Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weddings and Showers and Websites, Oh My...

I got married over 17 years ago. I had a bridal shower, it was lovely. I had my son 16 (almost) years ago. I had a baby shower that I really don't remember since he arrived early and was 6 days old when the shower happened. I know I was miserable and tired and scared and the last thing I wanted to do was put on a dress and be cheerful. But I survived, we all do.

I am grateful to have all of that behind me, although I do believe you should get a bonus shower on your 20th anniversary, a shower that you receive new sheets, towels and wine glasses for the worn out and broken ones you have had for 20 years. These days, I am surrounded by young people who are marrying and birthing and it seems that every month an invitation arrives for yet another function. Sometimes I am genuinely thrilled to attend these events and look for the perfect gift designed to delight and surprise the Bride to Be/Mom to Be. Other times, not so much.

Based on the events of the last few years, I have designed a guide for those struggling to combine and add to their lives with the addition of a spouse or baby. We'll call them:

Kim's Subtle Suggestions for Weddings and Showers

1. Do you know my preferred alcoholic beverage? Do you know my kid's names? If not, you have not spent enough time with me to invite me to your shower. So please don't.

2. Kindly do not instruct me what to buy you. Also, please refrain from suggesting that I bring an additional gift of a box of diapers to "help the new mommy with expenses". Seriously? Skip registering for the butt wipe warmer and Brainy Einstein vids and buy your own diapers. We all did. If I like you enough to come to your shower I will be working hard to pick the perfect gift for you. That said, I will add that I believe butt wipe warmers are the root of the spoiled, sissy children who will someday be running our fair planet. Teach them young that sometimes things are cold, wet and necessary, and thus must be sucked up. Please.

3. Don't be offended if I don't sign your Wedding Website guest list. I probably never viewed it. If I know you well enough to attend, I have already seen the pictures and know the stories. I don't get the hoopla over a wedding website. But then I don't get the hubbub about letting everyone know your every move via Twitter, either. There's a lot to be said for intimacy in relationships, and you won't find it on the internet. Unless it involves the letters XXX.

4. I know a person who collects "Save the Date" magnets. You know, the ones with the tasteful engagement picture on them? Anyhoo, after the Save the Date Couple's marriage tanks he draws a black bar over their eyes. Genius.

5. Re: the above. I do appreciate Save the Date magnets. If I like you well enough to attend I can get the day off. If I don't, I can schedule myself to work. Thoughtful and practical. Thanks!

6. If you find yourself considering the pre-printed thank you notes, I am done with you. Just done. Put a pen to paper and say something, anything, or I will be compelled report you to Miss Manner's hit list. When I see the girl who sent us a pre-printed thank you for the wedding my husband attended alone,  all I can think of is: "there goes Loser Classless Pre-printed Redneck Thank You Card Girl".

Along the same line - DO NOT ask me to address my own thank you card. For Christ sakes, I bought you a gift. Do a little legwork on your own. I will leave my envelope blank and proclaim to all who will listen that you neglected to send me a thank you card. Try me.

OK - done now. Had to get these off my lobe and onto the screen. I will probably never get invited to anything again. But please, do join me for my sheet- towel-new wine glass shower in 2 years, OK? And bring a bottle of dry red to help the old mommy with her liver failure. Save the date!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

She fell...

When you are a little kid, falling is a weekly, if not daily (if not hourly, for my daughter) occurrence. But when you are old, falling is an event. As in: Did you hear about Kim? She had A Fall!

Walking my daughter's friend home in February, I fell. And with that fall, I crossed the threshold into old-ladydom. I slipped on some ice in front of the lovely foreclosure home a few houses down and I slammed into the ground at warp speed. I had my hands in my pockets and Lily's collar around my wrist. Lily is a dog that walks, at best, 2 miles an hour, so I am not one of those people getting pulled along like a damn fool by their dog. How is that even fun? Apologies; I digress.

So, hands in pocket, nothing to brace my fall, I am going down. And fast. I live in fear of my teeth being knocked out so I had the good sense to turn my head to the right. In doing that, my body turned that way as well and my left shoulder, hip and knee greeted the sidewalk.

I lay there in the cold, silently triaging myself. Can I move my neck? Yes. Flex my wrist? Yep. Arm? O.K.

Casey's friend Sara, who tops out at 40 pounds is holding her hand out, offering to help me up. I have a visual of Sara flying through the air as she attempts to help my injured ass off the ground so I refuse. Sara contents herself to chase Lily, who has made it about four sidewalk squares down. Meanwhile, I triage some more.

Ankle? So far so good. Knee - ouch, sore but mobile. The moment of truth arrives. I try to get up. Seriously intense pain rips through my hip. I am stuck on my hands and knees on my street. I am grateful for the foreclosed house, if only because there is no porch light on to illuminate my pathetic form. I move at the speed of Lily, slooooowly getting on two feet. I make the old person noise. My hip and shoulder begin to throb in unison. I am The Old Person That Fell. This was An Event.

I manage to get Sara the rest of the way home and make my way back the ten or so houses to my own. On the way I ponder how injured I really am. Any emergency room nurse will tell you that they need to be near death to seek treatment at their place of employment. I am no different.

Lily and I make our way into the house and discuss My Fall with Bill and Travis. They make the proper sympathetic inquiries and offer their help, but they don't really understand that I am dealing with two things - one physical and one mental. The physical, simple enough. 800mg Motrin, ice, wrap my knee. Move to vicodin when that doesn't work.

The remaining part is harder to wrap my brain around. I have evolved from the "bounce back from a fall young adult" to "the elderly fall victim". I know, 44 is not elderly, but damn! I still hurt and it's been 6 weeks! I limp when I am tired and my hip aches all the time. When I get to eight weeks of hip pain I will see someone about it. Because I am scared. And I have to get a mammogram soon and I can only handle one painful thing at a time. It effects my workouts and my regular work and my housework and my ability to lie on the floor and hug my dog and I am starting to get angry. Soon I will be a bitter, crabby old lady who falls. Pray for me friends. Light a candle for my acetabulum.