Saturday, April 25, 2009

Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts: Feel the Burn

Wednesday night, I had my hair trimmed and colored. I was generally displeased, because my usual stylist had shown me her new 'enhancements', wondered why she looked so 'exposed' and handed me off to her assistant before she went to dance class. Now, as you may know from my blog title, I have a thing about my hair. And I like how this particular lady does my hair, which is why I have followed her through three different salons and drive much further to get to her than my own logic dictates. So I did not like being handed off to her assistant--at all. Nor did I like an update on Brittney's concert, someone someone's wardrobe malfunction, celebrities dumped and others picked up. I don't really care. Yet, I got an earful as I was being worked on and my request for my hair to be styled was translated to the top layer of my hair being straightened with a flat iron and the layers beneath being neglected to a puffy semi-curl. Considering how many times she left to save her new puppy and come back to me, I thought it wise to pay and be on my way--with my curiously styled hair. To add insult to injury, she charged me as much as my regular stylist.

Thursday morning, I started styling my hair and trying to spritz, blow dry and curl it into order. I was feeling particularly clumsy as I burned the back of my fingers with the curling iron. I decided to prevent further disaster by taking of my robe so the wire wouldn't get entangled with the robe. I finally finished half my head and realized I'm running late for work. Really late. On a day that I'm scheduled to interview candidates for our Atlanta team. Then, as I tried to avoid burning my neck I dropped the stupid curling iron all together and burned myself again as it fell. On my general chestal area. As I digested what had just happened to me, I started yelling profanities in pain and sheer anger. I don't typically use bad language, which means I am not well versed and tongue tied when I legitimately need to be expressive in that way. I immediately got under cold water to prevent blistering, causing the finished side of my hair to unfinish again, but in a different way from the previously unfinished side. As I got out of the shower, still sputtering what few profanities I could string together, I started looking for my bottle of aloe. The giant, Costco bottle of aloe that I look at every single day, that was not in its regular spot, because I had removed everything for the plumbers while they tore my bathrooms apart. I stopped looking in drawers and cabinets long enough to try and remember where I had last seen it. As I walked towards M's closet where I stuffed a bunch of things, I slipped on the now wet bathroom tile and banged my already bruised knee. Normally, such a thing wouldn't happen because I have a carpet lying on the bathroom floor, but that too, had been folded and stuffed some place safe while the plumbers were doing their work earlier in the week.

I finally sat down with my half-flat, half frizzy hair; sore knee and burned flesh on the cusp of tears because I couldn't find my stupid bottle of aloe. For some reason I thought it would cheer me up to quote Richard III. "ALOE! Aloe! My nation of some f!@#! aloe!" As soon as the words were out, I realized I had misquoted Shakespeare. It wasn't a nation, it was a kingdom. I couldn't even quote Shakespeare. What was happening to me? As the tears started running down my face, I tried to think of calling someone who would understand. Someone accident prone and knowledgeable. But there was something just so ridiculous about my situation that I couldn't call anyone. Questions would be asked, laughter would have to be stifled and I couldn't handle mockery for at least an hour or two.

I finally got up, pulled my hair into submission, covered my burned flesh with a high collared shirt and left for work.

I sucked at the interview and wanted to apologize to the poor candidate for my tone. I wanted to explain why I sounded so distracted and in pain, but was pretty sure that would be considered TMI and possibly sexual harassment.

Somehow, I made it to the end of the day. M couldn't make sense of what had happened or how I had managed to hurt myself as much as I did in such a short time.

I need to learn to some new words. I'm sure it would have been much better if I had a stronger vocabulary. I also need to buy some more f@#! #$@aloe.

Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts

I have been wanting to write lately, but frankly have found it difficult with the many things that have been going on in my life and around me. Many of them are just daily annoyances; insignificant, absurd and tedious--perfectly forgettable, were it not for the larger things that have been looming. For a while, I was self-censoring, not able to talk about everything that was going on. Then, I was too emotional to write about what was happening coherently. Now, as somethings are resolving themselves and falling into place, I am beginning to see what the problem was: death by paper cuts (and occasionally cardboard). The reason that it freaked me out as much as it has (in addition to the frequency), is that Spring is the beginning for me. Things are supposed to recalibrate and renew. The only things that have been renewing this Spring are things that don't bode well for the future or set a good tone for the rest of the year. That has overwhelmed me and dragged me down more than the events themselves.

And so a new theme is born. Each time I want to write about my misadventures or whine about things that I know are insignificant--even by my melodramatic standards--I'll post them under the title above. At least you'll know what's coming.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Am I Evil? Perhaps

My parents have been visiting us over two trips; a few days at a time. The first trip provided some interesting moments and revelations, including the very real possibility that I'm a slightly wicked child after all.

M started running around the same time that I would trot over to the park by our house. By the time I joined TNT last year, he had joined the Tri(athlon) Club and was occasionally participating in local runs and bike rides. He has often said that he started running because I started, which flatters me to no end. Today, he runs and bikes much more regularly than I have since last October.

When he came home a couple of weeks ago (the first time my parents were here) he was still in his running clothes, sweaty and flushed from his 6 mile run. My parents started oohing and ahhing over how much more fit he looked and how impressive that it was that he was becoming so active. My dad couldn't stop admiring his will power and committment. My mom kept whispering to me how much better he looked. I kept smiling, because I know my parents and knew exactly what would be coming after all this admiration. I almost had a little countdown going.

To their credit, they both held out much longer than I thought they would. On the afternoon of their second day here (less than 24 hours), they asked if I ever went running with M. "No, he's asked me, but I don't like being left behind so I don't go at all." Now, this may have been a good time to say, "No, I ran with my Team In Training group until October, when I went to semi-retirement because of my injuries." But that would have opened a whole new can of worms, explaining the fact that I hid a half marathon and one of my proudest accomplishments for so long. So I let it be. Later than night, my dad started another conversation with M, asking if he would go to Phoenix and train my brother to run. (My brother who played rugby for a few years until he injured his knee, etc. who still managed to train until he could barely stand).

"You should also take GWCH with you."

Looking at me, "Of course, running may be too much for you right now" (slowly evaluating my figure with a little sadness) "Maybe you can walk around the block a little bit, then work your way up to walking to the park..." (the park is about 3/4 of a mile from our place) "You just need to get started and maybe one day you can run, too. With a better diet, you can probably lose some weight while you're at it!" He said this with the optimism of a man who hasn't given up on his child yet, a man who is still waiting for a miracle that will provide him with stories to take home of his daughter getting up and finding her legs.

M slowly said, "I started running because of GWCH. I didn't used to run, even when my co-workers kept encouraging me to. She inspired me." (Again, big brownie points to a man who can defend and compliment me at the same time).

"Well, that was back when she was in college. I don't know if she actually ran then, probably just walked to the library and said she was running."

M opened his mouth to say he was referring to my training and the half marathon that I ran last year. I stopped him with a calm look and a smile stolen from the Cheshire cat. My running was officially my secret. You see,
in the past, this conversation would reduce me to tears. I would be angry that my parents didn't think I was acceptable in some way; or the fact that they would talk about my fixing/improving myself as if I wasn't even there. I would probably even be a little angry at M for accidentally providing an opportunity for them to criticize me. But this time things were different. I am officially too old to care that I don't fit into the image of how great I could be. I have come a tiny step closer to accepting myself, flaws, pounds and all. I also have a secret that I kind of enjoy keeping. There is no need to defend myself, now that I know what I can do. I can just sit back and nod in agreement when they say it would be good if I could be motivated enough to wake up early and walk around the block. I may be a little evil to get such (perverse) joy withholding information like this from my parents, but I can't help it.