Friday, September 16, 2016

What Would My Ancestors Think?

Sometimes, as a modern person, I do things that really make me wonder what my ancestors would think of me. Yesterday, for example. It was my birthday. By the way; the first in many years when I wasn’t bombarded by HBD’s from strangers on Facebook. I had my Facebook account deleted. The loudness there, and having so many social connections (exes and their exes!), was maddening. The post Facebook silence is soothing. Yesterday, only people who actually know and care about me wished me a happy birthday. 

One of those people, it turns out, is the receptionist at the spa I go to. She called to wish me a happy birthday. On the phone. As in the voice phone. In 2016. How quaint and sweet! Then, she invited me for a complimentary treatment and afterwards discreetly pinged the spa staff who came over to the reception and sang me “she’s a jolly good fellow,’ in those quiet voices that only people who work in spas have. I will not lie, I secretly hated the last part. I really don’t like people gathering around me and making me shyly fiddle with my phone googling for “how does the ground politely swallow a person?’ But I smiled through it . I get and appreciate the sweet capitalist intention behind it. I will most certainly be giving Soothing Spot, more of my business. 

What I didn’t hate at all, and the thought I had when I started writing this post, was the treatment prior to the singing. The part that had me wondering about my ancestors was this: 
So, I’m lying naked on a table. Stomach down. 
A light weight person climbs the table.  
She steps onto my back. (I am a small person myself. I didn’t even realise there is enough surface area on my back for an adult to stand on. I will apply this knowledge in other use cases, surely.) Anyhow, the light weight person reaches for my arms, pulls them backwards towards her. Then she leans back using my arms as if they were ropes in tug of war. She swings, a little to this side, a little to the other side. She leans further back giving me a sweetish pain in my lower back, embarrassing me with the realization that my breasts are swinging in full view of someone I have no sexual relationship with. To keep a straight face, I try to think straight thoughts like; “today is Thursday the 15th day of September 2016, in the year of our Lord.” 

I guess it’s the "year of our Lord" thought trail, that got me thinking about the years past. I thought of my grandmother and grandfather; farmers who died with calloused hands that worked my lineage out of poverty. What would they think if they saw me this way? Naked before a stranger, apparently getting my life's stresses dealt with. What would they think of the little pains, of my little life, that nonetheless tie me up in so many knots, that I have visited the spa enough times, to earn a special birthday treat? Would they regret all those back-breaking years if they saw that the easy life they earned their descendants is essentially a life of being tiny, whiny and full of self-pity? 

Ah, we are a curious lot, aren’t we? But we are who we have evolved to be. And that treatment was pretty good. Nearly as good as a full bikini wax, even though it didn’t include quite as much sweet pain in embarrassing places.

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