Needles and the damage done.

So! I went to an acupuncturist. All the goodness and the excitement has been a bit too much for my delicate constitution. There are papers to sign and papers we can’t find that we need to find and enormous life changes to freak out over. Accordingly, I have spent the last week either shaking, crying, or hyperventilating. Or all of the above! Together! Which was quite alarming for Henry, although I did my best to hide from him while I was freaking out or convince him that I was either a) having an allergy attack, b) exercising, or c) crying out of sheer joy. He didn’t buy it. “But you cry when you’re not happy,” he said, and then he grabbed my face and said. “I love you. I. Love. You. Alice.” I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh so I did a little of both.

This acupuncturist came highly recommended, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to try, although my one and only other acupuncture experience had been traumatic. That time, the acupuncturist covered me from head to toe in needles, set a timer for fifteen minutes, turned the lights off, and left the room. I was wearing only a paper gown and I was so covered in needles that if I moved any part of my body, strange crampy pains washed over me. I couldn’t even move my face. Eventually I managed to relax. But then! The timer went off. And no one came to get me.

I waited. And waited. And waited. I tried not to panic, because when I panicked I tensed up, and then the pain started. I tried to relax. I was cold, and I was shivering, and the shivering was making everything hurt. I began emitting a noise like a dying yak. I could hear movement outside the door, but I was sure they had forgotten me. My dying-yak sounds grew louder. And louder. Eeeeeerrrrrr. EEERRRRRRR.

Finally, the door opened (TWENTY MINUTES LATER) and the light was turned on. And it was a horror show, my friends: the paper gown covering my chest was covered in blood. I have friends who get acupunctured all the time and one friend who practices it and they all say sometimes there’s a tiny bit of blood, but this was not that. This was like the bucker of pig’s blood had tipped over my head and I just wanted to be liked and AIIIEEEE! Now everyone will die!

It wasn’t good. The only good thing was that I didn’t have to pay.

I told this new acupuncturist about my last experience and she shrieked a little and clapped her hand over her mouth. I approved of her reaction. And then she assured me that she would only insert a few needles hither and yon, and that I was her only patient so she definitely wouldn’t forget about me. So far, so good.

But then while she’s sticking me, she’s asking questions about our apartment selling. And I tell her how we had all these bids on our apartment, which is great, but it also meant crushing the hopes of many nice people who had told us in no uncertain terms that ours was the apartment of their dreams. And the acupuncturist murmurs, “Let the agent deal with that,” and I tell her that we’re selling it ourselves because we can’t afford the agent’s 6% take, boo hoo, we have no money.

And here, kids, is her reply, in the same soothing murmur: “That’s a common misconception, as agents are more experienced with the market and can accurately price your home. You may not have to pay the six percent but all that means is that you probably priced your home too low and now you’ll get less for your home than you would have with an agent. I’m all done with the needles, “ she breathily concludes, “and I’ll check on you in a few minutes.”

Then she leaves, and I’m lying there, in the dark, wondering: did I find the one acupuncturist/real estate broker in Park Slope? And at what point can I call her back in and tell her we priced it just fine, and anyway we got more than the asking price, and also, shut the fuck up?