Ignoring Your Inner Voice


My blog turned two yesterday. My very first post was about getting a massage. I went back to the same massage place yesterday, on my blog’s birthday, and got a massage.

I didn’t realize that I missed Rubber Shoe’s birthday until this morning. I thought, given my very first post was about a massage, it would be appropriate to write about my massage from yesterday.

I didn’t worry at all about my boobs this time around. I worried more when I arrived that they would ask me who I booked the appointment with. The names ‘Stephanie’ and ‘Jennifer’ are the same name in my head. Same with ‘Karen’ and ‘Janet’. I have some dyslexia issues, but mostly they revolve around direction. Right and left are foreign concepts to me. Unless we’re talking politics, which we are not because fucking hell, who needs that headache? 

Front and back also get mixed up in my head. This confusion has resulted in more than one kitchen fire. If the back burner is on, and you think the front burner is on and then you lay an oven mitt on the back burner, then hilarity will ensue.

Even though my dyslexia is directional, I still choose to blame dyslexia for my inability to distinguish between Jennifer and Stephanie. I was reasonably sure my session was with a Jennifer.

Turns out, I didn’t have to identify my therapist. Which I kind of knew would be the case, but I was about to have a stranger put their hands all over me and I needed something to fret over.

Here’s how not listening to my inner voice made my massage experience far less enjoyable.

I have been way sweatier than normal for a few months now. I very often feel like I have fire ants burrowed under my scalp and that my face is going to melt like that one Nazi’s face did at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. 

When I booked my massage, I looked over the choices. I lingered over the aroma therapy choice and then booked a ‘hot stone’ massage.

I knew the aroma therapy was a better choice. I loathe being too warm and ‘hot stone’ should have read ‘fuck no’ to me. If I’m going to be dyslexic and get shit mixed up, then why can’t it at least be useful?

I think the massage would have been a lot better if I didn’t have it on a table that came from the 7th level of hell.

The table was heated. I think the temperature was set between Norman Reedus and Barbeque. I had hot rocks resting on my spine. The therapist had rocks in her hands. Every inch of me was bathed in heat.

I thought I was going to die.

I went inside my head to find my happy place. Oddly enough, my happy place had cobwebby walls, a bean bag chair and a Tiger Beat magazine. I took even breaths and convinced myself that the heat had healing powers and I would feel like a higher being when she finished.

Not only was I on Satan’s table, I decided to upgrade from a 60 minute massage to a 90 minute massage. I had an extra 30 minutes to feel sweat run into my butt crack.

I also dehydrated rather quickly. Only thirty minutes in and my throat clicked when I swallowed. My head was on fire. I was parched and my left knee had a fierce itch.

I guess it could have been worse. I could have had severe intestinal distress as well.

The rubbing part of the massage was great, I mean, the rubbing part was great after the rocks cooled down a little.

I did feel better when she finished, she worked out some aggressive kinks. Getting my shoulder knots pounded out didn’t compare to how good it felt to throw those blankets off when the therapist left the room.

I feel like I need a do over on this massage. I should have listened to my inner voice. I knew the hot stones would make me miserable, so why would I choose hot rocks? Why didn’t I speak up and tell her to turn the heat on the bed down? Why?

I don’t know. Anxiety dries my throat up just as much as being cooked between a heated bed and hot rocks.

I had to struggle for a few minutes before pushing myself off the lava bed. Apparently, pounding out the shoulder knots affected my ability to operate my own legs.

My hair had to look like crazy homeless lady hair and there was no mirror to check it. Then I knocked my clothes off the chair on to the floor. When I gathered my clothes up, I noticed the smell. Holy shit, you guys.

What the fuck is that smell? Holy shit. Is that me? I’ve never smelled anything like that before. Well, maybe in a bus station. Or at the zoo. 

I feel good today. Some of the shoulder knots have settled back into place, but I do feel a little better today.

Happy birthday to my blog. They grow up so fast. This is such a cute stage, though. I am sure, before long, my blog will be talking back and rolling her eyes at me.

Oh, and my therapist’s name was Melissa.

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  • I have never had a massage that I actually enjoyed so I gave up after three. I do enjoy saunas so it is possible I would have told StephanieJenniferMelissa to leave the heat and go away. Let me read my Tiger Beat magazine in peace.

    Your blog is great and getting more beautiful every day. Happy belated birthday!

  • Happy Birthday, rubber shoes….and don’t be given your mom any two year old tantrums anytime soon. She just had a HOT massage, and needs to cool down.

    Love your directional flaw….me too. I tell my husband the only reason I stay married is cause it helps me with right and left – left hand = wedding ring! tada!

  • Happy Blog Birthday! I’ve been following for six months now, and it’s been a great ride! I can always count on finding a good laugh, a good rant, or some good advice (such as avoiding hot stone massages) here. All the best, and on to the next two years! Karen 🙂

  • I know a woman who went to massage school because she didn’t like touching people and thought she would get over it. She didn’t. I used to catch the bus across the street from that massage school (the Holistic Institute in Emeryville) and one of the students used to bum cigarets off of me. She said she wouldn’t have thought massage would be stressful, but somehow she found it that way. Happy blogiversary, Michelle.

  • That terrible moment when you realize you can smell yourself…

    I’ve never had a professional massage and I likely never will. I barely like talking to strangers, I certainly don’t want their hands on me. While I’m prone and more or less naked. I feel like that would just completely counteract the point of getting a massage.

    Though you know, wintertime? The hot stones themselves sound nice, to me. But I’m more frequently too cold than too warm.

  • Wow 2 years already, time is flying by at an alarming rate!
    I love massages, not that I have one more than once a decade if I’m lucky. I’m not at all sure about the heat based ones and I think you’ve now totally convinced me to give that a miss if I ever get to have another massage at some point, unless it’s in a draughty salon.
    Aromatherapy for me I think.

  • This is hysterical! And congratulations! Yeah, I had the hot stone massage once too. It IS too much with the heated table and the fire ants under the scalp (love that). One time, and I know you’re dying to hear this, I was at a place that touted a “Rain Forest Experience” and I asked “Mandy” the receptionist — you know, between us girls — if it was worth the $150 or whatever and she said “It’s a fucking cold shower.” So that was a money-saver. You have to know what to order at these places. Anything with food names or weird “scrubs” are suspect. “Hot Madagascar Gravel Scrub With Bee Sting Guava Pear Extract,” $200 The fuck?

  • Thank you for making me look like a weirdo cracking up in my car by myself. Bahahaha ha!!! I love the hot stone massage with the bed on high, but I am always cold and so the therapist doesn’t worry about my blue toes falling off, I make sure the bed is all the way up. I think my therapist’s name was Melissa too. Was it a good massage? Thanks for making my day and I hope you are less smelly and relaxed now that it’s over.

  • Ohmigod. I thought the smell was just me. I’m living in cheap cotton t-shirts these days because I have to throw them out after two months because they stink. And I had a similar experience with a hot stone massage. I’ve been getting body work for over twenty years and I went to massage therapy school (mid-life crisis career change — fun, but not ultimately something I wanted to do for a job), so I don’t have any anxiety about it, but I don’t know what possessed me to think that a hot stone massage in Arizona in August was a good idea. Gah. I can still get sweaty (and not in a good way) thinking about it.

    • Oh god..I can imagine…

      Funny, that’s what I always fantasize about doing for a job instead of programming computers. There is something attractive about making people feel good…errr…in a ‘not prostitute’ kind of way.

  • Hahaha! Yep, hot stone massage, uncheck! You should really go to a therapeutic massage therapist. First, they’re cheaper than a spa, and second, they really work the kinks out. Yeah, it still smells good in there, the lights are low, and the music makes you feel like you’re in an elevator, but they aren’t into “rain forest experiences.” Just tell them ahead of time when you book that you don’t want the table heated. They live to serve. Funny, but I was just thinking last evening that I should book a massage. My right shoulder is killing me.

    For the extreme body odor, try using Safeguard or Lever 2000 soap. It’s bacteria that’s causing the odor, and those are the two that my surgeon recommended to kill bacteria (well, at least tamp down) before my surgery.

    Happy Anniversary!

  • I love how massages make me feel physically afterwards. But I can’t get my stupid head to shut up long enough for me to relax during the massage. Heat though…hot stone massage sounds right up my alley, if I have enough Xanax on board.

  • My first massage (in America, which is totally different) was about a year ago and I totally wrecked it with my inner voice. The entire time I was thinking “you’re supposed to be relaxed, are you relaxed? Are you enjoying this? This will fix you. You only have a certain number of minutes left so start relaxing now.”

    I do much better now. But practice makes perfect. So I need more massages.

  • Happy Birthday dear blog!
    Maybe next time plump for a big glass of wine, a bit of cake and a cool breeze to celebrate? I once booked my husband a Thai massage – the screams could be heard for miles and he came out looking like one of those cartoon characters who has just experienced a close encounter with a stick of dynamite. He has never complained of feeling tense since…

  • Congratulations to your blog on turning two! It’s so mature for its age.

    The one time I had a massage the woman who did it told me beforehand that she wouldn’t hesitate to tell me to get the fuck out if I asked for anything “special”. The idea of the “happy ending” kind of massage never even crossed my mind until she brought it up. I laughed, which I think assured her that all I had in mind was getting some sore muscles worked out. I think she appreciated that, and I appreciated her professional use of the word “fuck”.

    And a hot stone massage sounds miserable even to me, and I’m uncomfortably cold most of the time!

    • I have to imagine people in that profession get all kinds of disturbing requests. I would appreciate the word usage as well.

      Yep..it was miserable, all right. 🙂

      And thank you!!

  • Happy blogaversary Michelle! I got the hot stone massage once and omg – HOT. But good. Luckily, my massage therapist stashed a tissue doused in lavender and mint under the table. She must have anticipated the imminent middle-aged “scent”. 😉

  • Happy belated birthday to an amazingly wonderful blog (and blogger)! So refreshingly honest, funny and extremely relatable.

    You know, as soon as you began talking about the massage choices and you mentioned the aromatherapy, I thought, “Oh, that’s perfect! So soothing!” and then you chose the hot stone massage, my eyes got big and my inner alarm went off. “What?!! Not a wise choice for someone prone to hot flashes!!” We all do it though and then regret it. I’m afraid my anxiety would have forced me off that table—I would be panicking if I was that hot and felt “trapped”. But, I do love massages. Just a scalp and neck massage, done the right way by skilled hands, can put me to sleep!

    And don’t feel bad about the names. My husband has been doing that sort of thing for YEARS! We used to have two neighbors on our street, Fred and Roger. My husband used to ALWAYS call them Mark and George. I do not know why. Haha! I told him that he at least got the letters right in the second one, just not in the right order. 😀

    Thank you for sharing all the wackiness of your life, which tends to mirror our own wacky menopausal lives. And—-a friendly heads up—-stay away from Bikram Yoga! HA!!!

  • Holy hell! I would have died I have the sweat thing going on too which instead of the “sweat thing” we ought to call it by it’s real name fucking menopause nonsense. I have bought cool gel pillows to sleep on just to cool my head off. Sam’s $29.95 best thing I ever bought. Now I just need a body gel pack but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think I could have gotten past the people are touching me freak out I would bound to have!

  • So if you call me Janet I shouldn’t be offended?
    I have directional dyslexia too (like my daughter, so I’m sure that means something). Driving is…interesting. “Turn right! No, the other right!”

  • Wait wait wait, heated table? NONONONONO. Are they crazy? I have never had a hot stone massage where the table was heated, and I hope I never do. Now I’m going to be paranoid about that forever. Hot stones good, hot all over bad.

  • Happy Blog Birthday! I, too, often resist complaining about things that bother me while getting a massage. I don’t know why either. Maybe it’s because we’re naked and that makes us feel vulnerable. As I get older, though, I find that I speak up more than I used to. You should try that. Stop being such a shrinking violet, Michelle! 😉

  • I had a hot flash just reading this… lol! I did the hot rocks once, but mine was more like, “Hi, I’m Jennifer/Stephanie. I’m just going to put these super-hot round things on your back and leave you here with the door closed. Just enjoy that for awhile”, then I swear she went to lunch, or to pick up her kids from school, or got fired, because HELLO I’m still IN here. And you can’t move because they’ll fall off and someone will come in to see what all the racket is about…

    I did have a student masseuse once (note to everyone: NEVER DO THIS). She decided that I had a “knot” that she needed to spend the whole 60 minutes pressing down on with her entire weight. It hurt, but I didn’t have the heart (?) to tell her to stop. The next day my back muscles spasmed so hard that I swear I almost broke in half BACKWARDS. Took 3 chiropractic visits to recover from my $15 massage…

    I’m thinking about braving a regular (non-student) massage (because it will be MY birthday soon), and because it’s been way too long since I’ve laid on a too-warm table nearly naked (wait, do I leave the underwear ON or OFF?? I’m always wrong, either way) trying to make/not make small talk with a complete stranger who I’m sure is judging the back of my hair (is that a BALD SPOT?) or my BMI based on the fat on my back or something…

    Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY blog. It IS such a cute age, isn’t it? 😉

    • I leave my underwear on because I’m a prude. Hahah..and the one good thing I can say about Stephanie/Jennifer/Melissa is that she made NO small talk. I appreciate that.

      It’s a good thing you go by Stef..but it’s always possible I will spell Steph instead. Life is hard.

  • Right? No one ever spells my name right, not even my mother in law, AFTER 28 YEARS.

    And, you can’t believe how often I get called the wrong thing– usually Bethany, Tiffany, Jennifer, or Stacy. (Stacy?)

    I wish massage places had a RULE that there shall be NO TALKING. I always feel like I’m being a snob if I don’t make small talk, but then I wonder if she’s thinking “WHY won’t you just be quiet”. Feels wrong either way… also possibly why I don’t go often. 🙂

      • Nice. You could always use that later, though. Like, when they’re all WHY DIDN’T YOU DO XYZ PROJECT? You can say, “Oh, that was MarCELLA’s job.”

        I mess with solicitor/people all the time. “Hi. Is..uh…Bethany there?”

        Me: “Sorry. There’s no Bethany here.” *long pause* “Thanks for calling though. Bye!”

        I also get “Beth” a lot. Maybe I need to work on my dict-tion. 😉

  • The last time I got a massage that felt GOOD, it was 2001 and I was in the Dominican Republic on an escape from the Crazy Greek Ex-Boyfriend. Even with a nice sunburn, that massage was so awesome that I begged the nice therapist to go out with me for lunch. I even considered buying her flowers; and I don’t even speak broken lesbianic!

    My last massage a few years ago was for some problems in my neck and shoulder. This was a true, therapeutic massage and she warned me that it would be tough. She ground out those kinks, though! It wasn’t until the day after that I felt significantly better but she was expensive so I haven’t had one since.

    I like everything 20° hotter so the stones sound nice. 🙂

  • Happy Birthday! I am not going to be angry that I missed several months of your writing, I am just going to enjoy from now on. (Okay, I am a little pissed!) So now go back and get a relaxing massage, go for maybe the facial that they work the shoulders and hands and tell them to turn off the heat on the table. When you reach my age I can absorb all the heat one can get.. Cheers to you!

  • Oh my god that was so funny. I would have never chosen that hot stones because I too can’t stand the heat. It could be winter all year long as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for the early morning chuckle. I hope your next massage experience is more relaxing. Happy Birthday to your bloggity!

  • I can totally relate to not speaking up at a massage. The therapist always says something like, “Let me know if the pressure is too hard or soft,” and I’ll be all, “Don’t worry – I’ll holler!” in this confident voice…like I really mean what I’m saying. Then, they’ll start to work and I’m DYING because the pressure is painful – but I’ll convince myself that they are working the kinks out and it will be done in a moment – and then five minutes later, when it’s still going on, I’m embarrassed to say anything – because I should have said something five minutes ago! What would they think if I finally NOW said something? Then they would feel bad because they’ve been torturing me for the past five minutes and they didn’t know. So instead, I’ll just keep quiet and try not to scream for the next 5-10 minutes while they are working on that knot.

  • I’m laughing my ass off at the description of a heated rock massage. I’ve never had one, but at my age and point in life, heat.is.not.my.friend! Then the intestinal distress comment, potty humor, loved it.

    Two years, you’ve come a long way babe.

By Michelle


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