The day I couldn’t get out of my chair

 

Let’s be real. We bring on most things ourselves.  Most relationship issues, financial issues, spoiled kid issues, and other unpleasant issues, we create. Nobody does it to us. We do it. (Please refer to your own list for exceptions)  So, as I sit here on the third day after my ER visit, I ponder my own situation. Am I attracted to humor and lunacy? Do I bring this on myself? Does anyone else get stuck in their work chair and have to be taken away by ambulance? I don’t know. Help me out here. Let’s back track a bit to the weekend. The weekend when I thought it would be a good idea to find that old jump rope and revisit the basement with the kids to do what I like to call improvisational exercise. This means, taking random items that you find in the basement and making them into some sort of exercise. For example, if you kneel on the ground and grab onto a skateboard in front of you and let the skateboard roll out until you are flat out facing the ground, this is really good for your abs. See kids!? Then you roll it back in, like this.  (I’m 48 by the way) Another thing you can do is use the poles in the basement. You know, run and jump and grab the pole and try to stay up, like those pole dancers do. They are so strong. Of course I slid down immediately, but it felt good for about a ½ of a second while I was up there. I never do squats and decided that this is probably why my ass looks the way it does. I was determined that this weekend I was going to fix all that. Squat 1. Squat 2. Squat 3. This is easier than I thought! Feeling like a million bucks, I continued with this energy level right into Monday spin class where I was the leader of the pack. (In my mind.) The instructor is a good friend of mine, so he calls out my name a lot and I have no choice but to “deliver the goods.” (This is his spin class term that essentially means, to push yourself, to give your body what it wants.). Anyway, off to work I go.  I am un-stoppable! I am deliverer of the goods!  I am, until I decide to grab the telephone while simultaneously plopping hard into my chair. “Helloooo mother fucking mother of GODDDDDDD!!!!” (Translation: OUCHY!!) . What the heck just happened?  Oh, the pain!!!

Eventually, I push it aside because I find a comfortable position in my chair. Pain is not something I know too much about so, in my mind, as long as I am comfortable the pain must have left the building.  My dad comes in and advises me that I should really walk it off if I think that I may have hurt something.  “Okay,” I say and I begin to get up. Things are going well until I hit a point, the point of no return. The pain hits, dizziness hits, sweat joins me and vomiting is very close by. “I’m going down dad. I’m going down!!” With the help of cold water, a swig of apple cider vinegar and  my dad offering me a ham sandwich (huh dad?), I regain full consciousness . The pain begins to subside. Note: It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. (Yes, yes, including natural labor!) I continue this pattern for hours. Working and thinking, “Hmm..maybe it’s gone now,” to “Perhaps I should try again to leave this chair?” Each time I try, I get stopped by the pain monster. Eventually my husband comes to get me and I get wheeled out to the car, in my work chair, where my husband and my very strong brother and strong father try to get me into the car. I can’t even manage to get to a point where they can just push me in and shut the door. The pain is that bad. So the ambulance takes me away and off I go to ER. Here at ER they methodically ask me questions. They don’t really want to hear my whole life story because they’re real busy and they just want facts.  I try to keep it short.  I tell them, “The pole. The skateboard. The twerking. The jump-rope. The spin. The phone call.” They run all the tests and rule out spinal injuries, kidney issues, and other serious issues and deduce that it is probably a muscular issue. (I know they wanted to add, “That was triggered by mental issues,” but they’re not allowed) So, I sit here and wonder. (Correction, I’m not sitting. Sitting hurts pretty badly. I’m lying face down on the living room floor typing, but saying “Lying on the floor face down pondering” just doesn’t sound as good.) Back to what I was saying, I ponder the question, “Did I bring this on myself?”  Of course I did and like most self-inflicted issues, I am going to heal, I am going to forget about the pain and I am probably going to do it again.  This brings me to the real burning question and that is, “Who is up for taking a pole dancing class?”  I’m looking at a time frame of somewhere between 4 to 6 weeks from now.

(Photo on the Left) Taken about 20 minutes before injury. "Wee, I feel great. I can do anything!!"  (Photo on right) Taken about 20 minutes ago. Post-injury Maria not looking too impressed right about now.

(Photo on the Left) Taken about 20 minutes before injury. “Wee, I feel great. I can do anything!!”
(Photo on right) Taken about 20 minutes ago. Post-injury Maria not looking too impressed right about now.

I’m in the middle of a frickin conversation over here.

Ya know what I love about Facebook and Blogging? I have your undivided attention. Ok, well I think that I do. In real life, most people look away when you’re in the middle of talking to them….

“But I’m talking….. What are you doing? I don’t understand this at all?  Who are you looking at because you’re not looking at me?  Where are you going?  I’m in the middle of a frickin conversation over here!”

With writing, I feel as though we are in a deep conversation with full eye contact and mutual respect.  I am listening to you and you are listening to me. You know what I mean, right?  When you’re talking, you want to feel as though someone is listening to you, don’t you?  Don’t you? Hello? You’re not there, are you?  Oh no, I was afraid of that.

Conversation

 

 

Who is going to make me laugh now?

I’ve been really emotional lately. I lost my cousin 2 months ago and it’s as though it’s just happening now. She used to make me laugh so much and fortunately I would do the same for her. We’d get together at Panera or the beach or Dunkin Donuts just to sit, have coffee and share stories. She’d say, “Whaddaya got for me today ree?” I was ree or ree ree and she was law. After so many years together, saying Maria and Dolores was too tiring. I would go into some over exaggerated story just to make her laugh. Usually I was making fun of myself or someone in my family. “I wish you could see your faces Maria,” she’d say. I never knew what she meant because I could never see the faces I made. She had a way of moving her body. She’d stand up, stick her butt way out and do some kind of reenacting that would just kill me.

So today, I was knee deep in housework. I was trying to follow this method I learned in a book I was reading. Just 10 minutes in each room. Don’t focus on anything else. Just go from room to room. In the midst of working my way through the trenches, my brother called. My single brother. With no kids, brother. My dad is constantly talking about how wonderful he is, how easy-going, how he always does whatever my dad asks. “Whatever dad. Whatever.” I decided not to have the usual 4 second conversation I have with my brother so I asked him, ”So what are you doing today?”  He answers…  “Blah, blah, blah, my truck in the shop, blah, blah, blah and then blah, blah, blah, my laundry.” “Wait, back up. What was that part about your laundry?” “Oh, I have to pick up my laundry.” “Pick up your laundry?” “Yeah, I drop it off and then pick it up and it’s all folded nice.”  “Oh wow, that is so cool, that is so great.”  I act all cheerful and enthusiastic and happy for him because I am, I truly am, for about 3 seconds.  And then we hang up and I go back to the house of laundry hell.

All day no matter what went on during the day, I kept hearing a voice in my head “And then I have to pick up my laundry… and then I have to pick up my laundry……my laundry….my laundrrrrrrryyyyyy.”  It was haunting. My husband came home later and asked me what was wrong and why I seemed so distant. I told him that it was something my brother had said and that I didn’t want to talk about it.

I wanted Dolores to be here to talk to her about it. I wanted to meet her for coffee and tell her about my outrage about the injustices of life, about the audacity of my brother!! I’d tell her about how I was buried in at least 4,000 loads of laundry and that I was trying to just focus on one foot of the house at a time when my brother calls and you would NOT believe what he says. “WHAT did he say to my Maria?” She might say this in a baby like voice.  I’d tell her the story….”and then….and then…sniff….sniff…..he said I have to go and pick up my laundry!!” “Whaaaaaat?” She might say.  And then we’d take it anywhere. I’d follow her lead or she’d follow mine. We might decide to call him an asshole and follow each other down the road of curses.

“That no good bastard!!”

“The Bastard!”

Or we might pretend to feel really bad for me.

“He is soooo mean. How could he be so insensitive?”

“Awww, my poor ree ree.”

“I know, I know, I’m so sad.” “Not only am I sad about the laundry, but now I have no one to tell these made up stories to. I miss you so much already, law”

“I know ree, ree, I know.  I miss you too.”

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To my beautiful 22 year old who’s driving from Ohio to CA

1-Buckle up! Never be unbuckled even if you’re “almost there.” Almost there is where all the accidents happen.

2-Don’t talk to strangers, don’t look at strangers, don’t take food from strangers even if you’re really, really hungry.

3-Don’t take your eyes off the road. Don’t look at the radio to change the station. If you have an itch, you do not need to look at it to scratch it. You can scratch it while still looking at the road.

4-If you feel tired, don’t keep driving. If your blinks are longer than a 1/2 of a second, then you’re probably tired and should pull over.

5-If it’s inclement weather, don’t risk it. Heavy rain, snow, lightening, even too much wind can be inclement.

6-For heaven’s sake, do not check Facebook while driving. Do not text, do not do anything. Your phone should be for emergencies only. As a matter of fact, you should enter 911 on your phone and then leave it like that so if you have an emergency you just have to hit “enter.”

7-If you have car trouble, pull way, wayyyy off the road. Do not accept help from anyone unless it’s a pregnant woman or a small child.

8-Don’t stop at any fast food places. That stuff’ll kill ya. Try and find a whole food store each time you exit.

9-When you stop at a hotel for a night, you girls cannot flirt or associate with any men. Remember what happened to that girl in the Bahamas and also those girls in the movie “Taken.”

10-Please, please drive carefully. If, God forbid, you lose control of the car, please use your beautiful voice and sing out with all your might, “Jesus take the wheel.”

I love you so much and I know you will arrive safely! xo Mom

 

Jesus can’t even get me to clean

My sister was pretty religious and she also liked to clean. I remember her telling me once that while cleaning sometimes she would pretend that Jesus was coming to visit. I think of it often as I try to get motivated to clean and it never works for me . Not at all. This is why. This is what I envision when I try to visualize Jesus coming to visit.

Knock, Knock.

Who is it?

It’s me, Jesus.

Oh my God, it’s Jesus!!

Oh my God, look at you! You look great! You’re so tall. So much taller in person and your eyes. Wow, they’re just stunning. Absolutely stunning. Listen Jesus, I’d let you in but the house looks like hell. So, do you wanna go get a bite to eat somewhere? Maybe we could get some fish. You like fish, right? That’s what I thought. Ok, so who’s driving, me or you? Oh you walked here? Ok, so then I’ll drive.  Jesus, I’m buying okay? Don’t give me a hard time when the bill comes. I hate that shit. Besides, I’m pretty sure I owe you for something.  And listen I’m really sorry about not inviting you in the house. You understand, right? Of course,  you do. I  knew you would.

Jesus here’s a pony tail holder for your hair. I’m gonna put the top down now. Hold on tight and buckle up!

 

I’m not crazy, you’re crazy!

So when I told my husband, “I think when you come home from work today, I will have thrown out all the food.”  (I thought it was odd how I worded this too. It was as though I was speaking about someone else’s actions or more as if I had no control over this taking place.) He responded, “Oh, come on, now don’t do anything crazy.”  “Crazy?” I responded. “Crazy is not doing something. Crazy is continually putting shit in our bodies and our kids’ bodies that we can’t identify. That’s crazy!”

This has been going on for a while..my angst.. my wanting something to happen. I’ve been looking to him, actually looking to anyone really, to look back at me and take me by the shoulders and shake me in excited agreement and say, “Yes, Maria, I agree with you, this eating of manufactured particles is crazy!!” Instead I get calm agreement as if we’re talking about the weather. “Wow, what a nice day we’re having.” “Yes, quite nice,” they agree. Never the passion, obsession, that shaking of shoulder agreement, that I’m looking for.

But it’s there in me and I can’t ignore it any longer. It’s like when you’re about to drive through a traffic light and the last minute something awakens in you and you see it and it scares the shit out of you, “STOPPPPPP!!” the red light says. The red light that, moments earlier, was in your line of vision but that you weren’t seeing. Now, it couldn’t be any bigger, any brighter, any more obvious.

I realize I can’t cheat death. I know that eating healthy doesn’t mean that I won’t get hit by a car tomorrow. I think of this guy I know who won’t wear a seatbelt because of his friend who got in a car accident and the car went ablaze and the story is that he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the car in time had he been wearing a seatbelt. Then there is the man who ate healthy all his life and was a runner too and guess what, he died of cancer. Oh my god, with these cases and the half a dozen others like them, the overwhelming evidence proves that if you want to think like an idiot, there is not hope for you.

Do I think I can pull off a life of eating healthy from this day forward?? Um, probably not. However, when something is in the forefront of your mind continually and what you have to do or not do is as clear as unpolluted water, then you listen.

If you’re curious as to how it’s going for me?? This is how it’s going… :) So far, so good. Mommy likey!

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I’ve trained him on how to take one for the team.

Because my husband is so thin, I often make him eat things that I want to eat…and then, of course, I tell him how to eat it.

“What are you doing hon?  You have to add grated cheese to that……no, you need more than that…more…..what’s wrong with you?…now what are you doing….where are you going …where’s the bread? Of course you need bread with that..seriously…. I can’t believe you asked that.”

Then comes to dessert…”Hon, why don’t add whipped cream to that…yes, you have to have whipped cream…no, that’s not enough….no… higher than that…higher….higher..ya know what..…why don’t you just hold it down until I tell you to stop.”

 

That's right hon, just shove it in there...

That’s right hon, just shove it in there…

 

 

Can’t you tell I’m under a lot of stress over here?

Stress.

Deadlines.

Deadlines would be okay if it weren’t for people. People who aren’t under pressure have no idea what it’s like. They talk to you about nothing when you’re trying to do a million things. It’s like they don’t have a care in the world, while you’re racing with the clock.

She kept talking to me while I was working. Finally I had to say something. “Seriously, can’t you see I’m trying to work?  Can you please stop talking?”

“Mom, are you kidding me? You’re just making sandwiches for our lunches.”

Blah, blah blah. Who does she think she is?

I’m not just making sandwiches.

  • I’m creating multiple lunches on a strict budget.
  • I’m working on a very, very tight schedule.
  • When I’m not being micromanaged by a tall man who calls me sweetie, I’m being told what to do by three short people.
  • It takes extreme focus to be under this amount of stress and not mess up the task at hand.

“Hey short stuff. Because you distracted me, now you have to remind me again. Was it peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and fluff?”

PB&J

Whatever you do, do not get noticed.

I read this great article about how a woman should dress once she’s over 35. I thought the tips were spot on. Wear natural type colors, jeans should be dark, boots should be low, jewelry at a minimum. Nothing should be too flashy, don’t stand out.

And then I laughed. I laughed all week.

I replayed all of these tips over and over and how the underlying theme was, don’t show up. Don’t get noticed, blend into the background because no one wants to see you. I chuckled envisioning a photographer taking pictures of an older woman and they have to keep retaking the shot because she keeps showing up in the photo. Finally after the woman is exhausted from continually changing her clothes and the photographer is exhausted from having to keep yell out, “No, still no good, I can still see you.”  After hours of work, they both get it right. He smiles and says, “Perfect, absolutely perfect. I can’t see you at all. You’re completely invisible. That’s a wrap.”

Dressing your age

 

 

Don’t be foolish this Valentine’s Day. Repeat after me. I like Gold.

On this Valentine’s day, I think back on old relationships and old Valentine’s days and think “What was it all worth?” I’ll tell you what it was worth. Seven hundred dollars, that’s what.  I took all the old tangled gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, things with hearts and the word sweatheart engraved on them and I had them melted down, for cash.   I’m heading to Florida on Valentine’s Day with the cash. The old relationships don’t mean much to me anymore, but the cash means a lot.

 

So remember, years from now you will not have any of those flowers, those chocolates or those expensive cards. You need to think about the future.  You need to forget about the perishables and think, “ Long -term Investment.”

 

So, when he gazes into your eyes and says, “Darling, what would you like for Valentine’s Day this year?” Say to him, in your most sincere voice,  “I like Gold.”  Then, if he asks for specifics like, “Do you like necklaces, bracelets or earrings?” Just tell him that it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s heavy.