My body is slowly disintegrating on me. My lower back currently resembles the floor board of the ’79 VW square back that Mom drove when we first moved to the States – rusty with bits of daylight showing through. We had to step carefully into the car so we didn’t fall through and lift our feet whenever we went through a puddle less they be soaked. We loved going through puddles. We’d often shout at her from the un-seat belted back seat, “Puddle! Puddle! Puddle!” and shriek when she would oblige, as our feet were suddenly immerged in muck and mire. It was awesome.
The disintegrating back - not so awesome.
The back is the result of years of abuse and neglect. Apparently when you fall off a stage at seventeen, while flirting with some boys, and the only medical care you seek is that of the orthodontist because your lip is embedded in your braces, your back remembers.
It remembers the time, age twelve, at Brother's Cub Scout meeting when you slipped outside to play hide and seek tag with the older brother of some Cub Scout in the dusky evening, and you ducked out between two cars, got hit by a bicycle going 30mph, knocked into the air and landed in a heap on the street. The stupid Band-Aid you put on your knees and elbows and the ice you put on your concussed head, they did nothing for the discs that still remembers what it felt like to fly through the air and use the pavement as brakes.
Your discs might also be particularly upset with the patio you helped Mom and Himself removed one summer. It seems if you use a sledgehammer improperly and follow it up by moving several tons of concrete, your back hates you.
Likewise, it hates you if you are up on a twenty-foot ladder helping to cut the massive tree in the backyard and you’re playing a game of “OH MY GOD! YOU’VE GOT A BUG ON YOU!” with Brother and he yells it out from his ladder when you’re at the top of yours and you jerk backward, and fall twenty feet down and land in the brush below, a ladder on you, legs tangled in the steps… Well, when your back wakes up from the shock forced by the concussion the whole body is in, it’s going to remember. And it is not going to be in the least happy about the situation.
One day, you’ll do something innocent, like trying to scrub a floor and your back, those discs will scream at you “REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND STUPID?” and up and quit on you. Or your discs won’t completely quit, they will just decide to protest, throwing little spasms and awkwardly timed muscle seizures that generally cause you to walk like an eighty-year old constipated man or cry out like you’re suddenly in labor.
My yard with the house half way up the hill – or halfway down the hill, depending on my direction and my mood – my yard with loads of potential has become a mountain of impossible challenges. A simple walk up to the mailbox has become a minefield. One step wrong and Tigger the Dog is going to have to play Lassie and find me help. And the odds of that dog doing much else but whining my face off, are not good. I should probably layer up each time I step outside in case I do fall, can’t get up and have to lie there until I’m rescued from the snow or ice or whatever Mother Nature has decided to throw at us this week.
A Band-Aid isn’t going to make this go away. Neither, apparently, is a pill that makes me floppy like the Scarecrow in Oz or a drink that makes me chatty and bouncy and fun. Both still leave me moving like a constipated eighty-year old man. I guess I should be the grown-up I look like get some kind of help. I’m pretty sure that none of this was in the manual of ‘When You Grow-up…’
I’d like a do-over. Please?
My hands are swollen and my throat is sore. It’s possible I’m getting Husband’s head cold but it’s also very possible it might be because yesterday I screamed, “TAKE IT OFF!” more than once at the top of my lungs while clapping loud enough to wake Tinkerbell.
It’s very likely that I was screaming so loudly that all the seats around us cleared and the ten year old girl a few seats over called me silly and then screamed along with me.
When the woman hosting the event assured us that the fireman currently undressing on stage wouldn’t bite, I may have just yelled “BUT I WANT HIM TO BITE ME!” so loudly that the women in the seat one aisle over from me burst out laughing.
It’s very possible that I laughed so very hard at the ‘grandma’ sitting primly with her legs crossed at the ankles and hands resting her lap as she tried to keep her face from smiling and foot from tapping when the fireman with 52 years of service started to take off his pants. And that I hid my head in my hands when the three large women put their hands in an inappropriate place on the naked man's chest. And giggled endlessly when the naked man sat on the much older woman's lap while her friend took what is likely going to be her Christmas picture.
I went to the Southern Woman’s Show thinking I’d see lots of jewelry and clothes and get an idea or two to write about later. I was expecting that I’d spend the day with a good friend and chat about marriage and love and art and life. That we’d drink pretty drinks and eat yummy food and just enjoy being out. Not once did I think the day would end with us sitting in the convention center under the bright florescent lights watching very good looking firemen taking off pieces of clothing for charity. And screaming and laughing and taking pictures and just generally having a blast while men - in far better shape than I have ever been - accepted dollar bills in their shorts and their boots and their hats.
Good day! Won three dollars! Was told I looked like I was related to Robin Roberts. Bought a great grill pan that’s sure to be fantastic when I finally have a stove to cook on. Got a wonderful massage pillow that might postpone my visit to the back doctor. Had fantastic conversations with my friend that went off in every possible direction and covered every possible topic. And saw lots and lots of naked-ish men. A good, nay a GREAT day with a hysterical naked ending. Top that Friday!
Husband came home last night and asked me if I would be offended if we returned the iPad toilet paper holder thing. I’m not but it’s a testament to his sense of humor that he wasn’t offended that I gave it to him in the first place.
He’s keeping the What’s Your Poo Telling You book. As he should! Maybe he’ll look in the book instead of asking me.
A few folk asked me what we were doing for our anniversary and seemed disappointed that we didn’t have grand plans. By that I mean, plans grander than going out to our favorite steak place dressed the way we always do.
Early on in our marriage, I might have been disappointed too but, married life is what you make of it, not what others – and in particular Hollywood and Hallmark – think you should make of it. For us, dressing up in fancy clothes and fancy shoes would have made us uncomfortable and itchy. And uncomfortable and itchy would have led to a fight about something or with someone. And who wants that nonsense on any night out, especially a night meant to celebrate your commitment to each other.
Last night, husband took me to McDonalds for dessert after dinner. For old time sake, we went through the drive-thru and got a Mcflurry to eat while sitting on our couch in our comfy's and watching TV. It was a perfect day – for us.
Once I gave a friend advice of what to say to her husband when they were fighting. His response: I’m not taking advice from a woman whose wedding included the saying “Do you want fries with that!” After I stopped laughing, I told them I give good advice despite my drive-thru wedding. Married life is what you make of it, not what others think you should make of it. If a book about poo works for your relationship, gift away. Just be clear to ask for the diamond sparkly ring if that’s what you want. Or in Husband’s case, the full studio set up in the basement. The full studio he will be getting in pieces for the next few anniversaries and birthdays and arbor days. So, bye-bye iPad toilet paper holder thing and hello plug that costs $$ and I have no clue what it does. Husband wants you so welcome to our home.
About two months ago, I found the perfect anniversary card for Husband. I don’t remember what it said, but I remember I thought it was perfect. I bought it and put it ‘someplace safe’ where I was sure to remember to pull it out on our anniversary.
Well, I’ve just spent 20minutes looking for the sucker and nothing. I have, however, found the Christmas cards, the congratulations cards and the nephew birthday cards. It’s now 8am and too early for me to go out and rustle one up – mostly because I’m not dressed. And too late to win the guilt war because I know Husband bought one last night when he went the grocery store for his throat lozenges. Ugh.
I do, however, have an awesome and inappropriate gift for him that might trump the lack of card. I can’t tell you all about it until he opens it but it’s rude - when you consider that my friend gave her Husband a very pricy watch and he gave her something that sparkles with every gesticulating statement.
One thing they don’t tell you about marriage but gift giving can be a battle of who did it best. Someone is always disappointed by someone else’s amusement. We’ve been married for nine years, our game is now more amusing than the actual gifts. We’ve always had a non-traditional marriage so this ongoing battle of awesomeness just adds to the wonder.
A co-worker is getting married in less than two weeks and her head looks like it’s about to explode at all times. Every time I see someone in that state of emotional self-inflicted pain, I am so glad we eloped. I’m so glad that my wedding pictures were taken with Husbands arm stretched out the window of the car we were in, the drive-thru wedding window clearly seen in the background. I’m glad I have no idea where the outfit is I wore to the wedding but it was a pair of jeans and a white shirt so it doesn‘t matter. I’m glad that our respective families didn’t have to have weird forced dinners that they resented paying for – that happened later. I’m glad that the day was just about our awkward love affair and that now, and us we’re a story our friends tell. And I’m glad that we’re still married – though sometimes it has been a bizarre roller coaster of OCD and emotional maintenance.
SO Husband came in and presented me with my card while I was writing this. And told me that my gift is a weekend away at the beach when we’re both feeling better. I yelled at him that he should have opened my gift first because a pedestal stand for iPad with a toilet paper roll holder and a book about What Your Poo is Telling You - yes, thats what I got him - is not as awesome as a weekend at the beach but it was too late. He has won this gift giving round.
He did say that he might use the iPad toilet paper roll holder with him on stage so that he could have his lyrics right there and put his beer in the toilet paper holder. I’m going to consider this a win! And, if it actually happens, it will be a story for the years to come.
Got in at 12:30am this morning. I’m groggy and disoriented, something I didn’t expect because I felt so good last night. I was actually surprised at how awake and peppy I felt on the flight. Well, on the second flight. The first one, SFO to LA, was filled with the judgment of these two pretentious shits, with their ironic hair and statement outfits. They spent most of the flight shooting shade at the passengers, sniggering at their - at our versions of normal, our version of boring. I spent most of the flight wanting to poke them in the eye. And yes, I know I’m being as judgy as they were – but I’m on the side of right here. I think. At least, I wasn’t wearing a pink skirt and cutoff tuxedo jacket and judging everyone else’s mom jeans and rumpled business suits. I didn’t spend time twirling my satirical handlebar mustache while sneering at that poor ladies hair. It wasn’t her fault it sat like a helmet. Ass.
And then the flight dumped me in the cesspit of stupid. Everyone type of person was squeezed into a postage stamp of a space. Every type of person fighting to find a patch, an inch of space to plop their butt down and call their own. It was not the most relaxing two hours. People watching wasn’t even possible, most everyone was surrounded by a cloud of doom and who wants to watch that while you’re sitting under your own dripping cloud?
I just read this back and it is obvious I’ve not gotten enough sleep over the past four days. See previous post. And now, here in Nashville, it’s snowing. Something I didn’t expect. Why didn’t I expect it? Because in California, I never check the weather, never look at the weather app on my phone. There’s no point. It’s always some form of sunny-ish. Unless it’s winter, and then it’s some form of grey-ish with occasional moisture and afternoon sun. And if that’s happening, everyone is talking about it so you know the “The BIG STORM is coming!"
In Nashville, I check that sucker ever few hours, the weather changes so much. In fact, this is what it says right now –
We’re going to get every single kind of weather this week excepting flying frogs. And that just might be happening next time I look.
Off to try to wake up my face and remember where I put things like car keys and winter jackets before I left. Hopefully I’ll be back to regular form tomorrow. If not, I’m sure I’ll whine - I mean share it with you here. I'm giving like that.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me