Monday, November 10, 2014

Massage Message, A Short Story

Douglas Winslow Cooper and Brian Maher

“Hi, Mom, how was your day?”

“Fine, Rick, yours?”

“Good, except I have a lot of homework. I’ll be back downstairs for dinner.”


It was the end of a week in May, the Friday before Mother’s Day, nearing the end of Mom’s long nine months of teaching middle school kids. Mrs. Williams was tired. Her feet were tired. Worse, her feet hurt. When your feet hurt, you can’t ignore them. What she needed– wanted anyway– was a foot massage…not the kind of thing you can easily get from your son who is a junior in high school. Even if you got it, how good would it be?

“Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, Tim. How’s everything?”


Tim wandered off. Mrs. W. did not even mention her tired feet to Tim. How good a foot massage could a fourth-grade boy give?

“Hi, dear. How was your day?” Her husband inquired as he came in.

“Fine, honey. Yours?”

“OK. I’m tired. I’ll take a nap before dinner.”

Mr. W. headed for their bedroom, removing another possible foot massager from consideration.

“Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, Tess. What’s up?”

“Nothing much.”

“Are you busy?”

“Not really.”

Things were looking up for Mom. She might be able to get a foot massage if she played her cards right.

“Would you like to earn a little extra money?”


“Massaging my aching feet.”

We will not go into the details of the rest of their conversation. A price was agreed upon, lotion obtained, feet massaged, relaxation achieved, a daughter enriched and a mother’s aches relieved.

“You’re looking relaxed,” Mr. W. said to his wife, coming into the living room after his nap.


“What’s your secret?”

“Tess’s foot massage. Excellent.”

Mom brought Dad up to speed on the deal she arranged with Tess.

“Next time you need one, please ask me. I’ll be happy to do it,” Mr. W. gallantly offered.

“Tess gave me a bargain price,” she teased.

“I’ll do even better.”

“How much will you ask?”

“Just a kiss…and my services will be free on Mother’s Day.”

That Mother’s Day Sunday, Mrs. Williams did get her massage, Mr. Williams got his kiss, even though he did not require one, and each got the other’s message.

One of our series of 50 instructive stories about life in small-town America.


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