With so much festive fun going on recently, I never got the chance to tell you about the best bits of our family holiday before Christmas.
Being a ‘family holiday’, it obviously wasn’t going to be a moment that involved the family. No, the real standout was a massage I treated myself to, in readiness for my plans for the new year, which, as I mentioned here a couple of posts ago, is going to be all about me.
Not that I’m hard to please when it comes to massage, having had a total of three massages in my entire life. As usual, I came late to the party of self-indulgence when it comes to beauty and had always viewed massages as a waste of money in my previous, naive life; rather like manicures and pedicures. Whenever my friends suggested a spa-weekend, I was always the one to diss the idea and say ‘yeah… not really.’
Because beauty treatments have always bored the pants off me. And then there’s that whole problem of having to make small talk with your therapist, when you have to actually pay to make up stories about your interesting life. But as I get older, I’ve decided to finally see what all the fuss is about, because it’s not like I don’t think I could use a little help with my appearance these days… if only I didn’t find it so hard to sit still for longer than ten minutes.
But an hour of total relaxation after a week of enduring Kurt’s mood swings brought on by forcing him to live in a strange house with his family but without all his home comforts, (as well as the craziness of Christmas that loomed ominously ahead), was too tempting to ignore. So with a body sore and ravaged by an excess of sun and sand, the idea of someone gently rubbing oil all over my body suddenly held a ton of appeal.
When my masseuse first told me she was Japanese, I now realise that I should have listened to my intuition when it tried to warn me that my massage might not be the relaxing experience I had envisaged. When she went on to admit that her English wasn’t very good, I was tempted to ask if we could agree on a safe word.
I find it super-awkies to get my body out for anyone these days, other than the old man if he pays for it, and the medical profession, which is why I could NEVER contemplate a bikini wax. It’s funny how we change, when for years after my pregnancies I’d seriously part my legs for just about anyone.
That’s one of my issues with massage – the invasion of body privacy part. Topless, with your face plugged into a hole in a table, it’s hard not to feel a bit vulnerable when, like me, you feel a bit coy about your wobbly bits; one wrong move and your masseuse could sue you for getting whipped in the face by a flying boob.
Nevertheless, I really tried to enjoy it. Even when she dug what must have been the full force of her elbow along the length of my calcium-poor spine and pinched callously at my ribs, I tried to remain positive. But as she kneaded the knots at the back of my neck, it was hard not to compare the experience to pulverising meat for a barbecue.
Finally, obviously satisfied that she had annihilated every tissue in my back, my masseuse asked me to roll over so she could work on my front. Whereupon I became ridiculously boob-shy, like some pubescent school girl in the sports changing room. She started by rubbing behind my ears, (not unpleasant) and worked rhythmically down every stubborn sinew in my neck to my chest as I lay there in panic, wondering when she was going to whip off the towel protecting the last remnants of my modesty and begin pummelling at my sad, old breasts in some desperate attempt to revive them to their former glory.
She obviously sensed my fear. ‘Too much pressure?’ she asked, as I smiled gratefully back at her.
I think I felt better afterwards, if the after-effects of a body-battering can be seen in a positive light; although I couldn’t move my head from side to side for days which made saying ‘no’ to the kids very difficult. However, I did avoid the peeling stage of sunburn on my back after the force of my masseuse’s magic palms removed the top layer of my skin.
The price of beauty.