Thursday, July 12, 2012

Men in Wet Shorts

You can get into big trouble trying to diagnose your own ailments on the computer.  As tempting as it is, there is no substitute for a medical degree, a cold stethoscope and a scale that adds 10 lbs.  However, one night recently, I turned to the dark-side and read up on the residual pain from my gall bladder surgery.  Of all the crazy things it could be, the one I settled in on was:  A plugged, spasming bile sphincter.

Oddly, this diagnosis soothed me and I went to sleep.

Later, the next day, I attended a water aerobics class for the first time in many months.  The two male lifeguards who were on duty that night I knew from years past.  One was a college kid; another man was nearly my age.  They asked how I was doing.

“Much better, but I had some complications after my surgery.”  I said.  I should have said, “Fine”, but I felt compelled to give more details.  It’s what old people do.

“Oh?  What kind of complications?” 

This was an unexpected question.  Men in wet shorts were curious about my health!  In my mind, I was waving my hands around like the Robot on “Lost in Space” repeating, “this does not compute.”   A combination of odd flattery and anxiety clouded my cerebral cortex.  I was standing in the water, they were both on deck.  This is what I actually said:

“I’m having a problem with my sphincter.”

To which both men said in unison:


Two male acquaintances are now under the mistaken impression I was complaining about my asshole.

“Oh, no, not that kind of sphincter…” I sputtered out, but it was way too late for any kind of recovery.  I have never spoken the word “sphincter” before in my ENTIRE life.  And now, it was clear I couldn’t stop saying it. 

“I wasn’t talking about “THAT” sphincter.”  I called to them as they coiled up the swim lanes, their eyes open wide, eyebrows raised.  “I was talking about a spasming sphincter.”


“You do realize you have more than one sphincter, right?”  I called to them, this time plowing through the water to get closer to them.   By the time I got near them again, class had started, and the lifeguard shift changed…
…and so had my social life at the Y.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Huey Lewis and 50 Shades of Grey

Last night we attended a “Huey Lewis and the News” concert.  Let’s just get this out there—if Huey Lewis were interested in fat women with transient chin hairs and hooves, my husband, Fred, might have to release me from my marital vows for one night.  Huey’s still got it: the fantastic voice, the hair, the muscles and the jeans-friendly body.

At the entrance to the event was, in contrast to paragraph 1, my first real glimpse of myself as an old woman.  This occurred when we comingled with our fellow concert-goers-- the cast of “Cocoon”—in line at the door.
“Do we look as old as they do?”  I whispered to Fred.  He smiled and straightened his shoulders.
We stood for a short time to have our tickets scanned, not by a tough bouncer-type man searching for pot or explosive devices, but by an elderly woman they lured from her regular job of rewriting voter names in “old-lady” cursive at the voting poles.
“Things sure have changed a lot since my last pop concert,” I reported to Fred.  My last rock concert was in 1983, in Detroit, MI, and the ticket collector searched my purse and padded me down.
In my seat, I lost myself again, youth recaptured, as Huey entered the stage to the heartbeat at the beginning of “Heart of Rock ‘n Roll.”  With the lights out in the darkened theatre, it was a magical night.  We sang, we hooted, we enjoyed ourselves at the expense of our mortified 12 year-old daughter who glared at me like I’d grown a 3rd eye every time I turned to her with my arms waving.
Then they played “I Want a New Drug” and flashed the spotlights on the audience.  WHOA!!  50 shades of grey!!  I felt like I was standing in a cotton field.  We looked like the matinee audience of the very last “Peter, Paul and Mary” PBS-televised concert...or a retirement planning seminar.  The hairs on our heads shone like 500 silvery christmas bulbs.
And so it went.  Dark theatre-young again; Lights shining on the grey-fluffy dandelions …DOH!—old again.
Young.  Old. 
Young.  Old. 
It was maddening.
At some point half the audience rushed the stage and I was wondering what Huey was thinking.  There was something strange about a bunch of 50-80 year olds standing at your feet.  Was he cringing?  Was he glad he had all his hair?  Their gnarled hands stretched up to him like they were in a Charlton Heston blockbuster and Huey was God.
Maybe it was their time to go and they WERE reaching for God.
Ahh, but what a way to go.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seven Facts to Blow Your Mind

A blogger friend of mine sent me a Kreative Blogger award.  The rules of acceptance say I must pay-it-forward and nominate 7 others and also write 7 facts about myself.

Opening the door into Heidi’s “Fact safe”…creeeeeaaakkkkk:
1.        I spent a night with Elvis Prestley.
O.k, O.k, I was with a stadium full of people in 1973 (I was 8) at one of his last white-jumpsuit shows.  I was not impressed and spent the entire concert with a scarf over my face (the flashbulbs were blinding) and my fingers in my ears. 

Thank you.  Thank you very much.
2.        A Hamster helped me get through my divorce in 1991.
On one, lonely, miserable night just before my divorce to my then husband was final, I felt especially lonely and uncertain about my decision.   At 4:30 in the morning, I made a list of the Ex’s good and bad points.  Concurrently, our 7-year old, half-dead hamster, Elmer, squeaked his wheel, so I decided to make a pro-con list about HIM and compare it that of the Ex (hey, it was late).  The chart proved that even a smelly rodent who did nothing but sleep and poop had more pros than my ex-husband.
I still have the chart.
3.       I am a morning person, but a night witch
I genuinely get up energetic and happy.  But something happens to me over the day, and by evening time I’ve become a bitter, hungry goblin.  Important self-preservation tip:  Don’t mess with me when I’m tired, or I'll turn in to the "Incredible Hulk."
4.        I would sing the National Anthem naked for a Hershey’s bar with peanut butter.
No. Really.  I hope to be able to aquire them without doing so, but if need be..."Ooooh, say can you see?"
5.        I buy water chestnuts whenever I see them, because I mentally block out the fact that I already bought them the previous week.
I’m certain this has a diagnosis.  I also admit to doing this during the Christmas season with evaporated milk.
6.        I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play the organ
This might have started when I was a child, during my “Fascination with The Addams Family” period. 
7.        I have a harmless, mole (read: beauty mark) on my chin that has been removed thrice-- but it keeps growing back.
Now THAT’s talent.
And the nominees are!  Cut and paste your award below and place in your blog, get it tattooed (I don't need to know):
1.  Sheri Saretsky of “My Life in a Fat Suit”—my soul-sister, who has a gift for relatable humor.
2.  Dawn Weber of “Lighten Up”- a sassy broad with a amazingly funny blog
3.  Mark Cowell of “Bagman and Butler Chronicles” -a heck of a photographer/writer with a couple of alter-egos to tend with.
4.  Jerry Zezima- King of the Puns—writes very clever, funny stuff.
5.  Don Mills is “The Crabby Old Fart”, as a crabby old fart in training--I am a huge fan.
6.  Joanne Lee “Nuts and Bolts of Life” writes humor, sentimental, even gardening tips.
7.  Stacey Hatton is “Nurse Mommy Laughs” clever Nurse-Mommy humor.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Equine Therapy: Heidi Gets a Pedicure

Approximately 3 times a year, I treat myself to a pedicure at a nail salon.  Approximately 3 times a year, the nail technicians at the nail salon run to the back room and to do “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who gets saddled with my hooves.
“I’m here for my “shoeing”,” I joked today to the Vietnamese girl who runs the place.  She doesn’t understand what I’ve said, but she knows my feet.  She announces something to the other employees in her native tongue-- something that sounds like:
“Who hasn’t done a horse footed woman, yet?”
I see their faces get longer and their eyes open wider and a younger girl is ushered to the front like a virgin about to be tossed in a volcano.
She says, “Go pick a color,” trembling.
It’s not my fault my feet are nasty…not entirely.  Heredity plays a factor--I got the thick heel skin compliments of my mother, and the petrified toenails from Dad.  I’m also a long way from my feet because I’m tall.  I also have a hard time seeing my feet without my glasses on.  I try to moisturize, but nothing penetrates a thousand layers of dead skin.
Today, the day before Mother’s Day, was the busiest I’ve ever seen place.  I thought about going home, but my feet are so bad, they’re starting to pick up carpet fibers.
As soon as my feet had soaked and were up on the bench to be worked on, I hear my pedicurist say two addition things in English:
Channel Lock Pliers and Goggles
This was not the soothing, spa experience I was going for.  The neophyte was not going to be cowed by my animal heels and was fiercely determined to be the “alpha.”  She clipped and sawed and planed like Norm Abrams on the New Yankee Workshop.  I sat there, smoke rising, toenails flying like B-Bs, like a 2x4 in shop class.
The next step is optional, but I gave her a “thumbs up” and she took out her razor blade and wicked off my dead skin, forming the mini-blizzard of a snow globe turned upside-down and right-side up again.   All the other girls having pedicures turned to watch, and I’m pretty sure the lights went dim and a single, red light shone above me.  There was nowhere to look except down…in fascination. 
“You should leave a little of that on,” I said, trying to relieve anxiety, “for traction.”
All that embarrassment was worth it--my feet look human again, and my husband, Fred, won’t get all scratched up in bed anymore…
…at least by my feet.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Anatomy of an Argument

My husband, Fred, and I had an argument the other day.  It was completely ridiculous and it played out far enough that I started fantasizing about putting crumbs on his side of the mattress so he’d go sleep on the couch.

O.K.--I lied.  I actually fantasized about Testicle Gnawing Ants feasting on him while I laughed softly to myself.  The crumbs, though annoying and probably itchy, wouldn’t have had the lasting effect I was going for.

It all began with the Queen Mother of all Unintentional Statements, pregnant with misunderstanding potential.  I should have kept my self-deprecating thoughts to myself, but said out loud,

“I used to look a lot better in jeans.”

I wasn’t consciously looking for Fred to say anything, but as soon as I said it, I should have flashed back to the hundred comedy skits and books written about how women set-up men to fail with statements regarding their body image.

Fred is a problem-solver whose first instinct is not to offer emotional support, but to “fix”… and then wince, and hope he isn’t required for anything more.  Fred actually said:

“You could look better if you wanted to.”


First “Feelings Hurt” barb:  “I wasn’t expecting you to advise me on how to look better in jeans.” 

WhatUtalkin’bout Block:  “Why do you have to start problems like that?” 

Defensive Undercut laced with attempt at humor:  “I don’t know, but why can’t you speak “Girl”?”

Not in the Mood for humor Hook:  “That’s STUPID!”

The exchanges to follow would be better served in giant colorful stars containing words like “KAPLOW” and “COWABUNGA” like in the old “Batman” series. 

When I retold the story to a supportive girlfriend, she naturally sided with me. 

Supportive Friend Adjective for Fred:  Pig 

All those hurt feelings stirred up such a low-pressure dissention cloud that birds stopped chirping and furry animals sulked under bushes and furniture.  But, after a good 48 hours, I’m happy to report I have forgiven Fred.  He’s right, if I wanted to look better in my jeans, I would. 

Now, do you think I should go on a diet?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Return of the Twittering Bunny

I hardly ever do this...but...does this fur coat make me look fat?

HELLO?! HELLO??? That's all Dr. Phil's rep says when I call to describe my friend's problem. It's like they can't even hear me.

I enjoy the fact that "rabbit trailing" is an insult used by "suits" to make fun of those off-topic. MY trails ARE the topic

I don't think sitting stone still and looking casual is fooling anyone.

"Ding Dong the Falcon is Dead" is a song I hum when I'm happy.

The problem with eating tulips is that you just can't stop at one.

I would like to propose that Dust Bunnies be called Dust Raccoons

Everyone I know is sleeping, yet I am wide awake, staring at a starry night. I think I'll write my name in paw prints.

A deer told me my butt was fluffy, so I opened a can of 'whoop ass' (which in my case entailed staring intensely and thinking evil thoughts)

Suckling an icicle like a gerbil's water dispenser. Long winters make strange bedfellows.

Nominating new species symbol--Peter and Easter aren't exactly role models.  Bugs is too sarcastic and Jessica Rabbit is an enigma.

If you want to do the "Bunny Hop" or drop into a rabbit hole, which is something like dropping acid, I'm told, you can follow me @bunnyinmygarden on Twitter because I'm ver

Was that too many characters?  Fluff!

Oops, dropped the F-bomb.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Hear Naked People

In our gym locker room, I am often called upon to talk to naked women.  I try to look down and rush to a “doored” private cubby, but they find me and want to talk about ordinary things.  They don’t seem to care that something (a lot, actually) is off.  
Why can’t they just leave me alone??
I know we’re all women. I’m not offended by their casual attire, even if it does feel a little "National Geographicy" at times. It’s just not part of my normal to talk to strangers without at least two layers of something between us.  The weird part is while I am at my MOST vulnerable that “that condition”—they don’t see it that way.  I’ve actually been scolded by a nude.

“You should mop up the floor under you, those puddles are slippery!”  I turned to apologize and was greeted by angry eyes and a lot of peachy flesh.  There’s something about a bold, “Unashamed to be Naked” woman that intimidates me.

I had nightmares for a week.        

I’m no prude.  I’ve had plenty of pleasurable private naked historic events, but none of them ever involved yappy senior female nudists.  Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to enter my personal space-bubble (as many of them do) unclothed -- you should at least buy me dinner.

Here’s my personal decree:  If you’re naked in the locker room and you want to talk to me, I’ll be able to pay attention to you for approximately 2 nanoseconds.  After that, my brain starts sending a million ADHD-fueled conflicting signals and…Heidi will have left the building.  If you really want to talk to me, unless it’s about danger or that a spider is about to drop on me--can’t I just meet you in the lobby?

“What do you think about the “Piggly Wiggly” expansion?”  A member asked me.  They never ask me “Yes/No” questions. 

“I think it’s nice,” I, all dressed and packed up ready to go, managed to say, looking at her hairline.

“I think it’s fantastic.  They’re really giving Festival…” 


Followed by, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, boob, blah, boob, blah,” She had run-over my 2 nanosecond attention span and I was a deer in her headlights.

“I got to run, Hazel.”

“O.k., but when are you teaching…”


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Et Tu Waistline

The last time I actually measured my waist was in 1987 using units of toilet paper squares at a baby shower.  I haven’t needed to know how large or small I am since.  I can see pretty well, and I know what goes up to it smoothly and what pushes everything north of my waistline up under my chin.
This year, my co-workers voted we should all go as 50s girls and host an open house.  The costume shop had 3 basic adult female costumes:  a slutty meter maid, a slutty nurse and a slutty witch.  I did see one poodle skirt, but Scarlett O’Hara’s Mammy couldn’t have gotten me into it.
And it was a slutty poodle skirt too.
I decided to make my costume, which would finally require taking actual measurements.  I hoped I was wrong and that my waistline hadn’t really left me for the elastic salesman.  As it turned out, the size of a circle I needed to cut could be compared to a deflated hot-air balloon, a landscaped roundabout, or a Barnum and Bailey’s 3-Ring Circus ring.
I honed in on circus ring.
“I don’t think you’re that big,” my daughter, Krista, said, as I was looking for a yard stick to tape to another yard stick.
“You don’t develop good girth estimating abilities until you’re in your 30s, my dear,” I said, scraping the back of my brain for the Pi formula.
Months after my ego recovered from wearing the “Statue of Liberty-sized” poodle skirt, the same work-crew who voted “IN” the 50s wear took me shopping while we were on a business trip for the sole purpose of getting Heidi some cool jeans to wear on casual day.
“Do I HAVE to?” I whined, scoping the store for the “Circus Attraction” section. “I need my elastic.  They’re not going to fit me!”
“Yes they will!” they sang merrily. “What is your size--we’ll help you look?”
 “We might need to measure you,” the store clerk inserted, “because we have a whole different sizing system now.”
I rest is of the story is kind of a blur.  I remember pants flying over the dressing room door. I remember chaffing skin and trying to put my head between my knees from lack of oxygen and greeting my own boobs under my chin.  I also recall quivering biceps from doing too many “Blue Jean” curls. 
When I came to, I was sporting some smokin’ hot jeans—the first new pair since my late 20s.  The “World Denim and Spandex” reserves did have to be tapped, but it was for a good cause--my husband, Fred, couldn’t take his eyes off me.
But then, he’s into circus folk.