In back of junk drawer, discover gift certificate for one hour massage from last year’s Mother’s Day.  Realize that it is almost this year’s Mother’s Day.  Call spa to make an appointment.

When asked if you prefer a man or woman therapist, think quickly.  Will it be awkward to have a strange man rubbing your body for an hour?  Yes.  Will it be awkward to have a strange woman rubbing your body for an hour? Yes. Wonder which would be more awkward – a heterosexual man or a gay woman. (Men: Do this in reverse.)  Remind yourself that was not the question.  Tell them it doesn’t matter.

Arrive at day spa on time.  Meet your massage therapist, often a crunchy but extremely approachable person named Sienna or Chad. Follow them back to therapy room.  Thank them but, no, you don’t have to use the bathroom before you get started.  After declining bathroom invitation, immediately feel like you have to pee.  Hold it.

Left alone in therapy room, begin to disrobe, folding clothes very neatly on bench.  Hide bra under shirt so it is not visible.  Ponder removal of underwear.  While you would be more comfortable leaving underwear on, convince yourself to remove it so that it doesn’t seem like you are a prude who doesn’t trust the massage therapist. Stash undies beneath bra and shirt, but still folded neatly.

Climb onto massage table and situate yourself.  Try to get comfortable putting face in the giant donut several times.  Wonder if you should leave your arms on top or under the sheets.  Wait for therapist.  Congratulate yourself of getting undressed in such a speedy manner.  Wonder if the therapist has ever walked in on someone still getting undressed.  Take comfort in knowing that will never happen to you.

Therapist knocks.  Feel stupid when you yell ,”COME IN!”  When therapist asks if there are any areas you want them to work on, say neck and lower back.  Feel boring and promise yourself next time you will tell them that you just want them to rub your feet for the entire hour.  Resist the urge to engage in conversation with therapist, answering questions in as few words as possible.

When therapist finds a knot in your shoulder blade, discover how persistent one person can be in making you feel better.  When the knot kneading begins to hurt, say nothing because that would reveal your true identity as a wimpy plebian who obviously doesn’t get massages very often.  Practice the breathing you learned in child birth classes until therapist gets the knot out.

As therapist adjusts the sheet to massage your leg, wonder how much of your butt is visible.  Try to determine this by the air flow.  Tell yourself if doesn’t matter.  This is like being at the doctor’s office.  Realize that you are now having your lower butt rubbed by a total stranger.  Try to enjoy lower butt massage.

Empty your mind.  For 7 seconds. Feel sorry for the massage therapist because you hate giving massages.  Speculate what type of person wants to do this for a living.  Wonder if their hands hurt like yours do when you give your spouse a massage for 5 minutes.  Imagine how awful it could be for the massage therapist if they got an ugly, smelly client with pimples on their back.  Feel good that you are a model client – with no pimples and no complaints, even when they hurt you.

Fall fast asleep.

Awake to the therapist quietly saying, “That’s all for today.  Take your time getting up.”  Realize you just completely missed the last 20 minutes of your massage.  Hope you didn’t have a jimmy leg or call out in your sleep.  Sit up slowly.  Wipe drool from chin.

Get dressed, putting clothes over your now greasy body.  Emerge from therapy room looking like you just spent the last hour having wild sex – eyes red, pony tail on the side of your head, completely parched.  Obey therapist and drink lots of water, all the while questioning whether toxins were really released during the last hour.  Go home to fighting kids and shit load of work, completely reversing the calming effect of the last hour.

Receive gift card for another massage on Mother’s Day.

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