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Just before I left for Hawaii in March, my 77-year-old friend told me about her recently purchased spot massager and suggested I buy one to take on my trip. Since stress goes to my back, I thought good idea, and asked her for the link.

The next day, our conversation went like this.

Me: OMG, Julia, your machine is a vibrator!
Julia: No it’s not. I use it on my arm and it relieves the pain.
I purchased the thing because I didn’t want to embarrass her.

That wasn’t the first time me and other people and vibrators have crossed paths.

Thirty years ago, my sister Jane told me about her super-duper vibrator. Wanting so much to move on from that conversation, I told her it sounded very nice. And wouldn’t you know, for my birthday that year, I unwrapped a multipurpose device, mailed in unmarked brown paper.

How do you thank a person for a gift like that?

Ring ring. Jane calling for my birthday.

Jane: So, were you surprised!
Me: Yes, Jane, I was beyond surprised.
Jane: You don’t like it?
Me: Jane, it’s lovely, but I don’t need a tool for that. I didn’t add, and I especially don’t need one from my sister.
Jane: You said you wanted one just like mine.

Die a thousand deaths.

Fast forward to the present. I’m still in Hawaii putting the pieces of myself back together. Funk’s long since gone back to the mainland. Of course, I’ve hurt my back. It’s the middle of the night, and the pain has woken me up. It’s spasming up and down my spine and I can’t fall back to sleep. I’m in a remote location and I’m starting to panic. Which is precisely when I remembered my “spot massager.” I took that baby out of its innocent wrapping. It has a long neck, but even with that, I can’t reach the place that needs attention. A thought comes to me, and before I know it, I’m rolling my back across the wall on top of the machine. It worked! Quickly! In more ways than one.

Here’s to you if you have others looking out for your wellbeing. If you’re capable of graciously thanking them, when inside, you want to run screaming from your body. If you have the courage to circle back to them and say, hey, that horrible thing you did for me was a frigging miracle!

The photo: Good vibrations from Hawaii. (Funk added that.)

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