I'm trialling masseuses. They think they are giving me a massage and capturing a new client. I think I am asking them a question: are you worthy to handle my body ever again, let alone regularly?
Yesterday Kylie (not her real name) failed the test. She gave me an interesting and competent massage, except for the finishing strokes. I didn't feel joined up, a whole person, finished off. The massage had good bits and OK bits, and that's the first black mark: it was bitsy. (Same with a lot of web content, don't you think?)
The massage table didn't have that funny hole for your face, and so while Kylie soothed my lower back, my neck and shoulders were busy generating new tension as I strained to lie in an unnatural, twisted position for an hour. At my request, a compromise nest of rolled towels propped up my face. By the end, I was stifling in there.
Afterwards, Kylie did her follow-up, telling me I should learn to relax more and my posture was bad, and I should come for a massage every two weeks. I mentioned the uncomfortable table again, and then she blew it. A quick, unmistakable sneer. Message: You silly fool, it's not the table that's the problem, it's you.
Why would I spend even five minutes with someone who despises me?
And don't you get that from some web content? It's so tempting, as a writer, to think that if people don't get it, it's their fault for being stupid. If they're our target audience, they're not stupid. We need to read the signals that we are not getting through, and try harder.
Image from www.bbc.co.uk.