Tag Archives: confessions

May
4
2012
Piercing

Teenage girls need to make a personal fashion statement, something to set them apart. I was a teenager long before there were sweatpants with writing on the ass. And clearly my trouble attracting guys had to do with the single piercing of my ears. So I decided to get my ears double pierced. But that was not the statement, oh no. The statement was wearing both earrings of a pair in the same ear. You can’t say I didn’t live on the edge.

I convinced my Mom to take me to have it done. She thought I was nuts, but the passion of my argument allowed me to block out how much I hate pain. As soon as we got in the car, the reality of having holes created in my flesh where there weren’t any before started to hit me.

By the time we entered the jewelry store I was somewhere else entirely. This is silly, my hair will cover the second holes anyway. One piercing is plenty.

I could hear my Mom making small talk with the staple gun operator, torturer piercing technician. She had to arrange for my mutilation because I wasn’t saying anything.

I don’t even remember getting into the chair of doom, but once seated there the time allowed for perseverating over another set of piercings was over.

I braced for impact, white-knuckling the arms of the chair. I shot a look of panic at my Mom, who rolled her eyes in response. She probably said something helpful like, “you don’t even know what real pain is,” and also, “this was your idea, remember?”

So I turned to the technician and decided I’d have to use my “be gentle with me, I’m a baby” pain disclaimer. Freely admitting you cannot handle pain to people about to inflict pain rarely backfires (I’ve admittedly never been a hostage or prisoner of war, so I can’t vouch for this in all circumstances). Even if your whining annoys the person, it still disarms them into being nicer, even if they have to fake it.

The technician was a seasoned professional. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk you through it.”

She marked my ears. “OK, now hold your breath and you won’t feel a thing.”

It seemed like a strange request, but I would’ve done anything she asked to avoid feeling pain. I filled my lungs with air and concentrated on holding it in until she gave the all clear. Or until my ear exploded with pain, whichever came first.

I heard a snapping noise and felt a slight pinch, but no pain. I let out all the air I’d sucked in and smiled in relief.

The technician beamed. “See, I told you, no pain.”

I just knew the breath thing had made the difference. I waited for her to tell me when to start holding my breath for the other ear, but she didn’t say anything. She kept fiddling with the gun right by my other ear.

Is she going to tell me when to hold my breath? It’s going to hurt if I don’t hold my breath. I’ll just start holding my breath now. What the hell is taking so long?

Snap!

“All done!” My Mom took a quick look at my ears and then walked over to the counter with the technician to pay.

It hadn’t hurt, but I felt strange. Mom was talking and I could tell she thought I was right behind her. I tried to catch up, but I felt warm, tingly, and dizzy.

My new earrings started to burn in my ears and the backs felt so sharp. I couldn’t help thinking about how those pointed tips had torn new holes in my ear lobes.

Mom is the only one of the two of us who knows what happened next. While paying the technician she heard a commotion across the store. Only then did Mom notice I wasn’t right behind her. I was no longer sitting in the chair either.

I hadn’t made it three steps before passing out.

———————-

This post is in response to the writing prompt at Studio 30 Plus this week:  “She held her breath.”

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done in the name of fashion?

Mar
29
2012
I Have An Excuse This Week

Shhh! Do not disturb. I’m tapering. The “taper” is the period before a race (in my case, a ten-miler this Sunday), during which a runner reduces mileage and rests in preparation for the big day.

Tapering is the only part of my training that comes naturally to me, probably because it’s my normal state of being. Resting is one of my favorite activities, but I usually feel guilty about it. But this week, I’m not being lazy. Oh no. I am tapering.

When Dave saw me lying on the chaise after my last pre-race long run, watching TV while half asleep, he said, “Oh, you’re tapering now, eh?”

All week, baby.

Runners World would likely not approve of my tapering procedures, which consist of expending as little energy, physical or mental, as possible.

You guys, I am tapering so hard, I’m skirting the edge of coma.

Have you ever noticed how heavy your eyelids are? I have. Holding them up is about all the energy expenditure I can handle right now. Since I’m expected to keep my eyes open at work, I’ve made sure to hit snooze many extra times each morning. Sure, I’ve been late every day, but it’s only because I’m doing my necessary tapering.

The taper got off to a rough start due to the dance group who has decided that the parking lot for the park near my house is a good practice site. They practice for HOURS, loudly (with whistles!), every Sunday. The noise has been slowly eroding my will to live, but this week the walk to the phone to call the police also broke my taper, damn it.

Unfortunately, work also interrupts my taper. Since I have to be lucid during meetings, I make sure I recover from the mental exertion by staring blankly at my computer screen or out the window to rest my mind and body until my next meeting or I need to use the bathroom, whichever comes first.

I’ve let some writing ideas slosh around aimlessly in my head, but can’t expend the energy to translate my thoughts into a coherent post. I’ve only been publishing a post per week recently, but this week it’s intentional, because, I think you know where I’m going with this by now…I’m tapering.

Interrupting the flow of grinding, circular thoughts and staring out the window, an overdue notice for my credit card arrived this week. Huh. I guess they didn’t get the memo about my taper. 

My pre-race taper couldn’t have come at a better time. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. I have added a lot to my life without giving anything up. I’m reaching new lows in low energy.

In the evenings after work, I have had to do some extra tapering to catch up on the tapering I missed while commuting and working. This involves falling asleep while upright and walking home after work (a bizarre new experience, really), eating dinner in front of the TV, and then mindlessly watching “30 Going on 13″ while eating ice cream, all while Dave does everything else.

Tuesday night, I sacrificed my taper to get up and hug him as he got ready to walk Chuck before bed and he said with about as much frustration as he’s capable of mustering, “It’s hard to work all evening while you get to sit on the couch and watch a movie.”

No, no, no. Dave, I’m tapering.

At least that’s my excuse for this week. Sorry, sweetie. And Tom Ridge didn’t believe me when I told him I was lazy!
someecards.com - When I die, I hope I'll be doing nothing, so people could say that at least I died doing what I love.

Mar
6
2012
Ignorance and Malt Liquor

They say laughter is the best medicine. So when I laugh at people, I’m just looking out for my health.

One of many reasons I’ll be in hell if it exists is laughing at an impassioned speaker during high school who said, “we will no longer take your condensation!” Expressing frustration with condescension but messing up the word…now that’s ironic, Alanis. To this day, when I want to feign indignation, I say:  “I will take your sublimation, I will suffer through your precipitation, but by God, I will no longer stand for your condensation.”

So I’m a pain in the ass. But lest ye think I have no embarrassing moments of stupidity, I’m here to invite you to laugh at me.

Most of my highlights are the result of being naive. I have lived a pretty sheltered life. Although I’ve always had a mouth like a sewer, that came from growing up around my older brother and his friends, not the result of experience. I was, and sometimes still am, an innocent Catholic school girl at heart.

Sophomore year of high school, I was startled at the change in appearance of one of our classmates. I turned to my friend and whispered, “Wow, she really got fat!” And my friend looked at me incredulously and said, “She’s pregnant!” I can’t remember if she added, “you moron,” but if not, I deserved it. I was still a little confused even after the explanation (uh, isn’t sex required to get pregnant?!?), but managed to hold it in.

My specialty is misinterpreting song lyrics.

Sometimes I take things too literally. I’m embarrassed to report it was only a few years ago I finally realized “Santa Claus” was actually Daddy dressed up as Santa Claus in the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Before that, I had always just thought Mommy was a slut.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Mama Said Knock You Out,” by L.L. Cool J. It came out during my senior year of high school, when I was immersed in English literature (immersed as in having to memorize some of the prologue of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English). So when L.L. said, “Old English filled my mind, and I came up with a funky rhyme,” I was terribly impressed at such an allusion in a rap song.

Because clearly L.L. Cool J meant this Old English:

Of course, I learned later about an alternative “Olde English.” Perhaps this is the origin of the funky rhyme?

I still prefer to believe it’s a double entendre.

For all I know, the line might have been a triple entendre…

I could have swiped stock photos, but I am committed to my craft. Beowulf came from the library (buy it? bitch, please!), furniture polish from the grocery store, and the malt liquor…let’s say finding Olde English 800 in my neck of the woods was not as easy. We’d pretty much given up when we happened upon a little corner store with “wine and beer” in the title. On the way in, I had a premonition that our purchase of Olde English 800 would not go without comment. The guy behind us didn’t disappoint: “OE 800?!?! Kickin’ it old school like Dr. Dre!”

Nope, taking a picture of it for my blog. Dave’s excited to take it to his next band practice. He insisted I put it back in the fridge as soon I was finished taking photos so it wouldn’t be exposed to light. Something about degrading the quality…ahem. “Sweetie, I put the 40 of OE 800 next to your imported Belgian Trappist Ale.”

What’s your best moment of ignorance?

Sep
13
2011
If My Mom Ate An Apple In The Forest, I Would Hear It

Mom called me at work on Friday all excited about something she’d seen on Regis and Kelly.

“I know what’s wrong with you,” she said.

You see, I’m extremely sensitive to noises, like those made by people eating (and breathing if we’re being honest here). We’ve spent years thinking I was just an intolerant bitch, but as it turns out, I have a disorder (Misophonia)!

And Kelly Ripa has it too! Maybe we could get together and bond over our common affliction. We could throw a big party, use her fabulous Electrolux kitchen appliances to cook up a feast, then be forced to leave in a huff when the guests insisted on actually eating the food. Damn people and their infernal chewing!

For those of you who don’t suffer from Misophonia, let me describe it for you. I already made reference to it in this post. But I wrote that before my diagnosis.

My Dad was always the worst offender. The sound he made while chewing, which I always referred to snottily as “chomping,” was absolutely unbearable to me. Once I made such a fuss about it at Elby’s Big Boy, he stormed out of the restaurant and walked home. If he thought my Mom and I would stop eating our meal to go after him, he didn’t know us very well. I was a little afraid of what he might do when we got home, but mostly I was relieved to eat in peace.

According to my Mom, Kelly Ripa has to leave the room when her husband eats a peach. Honey, join the club. When my Mom eats apples, I could cheerfully kill her. She likes to cut them in quarters and savor each piece to maximize my torture, because she’s sweet like that. The sound of the crunching and the smacking rattles a nerve inside my brain. If I can’t leave the room, I fixate completely on the noise and pray for it to stop.

Sometimes she calls me while sucking on hard candy. I think she does this just to irritate me. She’ll be talking and all I can focus on is the sound of the sucking. When it’s my turn to speak, instead of responding to what she said, my response is usually, “What the hell are you eating?” And she’ll say, “fuck you.” The love runs deep.

Even my beloved husband is not immune to my Misophonic venom. He is the youngest of five boys and learned early that you eat quickly or you might not get enough food. I cannot reason this imprint out of him. I say, “there are only two of us and you’ve made enough food for six people!” But he is an eating machine. He often puts a new bite in his mouth before finishing his previous one. This creates a sound I can only compare to what I imagine it would sound like to swallow a live rat. Sometimes I have to wait to eat until he’s done so I can enjoy my dinner.

Once I knew I had a disorder, I looked it up on the internet. I knew I’d found my peeps when I read Lucy’s comment “It makes me sooooooo angry like I could shoot people in the face!” and laughed out loud. OMG, like me too! I was glad and somewhat disturbed to find so many others with this affliction. I was also glad Lucy mentioned she’s receiving therapy. Not surprisingly, not everyone found Lucy’s comment amusing. “Rugbyman,” who has a stepson with this affliction, apparently doesn’t think getting shot in the face is funny at all. Oh, dude! Don’t be so prickly, when we say we want to shoot you in the face, we are just kidding…sort of.

Aug
5
2011
Photo Friday: Giant Snuffles

I will love him, and squeeze him, and call him George Peanut.

Honest to God, I didn’t realize this thing was going to be quite so big.

I never really outgrew stuffed animals. Dave says this would go over better if I styled myself as a “collector,” but that strikes me as even more weird than just admitting I like stuffed animals. Always have, seems like I always will.

Back in high school, my Mom got me a pink Gund Snuffles bear on a whim one Christmas. I named him Alonzo. After Alonzo Mourning. What? Ever since, I’ve had a soft spot for Snuffles. As his creator, Rita Raiffe, says in the linked video, “he’s stuffed with love.” The way she fondles her special Snuffles bear while she talks makes me feel a lot better about my own behavior. Gund celebrated the 30th anniversary of Snuffles with several new versions last year. I may have bought some number of them. Why they decided to make a 34 inch Snuffles this year I can’t say. But one of them now lives on the sofa bed in our guest room, leaving no room for any guests. Oops.

My behavior is nothing compared to the woman I saw recently on “My Strange Addiction” who treats her teddy bears like babies. I don’t dress my stuffed animals, or take them shopping, or spend FIFTEEN hours a day caring for them. I spend no hours per day caring for them. I don’t even talk to them anymore…much.

Jul
18
2011
Melon, Other Fruitlessness (or Why A Childfree Person Thinks About Having Kids)

Coming Out

I haven’t explicitly written about not having kids. I’ve been hesitant for two reasons:

1.) I don’t want to alienate anybody. I think some parents get uncomfortable around me once they know I’m purposely childfree (it’s hard to avoid the conversation now that I’m of an age when “do you have kids?” is the first thing new people ask me) because they think I’m judging their choice. But no. Really. As someone whose preferred number of children is an uncommon zero, I’m very sensitive to reproductive rights. Want 20 kids? Go for it, Duggar, just don’t judge my number.

2.) I get a “she doth protest too much” vibe, even from Dave sometimes, if I bring up this topic. Talking about not wanting children must mean I’m delusional, that I really want kids, but am just afraid to admit it.

Why Analyze Something You’ve Decided Not To Do?

I analyze everything—it’s just my way.

So few people choose this route, I want to reach out for support. While the proportion of women my age who have never had children has increased since 1976 according to the Current Population Survey, it’s still small. About 20 percent of women my age have never had a child (only 13 percent of women my age who have ever been married). It can get pretty lonely up in here.

Perhaps most importantly, I analyze it because I still can. I read somewhere that childfree people think about whether or not to have kids more than parents and it makes sense because we generally have a longer period of time over which to consider it. Parents kind of have to stop considering this question once they have kids. I can still change my mind.

I don’t think I’ll ever change my mind. But the biggest difference between myself as a 25-year-old and now is I’m no longer naïve enough to think it’s impossible. There’s no reason not to touch base on it periodically.

An Analogy

My Mom can’t understand why I don’t like melon. I’ve watched her cut cantaloupe for herself hundreds of times. Every so often she would encourage me to try a bite. “Oh, this is a good one, so sweet. Come on…”

Once I got past the age at which it was my job to stubbornly refuse all her food advances, I would occasionally give it a try. But I hate melon. All kinds. Even watermelon. I realize this is un-American.

1.) The smell: skunky, like it’s already gone bad.

2.) The texture: some might call it juicy, but it’s really just watery. It’s like eating a saturated yet solid sponge.

3.) The taste: it tastes sort of like it smells—off. Dirty dishwatery? Skunky.

But I can understand melon’s appeal. It’s brightly colored and its high water content can be refreshing on a hot summer day. Melon provides an economical fruit salad filler.

So because of Mom’s peer pressure and the ubiquitous overabundance of it in fruit salads, and my own desire not to miss out (if I had never tried new things I’d still be stuck eating a diet of Spaghetti-os, hot dogs, and sweets), I continue to try melon occasionally.

Like yesterday, for example.

 

In short, still no.

And Now I Go There—Comparing Children with Melon

I don’t want kids. None. Ever. I realize this is un-American. I have all kinds of reasons.

1.) The physical pain: I’m certain the pain of childbirth would kill me. When I spoke to the first of my friends to give birth after it was over, she said “there’s no way you could do that.”

2.) The emotional pain: I shudder over the idea of having to watch, helpless, as your children exhibit some of the same characteristics you hate most in yourself.

3.) The loss of freedom: I like my life the way it is and the things I’d most like to change are incompatible with parenting. I want to get more sleep. I’m trying to wrestle more control over how I spend my time.

This might ring hollow to parents, just as parents’ reasons can often sound vague to me. I’ve heard parents say it was just a feeling they always had, they just knew they wanted to have children. It’s the same for me really, just in the reverse. I’ve never had that feeling.

But I can understand the appeal. Creating a new life, having more people with whom you can share love. Giving my Mom more grandchildren, building a relationship with my child like the one I have with my Mom (hopefully). Parenting is an excuse to relive your childhood without seeming childish. And parents have at least one thing in common with most people they meet.

Unlike melon, I can’t simply try it out, decide I still don’t like it, and get left with only a temporary bad taste in my mouth. But like melon, it seems worth investigating, just in case. Even though it’s unlikely I’ll change my mind. So I do what I can do, which is touch base with myself, imagine it, make sure it isn’t just fear making me say no.

I’ve heard the argument that you can’t treat whether to have children as a rational decision because there’s no way to know for sure how you’ll react to it. That even if you don’t like kids, you’ll love your own. While I agree there’s no way to know exactly what it will be like before doing it, the idea this decision shouldn’t be considered rationally is just crazy talk. I have no doubt I’d love my own children. I think I could be a good parent (well, if I managed to survive childbirth that is), I just don’t want to.

Of all the decisions I’ll ever make in my life, this has to be the foremost on my list of things I’d rather regret not doing than doing. Will I ever change my mind? I can’t even imagine it. But occasionally I try. Because I can.

Jun
17
2011
That Time I Almost Killed Andy Summers

Today I read this post by Derek Powazek (via Schmutzie’s Five Star Friday).

Derek’s disappointment about his negative Twitter interaction with a “personal hero” really resonated with me, although I did find it ironic that part of the post was about his hero’s aversion to online commenting and after scrolling up and down and back again so I could comment about feeling his pain, I realized comments aren’t enabled on Derek’s blog. As a new blogger, I would love to have more comments and online discussion, but perhaps this is a case of being careful what I wish for?

So here is an expanded version of what I would have said in Derek’s comments.

My favorite band is the Police. A few months ago, Dave and I went to see the guitarist, Andy Summers, give a talk about his photography. Andy recounted a story about almost getting arrested on one of his photography trips. He was looking through a window when he felt a tap on the shoulder. It turned out to be a police officer tapping him, but Andy said his first thought was along the lines of “it’s probably a fan,” the word fan said in a tone indicating contempt, as if Andy felt like fans were a disease. When he said that, there was some laughter from the audience. Nervous laughter, the kind that involuntarily comes out when you realize that an unflattering remark resembles you.

At that moment, I was grateful I hadn’t tried to talk to him during my almost brush with greatness in 2007. I managed to snag front row seats to a Police reunion tour concert in Vancouver. Dave and I spent a week there, and in the days before the concert, I kept my eyes peeled. Maybe Sting, Stewart and Andy were already in Vancouver. Maybe we’d just bump into them. Maybe I’d win the lottery and be able to quit my job. Yeah, none of that happened.

In the days after the show, I was completely over the notion of running into members of the Police walking down the street. So when Andy Summers actually was walking down the street towards us, I did not notice. But Dave did notice and subtlety tried to point out that Andy Fucking Summers was walking towards us. I was being dense, so he ended up sort of forcibly turning my head to show me what the big deal was and I was so taken by surprise at Dave’s manhandling that I cried out in pain. Then I noticed Andy and it seemed to me he noticed us and our ruckus. As I turned around to watch him walk past, I saw him step into oncoming traffic trying to cross the street (presumably to get away from us). The person Andy was with had to pull him back so he didn’t get hit by a car.

There are probably people who are healthy enough not to assume Andy’s actions had anything to do with them and who still would have thought this encounter was a good opportunity to meet Andy Summers. I am not one of those people.

I did not get the sense Andy would have been pleasant. And I knew a negative interaction would have bothered me for a very long time. It’s possible that Andy is gracious with fans and that my instincts were wrong and that he didn’t even see me and Dave and didn’t cross against the light because of us. And a part of me will always regret how close I was to meeting him and not doing anything about it.

But just because I like someone’s work or think they are talented doesn’t mean they will be nice or want to talk to me. What if the people I admire are actually assholes? Do I really want to know that? To have to remember a negative interaction with a personal hero for the rest of my life? No, I do not.