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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Good vibrations

Comfort means different things to different people. For me, comfort is going to bed with a book. For my mother, it's a 10-Motor Full-Body Massage Mat from Dr. Scholls.

My mother and I look alike and sound alike, but what we consider relaxing is quite different. Maybe it's because she's plagued with insomnia that she finds the gadgets so wonderful. There's the foot-jacuzzi, the wax bather for hands and feet, the mini-beads automatic neck massager and the Homedic backrest with shiatsu massage...

For me, the problem with this stuff is that you have to sit down to enjoy them. Aside from work, where I type seated at a desk for eight hours a day, or the the stolen 20 minutes at a time that I use to type on this blog (and re-design my website for a future launch--stay tuned!), I don't sit.

I have three couches in my house and I sit on one of them maybe once a week for a couple of hours to watch a movie with the kids on Fridays. The rest of the time, it's cleaning, or cleaning and helping with homework or taking the kids to the park or chauffeuring to lessons.

I'm afraid to sit down for fear that a week will go by and I won't notice. If I stop moving, I might like it too much, so I dare not. Or, maybe I'll get BORED and that would be VERY BAD.

I realize that this level of frenetic activity might not be healthy, but my mother set the bar high. Her pace was frantic with single-parenting four kids, one of whom severely disabled, while working full time. In comparison, my life is leisurely.

My theory is that because Mom was so completely time starved, she bought comfort in the form of books, ice cream, hand cream and all these relaxation gizmos. I figure her reasoning is: I bought it, so therefore I'm relaxed. This makes as much sense as my propensity for buying closet organizers and considering myself instantly organized.

It's also like a host of other people who buy expensive home fitness equipment only to use them as pricey laundry drying racks.

So, I lay down on the buzzing mat and all kinds of bad jokes started coming to mind.

"See Patti, for the price of a medium pizza, you can have this warming all over massage every day."

It was loud and the vibrations made my nose itch.

"Here, try it while sitting on a chair," she insisted. You'd think she was making commission on this thing. "What do you think?"

When I spoke, the mat made my voice quiver like I was driving over a washboard road in a dirty jeep.

Dad came over to see what all the fuss was about. They've been divorced for more than 20 years, but they carpooled for the visit.

"Lou, it's your turn," she said. He tried it out. Even though they're not married he does what he's told. He tried the prone and sitting version.

"Well, what's your favourite position, Lou?" my mother asked. "The floor or the chair?"

Then he started wiggling his eyebrows.

"GACK!" I said. "I'm outta here."

They laughed and laughed. That was enough relaxation for me.


  1. Yikes! I think the word "position" has resulted in the soft porn imvu ad on the right. Yikes! All manner of depraved advertising will arrive based on my "soft porn" comment.

  2. I know what you mean. I can't sit in the jacuzzi for longer than 15 minutes without getting bored out of my mind.

  3. This is a test.

  4. I certainly know what its like to not sit down and relax for an entire day (work excluded). It must be in the genes Patti!! Even when I'm driving my 1 hour each way work commute I feel guilty and have to do something (why isn't driving enough!). That's where the phone comes out and I am making doc.appoints, teacher visits, filling my social calendar - all on hands free of course!

  5. Is it also kind of like taking a meditation course and considering yourself enlightened?


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