Are you rich?


When I was in my 20s, I thought I was rich if I could go to the grocery store and buy everything I needed without worrying about whether I had enough money to cover it when I got to the checkout counter. If I didn’t have to do the math every time I put an item in my cart, I felt so rich.

When I was in my 30s, I felt rich if I could buy organic food at the grocery store, and not cringe. Six dollars for eggs? When the “regular eggs” are only two dollars? No problem.

A friend told me that she felt rich when she could afford to buy flowers for herself whenever she wanted, and she always had a tuberose or gardenia scenting her home. I love this idea, but somehow that still feels overindulgent to me. Or perhaps I really just want other people to buy them for me.

Now that I’m in my late 40s, I feel rich because I have a wonderful family, friends, and two sweet dogs. And also because I can get a massage whenever my muscles ache. Well, maybe not every time they ache, because that would be every day and I’m not that rich.

I’m in Beijing now, and Chinese medicinal massages are reasonably priced but they are NOT relaxing. In fact, it is sort of excruciating. You wear flannel pajamas that open in the back, and you are in a room with other people. No new age music, no aromatherapy. In fact, no oils at all. They put a sheet over you for privacy, so they don’t actually touch your skin. The massage therapists often chat with each other or watch TV while they are doing the massage, so it has a very different ambiance than in America. Even the smallest massage therapist seems to have the strength of an army. They knead you like a lump of dough. No mercy if you are flinching or if you are ticklish. They just keep kneading. The legs are the worst. However, the last 15 minutes seems to be reserved for the head. They give you the most amazing scalp massage. It is invigorating and administered with absolutely no concern for your hair-do. After the head massage, they offer to clean your ears with what looks like a long metal probe, but I think might be an ear candle. I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet. But I am interested. I’ll let you know if I try it.

A loud alarm goes off to let you know when your hour is up. When they are done, they give you some green tea and some fruit (so far I’ve been offered cherry tomatoes, honeydew, and watermelon). You sit there rejuvenated, with your wild hair, munching on tomatoes, feeling like a million bucks. In my book these days, that’s rich! I would love to know what makes you feel rich.


Empty Nest Obsessed 🐾

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