Deep Tissue Massage Thoughts with Large Marge

Yesterday, I received a deep tissue massage by a Slovakian woman named Large Marge in the massage parlor’s last room on the left. (Only one thing in that statement is a lie.)

She asked me if I wanted my glutes massaged and it took all the effort I had to keep a straight face and resist asking, “Glutes are boobs right?”

It was the most violent massage I have ever experienced in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I asked for deep tissue but by deep tissue I didn’t request “toe-curling-pants-wetting-pain”. But like all good women, I bit my lip and took it in the dark.

Now the point of this post is not to discuss my sadomasochistic massage, it’s to talk about writing, ass faces.

In a roundabout way, I suppose.

I can never relax during a massage. I think this is partly related to my very first massage. I was probably 16. My step-mom booked a couples massage for my sister and I with a husband and wife naturalist team bent on introducing holistic methods to the masses. Sounds like the plot to a Captain Planet episode doesn’t it?


Remember these fools?

Remember these fools? 


After much tee-heeing about the hilarity that we’d share a massage room, I was assigned the male masseuse. Or maybe I took one for the team for my 13-year-old sister. Either way – I still remember him. He reminded me of some old hippie…grey hair, ponytail, Aladdin-style vest. This did not worry me. The fact that he had a very long coke nail on his right pinkie finger was the kicker that kept me alert throughout the whole massage. Relaxation was not to be had.

I was terrified. I kept picturing him slipping in the oil and clawing me with his nail. I’d come out of that massage like poor old Rosemary Bathhouse after her demon-rape dream.


"Worst massage ever."

“Worst massage ever.”


So because of that one experience and thanks to an extra-long coke nail, I can’t unwind. I always think. My brain whirls. In fact, there are always three main things I think as I’m being massaged:

1. “What body part are they rubbing me with? Because it feels like a [comment edited]…”

2. “What if lose control of my bowels?”

3. “Cake is awesome. I wish they could rub me with cake. Hey, let’s make that happen.”

But in addition to those slightly improper thoughts, I think of my stories. Stories in progress, yes, but it’s also a friggin’ fabulous time to brainstorm. Your mind wanders. And while I’m busy worrying about if the reason the masseuse is asking me to flip over onto my back is for mere human sacrifice, I’m also brewing up some pretty kooky scenarios in my noggin.

(Doesn’t the word “noggin” really get you jonesing for some egg nog? Think about it.)

I don’t entirely attribute the fact that I can’t relax because I’m a writer. Maybe I’m just neurotic. But what I do when I’m NOT relaxing is definitely related to my writing. I’ve always been like this. I can never NOT know what’s going on around me. I can’t fall asleep in public; I can’t sleep during a road trip or on an airplane. Sure, maybe I’m busy worrying about whether someone will teabag me while I doze but I don’t think that’s it.

I have to be constantly aware. And that’s a good thing for an eavesdropping, quote-stealing writer.

What this shows is that sometimes it’s okay to not to relax during a massage. Chalk it up to inspiration. I also came out of it with an envious case of bedhead.


"Helena Bonham Carter ain't got nothin on me."

“Helena Bonham Carter ain’t got nothin on me.”


After all, without Large Marge and her voluptuous forearms I never would have had this blog post.  So the next time you want to come up with a plot point, drop $60 and head to the nearest massage parlor for a very happy ending.



C’mon. You knew that reference was coming.

No Comments
  • Reply


    March 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Now I have to try not to think of this post when I get my next massage.

  • Reply

    Michael Gillan Maxwell

    March 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Hysterical Jules, especially the cartoon at the end. LOL. I had a deep tissue massage last summer at Omega Institute. The guy stood on my back and pushed against the ceiling. Very intense. It’s a damn good thing I have a torso like an oak wine barrel.

  • Reply

    Marcus Speh (Birkenkrahe)

    March 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    This strikes an extremely memory chord with me: more than ten years ago I undertok a business trip to Mexico City. In the Grand Hotel where I stayed (the state oil company paid for the trip, the hotel was first rate) I was offered a massage by an experienced masseuse…it was not Large Marge, but it wasn’t Penelope Cruz either…anyway, she got to work on me (I wouldn’t have let a man near me, actually, too prudish or too sensitive or too prejudiced or all of these!) and after an hour I rose from the bench hulled in exotic scent, slick and covered with essential oils…I shuffled back to my suite…and could hardly move at all for three days. Whatever fantasies I may have had…died that week. Sine then I swear the best and only things are: foot massage and Shiatsu. I give you my feet, Marge, or I will remain dressed (Shiatsu)…

  • Reply


    March 4, 2013 at 6:30 am

    As a follow up to this, I believe you should look into a round or two of acupuncture.

  • Reply

    Align: Massage & Bodywork

    March 4, 2013 at 7:36 am

    As a therapist, I see ALL kinds of people come in for all different reasons. To think everyone comes in to “zen” out and listen to gongs and Hawaiian nose flutes is just bunko. You’re totally not alone! It bothers me when a therapist wants to impose their agenda on their clients. I don’t think that’s what I’m there to do. I’m there to hold a space for people to be whatever it is they want or need to be in that moment (within reason…I’m not going to hold a space for someone to murder me or something). I have clients who I have seen dozens of times that I know absolutely zero information about, and then I have clients that I see one time and know their entire life story and 10-year plan……….in the first time minutes.

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