Bluebird Rising

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

Naked With A Stranger, Screaming Birds and Please God Don’t Let Me Fart May 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluebirdrising @ 7:10 pm
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Are you familiar with the term “Triangle Hug?”

You need to be. Both for the purpose of this story, and also so you are not offended should we ever meet in person.

I am a frequent user and abuser of the triangle hug. In fact, the frequency of which I employ it hovers right around, oh, say, 98%. The triangle hug refers to touching at the shoulders and really nowhere else, with the feet of each pair a good, safe distance apart.

See, I have a bubble of personal space that I do not like invaded by strangers. Myers-Briggs is kind enough to title this reaction as that of an ISTJ, which I reinforced that I am this week thanks to some quality Hennepin County training.  Now, before your mind goes into Oprah overdrive, you can rest assured over the fact that I have determined (recently) that I was pretty much born this way. If I hadn’t been, I would have learned the source or event of this tendency over the last few weeks, since, between the constant rain, a head cold that won’t die, and a severe determination to rewatch Six Feet Under as quickly as humanly possible,  I have spent all my free time this week on my couch. Sprawled. Freud-style. And I came up with nothing of substance.

But you know who did not give a shit about my personal bubble issues? The massage therapist.

Yup. I tried my first professional massage as one of my Day Zero Project goals. I abandoned my comfort of the triangle and began preparing myself mentally for getting an hour-long rub down at the hands of someone I had never met in my life.

Now, an hour seemed like an e t e r n i t y when comparing it to my former massage experiences. We can pretty much sum those up as current boyfriend attempts half-assed 10 minute shoulder squeezing in awkward fashion to get on good side of fence again. But I found that this entire hour was actually needed. Because she told me I had knots in my forearms, which is disgusting. And because it took my mind 53 minutes to make my mind (mostly) silent.

Technically, it went like this.

11:00 – Hello. Welcome to your massage. I’m going to leave the room for a few minutes. Get comfortable. Strip to your comfort level and lay face up on the table.

11:02 – Massage lady reenters. Nervous sweating commences. On my part.

11:03 – Oh my God. I forgot to take off my necklace. That’s going to make the neck portion difficult. Should I have taken it off? Does it come off? I never take this thing off.

11:07 – What the fuck is that in the speakers? Loons? I like loons. I haven’t heard them since our family cabin trips years ago. We should really do those again. The whole family hasn’t traveled together in years. And if we can’t do it with the same whole group anymore, I’d really like to continue that tradition when I have kids.

11:08 – It took me three months to schedule this appointment. I don’t have the time to have kids.

11:09 – I’ve been an aunt for nine months. And I’ve still never changed a diaper. Ever.

11:11 – Fuck. I have to go to Babies R Us for a shower gift. I should have done that before the message, being the depths of hell that the place resembles.

11:12 – I need to relax. This session is not cheap and I’m wasting time being my own therapist. Which obviously has done little benefit to my life.

11:13 – Breathe. Count sheep. Channel Levar Burton’s voice. Do whatever it is you need to do to Start. Calming. Down.

11:14 – This lotion smells really good. Make mental note to ask if it is available in the lobby for purchase or if it is her own personal blend.

11:15 : What exactly is that smell? Jasmine? Lilac? I can’t quite tell. I would love to learn more about flowers. So pretty. But I hate gardening. Well, I think I’d hate gardening. And I don’t even have a yard.

11:16 – Walls need to be sound proofed. The bang on the wall from next door was the Jimmy John’s artist chucking a sandwich on the counter.

11:17 – # 4. Yum. But add onions. Always add onions. To everything. And salt and vinegar chips. Is is time for lunch?

11:19 – Oh my God. We are entering ticklish regions. Don’t laugh. Seriously, don’t laugh. DON’T LAUGH. STOP IT.

11:21 – Those cannot be loons. They sound much more like severely injured ducks. Geese maybe?

11:25 – That flame from the candle is pretty close to the curtain. Is this standard procedure? Definitely need to trim that wick before relighting.

11:28 – I’d rather die in a massage fire than have to run into the public parking lot naked in 30 degree weather.

11:32 – Time to flip. Thank God. We all look skinnier on our stomachs.

11:35 – I really should be doing more tricep push ups at the gym. She is working the area with a bit too much ease.

11:36 – But I don’t want to look like Jillian Michaels. I am a lady after all. Where to find this middle ground? Google the next time I am trying to look busy at work

11:40 – Fucking swimsuit season is right around the corner.

11:43 – I’m starting to relax. Oohh…what’s that? I’m really liking this calf massage business. Don’t think I’ve ever had one before.

11:46 – “You don’t have to do that!” {Actually, yes, this I yelled. I didn’t mean to. I had left my socks on for a reason, and she started in on the feet. Absolutely not gonna happen lady}

11:48 – Wow. I’m really relaxing. Is this when people fart in public? I never have, I don’t think. Have I? Either way, now is not the time to start. No.  NO.

11:52 – If you haven’t done it yet, you won’t. Just relax.

11:53 – Relaxed. As much as I can be in this situation.

11:55 – Breathing. Somewhat deeply. Pretty proud.

11:58 – I just wasted an entire hour running my head.

12:00 – I need another one of these. Now that I know what to expect.

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5 Responses to “Naked With A Stranger, Screaming Birds and Please God Don’t Let Me Fart”

  1. glassaviary Says:

    Sounds like me during a massage…. except sometimes it manifests in a literal fashion of outright nervous babbling, and the massage therapists are usually really nice and chatty if you want to talk, or totally quiet if you don’t want to. I’d benefit more if I just STFU already, but I can never seem to stop yakking away.
    Anyway, I wanted to chime in that feeling tickly sensations is totally normal and any masseuse is going to regard it as such – totally normal, garden variety client reaction, so don’t stress about it.
    Same with the potential flatulence, although yeah I wouldn’t really want to let one fly either!

    • Oh I’m sure they have seen it all, but there still is no desire to be that one client that gets a huge laugh at happy hour!

      I’m glad that you have had the same problem about not being able to shut off your mind. I think that mastering that is probably more than half of the massage experience. But it will be fun for us to schedule more appointments and keep practicing, right?!?! 🙂

  2. Hurrah, a fellow ISTJ! Who has a personal bubble and issues with people being in it! This makes me happy. And I would never EEEEEEVER be able to get a massage. Even the idea of it makes me feel a bit sick…

    Oh, and my brother and I refer to the triangle hug as “Simpsons hugging” – in the really early episodes, they never seem to do more than put their arms straight out in front of them when they hug!

  3. Simpsons hugging! YES! The perfect description.

    The experience was absolutely a challenge, it’s so nice that someone else understands that! People seemed to think that I was “cheating” a bit with an easy goal. It’s hard to desribe the mental stress to someone who doesn’t have bubble issues. Glad there are a few of us outspoken ones out there!

  4. […] had a second massage from the lady I first detailed here, increasing the number of people in this world who are allowed to touch me with more than […]


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