First off, I want to say I have great friends. And my great friends think I could use a massage. One set of great friends thought I could use one last August and another set thinks I need one now. As it is, I had THREE gift certificates to go get myself a massage and I have a weird confession to make: I hoard stuff like this. My mentality goes, “I’m going to use that after this really major thing happens because that’s when I’ll need it most.” And then that major thing happens and another major thing pops up so I’ll save it until after that one. You see where this is going. I end up never using them.
So the last gift certificate I received actually came from my church and is for a salon owned by a family in my church (or previously owned, they recently sold it, but still work there, so the connection is still intact and I promise I’m going somewhere with this story really soon). Because I know them and I know that they know that I have this gift certificate, I’m feeling compelled to use it. Soon. But I want to use the others first because I’m anticipating theirs being the best and I want to save the best for last and yes, I realize I’m rambling tonight and I don’t know what to do about that.
So. Today I went to use the one I was given by our Veritas teaching staff as a thank you gift last August. Last. August. Complications, though: the salon changed names and changed locations. But their old website redirected to their new one and the massage therapist was the same, so I took a chance and booked it.
I knew I was in trouble, though, when I arrived and pulled my minivan up right in front of their urban hipster salon and parked right next to the silver, chic motorcycle you see in the photo above. I walked in and got once-over’d by the hot pink haired, full sleeve tattooed receptionist and ID’d as non-hipster from the second I stepped in. She asked if I had an appointment and I told her I did and then I pulled out my gift card and explained it was for their previous name, but that the massage therapist card that came with it was still with them and would they still accept it?
She sooooo did NOT want to accept it. She tried everything she could think of to deny me the right to use the card. She tried the name change, but I pointed out the obvious, that their website redirected to the new one and the massage lady was still the same. She then asked if I’d won the gift card somewhere (like that should matter) but I assured her that, indeed, my friends had paid cold hard cash for the gift card. She then tried the whole “Well, our gift cards expire in 6 months and it’s been 9.” And I made sure she noticed that nowhere on that card did it say any darn thing about an expiration date and finally I think she got the message loud and clear: I was there to get a massage and I was going to use that gift card and I could very well out-reason her, Daffy Duck on my arms or no. She then pushed the health history form at me and told me to fill it in. I did so and nicely placed it back in front of her where she was busy texting in her lunch order or making fun of me on Facebook or some such and she didn’t bother to look up at me again. For five minutes. I finally slid the paper a little in front of her and asked if there was anything else I needed to do. She mumbled that I would be called shortly.
I’m going to stop right there and say to businesses everywhere: your receptionist is your first impression. This is true for doctor’s offices and for salons. I’m doing this place the courtesy of not naming them in this post, but you can better bet I will seriously think twice about stepping in there again. Unless I’m given another gift card. *grin*
But now I’m moving on because the massage therapist came out and she had a glowing white halo hanging above her head and she led me back to the room and she was quiet. And for the next hour I forgot all about Miss Hot Pink Hair out front.
It was while I was in there, though, that it occurred to me that getting a massage was equivalent to getting counseling, only for your body. I mean, you go, maybe reluctantly, or maybe enthusiastically, because you have a general idea of need or a desire to improve. And while you are in there, that happens, but in the process of that happening you are made aware of even greater need and you perhaps walk out of there in more pain than you walked in with, but in a different area, and you now know that that place you thought you needed to deal with is really small potatoes compared to the area you REALLY need to deal with.
And maybe you think one visit is sufficient, but really you’ve only opened up the issues and it will take subsequent visits to continue working on your newly exposed issues.
And suddenly you are grateful that you have three gift certificates instead of just one because, darn it, you are going to go again next week and the week after that. And just maybe by the end of it all you will feel normal again.
Or maybe you will just lie there psychoanalyzing your massage to death while getting it and come to the conclusion that what you really need isn’t so much a back rub, but a real live counseling session.
But then you will realize just as quickly that all your over-analyzing is true and if you go to a counseling session you will uncover thousands of things you’d rather not bring up at this point in time, so it’s probably better just to let that one go for now. And maybe get another massage instead.