There’s nothing better than a massage when you are feeling stressed, especially at your local strip mall massage parlor. It’s as if there is nothing unusual about walking into a room, shaking a stranger’s hand, stripping off your clothes and having said stranger rub questionable oils and lotions into the crevices of your body. I would say that it’s the most awkward of all business transactions, but any woman who has had a Brazilian bikini wax knows that that’s not true.

After the massage, the stranger who just rubbed your ass (or “glutes” as they like to call it to make it sound less sexual), gives you a paper that I like to call your “stress report card”. The nice stranger gives you a drawing of a naked man and circles all of the parts of his body that represents the locale of your personal stress. Glancing at my after-massage GPA from my Groupon purchased massage, I learned that my entire body is failing life.

Three years ago, I started blogging to document my whimsical views of the world. I wrote about everything that makes me laugh in this crazy adventure called life. When a friend recently pointed out to me that I hadn’t blogged in awhile, I tried to figure out why that was so. And then it hit me: I haven’t blogged because nothing is funny to me right now.

I just can’t find the humor in the constant heartbreak in our world right now. I want to, I really really do, but I just can’t.

In a disagreement with a now non-friend, I was told that I had become too “artsy-fartsy” for this person’s taste. When I told my son about this particular conversation, he asked me what that term meant. I explained to him that the phrase meant someone who really appreciates things outside of their own world. When asked why that would offend someone close to me, I could only respond that I guess it’s because it leaves a little less time to obsess and worry about the things and people in my real life.

These past few years of my life have, in fact, made me appreciate the arts much more. When I’m feeling sad or anxious, I can easily escape to a different world. I can read a book or watch t.v. or stare at a painting and forget, for a moment, about the real-live chaos in my house. I can walk out my door, get in my car and drive to see a movie that does not involve mass shootings or angry, sad or depressing issues (although, to be honest, there were a lot of angry, sad and depressing movies this year.) I can go see live theatre or turn on the radio and hear a song about American Idiots who are not, in fact, actual American idiots.

I can read someone else’s blog and they can make me laugh when I’m feeling too sad to write one myself.

When getting a massage, (or, frankly, a Brazilian wax), there’s always a little fear of, um, a little gas escaping from an area that is awfully close to someone else’s face. When we expose ourselves to something that we don’t normally do, or expand (sorry for the pun) our horizons, we put ourselves in a position to be a little vulnerable. To put our own happiness ahead of those who are always asking us to give it to them.

The arts have saved me from walking in to an insane asylum and asking how to sign up. The arts have helped me cope with things that I cannot control. The arts make me happy when I don’t have a clue how to do it on my own.

So, yeah, maybe I’m a little artsy fartsy. I am proud to admit it. And if a little fartsy bothers you, then get your head away from my ass and stick it up your own instead.

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6 Responses to Artsy-Fartsy

  1. Julie Merwald Maloney says:

    Allyson, great blog! Needed that great laugh tonight! I’m an artsy farsty too! Wished we could of met before moving back to our home state of Nebraska! Namaste!

  2. Lisa LaBelle says:

    That’s how I feel about music. Always have always will

  3. Ricki Kaplan says:

    Love this! And to look on the bright side, I do notice that there is a small space between your knees and your ankles where you are apparently feeling no stress at all. Good job! Must be all that exposure to the arts.

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