There’s the Rub

 

I have a love/hate relationship with massage. On the one hand, I enjoy giving them and I’ve been told I’m very good at it. On the other hand, I’ve yet to receive one that left me feeling better, not worse.

 

 

My physical therapist is astounded by how tight and stiff my neck, shoulders and back are. And knead, push and pull as she might, I don’t seem to loosen up. So, I’m thinking that perhaps it’s time to give massage another shot.

The last experience I had with massage was over a decade ago and I don’t remember much except that during and after, I felt like a baseball bat hit me all over my body. From my experience as a massage giver, I know that’s not the way to get repeat business (or a another date, for that matter).

You may be wondering (or at least I hope you are), just how I learned to give massages. Well, I have to take you back to the not-so-golden days of high school. At St. Rose Academy, Christmas break really didn’t mean a complete break. The week before school was to resume, we were given a choice of activities from which to choose for our intellectual or cultural enrichment. These included:

Travel: Enjoy a week in Lake Tahoe or Mazatlan with a teacher as chaperone. I don’t know what exactly skiing in Tahoe was supposed to teach but the case could be made for brushing up on your Spanish in Mexico. I’m sure there were many girls who asked, “¿Donde esta Ramon? El es muy guapo.” This option was chosen by: Rich girls generally, and slutty, rich girls, specifically.

Volunteering: Work at a soup kitchen, help at the local recycling center or other such worthy endeavors. This option was chosen by: Really religious girls or girls looking to pad those college applications with heart string-pulling extra-curricular activities.

Classes: Show up at school and learn something that isn’t part of the standard curriculum during the year. I distinctly remember learning dance steps to The Manhattan Transfer’s Boy From New York City in one such class. To this day, I dislike that song. Another class offering was shiatsu massage. This option was chosen by: You guessed it. Me.

It was a couple years later while in college that I picked up that old massage book and starting practicing on my friends. I don’t recall how it came up in conversation but when my friends found out that I learned shiatsu massage, they begged me to give them all one. (Oh, how I wished some cute girl would have wanted a massage. But, alas, I was still trying to convince myself that I was straight. Unsuccessfully, I might add.)

Back then, a typical Saturday night for me and the dateless bunch I hung out with consisted of drinking wine, talking about ideas (philosophy, politics, etc.), and listening to music. Most often our music of choice was mellow and along the lines of Sade or Bryan Ferry. Ferry’s Boys and Girls album provided the primary musical background to those evenings. (Too bad it wasn’t the background to other kinds of evenings with people who weren’t my friends, if you catch my drift.)

I do miss those days. I was young and in college and my life was ahead of me, full of possibilities. I enjoyed deep conversations and even deeper laughs. Fast forward 26 years and the only place I seem to experience either chat or chuckles is via social media. While Twitter and Facebook can do many things, you can’t give or get a massage and discuss past lives while this plays in the background:

Too bad.

Even Barbie Has a Tattoo

I don’t like tattoos. I find them unattractive and I’ve never seen the appeal. Now, if you or someone you love have tattoos, that’s your business. There are reasons why I will never get one and I’ll get to those shortly. A couple things happened the other day that brought the topic of tattoos front and center.

 

 

The first trigger was hearing about Barbie getting a tattoo. My first reaction was to roll my eyes. I remember when Ken got facial hair in the 70s. Um, yeah. Groovy.

I had every Barbie accessory. My Barbie lived in the townhouse with the working elevator. She had the dune buggy and camper. And she even used to date my best friend Tony’s Big Jim. (What do you mean Big Jim isn’t an accessory?!) Perhaps “date” is not the correct term for what Barbie and Big Jim were doing. What do you call taking Ken to the prom and as soon as he gives you a chaste peck on the cheek you’re calling Big Jim to come over and demonstrate how his prehensile hands work? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

So, the idea of Barbie getting tattoos doesn’t surprise me considering that they’re more common nowadays. I still remember when having a tattoo was stigmatized. People made judgments about someone based on having tattoos. Is this right? No, but we all make judgments about people based on many factors. Anyone who says he or she doesn’t, needs to book that flight to Rome for canonization for sainthood.

The second event that got me to thinking about tattoos was a woman I saw at physical therapy. She was older than me, perhaps in her late 50s. As I get older, it’s harder for me to guess someone’s age. In any case, she wasn’t some nubile young thing with a toned torso and beautiful biceps. She was an average, older woman except for one thing. Her arms and legs were covered with tattoos.

The sight of her made me think about why I’ll never get a tattoo:

Pain: Listen, lab technicians have enough problems finding a vein when I need blood drawn. I can’t imagine willingly subjecting myself to skin carving. I’m a lot of things, but a masochist isn’t one of them.

Tattoos Don’t Age Well: A tattoo of some hot, curvy babe on your muscular biceps may look great when you’re in your 20s. Look in the mirror when you hit 50 and your biceps haven’t been curled in years, buddy boy. Add to this, the effect of sun damage and wrinkles, and you get the picture. And it’s not pretty.

Tattoos Are Permanent: I’m in a constant state of flux of what I like and what I believe. It would be just my luck to get a yin-yang symbol tattooed on my ass only to become Amish some day. Great. Try explaining that to my husband Yoder. Then again, he’s named Yoder and he wears a goofy beard. And there’s that little fact that I’m a lesbian. But, you get my drift.

So, friends, if you decide to get a tattoo, remember to stay in shape, keep out of the sun and moisturize and don’t put anything on your body that you may be embarrassed about later. You’d be surprised how bitchy those Amish women can get around the sewing circle.