The World’s Most Misguided Birthday Gift

bad birthday giftsSunday night my mother tells me she got me a 1-hour massage and a foot reflexology session for my birthday. Score! I just moved to a new house in the last few days and am also just recovering from bronchitis and pleurisy, so I am in desperate need of a bit of pampering. The appointment is Monday, December 10 — my birthday — at 1pm.

Please follow along as I tweeted what would end up being a very surprising gift from my darling, sweet mother …

Best birthday ever. My mom gave me the gift of a one-hour massage. Just pulled up for my appointment. It’s NOT a spa.

What the hell? What is this place?

It’s in a strip mall next to a liquor store. With blacked out windows.

Why can’t I see in? Where are all the ladies in their puffy white robes?  Where’s the ice water with cucumbers and lemon? Where’s the display of perfumed soaps? Where’s the Enya?

It’s a “massage parlor.”

My mom got me a birthday gift with a happy ending. Oh. My. Goodness.

Just checked their website (as I sit out here in the parking lot) and the one and only testimonial is from a guy named Dick.

I remain in my car and hop on my smartphone to take a look at this place’s website. I’m seeing stock photos and a single testimonial. Not from Nan. Or Bunny. Or Whitney. It’s from a guy named Dick.

Later I find there actually was one other comment that I missed on the website’s “press” page, from Jimmy. This, by the way, is the only thing on the press page, so apparently the media has not discovered this spa yet.

When he says full body massage I think he means FULL BODY MASSAGE.

Dick and Jimmy. Jimmy and Dick. Probably an important clue.

I just called her and said there’s no WAY I’m going in there. She said, “Well I thought their prices looked reasonable.” I bet you did, mom.

Apparently my mother searched the word “massage” and the name of my town on Google and this was the very first place that came up. She said she thought their website looked nice. She called and scheduled the massage over the phone, paying up front.

There are deep purple velvet curtains in the windows. Deeeeeep purple.

We’re both laughing now.

This reminds me of when mom made toffee for the first time ever. On the day I got my braces.

She’s really not that bad, my mom. In fact, she’s awesome. I’m sure she thought this was a perfectly fine place to get a massage. She may have misjudged.

If I were brave I’d run into the liquor store next door, down a bottle of Boone’s Farm and go in there. But I’m not.

I know what can happen in places like these. I’ve read about it. Pamie warned me. She warned us all. You can’t make me go in there.

I wonder what they mean when they say “reflexology.”

I’m watching the front door. If I see a nice therapist walk out in pink scrubs or a white coat or something maybe I’ll change my mind.

A man just came out, got into his Lexus, and drove off at a high rate of speed.

Nope. Not changing my mind.

The Lexus guy was my cue to leave. Think I’ll go to Williams-Sonoma and pick myself up some mixing bowls.

birthday bowls

I ended up buying my birthday bowls at Crate & Barrel instead.

Mis-happy birthday to me!

Photo credits: © Leah-Anne Thompson –, Katherine Stone

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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