The Good Day

I had a massage today.

It took me 6 months but I finally remembered to check my extended health benefits, get a doctor’s note, make an appointment and go. Yes, this is the average time expended on things I WANT, imagine how long it would take me to, say, get my car serviced.

Quite a while and counting is the answer to that question.

I have had two previous professional massages. The first was a lovely wedding gift; a gift certificate to a spa. I received a massage and Simultaneous Manicure and Pedicure. Uh, the massage was separate. The mani / pedi were simultaneous. The massage was amazing. The woman who massaged me was named Ursula and had two thick braids and a Slavic accent. I’m not even kidding a little bit. She was really hardcore.

(The nail painting on that occasion was somewhat disconcerting because I had married in May but didn’t use the certificate until November and the 18 year olds fresh out of aesthetics school couldn’t parse that I was already married and didn’t want bridal toenail polish, no, please take the pearl polish away, no, I want red, no, really.)

The second massage was around this time last year when I was pregnant and achy. And it was okay but I was deeply disappointed that I felt very good on the table and then pretty much like lukewarm hell again once I got off the table. Can I afford $85 / hr for the rest of my life? No. Compared to my previous massage, that one was kind of meek and fluffy. The scented candles were nice but the therapist was holding back. OK yes I was pregnant but still.

I got my referral last week from the doctor and spent a week looking around the Mizzle and trying to get Saturday appointments. I finally got one for next Saturday at a nearby Wellness Centre but then I decided on Thursday that next Saturday is not soon enough so I called a few more places and lo, I did score an appointment for this morning at 9 am.

I love my massage therapist. I am calling her “mine” because I am going to go there until I have spent all my extended health benefits. And then it will be a new calendar year and I will go AGAIN for another $300 worth of massage therapy and then I will cry because I will be unemployed and not have extended health benefits anymore but on the other hand I wear the same jeans every day so I can probably find the money somewhere.

She was perfect. She had a sense of humour and good posture and strong hands. She told me my left side is longer than my right and then spent an hour trying to stretch my right back out again. She told me I would leave taller than I came in. She spent 15 minutes massaging my right hamstring. She did glorious things to my neck. She talked enough that I couldn’t hear the shitty music. Thank you! I hate the shitty music! It’s not soothing. It distracts me.

One of the best things she gave me was her business card. On the back, she drew a stick figure stretching, so that I won’t forget how.

But do you people know, should I be tipping her? It is more a doctor’s office than a spa. If she was in a spa, I would feel more pressured to tip her because you tip for other services at spas. She is definitely tip-worthy. But if my therapy is “medically indicated” rather than ooh I need a rubdown before my big date wouldn’t it be like tipping my podiatrist? Or my vasectomy doctor? (there, I think, you would tip in advance, just to be sure you’re getting the GOOD snip.) In other words, silly.

Thoughts, great massaged populace?

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