19 Duggars- Hey, Are You Guys Done Counting Yet?

The first thing I thought when I heard about The Duggars: 19 and Counting when it premiered is “Have we even had sex 19 times? Maybe we’re not infertile. Maybe we’re just lazy.”

Even though I did my infertility treatments- IUI, IVF, all of that a while ago, I still feel very much a part of that community. So while this blog is to make general people generally laugh… I’ve always been especially interested in amusing those dealing with infertility. So when I think of the Duggars and their 19 kids, I just feel like they’re rubbing my face in it. It would have been bad enough if they’d had 4 kids. I’d still have been saying: “This sucks. They have 4 kids, and we can’t even have 1.” But this is what they call in football “piling on”. When the game is such a blow-out your team couldn’t possible win unless there was 2 years left on the clock and yet the opponent keeps scoring over and over just to mock you and underscore how much your team is full of losers and you’re a loser for wearing their colors. I feel mocked by the Duggars. I think if someone has 5 or 6 kids I’m annoyed. But somewhere around child 14 or 15, I start taking it personally.

One thing that seems to be vital in the Duggar household is to instill their teachings and rules in their kids very early. Every child from the very beginning gets told the same things, taught the same way, knows what’s expected of them. Modest dress, no frontal hugs because that’s where all the squeezable goodies grow, all dates are chaperoned, and scripture, scripture, scripture. Their kids are living in their house and following their rules after they legally have to. Could you imagine waiting until a kid was 16 and telling them: “Okay, so now that you’re starting to date, this is how it’s going to be: There will be no hand-holding until you’re engaged.” That would have been a tough road for me. I got engaged at 39.

What if you wait that long only to find out he’s a lousy hand-holder? He’s no good in the glove. What if you like to have your fingers interlocked and he likes to engulf your entire hand like you’re a 3 year old? Or his hands are too meaty, or clammy, or bony? Or he grips like a vice or a wet tissue? You’re already engaged and you just found out you’re not compatible. I dated one guy who held my hand— the only way I’ve ever been able to describe it… like he was carrying a baggie that he’d just filled up from a walk with his dog. I couldn’t possibly spend my life with a man who made me feel like I was always on the wrong end of a pooper scooper.

Sending along a chaperone probably isn’t such a bad idea. It just depends whom you send to chaperone. Apparently it’s usually a younger sibling. The Duggars don’t just send them along on the date, the sibling is strategically inserted between the happy couple for the entire date. All I can say is, if I had to continuously chaperone my older sisters’ dates, I’d be one rich 12 year old.

I fear a little bit for the Duggars. I don’t like their odds. There are 19 kids. So far, so good it seems. But what are the chances nothing will ever go wrong with any of them? Not one of them is going to go awry? What are the chances at least one of them won’t grow up to be some sort of anarchist? Somebody is bound to be gay or a democrat, or pro-choice, or Goth, or use birth control, or live in NYC or touch themselves inappropriately, or spend Sunday mornings sobering up, or move to Colorado for all the wrong reasons, or become an agnostic, or keep up with the Kardashians, or not get married, or marry a Hindu, or twerk, or not want any kids, or feel-up their fiancé or watch Family Guy… I just don’t like their odds at all.

When I Grow Up, I Want to be An American Girl Doll

It’s only a few weeks until Halloween and all houses of horror are not equal. Some don’t have blood and vampires. Some are pretty, immaculate arenas on Fifth Avenue. Such is the American Girl doll store.

I love dolls. I’ve always loved dolls. But these dolls aren’t what I’m used to. They’re not your basic huggable buddy you carry everywhere. They’re a little stand-offish:

“Please don’t cuddle me. You know I prefer air kisses. You’ll muss up my hair. Stop it: You’re creasing my new outfit! Do you have any idea how much this outfit cost? I don’t care if you paid for it.” Surely there must be a reality show: “Real American Girl Housewives” in their future. They’re just a tad elitist. Could you imagine the scandal if an American Girl doll was seen on the red carpet with Raggedy Andy? Sure he’s a legend, an American icon, but how could he not end up on the “worst dressed list” with that sailor hat?

I could swear I saw a trash can in front of the American Girl doll store that said: “No outside dolls or stuffed animals allowed.” I took off my shoes before I entered and carried them the whole time. It just seemed fitting.

All of the dolls come from different backgrounds and have different stories and yet, they all look suspiciously similar. Has anyone actually done a background check to verify their stories of hardship growing up? And how much hardship growing up can they have had? Aren’t they all like 9? Whatever struggles they may have had must have been short-lived because now they’re living it up in a ritzy store on Fifth Avenue.

Some of the dolls are on display and some are in boxes. I wondered if the ones in the boxes are being punished. Do the employees come around at night when the store’s closed and say:

“You, Marlena Isabel… Not you, the one behind you… Not you either, the one behind you, the next one, after her… Marlena Isabel #8, yes you. I saw you chewing gum earlier while customers were near your display. People pay $130 for a doll that has class not a gum-chewer. It’s back in the box for you!”

I pondered: If someone offered to shell out $1040 plus tax for the whole slew of Marlena Isabels, is there a former government witness protection program employee in the basement, who in a flash, can create a whole new identity- Name and background -for each of the octuplets? “Marlena Isabel #6. You’re now ‘Estrogen’. You were raised by a lesbian couple in Fresno in 1971. Toss me your maracas and throw on this tie-dye poncho!”

Clearly some of my disdain comes from jealousy. Especially when I got to the part of the store where the beauty salon is. Grown-ass women stand there all day coiffing dolls’ hair as they sit in their little salon chairs with the little salon cape around their little plastic necks. One phrase had bombarded my thoughts since I’d entered the store and was only growing louder as I’d approached the salon area: “Are you fking kidding me?”

And why do the dolls face us when they’re getting coiffed? Don’t they want to see themselves in the mirror? Maybe they’re mocking us because we wish we were, literally, in their shoes. I couldn’t stop thinking: “Okay, something’s very wrong about this. I have my hair balled up in a stretched-out scrunchie because I haven’t been able to afford a haircut in 2 years, and I’m watching a row of Stepford dolls getting their hair done on Fifth Avenue.”

They’re only a block away from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Do any of the dolls ever take a limo over to kneel down in gratitude for their good fortunes? Do any of their knees bend?”

And I don’t think the dolls’ snobbish attitudes waiver once they leave the store either. Have you ever seen a little girl with an American girl doll shopping in Target? Never. Once that doll sees those red shopping carts in the parking lot, she starts sending subliminal messages to her owner:

“I’m not going in there. I demand you leave me in the car at once!”

But then of course there probably is an AGDPS – The American Girl Doll Protective Services who would arrest you for leaving your American Girl Doll alone in a hot car. The penalty? Who knows? They know you have no money left to pay a fine since you’ve already forked over hundreds for the doll, her outfit, and accessories. Maybe in the back of the store somewhere, in the deep recesses where shoppers are never permitted, there are extra large boxes where they keep naughty American Girl Doll owners.

What happened to the good old days? Where’s a vindictive little brother to come along and pop the head off your doll when you need him?

Simple Rules to Picking a Doctor (Part 1)

(This week is a 2-part blog post. Apparently I couldn’t get all my venting into just one post. So when you’re done with me here, Donor Concierge has graciously allowed me to post Part II over there. http://www.donorconcierge.com/gails-blog/)

I’m pretty sure I’m not one of those people who annoys their doctor so much that the receptionist knows their phone number by heart and cringes and retches every time it comes up on caller ID. And yet, I’m pretty particular about the doctors I pick. And interestingly enough, my pickiness really has little to do with their medical expertise.

No, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been diverted to or referred to or conned into using medical professionals who seem qualified to see me in various degrees of undress. (Sorry, Mr. Podiatrist. In your case, I mean taking off my shoes and socks.)

So my issues aren’t always with the doctors themselves. Yet some little most basic common sense things can make me want to call it quits with them.

…like not being able to get in touch with them. I had a gynecologist not too long ago who had one phone line and no call-waiting. What? It was like going to the little gyno on the prairie. I had to pretend I was living in 1978 and keep hanging up when I got a busy signal and psycho-dialing over and over again until I got through. How ridiculous: I was trying to make a doctor’s appointment not win concert tickets.

Another gynecologist had an answering machine field all of her calls. I often can’t be reached during the day so this is really irritating. I need a one step deal. It was never a one step deal to make an appointment. I couldn’t just call her, make an appointment and move on with my life. I had to call and wait for someone to call me back. Then they’d leave me a message, then I’d call them back and leave them a message. Then… well you see where this is going. Instead of the one step deal it should’ve been, it became a three day Olympic event. Finally I’d get so exasperated, I would just leave detailed information on the machine message and let them work it out without me. “I’ll be in Monday the 29th at 3:10. Deal with it.” You know you’ve left too many messages when you don’t have to leave your number because you’re sure they already have it… Or your name because they must, by now, know your “angry voice” by heart.

Then sometimes you get receptionists, administrative assistants etc who are unpleasant. I will go as far as to say I had a Reproductive Endocrinologist who has an assistant who’s evil. (And I say “has” because she’s still there.) She was always so nice to my face, but clearly something more sinister lingers just below the surface of her cheery shell. Somehow doctors never got the messages when messages went through her. If for some reason she was out, everything was fine. But when she was there, she was like a giant cement road block. And there was no way to get to a doctor or a nurse without going through her. I tried frantically to warn the medical staff when I saw them in person, grabbing them by the lab coat lapels. “Listen to me! She’s only gone out for coffee. We don’t have much time! I’m telling you. That woman you have as your assistant- She’s not who you think she is!” But apparently they were all fooled by her or she had them in an evil trance or something. Did they never question how she could bring them every day, hot S’Mores directly from her office?

My internist has an online portal and, I hate to say it but, I love my portal. (Did that sound right to you?) I go online to ask for prescriptions or ask the doctor a quick question or get lab results or make my own appointments. I sincerely hope none of it has put anyone out of a job. Then again, a few of them probably shouldn’t have been in that job in the first place. I often thought as unemployment was hitting an all-time high: “10 million people out of work… and this is who you gave the job to?”

To continue this post where I kvetch about waiting rooms, waiting in waiting rooms, and doctors who have lousy bedside manner, please check out: “Simple Rules to Picking a Doctor” (Part 2) at Gail Sexton’s blog: http://www.donorconcierge.com/gails-blog/

“Suspended With Pay?… Sign Me Up”

I, for some reason, keep an eye on what the hottest job markets are. I admit, I don’t have much interest or talent in either computer sciences or neurosciences which always seem to be at the top of the list, but there’s a new one that has been gaining in popularity recently. It’s in the news all the time and I’m obsessed with it: The “Suspended With Pay” career.

You know sometimes you read online news articles and there are pieces missing?: An important detail or something’s misspelled or a word has been inadvertently omitted. That’s really what I thought was happening the first few times I saw that someone had been: “Suspended WITH Pay”. But it couldn’t possibly be a typo over and over again, news story after news story, could it? It turns out it’s not a typo. It’s a career path.

And I think you have to have a pretty decent job to nab the coveted “Suspended with Pay” status. I mean, if you work at Burger King taking orders and they catch you sticking your hand in the till and shoving cash under your paper crown, you wouldn’t get suspended with pay. You probably wouldn’t even get suspended without pay. They would just “have it their way” and dethrone your ass out the door.

But if you have a more important job… or at least a better paying job or maybe just a more high profile job… and you steal a few million or do something just a little heinous like making a right turn through a family while you were texting a friend that your blood alcohol level was around 12, or moonlighting as the director of a Meth lab, or if your constituents voted for public funds to open a hospital cancer wing and you gave it to your brother-in-law to buy a jet, or if you’re a top linebacker in the NFL and you didn’t like the furniture your wife brought home so you broke it over her face, or you touched somebody’s bathing suit while they were wearing it without them giving you the go-ahead. Apparently the appropriate punishment for all of these crimes is: “Suspension WITH Pay”.

Of course I understand this is all while the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I’m just wondering how they manage to never sign, on the day they’re hired, what I always sign: The “At-Will” policy with the words “At-Will” prominently displayed, circled and highlighted. It basically says what Lou Grant said to Mary Richards on the first episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show: “If I don’t like you, I’ll fire you! If you don’t like me… I’ll fire you!”

So let’s sum up, shall we? I can do some crime so horrific that neither AOL nor TMZ can show the video footage and then, let’s say I’m out on bail… Maybe even on house arrest… I can sit on my couch eating ice cream and watching a Murder She Wrote marathon all day every day with no worries about not being able to afford the ice cream or my cable being turned off because my direct deposit will continue to flow peacefully into my bank, right on time, on the 15th and the 30th of every month. And it will take probably a year before the case comes to trial… Hmmm… I’ve always thought it would take me about a year to write my next book. Perfect… It’s Kismet… It’s Karma. My home can become my very own artist’s retreat. Who needs “Go Fund Me”? My job will bankroll my writing career.

Suspended with pay… Some call it a punishment. I call it a promotion.

57 Years to Think for Ourselves is All We’ve Got

The golden years of life are between ages 18 and whatever age you can get to and still be able to think semi-clearly as well as move the majority of your body parts. See, I don’t like to be told what to do… (Yes, having that as my motto, makes me the ideal employee) …and for the first 18 years of our lives we’re constantly told what to do. Not only do people have the right to tell us what to do, they’re obligated by law to tell us what to do. “Put on that seat belt.” “No, you can’t go to the mall alone with your friend: You’re both 8 years old.” You’re told what to wear at 4: “You can’t wear a bathing suit outside in winter” and what not to wear at 16: “That’s the style? Whatever it is, you’re not leaving the house with those hanging out.”

Then we get a lull. From age 18 until 75 we get a reprieve, a breather, a short window of opportunity in which to think for ourselves: Freedom. And, if we’re smart, we milk it for all it’s worth. We can have key lime pie for breakfast. (Did it yesterday). We can watch a show late at night without anyone telling us to turn off the TV and go to bed even though we’re on our third round of the “fall asleep & pop back up” merry-go-round and have no idea where we are let alone what we’re watching. We can wear what we want. (Walmart shoppers excepted.) We can sleep with nothing on or everything in our closet. We can talk to strangers. We can run with scissors. We can lick dip right out of the container in the privacy of our own home. We can leave all the lights on in the house all day. We can drink right from the faucet. We can swim 3 minutes after we eat or even while we’re still chewing. We don’t have to brush our hair or our teeth. No one can make us make our bed. No one can make us go to school. No one can make us go to work. We can just call up and say to the boss: “You know what. I really don’t feel like doing this anymore. Bye.”

Then we turn about 75. And the nightmare starts again. A mere 70 years ago they were telling us we couldn’t eat glue, crayons, snot or lint. Now they’re telling us we can’t eat salt, fat, sugar or anything referred to as “delicious”. And suddenly everybody wants to know about our bowel movements again: When, how often, do they look like gum balls or balloon animals? Serpents or giraffes? They haven’t been a topic of conversation since we learned to wipe from front to back… And we definitely shouldn’t be driving. They won’t take us anywhere but we shouldn’t be driving. And we can’t live where we want. They don’t want us to live alone but they don’t want us to live with them either.

My sister-in-law suggested that my father-in-law check out a senior living place near her. He says it’s a nursing home. She says it’s nice. The first day he was there, they sat him at a table with one of the residents. She introduced herself: “Hi. I’m Gloria Marshall. I’m 96. I’m done living. Who needs this anymore?” I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my father-in-law would ever be the most upbeat person at any given meal. Poor Mrs. Marshall. If only she could escape for a while to run with scissors and drink right from the faucet, she might feel different.

Irritations that No Amount of Gold Bond Will Help

Everyone loves to tell you “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”. Unfortunately many things which I find irksome take place while I’m driving. And since my car doesn’t currently have air conditioning or windows that open, I can’t help literally, sweating the small stuff.

Of course I’m an excellent driver. I inherited this talent from my father who was the self-proclaimed best driver who had ever driven. (My husband might dispute this title as he once was a passenger when my father decided to make a U-turn around four lanes of traffic and an island. This took place 9 years ago. About a month ago, my husband finally stopped waking up in the middle of the night screaming and asking if the “bad man” was gone.)

There are some unacceptable combinations in this world: Things that must never go together- like a size 24 wearing a size 8 or an 84 year old driving 84 miles per hour. My father drove fast and he drove angry. He had road rage way before people “helped” by making phone videos and sending them to the local news. You haven’t lived until you’ve witnessed an elderly person yelling the word: “C—Sucker!” out his car window. (Sorry… Just reporting the facts here.)

I don’t think I’m quite that bad when I’m driving (though I’m sure he didn’t think he was that bad either) and yet I am a Daddy’s Girl. So forgetting for a moment that I’m already irritable when I get into the car because I have no air conditioning and the windows don’t open and that I’m resentful because I should rightfully be driving a brand new convertible (see my hair in photo above. Clearly it was made to cascade in the wind and obstruct the view of drivers behind me).

There are a few pet peeves I have with others on the road.

1) People who drive under the speed limit. It’s only 45 mph. You can’t do the whole 45? Granted, if I have nothing but open road in front of me I might, like Dad, be tempted to do 85. But I’m not asking that of you. The whole 45, not 41. That’s all I ask.

2) Texting, make-up application… I even hate when people drive with a phone especially if it’s up to their left ear because not only does it divide their attention but it takes away their peripheral vision. I saw a poor guy in a pick-up drive off into a drainage ditch the other day because a woman on her phone wanted his spot in the lane badly and had no idea he was already in it.

3) People who have to stop completely before making a turn. Why? Are you under the impression that your car will flip over and burst into flames if you’re doing 15? I assure you. It won’t.

4) People who back into parking spots on a regular basis. I don’t get the benefit. And it louses me up when I park normally in the spot next to them. I go to open my doors and their doors aren’t where they’re supposed to be… Neither’s their rearview mirror. It’s like a weird new sexual position. You end up with extra parts with nowhere comfortable to put them. Everything fits fine when you face the right way… And when people back into parking spots, it usually takes them 5 tries to get it right. (Just like… never mind.)

So maybe there’s a reason greater than us why my windows don’t open. It’s like the universe and Chevrolet have come together to keep peace in our society by preventing me from yelling out hip-hop lyrics or using hand gestures not found in the DMV manual.

If You Want to Talk Behind My Back, I’d Be Happy to Turn Around

I’m pleasant to everyone at work for my own selfish purposes. If you’ve every gone to work in a lousy mood it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting to stay irritated and/or miffed for a whole day. I’ve always wanted to do nothing but writing. So any other job I’ve ever had has always been a chore. Virtually all the non-writing jobs I’ve had over my working lifetime have been the same. Once you learn it you learn it. It never changes. So from around the third month at the job to say six or seven years into it, (should I last that long), the monotony and boredom have built to a fever pitch.

This all may sound negative but it’s really not. It’s survival. When I’m at work, I try to be as sincerely pleasant and helpful as I can be. The day goes easier for me that way. I can even be downright friendly within reason. A smattering of coworkers over the 23 or so jobs I’ve had I would even classify as friends. But as for the majority, at my latest stint for example: I’ve worked with them for five years and have averaged six words a day over those five years: “Good morning. Have a good night.” The end.

Last week my post was about how I float into other people’s cubicles at work uninvited and unannounced. I barge right into the middle of their conversation and offer advice that nobody asked for and, by the expressions on their faces, clearly nobody wants. (You’d think being aware that I do this would be the first step to correcting my behavior. Of course you’re assuming I think my behavior needs correcting.) So this seems like a clash. First I say I mind everybody’s busy and now I’m telling you I don’t want to talk to anybody. Basically, I talk to people when it suits me. And I butt into their business to keep them out of mine.

And just like they couldn’t care less about my unsolicited advice, I couldn’t care less that they couldn’t care less.
A coworker came to me the other day on the verge of tears. She said that she had walked in on a cluster of fellow employees (apparently innocently walked in on them, not like me cannonball-diving in) and everybody looked awkward and stopped talking while their eyes shifted all over the place. She told me that she’d sensed for a long time that these women didn’t like her and now she was sure that her worst fears had been confirmed.

In my most compassionate, heartfelt tone I said: “Who the fk cares?” To not further hurt her feelings, I had to clarify that I meant “Who the fk cares” if those idiots talked about her not “Who the fk cares” about what you’re telling me. Of course I actually felt about 50/50.

The best thing you can do for me if you don’t like me and keeping it to yourself is out of the question, is talk behind my back. Especially if you’re just one of those “Good Morning”, “Have a Good Night” people in my life. In fact, if I drift into one of your private conversations to offer my uncalled for opinion and you want to get rid of me, start talking about me. I’ll be happy to leave… or at least turn around.

If Only I Had 2 Cents for Every 2 Cents I’ve Put In…

There is an art which I have yet to master. No, I don’t mean the art of writing. I mean the art of minding my own business. Every year on Yom Kippur, I throw bread into a lake. To Jews everywhere this symbolizes casting away our sins. To others, it symbolizes feeding the ducks. (Occasionally I’ve been chased by zealous park officials: Apparently tossing away sins is prohibited there.) Every year, for as long as I can remember one of my “sins” that I throw away is “minding my own business”. Unfortunately, it usually limps out of the lake and boomerangs back to me about two days later.

Don’t you hate those people who, when you’re having a conversation, just show up out of nowhere and start commenting? That’s me. And it could be about anything from gardening to why the husband of the woman talking ran off to Brazil.

I just float in like Tinkerbell to save the day:
“You told us months ago that he’s been learning Portuguese. Come on Alyssa, the red flags were everywhere! You probably didn’t give him enough attention and oh yeah, ditto for your tomatoes. That’s why they’re not growing. It’s all related somehow.”

And I’m sure after I put in my two cents and finally leave the room, they look at each other and say: “I’ll bet she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it.” That’s where they’re wrong. I realize it. My problem isn’t ignorance, it’s arrogance. I just always think I have something vital to contribute to their otherwise humdrum conversation. I know more than they do. There are thousands of topics in this world I’m sure I know nothing about, from UN policy to opera, but that doesn’t stop me from playing “Jeopardy!” or from being an authority. As my ex-boyfriend used to say:

“Hi I’m Lori and I’m pretty sure I’m some sort of a genius.”

That’s not why we broke up. I mean, he had a point. I think this is a trait I inherited from my father. You’d be working on something: Putting a toy together, washing a dish… and he’d nudge you aside and say: “Better let me do it.”

And you’d think this would make me more compassionate and understanding toward others with the same affliction and yet it doesn’t. Quite the opposite. If I’m having a private discussion and a third party interjects, I’m incensed. How dare they interrupt? I get annoyed and obnoxious: “All who want your opinion raise their hand.”

But when I “intercede”, I’m a master at it. I don’t even have to do it in person. Often I butt in over the cubicle wall. You know when you’re sitting at work in those “sound-proof” “offices” with no door or ceiling? I eavesdrop. Everyone eavesdrops. The discreet, professional thing to do of course, is to pretend you don’t hear a thing and go on with your work.

I’m a busy woman. I have no time for either discretion nor professionalism. It works well in my work environment. My coworkers have chosen to embrace my true self as a buttinsky, yenta, and general annoyance. People have gotten so used to me listening-in uninvited that they’ll just use me as the wealth of information that I am. They know that Big Brother may be watching, but I’m always listening. There will be two women talking in a low voice two cubicles over: “Did they say that meeting is supposed to start at 9 or 10? I can’t remember what time they decided on…. Lori?”
“9!”
See? I may be rude, indiscreet, and unprofessional, but I’m the company’s most vital resource. I seriously doubt if they could function without me.

I’m What You’d Call an Athletic Klutz- Are You?

I’m one of those nuts who loves exercise. I’ve been doing some form of it or another since I was a teenager. I love exercise but does exercise love me? The jury’s still out.

We all know that a lot of athletes are prone to injury. That’s not my issue. I’m prone to klutziness. There’s a huge difference. I imagine that a lot of injuries can been prevented. If only athletes, I don’t know, stretched out more, waited longer for prior injuries to heal, drank V-8, that injury could have been prevented. If only klutzes paid attention to what they were doing, they wouldn’t be klutzes.

I’m such a dedicated athlete that the other day I ran to my yoga class no less and then ran back after the class. It would have been a perfect “Rocky” moment if only I hadn’t tripped on the way back, flown through the air and landed on the sidewalk. Normal people fall and turn around to see what they tripped over. I don’t even bother. I’m neither looking for the “real” cause or to take embarrassment off myself by looking to blame an outside source. If ever I was running along a path and there was an eight foot hole due to a worker’s negligence that I catapulted head-first into, I’d still have no case. All of my loved ones and biggest supporters would be the first to tell the cops and lawyers: “Oh don’t worry about it. She does this all the time.”

When I fell the other day, after making sure all of my body parts and electronics were in tact, I called my husband. I think he showed great restraint when I reported the grim news. He actually asked me if I was okay before saying: “Not again.”

Some years back (you’ll see how many since it involves my Walkman), I was lucky enough to fall only a few short limping blocks from my chiropractor. As I was in there cleaning myself up, I realized that I had lost the battery cover to my Walkman. The key to keeping your material losses to a minimum when you’re a chronic klutz is landmarks. I’d remembered as I was sailing through the air, catching a glimpse of a statue out of the corner of my eye and, luckily I was pretty sure it was St. Christopher and not St. Peter. So all I had to do was send my husband on an errand to retrieve the battery cover. I told him it was somewhere between St. Christopher and the chiropractor. Try putting that into your GPS even if it had existed.

I suspect that I’m not alone and that there are thousands of athletic klutzes out there. I’d like to say we’re so embarrassed to be athletic klutzes that we’re in the athletic klutz closet. It’s just hard to deny what you are when you spend most of your most impressive athletic moments in the public eye, lying face down on a sidewalk or treadmill, in a pool of your own blood.

What athletic klutzes want you to know is that we are just like other athletes. We have the passion and competitive natures of other athletes and we will, for the rest of our lives continue to be athletes whether or not it leads to our early demise.

Ever Have One of Those Days?

People proclaim they’re having “one of those days” too quickly. I’ll go to work and someone will say: “I’m just having the worst day.” and I’m like: “It’s only 8:45. You’re giving up kind of early aren’t you?”

I always feel like saying: “You woke up at 6:30, what horror could possibly have befallen you in 2 hours and 15 minutes that left you totally devoid of hope for the rest of your waking hours? Has there been a death? Were you involved in a freak toaster accident that claimed your thumb? I mean it couldn’t have been all bad: You’re here so you didn’t get a contagious disease along the way. Your clothes are in tact so you probably didn’t get mauled by a wild animal in the company parking lot. So why are you wasting my time being melodramatic over some stupid crap like your hair wasn’t behaving (clearly), the shirt you wanted to wear was in the laundry and the new shirt you put on, you spilled coffee on? (I’m just assuming that shirt you’re wearing had to be a last resort.) So what? Haven’t you ever heard of making lemons into lemonade or urine into urinate or whatever the hell the Pollyanna expression is?”

You want to hear about ‘one of those days’? I’ll give you “one of those days”. I got up, got ready and left for work. I got a few miles from my house when I realized that I was pretty low on gas. I calculated that I could probably make it to work on the remaining gas, but since I was approaching a gas station that’s usually one of the cheaper ones and I was a little early that day… Unfortunately, however, not early enough to go back home and get my wallet which was inside my pocketbook which I apparently left on the couch because it wasn’t sitting next to me, riding shotgun as it usually does.

Assuming I’d calculated my gasoline reserve correctly, I then focused on the fact that my chances of getting shot before I got to work were pretty good, seeing as I drive pretty fast and the windows don’t open in my car. So if a cop happened to decide to pull me over I would likely be shot or at least dragged out of the car and thrown to the ground for disobeying orders since I had no driver’s license to hold up to the window and couldn’t roll down the window to tell him or her why. The second I opened my door to explain, they would assume I was making a run for it (I watch Cops) and have to take me down.

I rolled into work uneventfully unless you count the laser light show going on on my dashboard. I was probably about 8 minutes away from having to put it in neutral and using all of my 125 pound bulk to push it off the exit. I spent the first half hour of my workday strolling around the office among my esteemed coworkers with a cardboard sign that read: “Need gas money to get home. Anything will help. Gd bless you.” (I was going to write: “Will work for gas money” but these people work with me and know I won’t work for anything and I needed my plea to be convincing.) It was the day before payday and a sad scene it was. It took six of us to amass the 4 dollar booty I left with. (My contribution was my hairy, sticky, cup holder stash). The irony of it was, this was the first payday eve day in months when I actually had the money for gas but of course it didn’t matter because I happened not to be sitting on my couch where it currently was located.

After positive-thinking my way to the gas station on the way home, I got on the highway. A female passenger was yelling at me. Since I have a window that doesn’t open and love watching sports on TV, I’ve become somewhat of a proficient lip-reader. “Oh, geez… She did not just say ‘you left your gas cap open’?” So I pulled over to the shoulder and exited the car in oncoming traffic. (Normally I would get out the passenger side but it had been the type of day that I was willing to risk it.)

I only had a half-day at work and was supposed to have a rare lunch date with my husband but he got stuck on an appointment so I was on my own. I decided to go for a run. There are no sidewalks close to my house so I sometimes run in a development nearby. My husband had given me a little mister (wow, does that look wrong when you type it).. A little spritzer bottle… for when I run in this sweltering heat. So after doing my run, I thought I would treat myself to the spritz on the cool down as I walked home, except a piece of the spritzer bottle was gone. I either had lost it in the house before I left or along the run. I walked home and it was nowhere to be found. So I walked back… about a mile in the sweltering afternoon heat… and retraced my two mile route… and yes, I found it.

Now that my wallet and I had been reunited in my living room, I decided to get back in my hot car (no functioning windows or air conditioning) and get a respectable amount of gas. While I was pumping gas, I mindlessly went to scratch my neck. My hand slid on either my sweat or the spritzer water and I accidentally scratched a pimple. So there I stood, at the gas station, pumping gas to wind up this glorious day, trying to ignore the fact that I was bleeding profusely.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you turn lemons into lemonade. Or urine into urinate… Whatever the hell the expression is.

(If you’re interested: Please take a look at my eBook to the right about my infertility journey when you get a sec.)

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