Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in fog and crepuscular rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time once, not so long ago, when I was chubby, fat, or just pleasantly plump. In Italy I would have been a goddess. Men would have followed me down the cobble stoned streets, whistling and begging to touch my beautiful breasts and my bountiful behind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t living in Italy, I was here in the United States, where all I really wanted was to be slender. I thought if I was thin, all my problems would dissipate like the mysterious fog in San Francisco. I imagined the fog lifting while I watched, wearing a heavy knit red sweater and sitting peacefully on a huge rock.

A couple of months ago I was very sick, (on top of my chronic illnesses” Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS) I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave my house or the bathroom for an entire four weeks. I was pale, gaunt and looked ill. People on the street would ask me guardedly “If I was okay?” Part of me, if I had a sense of humor back then wanted to say “Of course, I’m in the middle-aged super model competition” but I had no sense of humor at the time. The other part of me was scared to speak so I just said “I’m fine” which people accept with relief and don’t follow-up with questions.

All my life there was always something about me that I wanted to change and after I changed it, I thought I would be happy: my weight, my hair, my glasses, wearing make-up, dressing better, nice shoes, tinting my hair to cover the tiny amount of gray that swirled in front of my face. The gray hair that I had been so proud to have, to acknowledge my real place in the world, as someone who had already experienced a great deal of life and had earned them with pride.

Having been married for 24 years with two young adults doing well in college was proof enough and even though I did go through a time feeling sorry for myself that the kids ” didn’t need me anymore” I realized my husband and I had done a very good job of parenting. I admit, I needed to remind myself that loving and needing were two very different things, they would love me as their mom but their lives and our lives would be constantly changing. Yes, sometimes it changes so quickly it was hard to keep up, that’s when I found myself alone, crying into an old, soft, handkerchief and feeling sorry for myself. I learned to accept that too. You have no choice.

Six weeks ago I went from eating and being lively to not eating and not feeling well, I lost over 30 pounds and before you coo and ooh and ahhh and wish it was you I can tell you, you better take that back. I did not enjoy clothes falling from my body, or food flowing through me, and not being able to go outside of my house for four weeks. The doctor scheduled me for every “cancer” test known to humanity and that was not fun. The doctor, not known for his bedside matter, actually told me WHAT he was testing for when we first met him in his office. Thanks, Doc, nice touch.

I will be getting the results later this week, I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’m ( fairly) certain that they will be. The symptoms stopped a few days after my office visit and while I haven’t gained a lot of weight back, I do get hungry and I feel better. My newest ( little ) problem is this: I went to shop for new jeans and found that there are no jeans for women of my age. They have skinny jeans, under the waist jeans and jeans for teenagers with lithe bodies. Basically, the clothes that I have are four sizes too big for me and the style out there now are for teenagers only. I have nothing to wear, I miss my “Mom jeans.” It is impossible to find them, anywhere. Suggestions?

All that I have accomplished in this quest are the lack of clothes to wear and the acquisition of numerous wrinkles. I sat outside in the sun for a few moments, noticing all the wrinkles on my knees and thighs that were not there before. As I sat, warming my face, was I thinking about the good things in my life in a delighted way? No. I was thinking about the barium test (drinking chalk) that I have to drink tomorrow morning at eight am and where to aim my projectile vomiting. That, at least, is amusing me.

Be happy with what you have and who you are. As my dad used to say “Health is the most important thing.”  It’s the only thing, be grateful.

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ramblings from a very tired person

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

so tired I think my eyes are asleep, they are certainly half closed while i am typing this so forgive the e.e. cummings style, a wonderful poet.i feel like there are pieces of chalk in my eyes, the ones i used to use when I was a kid, outside on the street; thick pieces of multi-colored chalk sticks, pink, yellow, blue, white.  they always got on our hands and clothes but they were great for hopscotch games and messages to the world. hearts and balloons and your best friends names. when i was little we had a tight group of friends, 4 of us that played together every day; our moms were great friends too. we played in an alley and our moms sat together on a little wall, talking, smoking cigarettes back then. in the summertime, we would run like crazy when we heard frankie and the Good Humor truck coming around the corner, his familiar voice shouting “Hola Amigo.” our very first Spanish words.we were so proud.

out of the 4 of us, I am still friendly with all of them since we are all in our fifties and have known each other since we were born. our lives live in each others memories, moments that one of us remember, we fill in each others blank stairs; we’re all very different. one guy is not much of a communicator, he sends a joke or two on line once in a while and every ten years we see each other on his big birthdays in July which is fun. the next one will be 6o ,wow that sounds so ancient  yet it’s a mere jump. skip and dive into those frozen waters for me. I can’t just yet roll it around my brain or head and certainly not my tongue.not yet.

i could never understand people reading the obituary pages, what’s the point? my 85 year old mother started reading them with one of her friends a few months ago and now she does it every day. i looked at it once and the one time I looked i found our realtor dead, at a young age. or the age they said. she used to tell me about all the cosmetic surgery she would always have; there was no cause of death listed. I was shocked and saddened to see her familiar face on the page.you just don’t expect to know anyone when u glance at the page. i stopped reading after that one.

that’s what tonight has been like, looking at old photographs, too tired to get out of bed to pee, too lazy to go down to the kitchen and snack because i don’t want to change my feeling of warmth and safety from this 60 degree bonus day. we deserved this day, after super-s0aker  Sandy and the snowstorm that followed. this tiny neighborhood has outtages every single year, except for this one, we were so very grateful.

thanks for giving us a break this year. we sorely needed it and was much appreciated. i need to save this and then save draft. and then, right away before you say anything else, i will be dropping my head on my cool pillow and try to go to sleep. peaceful sleep. good night.