A little more on my relationship with August.
(originally published August 5, 2009)
So I’ve been thinking a lot about my body lately- and honestly, I KNOW that you’re just as tired of reading that as I am of writing it, but, oh well, that’s what’s up for me these days.
I am especially thinking about my body after last night, when my husband and I were eating pizza and bread sticks from Pizza Hut. As I was preparing to divide up the “dipping sauce”, my husband said, “Oh, you can have all of it,” and my body apparently decided to celebrate this generosity by causing me to dump half the container all over the fingers of my left hand, and, HOLY MOTHER is that stuff hot. I don’t have a history of burning myself (although I did once staple my own thumb on purpose, just out of curiosity to see what it felt like, which is really neither here nor there, but this is probably the best opportunity I will ever have to work it in in even a remotely tangential way to any story), and so this might have been the first burn I ever received in my 36 years, but from somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind I remembered hearing something about putting butter on burns.
But thank goodness for Google, which I checked before I did anything, because apparently putting butter on burns is only The Worst Thing You Could Possibly Do, and Google was all, “Um, hi-welcome to the 21st century,” and I was like, “Wow-so this is what modern health care looks like!”
I feel like I’m coming out of some weird alternate universe after these past 2 years of being sick, which means I’m having to become reacquainted with my body. I don’t really know what to expect, and I also don’t really know what it can or can’t do yet. I do, however, know that the one place I am not going to for help with this situation is any kind of medical, health, or nutritional “authority”. Because all of those people so obviously go out and smoke a gigantic bowl of crack before they come back and make their “official” proclamations, which we are all then supposed to unquestioningly follow. Here’s a perfect example of what I mean.
You know that whole stupid chart doctors pull out that supposedly tell you what weight you should be according to your height? Well back when I was in high school (’86-’90) it said that a woman who was 5 ft. tall should ideally weigh 100 lbs. And then for every inch of height after that, you would add 5 lbs. So according to this plan I, as a 5’2â€³ female, should weigh only 110 pounds. Which will clearly only happen in the event that I suddenly become a refugee or a prisoner-of-war. Apparently the people (most likely MALE people) who compiled this chart were unaware of the fact that women are actually 3-dimensional beings.
Now we do have a friend who is only 5 ft. tall, and probably does weigh only 100 lbs., but she is definitelythe exception rather than the rule, and I’m pretty sure that’s because she was constructed using only the bones of one tiny sparrow and a few golden clouds. She is very tiny and very cute-like a miniature doll you might want to pick up and keep in your pocket. And as a matter of fact she frequently has random strange men come up to her and tell her this very thing. That is, of course, the very last thing they say, right before she kills them and feeds their bodies to sharks. Which they clearly deserve because, seriously-that’s just creepy.
Of course, if I really want to feel badly about myself, I need look no further than my grandmother, who, when in college, was featured as one of LOOK Magazine’s “Most Beautiful College Girls of 1941â€³. (And while we’re on the subject her husband, my grandfather,was a Double Ace in World War II, a well-known criminal attorney, and once tried a case in front of the Supreme Court.) So I guess you could say that THE BAR’S BEEN SET KIND OF HIGH IN OUR FAMILY, as far as notoriety and life achievements go. Which probably goes a long way towards explaining why it is So Very Hard for me to just rest and recover, given all these inherited genes that want to be out conquering the world. (Oh, and speaking of worlds, have I mentioned that on the other side of my family I can trace my ancestry back to the Mayflower through four separate family lines? Four separate ancestors who ACTUALLY DID go out and conquer a new world? Seriously, it is a freaking miracle that my brain has not literally exploded all over my office, which is where I spend most of my days, totally not resting.)
It’s really f*&%ing stressful that my biggest accomplishment of late is figuring out what adjustments I needed to make in my daily treatment program that would allow me to once again have normal, rather than clown-sized, hands and feet, given this whole family legacy, as well as the fact that in his current postdoc position my brother routinely solves math problems where x=The Universe and Y=The Current Vibrational Level Of Human Consciousness.
Oh well, at least I still have some things: sarcasm, crankiness, and the ability to find a way to mock just about anything. And I’m still the first person people go to for entertainment, and for sharing the wacky things they see in life. Because, as my mom says, “You are the â€˜Ass Person’ in the family.” (Truly, is there a better, more multi-purpose word in the English language than â€˜ass’? I think not.)
Ha-take that, Pilgrims!