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do the opposite I know what you're thinking. Not another post about her back and how it's kind of sore because she has kids to lift and leads such an exacting life of manual labor.

Hate to disappoint. Yes, it's another post about my back. But this time I'm not under the influence of muscle relaxants and my thoughts will be laser-like and precise. Promise.

Anyway, my back has been bugging me off and on causing me to bug Husband off and on and finally he said, "Babe, just get a massage." So I did. Because I am a good wife. An obedient spirit. And massages aren't torture. Or so I thought.

On Monday afternoon, I did it. I treated myself to a massage. I would soon learn and fast that "treat" was entirely the wrong verb.

She waited for me in the dark room at the end of the table. She was little and freakishly strong. With very sharp and aggressive elbows that she skillfully jammed underneath my shoulder blades, hurling me into a zone of pain comparable to childbirth. And to make the experience all the more relaxing, she talked the whole time. About how screwed up my back and neck were. About the variety of muscles I had mysteriously mangled. It was a full-on interview. And I wasn't prepared. She wanted to know what exactly I had done to create this twisted fate. I told her all about how I had two kids under three years old and how I carry a computer bag and sleep in contorted positions. Blah. Blah. Blah. But finally, because I wanted to end the inquisition and close my eyes and pretend that I was not crying and listen to the uber-soothing sounds of a waterfall, I said to this lady, "I don't know what I did. I just need to fix it."

And then she said something that was 3% genius and 97% enraging: "Whatever it is that you do, do the opposite."

I bit my tongue. How simple! Do the opposite! How come I didn't think of that?

At the end of the session, I thanked this woman for brutalizing my back and for imparting her near-fortune-cookie wisdom. Do the opposite. But lucky for me, she did not leave it at that. She had more pearls. "Don't lift your kids from the side." To this, I said. "But I have two kids." (What am I supposed to do? Pile them one on top of the other like Russian dolls?) At this, she simply shook her head in disappointment. And there was more! She walked me down that zen hallway toward the front of the spa and whispered in my ear, "You spend too much time looking down because your kids are smaller than you. You must change that." I nodded. Of course. I'm on it, I thought. I will go home and instruct my kids to grow taller, or I will parent from the floor, or simply forgo that silly thing called supervision.

She smiled. And then handed me her card and said, "Come back and see me."

I looked at her and thought, No. I will do the opposite. I will NOT come back and see you.

I made my way to Starbucks and called Husband.

"I got that massage."


"I hurt. She said my trapezoids and rhomboids are all screwy."

Intense laughter.

"What?" I said.

"Those aren't muscles. They are shapes."

"Whatever they are, they hurt."

For the record, I felt vindicated to learn recall that, yes, trapezoids are shapes and I meant to say trapezius, but rhomboids are muscles. Take that, Husband. So it was only a half dumb-blonde moment.

Today is Wednesday. I am far too tired to provide details about my day with the girls. Even though said details are juicy (and crusty and cheesy). Maybe tomorrow. But what I can tell you about my day is that I spent all of it looking down and lifting sideways.

That's it, folks. I'm over it. So, I imagine, are you. My back is fine. Totally fine. I'm fine. Totally. There will be no more posts about my back. Unless I go on a rebellious bender and get a tattoo or something. And that is so likely because I love needles and risks and permanence. I would get that tattoo right on the upper left shoulder area where I suffered this faux injury. In an awesome swirly curly font, it would say something powerful and painfully true: Motherhood hurts.

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