I love Groupon. I’ve found some great restaurants through Groupons, an acupuncturist I really like, and I’ve gotten a bunch of massages for a fraction of what they would have cost me without one.
Sometimes though, you have to wonder if it was really worth it.
Like, last year. I bought a Groupon for what basically amounted to three hour-long massages for the price of one, and it was only a 15 minute drive from my house. I snapped it up right away, and scheduled my first massage.
I found out that the massage therapist had a studio in her home, and that’s where I would be going. Ok, fine. She had a website, and positive reviews, so I assumed it was legit. I also found out the reason she works from home, is because she takes care of her mother, who needs full-time care. Ok, again — no big deal. She’s been doing this a long time, so I’m sure she has a system.
On my way to my first appointment, about 15 minutes before I was supposed to be there, Mike called me in the car on my way to tell me that the appointment was canceled (our home voicemail gets emailed to us, and he saw she called and canceled and caught me before I got there.)
She sent me an email that night, apologizing for canceling because her mother … had diarrhea.
She’ll give me an extra 15 minutes during my next appointment for the inconvenience.
Well, Ok. I’m sure that’s an isolated incident.
So I went for massage #1 about a week later.
Turns out the “studio” is the family room in her condo (right next to a mini yoga “studio” where the dining room should be), so while you’re laying on the table, you can see into her kitchen, and down the hallway to the bedrooms. There are no doors.
Anyway, the massage starts, and she never, ever, stops talking (which I hate). It was partially my fault, because she was asking a lot of questions, and I wasn’t doing a very good job of ending the conversation(s). Then about every 10-15 minutes, she would excuse herself, and go check on her mom. Basically, every time I would relax and the massage would start — she’d stop and walk away. She always apologized before she left, and again when she came back.
So, I didn’t go back for awhile. Between IVFs, pregnancies, and vacations, I didn’t really have the time. I figured, I got one hour-long massage for the money, and it was sort of weird, so maybe I don’t need to go back.
But the last two massages expired next week, and I figured — what the hell? Maybe I’ll end up with a funny story to tell.
So I went back for massage #2 the week before Christmas.
This time she opened her door holding a wiggling, fluffy, adorable, two-pound puppy named Cinnamon.
She told me that Cinnamon was her gift to herself, because she realized “she will never have biological children of her own,” and she’s never had a puppy (just older dogs).
Ok, fine by me. I love puppies. So I played with Cinnamon for a few minutes, and then got undressed.
Also, I forgot to mention before that when you change your clothes there, you do so in the foyer.
So, I got naked in the foyer, and walked over to the family room, and waited for massage #2.
Which wasn’t bad. She noticed my neck and shoulders were super tight, and worked on them for a while. Her mom didn’t make a peep (I’m guessing she was asleep), and I thought, “Oh, this is nice. I misjudged.”
No, I didn’t.
Because about 15 minutes into the massage, I could hear the sounds of a bored, mischievous, 12-week-old puppy coming from one of the bedrooms. Pouncing, barking, ripping — that sort of thing.
“CINNAMON! YOU BETTER NOT BE DOING WHAT I THINK YOU’RE DOING!” She screamed, before just running away from the table.
“YOU’RE A BAD DOG, CINNAMON! THAT’S NOT A TOY! GO LAY IN YOUR BED! LAY IN YOUR BED, CINNAMON! CINNAMON!!”
And then she came back, and just started massaging, like it didn’t happen.
Also, I feel like you should know, her speaking voice and her shouting voice are two difference voices. Her speaking voice is normal. Her shouting voice is a lot like Anne Ramsey’s. Like, substitute the name Cinnamon, for Owen, and sounded just like this:
This happened several times. Each time, no apology, or acknowledgement about what just happened. But, ok — we’ll see what happens at Massage #3, which I booked when I booked the second.
So late last week I went in for #3.
This time, the massage was great and uninterrupted (at least physically). Cinnamon was silent. Her mother — was not.
This time, every 5-10 minutes, her mother would start yelling.
“HELLO?! WHO’S OUT THERE?!”
“HELLO?! I NEED TO PUT MY GROCERIES IN THE REFRIGERATOR!”
“HELLO?! WHAT’S THAT BANGING?”
and my personal favorite —
“HELLO?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“I’m working, mom.”
“OH … ME TOO!”
The lesson? Remember you usually get what you pay for.