A Cellular Affair 

Sometimes confession is good for the soul and sometimes it is necessary because of its entertainment value.  Recently, I had to confess to my husband that he had competition for my highly sought cell phone minutes.  His competition appeared out of nowhere in the form of Stan.  Stan called a couple times leaving a message for Mike to return his call.  Not thinking too much about it, I hit the delete button figuring that eventually Stan and Mike would figure out that the messages werenít getting through.  Really, it was none of my business.   

Last week, Stan called again and left a detailed message for Mike asking him to dinner, suggesting that his wife could pick Mike up if he needed a ride and espousing the good time they would have.  My conscience wouldnít allow me to stand between two good friends attempting to make a dinner date.  It was time to take action.  Trying to be a supportive, I called Stan to explain that Mike was not receiving his messages because they were coming into my voice mail.  Sad to say, Stanís response was an uninspiring, ďHuh?Ē  I tried a second time explaining in smaller words that the number that Stan was calling to reach Mike was actually my number.  After a couple beats of silence Stan uttered an uncomprehending ďUuuhhÖĒ  It had been a long week and my patience didnít extend to lengthy explanations so I politely said good bye and left Stan to his ponderings. 

That should have been the end of my liaison with Stan and Mike, except Stan called again the next morning and left Mike another message asking him to bring some plumberís putty over to him.  Apparently, the high tech world of cell phones and voice mail are too much for Stan to deal with.  Sigh.  I can no longer be a part of their friendship and I am not calling Stan again to explain that Mike wonít be stopping by with any plumberís putty.  Stan and Mike will have to work out their communication and plumberís putty issues on their own.  I sure hope their friendship doesnít end without me to help them along. 

How Weirdness Begins 

My elbow hurts.  I have a very good reason, itís because I hit it in the shower while standing on tip toe.  When my husband asked why on earth I would stand on tip toe in the shower, it took me a while to sort out why I developed that odd little habit.   

Weíve all seen and mocked the commercial about the older lady lying helplessly on the floor moaning, ďIíve fallen and I canít get up.Ē  Well, I do not want to be that lady.  Balance is important to me.  Maybe it is important because I live with the knowledge that I am a klutz.  For years, my exercise of choice was running and I did it faithfully because I knew that if I tripped, fell and humiliated myself on one street, I never had to run that way again. After several years of 10Kís, my knees and feet began to protest vigorously.  Stairs became the enemy and the first few steps in the morning on feet that had slapped down over hundreds of miles were agony.   

Through boredom and convenience I began taking Tae Kwon Do because my son was involved and I could put forth as much or as little effort as I chose.  To my amazement, as I learned to stretch, kick and maneuver, the pain in my knees faded and my feet not only stopped aching, they strengthened to the point that my feet changed shape and no longer looked like ugly platters attached to my ankles, plus my shoe size dropped one whole size.  Yes, my toes are still stubby, but my arches are fine and my balance improved.  Hand-eye coordination may never be my strong suit but at least I stopped tripping over my own feet. 

Moving to our house in a smaller town, I couldnít continue with regular TKD classes but 5 years later I continue with the stretches, warm ups, kicks and I stand on tip toe in the shower and while making dinner so I donít lose the strength in my feet and have them turn into spatulas again. 

I used to run.

I used to fall down.

My feet used to hurt.

I used to wear a size 10 shoe.

I took Tae Kwon Do.

My feet shrunk to a size 9

My feet stopped hurting.

I didnít fall down (much) anymore.

My feet have a nicer shape.

I stand on tip toe in the shower.

I hope I will never find myself lying on the floor crying, ďHelp, Iíve fallen and I canít get up.Ē 

See how that works?  It all makes sense in the end.   

Exfoliating My Life 

A fairly recent craze in skin care is exfoliating.  Probably itís been hanging around as a skin care concept for ages and ages, but in terms of marketing, itís only hit the ground running in the past couple years.  I like exfoliating, it feels good to remove the top soil from my skin making it look refreshed.  Thinking about skin care as I age, I am wondering if I continue to exfoliate my face does that mean I wonít develop a hairy face?  I donít mean scrape off my skin, I simply want to avoid the make up clinging to face fuzz look.  Now that I am on the subject, suddenly I understand why men canít wear foundation Ė whiskers would get in the way.  It is one of Godís jokes that as we age we lose many of our abilities, but by golly our hair follicles thrive. 

Wouldnít it be grand if the same amazing researchers who develop depression pills, pills to stop us from running to the bathroom so often, pills that help with arthritis, pills that block fat and cholesterol would apply themselves to a pill that gently strips away the build up on our insides?  I want a pill that cleanses me of tiny left over stickers of stress or anger day to day, one that prevents me from accepting routine without questioning its value, a gentle exfoliation that refreshes my mind when I feel dull or anxious or blanketed in busyness. 

Hygiene Overload 

Unless a person is blatantly offensive, I donít notice much about otherís personal hygiene.  It is not my business and I donít find myself standing in judgment unless they smell bad and I have to stand next to them.  Well, unless I am being critical of a television character in which case looks, no matter how accepting we are, take on added value.  A person can have unusual facial features or be losing hair but if that same character has yellow teeth, acne, or limp lanky hair Ė chances are that actor wonít be on television long.  But, I digress.  The nonjudgmental policy does not apply to me and I have realized that my absorption with personal hygiene has hit overload status.   

Itís comical to me that every morning I wash my face, brush my teeth, shower, and apply products to various areas of my body.  In the evenings I wash off the make up, brush, floss, etc. so I can redo the process the next morning.  Because I am a list and patterns person, I count things.  Donít ask me why, itís just the way my brain is wired.  In the mornings I use no less than 20 products from waking to leaving the house.  20 products that I must open, uncap, squeeze, and apply etc. not to mention keeping track of what I may be running out of.  Evenings are a little better and I only make use of 7 items.  My lists did not include items that are only used intermittently like cotton swabs, nail clippers, etc.  I am exhausted just typing about all those products and yet, even realizing that I am living in the land of Hygiene Product Obsession, I wonít stop using them.  Go ahead, you count and tell me how many products are stacked in your bathroom cupboard or on the bathroom counter that you pick up and use no matter how minimally each day. 

Simplifying sounds like the way to go and my head understands that the earth will not stop rotating if I donít apply one of these products to my body but my emotions say they make me feel feminine, clean, and beautiful.  It is because each area of the body has its own excretions, odors and personal hygiene product needs.  Wouldnít it be so much simpler if our bodies could emit a one size fits all order or excretion instead of sweaty armpits, foot odor, ear wax, oily scalp, bad breatheÖ.oh my, I am stressing thinking about it all.  I need to make a list. 

Toothpaste, soap, astringent, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, lotion, deodorant, lip balm, antiseptic cream, detangler, hair smoother, spray gel, hairspray, eye shadow (color is fun) eyeliner, blush, lipstick, mascara, floss, hydrogen peroxide, PMS pills.  It occurs to me that perhaps I donít actually suffer from PMS; maybe I am just stressed over how many items make up my list. 


(Miscellaneous observations) 

Ma'am, Is That A Salmon In Your Pocket?

Civilization 101 or 2 or 3

Finding My Senses 

Wrestling, Garlic and Weddings 

Treading through Emotional Quicksand

E-mail Kathy