Monthly Archives: October 2010

Run, naked lady, RUN!

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I met my husband in a cadaver lab.  It wasn’t love at first sight, but I was quite certain that he smelled better than the body we were studying. Maybe love at first sniff?   Truth be told, I spotted him immediately.  His bald head (which I thought was only by choice.  A rebellious fashion statement?  14 years later, he’s apparently still rebelling), reflecting his well-toned muscular body.  One side of the cadaver lab was filled with a group of sorority girls, the other side was filled with the guys.  In the front were the dead people.  It felt a bit like a junior high dance… other than the corpses, of course.  I quickly chose the boys, because I am not a stupid girl.  Boys win over sorority girls and corpses ANY time!

I sat down next to Mr. Clean.  Our group chatted.  I had found myself, the art major, in her pajamas, who once again forgot to shave her legs, in the midst of a pre-med student, a pre-dental student, and my husband, a kinesiology major.  YES!  This would help me survive my Anatomy class.

As the first lab ended, I made sure to exchange phone numbers with my husband-to-be.  To study together.  Study?   Yes we did.  And I have the B+ on my transcripts to prove it.

We were at the condo he shared with his brother, during one of these late night study sessions. His brother was going to visit a friend.   Woo hoo!  We had the place to ourselves, to study Anatomy and prepare for our final.  It was snowing.  It was cold.  I was wearing wool socks.  Nothing else.  Just wool socks. Some people put on their thinking caps, I suppose I had my thinking socks on.  hehe.  Of course, they weren’t working.

We were relaxed and having fun, studying Anatomy in the living room, when we heard a sound at the front door.  We froze.

And then a key in the lock.

I ran.

My nekkid, wool sock wearing self, ran.

On hard wood floors.

I didn’t get very far.  It was like I had cartoon syndrome, spinning spinning spinning my feet. Unfortunately, at that point I did not zoom away, leaving a cloud of dust to hide my naked butt.

I fell.  I wiped out.  The door opened, and even though I was injured and bruised, I sucked it up and slip slided my way up those stairs as fast as I possibly could.

What did my future husband do? Well, what all men would do (and women, who are more confident in their early 20’s than I ever was).  Simply stayed where he was, and smiled (actually, if memory serves, he didn’t just smile.  He laughed.) as my future brother-in-law walked in the door.  The snow.  Damn snow.  It had forced him to return home.

I stayed upstairs, nursing my naked, bruised butt.  Cursing my wool socks.  Spontaneity has never been my friend.

Do you think I learned my lesson?  Oh no.   I accidentally fell asleep (studying can really tire a person out) during the next all-night Anatomy study session.  I woke up in the morning, and went down to the kitchen to grab some water.  There, in the dining room, sat a beautiful woman in a royal blue jogging suit. Um.  “Hello.”  I said.  “I just need some water.”  Ummmm.   Here she was.  My future mother-in-law.  This was our first meeting.

Nice.

First impressions are everything.   And I actually wonder why she never liked me?  sigh.

At least I wasn’t wearing my wool socks.

I had morning breath, “Anatomy” hair, and probably a stomach ache from holding in my farts all night.  I was pretty.  Pretty scary.  I pretended that it was quite normal that I had just emerged from her youngest child’s room and shook her hand.  Just studying, after all.

So began my relationship with the in-laws.

In my bubble, I wear wool socks.  But, they aren’t slippery.  They grip hard wood floors like spider feet.  And I make cartoon bubbles when I need to hide my naked parts.  I also have the perfect thing to say in a first encounter with someone who is now the grandmother of my child.  Something eloquent about her son’s great anatomy.  Okay.  That last part is just a fantasy.  Excuse me while I put on my woolies… I feel a draft.

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Nice Bulge

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There once was a boy I liked.  In all honesty, there were a few.  This one was a close personal friend of my sister, who probably liked her as much as I liked him.  That’s the way love is when you are a kid.  Always these ridiculous triangles.  Profess your feelings, at age 16, and they are bound to be professed back to you about 6 months later, when you’re no longer interested in the original person, but oh… his best friend is soooo hot.    Ah.  What great fun!

This boy came to visit us one summer.  We went out on the dock to watch for shooting stars.  Sounds like the romance scene from a Hannah Montana movie, doesn’t it?  We sat there, just the two of us, with the moon and the stars reflecting on the lake.  We spoke of red giants and white dwarfs (astronomy talk – probably NOT on that Hannah Montana movie).  It was amazing.  It was romantic (even if that was only from my perspective).  And there was something in my pants.

No.  It was not the boy.  It was my underwear.  Well, of course – why wouldn’t my underwear be in my pants?  Not THAT underwear.  That was on my body, in my pants.  This pair was just floating around willy nilly, in my pant leg.  Somewhere between denim and skin.  I reached up to scratch a bug bite and there it was.  Earlier in the day, I had  grabbed a pair of jeans from the floor of my room (obviously I’ve been a neat freak from day one), and apparently they were in the dirty pile.  Well, my room WAS the dirty pile.  My undies from the previous day were still wadded up inside of them.  Oh.  The horror.

As an adult, I would have pulled those suckers out and laughed for at least five solid minutes.  As a teenager, I freaked out.

“What if he see’s a bulge in my pants?  He’s gonna think I’m some genetic mutant!  What if we make out, and they fall out, and he thinks I’m so easy that my panties just spontaneously fall off when I kiss a boy?  What am I going to do with these dirty panties?  Oh My God!!”  I thought, in a growing state of panic.

Fortunately for me, this boy was not into me and had no desire to make-out.  Whew.  Little did I know what a blessing that was.  I shoved the panties higher up inside of my pants as we walked back to the house.   I desperately hoped the starlight wouldn’t reveal my bulge.

I survived the rest of his visit without too many more failed attempts at romance.  I did somehow manage to fall face first over a log while we were hanging out next to the campfire, shooting off bottle rockets.  I am scared of fireworks and – since its me we’re talking about – there was probably beer involved. My feet are notoriously faster than my eyes, especially when I’m drinking.   Never even saw that giant log.  That was cute.  It’s a wonder that boy didn’t want to get right into my pants, alongside my day old underwear.

My bubble has never been a highly glamorous location, I’ll be the first to admit it.  It also isn’t very coordinated.  I fall down a lot (especially when sober). Fortunately, my bubble is full of (hot) air, and it helps me bounce.  There are buckets of cow’s milk in my bubble, too.  I think the milk helps strengthen my bones.  And my ability to laugh at myself.

side note:  at the gym on Monday, a woman told me I was graceful.  I laughed inappropriately loud (in my defense, I did have head phones on).  She looked at me like I was a loon.  I realized that she perceived me as graceful while I was laying down, stretching.  When laying down, I AM graceful.  Just watch out when I stand up!  If only she’d seen my tripping up the stairs on the Stairmaster five minutes before…

bras, dads, bras

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Have you seen the nice chairs positioned not quite right next to the fitting rooms in the lingerie section of Nordstroms?  Are they there for you to test drive how your new panties feel while seated?  To see if they cling to your right butt cheek when you quickly rise to a standing position?  Maybe you are supposed to roll around on that little chair to see if the thong will come out of your crack with the right method of leaning and wriggling, without actually using fingers to pry it free?  Actually, I know the answer to this one.

It is The Chair of Shame that the awkward father sits in when he has the job of helping his daughter purchase her first bra.

He sits there, trying to be as respectful and as non-pervy seeming as possible.  He is sweating a bit more than usual.  He is jingling the change in his pockets a bit more frequently.  His glasses suddenly need to be cleaned.  He tries to be patient as he not so patiently keeps checking the time and wondering just how long it can possibly take to put on a bra.

That poor awkward dad was my dad.  What a trooper.  And how do you think that feels to a 12-year-old?  Wow.  I would have sold my soul for the opportunity to shrink myself down to half my size while simultaneously taking on the transformative powers of a chameleon.  I walked as invisibly as I could through the isles and isles of bras, trying to grab a few to try on without actually looking at what I was grabbing.  My dad would say stuff like, “is that the right size?” and my cheeks would burst into flames.  He had the nerve to say, “oh that’s a nice looking one!” as I grabbed it closer to my body, trying to smuggle the bra and my shrinking tom-boyness into the fitting room.

The bra fitting nazi, an expert on how a bra should hold your boobies, and how it should fit across your rib cage came in to check on me.  I’m thinking, “God woman, I don’t have a shirt on!  Do you mind?  A little privacy would be great!” as she sticks her finger between the elastic and my skin and proclaims it “TOO SMALL!”  Well, yesterday I wasn’t wearing one, so how can it be too small?  Am I a mutant, growing Baywatch-worthy boobs overnight?  Maybe it’s just a swollen gland or something.  I AM feeling a bit hot.  Maybe feverish.

My dad sweetly calls around the corner, “How you doing sweety?”

“DADDY!  DO NOT COME BACK HERE!!!” (poor guy)

Oh, my sweet childhood is quickly fleeting and being replaced by this aching teen thing that comes with boobs and increasing body fat, and that stupid period thing, and it doesn’t feel very comfortable.  How am I supposed to be a tom-boy with boobies?

My dad was such a good guy.  Little did I know that he was probably twice as uncomfortable with the whole scene as I was.  We finished the painful task of being fitted and buying the bra, and walked quickly towards the food court, our heads held in shame.  Neither of us spoke of the things we had just witnessed.  It was simply too traumatizing.  We buried it successfully for years, pretending I didn’t have boobs or bras, or that I was even female, for that matter.

That was good and fine until I found myself in the same weird position, in the same Nordstroms, ten years later.  My sister was getting married and I discovered my bra didn’t fit with the dress that I had bought for the rehearsal dinner.   Here we were again.  My dad sitting in the hot seat. Me, trying on bras, avoiding the bra fitting nazi like the plague.  They scare me.  The bra nazis, I mean.  Bras don’t scare me too much.  Unless they look like that pointy thing Madonna used to wear.

When someone is there to contemplate the fit of my bra and the genetic shape of my chest pillows, I think that I probably hold my boobs differently.  I’m sure I suck them in or something.  Protecting my vital organs.  As I left the fitting room, my dad (trying his best not to be awkward and uncomfortable) asked to see what I had found.  Urrrr.  Okay.  Here it is.  Some fancy lacy thing.  C Cup.  Black.  Ummmm.

“That’s very pretty,” he said.

We quickly walked to the food court, avoiding eye contact,  and never spoke of it again.

In my bubble, the awkward chair next to the fitting room does not exist.  It’s not the Chair of Shame.  Actually it’s not a chair at all, it’s a couch.  The Couch of Dad. They have a big screen t.v. in front of it, showing only football and other “manly man” shows.  Fishing.  Whatever.  They serve chips.  The dads are allowed to completely dissociate from the entire experience and get to pretend that their little girls aren’t growing up.  The girls do not have bra nazis to deal with.  All the bras are already in the fitting rooms and they have “how to” directions on them. Give those girls some privacy. My bubble has privacy, the Couch of Dad, and some funky tunes to dance around  to in that fitting room.  Maybe Madonna? Pappa Don’t Preach?

Who stole my sunshine?

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I went to college in Washington State, for a couple of years.  Tacoma, Washington, to be precise.  A city where Cops is filmed on a regular basis.

Tacoma was a hotbed of gang activity.  There were warnings about owning blue or red cars.   You didn’t make eye contact with anyone at the mall for fear of being shot.  In the midst of this gangland, was a high-end college.  The girls in my dorm had never been away from home.  They had never consumed alcohol that wasn’t in wine cooler form (unlike myself, who was a connoisseur of super cheap vodka).  They wore pure white Keds and had shrines devoted to their high school boyfriends.  Barf.  Ooops.  That may have been the vodka coming back up.

I had a roommate.  She smelled.  But she did not smell as bad as her hippy boyfriend. Together, they smelled like an old pair of socks.  They were always stuck together like an old pair of socks too.  I think their cumulative brain power was about equal to a pair of socks.  So, the socks took over my dorm room.   Every time I came back to it, there they were.  Stuck together.  Stinking up the place.

I’d grown up with stories about high school being hard.  I had no idea that college would be worse.  At least I had dated in high school.  In college, suddenly all the fish in the sea had dried up and joined fraternities (or smelled like socks… or both).  What was going on here?  I was swimming every morning, and every afternoon. I wasn’t sleeping at night because I had a bone-headed frat boy above me who liked to bounce his basketball while he drank.  All night long. The girl swimmers there were dead serious.  There was a rule of absolutely no drinking during the season.  And everyone showered together after practice!  How was I supposed to do that if I wasn’t drinking?  Oh my god, I’m in hell!!!

My dorm was across the street from the pool, so I chose to shower there.   That made me happy, until one of the senior girls asked me what my problem was.

“Why don’t you just shower here?  It’s not like we’re all lesbians or something.”

Actually, I do believe that she was a lesbian.  But that was not my problem.   I was, and always have been, totally uncomfortable with nudity – ESPECIALLY IN A GROUP SHOWER. I mumbled and retreated to my stupid dorm, with stupid college kids, planning stupid parties, that I was stupidly jealous of not being invited to.

Somehow children borne to the same parents, often turn out to have completely and utterly opposite personalities.   My sister loved this school.  My parents wondered what was wrong with me.  They wondered if I was becoming an alcoholic (borderline, but only for two years).  They wondered why I couldn’t just enjoy it, like my sister.  Maybe you should join her sorority.  Me?  Sorority?

If you want a laugh, you should picture ME going through Rush.  What a complete mess.  I had to wear nice clothes, brush my hair, and smile constantly.  My face actually hurt from smiling so much.  There was one African American girl in the whole lot of us.  That was IT!  She made it two days and quit.  She was sooooo much smarter than me.  I made it through, suffering only one nervous breakdown during a Rush party.  I had quit the swim team (the sober group showering had broken me) just prior to the party.   When asked how I was enjoying school, my eyes betrayed my plastic smile and started pouring tears.   Against my better judgment, my nose started expelling snot.  Even the gasping, suffocating sounds of true pent up sadness came tumbling out.

Funny.  They dropped me from their list immediately.

The only “house” that didn’t drop me was the one my sister was in.  They were hurting for members.  I fit the bill.  I joined a sorority.

Was my life instantly better?  Were boys falling at my feet? No.  Nothing had really changed except that I had rid myself of the group shower experience and introduced myself to the group sleeping experience. ACK.  We had “sleeping chambers” which fit four bunk beds.  We were constantly sick, so the windows were always opened in an futile attempt to cleanse our putrid, viral air.  Tacoma was once a town with an active paper mill and a pickle factory.  These are two smells that should never be combined.  In fact, the closest comparison I have is skunk.  We slept in our chamber, breathing in the “clean” skunky air, alone, still without boyfriends.   Then the screaming began.

There was a girl in our “chamber” who suffered from night terrors.  That means there were eight of us in that chamber suffering from night terrors.  Okay.  I thought the swim team was hell.  I was wrong.  To finally fall asleep in a place where melatonin never kicks in because the sun never shines and your body has no sense of day and night only to be awoken by a screaming college student, is just a brutal thing (well, that’s what a spoiled college student thinks.  Little did I know what motherhood would bring).

I tried to make the most of it by rebelling.  I got drunk and sang “watermelon” over and over when our sorority went to serenade the fraternities (are these the rantings of a crazy person?  perhaps.  BUT, if you mouth the word “watermelon” while singing, it looks like you know all the words.  this is in the same vein as whispering “olive oil” instead of “I love you” – invaluable knowledge, eh?).  I stole a Red Hot Chili Peppers cd from a dance.  I felt the frat boys weren’t worthy of such great, funky music.  I know, such a serious rebel.  You’re scared, aren’t you?

Go figure, becoming a sorority girl a) did not make me any happier, and b) did not suit me at all.   But, I did learn more about myself.  I learned that I am a woman who brushes her teeth daily, but maybe not her hair.  I don’t see the value in serenading frat boys, especially sober.   I like the sun.   I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  And I REALLY like showering ALONE.

My sister loved this school, as I said.  Now, we both love Colorado (where the sun shines almost every day! And it only smells like skunks when there is a skunk).  She married one of the frat boys who we serenaded with “watermelon.”

Maybe it was his cd I stole.

I still feel worthy of those funky Chili Peppers tunes, because in my bubble I am funky. Not smelly sock funky, but funky like a monkey.  Like a funky monkey, eating bananas, in her sun-shiny pink bubble of happiness.

Naked in Suburbia

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I entered the locker room, with the silly notion of changing out of my sweaty-beast clothes and into something a bit more fresh.  I picked a nice secluded area where no other women were disrobing because – even though I am a massage therapist – I am totally uncomfortable with nudity.  Especially my own.  I even sleep clothed.  Mostly because I’m afraid there will be a fire during the night, and if I am naked, the firemen may change their minds about saving me.

Here I am, in my post work-out euphoria, trying not to make eye contact with myself in the enormous mirrors that are absolutely everywhere.  Along comes a perky, happy, hairy lady.  Does she go to the other two areas of the locker room that are totally empty?  No way, Jose. To my mounting horror, she comes and plops her sweaty hind quarters on the bench right next to me (which, by the way, is nasty in its own right.  do you know where that bench has been?   whose buttocks have previously sat upon it?).  Okayyy.  So, I try to keep breathing and not make eye contact or any other form of contact with her.  She proceeded to remove all of her clothes (although it is only my peripheral vision and sense of hearing that is telling me this) until there is not a shred of anything on her skin other than sweat and hair.  What does one typically do in this situation?  Well, dance, of course. She starts swiveling her hips like a hula dancer, and then doing a fabulous series of stretches involving the bench, MY bench, the increasingly dirty bench!   I know this because by now, there’s no way I can pretend NOT to look.  I mean, this is a circus side-show in the locker room.  I did what I always do in times of stress, I ran away.  I embraced my sweaty-beast-ness and bolted right on out of there.  Not for fear, really. Well, maybe a little fear.  The fear of unstoppable laughter bubbling from my mouth.

If you live in Colorado, you probably have guessed that this took place in Nederland.  This may be why the whole “gym” concept didn’t last there.  People up in those thar’ mountains just have far too many illegal substances in their bloodstreams to exercise.  It’s just not safe, really.  And then there’s the chance of inappropriate exposure.  I mean, you’re boundaries are down, you’re feeling the music, why not dance naked in the locker room?

Yes, I have some inhibitions.  And I’d like to keep them, thank you very much.

So, while this is somewhat conceivable in the Hippie/Trustfunder Mecca of the world (a.k.a. Nederland), you would think that down in the ‘burbs people might have a few more scruples.  Well, they have a few.  But not many.

My sister (yep, borrowing your story my sweetie) works out at a place in Superior. Superior, if you don’t live here, tries very hard to live up to its name.  It is a place where the once happy couples of Boulder end up heading when there marriages fall apart.  I’d have to look at a census, but to me it appears that at least 75% of the households there are divorced.  This is fine, and good.   BUT, when (some) woman are single, self-esteem shattered, trying to meet new men… plastic surgery happens.  Superior’s bubble is extra bouncy, from the overabundance of implants (or underabundance of self-esteem?).  All that bouncing makes those women proud, and frequently topless.  Just ask my sister.  She tells me all sorts of bouncy stories.  There are the “toweled (from the waist down)” and the “completely naked,” who feel it not only is appropriate, but actually required, to engage you in conversation  while flaunting their bouncies.  Or feel it is necessary to blow dry their hair and apply a full pallet of make-up before  putting on some underwear.  Really, take away the load of body hair, the saggy natural bosom, and the illegal drugs (but add some legal narcotics and some silicon) and you’ve got my friend from Nederland, dancing all around the suburbs, celebrating her naked self.

Nudity is great.  I’m glad there are so many people who are comfortable with it.  I am not one of them.  Please don’t make me feel repressed.  I like my modesty.  It’s comforting. Like my cotton undies and my flannel pajamas.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in a Muslim country.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have falsies.  Maybe it’s because I don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret Model.  Maybe it’s just because I like the feel of clothes around my bubble-tastic belly.

Things that go thump in the night

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The last scary movie I subjected myself to was The Ring.  Too scary.  (if that clip was too scary, watch the Disney spoof to lighten the mood)  I made a noise in the theater that was like a gutteral moan of some kind, surrounding the word “f#*k,” as I tried to get as small as I could in my petri-dish of a movie theater seat.  My husband refused to go to the movies with me for a while after that.  I guess my moan of psychotic distress was a bit louder than I realized.

I watched every one of the Nightmare on Elmstreet movies… making me a Johnny Depp fan from a very early age.  I know the song “One, two, Freddie’s coming for you…”  The first Friday the 13th was filmed in my high school town.  Scary movies were a major part of my teenage years!  No one ever told me that one day I would wake up, and some sort of scary movie switch would to be turned off and I wouldn’t even be able to handle an episode of Law and Order.  What a weenie.

Anyway, the ghostly part of the story: when I was pregnant, each night, 15 minutes after turning off the lights, there would be a knocking at my wall.  It didn’t matter if I varied the time I turned out the light.  Right next to my head.  The first few times, it scared me.  I investigated the wall outside the house.  Nothing.  No trees hitting.  No possible raccoon entrances.  Nada. Eventually, the precise timing of it all became almost amusing.   My husband tried to catch the sound, but he is a man and incapable of maintaining consciousness for more than 33 seconds after introducing his head to his pillow.  Once I had my baby, I forgot about the knocking.  I typically dozed on the couch, nodding off to VH1 videos or 4 a.m. reruns of Conan.  I heard no knocking.  Just Gwen Stephanie singing, “If I was a rich girl…nanananana…you’re body is NEVER going to look like mine… I’m a mom too, but I work out eight hours a day and eat dandelions and pine needles…nanananan.”  Muddled sleep deprived thoughts took over, and the knocking was the last thing on my mind. Until she was four-months old and we moved her into her own room.  I slept with her the first night (for my own soothing) and there it was, 15 minutes after I turned off the light, “knock knock knock.” Sheeeeeeeiiitttt.  It had followed her!   This was a different room in the house!  So, I did some wack-a-doo hippy things and “smudged” the house.  I figured that if it smelled bad enough to chase my husband from the house, there was a possibility that it would  have the same effect on ghosts.

Maybe it worked.  Life took over again.  I was working and being a baby-mama, and I was too tired to worry about knocking.    She got to an age when she could tell me about her nightmares.  They were normal kid dreams.  A Giant Mickey Mouse chasing her through the forest.  Ahhhh.  I can handle this, I prematurely thought to myself.   Just when I started to relax, the thumping began.

I think we have a ghost, and its name is Thumper.

For a couple of years now, at least once a week, my daughter will wake up screaming.  I bolt up the stairs, still asleep, and she’s just lays there screaming and kicking and says that she thought she felt something thumping on her bed.  I immediately thought of the knocking. Of course, I told her it was just her brain settling down.  Or just her imagination.  Or just the cats running down the hall.  And, it probably is one of these things.  Right?

Two nights ago, I hear her starting to talk really fast in her sleep.  I ducked my head in, only to find her sitting bold upright in her bed, eyes wide open, staring at the corner of her room, unaware of my presence.  Thoughts of The Exorcist danced in my head.  Egads. She laid her sweet head back down on her pillow and continued sleeping.  There were LOADs of thumps that night.  Thumper was hosting some sort of ghostly dance party. Probably listening to some old school Madonna.   She woke us up four times, screaming.

My husband told me that she had explained what she was feeling to him.  She told him, “I hear footsteps coming towards me, and then they’re on my bed.  Last night I opened my eyes and saw a glowing person in my room.”  Ummm.  Hello?  Who knows. She said it rather casually, not like she was looking to freak him out.  And, she didn’t sound scared. But things like that just don’t sound scary when the sun is shining, do they?

So, it looks like this bubble inhabiting mama is going to have to pull out her hippie bag of tricks and do some more work.  I once was a fan of scary movies.  Ghost stories.  Johnny Depp (oh, I still am).   I’m sure the spooky things don’t want to hurt us.  But c’mon Thumper – first get permission before haphazarldly holding a rave in my daughter’s room. Since you weren’t invited, here comes the smudge stick, baby!  Our neighbor’s don’t recycle.  Maybe you could go over there, instead.

Sexy Little Beast

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When I was a new mom I felt as many new moms feel.  Full of love and unabashed adoration for my wee baby?  Maybe.  But mostly TIRED!  People ask me questions about when she first talked, or the terrible-two tantrums, and to be honest… I just don’t remember.  I wasn’t sleeping because my baby was channeling a coked up stock broker. She never slept.  She wasn’t terribly grumpy (I think, although maybe I am making that up since I don’t really remember).  She just wasn’t a sleeper.

Early on in this new phase of life, where I first learned that “bags” are like a scar – they will never leave my face, I started doing things in my sleep (besides the obvious dreaming thing).  I walked, I talked, I high kicked the wall (I was one of  Charlie’s Angels in that dream) – rebreaking my big toe YET again!  I even carried my pug down the hall one night, with the intention of putting him into my daughter’s crib.  He was my daughter, in my warped semi-conscious state.  It wasn’t until I was outside her door that he squirmed and I woke up, confused, with a googly eyed pug cradled in my arms, looking at me suspiciously.  During the day light hours, I wore my clogs to the gym, I left my coffee on the roof of my car (daily) and I forgot my daughter’s well-baby check – three times in a row!

Sometime during this 2-3 year sleep deprived phase of my life, my labrador got sick. Since I had nothing else to worry about (baby breathing?  oh okay, she’s breathing.  she’s been quiet too long.  is she alive?  oh okay, she’s breathing)… I started obsessing about my big under-the-weather doggie.   I was in bed, where I sleep with my dogs and sometimes my husband. When he can fit.  Sometimes he sleeps on the couch, because there’s more room.  I started rubbing my lab’s belly belly, kinda feeling for anything weird.  I was “palpating,” massage therapists tend to do.  As I was lightly assessing her tummy, half asleep, in the dark, I found something.  Oh no.  “It’s a tumor.  I just know it,” said my over-analyzing, starving for sleep brain.

I continued to feel around this strange mass.  Exploring it with more wakeful intent, now. Getting more freaked out by the minute.  I reached over to turn the light on to see if my eyes would help me understand what my hands were feeling.  That they did.  Laying next to me, with a look of satifsfaction on his face, was my pug.  He was on his back.  He was not the tumor on my lab.  But, his wiener was.  He was looking at me like he needed a cigarette.  When my laughter finally woke my husband (not the lightest sleeper) he said,

“You just gave our pug a hand job?!?!”

Well, doesn’t that just figure.  Obviously my bubble was sleep deprived and in need of a hot shower that twisted evening.  Ew.