Saturday, February 21, 2015

Observations on Valentine's Day

As a massage therapist, V-Day can kind of suck. Especially when it's part of the weekend, like this year. It's usually the busiest weekend of the year at any spa. It was super-nice to come home to flowers, and my daughter gifted me with chocolate (OMNOMNOM) and a cute card, so that rocked.

And granted, I made a lot of money, but DAMN, I was exhausted last weekend. For the first time in a long time, my hand actually hurt by the end of my shift. Well, it started hurting during my second-to-last massage, with my right thumb leading the charge to PAIN. I think all the shoveling of snow and scraping of ice lately contributed to that, and probably the fact that I'm lifting weights again, too.

Making V-Day even worse, It didn't help that we're experiencing a winter that resembles Dante's 9th circle of Hell. Ugh, driving home in a blizzard last Saturday night was horrendous. The new spa I work at is located in the downtown area of a quaint historical village, normally about 25 minutes away from home. Well factor in beginning blizzard conditions, giant snow banks everywhere reducing both visibility and LANES,  and Massholes, and it took me over an hour to get home.

Are y'all familiar with "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift?" Don't feel bad, I haven't seen more than the trailer myself. But as my car slid ever-so-gently and somewhat gracefully toward a 15-foot snowbank while I was carefully making a left turn, all I could think of is, "I'm starring in 'The Slow and the Petrified: Peabody* Drift'!"

The number of stupid people I saw on my commute boggles the mind, by the way. There was one gentleman, bundled up appropriately, but wearing all dark colors, with no reflective vest or lights, riding his bike in my lane, but going in the opposite direction. The shoulders of the road and the sidewalks were all buried in tons of snow. The only reason I even saw him were the two white, plastic bags with take-out (I'm assuming), dangling from his handlebars. They were swaying hypnotically to and fro, like giant testicles, and caught my eye, lucky for the almost (future?) Darwin Award winner. I guess when you want Chinese food, and they're not delivering, by golly, you're going to get it yourself, weather be damned!

On one stretch of my commute, the right-most lane turns into an exit, while the two left lanes swoop down into an underpass. The barrier between the underpass and exit is clearly marked, and a yellow flashing light helps make it visible. As I was approaching, I was worried that I'd hit the divider, because I couldn't see the yellow light. The snow coming down and blowing everywhere was severely reducing visibility, windshield wipers in overdrive notwithstanding, and the drifting and accumulating snow on the road surface rendered lane markings invisible. I was just trying to stay in line with the brake lights ahead of me and stay in the tracks. As I inched closer to the divider, I still didn't see the flashing yellow light, but I did see some red ones...I guess I didn't need to worry about driving up onto the dividing barricade because someone had already beaten me to it! It must have just recently happened, because no police cars or tow trucks (or ambulances!) were there, and the driver was pacing back and forth alongside his car, which was really wedged up there good. Poor guy.

This was all white-knuckle driving. Which didn't help my right hand at all. Finally I made the turn onto my street. I was so fucking THRILLED to see a snow plow, I didn't care that I had to follow slowly behind it. I was just glad to see and drive on pavement, however briefly. My elation popped like a soap bubble at a hedgehog convention when I got to my driveway and saw that the ever-helpful snowplow had plowed it shut with about a two-foot wall of slush, snow, and ice. No way was my car going to power through that, even if I had been willing to risk trying. I mean, two years ago I attempted something similar and smashed my beautiful Blue Zephyr into a hedge! I don't have the money for that shit. Again.

So, at 10:30 PM, after pulling a massage double shift and driving home under truly shitty conditions, I had to call SCI-FI and my daughter (she of the card and chocolate) to bring snow shovels down from the house and to help me shovel out a path big enough to get the car onto the property and park. Said car meanwhile was mostly blocking the lane and I was panicked that someone would smash into it, despite my hazards blinking a warning.

Oh, and shoveling snow involved finding a place to PUT it. Which meant lifting the shovel over my head to try to heave the snow onto an already-imposing snow bank. With the severe wind we had, usually half of the load blew right back into my face (NO JOKES, YOU SICK FUCKS.)

Finally we managed to get my car parked safely and all three of us trudged back to the house to get warm. As I nibbled on my Valentine's Day chocolate (thanks, Tally!) and sniffed my flowers (thanks, SCI-FI!), I pondered the only benefit to the blizzard that I could see: I was lucky enough to get a snow day for Sunday, yay! Some of my colleagues weren't as lucky. Remember the spa's location, downtown in a quaint, historical locale? While a State of Emergency was declared for Sunday, meaning driving to the spa was a no-go (no matter what our clients think of us, or how self-important we might be, being a massage therapist does not make you "emergency personnel"), plenty of staff and customers live within walking distance of the spa, so the manager opened for business at 1PM on Sunday afternoon!  Gutsy move on her part.

And I guess enough clients to make it worth opening the spa subscribed to the old adage (which I just totally made up): "Nothing says LOVE like walking through a blizzard to get a couple's massage!"

Ah, Valentine's Day...good thing you only come once a year.

*That's pronounced PEE-bid-dee in these here parts, just FYI.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! I'm so glad we live WAY out here, no traffic or pedestrians to deal with. Just mountains of snow. Yes I'm shoveling over my head too. I have arthritis in both thumbs, it been rough this winter.
Al Gore needs to come do some shoveling, that fat bastard.
Mrs double trouble

Christina RN LMT said...

Howdy, Mrs. DT!
Sorry about the thumbs, that sounds painful. And you live in a lovely setting, but I'm sure you're fed up with the "lovely" snow...I know I am!