Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The post where I try to be like Heather

Promises are cheap. A dime a dozen around here.

A few days ago, after posting about the unfortunate events of all sorts of things including my eyelashes (which are fine, by the way, as apparently the thick mascara "splints" kept them from completely falling out altogether after they were heat blasted by my dadgum stove) I vowed, no, I promised, that I would not write another post about misfortunes, but instead, I'd post about something FORTUNATE!

Well, it's not a complete lie. But just for the record (and to TRY not to share only the bad things) I'll tell you all about how both my daughters' volleyball teams kicked some major hiney this season. My 13 yr old now has bragging rights - she is on a championship team! Undefeated for the whole season. Princess D, who is now 11, made it through her first season of volleyball on a different, yet still exceptional, team - only losing 2 games the whole season. Not too shabby I say! I'm proud of those girls.

But back to the unfortunate events. As we all know, I can't go more than a day without something unusual or blogworthy happening in my life. I just tend to keep most of it to myself for fear of making others continually worry about my safety. You see, I worry about you worrying. Does that make sense?

In my dream house, I will have rubber bumpers on each corner. Doors will not stop at half of an inch above floor level (which is precisely the height it takes to completely scrape the top of your toes off). Wood stove handles and all things that contain any source of heat will be wrapped in silicone - seven layers of it, to keep the user from burning themselves. Safety goggles will be required while cooking, as well as a silicone full-length apron to protect oneself from scorching or splashing any body parts with hot water or grease that is on fire.

Within this last year, I made a new friend. Her name is Heather. (It may or may not be a false name to protect the innocent. Let's just say her name is Heather.) So this friend Heather is a wonderful human being. She is sassy, she is strong and she is determined. She's a little bit older than me, but we're the same age in the attitude department. What I mean by that is about the time I was being conceived, she was graduating from High School, but we don't notice that part.

Heather is someone I look up to. There are many reasons to look up to her, but one of them is because she is a triathlete. Now I don't know how long that crazy idea has been in her head, the idea to do the triathlon thingamajig, but she's trained, she's worked hard, and by golly she is making other women look really bad. What I mean by that, is all those ladies that let themselves go just because they see their first gray hair are being put to shame by someone who is just starting new, exciting adventures. Heather has been busy doing a lot of training (for how to get in and out of a wetsuit, which I hear can be the most challenging part of a triathlon thingamajig for anyone over the age of 50) and she's got my vote for Most Confident and Daring Woman of the Year. But just a couple weeks ago, my favorite contender for Woman of the Year fell on a hard stone floor and injured herself.

Yes, it appears that Heather and I have more in common than our attitudes. Apparently we also like to make scenes and draw lots of unwanted attention our way. I'm many miles away from Heather, so providing emotional support and prayers is what I've been able to do. I am also able to sympathize with her, because I feel that we often live parallel lives. So parallel, in fact, that I decided to do exactly the same thing as she did. With that said, here's my letter to Heather.

Dear Heather,
I admire you, I want to have that same drive and determination when I'm well past forty to do something new, exciting and different. I want to run in a triathlon. Well, maybe not so much a triathlon, as I want to still be able to be walking upright by then. I want to be like you SO much that I am trying to mimic everything you do so that I can say I lived a life that was adventurous. Just last night, I saw that "wet floor" sign outside the bathroom at one of our favorite neighborhood eating joints. I saw the sign, I stepped around the sign, and through the doorway.

"Splat" was the only thing I heard as I went down faster than Bambi learning to ice skate. Maybe it was slower than that, because I had time to wonder if the door closed all the way before people out in the restaurant could see me flailing in mid-air, grasping for air handles. (You know what I mean, those things people grasp for when falling, but there's nothing there?) Go ahead and laugh at my expense, I'll wait.

So anyway Heather, I look up to you so much. And in that moment, when I was laying sprawled out on the hard, stone bathroom floor I looked up and I swear I saw you - giving me your hand. Not the one with the pretty blue cast on it from your recent fall, but the other one. You helped me up, while bracing your injured knee (the one that still needs the MRI - yes, that one) and you helped me to my shaking feet. You brushed me off, and gave me a little pep talk. It went something like this:

My Dear Friend,
Words just can't express how I feel (as much as my hysterical laughter can). You know you can't be just like me, so quit trying so hard. You need to learn to be your own individual self, with your own stories of misfortune. Now get into that bathroom stall before you start to cry, or notice that your kneecap is misaligned. Don't pay attention to the location of the pain. You need to go to the bathroom - that's why you're here. Go get the job done. THEN you can figure out what needs to be attended to! You could end up getting stuck in urgent care or something, and then what would you do with that full bladder. Get busy girlfriend!
So... with that wonderful advice, I drug myself into the furthest stall from the door (the one labeled "Handicapped" because quite clearly at that point I WAS) and I did what I needed to do. Then, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket, and called for my husband. I heard muffled laughter on his end, and then a bit of actual concern, and then I hung up.

One thing I can always count on, is that he will take me seriously when I call for help. Nine times out of ten I don't call for his help, and so when I do, he knows I'm not joking. I sort of felt silly calling him, because after all I was able to be on my feet, although my right knee was starting to throb like the dickens and my hand felt all weird. However, I didn't want to flop down in the middle of the restaurant on the way out, so I figured I'd shove my pride into my other pocket and let him help me out.

I gingerly stepped across the remaining stone tiles, which were as slick as algae on a river rock, no exaggerations there whatsoever, and met my husband at the door. He, too, agreed with my assessment about the stone floor, and I felt justified that my injury wasn't entirely the result of my being a total nincompoop. (It may have been somewhat the fault of the Tylenol PM I took an hour earlier, but we'll pretend I didn't actually do that).

Heather, thanks for helping me up to my feet last night. If I'd really paused to think about it, I might have just cried like a baby, but instead you helped me laugh at myself, and realize that things like this happen - and we just have to take it all in stride, we have to let it make us stronger (more humorous) individuals, and help us to appreciate those days when we CAN do the extra things like run, swim or ride a bike. I'm still working on just walking a straight mile, but with your delightful example, I'm pretty sure I can get there.

P.S. I didn't end up in an E.R. or an urgent care, I was too sleepy to care much so I went straight home, couldn't find the ice pack and I went to sleep. I woke up this morning with very little pain, unless I'm putting firewood in the stove and have to bend my knee that certain way *ouch!* Hopefully this is the worst of it... although I'm keeping a close eye on what hurts. I learned a good lesson: Stick to taking sleepytime drugs at sleepy time and stay off wet floors lest ye MAKE a wet floor.


Mokihana said...

You are so funny! I'm sure glad you weren't hurt any worse... personally I am deathly afraid of wet floors, and now I know why. I'd probably end up breaking something because I'm not like you. I think you might just be the Heather in my life!

purplemoose said...

Whaaaaat.....your imaginary friend helped you off the bathroom floor? Maybe you banged more than just your knee? Anyways I hope you are back to full function now!