Andersen Family – April 2015 photo courtesy of Still Memories photography
Vomiting at a finish line isn’t exactly unheard of. In fact, spectacular displays of bodily fluids are half the fun of watching sports! (Is it just me or is Paula Radcliffe’s popping a squat to drop a load still one of the best sports photography moments ever? Or maybe I’m just gross. Whatever.) Usually it means you’ve pushed yourself to your very limit, pumping out every last bit of effort (and breakfast). But when I “left it all on the field” – technically a parking lot outside my gym – a few months ago, I felt neither proud nor accomplished. I didn’t even have the energy to laugh at myself, which is usually the last respite for people puking on their own running shoes. All I felt was awful. That, and crushing chest pain.
I drove myself home, collapsed on the couch, and when I finally had enough energy to pick up my phone, called my doctor. He told me to come in right away.
Women ovulate. Sometimes we do it while walking down the street, during meetings, talking on the phone and even while we sleep. Oh hi mom! I’m good. You? Oh nothing much, just sitting here spontaneously popping out an egg and thinking fondly of you! In fact some of us are probably doing it rightthisverysecond and you wouldn’t even know it! Heck, we might not even know it! Just part of the magic of having lady bits. But some of us know exactly when the egglet is expelled because we do it while doubled over in pain. And up until this month I could only sympathize with that group of ladies.
I’ve always had wicked PMS – cramps, bloating, zits and, my favorite, the everybody-hates-me’s – but my actual eggsplosion has always occurred unnoticed. Occasionally I’d have some jealousy when my friends complained of having mittelschmerz but that was mostly just because they got to use “mittelschmerz” in a sentence. (Seriously, say it! Say it again! SO FUN.) Being able to detect one’s own egg-letting seemed like a cool party trick but I can already pick my nose with my tongue so I was covered on that front.
Bounding into my room this morning at still-too-early-o’thirty (official Kid Standard Time), Jelly Bean threw herself across my slumbering back and did a perfect imitation of wee Princess Anna in Frozen, proclaiming, “The sky’s awake! So I am awake! So we have to play!”
My crabbiness was overcome by her cuteness and I cracked a smile. But when I say “cracked” I literally mean cracked. As in something by my lip snapped. And it hurt! I stopped smiling as quickly as a Sharpei at a Botox party. I ran to the mirror and was greeted by my old nemesis – my Bermuda Zit, so named because it sits in that unholy triangle of my lip, chin and cheek. Believe you me, if Amelia Earhart had crashed her plane into my Bermuda Triangle we would have found her before she got her socks wet because any little thing that touches that area of my face immediately prompts a skin eruption that make signal flares look like cocktail poppers.
Emma Thompson at the Golden Globes proves I’m not the only chica to start out in some fierce heels only to regret them when it’s too late to change! She even said they were “stained with her blood”! Emma will you be my bestie?
Pride goeth before the fall – and never is that more true than when it comes to wearing high heels. For years I’ve prided myself on my ability to walk well in heels. I’d giggle when the new girls on America’s Next Top Model would admit they’d never worn heels and then would totter around like Bambi on ice. (Did I just admit to watching that show? Yes, yes I did. I love Bambi.) Also, I have this weird complex where I think I’m taller than I really am so add that to my love of pretty sparkly things and you’ll see how I have ended up with a very large collection of very high heels.
“Oh, it hurts.”
At first read you might imagine the woman – a stranger in all senses – grasping her chest (or arm or foot), wincing at the embarrassment of Pain in Public.
On second read you might imagine the woman saying it in dismay, as if she were the cause of the pain.
On third read you might imagine it as a question.
You might even imagine her saying it with a Gollum-esque inflection, making me the “it” and the hurt a surprise. (Which gives me a perverse giggle every time I picture it. Oh, it hurtsssss itself doessss it? The world needs more Tolkein, always.)
But no matter how many times you read it, sounding out the the three words in your head, you would be wrong because words simply do not do justice to her voice. Punctuation and black-and-white and spellcheck only take away from the startling sentence, erupting like a flock of birds taking wing. But only to the next wire. Not really gone.