Monthly Archives: February 2016

A word about a body’s shape…

When I was in the fifth grade, the school systems were still doing public measuring and weighing. I suppose they did it other years too, but I remember fifth grade, because I stepped on the scale, the dial spun around, and it was official! I weighed 105 pounds and the people doing the measuring identified me as the heaviest student in the class.

Before that, I didn’t think about body shape or size and after that, I spent a lot of time wishing I could be the size of the smallest girl in my class. It wasn’t until a long time after that when I finally realized that the smallest girl in my class, wished her body was bigger and stronger.

I was raised in an era when body shaming was done to make us strive for a more healthy body. “You shouldn’t eat so many potatoes, you will end up with a larger waistline.” I still remember the gym teacher who told me that at lunch one day. I still have to resist the urge to take my potatoes to the closet and eat them in the dark.

For years, I dieted and ate and dieted and ate, and dieted and ate. After it all, I ended up with the body I was going to have anyway…the body all the women in my family seem to attain. And in the end, I finally realized I am okay with that.

I don’t think that body shaming is going anyplace very soon, though. Any day you are on the Internet you can see “25 celebrity body blunders.” Or, even better would be, “Analyze your body shape to learn to disguise your body flaws.”

I applaud the women who were presented in this year’s Sports Illustrated this year who did not have the traditional model body, but modeled swimsuits with grace and elegance. I have come to accept my body, but I don’t think I’ll take the acceptance that far. I don’t think I would be easy modeling bathing suits, no matter what, because I not a bathing suit person.

I wear bright colors, snug-fitting clothes, and items that are not in keeping with my size and age. I keep in mind that the frame of my body is not what should define me, and I would love it if I could encourage other people to feel the same. Remember, pretty much every one believes that another body shape would look better on them, but we need to come to peace with our own bodies—while keeping them as healthy as we can.

When I think of body worship in the world, I always think of what my grandmother used to say about the human body. “I don’t want to see anyone else’s body, no matter what it looks like. If I want to see my body, I’ll look in the mirror—there won’t be any shocks when I see it and it won’t cost me anything.” I going to go with that, for now. And just maybe, I’m going to take a little pride in being the biggest girl in the fifth grade class!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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You are there, but where is there, and can you call?

When she ate my socks, I just thought she was expressing the thought that my feet were so beautiful, they didn’t need cover. When she ate the letter I had ready to send to a book agent, I thought maybe she was expressing a literary critique on my work. When she ate the Christmas presents, I assured myself it was simply her silent protest to the commercialism of the holiday.

But when the dog ate my address book,  the fun was over. She ate it in pieces; I had plenty of warning. She started on the leather cover and chewed out a couple of addresses for people I didn’t contact anymore anyway. But I was careless once more and left the battered book where my intrepid billy goat dog could, by stretching herself up onto the desk, retrieve it, and my communication notes became her endive salad!

It was so angering—all my addresses, telephone numbers, important dates—gone in a flurry of ripping teeth. I banished the dog to the basement, but that did not recover my address book. And for a woman with the memory of a kitchen sieve, this became a real crisis.

I knew from the start that it was serious. Not only is my memory notoriously unreliable, but I have a real mental block when it comes to numbers. It’s true; you can ask my high school math teacher—oh wait, his telephone number was in my address book. Well, take my word for it. Although I might remember that my daughter lives on Green Street, even though I’ve been there, I have trouble conjuring up the  house number.  I don’t remember zip codes, and as for street, avenue, drive, boulevard, etc. and S, E, NW, SE, forget it!

Telephone numbers are even worse. I didn’t realize just how much I relied on the address book to call people. Since the dog’s impromptu banquet,  I have  had occasion to need to call my sister, and I had several short and apologetic conversations with the people I called before I finally hit on her telephone number. My children’s numbers are all in my husband’s cell phone, but I’ll have to wait until he has more time to assist, so I can retrieve them. By then, I’ll have acquired them some other way—perhaps I’ll write and ask them…no, that’s not going to work is it?

The author of all this misery, is of course, living at my house so I don’t have to call her or remember her address. She’s clever enough to know when I’m thinking about that lost address book, because as soon as I start squinting at the ceiling with the phone in my hand, muttering, “That’s 857…or is it 587..or, oh, I don’t know,” she puts her tail between her legs and slinks down to the basement.

Eventually, I’ll get my address book back together and this time the pages will be stainless steel with a lead lock. In the meantime, I’m going to do a lot of driving around, trying to use the GPS I call a memory to find the people whose addresses are presently in the digestive system of a dog who seriously did not get any nutritive value out of my records!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I’m just gonna walk my paint cans now…

Some people go skiing in the mountains on the weekends. Some people enter marathons and walk and run their way through days at a time. I envy these people because they have normal, ordinary activities—things people would understand and often, things that they admire.

That’s right, I’m about to tell one of those whiny tales about how all the bad stuff happens to me. If you don’t want to read that, stop here. But I warn you, you’ll miss a pretty good story. The things that happen to me aren’t necessarily normal, but they are entertaining!

The storeroom needed cleaning and I decided that definitely, this was the weekend. And what’s more, all that stuff I didn’t need was finally going. I sorted the paint cans and put everything that I couldn’t identify (and that was too many of them) on the track of the exercise walker that has been serving as a laundry hanger because it hasn’t worked right in a year. All of that was going.

I surprised the cat, who has apparently been taking afternoon naps on the Easter decorations and while I was stopping the rain of plastic eggs, gaily-decorated baskets and multi-colored Easter  eggs from hitting the floor, the cat chose that moment to walk across my arms, over my head and then cast herself off my shoulders onto the freezer, from where she could get to the floor.

While digging the Easter decorations that I couldn’t catch out from behind the freezer, I encountered an empty beer can. Aside from wishing at that moment that it had been full and cold, I was left to wonder how it got there—Roy drinks beer, but not usually behind the freezer.

The next order of business was cleaning the shelves because the dust had me sneezing so much, I was bumping my head on walls, shelving and the window. I pulled an old hand vac out and plugged it in as best I could behind the freezer.

Except I didn’t plug in the vacuum, I plugged in the mal-functioning exercise walker. Guess what? It wasn’t malfunctioning right then, it was ON. Paint cans began shooting off the sides and the end like a mortar attack in a war zone. Once they were done and I had cleaned up the damage, I tried to look on the bright side: at least the walker was working. Except it wasn’t. I discovered with some experimenting that if you unplugged it and then plugged it back in, it would run for approximately a half a minute…or about the amount of time it takes to walk about 10 paint cans at a sharp jog.

It was getting  to be too much. I was contemplating a break when the dog decided to aid me. She found some Christmas wrapping paper where I had put it in the hallway outside the door. I was alerted to that fact when I heard paper ripping. I looked out to see her joyously dismantling  a half-used roll of paper. As I was cleaning that up, she nosed her way in, trying to get some of the bigger pieces and that’s when I noticed that her head was extremely damp-looking.

I was busy; I didn’t ask questions, but I should have investigated. When I finally dashed upstairs to get more garbage bags from the kitchen, I did some unexpected cross-country skiing across a very slippery kitchen floor. When I slammed into the stove, I discovered that the dog had washed her paws in a skillet full of frying grease that I had left out to cool off. She had distributed it over every counter and surface and turned the floor into a pre-greased skating rink.

By the time I had cleaned up the paint mess, the shredded Christmas paper mess and the greased kitchen mess, it was time to call the weekend to a close. So, although I didn’t go skiing in the mountains or run a marathon, I skied through my kitchen and I definitely walked those paint cans at a brisk pace! However, I don’t think anyone’s going to admire me for it!

 

 

 

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Five Seconds of Terror…

Within the last week, I was riveted by a television show’s story line. I love those cop-murder-mystery kinds of series and this week, there was an especially gruesome one. It seems a woman got into her car late one night and there was someone in the back seat who promptly slipped a plastic bag over her head and suffocated her.

I tell you this before I tell you my most recent event because it will tell you what my frame of mind was. I have always feared the “killer in the backseat with the knife” scenario and this week, I faced my own nightmare…but don’t worry; as you should already have guessed, I survived!

I was on the road late at night. I had been driving for about 20 miles on some very slippery roads after running some errands in a nearby city. It was icy, I was tense and my hands actually ached from clutching the wheel so tightly. There was no one else to drive, though, so it was up to me to be a big girl and get through.

Just as I was congratulating myself for being so courageous, a light from a car coming up behind me shone in the back of my car and outlined the head of a person, sitting behind me in the back seat. I now know the meaning of the phrase, “heart jumped into my throat,” because mine did.

Almost gagging from fear, I tried to appear cool as I slowly skidded the car over to the side of the road. I thought frantically about what there was in the front seat that I could use as a weapon, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to stab anybody to death with the straw in my drink.

My second thought was to slow down enough to throw myself out of the car. I was trying to remember the stories people told about jumping from a moving car and surviving. Was the car going 30 miles an hour? 20? Would I be able to do it without splatting myself on the highway and breaking bones? Even if I could get out, what would I do then? The person in the back seat could just run after me. What to do? What to do?

I was just at the point of emitting  a hair-raising shriek (this is not strategy, it was just panic setting in), when another car came up from behind and I could once again observe the person in the back seat. Except that the person in the back seat was not a person.

My last errand had been at a costume shop where I had secured a large horse costume which was presently residing in the back seat…right behind my seat…sticking up far enough to catch the light of the cars behind me.

My five seconds of terror were over, but now chagrin set in. After turning around and swinging my very heavy purse into every corner of the back seat to make sure the bogus horse was my only passenger, I put the car in gear and continued the nerve-wracking ride home. I did make it home, by the way and without being knifed or suffocated by any backseat murderers.

The thing causing me the chagrin, however, remains. I keep asking myself, what if I had gotten the car slowed down enough and had the nerve to pitch myself out? Even if a passing car didn’t turn me into pavement wax, I was bound to break something. So how would I explain to the emergency personnel assigned to scrape me off the highway that I broke my hip, leg, shoulder,head, etc., jumping out of my car to escape a homicidal horse costume???$_3

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