In which I ask myself, "How naked should I be right now?"

Here’s how I knew that the spa was too high class for me: as I was settling into the women’s locker room, I read their advertisement for a new spa offering called the “Himalayan Serenity Facial” and thought, “A yeti’s going to do what to me now?” Gawd, Mona. Mythic mountain creature splooge jokes? What are you? 24?

Another disconcerting roadblock occurred when I wasn’t sure how naked I was supposed to be for my massage. I was given a fleece robe and slippers but no further instructions. This was the first time I had a massage performed and I was kicking myself for not googling this before I had to choose skivvies or no skivvies.

I hate being in situations where I’m afraid to ask these important questions, and I’m stuck calculating how much to strip off or what naked-clothes combo would keep me from looking like a perv. If I went in completely naked under my robe,everyone in the pre-pampering lounge would cry out, “HALP! Unsolicited nudity! Take this woman and her uncouth cooch!” And if I did keep my clothes on underneath the robe, I would hear, “Um, lady, the robe is supposed to cover your body, not act as a cape.” Obviously, I fail at spa. But I’m all flying colors in Target 101!

I was welcomed into a dimly lit room where I first sat on a chair and the masseuse performed a series of exfoliation and massage on my oafish feet and stumpy legs. As I moved onto the massage table and tucked myself under a warm blanket, I was immediately glad that I hadn’t selected a man to slough my scaly skin. I get uncomfortable when people even stand too close to me at the grocery store; I wouldn’t be able to relax around some stranger’s peen while I was just in my skivvies.

The lady waved her hands over my face and whispered, “Just inhale the scent of orange and vanilla and journey to your quiet space.” And even though I felt like I was breathing in an orange creamsicle and the soothing instructions were a little too hippie for me, I did succumb to the relaxing harp music and aromatherapy whiffs and experienced the most phenomenal body massage. After an hour of working on my muscles, I felt like my body had been replaced with a softer, moisturized version. I was thinking why I had never done this before and then I remembered how much I like paying my mortgage on time and feeding my child more than graham crackers and cheese.

Later that night, Mike and I had dinner at the Space Needle. There were notes littered along the window and as the restaurant rotated, I read these paper scraps. Most of them were written in crayon on torn bits from the kids menus. The notes were dull I pulled out my tiny notepad and scrawled, “My 25th birthday is today! What are you celebrating?”

While I feasted on my lobster tail, I wondered what kinds of answers my question would pull. It was more engaging than the crayola one-liners that said, “Hi! Wur U From?” I worried that those kids might have plucked my note and added, “I pooped today. Real big poop.” But after we had paid for our meal, the note had made itself back to our table. Under my celebration inquiry, four replies read:

“15th birthday.”

“30th anniversary.”

“1st anniversary!”

And then there was my instant favorite:

“Bar mitzvah! Emphasis on the ‘bar.’ :)”

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  1. thecandyqueen says:

    Sounds like a good day. I’ve only had one massage and the words to describe would be “greasy” and “light-headed.” And…I’ve never had dinner at the Space Needle so you’ve one upped me fo sho!

  2. skiplovey says:

    Happy Belated B-day (but you’re still celebrating…right?)
    Massage… so jealous. Always wondering how I can cheat one into the budget each month.

  3. emphasis on the ‘bar’
    i love that!

  4. as a former massage therapist, I can say it doesn’t much matter on the skivs, we are more concerned about the pre-massage showering…

  5. I hate the naked or not question. I’ve always been overly modest (perhaps I was morman in a past life?)and so I go with the most clothed option every time.

    Happy Birthday Mona!

  6. stfu? nfw. says:

    I think – and I’m no expert so don’t quote me here – that underwear is optional, but everything else should come off. The neighbor across the street does massages and B got me four (four!) of them for Christmas. Woohoo!

    I want to go to dinner at the Needle now.

  7. mrs. blogoway says:

    I’ve worked with lots of massage therapists and they just want you to feel comfortable. I’m glad you enjoyed it. There’s nothing like a good massage.

    Space Needle sounds fun. Next year you could do the Stratosphere in Vegas and the next you could do the Reunion Tower in Dallas. A tour of towers, so to speak.

  8. I loved the note idea! The “bar” response was classic.

  9. Chickenbells says:

    It sounds like pure heaven…

  10. I recently got a massage and had the same internal debate. I’m never quite sure what the proper etiquette is.

  11. Man, I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that note idea before – how cool! What a fun way to connect to your fellow diners. I’m so going to do that the next time I’m in a revolving restaurant šŸ™‚

  12. Julie Pippert says:

    What a great time!

    I once asked a masseuse…and she said, “To your comfort level,” which was a really helpful bit of no help whatsoever, but I did decide what my comfort level was and stuck to it. šŸ™‚

  13. Mamacita Chilena says:

    I was naked in the one massage I’ve ever gotten, and the male masseuse complimented my ass and it was soooooooooooo uncomfortable.

    Always skivvies from here on out.

  14. i’m a beauty writer and do spa stuff all the time–spa things are almost always better naked. they expect it, and it’s easier for them to move around.

  15. Yay for dinner at the Needle (that is something I’ve NEVER done in our fair city, but it’s on my list!).

    And you’re lucky you had a relaxing massage. The last one I had, the gal talked through the whole thing – my mind couldn’t rest even if it wanted to.

    I won’t be requesting her again.

  16. Butrfly Garden says:

    Ick. I would HATE being talked to! I think in that situation, I would actually ask her to be quiet. (That would just be rude in the other situations where I would like to do it, though.)

    Anyway, I would totally leave the panties on. Because that’s how I am. But now I know to think about that FIRST if I ever get one!

    Sounds like a fab birthday celebration.

  17. The spa that I go to is strictly females, female clients and staff, so I go totally nude during my massages. They always cover your butt with a towel during the massage, unless your having them massage your glutes. The ladies at the spa have told me that they prefer you to be totally nude (except the towel) but that if your overly shy then you can wear panties. I’m not shy about being nude in the spa or in locker rooms, so I choose to go nude, I find it more relaxing and comfortable that way. And the ladies at the spa have seen thousands of women nude, so it’s no problem at all to them if your nude.

    A friend of mine once took me to a female only spa that forbids swimsuites or clothing of any kind, you can wear a robe at times, but it’s nude only in the hot-tubs, sauna and pool. If your not used to being nude in a group setting you may feel that it’s a little awkward for the first few minutes? But after a few minutes you no longer give it a second thought, and then you grow to actually prefer to go nude. You just have to remember that there’s nothing sexual about it, it’s a female only spa and everyone’s there to relax and be pampered.

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