New referral. On the phone, she wistfully and yearningly says it is their anniversary and she wants to be pampered. Mentions names of very good clients who told her I did the best ever massage. We set a time and date.
She calls back a couple of days later, confirms. It’s a secret, a surprise for her husband.
Yesterday as I was walking Ruby I was imagining the scene here if he was surprised and uncomfortable, trying to decide who should get their massage first and thinking it was best if he went first because if he wasn’t totally cool with it he would probably leave the place and never come back. How funny that my mind should have been running along those lines.
They were scheduled to appear here at 9 a.m. this morning. I dutifully prepared the room, warming the things that need to be warm, burning who knows how many kilowatts of electricity in the process. Cleaned the bathrooms. Got out their intake forms. Combed my hair.
8:10 a.m. Phone call. It is the husband. They are so sorry, “something has come up”, they have to cancel. He is stressed, voice shaking. They’ll have to call back to reschedule. Is it okay? he asks.
“Oh sure,” I reply, “Thanks for letting me know.” I hang up, perhaps more emphatically than was absolutely necessary, since there really was nothing else to say.
I mean, what sort of question is that, “Is it okay?” What can I do? Force them to come? Send the posse to bring them in? Throw them down and massage them against their will? Is it okay? Yeah, sure. Whatever.
(I’m sure I know why getting people’s credit card numbers in advance and telling them they will be charged for the massage if they don’t show up has become the norm in my profession. But I don’t do credit cards — the machine costs money as does maintaining the account plus they take a percentage of your sales right off the top. So I’m sort of stuck.)
I feel like sending them a voice mail: “I’m so sorry to hear that your mother died in the night and you just found out about it. Or that you wrecked your car on the way to your massage. I sympathize with the trials of uncontrollable projectile vomiting or other illness that struck suddenly early this morning. I hope you are better soon, that you get over your grief, that your insurance company comes through.”
I certainly hope that the scenario does not deserve a note to the husband saying: I hope you didn’t get informed of what the surprise was and categorically refuse to participate in any such intimate activity with a stranger on your anniversary, thereby upsetting your wife with whom you are supposedly spending this anniversary and totally disrespecting the professional massage therapist with which you had an appointment.
Surely you couldn’t be so . . . so . . . Oh I just can’t think of a word right now.
You know, it occurs to me that I have been running across many many people who desperately want to form relationships lately, and when I envision the scene at my Notclient’s home this morning, I wonder why? Why do they want to let themselves in for this sort of thing? (All of a sudden, I hear the strains of “You Always Hurt the One You Love” playing plaintively in the background)
Arrrrrrrrrgh! I want to break something.
What I’ll probably do is change out of my good clothes and go out and rip a bunch of weeds out of the ground which will do me and my gardens good and will amuse Ruby.