Remember, in Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage, how Lauren’s girlfriends seem to follow some unspoken code of girlfriendness that has them freely dispensing well-meaning, though at times idiotic, advice regarding such subjects as sex, relationships, Bruce Springsteen, and birth control? I mean Patti’s tried and true birth control method, which resulted in the birth of her second son, was stretching the bounds of believability, but her heart was in the right place, right? And Lauren’s sister’s example of how to handle a clueless husband through blatant and apparently unabashed profanity left us all nodding our heads knowingly while acknowledging the tacit truth of sisterhood, which most certainly exists between wives, girlfriends, and, perhaps, women everywhere.
So how is it that, on my recent visit to a sports massage specialist (as advised by a friend who is a seasoned runner), the woman who would be rubbing oil on practically every inch of my sore over-taxed body–who would ultimately be providing the relief for the muscle aches and the post forty I-can’t-possibly-run-a-half-marathon fears–could prove to be such an absolute and unadulterated Bitch (that’s right, with a capital B!)?
Amanda: “So, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Well, I am training to run my first half-marathon ever and I am over forty and I don’t know you know if I can do it I mean my hip hurts after my last three mile run and I have a nagging pain in my calf and I am just hoping that this sports massage will be the first step in healing my body so I can continue my training which might be a stupid thing for me even to attempt and I am hoping you can give me some stretching guidelines so that I can feel confident as I embark on this journey yes it really is a journey for me to overcome the physical and mental obstacles which conspire to keep me from my goals I mean…”
Amanda: “Your hour has already started, so why don’t you fill out this paperwork–all three double-sided sheets–so we can get started before my next client arrives. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Me (when she returns): “Here is the paperwork…”
Amanda (looking it over): “So, you have ‘sensitive calves;’ I guess I will just leave that area alone.”
Me: “No, I mean, I only do because of the running…I mean that is the part of the reason I am here so that the tension in those muscles can be worked out or at least worked on you know I really…”
Amanda (smiling tightly): “Let’s get started…and please relax your calf…”
You get the idea.
Amanda, to be fair, I want you to know that your massage was effective in that it healed the hurt enough to have me continue my training. Indeed, within two days I was once again scouring the Internet for relevant running training articles, such as How to Look Good in Race Day Photos (smiling apparently is a key component of this).
Perhaps, Amanda, I wanted more from you than you could give…
Perhaps it is not you, it’s me…always searching for that potential sister/comrade/co-conspirator…like Sadie, Broken Hallelujah’s suburban sage, who dispensed countless kernels of truth, astute directives from her repertoire of wisdom, my favorite being, “when in doubt, pee it out!”