Thursday, March 11, 2010
A Feeling of Love For those who are paid to touch me.
Is it odd to be secretly enamored with the people who put their hands on my body? Whether it be my scalp or the pinched nerve in my neck, whoever takes the time to lay their hands on me holds a special place in my heart.. and yes this includes those who are paid to do so.
I pay a hefty price to be man handled. There’s nothing more alluring than someone who knows how to pull hair or needle out a shoulder knot with hot rocks. The people who do it well are considered healers to me, or Gods, take your pick.
Let’s start with Renna. Here’s a woman who vaguely resembles Linda Evangelista, the supermodel from the 90s who appeared on every Vogue cover from January 1991 and beyond. Except Renna has a Bohemian style with a street style flair – think Ed Hardy meets bourgeois flower child (and don’t assume I know what I am talking about here – thank God for google). In other words, Renna has style, attitude (a positive one), lots of tattoos and bottom line: she’s hot. And magic fingers. There. I said it. Let’s move on.
I walk into Renna’s salon work space once every eight weeks to receive my coveted “cut and color”. Let me be clear: this is a highlight of my life in routine. And to make it particularly special, I never schedule these little rendezvous’ before 4:00 in the afternoon because Renna takes care of me in that stress free kind of way by offering me wine, hot tea, and my monthly supply of current events through outlets such as US Weekly, People and the latest celebrity hairstyles – women’s version of erotica, as far as I am concerned. I cherish this time with Renna like a patient spending time with her therapist. Every part of my being is fulfilled – my emotional needs (I delve into details about how stressful my day was), my physical well being (the eye popping head rubs in the shampoo bowl), my sense of smell (the jasmine oil she rubs on my temples), my stress relief (okay, just one more glass of wine), and my appearance (my hair will never be this healthy, stylish and manageable at home. I better have someplace important to go after this).
The experience with Renna is so full of rapture, that my husband doesn’t pass up the chance to cough up 50 bones every three weeks to get his do done by Renna too. He feels the same way as I do about her. In fact, she and her family are a part of our family – we spend time with them: Halloween, birthdays, our annual bocce ball tournaments. And I think a lot of it has to do with the theory of classical conditioning: her presence alone induces a certain stimuli that makes us feel calm, happy and well rested. Classical conditioning is most commonly described by the salivary reactions of Pavlov’s dogs.
When Renna is around, I start to drool, whether she’s doing my hair or not.
I remember a specific time when I made an appointment about two months after Yack was born. I felt stressed, overweight, sleep deprived, overweight.. I took Yack with me figuring that he would just sleep in his little portable car seat while I got the treatment. The stars aligned and he was asleep for most of the time I was under Renna’s spell. I felt so much better when she was done, that I ended up staying all afternoon and chatting, breast feeding and helping Renna with her other customers. I would like to take this opportunity to offer up a public apology to those patrons of Renna’s on that particular day. I know I stole your precious time with her by demanding her attention, and if you have the same feelings that I have for her, I know it must have burned you to have me yammering on and on with a baby hanging from my breast while you got your coveted head massage, but I deserved it at the time. So, I am sorry, but it’s safe to say that I would probably do it all over again.
It’s pretty safe to say too, that I love Renna. I pay for that love and I don’t apologize for it.
I also pay for the love I get from my masseuse. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as the Healer. When I was first introduced to the Healer it was through a coworker who was sick and tired of my constant high pitched complaining about my sore back. I think my breaking point was when I had to stand up to type on my computer, and use his $150 leather belt to strap an ice pack to my back. He even had a primary care physician make a house call to the office and stick me in the arm with a needle full of muscle relaxer medicine. (I have yet to replace the water stained belt I ruined two years ago, but it’s on my to do list.)
“You really need to go see the Healer. You’re driving us all crazy.” My coworker has a great bedside manner.
“What’s he going to do for me? I have pinched nerves all the way up my spine. I think I need a year’s supply of Vicoden and probably some Percocet too.”
After his lecture on the addictive nature of said prescription drugs (like I didn’t know that already), he explained that the only way I am going to be pain free is if those knots (bulging nervey muscle lumps) are worked out.
Hhhrmuph, I responded. I got the Healer’s number and sat on it for one year, developing an unhealthy dependency on generic Ibuprofen.
That is, until I couldn’t take it anymore. Not being able to turn around and look in my blind spot while driving without wincing in pain – that was my “bottom”.
“Hi. I am a coworker/friend of Mr. Insensitive. He says that I need to come see you. Please text me back. TTYL.”
The Healer responded within 20 minutes, “Oh, sweetie, Mr. Insensitive told me about your back. I am here to help. I am avail Mon, Tues, Thurs in afternoon. Let me know what works best. :)"
I felt better already. I almost started to cry.
When I arrived at the Healer’s massage studio, I was greeted by the sound of soft music and ocean waves, and a man who listened to my ailments. I sounded like one of those old ladies who complains about sciatica and hearing loss. The Healer was soft spoken, direct and told me exactly what he was going to do to me.
And over the course of the next two hours, he transformed my broken body into a toxin free rubber toy. The experience included hot rocks, foot scrubs, hair pulling, cheek bone reflexology, and magic hands. He kneaded areas that I didn’t even know were throbbing in pain. He awakened me.
That’s the day I fell in love with the Healer. And I have returned for pieces of his love at least once a month since.
On Valentines Day this year, the Healer came to us. He brought all of his tools and chisels, oils and potions and set up shop right in our bedroom. He “did” Pants first, who had the works – the full shoulder kink rubs, the head massage, the foot scrub. I was growing impatient as I paced the hallway outside of our door– who could blame me? They were in there for over two hours. So, I entered the room and sat on the floor impetuously waiting my turn, looking up at Pants’ face poking through the massage table headrest. “Hi there, my turn. Happy Valentines’ Day. Love you. Amscray” (this is a nice way of saying “scram” in pig latin. Less offensive. Try it on someone you love and see the response that you get.)
The Healer worked on my every crook for what seemed like eternity. After it was over, I didn’t want him to leave. I almost sat on the floor and wrapped myself around his leg like a dead weight – something I did to my father as a kid when he was leaving me to do something more important than raising his children. But after four and a half hours at our house, the Healer was ready to go, and so I reluctantly paid for his hands and friendship and bid him farewell.
I am not ashamed that I must pay for love. I am not at all embarrassed by the fact that I love these two people in my life. It may be the one-way street kind of love, but it’s certainly something I can live with, and for the record, if they ever wanted me to lay my hands on them, I would do it without charging a cent, because that’s love, but I probably couldn’t do it for very long. My fingers are brittle and they get sore pretty easily. Which reminds me, I need to make an appointment..