I Left My Shoulder in St. Louis.

This is a terrifying photograph.
This is a terrifying photograph.

I’m in St. Louis, attending a hosted event for a group of about 40 bloggers, designers, “sewlebrities,” industry folk, etc. to network, make stuff, and eat lots of snacks. In other words: I am surrounded by talented, hardworking, creative women, all of whom need snacks to keep going. It’s not a bad way to spend two-ish days, even with all that’s going on with work and (cough, cough) moving to Manhattan.

Did I really do that? Did I really move to Manhattan?

Okay!

The event is being hosted by BabyLock, a sewing machine company owned by the attractive, beneficent Tacony family. I like BabyLock a lot because they make really, really great sewing machines, but I also like them because they believed in me. Back in 2010, I had an idea for a show called Quilty and they were the first company to sign up to underwrite. You always remember your first sponsor. (They all real pretty n’ nice, too.)

There are activities and learning stations and all kinds of cool things going on here, but tonight the organizers outdid themselves: 15 minute massages. The two people they hired to come in and administer these complimentary massages were, I have deduced, actually Sent By An Angel Of The Lord. Who knew the best back-and-shoulder massage a gal can get is in a suburb of St. Louis in the back room of a sewing education center? This is why you travel.

My turn came. I heaved my aching body into the room and slumped, weary, weary, into the chair. Once I got my face comfortably smashed into the puffy donut, Dawn began to work me over.

“Oooo, waaaaow,” Dawn said, somewhere down at my lower back. “You are…waaaaaow, you are reeeeeally tight.” I got the impression Dawn doesn’t speak in elongated syllables as a rule, but that the state of my back was just that horrifying.

“Oh, yeah,” I said, muffled. “It’s been a rough couple of weeks.” But I didn’t go into the six work projects due Monday, the move to New York City, or that I’m putting at least two or three Southwest Airlines employees’ kids through college at this point. Because I don’t like to talk during these things. You can’t waste a second.

“Hooo-hoo! Hooo-weeeeee,” Dawn said, and whistled low. “Yap, yap. Yeeeah. That’s tight.”¬†And then she said, “Ya poor thing,” and clucked her tongue.

At that I could’ve cried, partly because she had her thumb jammed into my shoulder blade and partly because whenever someone sincerely says, “poor thing,” I get sad. We’re all poor things, aren’t we. It’s hard work being alive.

The fifteen minutes galloped away and zap! Massage over, next person’s turn.

I have, at various times in my life and for various lengths of time, seen a psychiatrist. Results varied: I’ve been aided, I’ve been nonplussed, I’ve ended up more confused — and I’ve been poorer as a result, for sure. I hate to sound provincial, but I’m starting to think a regular massage is gonna do more for a person than a shrink — this person, anyway. Look: I have never, ever left a massage feeling worse than when I went in; it’s a hey of a lot cheaper, and when Dawn goes, “Hooo-hoo! That’s not good,” you know it’s fixable, whereas a shrink won’t even say that, even if he’s thinking it, and how’s he gonna fix it, anyway?

Thanks, BabyLock. Eurekas abound.