Reversing the Little Mermaid. Or: How to Have an Unbearably Awkward Massage

Or: How to Have an Unbearably Awkward Massage

This week, I had an accounting exam, missed home, and bawled like a baby…twice.

Yes, I cried.

It happens.

Sue me.

In summary: I had a rough week.

So, I decided to treat myself to a massage.

After a quick Google search, I found a place near my apartment and booked an appointment.

I will admit, I was startled by how many offers for “un masaje erotico” popped up on that search.

Trust me when I say that I triple checked that my massage was listed as “exotic” and not “erotic.”

I showed up to the appointment, followed the receptionist to my room, and endured a few logistical issues.

Why is there a shower in here? Is that normal??

Why is she handing me little white shoes? Are they for that shower or for trotting around the meditation room afterwards?

Why is there a robe hanging on the wall? Is that a decorative piece or am I supposed to put that on?

It was stressful because I did not want to do the wrong thing and look like a complete idiot in front of this stranger.

I prefer to look like an idiot in front of my friends.

Or men I’m interested in.

Because awkwardness is hot.


But for the most part, I managed to get through the experience with the receptionist with low levels of fumbling and confusion, which I really think I deserve an award for.

Now in my massage room, I disrobed, slipped under the sheet and settled onto the table, ready for a relaxing and therapeutic massage.

The masseuse entered the room.

And that’s when the awkwardness went from low to ultra high.

She grabbed my limbs and re-positioned me into a naked, sprawling star fish.

Umm, HI. Can I help you?

Then, she jumped onto the table. 

What the f*** is this?

And she proceeded to use her elbows, knees, and feet to poke and prod my body.

No, seriously. What the f*** is this?!?

It was like acupuncture, but with human bones instead of needles.

I did not sign up for this.

At one point, she literally stood on me and walked across my body.

Later, I checked the ceiling for ropes because I figured she had to be holding onto something to balance.


She was straight free-stylin’ it.

Just as I was resigning myself to the fate of an hour-long human acupuncture session, the woman got off me and started the ‘real’ massage.

Apparently, the cirque-du-massage was just a warm up.

Thank you soooo much for warming up my body. I haven’t been using it all day or anything.

She proceeded to lather me with an entire bottle of massage oil.

I felt like a glazed ham.


I wasn’t sure if she wanted to massage me or bake me.

It’s a good thing the FGC didn’t roll by just then, any minor movement in the earth would have caused me to slip off the table and crash right into the wall.

Previously, I had filled out paperwork, indicating that I wanted strong pressure.

I got light pressure instead.

Which is great.

There is nothing I love more than dropping dough for the luxury of getting petted like a kitten.

Eventually, the bizarre massage was over and I was left alone to rinse off the eel-like residue from my skin.

Oooooh, that’s what this shower is for. Good to know.

For the record, I take incredibly fast showers.

Growing up, if you showered for more than five minutes, you were subject to a condescending knock on the door or ice-cold water being thrown over the curtain.

It was always my mom with the ice water.


So, I pulled a reverse-Little-Mermaid and stepped out of the shower as a real human being.

I was putting on my clothes when my massuese poked her head in.

Umm, hi. Again. WTF, woman?

She told me that I had to leave within three minutes because she had to get ready for the next customer.

She had left me alone a full six minutes earlier.

I’m pretty sure that timeline makes this massage place the most efficient company in all of Spain.

But ok, I can tell when I’m not wanted.

It’s usually when a person says, “Get the hell out.”

So, I gathered my things and headed home, feeling no better physically and somehow worse emotionally..

A fantastic end to an already-rough week.