Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ode to a Sore Toe, Flower and Balloon Phobias and Last Initials, Anniversary Edition

"Oh, oh, my toe.
I stubbed my toe.
Now I cannot go.
I am full of woe.
Oh . . . OH . . . my toe."

A childhood classmate wrote that poem. No, we were not in elementary school at the time. We may have even been in high school. We were mid-poetry unit, and he was, if memory serves, attempting to simultaneously rattle the teacher and make the rest of us laugh by . . . well, writing like a fourth grader.

I vaguely recollect him reading it, quite dramatically, with a little bow and a flourish at the end, and a little "Thank you, good night!" action.

Like all of the good bits, that one has stayed with me.

Woke up yesterday morning, picked at what I thought was a flake of toenail polish, and - WHOOPS - that would be my TOENAIL, separating from the left margin, just a couple of hairs above the cuticle. And that would be some BLOOD bubbling up underneath. I CAREFULLY clipped the top of the nail to minimize the possibility of catching it on anything, and then I wrapped it with a plethora o' Band-aids: one going around, another one going over the top, then another one going around for good measure. My runner friends inform me that I did the right thing and that one of three things will happen: (1) the sucker will fall off; (2) I will successfully keep the thing half attached until it grows out to the point that I can cut it; or (3) it may even readhere. Pulling for (3), because it sounds like the best of all possible worlds, plus that would just be ridiculously cool and superheroine-like - healing myself with my crazy "Amazon healing factor" and all that.

The fact that my foot was kind of sore, coupled with the fact that our babysitting arrangements for the evening never solidified, altered the course of our fourteenth wedding anniversary celebration yesterday. We did an extended lunch instead of dinner, and due to the metric ton of sushi consumed at said lunch, we spent the evening bemoaning our overfull stomachs and watching stuff saved on our DVR. Metric ton of sushi included a Marry Me Roll, which we thought was entirely too appropriate. Gifts were not exchanged, in light of the fact that the official "traditional anniversary gift" for number 14 is a "brown leather couch," and we just bought one of those. (If that's not the official 14th anniversary gift, don't tell us, and, also, dang it, it ought to be.) Likewise, we already covered the "contemporary 14th anniversary gift" ("set of drill bits necessary to install curtain hardware") a couple of weeks ago.

So, we're good.

My sweet spouse did not send me flowers, in recognition of my weird situational aversion to floral gifts. (Let's initially capitalize that - I have a Weird Situational Aversion to Floral Gifts.) I don't particularly like getting floral arrangements in recognition of memorable occasions, because inevitably they wilt and rot, which depresses me. (I prefer to be surrounded by live flowers, which my husband will tell you also tend to wilt and rot under my care, but at least they had a - theoretical - fighting shot, and their metaphorical blood is on my hands, not on those of someone who professes to love me and demonstrates to me the timelessness of that love . . . by giving me something with a built-in expiration date.)

The reason that we refer to this as my Weird Situational Aversion to Floral Gifts is that:

1. I have no problem with casual floral gifts, as in, "thanks for hosting, here's a bouquet," because the flowers are not intended to represent something timeless or enduring but rather represent happiness in the moment or an assist with the event itself - like bringing a bottle of wine to dinner or a covered dish to a potluck. Social utility wins big points with me.

2. I have no problem with inherited flowers, as in, "hey, the event's over, wanna take the centerpiece?" The flowers were doomed to die, anyway. I'm just bringing meaning to their final hours - like a botanical Make a Wish program.

3. I have no problem with flowers that I, myself, purchase. In fact, I buy them quite frequently.

My Weird Situational Aversion to Floral Gifts is completely separate and apart from my Fearful Reaction to Latex Balloon Arrangements. I am pleased to report that I am almost completely recovered from my F.R.T.L.B.A., but it was a BIIIIIIIIIIIG problem early on. Issues with Latex balloons are twofold. First, they tend to pop unexpectedly. Unexpected pops: no bueno. I had serious issues with sudden loud noises as a young child - as in, my parents had to disconnect the buzzer to the "Operation" game. Making the game rather pointless, because everyone was on the honor system re: confessing to hitting the metal sides of the openings with the tweezers. The next Christmas, I asked Santa for "the doll that I saw at Seven Elves Toy Store (Mom knows which one), a Honey Hill Bunch Clubhouse, and a game with no beep."

Even more disturbing, if Latex balloons DON'T pop, they shrivel and get all lumpy. Lumpy balloons scared the BEJEEPERS out of Kid Me. Scary clownlike dolls did it for lots of folks, but lumpy balloons lurking in my closet were my Chucky. And they did lurk in the closet, because that is where I would throw the balloons when I received them. I did not want to witness the shriveling, and - you know - "out of sight, out of mind" and all that. Inevitably, though, I would stumble across their shriveled little carcasses, and I would shriek in terror. No, it did not occur to me to have my parents pop them and dispose of them - actually, it DID occur to me, but did you read the part about sudden loud noises?

My parents would have to conduct S.W.A.T. raids on the closet, pop the balloons when I wasn't at home, and dispose of the evidence.

I actually score very low on the spectrum of autism disorders test. But thanks for asking.

So no balloons or flowers for me. Love you, honey! And I do love you. You are the icing to my cupcake, the ink to my Sharpie marker, the monogram to my throw pillow.

And speaking of monograms . . . you know that you have been married for a long time when you run across yourself in a high school or college yearbook or directory and get confused when you cannot find yourself in the “M’s.” Then you remember that, back then, you were a “D.”

After 14 years of marriage, my D days are an increasingly distant memory - and I am oh-so-proud of my M.

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