money I don’t have presently to make the trip work. BUT, just as I have been blessed by many here, and others seem to be blessed by Christ having me be a part of all this, others from this messageboard forum and this old time radio program have appreciated my involvement, participation, and would really appreciate actually meeting me. This convention would have pretty much everyone there at one place at the same time. Plus, I’ve not had a vacation in over two years. Basically because I have not been able to afford one, but also because of the incredible work Christ has had me involved with over here as He keeps opening one amazing new door after another. Well, after much deliberation, I’m going to see about raising the funds to do the trip. Sorry this took awhile to explain. Anyway, I would appreciate some prayer coverage on this one, if some of you wouldn’t mind covering my back this way.



  5. KellyBurton

    I cannot imagine what I would feel like after 2 hours. I’ve always done the 50 minutes. Go you, with your greasy self.

    Hm. Think I will book one straightaway…

  6. LindaB

    Oh man!!! I didn’t get that picture of my thrift store finds yet, and we’re on to another subject! I’m so behind.

    In fact, that’s practically my life’s story—-I’m never ready and prepared, which is why I haven’t ever had a body massage! I would LOVE a massage to work out the knots in my muscles—especially in the neck and shoulder area. But, I have this fear that when the massage therapist sees me under the “sheet”, they will burst out laughing. In fact, I’m pretty sure about it. And how embarrassing that would be! So, I’m waiting until I “finish” my latest diet! But we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

    But I have made progress in that “massage” area——I had a foot massage by a reflexologist at a spa! And the therapist was a man. And it was SO AWESOME, I was contemplating marrying him and running away to the South Pacific! But he must have sensed that from touching my feet and he talked about his wife the whole time! But it was all good. It was a 45 minute massage, and my feet felt absolutely fantastic afterward! I’ve had several foot massages after that first one, and including a couple with female massage therapists, and I think I like the man best. His strong hands made a difference and I liked it that he talked the whole time! It made me more comfortable. The ladies liked to create a relaxing atmosphere with soft “zen” music, semi-dark room, warm towels rolled up under your neck, and SILENCE……the whole time!! I prefer nonstop chatter. I was perfectly comfortable, but then again, my feet aren’t FAT!! And no one laughed.

    Jonny, I will pray for you about your trip! I hope you get to go!

  7. jonny

    Thanks LB!

    “And it was SO AWESOME, I was contemplating marrying him and running away to the South Pacific! But he must have sensed that from touching my feet and he talked about his wife the whole time!”

    After experiencing your wonderful feet for the first time, he was probably contemplating the very same thing!! Which, of course, is why he more than likely had to constantly remind himself the entire time that he indeed WAS already married!! = )

  8. LindaB

    Yeah! That was it!! ROFLOL OVER AND OVER AND OVER!!!!

    How perceptive of you, Jonny!


    1 – Tori – again, how are you twittering, blogging AND driving 2 teenage girls, 3 little dogs for 7 hours?
    2 – jonny – Tanya Skyes is another celeb. gospel singer – (ya know already, right?) i don’t have web on my phone – have to wait until i get to library. OH WOW! I AM EXCITED ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO THE EAST COAST! THAT IS GREAT!!!!!! Maryland has good crab cakes. Will of course be praying…..of course – I truly think that NC is the bestest place in the US! We have all the good stuff, and none of the bad stuff. Mountains, beaches, great climates, city and rural.
    3 – Grits – its a date – should actually be going that way to visit mom in Winston-Salem soon, hopefully.

    NOW, ON TO MASSAGES – I have never had one, tho am dying to. I love getting pedis due to the foot/calves/toes massage, i don’t even want to walk afterwards. My dad used to get monthly massages during his fight w/ AIDS. He loved them, too.

  10. jonny

    Yep, shortly after my initial post on the last thread I remembered Tanya’s pics and that I googled her at the time. Thanks, though, D! = )


  11. delightedabroad

    Tori, you described your situation so well I almost slipped down under my desk – due to laughter !
    Yes, I already had a few massages of my neck/shoulder area and it was worth every single minute: around here this means 30 minutes for a therapeutic massage. My hubby, friends and/or class mates told me I’m talented in giving a massage. In fact I enjoy this sometimes more than receiving one. Especially if it comes to foot massage… I just can’t bear it.

  12. chillybean

    oohhh…I love a good massage. However, I have found Massage Envy to be the “Great Clips of massage places” (I almost said massage parlours! What should I have said?) It was okay, but I am never going back. It wasn’t nearly as relaxing and comforting as going to a nicer place with a higher quality masseuse. You get what you pay for, I guess.

  13. rockin robyn

    Oh Tori I wish I could be like you…. I soooooo need a massage, I know I do, but I just can’t. I’m just too reserved of a person. I just can’t.

    Living as close as I do to Hershey, alot of the business women around here go to the famous Hotel Hershey for their Facial and Spa Services. Tori, you were “oiled” down — this place advertises that chocolate is good for the skin!! But I’ve never been there. I just can’t!!

    I can only imagine how “good” it makes you feel during and after a massage though…. I am remembering (God bless her) my grandma and her shoulder rubs/massages. Man, she had great hands!!! She’d just walk into the room and if you were lucky enough to be seated infront of her, she’d just slide up to you and while she was talking to whom ever was in the room her hands were going to work on your back and shoulders. My niece, my niece is my grandma reincarnate, for sure. A couple months ago I did something to my neck, I don’t know what – but I was quite uncomfortable… couldn’t move my head without pain, for a few days – but bless her heart, my niece asked if she could massage my neck, “maybe it will help”… Not sure if she is responsible for working out the kink in my neck but while she was massaging it, my eyes were closed and I truly invisioned my grandma’s hands. Her little hands felt like my grandma’s hands.

    I manage a mail & duplication center and putting conference hand-outs together and handling mail, boy sometimes the tention across my back and shoulders is unbelievable. I have visions of a masseuse standing behind me but “he” never materializes.

    But to actually go to one of these places and strip down to nothing but a sheet – na “I just can’t”!!

  14. MostlySunny

    No massages for me. I have a thing about people touching my feet, but also, I’m not really crazy about someone else making me moan while I’m undressed and under a sheet…

  15. LindaB

    ROFLMBO OVER AND OVER!!!!! You’re cracking me up, Sunny!!!!


    jonny – GG? ya lost me!

  17. jonny

    Man I must have been out of it! The GG has to do with a name I use many other places on the net! My bad!



    yeah, yeah, yeah……………….whatever!!! But, the gig is up now, and ya gotta give on what it means! You sure tried to side-step it! My mind is going places!

  19. jonny

    It’s simply the initials of a fictious name I use for those other places I’m active with on the net.

  20. delightedabroad

    In terms of recreation I can contribute to ‘abdominal relaxation’…:

    An 80 year old couple were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them.
    When they arrived at the doctor’s they explained to the doctor all about the problems they were having with their memory. After checking the couple out the doctor told them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and making notes to help them remember things.
    The coupple thanked the doctor and left. Later that night while watching TV the man got up from his chair and his wife asked, “Where are you going?” He replied, “To the kitchen”. She asked,”Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” He replied,”Sure.” She then asked him,”Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” He said,”No, I can remember that.”
    She then said,”Well, I would also like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down because I know you’ll forget that.” He said,” I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.” She replied,”Well, I also would like whipped cream on top.I know you will forget that so you better write it down.”
    With irritation in his voice he said,”I don’t need to write that down! I can remember that.” He then fumes into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes he returned from the kitchen and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stared at the plate for a moment and said angrily,”I TOLD you to write it down! You forgot my toast!”

  21. jonny

    how did they remember which time their doctor’s appointment was, or which doctor to go to??


  22. pastoredsmith

    Great article. I have not had a massage, but it sounds like I need one. As stiff as my neck and shoulders get at times, it sounds wonderful. I think I’ll try it out.

    BTW. I am new to your blog. I find it intriguing, and even though we may differ in opinions, we are similar in the only one that matters. Faith in Christ, trust in His care and guidance, and basking in His Grace.
    Thanks for being you.

  23. delightedabroad

    From newbie to newbie: I’m glad you found your way to this blog, feel welcome.

  24. jonny

    Yes, welcome aboard Mr. Smith!! = ) And thanks for putting up with our differences! Oops. Sorry! That probably should’ve been Tori’s line = /

  25. themema

    love the cats! …and a massage right now sounds very enticing!
    Welcome to several new posters.

  26. belinda

    Never had a massage. My sister-in-law keeps telling me I need to get one and would always go back. Maybe someday?

    Betty (themema) welcome back! We sure have been praying for you!

  27. rachelbaker

    Hello themema! We’ve missed you. Seeing you post on here has put a big smile on my face. Still praying for you x

  28. LindaB

    Wow! Betty, you’re back! Listen, Girl, you deserve a three month massage!

    It’s great seeing you posting comments again! We’re all praying for your complete recovery!! So……..hurry up and recover! LOL Love you and have missed you greatly!

  29. jonny

    Yes, themema, aka Betty, wonderful to see your face in the little avatar box again!! = ) Happy, happy, joy, joy!!! = )

  30. bettyrwoodward

    So lovely to have you back ‘themema’ Betty. Still praying for you.

  31. jonny

    On a sad note for us Americans, we lost ol’ Fess Parker a short while ago. Apparently he had a sincere love God and his country, and was a true gentleman.





  33. jonny

    “Apparently he had a sincere love for God and his country, and was a true gentleman.”

  34. delightedabroad

    Uuuhhh, may I just squeeze in a little prayer request?
    The date for my oral exam is set: on Wednesday afternoon; it includes 2 translations (both directions) and questions on civilisation/economics.

  35. GRITSinNC

    Never had a mSssage and don’t guess I ever will. I’m close to the same generation as your parents when massages had a bad connotation. (Do we have spell check yet?) But mainly now because I wouldn’t want anyone to see or touch the ragged old body. Could sure use a shoulder massage though…wouldn’t have to undress for that. :o) Isn’t it strange that we all have tension in our shoulders & neck.

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