Chloe and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary, it’s crazy to think how fast the last year has gone! Since our wedding day we have learnt a lot about each other, we’ve learnt how to annoy each other and we’ve learnt what makes each other happy. Telling Chloe I want to order a takeaway on a Friday night makes her happy, and her telling me we are visiting the aquarium shop on the weekend makes me happy! Even after more than 12 months, we are still learning about each other.
As our first anniversary was approaching, Chloe said she would like to go to a spa to celebrate! I learnt before we were married that Chloe enjoys going to a spa because this is where she went for her hen-do, so it was no surprise to me that she wanted to go again. Wanting to make Chloe happy, I agreed to go. I’ve never been to a spa before, so it was all new to me and it brought on a lot of curiosity as to what it would be like.
The day arrived, we packed our swim suits, jumped in the car and headed to the spa. If you know me, you will know I’m not really the morning type person, I don’t want to speak to anyone or be spoken to until I’ve fully woken up. The thought of getting up early, driving to the spa and having a stranger massage my body was the last thing I wanted at that time of morning!
I knew this particular spa was a “posh” one because it’s where a number of the Welsh rugby players come for their massage and gym sessions – being a valley boy, I was already feeling outside of my comfort zone. I don’t do posh. As soon as you arrive, you are given a dressing gown and some slippers to wear. This is where it gets difficult for me, I pointblank refuse to wear a dressing gown and slippers in the comfort and privacy of my own home, but now I am faced with a situation where I had no choice but to wear them!! At this point I am feeling doubly out of my comfort zone!
Determined to plough on and make an effort to enjoy myself to make the experience more enjoyable for my wife I put on the gowns and slippers and marched to the swimming pool area. Much to Chloe’s amusement I found ways to entertain myself in the jacuzzi by putting my face into the gushing water coming from bottom of the jacuzzi.
Eventually, the time came for us to receive our spa treatment. I love a good head tickle and scratch, so I opted for a scalp massage, while Chloe chose a facial. Chloe went in for her treatment before me so I was left to wait in a room for my name to be called. The room dimly lit, there were scented candles everywhere, the odd Buddha placed in and around the room, and some relaxing music playing through the speakers. This felt very odd, I am now in this room with strangers who are also waiting for their treatment. Do I attempt to talk to these people? What would I even say? Naturally I would try and crack a joke to break the awkwardness, but was that even appropriate for this situation? I had no idea what to do because I’ve never even imagined being here before, let alone actually being here!! Anyhow, I decided to remain silent in my robes, which I didn’t know whether I should tie them up or leave them open exposing my belly and chest?! Other people were tying them up, so I tried to casually tie mine up while attempting not to make it look like I was copying them. I think I was successful.
Finally, my name was called and I was asked to follow a young woman to another smaller room. This room was even darker than the waiting area, it had one of those massage beds in the middle with towels placed neatly over it and the music continued to play relaxing music. I don’t remember her name, but the woman told me to make myself comfortable, I could either lower my gown over my shoulders or take it off, leaving myself in just my swim shorts. I chose the latter as the gown felt too awkward for me anyway!
I lay there on my back in just my wet swim shorts waiting for someone I’ve never met before to come and rub her hands on my head. Can you feel how awkward this is for me yet? She comes in and start to make small talk, but I was too embarrassed to make full conversation, so the rest of the time was spent in silence as she covered her hands in oil and begins by rubbing my shoulders and down the top of my arms. Wait! I thought I was getting a scalp massage?! I then felt goosebumps all over my body, because this happens when I get tickled or massages on my shoulders, don’t ask me why or how, it just happens! Did she notice? Who knows?
Then she placed her hands above my forehead and pulled back pretty hard! I already have a receding hairline, but I’m pretty sure she made it ten times worse doing this! I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be enjoying this or not, and I wondered who would enjoy this? I won’t go into all the motions of the massage, but the weirdest one was when she placed both her hands on top of my head and pushed my skull downwards. I honestly thought she was trying to slide me off the bed or it was an attempt to knock a couple of inches off my height!
Eventually I did start to enjoy the massage, just a little strange to begin with, but if you can forget about the room you’re in and there’s a stranger massaging you, it then becomes more relaxing. After what felt like an hour, but it was actually 20 minutes, she announced she was finished and left the room. I never saw her again, not even a goodbye or asked if I enjoyed it. Perhaps she could feel all the tension and my inability to relax as she massaged my scalp that she felt it was best she just walked away!
Chloe eagerly awaited my return to the pool area and asked if I enjoyed it. What do I say? It was all too much for me to take in and I haven’t had time to process any of it yet. I couldn’t lie and say that I loved it, and I also didn’t want to say I hated it because it was a special occasion for us and I wasn’t prepared to disappoint her. I believe my answer to her question was “meh, it was alright”, however, I later concluded that I can see why people would enjoy it and find it relaxing, but in reality, it wasn’t for me.
What did we learn about each other on our first anniversary as a married couple? I hope Chloe has learnt that despite my initial reservation about a spa day, I am willing to give it a try. However, I learnt that Chloe really enjoyed her treatment and sharing the experience with me. Isn’t that what having a husband or wife is about? Sharing life experiences together, even if it does make one or the other feel outside their comfort zone? I’m glad I had the experience as I now have a story to tell and memories that will last a life time.
Take a moment and think about what have you learnt about your significant other this week?