I don’t like strangers scratching my head and mounting me in public. Especially when I have to pay for it.
My glorious friend, P, and I decided to treat ourselves to a “foot spa” outing after work. It’s not a pedicure, you just sit in a fancy chair and people magically appear to massage your feet. They also wash your feet, which is a little weird to me because I’m not Jesus or a disciple, but okay.
I’d been on a similar outing with a co-worker for my birthday (thanks OG!). It looked just like a nail salon except there were only two chairs and we chatted the whole time. It was great! I was expecting a similar but swankier experience at this location, because it’s a different company and way more expensive.
My suspicions began when I walked into the place and it was strip-club dark. They grew when I saw all the posted “shhhhhhhh” signs everywhere.
Btw I hate “shhhh” signs. I’ll be the judge of how quiet my voice needs to be, mkay?
The tiny Asian woman (TAW) behind the counter shoved a clipboard at me and pointed to a seat where I could write down my entire medical history since birth. Que en el mundo? I’m here to get my feet rubbed and talk to my friend. Do I really need to list an “in case of emergency” contact?
Turns out, maybe.
My friend arrived and gave them her complete medical history also. Then TAW lead us through a doorway into a mystical land of darkness and eery music to a pair of giant recliners that were curtained off as though we were embarking on an hour-long lesbian love affair. P and I exchanged worried glances. It was clear that talking would be strictly prohibited, so we agreed to chat after our services were complete. Preferably at a place that was reasonably lit, and offers alcoholic beverages in bulk.
One minute later a circus-style duo appeared at our feet – one looked like Popeye and the other like a giant Samurai. They bowed at us simultaneously while P and I sat in our chairs paralyzed in an obvious I-don’t-know-how-to-manage-this-particular-social-situation. Bow back? Say, “hello” and break the vow of silence? Clap? Before we could appropriately react, they were upright again and offered us blankets. The answer to that is always yes. But it’s especially yes when you’re feeling vulnerable in the dark with strangers.
King Samurai took off my shoes and washed my feet, which as I stated earlier was really awkward. He ramped up the awkward by vigorously scratching the tips of my toes with his fingernails, which incidentally were longer than mine.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes so I couldn’t see the exit sign. He rubbed my feet long enough for me to forget the fingernail assault, but then startled me by banging on my legs like they had somehow wronged him. Lookit, I’m over 35 and take fish oil every day – I bruise easily. Know your audience dude. Vitamin K cream is not cheap.
Next was a polite and gentle foot massage, which I appreciated. I had just settled down when the rubbing stopped and he disappeared. I wondered where he went for one split second before I realized he was BEHIND MY CHAIR. How did I know that? Because he started scratching my head like I was flea-infested dog.
What. Is. Happening?
When he finally stopped with the scratching, I exhaled gratefully just in time for him to ask the question no one should ever ask.
“Can I touch your face?”
Yes. If you want to get punched in the dick immediately, then definitely touch my face.
My actual dread-filled answer, “uh, okay.”
My eyes were squinched shut while he did his touchy touch game of massage on my face. I was counting the seconds in my head to distract myself when I felt something on my forehead…Oh it’s his hand…Wait, both of his hands are on either side of my face…WHAT is on my face right now?! I prayed for this:
I know it wasn’t his junk because trust me – if he was packing that kind of weight in his pants he would NOT be working at a foot place. But, still. EW. Was that his CHIN on my forehead? His FOREHEAD? Sadly, you and I will never know because I was too mortified to open my eyes. I’m going with chin so I can sleep…
Four forevers later he finally took himself away from my face which made me very happy. He went back to my feet and tricked me into thinking I could relax. That’s when he started massaging up my calves, moved on to my knees, and then mounted me in order to reach my thighs.
This was supposed to be a FOOT massage! What in the actual fuck?
When my thighs were kneaded to an acceptable level in his mind, the service was complete. Mr. Samurai hopped off of me, he and Popeye bowed in unison and vanished into the darkness. I hesitated for a moment the way a hostage might after they’ve finally been freed, and then bolted from my chair.
The second P and I got out the door we collapsed in on ourselves laughing. We couldn’t decide if what had just happened was the best thing ever and we just weren’t prepared for it, or if it was the worst thing ever and we paid $50 for it. Either way, we moved on to snacks and libations and laughed about it for the rest of the evening.
Fact #1: This is the first time in history that I’ve preferred the less expensive version of ANYthing.
Fact #2: The next time I want to relax after work, I think I’ll just do this….
Have you had a similar experience – where you expected one thing and got something totally different? What’s your favorite way to relax? Weed, liquor and sex are obvious. What else?