I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but once in a while I make a critical error in judgment. The error I’m about to describe in painful detail surrounds the birthday of one Daron Barnes, and will go down in history as “The Great Birthday Incident of 2010.”
So yeah, birthdays. Daron and I both have a birthday and our wedding anniversary in a 30 day period. Because of this, we typically don’t make a big deal about it. For me, birthdays usually are a time to negotiate a purchase that I’ve been scheming and planning in my head for months. Birthdays sometimes provide that little bump of leverage I’ve been seeking- the bump that can push a “want” firmly and safely into the “purchase” category. Beyond that, a birthday has outlived its usefulness. It’s quite possible that Daron cares even less than I do, but even so, I wanted to at least acknowledge the fact that he’d made it another year. Problem is, I don’t have the Ken Carlile creative party gene, and I’m painfully inadequate when it comes to gift ideas, etc. Then it occurs to me: How about a massage? A surprise massage! He’s never had one, and I bet he would think it was heavenly. Simple equation: Elisa loves massage, therefore Daron must love massage. Easy Cheesy.
We pulled up the massage joint, and what happened next can only be described as unfortunate. You know the look on kids faces when you take them to get shots? It was that look. I wish I could say that bringing him was the only critical error. My second, and ultimately fatal error was trying to explain to him in the few hushed minutes we had in the waiting room, that most people will undress completely, but he didn’t have to do that etc., and I had something for him to wear in my bag. “You have my WHAT IN YOUR BAG?!!” At this point, any and all composure on his part deteriorated, and I think that may have been when I started to sniffle and dig around in my purse for a tissue. “I never should have brought you!” may have escaped my normally well-controlled tongue (stop laughing). It was then that my masseuse showed up, so I did the only thing I could do: I huffed out, and left him there to figure it out on his own.
The aftermath: I was secretly hoping that he would enjoy it so much, that he would beg my forgiveness for not trusting me, and so on and so on. When we were finally in the car leaving, I asked him how it was. “OK.” That was all I got. He then told me if he could have paid someone to scratch his back for an hour, then it might have been worth it.
Lesson to be learned here: Don’t EVER take a country boy for a massage. They don’t understand it, and they can’t relax enough to enjoy it. And for the love of everything good and holy, DON’T try to make it surprise. Daron is a good sport about a lot of things. If he couldn't recover from the shock in time to embrace something new, then your country boy won't stand a chance.
Live and learn!