I love my job, most of the time. I get to meet all sorts of people. Individually, I enjoy most people. Not to much as a herd. The “herd mentality” is real and seems to bring everyone down to the lowest, common denominator. Ugh.
Lets start with the trolls that I meet. There are several kinds. My least favorite are the ones who think they’re sly and can “wink, wink, nudge,nudge, you know what I mean?” Their way to a happy ending. It doesn’t matter that I call them on their behavior as soon as I sense it. Remind them of the laws of this state and roughly, keep tucking the sheet after they try to pull it down so I can see their junk. I have yet to stop a massage because I feel unsafe. I’m an intimidating woman, even when I’m not trying. It’s a sort of game with me. I have been told that I would make a great, dominatrix. So, these fat, usually married, creeps get a massage and hopefully leave with a case of painful, blue balls.
Next, we have the ones who make me feel sad as well as angry. Broken people who seem to revel in their brokenness. They dare you to fix them. “hehe, I bet you’ve never met anyone as knotted up as me. You can’t fix me, just maintain a level of functionality.” I know this is a lost fight before I begin. These people don’t want to be “fixed”. They won’t allow it. Then, they might lose their identity as this broken, stressed out person who just keeps on functioning, despite their problems. They won’t take any advice on self care because they say it won’t work. Whatever. It’s a steady gig for me and an ongoing lesson in compassion. I so want to shake the stupid out of them, sometimes.
Oh, the body haters. I have been asked if I find a certain body part ugly, tough to work on or just plain weird. One guy even asked if I thought he had a nice body. *eye roll* As an artist, I find the human form to be beautiful. After taking A&P I find it amazing. I have worked on amputees, women who have had radical mastectomies, gunshot victims, scared up veterans, a person with cerebral palsy and many, pregnant women. Not to mention the dancers, gymnast, cyclists, martial artists and other athletes. All bodies are awesome, in my opinion. I feel people tense when I touch a part that makes them feel insecure. Some, even say something mean about that part. One client got all upset when I touched her belly. Going off on how much she hated her belly. How flabby and covered in stretch marks it was. I almost teared up. I was at her house and in the hallway was a lovely portrait of her three children. I asked her. How could she hate the belly that held her three, healthy children? She smiled and said. ‘I never thought of it that way.’ I’m glad there is a revolution, of sorts, about body love. I for one am tired of being bombarded with images that I can never emulate. Not that I would want to. I am comfortable in my skin. I’d like others to feel the same.
Shavers versus non-shavers. I have no problem with body hair. But, if you’re going to shave that back, mister, you’d better do it on a regular basis and NOT forget for a few days before getting a massage!! Same with you. Mister cyclist, with the prickly thighs. I have women apologize for not shaving that day and have to deal with some soft, stubble. No big deal. No man has EVER apologized! That’s like trying to massage a freaking hedgehog! Seriously, guys!
Ahh, clients who know how to receive and give feedback. One of my teachers in school told me I would attract people who needed my type of work. I know my regulars and their usual, issues. Weekly or monthly. I love people who have a maintenance schedule. I, myself am trying to stick with a self care routine. New clients who come in and expect, nothing out of the ordinary. “Just a massage.” Then, stumble out of the room with a goofy smile and glazed eyes. I LOVE doing that to people. I have had several clients who’ve had massages all over the world. They told me, my massage was the best. Oh, no! My ego just hulked out! Down, girl. Recently, I worked on an entertainer. Dancer/singer who told me I couldn’t hurt her. She had been Rolfed. It’s not my intention to hurt. Some of the work can be intense, but it shouldn’t hurt. Does that make sense? Well, I was recommended to her by another client. She wanted deep tissue and was prepared for a beating. “I don’t care if I don’t relax.” She’s fighting a cold and her father id dying, on the other side of the country. OMG! I have my work cut out for me. Challenge accepted! Herbal chest rub, some reiki and slow, relaxing, deep tissue, massage. NAILED it!! She floated out with some salve and that goofy smile I like to put on people’s faces. I love this work!