Lindsay’s Day Off

Every now and then, our matriarch sits on the front steps, staring into space holding a butterfly knife and a half-empty bottle of Old Crow bourbon. I mean that metaphorically, even though it accurately characterizes her mental well being. “I need a frickin’ [she doesn’t curse anymore] day off! I’m going to get a massage, see a movie and go to the mall … to…like shop or something. I don’t know, I just have to get out of here,” she said.

downloadLike anyone who gets a little too excited about a “me day,” she booked something called a “psychic massage.” That’s totally normal, right? Develop an image in your mind, not only of what a psychic massage might be, but also the type of person who would think, “Oh, I want one of those!” Is it a massage given by a psychic? Or is the massage itself of a mystical and psychic nature? Both are good questions, and Lindsay knew the answer to neither of them before going. My wife is no stranger to psychics. In fact, years ago, “a really good one”, told her she would “live near water”, and well, here we are in New Jersey. Any time we pass a hole filled with liquid, she says, “That must be the water Angie was talking about.” “Yes, I bet it is!” I reply.

I had a few concerns on Friday after she left. The biggest was, “What if this psychic masseuse tells Lindsay I’m an asshole?” There’s always that possibility, right? It’s why I forbid her from going to therapy. I’m kidding; I have absolutely no control over what she does. In fact, I’d prefer good ole’ fashioned therapy to spiritual guess work driven by smell (or however psychics do their thing). On the other hand, I would be very suspicious of a therapist who also offered massage. I suppose this value meal of healing was the lesser of two oddities.

While the kids and I were at the mall getting our own massages at Brookstone, I got the following text from Lindsay. “Wow. JUST WOW.” She’s not one to be sarcastic about psychics, so I had to assume she was wow-ed in a good way. I think I sent back a smiley face. It was one of those completely unwarranted passive aggressive acts that phones have made so easy in modern relationships. In retrospect, “Groovy” would have been way better, but the massage chair had an uncomfortably tight grip on my neck, and Arlo was going insane trying to figure out why the cardboard iPad wasn’t working.

Later that night I was given the run down. The woman (did anyone even for one moment think a psychic masseuse might be a man? We’re all sexist! Actually, Lindsay just told me that a man who gives massages is called a masseur) entered the room frenetically, and let Lindsay know that she might receive a psychic reading or a massage and possibly both, but since she was operating on instincts, no promises could be made. I wanted to take my eyeballs out of their sockets and roll them around in my hand. I also wanted to hear the rest of the story so badly I could barely sit (and I love sitting). Here’s what she learned as the psychic read the energy in the room.

  1. Our 5 year-old son, Silas, used to be me in a previous life — OK, well, that’s not really how time works, but whatever.
  2. I will be rich and successful –– I really appreciate Lindsay making that one up. Thanks babe!
  3. Our 2.5 year-old, Arlo (with whom the psychic was apparently obsessed), is incredibly charismatic and destined to be a performer — I’m on board with that.
  4. I’m meticulous with words — given that Lindsay told her I was a writer, that’s not really PSYCHIC, right?

There were some other insights about her father, and grandfather, but nothing about Lindsay. Wasn’t this her psychic massage? Maybe I’m self-centered, but if I went (which I might), I would want to hear almost exclusively about myself, and I think it would be easy for the psychic to do that, since the “energy” I give off is probably all focused on me (only child, neurotic, etc). My wife, of course, being the gentle matriarch she is, gave off only selfless, family-focused energy. I’m encouraging her to go again so she can find out which project will make me rich and successful, because I’ll just start focusing on that now so we can pay the electric bill. I’d also like her to find out if I’ll ever find glasses I like; if I’ll ever be bald, and also why my ears itch.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

2 comments On Lindsay’s Day Off

  • Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this

  • This was so funny! It totally deserved more than 8 likes! My daughter is sleeping on my chest and I thought for sure I would wake her up with my laughter after reading that Salas was you in a previous life.

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