Relaxation reversal

Relaxation reversal

I love manicures, pedicures, and facials.  However, I have never had any desire to have a massage.  In fact, since I usually ask my manicurist to skip the massage when I get my nails done, I was sure that I wouldn’t enjoy a massage one bit. 


A couple of friends were flying in for a long weekend.  It was one of their birthdays.   We wanted to surprise the birthday girl with something special to celebrate.  We decided to hit a spa by my house.  I spoke to the birthday girl’s husband, and he suggested I sign her up for a massage.  The other girl wanted to do the massage as well.  Due to my aversion, I planned on getting a pedicure instead. 


Then it hit me.  What was the point in doing that? 


Wouldn’t it be more fun to do the massages with the other girls?  And, since I like a facial, why was I sure I wouldn’t like a massage?  So, I decided to go for it, and give it a shot.


The day before, I was a little nervous.  My friend knew I wasn’t totally comfortable with the whole idea, so she tried to prepare me for the experience.  She filled me in with everything she felt I needed to know, so I would be a little more comfortable. 


The day of the massage, which was a couple of days before my cat needed his tail amputated, I was extremely tense.   Not only was I worried about my pet, we were running into problems with construction we were doing at the house, and I had a lot of issues at work which were troubling me.  My friends assured me that the massage would help calm me down. I wasn’t so sure, but I decided to just go with the flow. After all, how bad could it be? 


Moments into the massage, the masseuse started making small talk with me.  I welcomed the conversation.  She asked me some questions about myself, and I quickly answered.  I kept the conversation flowing, and asked similar ones about her.   She told me that she was trained to be a social worker, but things didn’t work out well for her.  “Are you sure you don’t mind talking?” she asked.  I assured her, I didn’t mind.  “OK,” she replied, “because the owners don’t like when I talk. Do you want to hear a sad story?” 


“OK,” I replied. I figured that she was going to tell me a story about one of her social work experiences. 


Instead, she shared her entire life story.  She started with the fact that she went through about five placements in the social work field and none of them worked out.  During her last placement she was very preoccupied because her boyfriend’s mother was dying.   When the woman passed away, her boyfriend dumped her.  Right after the breakup, she got fired from that placement, which caused her to return to doing massages.  I learned that since she lived with the boyfriend, when the relationship ended, she had to move in with her brother, whose wife she doesn’t get along with. If that wasn’t all bad enough, she shared how she had to put her dog to sleep the week before.  I wanted to end the conversation, but before I could, she shared a story about someone who was going through a similar situation just jumped off a building to commit suicide. 


At that point, I didn’t have the heart to stop her from speaking. I figured she really needed someone to speak to.  So I closed my eyes, and tried to tune out the sorrow as best as I could.  Before long, the massage was over.  “Thank you so much for listening!” She said.  “You are a very good listener.  But, please don’t tell the owners what I spoke to you about.  They don’t like when I tell these stories.”  Hmm, I can’t imagine why….


I quickly met up with my friends.  “How did it go?”  One asked.


 “Did you love it?  Are you more relaxed now” the other asked.


“Um… No and NO!” I replied.  “I am in worse shape now than I was before.”

 “What happened?”


 I filled them in on the fact that I got a depressed masseuse, and now not only was I thinking about my problems, I was troubled by hers. 


“Oh, you are not supposed to speak to them,” my friend, who was giving me the tips the day before explained.


“How would I know that?”  I asked.  “You went over everything else but you didn’t cover that part!”


“Sorry, I forgot,” she sheepishly replied.


All, in all, I am glad I gave the massage a try.  However, I don’t think I will be returning for another anytime soon!

45 thoughts on “Relaxation reversal

  1. I don’t know Hilary, you paid ALOT of money for that massage. That masseuse had a lot of nerve talking like that. She really should be fired. And you reimbursed for your massage. How dare she babble on about her troubles when she knows damn well you’re there to relax, not feel sad.

    I’ve never had a massage, I’m like you. But since you’ve had one, go have another one just to make up for the lousy one you had. And make sure the masseuse keeps her yap shut! Don’t be afraid to say “If it’s ok with you, I’d like to just relax and enjoy the massage”. They’ll understand. It’s their job.

    1. Irene – If I could go back, I would have handled the situation differently…. But, at first I thought I would welcome the conversation. It wasn’t until it got so sad & heavy that I regretted my desision… And at that point, I felt bad to ask her to stop talking. I think it was because I was so upset and sad myself. But, if I could go back in time, I would have told her I wanted to stop talking… If I didn’t think that they would have fired her for talking like that, I would have spoken to the manager, and have asked for a refund, etc. But, since I allowed it to continue, I was just as much my fault, I feel. And besides, she was in such a state, I couldn’t life with myself if I thought I got her fired….the way I look at it, I did a good deed that day. But, as for another massage, I think it will be a long time before I try that again!

  2. Poor soul, she really needed someone to talk to. Not appropriate that it was a client, when relaxation and escape from stress is the objective. But I feel badly for her just the same. Of course, this was some time ago.

    I’ve only had one back/neck massage, over 7 years ago now, and it was heavenly, even for that short half-hour. Not sure how I’d feel about a full massage–not comfortable. But back and neck? Yeah, that’s wonderful!

    1. Fuzzy Tales.. that is how I felt too… She was a poor soul. While I didn’t want to be her sounding board while I was trying to relieve some stress, I felt that at least I did a good deed by letting her release her stress…. It wasn’t bad having the full massage. If the situation was different, I probably would have liked it…

    1. Katnip – ahhhh I like the way you look at things… I have to agree. I don’t believe in chances. Everything happens for a reason, and maybe I did help her… Karma is strange….

  3. You should really try again. Massages are actually really wonderful as long as the messuse actually shuts up and does her job. I think that once you’ve had a proper one it’ll help you a ton.

    1. Silver – I am sure you are right… and I am sure I can use one very badly.. However, I think I am too turned off to try again (well, at least for a while)

  4. I’m not a touchy feally person, but I LOVE to get a good massage. Unfortunately, it sounds like you got the opposite of a good massage. It also sounds like she has done this before to people and they have complained otherwise how would she know the “owners don’t like when she tells these stories.” I’m not sure if you should call and complain, but that really isn’t fair for her to dump on you a PAYING customer. Either way, I would say go to another masseuse and give it a try. In a quiet room with scented candles and a good masseuse, you will walk away feeling totally relaxed and ready to face what life has coming your way.

    1. Christine – I am sure you are right, that she has told her story before….and I think that she probably got in trouble over it, and since I let her talk i didn’t want to get her in trouble. I am sure in the right setting a massage would be very relaxing, although after this experience I think i will find other ways to relax 🙂

      But on the bright side, after l heard her to problems, i didn’t feel so bad about my troubles…. so, in her own strange way she did help

  5. I have never had a massage, either, Hilary! I went 51 years before I had my first pedicure so what does that say?? I never felt like I had the money to spend on it I guess and now that I do I still don’t know about the massage thing. I have many friends and family who get them regularly but it kind of makes me nervous to think about it. I agree with the others that your masseuse was not professional and you are probably like me—too polite to say “STOP TALKING!”….. I think you should try again. A different place most definitely!

    1. Beth Ann – 51 years before a pedi….OK, that is sad. I hope you splurge often now to make up for it:-) I don’t know that I am too polite, but I did feel bad to ask her to stop talking…. I really felt that she needed to get it out….the sad part is this was a fancy spa…

  6. Oh dear! She really needed to talk but perhaps would be better to have talked to a therapist or a close friend or family rather than a complete stranger and worse, a client!

    Oh I do have a scalp massage when I get my haircut and it’s lovely!

    Take care

    1. Old kitty, the scalp massages are actually the one kind I like….I have a feeling that she didn’t have anyone to talk to. I am glad I was the client though, if somehow I was able to help

  7. WOW and WOW and WOW — there are so many things going on here on so many levels!
    First – that poor woman… BUT she had no right to do that to you while you were having a massage!
    And Karma is a funny thing…. you were definitely put in her path on that day for a reason – she needed you to be her listener. I do agree with Irene though- massages are expensive and you should not have to pay to be someone’s therapist! Because if you want to pay to be someone’s therapist I will send you a bill and when can you start????
    as far as the massage part goes – – – does Marc ever rub your feet? because honestly that is probably the second best part of a really good massage. The first is the shoulders – but if you don’t carry your tension in your shoulders your not missing out on anything! AND I love massages!

    1. Brenda – I really did feel bad for her, but you are right, if I was to help someone I could have lived without paying to do so, especially at fancy spa 🙂 as for you , send me your bill 🙂

      Sadly for me, lucky for him, I am the massager and marc is the massagee. I usually carry stress in my head and stomach, so probably a massage wouldn’t even help

  8. We are glad you were there to help this poor sad soul. We are sorry it took away from your good experience though. I am thankful that you did not mention it to her boss. She had even misery in her life. It does make you realize your own good fortune.
    Never had a manicure, pedicure or massage. what does that say? :::ha::::

    1. Abby’s mom… No mani, pedi, massage, and I am guessing facial? I think that says you need to go treat yourself! Start with a mani / pedi. The pedi is SOOOOOOOOOOoooooo relazing…..

      Thanks, I am glad I was there to help (I hope I did) her too… I could ‘t live with myself if I thought I got her fired…. and I am sure that would have happened if I spoke up. But, she did hit my reality / reset button… and made me realize my problems weren’t that bad, and could always be worse… which is a very valuable lesson!

  9. This would SO HAPPEN to me! People tend to tell me their life stories, too. It’s OK sometimes, but other times, it’s like please no more. I am very sorry for this woman, but also sad you didn’t get to enjoy your massage.


    1. Kristen – People usually tell me their life stories too, and I love that… well, most of the time… Sometimes the stories are just too heavy like this one. I could have lived without it… but I am glad she had an outlet to talk, because I think she really needed it…

  10. As said as her story was, you may have done a wonderful thing in listening to her. She really needed to unburden herself to someone without judgement or a face to stare back in her in alarm or whatever. You were more than likely like an angel to her that day. Maybe this will lighten your mood knowing you did a good deed.

    Randoming with you,
    Hair Dye to Ice Cream Comparison with RTT

    1. Cathy, I like your outlook…. I do think I helped her, and you are right, after hearing her problems, I did feel better about my own..I always tell Marc I am an angel, but now I can refer to your comment as proof 🙂

  11. Who in the world does that? I would of countered and been like, “Want to hear a SADDER story?” 😉 You are a good person to listen. I’m surprised she didn’t at least comp the therapy session…

    Hi from ICLW

    1. Rachel – why weren’t you there with me? “sadder storry” – That would have been perfect! I should have been comped, but then her boss would know, and then…. Happy ICLW!

  12. Hi, Debs Dealz stopping by to follow you via GFC. I love your site! I would like to invite you to check out by blog as well, and follow me back if you like, and/or like me on Facebook. We have daily blog hops…we would love to have you link up and participate!! We feel the blog hops are great ways to network with other bloggers, increase our followers and meet awesome people! We currently have the Time Out Tuesday Hop available to link up to. Stop on by!! Also, if you exchange buttons let me know!
    Thanks, Debs Dealz

    1. Hi Debs Dealz – thanks for the follow… I will check out your blog too & follow.. I love blog hops as well. I have one that I host every Friday too (four fill in statements). Like you, I have found it is a great way to meet new people…

  13. That’s weird…. I’ve never had anyone talk to me during a massage. You are very patient; I probably would have been the same way.

    Oh, sweet Alex. How is he doing? I am finished with my Life With Cats gig on Friday and will be able to catch up more regularly.


    1. Angie – I am not sure I would use “patient” to describe me… I think “Sucker” was a better term, but hopefully, I did help her, and then I feel good about it… Your buddy Alex is doing GREAT! He says “tails are overrated!” It is amazing… since his surgery, he is happier and friendlier than ever… He sure has a new lease on life… Oh, and he still eats up a storm! Sorry your gig is over, but we did miss you!

    1. Darcie – really? WOW! That is too funny…. Sorry this happened to you, but glad I am not alone 🙂 Ok, so when we finally get together, we are good to go shopping & have a glass (or two) of wine, but we have to stay clear of any spa or beauty salon… between both of us, we are jinxed!

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