EJ's take on entertainment and travel plus a few pointers in a fairly smart-for-old-person way

Wednesday, February 12

Bringin' back a classic

Adventures with PJ

My solo travels have taken me to 
Lexington, KY, Las Vegas, San 
Antonio, TX, Atlanta, Minneapolis,
and many other lovely places.
Sometimes you gotta admit defeat. That time hasn’t come for this old lady! I will not give up my car keys without a fight . . . or a binding court document.

Summer proved to be a series of perilous adventures as I set out to prove my competency to travel independently. ('Mom, maybe you shouldn’t drive so far by yourself.  Or Mom, maybe it’s not safe to be on your own in a big city. Or You are getting pretty old to go there by yourself'). Thanks for the support guys.

After all, I am a good driver. In my driveway. As long as I don’t have to back up very far.

Plus, I have a cane and I know how to use it . . . as a weapon (well, I've heard about it).

Somehow my presence often turns simple tasks into high drama and/or minor ‘accidents’.

Like the case of walking from the car to house,
aka as example # 1: Free Falling

  • Opened front door, musta forgot to step up, fell forward face down on hardwood floor, managed to crawl to base of stairway, tried to pull self up. Many times, (all while giggling uncontrollably), attempting—without success, not to urinate. Remember daughter trying to help asking, 'Mom, are you okay?'
  • The more I laughed the more puzzled/frustrated/concerned/impatient she became. Then the scolding. 'Mom, you need to pay more attention. Someday you’re going to get hurt and no one will be around to help you and you won't think it's so funny!' Really? Well, guess what people? I didn’t ask for help. I can find clean unders all by myself.
  • *No one was actually hurt during this event unless you count family’s embarrassment at the site of wet spots on floor. But hey, clothing and rugs can be laundered.
I can’t help it if I find soiling oneself to be funny. It’s right up there with watching people fall on the ice . . . or my son with ankle in cast slipping and falling at grocery store when crutch hit wet spot. Too funny. I still giggle just thinking of it . . .

Crutch flies into the fresh vegetables section, worker dashes over to help, son curses under his breath managing a, 'No problem, I’m okay, thanks for your help' to the employee as he stands up, takes back crutch and hops right by me as he shoots me a dirty look to get a cart.
How rude. He coulda waited for me to compose myself. That kind of belly laugh with tears streaming down face takes a minute of recovery time.


Or the biking incident known as example #2: No Brakes and Breaking Bones
  • I recall that lazy Sunday afternoon in August . . . Hauling out our new bikes, practicing in the alley before heading to the street, turning the corner and down a hill, gaining speed, gaining more speed, going way too fast, trying to apply brakes on pedal, hearing husband shout, 'the brakes are on handlebars, PJ use the brakes, use the brakes' . . . For some reason I didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t. I just remember heading for the cement curb and hoping for the best as I squeezed my eyes shut. I didn’t want to see what was gonna happen. That was before the dreaded trip to emergency room when I sounded kinda like a newly weened puppy whimpering and howling all the way there.
  • After the event of flying over the handlebars, splatting on the sidewalk, bumping my head, looking up to see husband reaching down while laughing . . . my usual calm sensitive self unraveled just a bit.
  • Maybe it was my thoughtful daughter-in-law’s comment upon hearing the news, 'OMG I wish we had it on tape. You flew over handlebars? We coulda won $10,000!' Or other supportive remarks like, 'Now I know what to get you for Christmas—training wheels! or What were YOU doing trying to ride a bike? or Way to make a fool of yourself in front of new neighbors!' or seeing my daughter shake her head while commenting, 'I’d tell you to stick to your stationary exercise bike but you’ll probably figure out a way to tip that over.' Thanks for the props everyone.
  • Or just maybe my pitiful tears related to a broken collarbone! I can’t always deliver spectacular stunts without a few injuries/broken bones.
  • After a week in a sling (dr: 'These things usually heal on their own, take these pills and you’ll be fine'), teasing from fam ('C’mon suck it up, Geez I didn’t know you were such a baby, or There’s no crying in bicycle riding') I gimped back to the clinic. Hmmm. Still broken apart.
  • Next I went under the knife, with insertion of platinum screw in shoulder, then sent from recovery to room for overnight hospital stay. I sorta recall the nurse saying, . . .'expect some painlots of poking and prodding, hard to get bone back together again.' First, I giggled thinking of Humpty Dumpty. Then I remember staring at the long hand, waiting for it to get to the 12 so I could press my trusty morphine pump. Next came sleeping and itching, and itching some more. Yet, all of it paled compared to the REAL drama about to unfold that fateful night.
  • I opened my eyes in time to get flashed by new roommate’s tattoed butt as the nurse helped her stumble into bathroom. Next, I overheard loud phone conversation with boyfriend ('I’m so strung out, you need to get tested, they put a tube in there, my vagina . . . dripping'). Lovely. Besides discovering roomie/homeless/stripper/delinquent teenager possessed nasty STD AND my pain meds she discovered on my tray, the blaring sounds of Saturday morning cartoons jolted me awake at 5AM. That was it. Time for confrontation!
  • ME: 'Could you please turn down the TV? I just had surgery and I am trying to sleep'.
  • ROOMIE: Nothing. Then TV got louder.
  • ME: thinking to self  'I should pull back curtain and kick her ass', I repeated: 'Hi there, excuse me. Don’t you think the TV is a little loud'?
  • ROOMIE: (my stinging words caused action as she flung back curtain) 'Hey stupid old hag. If I thought it was too loud I woulda turned it down! Duh'. Curtain closed again.
  • Okay then . . . well, the big hand on the clock went past the 12. Squeeze.
  • I probably scared her away cuz when I woke up the bed was empty. The nurse entered room.
  • ME: 'So, is it safe to use the same toilet seat considering roomie has STD'?
  • NURSE: 'I can’t share confidential information about another patient’s diagnosis'.
  • ME: 'Um. Well, did you know she asked me if I would give her my script for pain pills'?
  • NURSE: Sits on edge of bed like we’re old buds, leans over. 'Doesn’t surprise me. She’s been in here before. No insurance. No money. Problems with drugs and alcohol. Works across the river as a stripper, probably a hooker. Long, long list of partners'.
  • Great. So much for confidential info vs. the urge to gossip.
Anyway, sure I’ve experienced a few setbacks. Most people are not perfect. All of us slow down a bit as we age. Okay, maybe not as slow as hitting the ball all the way to the left field fence and still getting thrown out at first slow but then I was never known for my speed on the bases.

Sure, a few embarrassing moments happened to me. Maybe every teacher doesn’t leave the restroom with her skirt tucked in to the back of her panty hose revealing a bulgy backside to the world (twice at two different schools) but it does happen.

Maybe every single mom doesn’t empty contents of large purse at checkout in search of checkbook to discover a dirty fork stabbed into a half-eaten moldy dill pickle.

Maybe every mother doesn’t have the ninja thinking skills to implement a quick kick to the object when her two-year-old’s hard ball of warm poop drops to the cold tiled floor in the center aisle of the packed clinic. But, it pretty much worked. Rolled under a chair.
I planned to rescue the lonely poo to flush it after we saw the doctor only to find it missing. Hey, that was back in the day of droopy cloth diapers way before the fancy disposables.
Everybody poops. Ask Forest Gump. It happens.

As usual, I ramble. Back to the summer of two aught aught and eleven. But now it is three in the morning. Must close eyes and tell those tales another time.