Seems like I’ve been writing a lot of letters lately; oh well, some things have got to be said or change will never occur.
To preface, I have back problems. My muscles think it’s cool to tense up to the point of nausea, throbbing, and pretty much causing me to be laid out on the ground, useless and in tears, et cetera; hence, I try to get massages as often as I can afford them. That being said, I have yet to find the perfect Massage Therapist that can get those knots out but also knows how to shut the fuck up for 60 minutes so I can goddamn relax. At this point, I’m writing a letter to not just one masseuse in particular but to several that I have already seen/will never see again, and hopefully to any that I will see in the future. This way they can prevent losing another client and in turn I can get a decent rub down. I’m not even looking for a perfect masseuse anymore; I’m just looking for one that doesn’t do any of this ass-backwards, nonsensical shit listed below. All of the items listed are ACTUAL things that have been said or done by my past several massage therapists, and I’m running out of places to go.
Dear Massage Therapist,
Hey there, you massagin’ machine, you. You’ve got some nice, strong hands and I bet they’re ready to massage these knots out of my body in exchange for an agreed upon cash amount plus tip, aren’t they? Yes they are! Now, before we get started, I have some ground rules that I probably shouldn’t have to say, but I will. Why? Because 4 out of 5 of my most recent massage therapists (you know who you are) thought this shit was normal, and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes they did.
I have two rules, and they are very simple:
1. Don’t talk to me. I’m not here to chit chat; I’m here to relax. Just turn on the plinky music, light the candles, and get rid of my knots. Nobody cares about whatever you were thinking about talking about; you’re not a damn hair dresser.
2. If you must talk, the only thing I want to hear you say is “How’s the pressure?”, “Is it too hot/cold in here?” or other questions related to my muscles, their well being and the overall relaxation of my massage experience. Anything else will fall into the “Danger Zone” where your ass gets shit-canned and I not only never return for another massage with you (and possibly your entire establishment, depending on how awkward you make it), but also don’t recommend you to anyone. Ever.
If for some reason you are incapable of following these two simple rules and insist on making conversation, then you may need to find a different line of work. However, if you are very good at giving massages and are just a nice person who genuinely wants to get to know your clients, I MIGHT let you slide…but please, please, PLEASE refrain from discussing ANY of the following topics (NO EXCEPTIONS):
1. Your current financial state/lack of income/inability to pay your rent and/or bills. — Listen, we’ve all been there, but what the hell do you expect me to do about it?! Pay your goddamn rent? Get outta here.
2. Childbirth, its fluids and your recommendations about it. — If I hear the words “placenta” and “umbilical cord” or recommendations for natural water birth, and I’m not in labor or in a pregnancy class preparing for labor…we’ve got fuckin’ problems.
3. My level of attractiveness (this is for you, gentlemen). — You’ve just made me very aware that I’m naked and I am now incredibly uncomfortable.
4. Your jacked physique, how often you go to the gym, how much you can lift and what amenities your gym offers. — Nobody cares.
5. Tragedy/Death/Serious Illnesses that you and/or someone you know are currently going through. – I am sorry for your loss, but please don’t go into the details; I am not a therapist.
6. Lord Jesus/God…your Holy Savior. — You don’t know me or what my religious preferences are; I happen to be an atheist. Going on a preachy tangent about how you don’t understand people without God in their lives is not only presumptuous but borderline idiotic; not everyone believes the same thing as you and assuming they do just shows what an oblivious bubble you are in. Don’t be a dumbass; not everyone will be as understanding of your biblical rant.
7. Death again. — Don’t ask about loved ones I have lost and the details of their deaths. Use. Your. Brain. The LAST thing I want to do is spend my massage explaining how one of my friends or family members died.
8. My tattoos and how I should get them removed. — What the hell do you think this is? Criticize-other-people’s-decisions-Hour? How’s about you fuck off and get back to rubbing those knots out.
Jeez, that was exhausting and not at ALL relaxing to relive, let alone relaxing in the moment. The problem is, bringing it up in the session is nearly impossible; what kind of heartless asshole is going to cut you off during your story about your recent tragedies and tell you to shut up and focus on the trapezius? Do you not realize that after I say that I’m completely naked and stuck with you for the next hour under your complete control? It is an unfair position to put someone in, not to mention wildly inappropriate. You should know better. Stop it.
In closing, if you have done any of the things above on the list of massage therapy no-no’s, now’s the time to get your head out of your ass and turn over a new leaf. If you haven’t, pat yourself on the back and give me your number; I need a massage from someone who isn’t a jackass.