Ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation that you think is perfectly innocuous...except maybe you just slightly...misjudge...your audience and their tender sensibilities...and send the whole thing speeding right the heck off the rails? (Well, duh, of course you have, right? That's your cue to nod and smile in complete support and sympathy, by the way...) Anyway...I was researching medical practices yesterday on our health insurance provider's website, looking for a new pediatrician, dermatologist, orthodontist, etc. in our area. After I compiled my list, I figured I'd also go ahead and see if there were massage therapists nearby. (Even though it's something we have to pay for out-of-pocket, my every-other-month treatments keep all the muscles in my body much happier...so I just consider it preventive care, and soooo well worth it...)
Well...in the teensy-tiny little town of Carrboro (6.5 square miles, population 20,000, about a minute from our house) there are no fewer than FIVE separate massage therapists with their own websites. (It's...a bounty...of bodyworkers, I tell ya!) Needless to say, I was thrilled with this information--as well as the rates, which are about a third less than I was paying in Maryland. Later in the day, I was chatting with Riley, and told him what I'd discovered. In the guise of being "helpful", he began joking, "But Mom, you don't want a cheap massage! A cheap massage would be like this:" (demonstrates by whacking me in the back, with the hard edges of his hands). When I protested (I believe my exact wording went something like this: "Owwww! Knock it off!") he smiled smugly, "See? That's what I'm talking about! You should go with the more expensive place!"
However, when I told him what it actually costs, he was flabbergasted. "That much money? For an HOUR?" I assured him that the benefits were many, and the price was therefore reasonable. He was having none of it, though. In a dubious tone he continued, "What do you DO for all that time...just lay there?" Well...yeah...it's relaxing. I explained that you spend time on both your stomach and back, so the person working on you can get to all of the muscle groups effectively...and it's like being in bed, since you're under a sheet. He looked puzzled, "Why are you under covers?" (Here's where an alarm should have gone off, with a siren, and maybe some cool multicolored, flashing strobe lights: Danger! Red Flag! WARNING: DO NOT CONTINUE if you know what's good for you! C'mon, you're a parent, you should know better! But nooooo, I ignored the signs and answered him anyway...) "Um...because you're...naked."
Hoo boy, what I wouldn't give for a fly-on-the-wall camera to record his face for posterity. His jaw went slack. His eyes widened to saucer-size. He froze in a full-body posture of utter, paralyzing horror. He was mute for possibly 3 or 4 seconds (an absolute record for Riley) before bursting out with an outraged, "Moooommmm! That is NOOOOTTTTT something parents need to share with their kids! (a pause to inhale another furious breath) That is not part of growing up!" (He might have added more to his rant at this point, but I was by now howling with laughter and couldn't hear him anyway.)
So if my Mom Mission for this week was to traumatize my younger son, it seems I can check that one off the To Do List. Who knew it would be so easy to offend an almost-11-year old boy? (On second thought, I shouldn't be that surprised, since I have to cover his eyes when there's any kind of kissing on TV...and I'm talking Once Upon a Time, here, not...Scandal...) But that's okay--my baby can stay sheltered for as long as possible...and in the future, I won't tell him when I make an appointment to visit the massage therapist!