The Curse of the Sub

Oh, Readers.
The purpose of this blog has always been to take the often silly and ridiculous things I experience in my life, and to share them with you. Occasionally life throws something your way, and it’s either laugh or cry, and I have always tried to be the type that laughs at the stupid or embarrassing things that happen to me (or that I do, more like it).
Well let me just say, my life has been CHOCK FULL of the absurd lately. As you all may know, my post-graduate job hunt has been going… poorly, to say the least. I finally decided to try subbing, because I live right by a lot of the schools in the district, and THEY CAN’T TURN ME DOWN. It’s also a great part time gig that doesn’t require you to have a set schedule. After I went through the steps to become a sub, though, naturally I finally got a call back from a job I applied to.
However, I hadn’t even been able to write up the post about what a disastrous experience my one and only job interview was (don’t worry, it’s coming though! UPDATE: Here it is!) before I got approved to be a sub yesterday and decided to take a position today in a desperate attempt to get at least one day of work on the upcoming pay cycle– because subs only get paid once a month, and it’s for the month before.
poor gif

For me, getting approved to sub took way longer than it should have. You have to have copies of your Social Security card, and I discovered when I went to sub training that my parents apparently lost mine years ago and never replaced it, because that’s DEFINITELY not something you’ll ever need.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

I therefore had to go to the Social Security office (an adventure in and of itself) and request a new one, which didn’t come until Monday. Then I had to take my papers to the administration office, wait for my $59 (!!!!) background check to come through (which my parents had to pay for because I literally did not have enough money in my account), AND to be put into the system officially before I was able to sub.
Last night I finally got an automated call that told me I was in, and so I decided to take a look at the available jobs to see if there were any I wanted. The way subbing works is that teachers throughout the district put in a request for a sub on a website, and available subs can look through and decide if they want to take them. The nice thing about subbing is that you never have to accept anything; you can have a day off any time you need it without having to request off or anything like that.
I looked through all the available jobs, and saw one that was to sub in Spanish at the high school–the same high school I attended, mind you. I minored in Spanish, and so I thought, hey, why not!

I love this joke so much, thanks college education.

This morning I arrived bright and early at my former high school, because you need to be there at least twenty minutes before the first bell rings. I also needed to get there extra early because they have rebuilt the majority of my high school since I attended it. It is now giant, fancy, and terrifying. The new cafeteria looks like it should have been in High School Musical, I swear to god.
Eventually I wandered my way to something called the freshmen office, which did not exist when I was in high school. In fact, when I was in ninth grade, we were in our own separate building, which has now been turned into a fifth and sixth grade center (I don’t even know guys, it’s bizarre).
I checked in without too much problem, got my little sub sheet, and then a kindly teacher led me to my room since I had no idea where to find it. In a disorienting twist of fate, I was actually subbing in an old part of the building that had existed (and where I had Spanish) when I was in school, but was now connected to buildings that did not exist when I was in school. Along the way I saw my 8th grade math teacher in the hall and said hi, which was pretty strange.
Luckily, my teacher I was subbing for was super prepared, and had written everything the kids would need to do on the board, as well as leaving detailed instructions for me of what I needed to do. Mostly I would be taking attendance and giving kids extra packets if they had forgotten their workbooks, and just ensuring no mayhem ensued. I wrote my name on the board, which was absolutely surreal, since my mother has been a teacher my entire life, and she is the undisputed Mrs. Rowe in my mind.

You cannot understand how wrong this felt.

You cannot understand how wrong this felt.

My first period class came in, and naturally it was a huge class that really liked to talk. Trying to be a good sub, I took attendance right away and then sent a student to the office with it. I got them started on their assignments and told them that it was my first time subbing so they had to take it easy on me (that was a mistake). They took this to mean that they could chat as much as they want, and I got tired of getting onto them after a while so I just let them. So I got everything sorted, aaaaand… then I did nothing.
Seriously. There was like nothing for me to do. As I would come to realize throughout the day, subbing is both simultaneously incredibly stressful and incredibly boring. This boredom led me to messing about endlessly with things on my desk, and I ended up taking a minute to actually read my sub info– and what did I see but a note about how you are NOT supposed to send kids to the office with attendance because someone will come from it.
Oh, fantastic.
Not even an hour in, and I’ve already messed something up.

Just swell.

Just swell.

Even better, a student that I had turned in as absent ended up coming late, so I just had to hope he had checked into the office. A girl came in to pick up my attendance, and I had to tell her I’d already sent it. She looked at me like I was an idiot, a very lowering feeling. Yeah, okay, girl who is eight years younger than me, I get it. I messed up. Whatevs.
So I was off to a rocky start, but I was resolved to do better second period. Practice makes perfect right? So my second group came in, and, blessedly, they were perfect. Sat down, got right to work, and were very quiet. I made sure I took attendance, and did NOT send it with anyone. I also wrote a note on the back apologizing for sending first hour’s attendance with a student, and making sure they knew the student I had marked absent actually had showed up. I had no problems with these kids, which made me even more bored. I had already looked at every poster in the room and messed with every available thing on my desk, and I felt like a creep just staring at the kids.

“hey kids don’t do drugs, also don’t get an English degree or you’ll end up subbing in your old high school”

Finally I gave in and looked at my phone. It was my turn on a game of Words with Friends, so I played that–and of course, a video ad came on after, blaring loudly into the quiet room. My class just looked at me like I was such a loser–again, a very lowering feeling. Whatever, kids. I make 60 bucks for doing this, and you chumps are doing it for FREE. Suckas.
After second period, I had lunch time. That means I was supposed to eat lunch at ten thirty. TEN THIRTY. For almost every day of the past ten months, I haven’t even been awake by ten thirty, how am I supposed to eat my lunch now?! During sub training they told us we weren’t supposed to really go off campus during our lunch, but I didn’t know what the procedure was if we were eating at the school and I was too scared to brave the High School Musical cafeteria by myself.
So I found my way back to the freshmen office to ask what to do. The moment I walked in, the student office aide took one look at me and goes, “Ohhh, don’t you look adorable?!”

That’s better, eight years younger than me kid. I have hope for your generation yet. I spoke with secretary, who informed me that I was actually more than welcome to go off campus to grab lunch, as long as I was back in time. I hurried over to the nearest Subway, thinking I would just get myself a sandwich and save it to eat later. Luckily there was no line, and I made it back with about five or ten minutes to spare.
My third period class appeared soon after, and I took roll. They started out very talkative, and one kid asked out loud what “cansado” meant. Oh yesss, here was my chance to show off my skills. “TIRED!” I almost shouted, excited because I knew the answer. Also, because I was feeling it very strongly.
The kids were impressed, naturally, and somebody goes, “Whoa, she speaks Spanish!”
“Oh I have a minor in Spanish, actually,” I told them impressively. “So you can totally ask me if you have questions, and I might be able to help you.”

There’s a 30-40% chance I can actually assist you!

They settled down pretty quickly, and did their work quietly, so I thought it was going to be another nice, easy class. Unfortunately, that was not to be, and I ended up having to threaten to send a kid to the office. It felt very strange, I just kept thinking in my head I don’t really have the authority to send someone to the office though, surely? Luckily I didn’t actually have to resort to such drastic measures. I guess my intimidating face was pretty impressive.
The hour after that was my planning hour, so I went and visited my 8th grade Spanish teacher since her room was right by mine, and along the way I found my sophomore math teacher’s room as well, so I chatted with them. It was quite the blast from the past, especially since my former middle school Spanish teacher was now at the high school in the old room where I had Spanish in high school. I finally was feeling hungry, so I ate my Subway sandwich. It tasted slightly strange after sitting out for awhile, but I had little other choice.
Fifth period showed up, and kids started filtering in. One student came in and goes, “Wait, you can’t be our sub. How old are you? You’re not old enough to be a sub!” I assured her that I was 22, and, in fact, more than old enough to be the sub. “Oh you look like a teenager!” she said disbelievingly. WELL YEAH YOU KNOW WHAT, SO DO YOU OKAY.  If I’m being entirely truthful, however, I was surprised it took that long for a student to say it.
After the bell rang, I started taking roll. Halfway through, however, they came over the intercom to announce the winners of a week long fundraising contest between the different grades. My class was made up of freshmen, and they let out a deafening cheer when it was announced that they had won, and were to report to the auditorium for a reward assembly. I had to yell them down in order to finish taking roll. I was almost as equally excited as they were, because it meant that I had an unexpected free hour.

I’M FREEEEEE

Now, you may be saying to yourself, okay, that stuff you’ve told us so far is kind of embarrassing, Sara, but that’s nothing SERIOUS. I mean, after the cheesecake pizza story or getting lost and missing your friend’s wedding, a mix up in attendance is negligible. And beginning of fifth period Sara would have agreed with you– I was actually mildly surprised at how relatively normal things were going. But as fifth period wore on, I began to feel slightly unwell. My stomach started getting wonkier by the minute, and finally I felt the urge to go to the restroom in fear I was going to lose my lunch.
I didn’t throw up, so I washed my face and neck with cool water to try and help. I went back to my room for the start of sixth period, and sat for awhile before I realized that the assembly must last two hours, and I would have another free period.
I wanted to be excited, but I was not feeling so hot.

It felt a little like this, except instead of the stocks I fell into tummy upset.

I was feeling progressively worse and worse, and when I finally ran for the bathroom, this time my lunch made its unwelcome reappearance.  I started shivering soon after and felt hot and cold, and I realized that I was more than likely not going to be able to cover my final seventh period class. I wasn’t sure what to do so I tried to call my sister (she’s going to be a teacher and has subbed before) so I could ask her what to do. She didn’t answer, however, and I remembered she was taking our dog to the vet. So finally, unsure but feeling even worse, I made the long trip back to the freshmen office yet again.
Of course, the secretary was speaking with a parent, so she told me to just sit down and wait. And so, trying not to throw up again, I sat down and waited for five or ten minutes while she finished with the parent. She then called me forward, looked at me, and then goes, “Ohh, you’re the sub! I’m sorry, I thought you were a student!”
Sigh.
After embarrassingly explaining the situation, the secretary attempted to call a few people to see if they could cover the class. Finally she told me, “Just go on home, hon. You can’t sub if you’re throwing up.” In a fluster of shame and nausea, I rushed back to the classroom, collected my things, and drove my way home, where I fell into bed and slept about four hours.

So there you have it, Dear Readers. My first attempt at substituting ended in an episode of suspected food poisoning. I’m guessing that things went south when I let my sandwich sit out for a couple hours before eating it. So… in a ridiculous joke of the universe, my first day of subbing was ruined by none other than Subway. Because, you know, my life is one big cosmic joke.

I’m just going to take this as a sign that I was absolutely right when I decided I was not meant to be a teacher.

The Single Lady’s Calendar

(UPDATED NOTE: I’ve turned this post into a Buzzfeed post, which I would be so unspeakably grateful if you would check out and share any way you can. You can also read a little bit more about it on my other post explaining why I did so!)
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers!
As you all probably know, I am perpetually single, and I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s in nearly a decade. But contrary to what you might expect after hearing that, I love Valentine’s Day. I really do; it makes me happy because it is a holiday dedicated to celebrating my favorite emotion–love. Last year, in fact, I wrote a whole blog post about just how much I love Valentine’s and why. You can check it out, it’s one of the most popular posts I have ever written for the blog (so you know it’s, like, totes good).
All this being said, I know that there are probably just as many of you who plainly loathe Valentine’s Day–and hey, I’m not going to pretend like that’s not completely understandable. I love chocolates and gifts as much as the next girl.
A few months ago, I began kicking around an idea in my mind. I had seen those hilarious someecards on Pinterest that divided the months up into months for single people, and I thought they were pretty darn funny.

Like this.

Just trying to be funny (as I strive so hard to do), I started thinking up titles for all the months. And then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me– why not make an actual calendar for single ladies?!
The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea. But one thing I knew right from the beginning was that I would not be able to accomplish this feat on my own–my skills, such as they are, rest in writing, not photography or Photoshop or anything like that.
Enter my lifelong friend, Cindy Benton. Luckily for me, Cindy is extremely talented, crazy creative, and amazing with a camera–and she both had and knew how to use Photoshop. Together we cooked up ideas, ironed out details, and over two days in January, with the help of Cindy’s equally creative sister Erin, we shot The Single Lady’s Calendar.
Initially I planned to post this post on January 18th, the one year anniversary of the blog (YIPPIEEEEE!!!). But I was young, and naive, and I did not understand the rigors and treachery of trying to navigate Photoshop that Cindy would have to face down. It took much longer than I expected, but thankfully Cindy never threw up her hands and said she quit.
So we reassessed, and then I realized, when would be a more perfect time to post the calendar than Valentine’s Day?
After all, I wrote last year for all the people who loved Valentine’s Day. Why not create something for those who don’t feel quite so positively?
And so, in solidarity for all you single gals (and heck, even guys!) out there who consider February 14th to be Singles Awareness Day, I feel you. This one is for you.

The Single Lady’s Calendar

Jealous of Couples January

Fictional Boyfriend February

Movie Marathon March

All By Myself April

Marry My Cats May

Just Friends June

Join A Nunnery July

Always Alone August

Single September

Online Dating October

No Ring November

Don't Date December

There you have it, my friends! I hope you have as much fun with this as we did making it– and to all of my wonderful Readers, single or not, I hope you have an absolutely lovely Valentine’s Day! :)

PS Again, I cannot stress enough how much help I had in doing this. It literally would have never happened without Cindy, and she deserves just as much (if not more) credit for this than I do. I cannot say thank you enough to her, because she made it possible!!
And of course, special thanks to our assistant Erin ;)

Thoughts From A Chronic Groupon Massage Purchaser

Hello, Dear Readers.
I want to start off today’s post by asking you something. When you hear words like “luxury” or “relaxation,” do certain images come to your mind? Perhaps something like kicking back with a drink in your hand, or reading by the pool, maybe even a hammock in the quiet of the great outdoors. For many people, pampering is the name of the game when trying to relax, often along the lines of some sort of spa day. And once your mind drifts that way, perhaps you, like many people, also find yourself picturing that stereotypical image of a massage on the beach at sunset.

Something like this.

I must admit, I have always bought into that glamorous idea of a massage, where someone soothes away all your tension in a lovely place that smells good, while soft, magical music plays in the background. As I grew older, the appeal only increased. After a hard soccer game, when my body was tired and aching, what could sound more heavenly than someone to rub my feet? Or when I was studying for an important test, and my head and shoulders hurt from hours spent hunched over my notes, what could be better than someone to rub those knots away? To me, a massage sounded like the very height of luxury, the kind of thing rich or famous people did every day to deal with the stress of their glamorous lives. But this always seemed an unreachable goal for my poor, middle class self– an effervescent dream that danced in the sunset on the horizon, never attainable.
Then I got a job. And a bank account. Of course, I did not realize it at the time, but this was the first step on a long and colorful road I would come to embark on. Today, I’d like to share with you some of the more memorable impressions I have received in the world of massage.

The first massage I ever received was not exactly your typical experience. My family and I went on vacation to Hot Springs, Arkansas which, if you have never been, is a town that was essentially made up of spas and resorts when it was founded. Today, there are still a number of these old spas that are still functional and you can visit them– for a price. But it just so happened that at the particular time we were going to be there, my mother discovered that one of the spas was having a very special deal– you could go through, not just a massage, but an entire spa routine in their historic spa. And, best of all, it was SUPER. CHEAP. Like, I had enough money in my bank account to afford it, and there would still be money left over afterwards.

IS THIS REAL LIFE MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE

The only thing that made us hesitate was a slight catch– it was customary to go through this entire spa treatment… naked. Now, this was not like a you go into a dimly lit room and take off your clothes and get under some covers naked, this was like you take a special mineral bath, then you go and get hot towels put on you, and then you sit in a old-timey steam machine, and then you get a massage naked. This required you to move from place to place. Neither my mom nor my sister nor I were especially keen on this idea.

But after some researching, we found something that said you could wear your bathing suit if you were more comfortable that way– perfect!!! After scouring the process, we realized that we would have to take our tops off for the massage part, naturally, but just wear a two piece and that’s not even a big deal, just pop it off and lay down on the table under the sheet. Solid. I’m sold! So we booked our spa treatments, and gleefully headed off to immerse ourselves into the luxurious world that until now had only been the realm of the rich and famous. Not any more, movie stars.
Let me ask you another question, Readers. Whenever you were younger and in school (or perhaps you even now are at that age) did you ever go to gym class and have to do something called stations? You know, where the teacher sets up like six or seven activities and you spend five minutes at each before they blow a whistle and you have to hurry off to the next one?

CURSE YOU STATIONS

CURSE YOU STATIONS

Well, picture something similar to that, but in an even hotter and sweatier environment than a school gymnasium, and all your fellow classmates seem to be at least sixty years of age and up, and also completely naked. Now, I am an enormous advocate for loving your body and being comfortable in your skin, and maybe by the time I’m sixty I will be as confident (or perhaps just utterly indifferent) as those ladies seemed to be in their nudity. I had not (and still have not) attained that level.
We were hustled from “luxury” to “luxury”– first a bath in a tiny curtained cubicle, and then into one of the steam machines, and then to a table set up next to a ton of other tables where the lady inquired what my “troubled areas” were that I wanted the hot towels on. I felt very unprepared and overwhelmed, like lady, I have never done this before, you tell me (“Uhhh… my right knee kind of hurts?”)
During this time I kind of became separated from my mom and sister because you just had to go to wherever a “station” came available, and in some places you just had to wait. (Oh hi, don’t mind me here, just chilling in my wet bathing suit freezing my butt off and trying desperately not to stare at the naked lady who is so wrinkly and sagging that somehow things are drooping in just such a way that her modesty is remaining intact.)

Let me give you a tip, do not ever, under any circumstances, google “wrinkly saggy old ladies” because the internet is why we can’t have nice things

Finally all that was left was the massage, and feeling much like cattle being herded, I was directed back to another area of the spa to wait my turn. But first, I was required to rinse off in a special shower, to make sure I did not have any minerals on my skin. I say this shower was special because it was in the open– and a lady was just sitting by it, like a secretary at a desk. I started to get in when I was informed that I needed to take my bathing suit completely off.
Completely off.
My bathing suit.
.

I found myself mumbling some sort of protest, something about how that couldn’t be right because it had said I could wear my bathing suit. The shower secretary simply stared me down with steely eyes, informing me that I needed to wash off the minerals so my skin would be prepared for the massage. Slowly, in a daze of horror, I found myself taking off my bathing suit, three feet from a complete stranger, who carelessly turned on the shower thing, indifferent to the fact that my soul was slowing withering as my body attempted to shrink in upon itself.

Pretty sure this was my expression the whole time.

After this shameful procedure was finished, I was allowed to wrap myself in a towel, which I then had to huddle in for a period of ten-ish minutes (that felt like an eternity) as I found myself just sitting in a chair against a wall as I waited my turn to see a masseuse, like someone in the waiting room at a dentist’s office. Except, you know, I was completely naked except for a small towel with strange people about my person.
Finally it was my turn, and I rushed into the room, ready for the entire procedure to be finished with. But the best was yet to come, my Dear Readers. For my masseuse then instructed me to take off my towel, get onto the massage table, and then cover myself with the sheet.
I stress the “then” part, because the order this was supposed to occur in was very important. If you’ll recall, I was naked under my towel. And then I had to get myself onto the massage table. I am a very short person, if you didn’t know, so it was more going to be a climb onto the massage table–this would not have been a graceful procedure if I was decked out in mountain scaling gear.
But alas, I was naked.
You’re a human being, you have a body (unless of course you’re an alien or a ghost or something, in which case, that’s freaking cool, and thanks for reading my blog!)– I’ll just let you ponder why this might be uncomfortable.
Ah, if only my masseuse would have stepped out for this event, it might have remained just awkward instead of one of the most humiliating tasks I have ever been instructed to perform in my life. But she did not. She simply bustled about the room preparing things as this occurred.

Here’s an adorable puppy awkwardly climbing to take the sting out of some of the things I have asked you to imagine already.

To this day, it still occasionally strikes me that there are two strange women floating about Hot Springs, Arkansas who have seen me in my altogether.

But let’s take a minute to pause here. That story indicates to you that I found my first massage experience pretty traumatic, right? So why, you may be asking, does my post title seem to indicate that I have purchased massages numerous times?
Well my friends, never let it be said that I have shied away from or been held back by awkwardness in my life. (Seriously, though, I would never be able to do anything if I let a previous awkward experience with it ruin stuff for me.) Eventually, I discovered websites like Groupon, and LivingSocial, and CrowdSavings, all simply swimming in deals for massages at different places. And somehow or another, I found myself succumbing to the siren lure of that mystical, magical image of the massage on the beach at sunset– not that I have ever had a massage on a beach at sunset. But still, the image tempted me.

SO TEMPTING

Luckily, the majority of my subsequent attempts actually went very pleasantly. Massages became an indulgence I could occasionally afford with help of a discount website, and when I was stressing over a midterm, I could simply schedule one of the massage deals I had purchased to help me relax.
But as with all things in life, from time to time stuff doesn’t go quite as expected. This happened when I bought a groupon to a massage academy, that I came to find out was in a… less affluent part of town. This particular groupon was incredibly cheap, and I realized it was because it was going to be given by a student studying to be a masseuse, not an actual certified one.
Now, if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you have probably received the very accurate impression that I do not have a great deal of experience with boys. But what you might be surprised to hear is that I have actually been talked out of my bra by a man.
His name was Jesus, and he was a man in his (I’m estimating) mid-40’s. He also happened to be the student masseuse that I was scheduled to receive my massage from. Now, as I mentioned, this whole situation ended up feeling very dodgy. Typically when you get a massage, you undress down to your underwear only. But in this case, when Jesus instructed me to undress to my comfort level, I was feeling distinctly uncomfortable. I was in a bad part of town, at a somewhat rundown massage academy, facing a massage by a man for the first time. To make matters worse, my sister was not getting a massage at the same time like she had every other time before, so I was all alone. I opted to leave not only my bra on, but also my shorts.

Okay, I’m ready!

What proceeded was one of the strangest experiences of my life. Jesus started asked me lots of questions about myself and life, and he began making predictions about what kind of person I was based on where I had tension in my body and what kinds of chronic aches I had. At one point he was asking me why I let people push me into doing things I didn’t want to do and encouraging me to stand up for myself. He continued to give me life advice, all while periodically “pushing out the bad auras” and “throwing them away” (always followed by a literal shaking of his hands after hovering them over my body a few inches). It was almost like receiving a massage from a fortune teller– he talked really fast and sometimes with an accent I couldn’t understand so I just nodded sometimes even though I didn’t know what I was agreeing to and I think this led him to make some inaccurate predictions because I provided him with false information and now sometimes I’m secretly afraid he laid a curse on me and that’s the real reason I’ll never find a boyfriend (probably).

He actually kind of looked like Zoltar, maybe I should have listened to some of those predictions…

Suffice it to say, I left that place confused, oily, and a different person.
My most recent massage was this past week, and luckily it was at a place called Petra’s, where my sister and I had been before and really liked. Because neither of us have any semblance of a love life (the excitement with Jesus was a couple of years ago, sadly) we tend to end up doing everything together instead, and we had what was essentially a couple’s massage (or the single sisters’ massage as I like to think of it)…. aka we were in the same room.
My first tip about getting a massage is make sure you go to the bathroom before you start. I didn’t need to, but I still pretended I did because I wanted to check in to the massage place on Facebook because I had thought up the oh so clever caption “I live for the massage, massage, massage, live for the massage-sage, live for the massage-sage” to put with it. Yes, I know I am a product of my terrible generation and I’m obsessed with social media and blah blah blah. But really, I just love terrible puns, and I was not passing up my chance to parody Lady Gaga.

This post took me a really long time to write because I got lost looking and laughing at the Google search results for puns

Another tip when getting a massage (especially if you are a lady) is to make sure you shave really well. It’s a slightly disconcerting feeling to have someone massaging your legs and you suddenly start thinking Oh god oh god oh god oh god did I remember to shave above the knees last night (nope!). My masseuse was really nice, and it just seemed like I owed that much to her, but it was too late at that point.
The biggest problem I have noticed in my chronic massage experiences is that I have trouble just being. Like, the point of a massage is that you’re supposed to just lay there while someone else pampers you. But the problem with massages is that you’re supposed to just lay there while someone else pampers you. Without fail, every two to four minutes I feel like I should say thank you, but what kind of body oil slick slope does that lead to? Where do you stop? How many times is too many times to say it? Is she silently judging me because I’m not saying it and she thinks I’m an ungrateful jerk? Or if I started saying thank you periodically, is she going to think I’m a freak and it will get really annoying?
I usually spend the first ten to fifteen minutes occupied with thoughts like this, and just trying to keep my eyes closed (Third tip– If you’ve never had a massage before, I’ve realized that it is definitely best to keep your eyes closed so you’re not just uncomfortably staring at your masseuse). Finally I’ll come to a point where my brain will think, well, it’s too late now, I’ve gone too far as it is and she’s going to think of me what she’ll think of me.

Gratuitous Doug gif, because it’s guaranteed to be Funny (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE)

Like me, you may have noticed in life that things you really build up an image of in your head rarely end up being like you think they will. I was finally relaxing, beginning to enjoy my massage, and I was at last able to keep my eyes closed without having to scrunch them. I’m settling in, and I perk up my ears to allow myself to be soothed by whatever dulcet sounds were drifting through the room. Now, if you’re talking about soothing background music, I definitely prefer things that have to do with water– rain, rushing rivers, babbling brooks, thunderstorms, etc.

Something about this is soothing to me on a visceral level.

Unfortunately, a rainy day soundtrack had not been selected for our massage time. Instead, something that sounded like electric guitars in space was playing. Not terrible, just… strange. We came to the point in the massage when it was time to roll over and put your face into that little face rest thing that has a hole in the middle. Not necessarily the most comfortable thing to put my face on, but not a big deal, of course. Unfortunately, around the point when my masseuse began working on my arms and shoulders, it came to my attention that my eye itched. Ferociously.
In case you didn’t know, it is very hard to make subtle, stealthy movements when someone literally has their hands on you. I began trying to rub my face on the thing, but the itch was just so located that I couldn’t get it to the face thing to rub on without essentially just turning my head and rubbing my face up against it like Baloo in the Jungle Book does with that tree.
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My arms also happened to be otherwise occupied, so there could be no quick, casual scratch and run either. I suffered through for the next five minutes before the itch finally faded. Around that point, my masseuse moved up and started rubbing my neck… and then my head. She was massaging my scalp, guys. You know those people who, if you play with their hair, they will actually literally melt into a puddle? Yep, that’s me.

So accurate it hurts.

So accurate it hurts.

Another fun fact about me– when I get really relaxed, I have an unfortunate tendency to drool. So for example, when I’m really, really tired at night and I sleep really heavily, I’m much more likely to drool. Makes perfect sense, right, I mean my muscles relax so my mouth gets very slack and so slobber is much more likely to come out (It’s science). Well, when this lady began massaging my scalp, I fell into utter relaxation mode.  I wasn’t concerned any longer about the fact that I might have forgotten to shave or that my hair might have somehow suddenly started producing dandruff the very day I got a massage or even that my bare chest was currently smooshed into a table.  I don’t think I even knew what my name was.
Regrettably, however, this led to an unfortunate circumstance– as my lady finally quit rubbing my scalp and went back to rubbing my shoulders, I emerged from my stupor to find myself with my mouth wide open, drool hanging precariously from my lip. My eyes had barely had time to process the fact that I was staring down at my masseuse’s tennis shoes when I felt the drool lose its tenuous battle with gravity. In slow motion, I watched it plummet towards the ground, and the desperate refrain running through my mind was please don’t land on her shoe please don’t land on her shoe pleasedon’tlandonhershoooooooooe

The last thing my spit ever saw

With my track record, Readers, it’s really a miracle that I didn’t end up drooling on my masseuse’s shoe. But maybe fate owed me one– I did fall asleep once on my then-boyfriend and I literally covered his arm in my sleeping spit.
The rest of the massage passed without too much incident, and I found myself enjoying the experience immensely as a whole. Another, very pertinent tip to know about massages is that you should expect to feel like you just finished wrestling a greased pig in a vat of Crisco when you finish. I generally go straight home and take a shower after. That aside, I certainly felt relaxed after I was done, and that, of course is the point.

So what I’m trying to say, Dear Readers, is that if you’ve been eyeing those Groupons lately and dreaming, like I did, of that massage on the sunny beach, I encourage you to go for it. It more than likely won’t be exactly what you were expecting, but isn’t that the best part of life? Sometimes you don’t get what you thought you would, and yet you end up loving it.
As for my final tip about getting a massage– don’t try to write a blog about it, because no matter how you try and phrase it, writing about someone putting their hands all over your oiled, lotiony half-naked body just comes out sounding so awkward.

But hey– never let it be said that I allow awkwardness to stop me.

Oh schwelllll!