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I had my first massage, facial, and pedicure.

Alright, I didn’t become a woman, but I felt like I was a disgrace to most women. Most women (and men) have had massages, facials and pedicures. I don’t understand the need for a pedicure—how lazy must you really be to need someone to do anything to your feet? It’s a lot like having your shoes shined at the airport.


For Valentine’s Day, Steven bought us the Heart-to-Heart spa package. The appointments were booked, so we ended up booking it for two months later. The following is a recap of the journey:

My masseuse said he was going to do a deep tissue, Swedish massage. He asked my pain threshold and I said I can take most things (I relied on my shin splints and extreme toe stub as a point of reference). First, I should mention I did not feel comfortable with my clothes off. I felt quite nervous, actually. I kept thinking, “I don’t really need a massage.  I don’t want some guy touching me.” He said that my first massage might hurt and it’s supposed to.

This was a surprise, but I thought he was just pegging me as a big sissy that couldn’t handle a little roughness.

Boy, was I wrong.

At first, it was a little pressure, but nothing I couldn’t take. I thought I might enjoy it. I was beginning to open up, when suddenly, his dew claws came out.

He zeroed in on my left tripezius and went to town. What I mean to say is that he went to town and back home and then back to town again. Repeatedly. For the longest time of my life. It felt like someone was taking an extra sharp ice pick and jabbing it all along that muscle. Back and forth.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Finally, I said, “could you use a little less pressure?” and he goes “sure.” I think, “thank God I opened my mouth. I never say what I’m thinking.” The ice pick was now a butter-knife.

If you’ve ever tried to cut bread with a butter-knife, you know that you can’t actually cut anything. He did the same thing with slightly less pressure. Then finally I say, “why does that side hurt so much?” “Oh, well it’s supposed to. On a pain scale, it should be about an 8. A five or a six, too. I mean, nine would be…”


He wanted to say unbearable. I wanted to say unbearable. I wanted to say this is unbearable.

Then he moved to my legs. At this point, I tried to move the fingers of my left hand and realized I couldn’t. I tried to move my hand and hardly could. It hurt to move. I was distracted when he said I had quite long toes. This is true: I have long fingers and toes. I have a freak-flag and I’m proud of it.

More pressing was my inability to move my arm. If you’ve ever done extreme lifting, you know that feeling where lifting a pen is nearly impossible. My hand felt so heavy.

Alas, as I was lamenting over my new handicap, those monster claws made their way up to my back again and made sure to kill whatever feeling I had left (this is a lie: I felt everything. I felt nothing but pain. I felt all of my tendons separate and collapse under this beast’s fingers). It was like a sadist getting his fix. I just took it like a fool!

After the massage, I went to get my facial. I don’t recall saying thank you to Scissorhands. I typically say it out of habit, but I can’t remember saying it. On a deep, visceral level, I knew I was just wronged. I remember thinking I will never have another massage again. On my way to the facial, he said, “it takes about five massages for a massage to feel good.”

This reminds me of alcohol. It takes time and an acquired taste.

Let me tell you something: you can get used to anything, but why would you? If something is unpleasant, I will not get used to it, nor do I want to—least of all for social status or a social norm. No, thank you. I’ll pass. Freak-flag is mine.

The facial was nerve-wracking. I have extremely sensitive skin, so I mentioned that to her (Sylvia). She was amazing! She was funny and nice and informative. She was also very gentle. The bones in my face didn’t break under her dainty fingers. I had to wear a pair of heated mittens and then she put a pair of heated slippers on my feet. I started laughing at how ridiculous this whole situation was. There was a machine in my face blowing steam at me. The machine looked like it had two eyes and ears. The steam was blowing out of his nose.

I’m positive my next piece of writing will involve a spa.

Finally, I had a pedicure. She said my nails are too short! It’s true; I cut them so they don’t hit my sneakers when I’m running. I picked a coral color. I’m more of a muted color kind of girl, but I figure when-in-Rome, right? She also said I have very soft feet. I never gave much thought to my feet, but I was flattered nonetheless. While she did whatever she did to my cuticles, I couldn’t stop moving my feet! That was the worst tickling feeling ever. I was so uncomfortable. I must have looked quite ridiculous.

After I had my feet in that little drier, I put them in my shoes and felt my nails stick. Uh-oh. So, my two big toes are smeared coral. Oops. It’s okay.

Then, when I got home, I looked in the mirror to take a shower (I was greasy-faced and skinned that I just couldn’t take it).

I HAD (HAVE) BRUISES on my shoulders. The capillaries exploded and it looks like two giant hickeys!

My back is in so much pain. When I put my clothes on, it’s a whole debacle. Reaching for things or stretching hurts immensely! I even had a nightmare about it, last night.

Steven’s massage was okay. He said it was a little rough–certainly not his best massage, but not as terrible as mine. He fell asleep during his facial, and his pedicure went so well that he chose sparkly gold as his nail color–not kidding.

So, today, I called the spa and let them know that the massage was quite rough and that my results aren’t physically appealing. I just hope no one else gets the iron hand on their back. The receptionist said the boss will probably call me back.

All in all, I would never have any of those again. I don’t feel like any more of a woman being “pampered.” Though, if that’s being pampered, I don’t want any part of it.

I’m more than happy painting my own toe nails (clear, thank you!) and washing my face with soap and water. And as for a massage, I think I’ll stick with a cold shower after a hot run and a nice smoothie for dessert.