I asked my mom to watch the kids earlier this week. I planned to surprise Lynnette with a massage and lunch. Everything was perfect until Saturday night when those instincts honed over 11 years of marriage kicked in.
“Hey, there’s no brunch at my parents’ house tomorrow. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I’m taking you to get a massage tomorrow,” I said.
“What?” Lynnette said.
“Yeah. I told Mad to keep it a secret, and she did a good job,” I said.
“So?” Lynnette said.
“Because I don’t want you to be surprised – like you didn’t wear the right underwear or you weren’t ready for it or something. The last thing I want is for you to not enjoy it,” I said.
She didn’t disagree.
I booked a couple’s massage at Tiffany’s Thai Massage on the strength of their Yelp reviews and their status as the Star Advertiser 2017 Best Massage Award. When we got into the room, there were pipes exposed on the ceiling. I was put off a little. After a few minutes of pressure with a heat pack, my masseuse asked if I had ever been given a massage with feet before. “No,” I said. “You want to try?” she asked. “Sure,” I said, hoping my self-imposed mandate to try new things would not backfire. A few moments later her feet were in my spine. Surprise!
It was the most unusual massage I ever had in my life. It was also the best massage I ever had in my life. As soon as the session was over, I looked up at the ceiling. Those pipes were installed for the purpose of the massage. Then I turned to look at Lynnette. I enjoyed the entire massage but a small ball of anxiety floated within me throughout. I wasn’t sure Lynnette would enjoy having another human dig their feet into her body.
“So?” I said.
“Oh, my God, that was so good!” she said.
We spent the whole drive over to Ward talking about how mysterious and incredible it was. “I don’t think I can go any place else,” Lynnette said. We both agreed that we felt unusually refreshed, unlike after other massages which had left us sapped or saggy. We laughed about how we both had the same underwhelmed impression of the pipes when we first entered the room. “I guess that’s what the ‘Thai’ part is,” Lynnette said.
We got lunch at Piggy Smalls and were greeted by my friend Mel. Lynnette ate the LFC and I had a pho-strami sandwich. Before those, though, we had oysters. I don’t usually care for them raw, but I had someone’s toes in my knee pit like 20 minutes before that, so why not. After lunch we looked over the dessert menu for a few moments. “Can we just get two more oysters?” I asked. Lynnette scoffed and laughed in disbelief. “You clown,” she said. They were really good, man. But as luck would have it, Mel sent us over a dessert for our anniversary. It was a wonderful gift that allowed Lynnette to get her sweet fix. Thanks, Mel!
The highlight of the day, though, came before any of these festivities started. The contact lens in my right eye gave me trouble all morning and Lynnette noticed on our way out of my parents’ house.
“You want me to drive?” she asked.
“Nah, I got this. It’s our anniversary,” I said, squinting my right eye.
“But I want to be safe, how bad would it be, if we died on this of all days,” she said, half-jokingly.
“Well, I would say that it’s appropriate considering my life ended 11 years ago,” I said.
Lynnette recoiled in her seat and her jaw dropped. Incredibly, impossibly, she was speechless.
“Yeah, I said it,” I said.
“You frickah!” Lynnette said. We sat at the long stop light on Pono Street and Moanalua Road and laughed until green.
Thank you for all the well wishes on our anniversary, friends. We’re lucky to have all of you in our lives.