Georgia got home yesterday! So Mamoo and Granny came over for dinner tonight--and Blaise. Mamoo brought Fay back also, for a homecoming of epic proportions. Before the chaos ensued, though, I spent some sweet quality one-on-one with my beautiful Stella.
Conversation in the driveway:
TR: Mamoo and Granny are coming over for dinner. I'm going to fix bar-b-q.
Biggy: What time? I've got to ride my bike sometime today. (Pinches waist) I weighed 189.6 this morning, and I should have weighed 187.
TR: You think those scales are off? 'Cause I can't figure out how I GAINED weight this week. I didn't eat that much, except for when we went to the Shrimp Shack--and the last night, when I had seconds on biscuits and the stuffed tomato things...
Biggy: Tania, you eat a LOT. Every time we go out, all those fries...
TR: THAT'S ONCE A WEEK! The rest of the time, I eat about 1500 calories a day, and I exercise.
Biggy: Walking three miles isn't really exercise.
TR: FIRST of all, I jog most of it. And at the beach, I jogged AND rode my bike.
Biggy: So what are you thinking--(mockingly) a thyroid problem?
TR: No, a tumor. My mom had one when she was my age. The size of a grapefruit.
Biggy: (His expression reflects he's just thought of something clever.) ...uh. Never mind.
TR: WHAT? What were you going to say?
TR: TELL ME.
Biggy: You could lose two pounds today if you cut your hair.
Biggy: You know that was funny.
Biggy: Where are you going?
TR: To pack.
We had a fascinating conversation as soon as we hit the road. It started with Biggy correcting me about my earlier post:
Biggy: It's golf CART, by the way--not golf CAR.
TR: You're wrong. Everyone always says golf cart, but it's actually golf car.
Biggy: What even makes you think that?
TR: Someone corrected me once, so I looked it up.
Jack: Someone CORRECTED you for THAT? That's like getting on to someone for saying PIN instead of PEN [emphasis on short e].
Jack: I got in an argument with this kid at school because he heard me say Billy Joel, and he corrected me. He said, "It's Joll." And I said, Jo-w'l.
Biggy: Billy Joll.
Jack: Jo-w'l. Two syllables, but kinda slurred together.
TR: Right. Billy Jo-w'l.
Jack: That's my point.
Again this year, we're fortunate to be hitting the beach at Fripp, courtesy of Portfolio Center, for the annual PC retreat. A full week of sunning, jogging, and biking for me, and watching others crabbing, fishing, and swimming (Remember, I only pretend I might actually get in the water). Neither of my big girls are coming, which means I'll be without my usual allies and exercise partner.
We leave in the morning, at 10, according to Biggy's always-rigid vacation departure schedule. He acts as though a time-sensitive million dollar prize or a drop-deadline awaits us at the other end of the drive. Whereas I like to sleep in, drink some coffee, coo at the dogs I won't see for a week, pack, read my email, pack some more, then get on the road, my husband likes to start crackin his whip the night before: "You need to pack your suitcase so I can start loading the car..." He thinks we should sleep fully clothed, wake up at his pre-determined time, and sprint to the car.
Anyway, I've gotten off track. So Biggy and I are upstairs, discussing how we need to get to the island in plenty of time to pick up the golf car he's reserved when Jack walks in and sees Biggy's new Adidas sitting on the bed.
JackMan: Whose shoes?
Biggy: Mine. I got them so I can jog at the beach. Since there's not really any place to ride my bike.
TR: It's fun to ride around on the island.
Biggy: I know, but it's not really exercise.
TR: Whatever. I'm just glad you're going to jog with me. You are bringing your bike, though, right?
Biggy: I plan to bring three--your monkey bike, Lo's BMX, and mine--for me and Jack to share.
Jack: Yeah, I won't be riding.
TR: Oh, you are going to ride with me! Georgia won't be here, so you guys are going to have to take turns filling in for her.
Biggy: OK, Jack. I'll complain on Monday and Wednesday, and you can do Tuesday and Thursday.
Jack: Sounds fair.
I dreamed I went into a small office where a woman who looked like Doris Day wearing white Naturalizers sat me in a reclining chair and swabbed my face with alcohol. Then a tall man who looked like Humphrey Bogart in Sansabelt slacks stuck a needle in my eye and sliced my stye with a scalpel. Next, both the man and the woman took turns digging at the wound with Q-tips the size of broccoli. Finally, the man cauterized the area with something that looked like one of those tools used to burn names into the wooden plaques they sell in Gatlinburg. It smelled like when we used to put our Barbies' heads in the charcoal grill.
But I wasn't asleep.
I couldn't even close my eyes.
In response to Biggy's brag about how it took him ten minutes and ten dollars to purchase his new trunks at T.J Maxx, I thought I'd elaborate on the swimsuit shopping experience for middle-aged women.
According to a recent poll of women I know, once you're out of water wings and no longer choosing between the Barney bikini and the Mickey maillot, swimsuit shopping ceases to be pleasant. Beyond the futile exercise of finding the perfect balance between what you want to hide and what you want to show off, fluorescent lighting is unkind to everyone, even high school cheerleaders and college volleyball players.
Around 40, though, when "what you want to show off" is sadly taken off the table, mere unpleasantness morphs into torture. Not only does the whole ordeal require more time and money, but it inevitably leaves you broken and demoralized.
There's so much to consider: quality, fit, exposure, likelihood of slippage or spillage... Because no matter how much you work out or how slim you are, the world--with it's gravity and sunlight, is at war with your skin, battering it like a meat mallet, stretching and thinning it, transforming it into the bag that will hold your 90-year-old bones.
So the fabric has to be of good quality. You can no more wear a Target tankini than you can wear a tube dress from Charlotte Russe. Cheap, lightweight fabrics get caught in bumps and crevices; they show the outline of your post-pregnancy navel. Wearing discount swimsuits is like putting coffee in a Dixie cup, when what you need is a sturdy travel mug.
But quality is only the beginning. Last night I tried on a beautiful, simple Ralph Lauren one-piece, crafted from a nice thick shimmery lycra spandex. It was an elegant navy blue number, cut higher on the legs and in a low V down the front, with a little silver RL clasp between the breasts. It was lovely, really. Until I turned and saw the decolletage from the side. What would have been an intriguing glimpse of flesh on a younger gal was, on me, reason for the cabana boy to to gouge out his own eyeballs.
Hence, that area of my body was officially added to the ever-growing list called Things That Must Be Covered or Disguised, a list that includes belly, bellybutton outline, upper thighs, evidence of nipples, stretch marks, ass divots, love handles, bra fat, back fat, and broken capillaries. Everything else must be held in place, contained, and rendered immobile for walking the twelve steps to the tiki bar (well, not me but my friends).
Does anyone know of the perfect suit?
I mentioned before that I have a sty on my eye. I've had it since long before George left for Costa Rica, which was five weeks ago, so I'm guessing about two months total. I asked the doc-in-the-box to have a look at it while I was there for the bronchitis, but she told me I had to go to an eye doctor. That was--what--about two weeks ago? I decided to do more self-surgery rather than take time out for another appointment. I even thought about using the prescription Fay had for her torn eyeball. In any case, poking it with pins and tweezers and scrubbing it with peroxide hasn't cured it, so today I gave up and went to the opthamologist. I was hoping he'd cut it off with a razor blade or something, a method I've considered doing myself. BUT NOOOOOO. He prescribed an antibiotic ointment and said to give it another week. I came home and compared the scrip to Fay's, and sure enough...
I could have been using it all along.
Today, as part of Biggy's fatherly duties, he had to put together Jack's new weight bench. He was assembling it in the computer room upstairs as Jack played Poker online. I walked in as they were discussing where to put it:
Biggy: I think it'll fit in your room.
TR: Why don't you put it in the empty playroom downstairs?
Biggy: He doesn't want to work out in front of people.
TR: There are plenty of times Jack's home with no one else in the house.
JackMan: I don't want to have to walk down the stairs to work out!
TR: Are you kidding me?
JackMan: No. That's why I don't want it in the basement either. That's two flights. I want to be able to roll out of bed and work out.
TR: Then roll back into bed again?
I was folding laundry today while watching that Dirty Jobs show on Discovery. The episode was about catching and preparing geoducks (pronounced gooey duck), a shellfish I'd never heard of--much less seen. I was so disgusted and fascinated, I did a little Youtube research:
I did want to show you this clip from Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe is dreamy:
I did want to show you this clip from Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe is dreamy:
I'd heard a while back about the frequency that can't be heard by anyone old enough to have driven a Pacer. I was fascinated by the subject the same way I was fascinated by sea worms, and then I forgot all about it. Until Sadie and Justin came in this weekend and tormented me with his mosquito ringtone that everyone--EVERYONE--except me could hear. Oh, what fun!
"Mom can't hear it; she's too old."
"Greg can still hear it!"
"You taking your Geritol, Mom?" (Right, I know. I'm the only one who knows what Geritol is.)
I tried to email this to Georgia but it didn't go through, so I'm posting it here. Tolerate.
Sadie and Justin were in town, and we were dragging them to trivia, so I called Blaise to see if he wanted to go. I said, "I mean, unless you have other plans," to which he responded, "Nope. My girlfriend is in Costa Rica." I was happily surprised that he wanted to join us, and then a little while later he called to see if he could bring a friend. "Really?" I asked, "Have you described us to your friend? Does he know what we're like?" He assured me it would be fine and somehow even picked up another friend to bring along. Before we left for Suburban Tap, I told them how bad we suck at trivia--and how excited we were to have three Georgia Tech boys on our team, not to mention my brilliant oldest and her trivia-savvy boyfriend. In the end, we still sucked, having a great first half and tanking the second. We had a great time, though, except for missing Miss G.
From my left, going around the table: Lo's friend J; Lola; Blaise's friends Ed and Scott; Georgia's beau Blaise; Sadie's beau Justin, Sadie; and Biggy Greg. Our team name: Everyone but George.
No one wanted to say "Hey," because they hate the video camera. In fact, the whole family seems a little annoyed with me and my Flip lately
I'm posting this so Georgia won't feel so homesick, but if you'd like to be annoyed, go ahead and watch it. Regular readers will recognize Mamoo's horrid little Madonna sitting with Lo's friend J in the papasan chair. And if you listen closely at the end, you can hear Stella singing from the couch in the other room.
Weekend before last, Biggy and I were out riding at Blankets Creek, and I inhaled a bug. Of course this set off an awful coughing jag, which has now lasted for more than ten days. For the first few, I figured it was the bug working its way out. I pictured its little body breaking up the way a roach once broke up in Biggy's cocktail at the Chamber back in '97. (Dancing in the dark club, he kept finding pieces of something in his rum and coke, spitting or rubbing it off his tongue until he realized what it was.) I thought I'd cough up wings and antennae, etc. and be done.
Somewhere along the line, I started feeling like I'd been hit by a Vespa--you know, not like Strep or the flu, where you feel like you've been hit by a truck; more the way you feel when you've performed sty surgery on yourself with tweezers, Q-tips, and a bottle of peroxide--on top of having bronchitis and a sinus infection. Yeah, what I have.
I sat in a Wellstar URGENT Care facility for three hours to find that out. THREE HOURS. I watched the View, read two old Family Circles, listened to some greasy old pharmaceutical rep work his magic with the office manager, and still had time to imagine the scenario in which they discovered I had lung cancer (which never would have been caught if it hadn't been for the bug). I was giving myself the pep talk about being brave for those around me and setting an example of dying with dignity when they called me back.
I did like the doctor, though. She was probably about 11, but she did not laugh when I told her the bug story. She didn't tell me I was crazy, that I'd "probably just SWALLOWED" the bug or that a bug would have already been "absorbed into my system" (Biggy, Hank). SHE ordered lung x-rays. SHE was afraid I might have aspiration pneumonia.
I didn't, but still.
And I think I fixed my eye.
This was on the Q100 website today (I read their lousy blog--I know!).
Forget taking them on vacation, forget the exotic locales. I'm taking them places I consider more appropriate, starting here:
You can get it for yourselves here.