Sunday, March 10, 2013

comfort in your own skin

After a long day's drive through the Atlas Mountains, our guide led us into a 4 star hotel for the night. The sky was dark, so venturing out into the wilds on our own wasn't an option. Yet, it was too early to sit down to dinner for the evening. So we decided to get a massage to relax from our travels.

There were exactly three massage therapists and three rooms available, allowing us the opportunity to enjoy our massages at the same time. Our individual therapists led us to our perspective rooms and then left as we undressed. On the massage table were two towels. One draped over the top and one down the length of the table. I crawled under the second towel and waited. Once the therapist re-entered the room she began laughing.

"No, no," she giggled. "Towel under. Under."

My modest American self still hasn't acclimated to the 'embrace your body, be comfortable in showing it off' mentality a large portion of the world has. And although my masseuse has the same anatomy as I have, I was a bit reluctant to have mine on display. Thankfully she recognized my hesitation and handed me a small package containing barely-there disposable underwear. But it was better than nothing.

I got up to cover myself a tiny bit as she laid the towel down for me to lie on. And when the time came for me to lie face up, I grabbed the towel under my head and draped it over my chest.

Story swapping time came as soon as we stepped out of the spa. After hearing Travis and Natalie's stories, I was extra appreciative my masseuse was accommodating to my discomfort with nudity. As Americans, they too crawled under the towel. But unlike my therapist, theirs whipped the towels off of each of them. And both of them, in their own separate rooms, stood exposed as their towels were placed back on the tables.

When it was Natalie's turn to lie face up, her masseuse gave her an extra chest massage. Travis' was ready to take it a step further though.

As she was standing near the lower region of his body she asked "all done?" "ALL DONE!" he exclaimed with wide eyes. Yet, she asked one more time for clarification. And then stayed in the room to wipe oil off his back with the towel and watch him get dressed. When he reached the door to leave, the door was stuck. She laughed out an "oops" and unlocked the door.

Needless to say, my massage was the most relaxing of the three.


Amy said...

Hahaha! Claire, this kills me. When my parents and I were in India, my mom and I decided to get massages at the fancy hotel we were staying at. I undressed, got on the table with the towel draped over me and when the masseuse came in, the towel came off and there I was, feeling a lot like a piece of meat being tenderized on a butcher's countertop. It wasn't so bad when I was laying face down...but feeling incredibly exposed when she told me to flip over, face up, made it the most UNcomfortable massage I've ever had.

There were two masseuses and two rooms available when we went, so my mom and I were able to have our massages done at the same time. Unfortunately, there was only one female masseuse. My mom, bless her heart, said she'd go with the male masseuse to help ease her virgin daughter's anxiety. She said, "After being labor five times, you already feel like the world has seen you naked." I'll just take your word for it, Mom.

claireb said...

haha... what an excellent description of how it felt! You nailed it Amy.

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