I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been one for the Spa experience. It’s as relaxing as sticking your head through a heavily scented toilet seat whilst someone tickles your arse.
But when the husband was feeling a bit stressed recently, I asked if he fancied a massage.
Turns out he did.
Which immediately got me riled.
Massages take time. People train to do that shit. And not so that they can give people a pleasurable experience. They do it so they can get PAID. And I already have a job thank you very much.
But he is a bit stressed. And frankly when he’s stressed, I’m stressed, so I suppose I’m really giving myself the massage, even though I don’t really like massages.
So through gritted teeth I say:
‘Great! Let’s give you a massage….darling.’
I add the word darling because I imagine by being extra nice, he won’t ask me to use oil.
‘Have we got any oil?’ he asks.
Fuckety shitknocker. Oil means commitment. Oil means a darkened room with mood lighting. I should probably burn some oil as well. This is outrageous, doesn’t he realise I’m stressed too. Especially now I’ve got myself into this massage situation.
But I take a deep breath. I’ll treat it like a meditative act. The rhythmic movements up and down his back may mean I relax too. And he really does deserve a massage, what with him being a stay at home dad and basically doing all the crap I can’t be bothered doing because I’m too busy reading Twitter on the toilet at work.
So I commit. I head to the bathroom cabinet to find the oil.
Of course, saying ‘the oil’ is suggesting we have some just for this purpose. We don’t. What we have is something I got free with a face wash once. I kept hold of it as imagined that I might be the kind of wife that always offers massages – I was definitely that type of girlfriend.
I now realise I am the kind of wife that offers a massage about once every three years and instantly wishes she hasn’t. It is an awakening of sorts.
Back in the bedroom, I put on some meditative music and spray some perfume around. I even try to construct one of those holes that your head goes into out of pillows. He comes in.
‘Aw, thanks baby,’ he says.
Ahh, bless him. The bubble of simmering resentment instantly bursts. I love my appreciative husband so so much. Right now I would do anything for him.
‘How long have I got?’ he asks.
What? I’m not frigging Mother Theresa.
I tip the oil up on his back. Ooh, hang on, I might have overdone it a bit there. Is there a relaxing, meaningful way in which I can scrape the excess off? Would getting the neighbours to lend us their Karcher Window Vac send out the wrong vibes?
But the oil feels nice and I get stuck in. Up and down and round a bit. Up and down and round a bit. Up and down and round a bit. This is actually okay I think to myself. Up and down and round a bit. Up and down and round a bit. It’s nice to be nice isn’t it? Up and down and round a bit. I mix it up. Round a bit then up and down. Round a bit then up and down. Round a bit then up and down. It’ll be over before I know it.
I look at the clock.
It’s been one minute.
My fingers are already starting to ache, so I start kneading with my knuckles instead.
I think of bread. I start mentally singing ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers, substituting ‘day’ for ‘dough’. Lovely dough. Lovely dough. Lovely dough. Lov-er-ly dough. Hmm. what a well-kneaded bit of dough. This is the kind of dough that would win the Great British Bake Off. This is the kind of pun that would work on Great British Bake Off. Hmm, I wonder what other day/dough hilarity I can conjure.
Dough of the Dead.
The Dough After Tomorrow.
Die Another Dough.
This is brilliant. I am quite literally murdering time with my witty mental ramblings.
Terminator 2: Judgment Dough.
I look at the clock.
It’s been three minutes.
FML Part II.
The clock must be broken. Only it can’t be broken. It’s on a phone. I stretch to check his phone at the other side of the bed, but in a sloooow, subtle, I am definitely not checking the phone to see how long I have been going because I am already bored out of my brain way. No, just three minutes according to his broken phone too. I slooowly stretch back.
Of course, at this point, all your husband knows is you are slooowly writhing around on his bottom whilst giving him an oily massage. He is almost certainly taking this as a come on.
Two massages (or six years) ago, this would have been taken as an excuse to rip off one another’s clothes and make the bed messy, but one child and five years of marriage later and sometimes you get scared that a stray bubble of spittle in his face will be taken as a come on, so time to reign it in.
I need a strategy for breaking the time down into manageable parts. I can do this.
I start digitally seeking out blackheads I can pick later.
I start poking away at a knot for something to do. This is a brilliant idea because two minutes later I am still on the same knot and it only felt like 119 seconds. I carry on. And on. And on. And on. It’s only five minutes in that I realise it’s actually his shoulder blade.
What? I’m not a frigging anatomist.
And while we’re at it, what the heck is this so-called RELAXING music?!
I don’t know about you, but for me ‘relaxing’ is not having to wash up. It’s an Indian takeaway on a Saturday night. Give me the sweet sounds of a poppadum being withdrawn from a paper bag any day of the week, not this plinky-plonk-woodpecker-at-my-brain bullshit.
It’s at this point the madness kicks in. Is he really enjoying this, or just enjoying it to spite me? Which is probably double the enjoyment for him, the selfish bastard.
Not long now, surely?
I start Lamaze breathing. This is as torturous as labour, so maybe it’ll help to calm me down.
Blow the candle out. Blow the candle out. Blow the candle out.
Why the f*ck am I blowing the candle out? I could be on ASOS buying clothes inappropriately too young for me. That’s what I HAD planned on doing with my evening.
Shit, now I’ve got cramp in my thumb. In my THUMB people. How is that even possible?
Right, screw this, I’m going for a happy ending to cut it short. This must be what happens in tourist shacks on Koh Samui. It’s. Just. So. Fucking. Boring. Otherwise.
Thai Lady: You want Thai massage?
Western Man: How much for 30 minutes?
Thai Lady: 30 minutes? Hahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahaha. You English sense of humour.
So I guess what I’m saying is, if you are ever tempted to give your partner a massage, offer him a hand job instead.
In a Sliding Doors way, let’s imagine what might have happened if I’d done that…..
*Screen goes all wriggly and wavy and that*
“You look stressed babe, do you want a h*nd j*b?”
“Fucking love one, thanks.”
Three minutes later and I’m ordering some inappropriate backless t-shirt from ASOS.
Rather than having two mobile phones covered in oil and a general sense of disgruntlement.