One time my wife and I were on vacation and she talked me into getting a couples massage. I’d never done massages before, I’ve never seen the appeal. Yeah, I guess the actual massaging part maybe feels pretty good, but there’s so much baggage that comes along with it, the laying down on that mat, having someone else rub their hands all over your body.
But you know how it is when you go on vacation, there are all of these activities that you don’t really want to do, and eventually someone says to you something like, “Come on Rob, it’s vacation, you have to at least try it.” And so yeah, I found myself taking my clothes off behind a curtain for this couples massage.
And the couples massage is really couples in name only. We were in the same room, yeah, but it was divided by a partition. So I guess if I shouted my wife’s name, she would have been able to hear me, to say something like, “What? What is it? What’s wrong?” So kudos to them, whoever decided to first market the couples massage. “We can get the wives to bring the husbands along, and we’ll sell it as a couples package, making double the money!”
And then laying down on that table, I know that I’m pretty self-conscious in real life, but that’s nothing compared to the anxiety I felt lying naked under a sheet in front of a total stranger. “Just relax,” she told me, to which I replied, “I am relaxed.”
Then there were all of these oils and lotions which, yeah, they were fragrant. All I could think about was that after this was over, I was going to have to put my clothes back on, and would this stuff get into the fabric? Was I going to smell every time I put on this particular pair of pants like I’d just had a massage?
And then the actual massage started. For the next hour, I felt as if I was being tickled. I was really trying not to squirm, worried that any sudden movements would disturb the sheet delicately draped over my body. It was just weird.
When I told my wife about it later in the day, she told me, “Yeah, well you’re supposed to tell them to go a little harder if you felt like it was too soft.” And how was I supposed to know that? There wasn’t any sort of massage orientation. It was just, here, here’s a towel, take your clothes off and get under the sheet.
That’s it really, that’s the whole story. I always hear people talk about their massages and how it’s money very well spent. And yeah, I’m open to the possibility that my one massage experience maybe wasn’t representative of massages as a whole. Still, I was apprehensive going in, and everything that I feared came true: an hour of me lying there, vulnerable, thinking, when is this going to be over?