The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘self conscious’ Category

Part deux 

After my last medical visit a la the ultrasound from hell, I wanted to know when I’d find out what was going on in my “downstairs area”. 
Me:  How long will it take to get the results?
Them:  at least a couple of days.  Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of time for worrying.
Me:  (heart hammering in chest) Ok.
It didn’t take a couple of days to get the results.  The phone rang the very next day, less than 24 hours after the ultrasound, while I was lost in Naperville trying desperately to find Edwards Hospital, so that I could make it on time for my mother’s gall bladder surgery. 
It’s never good when they don’t waste any time calling you with the results. 
I listened to the results with half an ear while On Starring and Bluetoothing, watching desperately for street signs, looking for my turn, catching various words here and there out of the speakers.  Abnormal.  Hyperplasia.  Polyp.  Cyst.  And my absolute favorite, Biopsy.
I’m sure you’re all wondering how serious this really was.  And the answer is:  It was very serious because I was really, really lost.  When I finally found the hospital, I told all this to the valet parker boy, who actually yawned when I told him what an adventure finding the hospital was.  Your tip is going to suck, buddy.
Three hours I waited with my sister and stepdad for Mom’s surgery/recovery time.  Three hours is quite a bit of time to freak out reflect on the doctor’s choice of words.   
The hospital aide came out to tell us that Mom wanted coffee, and she wanted my stepdad to make it because he knew how she liked it prepared.  We all knew then that mom was recovering just fine. **
My biopsy was schedule for two weeks from that day.  Two weeks have never gone slower. 

Biopsy day

Two weeks have never gone faster, and before I knew it, the nurse called me to take two ibuprofen before the procedure, because I’d get a little crampy.  That day, I learned something vitally important.  What you think is crampy and what I think is crampy are two vastly different things.  The nurse on the phone advised me to take two ibuprofen before the procedure.  The nurse I actually saw that day in the room of horrors procedure room felt bad that I didn’t have the afternoon off, even though I sit down at my job. 
Of course, I took my cue from her facial expression, (pity mixed with compassion and a side order of sympathy) stiffened up, and unfortunately stayed tense the entire time, making it even far more difficult for the doctor and far more painful for me.
Doctor:  Relax! 
Me:  I’m trying!  (I am not trying.  I’m not relaxed at all, and I don’t know how anyone could be.)
I had the biopsy.  Here’s what I think they used… 

There were many more sharp things sticking out of the tool they used on me.

…but it felt much larger. 
Me and my new friend Cramps went back to work that day for a couple of painful hours, then went home and curled up on the couch where I would spend the rest of the night milking this for every single second I could. 
It worked.  I got pizza that night.  And a nap.
They told me I’d get my results back within a couple of days.  I selfishly hoped that I wouldn’t get them back on my birthday, so I could sail through my 46th birthday blissfully ignorant of anything biopsy-related.  They granted that wish and called me the day after.
This time it was with a good word:  benign.  It even sounds nice in your mouth.  Say it with me:  Beeeenine.
Despite the pleasant tastiness of that word, I have to go back and be poked, prodded and ultra sounded one more time, and then my doctor will make a decision on what to do with my whiny self at that point.  Obviously, the female issues are being caused by something and they’d like to find my tolerance for pain figure out what it is. 
I’d like for them to figure out what it is too.  There are some *cough activities cough* that we’d I’d like to resume.  While I’m still young.
***My mom:  recovering nicely.  Her surgery that day was at 10:45 a.m.  She was home drinking coffee at her kitchen table by 3:30 p.m. looking for all the world like we just popped in for a visit.  It was amazing and we’re all glad she’s ok.

Get it?  Get it?  Red box???

Ok, first, it would behoove you to go online at home and reserve the movies you want first, before ever going to the Redbox kiosk.  One and done.  The only thing you have to do when you actually get to the Redbox dispenser is swipe and wait.  Swipe and wait, people, swipe and wait.  Much easier.
If you are still in the dark ages and don’t own a computer, or you just happen to be out and about and decide to pick up a movie on the way home, let’s be a little more considerate.  See below.
a)      Are your hands clean?  The Redboxes are a public use item, which means who knows what cultures might be growing on the kiosk screen.  I don’t want to use the screen after you’ve been eating Cheetos, or some big greasy hamburger, or mining for green gold, or trying to pick the apple you had for lunch out of your teeth. 
b)      The places of business putting out these kiosks also should make antibacterial wipes available just like they do next to the grocery carts.  Why?  See above.
c)      Place your phone calls before you lean on the box, head under the screen, and start cruising for a movie.  Do not call home three different times trying to get a popular consensus on what you should get, you flipping moron.  More importantly, do not call someone and leave a message, then linger in front of the screen waiting for a callback.  You’re a big boy and it’s only a dollar.  Live dangerously.
d)     Please, for the love of all that’s holy, read the trailer information for movies some other time, like at home while you’re choosing your movies beforehand.  I was once behind a man who read the synopsis of at least 16 different movies to his phone friend.  I was just trying to return one movie before the 9 o’clock deadline.  He ended up not renting anything.  And I had to pay extra because of his obnoxiousness.  My printout receipt showed 9:01 pm.      
e)      Speaking of deadlines, try to avoid the 8:55 pm rush.  It’s not pretty.  Whoever lost the fight has to return the movie, and obviously the clothing choices reflect that.  People, please remember that you will be seen returning the movie, oh Unshowered One.  Wearing orange piggy flannel pajama bottoms and a red Wisconsin sweatshirt while rocking striped spa socks…I am judging you, and I am not alone.  That schnit doesn’t fly.  You’re making Walmartians look like fashion icons. 
f)       If for some unusual reason I have to stand at the kiosk and choose instead of having reserved my movies at home like I normally would, don’t you dare stand too closely behind me.  It does not make me go faster.  It skeeves me out and gives me butterfingers, causing my fingers to slip because it makes me nervous…
g)      …and threatened.  If I feel threatened, it could also force me to break out my professional ninja moves and karate chop your solar plexus.  It’s very possible that I could miss and deliver a massive blow to your junk, making you miss YOUR 9:00 pm deadline.  Oops.  Just stay the hell back.  You’ll get your turn.
Easy enough, right?  You would think.  So many people, however, observe no Redbox etiquette whatsoever.   I’m merely here to gently guide them.
Enjoy your movie.

*thanks, Jenny-Wren, for your input…

Sometimes, toning up the ol’ bod might find you in some weird situations.  Like getting caught by the pizza guy out in the garage jumping rope.  (true story.) Falling down five or six times in the Peace Lutheran Church parking lot while rollerblading (true story, possible concussion, kids had to help me up.)  Forgetting the steps at Zumba class.  (big fat lie.  I’ve never done that.)

One thing I have done in the past (until quite recently, actually) to work on toning and fitness was to take belly dancing lessons.  I took lessons for a while when I was about 15; quite enjoyable.  Plus, I got a coin belt and zils (finger cymbals).  Not too many other 15 year old girls had those. 

Now that I think of it, they were probably busy with actual friends and fun plans because they weren’t complete teenage disasters who took belly dancing lessons.

Socially backward = me at 15.

We needed music to listen to and practice with at home, and a friendly (read:  creepy) sales guy at Recordland rang up my purchase of a belly dancing album, winking at me lasciviously the entire time.  (uh, I’m 15, dude.)
uh…this is SO not me.*
We took lessons until the teacher said that our class (consisting of me and my mom) had gone as far as she could take us, and that the next step would be to perform in front of judges and we’d get a certificate. 

Belly dance?  In front of people?  Are you frigging kidding me?    

A few years passed, but I still remembered how to do the “camel walk” and after the birth of three children ten years later, it sort of turned into an actual “camel walk.”  I needed a little more walk and a lot less camel.    

The next attempt at belly dancing for fitness was a class my sisters and I took at Joliet Junior College.  We drove to the campus, full of dreams of how we’d soon be snake-arming and shimmying with the best of them.  

Arriving at class, there was a woman sitting on the floor with her back to us, long dark hair, tanned, fit and toned.  Ah, we told ourselves, this must be our teacher.  Well, what an inspiration to take lessons from her, with herself being all skinny and cute and stuff.

But wait…then the real teacher walked in.  She was approximately 75 years old and had brutally dyed dark hair.  Nice enough lady, to be sure, but our dreams of following around our skinny, tanned hip-shaking inspiration were dashed and replaced by a pale, frail brunette of advanced years who confided somewhat naughtily that sometimes she danced for her husband. 

Someone had the audacity to ask her for an example, and she shot back that it was private. To her credit, despite the unbelievably audacious question, she never broke stride while leading us in a large, jerky sashaying circle while working her blue-lined, spaghetti-like limbs high in the air demonstrating.  Like this, she’d say.  Like picking cherries. 

It’s an arm movement, supposedly sinuous and sexy.  I just looked like I was actually picking cherries or replacing a light bulb.  Or being chased by real snakes.

Worse, the classes took place in the cafeteria of the JJC campus.  The doors were closed, so other students couldn’t get in while the classes were going on.  However, this did not deter them from pressing nosy-noses against the glass to snort gleefully at the thirty or so women parading in a big circle, somewhat like a sad cattle drive, practicing arm movements that we would only use later in life for grabbing a bag from the drive through at McDonalds.

To add insult to injury, we found out that our entire dance class was on security camera, which was playing on a TV outside the cafeteria for the growing crowd’s viewing pleasure.  Our mortification was complete.

We didn’t go back.

Moving to Rockford several years later, I figured that I could start over with a new class and a new teacher.  I did.  I attended faithfully and omi’d the best I could, but what she considered “constructive criticism” I perceived as “picking on.”  (maybe, maybe not.  Also, I found out that she had danced for my husband many years ago at his birthday party when he turned 30 and I was all like, “oh-no-you-di’int, he’s mine, beeyotch” and stopped attending.)

I’m cool and confident like that.

I found a wonderful new teacher.  Her class times worked well with work schedules, her gentle but effective instruction was pleasing and confidence-building, and she truly encouraged students.  Plus, she was about 40 years younger, all fit and toned.  She knew what the hell she was doing and did it well.

However, sadly, I am a hell of a lot older than 15 now.  Joints that once moved fluidly now feel like they’re filled with broken glass, especially after a long day at work.  Shimmying, hip drops, snake arms…the day after a class, I would have to painfully crawl down the hall toward the copier.  All the cool coin belts and zils in the world can’t make up for actually being able to lift my thigh and operate the clutch on my stick shift without excruciating pain.  I have reluctantly put classes on hiatus.

For now, I’m making do with plodding on the treadmill.  However, belly dancing is always there, lurking and swaying seductively in the background.  Perhaps I’ll practice and bide my time until I have my sweet moves down pat.  Then I’ll show you.

Look out, YouTube.

(Beautiful Belly Dancer In Rich Costume by photostock,
Someone at my work (identity will remain a mystery) bought up an interesting point recently.  He came back to the office after a trip to Cost Cutters and said the entire time, all he could think about was how fat his chin looked.
How sad.  When you go get a haircut, you should be able to enjoy the feel of the hairdresser washing your hair, massaging your scalp, combing your hair out and the gentle tickle of her running your hair through her fingers as she lines up her next length of hair to trim. 
But is my coworker the only one who feels that way?  Unfortunately, no.   When most people get their hair cut, they’re forced to stare at the mirror for approximately 15 minutes, during which time you’ve got your hair plastered to your scalp.  Instead of enjoying the feeling, though, and relaxing, you’re sitting there self consciously watching yourself talk and laugh. (Does my mouth really move like that?  All the time?   Cripes, when I smile, I look like I don’t have eyes!  Oh My God, how many chins do I have?  That’s it, I’m never smiling again.)  Also, you’re watching the underarm jiggle of the Cost Cutter hairstylist.  But the whole time you’re staring into the mirror, you’re a little uncomfortable.  And mentally cutting down your calories for the next month to approximately 1000 a day.  Mmmm….yes, that IS relaxing. 
It wasn’t always that way, though.  It’s a learned behavior.  Think of it this way.  When a baby looks into the mirror, the baby doesn’t sit there and think, man, kid, you gotta lay off the strained bananas, YOU are getting CHUNKY.  How many bottles are you up to a day, anyway?
No.  The baby points at the mirror and says, look at the PRETTY BABY.   Complete acceptance there, not name calling.
My oldest just got his hair cut.  He also is growing what we normal people would call sideburns but what his homies would call “chin straps.”  Those “chin straps” were trimmed as well, and now he looks like a pretty clean cut dude.
My husband gets haircuts on a regular basis.  I don’t think his hair has ever been over ½” since I’ve known him.  I asked him jokingly once if he would like to grow his hair out like a hippie, and he told me that his hair doesn’t grow DOWN, it grows two ways…CURLY and UP.  Always.  Just higher, and higher, and higher.  So he would NEVER look like a hippie but more like the Bride of Frankenstein.  Or Marge Simpson.
Oh, Homie.

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!