Common App Admissions Essays

Massaging My Malady


 Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I have a disease, an ambiguous disease that coerces me into festering in a ridiculous situation until it’s even more ludicrous resolution and compels me to exacerbate the event by my own capricious nature. With neither cure nor vaccination for this disease, it can develop at any age. Its symptoms range from negligible to severe, including showing up to a non-costume party dressed as a nun, showing up to a costume party dressed as myself in a push up bra, winking at strangers and soliciting wayward boyfriends. Though lacking formal diagnosis, I am undoubtedly suffering from Compulsive Living for the Story Syndrome (CLSS.)

I began to suspect that CLSS had its talons in me the first time that I used a suggestive pickup line on a church elder. However, I did not realize that I was irrevocably infected until one fateful afternoon during a trip to China. I had been trekking through Asia and just arrived in Shanghai.The hotel’s amenities were plentiful, including a spa, an intoxicating asset, as the hikes through the villages of my grandparents had rendered me craving a massage. Within minutes of entering, I was already at the spa service counter playing a manic round of charades with the non-English speaking employees. I kneaded the air’s neck and sensually karate chopped its lumbar region while wildly chanting,“Need Massage. Pay good money. Shower today. Promise.” After fitful and fruitless moments, they understood-- but only when I performed the necessary violation of leaping over the desk barrier and fervently massaging every one of them before pointing back at my pitifully pouting self as if to say, “You do dis to me!”

Eventually,I was led to a dimly lit room and left without a word of instruction. Suffering from abandonment and seduced by boredom, I got naked. Nude and crude, I stared in the mirror with a brew of amazement and disgust at the enterprising “Shanghai 17 pounds” that had recently invaded the prime corporal real estate of my lower abdomen and inner thighs. I was mid-thigh jiggle when the door revealed the masseuse, a young Asian who could have doubled as a boy band performer.

Lying anxiously, I waited for the hum of gongs to permeate the air. The gongs never sounded, but the piercing buzz of Chinese television did. The massage itself was an entirely different breed of insanity. Forgivably distracted by what I could only assume was “China’s Next TopTap Dancing Toddler,” the boy band masseuse performed a myriad of experimental massage techniques including probing my ear holes, slapping my face repeatedly,drumming my head, punching my butt, picking at the small wart in between my right ring finger and pinky, pulling my hair, and fingering my bellybutton. Should I have been alarmed and perhaps put a halt to this perverse massage etiquette? Why of course, but who was I to question the ancient art of Chinese massage?

Nevertheless, a prudent part of me realized that something slightly erotic but more so undeniably psychotic was happening when he started laughing at my groomed American hooha. Acknowledging his amusement, I reflected; so these are the types of wonderful calamities that occur when you are afflicted with CLSS. It suddenly became clear that if I wasn’t so driven by the thrill of having sensational stories to share, I would’ve left 30 minutes earlier and my lady part land certainly wouldn’t be under survey.

Despite the debate that CLSS may just be a mere personality quirk and not a genuine malady, I wouldn’t remedy it even if it were medically possible. My inability to stop situations before they escalate to comical discomfort has not only gifted me with the most riotous experiences of my life but has also provided me with a bottomless arsenal of comedic inspiration. I truly do live for the story because if I did not--- I wouldn’t be living at all.

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How to cite this essay (MLA)

Dy, Kiki. "Massaging My Malady" Study Notes, LLC., 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Jul. 2024. <>.