October 18th, 2014 by Jan

No one likes to be treated as an object. We all like to be seen and treated as the wonderful people we are… unless…

Unless you go for a scrub!

Over the years when I visit Allyson in San Francisco, and a few times after PAWMA near Olympia, WA, several of us go for a scrub.

Scrub happen at particular spas. They usually have communal hot tubs, saunas, and several different quiet rooms for you to hang out in as well.  These spas are usually run by Korean women and provide a nice relaxing way to clean up and relax and be treated like laundry. (in a good way)

After years of looking, Marian found one near us. I say near us in that we didn’t have to go to WA or CA, but we did have to drive all the way out to Coquitlam on Hwy 1. Why we chose to go on a Friday afternoon with all the traffic, and the pouring rain is beyond me, but we couldn’t wait to get there.

It was worth it when we arrived, were given a locker key and a matching set of pink shorts and shirt, that I swear came directly out of my mothers closet. We ditched the short set and sunk deep into the hot tub getting “seasoned” for the scrub and massage we booked. We alternated between hot tub, cold tub, and salt room, as we dropped whatever cares we carried, waiting for the scrub to begin.

At the appointed hour, we got on the table and the scrub began, or as I like to say, the laundry was washed.

This is where being treated like an object comes into play. This is no place for modesty, explanations, or small talk. The women scrubbing you do not ask how you are, or if you are comfortable. They assume permission and start in.

Scrub means scrub. From head to toe, and all parts in-between, dead skin starts flying off and the only conversation for the next hour were the directions for me to be, “face down, on side, on other side, and face up”  as I was handled by a very small and maybe elderly woman. I can say she had stronger hands than most men I know.

These scrubs are not for the timid or shy. I close my eyes and let go. After the dead skin is scrubbed off,  hot towels are placed over your body, cucumber masks put on your face, and a pounding massage, that I swear only woman with serious dim mak training can do.

They look so innocent! Do not be fooled! I can not be sure but I think that at one point this little lady was standing on me in order to get at a certain knot! Tapping out does not seem to be an option, still, I like to think I can handle it. I did hear Marian on the table next to be, saying, “Ouch” a few times and the lady working on her laughing. Not me! I can take it, I connected to the touch like only push hands can teach you, and I let it in. Grrrrrooooooaaaaaaannnnnn!

I knew it was coming to an end when she washed my hair and magically tied my locks into a top knot, that I wore for the next 15 hours. I only took it down so I could wear a hat on this mornings walk.

All my nooks and crannies have been massaged and scrubbed out. I’m sure no ribs were broken. Actually, I feel great! My skin is soft and silky, and truth be told, I’m glad no one asked anything of me during the process.

Like I said, no one wants to be treated like an object in this world. We all have our stories, that is unless, you are getting a scrub! Then, I say, be the laundry.

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