Polly Gillespie says she’s mall massage convert after a chance encounter. She gives us a detailed recap of her “cheap and hard” experience.
Massage. It’s a mystical thing. I only remember how much I love a rub down when, in desperation, I go to try and relieve the pain in my back and neck.
Massage is like labour – magically forgotten until next time. If we remembered labour, most of us would only do it once. If we remembered the pure joy of massage, we’d probably move to Thailand or at least chain ourselves to a table at East Day Spa.
I like it hard. I’m not on a massage table to be rubbed with oil. There are lots of people, I’m sure, who just enjoy the feeling of oily hands gliding across their body. But for me, I want to be grimacing through the table face-hole.
I try not to make grunting noises or scream, lest they become disturbed, but I’m grimacing like a mad baboon as they dig in to those back muscles. Bring it on.
Last week I was at the mall. I believe I’d gone with my daughter as she purchased things she truly didn’t need from various stores. Being on a tight budget, I just wandered around with a coffee hoping to burn kilojoules as I did several dozen loops of the complex.
I’d seen the massage places in the mall before, and my friend Marc actually became a mall massage maniac. I found that weird when he told me.
“You go to the mall for a massage? Why?” I queried.
Marc replied with gusto: “They’re cheap and quick.”
Not my idea of fun. Cheap and quick are generally not attributes I drool over. So I ignored his insistence that I “go get me one”. Until, that is, after nine laps of Westfield I was so exhausted and found myself hunched over a mall rubbish bin.
I meandered over to the massage place and studied the options. There was quite a menu, I could choose my areas, length of time, whether I had my clothes on, and whether I wanted a dry massage or an oily one. And $35 for a semi-naked, 30-minute neck, shoulder and upper back massage seemed fairly reasonable.
But I was concerned I’d be partially disrobing in a mall packed with people. What if there was an earthquake? What if someone just pulled the curtains aside and my white fleshy body was on display to everyone going past the door to Farmers and Countdown?
My back was killing me. Abused by me hunching for hours while tapping away at a keyboard.
I checked with my daughter. She was 20-items deep in a Glassons dressing room and was not planning on stopping anytime soon. So, like the mall massage virgin I was, I took out my Eftpos card and tiptoed into this brave new world.
It was good. I mean, it was really good. I went with oil, and hard pressure, and I grimaced and silent screamed myself in to oblivion. As I lay there almost crying with pleasure and pain, I did take note that my bod was only a meter away from the front window, protected by a simple thick gauze curtain. I most certainly could hear every conversation passing by. I worried briefly about earthquakes, riots, fire alarms and bruising, but most of the time I just kept thinking, “Please never stop!” and, “Polly, don’t grunt!”
I’m a fan. I haven’t had another yet, but I shall. There may not be a sumptuous waiting area with soft lighting, burning essential oils, music from the heart of a sacred Buddhist temple and vanilla spiced tea poured for me by a beautiful woman, but it was cheap and hard – and cheap and hard ain’t that bad when you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.