Touch and Go

I had been seeing her for about a year—12 whole months—so I thought that what we had was special. But apparently I was nothing more to her than just another body to use.

Yes, it’s true.

My massage therapist quit.

Now before you go rolling your eyes at the fact I “indulge” in a monthly massage, know that it’s in conjunction with chiropractic care to help with chronic neck and back issues I have and not at some fancy spa.

Note: I feel a little funny saying I go to the chiropractor, only because it kind of sounds a) pretentious, although the visits are medically necessary and b) like a dinosaur, which sounds cool but then disappointing when it’s a doctor and not a dinosaur. So getting a half hour massage once a month made me feel indulgent if by “indulgent” you mean “not in so much pain I can’t lift up my arm.”

Anyway, I called to make my monthly appointment and was told I could see the other massage therapist they have on their (small) staff because (insert name of traitor here) had quit.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Back up the traction train here, my friends.

Quit? As in, she will no longer change all her plans and come back once a month to work out the pain that I have, the pain that has transferred from my back and neck into my heart that is now breaking at this sudden news?

I was told that work “just wasn’t her thing,” and that she was going to pack up and roam around traveling without consulting with me first about this abrupt change in her lifestyle and how it would affect me and mine.

This might seem selfish of me to be upset, but you have to understand where I’m coming from—which I admit, is a purely selfish place.

But it’s not easy for me to form a relationship with someone who I not only let into a little bit of my life every month through muffled mumblings as my face was smashed down into the table, but that I also let her touch me.

The whole “touching” thing is a big deal, as I don’t even like people touching my keyboard at work.

Plus, we were already past the awkwardness that usually accompanies the standard massage situation—we could talk, but not talk too much; if my stomach made some weird noise or vice versa, it was simply ignored; unlike other people in my life, she knew just the amount of pressure I could take before I freaked out.

Oh, the memories.

So as you can see, I’m still lingering in the first stages of this break-up and trying to move on with my life. I can’t deny that it happened. Anger just makes my neck worse, therefore necessitating a massage and continuing this cruel cycle that woman has started.

Damn you, hippie masseuse! Damn you!

OK. Maybe I’m still in the second stage of anger, but I do plan on putting myself back out on the market, so I’m leaning more towards “acceptance.” After all, there are a lot of massage therapists that would be lucky to have me as a client—including the one my chiropractor has set me up with, a rebound rub-down of sorts.

As they say, time heals all wounds.

And a deep-tissue massage can help, too.

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36 responses to “Touch and Go

  1. Work’s “not her thing?” Damn, where do I sign up for THAT job description?

    Good luck in your new relationship. I get that whole awkward interpersonal abhorrence of other people thing.

  2. I know just what this is like. On the quiet I am a man of obsessive routine, with some similarity to Jack Nicholson in ‘As Good As It Gets’ but with a less nice apartment and not so well dressed. If someone drops out of my routine, I’d be broken. I sit at the same table for my morning coffee every day. If someone is sitting at the table. You get the idea

  3. First of all, best title ever. Secondly, I can really commiserate when it comes to needing another type of adjustment to come around to the idea of warming up to another stranger touching you. Hope you find another good set of hands (that sounded creepy, but I think you know what I mean).

    • Thank you 😉 I actually tried the replacement hands and it really wasn’t that bad. It will take some getting used to, but at least I have options! No money, but options!

  4. How dare she not consult you first before making such a life alternating decision.

  5. Maybe, while she’s traveling all over the place, she could make one of her destinations your monthly massage session.

    I know how you feel. It takes a long time for any relationship I have with anyone to reach the level where physical contact is acceptable. Shoot! The only person I even let hug me is my wife & that’s only because she was very insistent on us doing so from time-to-time.

    • Exactly! Sub in my mom for your wife and I agree completely. OK. That sounds weird. Don’t sub in my mom for your wife, but I meant my mom is the only one who hugs me. I’m going to stop while I’m ahead…

  6. That sucks and I hate when good people leave places and they can’t tell you because there is that whole contract thing with wherever they are working.

  7. very funny xo

  8. While I’m not particularly picky on who touches me, it sucks when someone you particularly like departs like that with pretty much no notice. I’m terrified that one of these days when I show up at the massage place I go to that my favorite lady will be gone.

  9. Is work really anybody’s thing?

  10. I so can relate to what it took to be comfortable with your massage therapist. Good luck finding someone else to touch and NOT go. Really, how dare she.

  11. Totally understand! I get all nervous if the wrong cashiers are at the grocery store and I have to check out with someone I don’t know. So I def have the same “people” issues! 🙂 Good luck with the new guy! 🙂 Also as a side note to Peter Wells aka Countingducks I am the same way about tables! In high school we had to sit at the same table every day and everyone had to be in the same seat or I was just all in a tizzy! Once or twice someone sat there who wasn’t part of the table and we had to ask them to move and if they didn’t my whole day was just ruined!

  12. good for you to go and get monthly massages! In Canada I was able to get a dr’s note to confirm them medically necessary and went every 6 weeks and insurance paid for it!! ($500/year as long as you went to a registered massage therapist). I hated when I had to find a new one though…. so much easier to be comfortable with the same person!! Good luck, hope it goes okay!

  13. for me, massage is never a relaxation thing – it is a BODY WORK thing. right now, there are only two therapists I am happy receiving work from – I have been known to stop someone mid session and just say “okay, that’s enough” because I cannot lie there in frustration while receiving a gentle Swedish massage.

    I’m picky (when it comes to my many aches + pains), and I do so know what it’s like to lose a good one. hope the new one is good for you!

  14. Lmao at ‘Damn you, hippie masseuse! Damn you!’

  15. I totally get this. And I don’t even like massages. But as a Taurus, I hate change of any sort.

  16. Well I have to say I love a good chiropractor and visit one regularly myself. Combining the visit with a masseuse is an excellent and incredibly therapeutic idea.

    Having said that my relationship with the masseuse was nothing like your own. In fact the woman in question was a quiet fiery Egyptian. Whenever I greeted her I would call her “The Torturer’s Apprentice” and begin to hum the theme from Disney’s Fantasia. Let me say she didn’t have much of a sense of humour.

    She knew how to inflict pain. Her elbows were like titanium, her fingers could be hammers. I would wince and cry out in pain, begging for mercy but still she wouldn’t stop.

    I am truly sorry for your loss. She may have helped you heal and actually brought much therapeutic benefit to your treatment but take my word for it when I say you are still better off without her.


    • I have to politely disagree. Combined with the adjustments it was a medical massage and they worked well together. I’ve had some women who were awful and I wouldn’t go back, but this one was pretty amazing. I think you need to keep looking for the right one 😉

  17. My stylist up and quit (read: was fired for stealing from the salon), but when I called to make my appointment, no one told me. So I get there and some strange lady wants to touch my hair. Ummm…no. My black roots are nothing compared to the healing properties of a massage, but I feel your pain and loss. These selfish SOBs really should check with us before making life-altering plans.

  18. I need the same thing…adjustments 2x mo and a massage (actually a torture session with all my knots) 1x a mo. Prob need more. Still haven’t found a massage therapist i “love” yet. I need one that uses their elbows and 2×4’s.

  19. I can’t imagine building a relationship with a stranger I pay to touch my bare skin – I have given away every gift card for spa massages I’ve ever received, for this very reason – let alone facing the prospect of having to do it all over again. I can only hope your next massage helps you work through the stress. 🙂

  20. Give your self time to grieve, then move on to a new and hopefully better relationship! Maybe the next one will not have a wandering eye…

  21. Well, darn! Ignore her if she comes crawling back to you. 🙂

  22. The relationship between a massage therapist and a client is exactly that…a relationship. This would imply a respectful acknowledgment of appreciation for your patronage. She was thoughtless. It sounds like you have found a new mt who might work out.
    As you certainly know, communication is key. (Not to be crude or suggestive, but in one way, it’s like a satisfactory sexual relationship: you have to tell your mt what you like…a little higher, harder, yes! OK. Now I may have crossed a line. A massage is not sexual, but it does require feedback regarding where and how much you need and don’t need.)
    I’d been going to the same amazing, intuitive, PERFECT massage therapist for over 20 years…since we were both new mothers and met in La Leche. She moved from East Lansing to Ashevile, North Carolina. So sad for me! Fortunately, she comes back to EL a few times a year to visit family and friends, and we schedule a session then, but it’s not often enough. If by wild chance you live near Asheville, she is amazing!
    Hang in there! The ideal mt is out there for you!

  23. “The whole “touching” thing is a big deal, as I don’t even like people touching my keyboard at work.” Oh, yes. I totally get THAT.

    I hope you find a good replacement therapist, soon!

  24. betternotbroken

    Abby I do have issues and you know it, I must say that I indeed know the difference between your and you’re and shockingly also use UR not because I am ignorant, but because I am a lazy texter. I look forward to reading your Magical Thinking entry.

  25. I cannot get past the people touching me thing to get into massages. When I was in physical therapy I would get “massaged” while on my back with my shirt on and that was nice, but I still felt weird about it.

  26. I think you are understandable distraught. How dare she pack up and move on, without so much as a call or a simple email. I’m guessing you won’t be staying in touch. Good luck with rebound rubdown.

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