I don’t normally complain.  Okay, wait.  I do complain sometimes, but only to my husband.  And only on this blog.  And only to my boss.  Wait.  Strike all of that.  Never mind.   I’m going to start over.

Sometimes complaining is warranted.  For instance, when I schedule a one-hour couples’ massage it doesn’t start on time.  That warrants a comment.  When we get to the massage room and are left alone to disrobe for 10 minutes, that warrants a full complaint.

At some point, Matt and I looked at each other and questioned whether we were supposed to give each other the massages in the room instead of receiving them.  Thank goodness I denied his suggestions.

So when this atrocity happened the other day, I complained to the spa about the shortened massage.  However, it should be noted that I restrained myself and didn’t complain about the low quality of toilet paper in the locker room. I was trying to be nice.  But seriously, 2 ply?  Pfft!

Because of the complaint, and the fact the receptionist was an astute woman who knew I wouldn’t leave until a proper remedy was given, we got free body scrubs for the next day.  (Yeah, as if I didn’t already experience a scrub from the chaffing from the 2 ply toilet paper… She should have also included a tube of Neosporin, but I didn’t push the issue.)

Matt and I were happy for the free scrubs, and the next day, we got to the spa ready for the scrub down.  We didn’t know we were going to be brutally assaulted by two angry women.  We should have known, but we were clueless (much like the spa on the issue of scratchy toiletries)

At the beginning, we were greeted by two women.  Unfortunately, they were the two women who cut short our massages the previous day.  They didn’t look happy to see us.  The feeling was mutual.

They took us into a room where we were each given our “outfits” for the procedure.  Mine was a small piece of tissue paper in the shape of a diaper and what appeared to be a hair net.  I wondered what kind of “service” we were in for if I needed a hair net, but then I realized it was for my boobs.  I felt uncomfortable and awkward…until I looked at my husband’s required attire.

My husband was given paper underwear that looked like Depends for a skinny old man.  And they were blue….you know…to make them more manly. They were basically a handful of napkins from one of those small metal napkin dispensers from an ice cream shoppe from the 1950s.  He looked cute.  I also found myself craving a chocolate malt.

We took our positions on the massage tables, not just because we didn’t want to lose a single second of our free service, but also because we were fearful seeing each other wearing paper mache underwear might permanently damage our relationship.  We waited for the women to return, focusing our attention on the lyrics to “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which was the song playing in the background.  For reals.

The women arrived and immediately started the procedure.  My masseuse had manly hands that began scrubbing me down really hard.  It felt good but hurt at the same time. (Does this mean I’m a masochist?) She continued to scrub briskly and firmly. (Translation: really fricking hard.)

I considered yelling “Out damned spot!” but didn’t think she looked like much of a Macbeth fan.  A Midsummer’s Night Dream? Yes. Macbeth? Not so much. (There’s a little Shakespeare humor for you. An added bonus to an otherwise mindless post.)

I decided to just close my eyes and picture myself somewhere magical and relaxing…like a spa…on a beach…in a tropical location. Wait…

Since that didn’t work, I figured a glance at my husband might remind me of better times. It worked. I looked over to see me husband was also being punished and he appeared to be liking/hating it as much as I was. I found comfort in his discomfort and turned my focus back to me (where it belonged).

After she assaulted me with scrub, she told me to get up and get in the shower, like I did something wrong;  like I needed to be punished. (Frick! Maybe this experience did turn me into a masochist!).

She turned on the water, adjusted the temperature and told me to take off my bikini and shower. It was a little generous to call the generic paper towels covering my genitals a “bikini,” as I couldn’t even absorb a Kool-Aid spill with what was covering my crotch, but I didn’t want to correct her for fear of a second round of scrubbing.

I also found it curious that the one time she felt generous was in her explanation of the flimsy coffee filter I was wearing. Cuz that’s a time to be generous.

I stepped into the shower, confident this woman was a big fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, and began to shower. (I made a mental note to yell “Holy cow!” later in the session.  She was clearly a lover of the Grey literature, which dictated she must also love the phrase commonly used by the author of that book…and Harry Carey.)

Okay. Back to the story. The shower water was scalding but I was scared to adjust the temperature for fear she might actually whip me with a bamboo stick. She would enjoy that too much and I didn’t want to give her that satisfaction. (Plus, I bruise easily. I’m a delicate flower that way.)

So I continued to scald myself with water in an attempt to wash off the morsels of sand that were now permanently embedded in my body.  I thought about how I would return from vacation with a burn on my back, but instead of a sunburn, it would be a second degree water burn from a vindictive masseuse.

I turned the shower off and immediately froze, as I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to touch the faucet. All of a sudden, a hand reached into the shower and handed me a towel. I took it before the hand had a change of heart and started beating me with said towel. I dried off and stepped outside of the shower, where I found my husband in his blue scrub thong waiting for the shower. I tried to warn him with my eyes but he seemed oblivious to my signals, probably because he was focused on the piece of paper that was slowing creeping up his crack.

I decided to leave him to it.

She told me to lay down on the table and I did so, being careful to keep myself covered with the towel. A quick visual pat down of the room revealed my paper bikini was nowhere to be found. I never thought I could become so attached to such a thin layer of paper, yet I found myself wishing I had it back.

I was then jolted back to reality when she pulled my towel off, leaving me laying naked on the table. I felt like one of those women who lays on a table and has sushi served off of her crotch at fancy dinner parties. Based upon the scrub down I just got, I was confident anyone could eat dinner off my private parts. Whether they would want to or not was an entirely different question. Either way, I knew my “business” was certainly cleaner at that moment than my kitchen counters, and my kitchen counters sparkle! (I use Comet and it’s awesome…it’s also $1.00 at the Dollar Store).

As I laid there completely naked, I realized there was only one logical explanation for this horrid torture.  There was a camera in the room and I was somehow on an exposé episode of “Dateline” about spas where people paid to be abused. I looked expectantly at the door for Chris Hansen, but before I could get my hopes up for my TV debut, the masseuse smashed them down by throwing a towel over my genitalia.


She then began the lotion application, which was done with a firm hand. I was sore from the massage and it was as if she had a map of all the places I was bruised.  Instead of avoiding them, she proceeded to punch each area repeatedly.

I suspected she knew exactly where the tender spots were located, as I’m convinced my back was black and blue from the beating I took from her the day before. I also suspected she was enjoying the experience but I was too frightened to speak.

I knew if I made a sound she would send me back to shower for more burns and my skin couldn’t take anymore.  It was the one time in my life where the phrase “It puts the lotion on the skin, or it gets the hose again” was completely applicable. I swear I heard the lambs screaming.

After the lotion application, the “service” was over.  We silently did a celebratory fist pump as we located our undergarments.  (I’ve never been so happy to see a cotton-poly blend of underwear in my life.)  We dressed quickly and bolted out of the treatment area before we could be further accosted by the women.

Once we got out of the spa we agreed that was an “experience” and something we wouldn’t forget.  Then we scheduled another scrub for 2 days later.

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