Friday, November 6, 2015

How strange is it that I don't like getting a massage?

One of the great aspects of being me is that there aren't many things I don't like. I eat just about anything and will try almost any experience at least once, which means life tends to be pretty enjoyable. I just kind of go with the flow.

But there are some things I just can't get into. For example, I've mentioned here before that I'm not a big fan of walking around without a shirt on. Not sure why, it's just not my thing.

I'm also not much into being touched by non-family members. That sounds weird in so many ways, but what I mean is that, other than my wife and hugs/snuggles with the kids, I'm fine with you, ya know, not touching me.

Which was one of the things that made my "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" experience so strange. The host, Meredith Vieira, was extremely nice, which is a good thing when you're dealing with nervous people sitting under bright lights answering trivia questions in front of an audience for the chance to win thousands of dollars. But she was also very touchy feely. Every comment was accompanied by a hand on your shoulder or a rubbing of your forearm.

When she asked me (several times) how I was doing, I wanted to say, "Fine, Meredith, fine. I'd be even better, in fact, if you could keep your hands to yourself."

But I didn't. You don't want to risk angering the host when someone is willing to write you a check for five figures.

It's not like it's a phobia for me or anything. I hug people to whom I'm not related all the time and it's fine. I'm just not looking for it to go any further than that.

Which brings us to the subject of getting a massage. My wife loves massages. She gets them from a very skilled friend of ours named Meghan.

Meghan, it turns out, is extremely good at what she does. She's a borderline miracle worker, as far as Terry is concerned.

So, knowing I can always use any sort of stress reliever, Terry very thoughtfully last Christmas got me a gift certificate good for one 1-hour massage from Meghan.

And I gave it right back to Terry and told her to use it.

This is nothing against Meghan, you understand. This is nothing against practitioners of massage therapy in general. They all provide a wonderful service. It's just not a service I'm interested in.

I realize I don't have to be naked to get a massage or anything, but that's not the point. I could be wearing a parka and snow pants and I'm still not interested in having you knead my flesh. Terry can do it to me, that's cool. Just not you. Or anyone else you know.

Is that weird? Am I just a freak about this? Maybe I am. I've had a massage before, years ago, and it felt nice. But I couldn't completely relax at any point during the experience because: (a) stranger, and (b) touching me.

So there you go. If you're looking to buy me something, a massage isn't the way to go. Nor is jellied ox tendon. I ate that when I went to China 10 years ago and didn't like it, either. Just trying to save you and me both some embarrassment.

You're welcome.

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