Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Chair Massage

I live in NYC and I believe that the Chair Massage is one of its greatest undiscovered treasures. Maybe not on par with the Cloisters, where you take your out of town relatives (and only your out of town relatives--seriously, has anyone in NYC just one day decided to go to the Cloisters, unprompted by tourists?). So it's not exactly like looking at medieval tapestries, but the pleasure that you can get from a chair massage--no appointment! no wait! no undressing! no credit cards! is fantastic.

For me, as a working mom in NYC it's often been a lifesaver. I'm rushing home and through some kind of miracle, I get off the subway fifteen minutes before the babysitter is supposed to leave. Only the insane would come home 15 minutes early. But what can be done in 15 minutes? Not long enough for a manicure. Not short enough for a drink (and who wants to channel Frank McCourt's father by coming home in THAT condition?)

A satisfying 10 minute massage is perfect. Not as satisfying as a 20 minute massage, but how many times a week can you claim "train trouble" before the babysitter catches on? Especially if you have that chair massage crease on your forehead?

My history with chair massages is mostly a smooth and happy one. Originally, I started getting them because I've never known boredom that approached anything like the boredom of waiting for my nails to dry, after a manicure. The polish is on, US Weekly is read, and I just sat there, fingers splayed, waiting for the paint to dry. And we all know how that goes.

In law school, in the early 1990s, I used to get manicures with my friend Allison. We would try to encourage each other to wait just one more minute before getting the hell out of the salon. We were always talking, but for some reason the fifteen minutes we had to sit with our hands under the vents and wait for our nails to dry, we had nothing to say. We'd sit in silence until one of us would say "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. NOT ANOTHER SECOND" and the other would act like a voice of reason, a skill that would come very useful in my mothering. If chair massages had been invented then, we would have no doubt gotten them. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure we would have gotten open heart surgery if the nail salons offered them to pass the time. But alas. It would be years before the chair massage technology would be offered.

The manicure-drying-boredom was soon surpassed by the pedicure-drying boredom. Honestly, it made the manicure drying seem like a walk in the park. On a sunny yet breezy day. With George Clooney. First of all, by the time the pedicure is over, I guarantee you will have read every magazine in the salon. As well as "War and Peace". In the original Russian. Which you learned since entering the salon. Second of all, a pedicure takes so fucking long to dry that at some point during the process, you will certainly not be able to remember why you are sitting there, what month it is, why you thought that a pedicure was a good idea in the first place. You will also probably wonder why people have feet. And the stress. Oh my God!

Everyone knows that a pedicure is only as good as the dry job. Because if you are impatient, and you leave before it's fully dry, despite the pedicure ladies' reassurances and despite their wrapping your feet in Saran Wrap (WHAT?), you are fucked. It will smudge and good luck wearing sandals. Sort of defeats the whole point, if you ask me.

So it was boredom, initially that brought me to the chair massage. But it became more. And I became a massage chair expert.

This blog will follow my NYC Chair Massage Experiences. Although I've had many, many chair massages over the years, I owe it to the blog and to you all to get a new chair massage before writing about it.

I will provide the name and address of the salon, the Chair Massage Therapist and my overall impressions about the experience.

I will start in the West Village and travel around the city getting Chair Massages and reporting faithfully. Oh, the things that I do for you!

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Blogger Unknown said...

I love that you put Frank McCourt in as one of your labels!

congrats on your new blog!

June 15, 2008 at 12:26 AM  

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