Monday, June 4, 2007
I had my birthday massage this afternoon.
My husband had given me a gift certificate back in March to the Maha Yoga Center, a local New Age-y place in town.
It's kind of pathetic when life gets so busy that it takes three months to schedule some pleasure. Sometimes I find myself too busy to even want pleasure.
"A party? I can't, thanks. I have plans." (A nap)
Scheduling the massage took a while. Then I made an appointment with a massage therapist I'd had before, but had to cancel to cover a story for the paper.
When I called to reschedule I asked for a specific date and time. The receptionist said, "We have an opening with Tom. Do you mind a male?"
Of course I didn't mind getting a massage from a man. Why would I? Why should I?
"You know," I said, "this might seem weird, but I'd really rather have a woman."
Where did that come from?
She told me it wasn't weird at all, and that's why she'd asked; most women feel that way she said.
But I'd surprised myself with my response.
My first gynecological exam at 18 was with my old family doctor, the silver-haired gentleman who'd given me my polio shots and taken out my tonsils.
In those days, I didn't even know that there could be women doctors. All of my doctors had been male. I never felt embarrassed. They were doctors after all.
I jumped ship when I became pregnant and heard of a woman Gyn/Ob who was recommended with much praise. She'd been through childbirth. She'd understand, I thought.
Her partner, also a woman, delivered my second child. When it was David's turn, I saw another doctor, a man this time. Both women had dropped obstetrics because of malpractice insurance costs.
The red flag flew when this doctor finished an office exam to determine how close to delivery I was, and held a conversation with me through the V of my legs that were still in stirrups. He didn't understand. He was arrogant. I'd struggled to sit up, my belly a hindrance. He didn't help. I thought of saying something about his disrespect. I'll always wish I had.
So today I had my massage with Susanne. I lay there and knew she'd understand legs that needed to be shaved, and soft flesh at the waist. I could settle in and relax in her understanding hands.