Looking for love -- and sore muscle relief
By Elizabeth Thompson
I watched my husband tap the pastel colored piece of paper pinned to the already jam-packed bulletin board. I felt my cheeks flush and the tiniest rush of thrill ran through me as I replied, “I don’t know. I’ve never done this sort of thing. Not that I don’t want to do it. I’ve read about it and how once you’ve tried it once, you’re hooked. After all, a lot of married couples do it! And the brochure says that they’re very discreet about it. So, um, if I’m finally going to do it, I want to be sure I do it right.”
He gives me a naughty smile and reacts to my rather unexpected moment of embarrassment cheerfully with, “Well, at least you get a choice…I don’t. Mine will be female.”
You may have gotten the impression that we were about to enter into the world of swinging couples -- a logical assumption judging by the flavor of the conversation -- and trust me when I say that the only swinging I’ve been doing typically involves the use of a mop, mood enhancers or the need for child restraints. For the simple explanation my husband and I will be married 15 years this summer, we have four young children and both have reached our forties.
I frequently ask my husband “how old am I now?” because my age has never been that important to me…until I turned forty and all hell broke lose in my body.
I mean, let’s face it, how long can the passion last?
I have always been a passionate person by nature. I always made time for art, music, writing, traveling and romance in every aspect of my life. Of course my life usually dictated the focus in which my passions would run. Once I began having children, they became a large part of that focus, as I to theirs. As my children are getting older, and with each additional birthday candle extinguished, I find that I have also evolved into yet another phase of my life. I see them growing up and requiring less of my attention, and as their individual needs and wants have become very complex, so has my life as a stay-at-home mom. But at days end and as much as I’ve seemed to have made time for everyone, there was very little of me left for the one person who first introduced me to true passion – my husband.
Being perceptive, and maybe a little fed up with getting mommy-leftovers again, my husband surprised me for my fortieth birthday last year and booked a weekend getaway to Cape May, NJ.
I stared at the bed and breakfast brochure in shock.
Yes; he assured me that this trip would be just for the two of us and arranged for my sister-in-law to sit the kids for a couple of days.
“You mean we won’t have to look for the kids’ menu?”
“No getting up a dozen times for potty stops or before 6:00 a.m., either!”
This was going to be a mini-second honeymoon of sorts and, after ten years of going on kid-friendly overnight excursions only, we were so ready to leave the nest for something a little more intimate.
Though we certainly weren’t ready to dive into the world of married meandering mid-lifers, we were going to find passion again even if it killed us to try and “not talk” about our kids.
We were looking forward to experiencing our first full body massage together.
“Okay, I’ve decided…I want a male masseuse!”
So he booked the appointment for the first morning on the Cape, with the idea that all the walking we would be doing -- among other things -- would result in our muscles screaming in lack of use. The day spa was just a short walk from our room and we couldn’t help but be excited…this was so self-indulgent…and so unlike us.
The air had a pleasant scent – a mixture of lavender and vanilla with a touch of spiciness, later to be disclosed as cinnamon. The lighting was subdued, but not dark, and there seemed to be candles lit on every flat surface. There was music playing infused with the sounds of nature and I couldn’t help but feel relaxed within the first two minutes of entering and I feared I would melt into a pile of goo right there in front of the receptionist.
Thankfully, our hostess greeted us quickly and silently directed us back to the changing area where there were two fluffy white robes hanging on brass hooks. It seemed a long time before she finally spoke.
“Please disrobe, put on your robe.”
Responding to sudden attack of nerves, I started to giggle and pointed to the robe.
“Which robe? Dis robe?”
She didn’t seem to understand as she continued, “…and feel free to pour yourselves a glass of iced lemon water in the waiting room while you fill out the form of problem areas.”
My form was simple because I just filled in at the top, “Basically, everything hurts.”
We were then shown to a room with two tables to be used for our side-by-side massage, and a large whirlpool tub in front of a completely mirrored wall. As our hostess was explaining about the allotted tub time to my husband, I was checking out the mirror. Not only was I not so thrilled about seeing myself naked, but imagined that the mirror was two-way and some sex-crazed animal(s) was sitting on the other side, ready to enjoy a full frontal display. Once we were alone, I suggested the same to my husband and he surprised me further as he faced the mirrored wall, stripped off his robe and said, “Sorry guys, but that’s as good as it gets.”
It got better for my husband, as his woman for an hour showed up. She was cute, perky and she was a foreign college student. And I wasn’t the least bit jealous.
You go boy!
If he got her, I just couldn’t wait to see what I got!
I laid there as instructed – face up and in between the sheet and the towel – and waited for my man for an hour. I heard the front door open and my pulse began to race. I imagined Sven, my blonde blue-eyed Swedish masseuse, whose only job was to make me feel good. I closed my eyes and felt a tiny bead of sweat form on my upper lip in anticipation. I felt his refreshingly clean breath gently blow my bangs aside as he spoke.
“Hello, Elizabeth...my name is Andrew.”
I smiled and opened my eyes and it took all my energy not to scream… as Andrew was as close to an age as my father!
“Just lie there and don’t try to help. I want you to let me do everything and for you to veg-out.”
No problem, dude!
I closed my eyes and imagined Sven.
What happened next?
Suffice it say that our getaway weekend was fabulous. Yes, I am stay-at-home-mom with four children, just entering her forties, with a substantially large mortgage, living a rather uninteresting life in the suburbs and have no financially stable career to speak of.
Thankfully, my husband
I can’t wait to see what happens when I turn forty-one…um…I mean…thirty-nine!
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