Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Improper Poll: Caught in the Flash

A few weeks ago I mentioned being invaded by a Peeping Teen in the dressing room, and Val graciously shared her own unintentional flashing story. Which, I might add, beat mine by a mile.

But it also reminded me of the potty training years when I was out with my daughter. She always had to go first. Problem was, when it was my turn, she’d wait just long enough that there wasn’t much I could do when she decided it was time to leave and threw that door wide open. Often this was in the single-stall bathrooms like the kind they have in gas stations, so that the Icee pourers and the Cheeto choosers and the Valvoline viewers all got to watch me use the restroom while I yelled, “No no no wait don’t open the door I’m not done close it close it close it wait I’M NOT DONE CLOSE THE DOOR!!!”

When’s the last time you unintentionally flashed someone?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Improper Poll: Shoe In

I once owned a pair of black, Reebok high-tops. I bought them after admiring them on a woman at the airport. She was one of those people who can gracefully walk the line between conservative and edgy, so she rocked those shoes. I guess I secretly want to be one of those people, but sad to say I am not. When I bought the shoes, instead of transforming into a different person, I looked more like a half-baked Betty Crocker gone bad. Like Betty’s crock cracked. Like if Betty decided one day to give up baking and run off to some remote mountainous commune where the denizens play basketball badly. I didn’t care. I loved those shoes just the same as if I’d actually looked cool in them.

I bought them after a long day of walking. When I tried them on again at home, before the illusion of coolness had worn off of them—before I had broken them in along with the news that I did not, in fact, look like a hip, rocking, bicycler babe—they felt so good I decided to forego the usual bedroom slippers and leave them in place. Just for a while. They cured my backache and left me with a spring in my step. They may well have been agony on someone else’s feet, but they made mine sing.

I once wore them on a hayride on an Indian summer’s day. The husband of the woman who sat next to me whispered, “You’re always saying you don’t know if you should wear white athletic shoes after Labor Day. You should get those.” She promptly shushed him in one of those hush-she-might-hear-you voices. I really don’t think the husband had meant it as an insult, but that shushing sure told where the wife stood on the issue of the Beloved Reeboks. I was okay with it, though. I was going to tell you what kind of Betty Crocker she was, but my inner editor made me cut it because it might have offended people who attend fundraisers where they sell handmade gingham fanny packs. Okay, I will take this one evil potshot: I bet her favorite author was Nicholas Sparks.

Take that, Bizarro World Betty! Kick my beloved Reeboks, and I will punch you in the Pillsbury doughgirls. Bettys of the world, don’t unite. Insult our shoes, and we are a brutal bunch of half-baked be-otches.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Improper Poll: Bad Trips

Recently Lynn Obermoeller wrote a hilarious post about tripping on the stairs. What’s funny is that I was just talking to another friend who announced she is very clumsy. She said she thinks it’s because she is always thinking “several steps ahead.” I’m incredibly clumsy when I’m sleep deprived, but I liked my friend’s explanation much better. Sounds positively cerebral to trip.

One of my clumsiest moments ever was when I was running on the treadmill in my chilly basement about ten years ago. I was wearing several layers of clothing and a new headset that stayed on my head better than ear buds and rendered my boom box obsolete. The problem came when I went to peel off a shirt and forgot about the headset. it got all tangled up in the earphones, flapping over my head like Lucy-with-a-loving-cup-on-her-head. Or Monica Geller with a raw turkey.

But the treadmill kept going, and I was spewed off the back still flailing about my head. It would have been funny, except that the finger I landed on had to go through months of physical therapy and is now permanently bent. I call it my “sports injury.”

Have you had any amusing trips?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Still Held High

Several years ago, I posted here about a female Family and Consumer Science teacher who proudly sported a head that was bald as a bowling ball—presumably from cancer treatments.  In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is an update.

I recently saw her walking through the halls.  She now has a nice, thick head of hair.  I remember hearing once that post-chemotherapy hair can be even thicker and better than before, and it certainly seemed true in this case.  I’m pleased to report that she looked healthy and rosy and ready to take on the next adventure that life has to offer. 

And even more than ever, she walked like a winner.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.  That will be the beginning. ~Louis L’Amour