Friday, February 6, 2009

Damaged Goods...

"It's not easy being you."

That was my hairdresser this week when I went in to have him fix my mysteriously singed bangs. I asked him if I should be insulted and he laughed, "Not at all. Being you is a good thing."

Of course that response was just as curious as his original statement but since I love my hairdresser, I let it slide.

Today, however, that statement was truly justified. As I was talking to my sister, Forty-One, on the phone, I slipped down some icy steps. Now last year before my 38th birthday, I sprained my back; today, on my 39th, I almost broke it. There seems to be a potentially painful pattern here. (oooh, nice alliteration there!)

I guess as I get older I get very contemplative on my birthday. It makes me feel weird to think that when I was sixteen, I thought being 25 was like near death. Here I am at thirty-nine, thinking what a dumb ass I was at sixteen for thinking that. But what, if anything, have I gained in my thirties except poundage? What is it I want to say that might be worthy enough for my loyal three blog-followers to read? Has my thirties taught me anything? Hmmm...

1) Maturity ain't all it's cracked up to be. So what if I still enjoy obscene and offensive sounds? The longer and louder the burp, the funnier it is. I'd challenge anyone -anyone - to just try to outburp me. It's not something easily done. Which leads me to...

2) I still don't know or care about the finer points of ettiquette. You eat dinner with your lovely and proper dinner fork, and I'll eat my ice cream with my demitasse spoon in my Crazy Critters paper bowl. It all tastes the same no matter which utensil you use.

3) Children can NOT be reasoned with. For instance, a partial conversation in my house:

Thirty-Eight: I love you, Eleven.

Seven, (before Eleven can even speak): What? You don't love me?? Wahhhhhhh!!!

Thirty-Eight: I love you, too, Seven. You're my best girl.

Seven: But you let Eleven use my princess pencil yesterday.

Thirty-Eight: What?

Seven: Wahhhhh!

Thirty-Eight: Relax! We have 482 pencils in the drawer.

Seven, (flinging her tiny body on me, and seemingly trying to climb back in me): I just want to beeeee with youuuuuuuu!!!

To this day, I can not follow a child's train of totally unreasonable thoughts. I have no comprehension. Whew. Anyway...

4) I've discovered things this year. Apparently, I'm old enough to be getting gray hairs in my eyebrows. Two, to be exact. I need to find a good tweezer to carry around with me at all times. I think I might swipe Forty-One's prized green Tweezerman from her kitchen table one day. In my family, tweezing has become a favorite past-time as we sit around doodling pictures of feet on scraps of paper (see #5) and her tweezer is the bomb. I do hope and pray that the gray-hair discoveries are limited to above my shoulders.

5) Never make fun of your parents when you're young; it comes back to bite you in the ass. Now I learned this recently enough when I was standing in the shower and found that my dead father's feet had sprouted out of my ankles. Remembrances of standing around my family's kitchen table while me and my sisters watched my mother, Sixty-Six, draw pictures of Forever-Fifty-Two's feet. (alliteration is rockin' m'blog today!) Now the big toe kinda hooks to the left, you see, and crosses slightly over the next toe, she'd say as she sketched out a rendering of some pretty stupid-looking feet. We all laughed and laughed and still laugh even today when one of us draws his feet on a scrap of paper. (I told you three readers... maturity is so over-rated). But now I've been cursed. My big toes are pointing less due North and more East and West. Thanks Forever Fifty-Two.

Okay, since I've started to travel down the body road, I may as well continue.

6) I've learned that because I have had stomach problems for most of my life, I can't eat pretty much anything without suffering consequences. Cheese, rice cakes, an apple, meatloaf.. you name it, I'm not supposed to eat it. But I do. And I suffer. In an extremely bizarre twist, though, I can eat Indian food with no effects. Go figure. Some things can't be explained. Which somehow leads to...

7)I have exhausted every possible exercise and diet combination. I can't accept it but I will concede to the fact that flat stomachs are for the young. Apparently, I was quite old even when I was sixteen. Sigh. I need to get over that.

8) Unanswered questions in my thirties: At what age does it become inappropriate to shop in Macy's Juniors and more appropriate to shop in Sears' Petites? I still can't find an acceptable answer to this one.

8) Several years ago, and two kiddies later, I had an appointment with my gynecologist. (Male Blog-Follower, feel free to jump ahead...). So, as I laid back in the chair, the subject of vaginas inexplicably came up.

Gyno: Yep, there's some damage here.


Anxiously, I waited for his next sentence, hoping it was an estimate as to how much repairs would cost. Sadly, it was something more along the lines of, That's what kids do to you. See you next year!

He yanked off his rubber gloves and left the room to note the chart that although my vagina was mangled, it was healthy. I had contemplated the idea of my broken vagina all the way home and still think about it even now. I learned that there is a good reason to stay married - who wants to join the dating pool with a damaged vagina anyway?

Basically, even though I'm a year older, I don't know if I'm all that wiser. Maybe I've learned a few things here and there but mostly things we all learn along our journeys through life: some things change, some things never do, and some things, we'll never understand or get answers to.

My hairdresser didn't tell me something I already didn't know: it wasn't totally easy being Thirty-Eight and even though I started off on the wrong foot today, I'm hoping things get easier being Thirty-Nine.