June 09, 2006

We'll Be Back, After This Brief Commercial Massage

Years ago I thought Daphne Duck was creative and funky, and at the same time very educated and knowledgeable. She was an elementary school teacher before she worked in civil service. She had been married twice before I met her. Daphne, I reassessed, was not funky, but flakey. She couldn’t maintain relationships or jobs. She was also a hypochondriac.

For as long as I knew her she was on the hunt for a doctor beau. She denied that being Mrs. Dr. was her goal, but she never dated anyone who wasn’t a doctor. Even the doctor with one hand caught her fancy, simply because he was a doctor. How come he only had one hand? Because the break-up of his previous relationship left him so distraught that he actually cut off his own hand and mailed it to his ex-girlfriend. Daphne had full knowledge of this when she started dating Dr. One Hand. Only someone as desperate as Daphne would date a guy who views self-mutilation as a romantic gesture. Her relationship with Dr. One Hand ended after a few months; however, she was not afforded the special delivery of one of his body parts.

Eventually, after sampling many, Daphne found her doctor. A psychiatrist. And he puts the “fun” in dysfunctional. He’s a really nice guy and everything, but has crippling abandonment/separation issues. That works out well for Daphne as she can be relatively sure that he will never leave her. So Daphne is set with her well-to-do shrink of a husband who will never leave her, her big house in the suburbs, her condo on the north shore of Lake Superior, a cleaning lady, and social status that she could never dream of were she not Mrs. Dr. Don’t Leave Me.

I believe Daphne spent all those years doctor shopping in order to never have to work again, and Dr. Don’t Leave Me was perfectly satisfied with a stay-at-home wife. But after sixteen years of schooling, two careers, three marriages, and over half a century of life experience, she wanted to go back to school. Normally I would think good for you! Expand your mind and learn new things. But she wanted to go back to school to become something. She needed more than the love of a neurotic man and the easiest life she could ever hope for. This woman, financially secure as a result of her third marriage sans pre-nup, wanted to become … a masseuse. OK, she called it a massage therapist. It’s all the same, isn’t it?

She went to school for a long time to learn this art, getting tripped up along the way due to some of the pesky ailments that collectively label her as hypochondriacal. Somewhere during her schooling we stopped having lunches once a month. It came to my sending a Christmas card once a year, without reciprocation. Until one year …

In response to a Christmas card I sent Daphne and Dr. Don’t Leave Me, she sent me and Boyfriend an invitation to her open house. Her graduation-from-massage-school open house. Unfortunately, Boyfriend and I were unable to attend the soiree, and I’m sure Daphne was offended. I made several attempts, following our regrets to her party, to acknowledge her accomplishment with a complimentary lunch or dinner. She failed to return my calls and e-mails.

I came across Dr. Don’t Leave Me not too long ago. I inquired as to Daphne’s well-being, and said I hadn’t heard from her despite my invitations. He dodged the subject of her rudeness, but did inform me that she has a few clients now, who she accommodates in one of the many spare rooms of their enormous house in the suburbs.

It strikes me as very strange that someone would choose a career in massage therapy. The thought of strangers laying their naked bodies in front of me and expecting me to rub my naked hands all over their naked bodies is, to say the very least, quite distasteful to me. I would have to touch the hairy bodies, the obese bodies, the anorexic bodies, the zit-riddled bodies, the wrinkled, old bodies, the diseased bodies. How absolutely disgusting.

Thoughts of Daphne came to me when I saw a commercial for some local trade school advertising that even I could become a massage therapist in just a matter of months. I wondered how Daphne is managing the tactile sensory overload. How is Dr. Don’t Leave Me handling the fact that his darling wife has her menopausal paws all over fully naked men who expect a happy ending? I’ll never know, but that’s probably for the best. All of the physical contact Daphne has with her clients is surely exposing her to a variety of delightfully contagious conditions. I’d hate to be a mere tabletop distance away from the crabs and scabes that jumped from Mr. I-Need-A-Massage-Because-My-Wife-Doesn’t-Understand-Me onto the oblivious Daphne Duck. Ick.

No comments: