Last week it was my birthday. I turned…flabby. So I watched some Wimbledon, where there seemed to be a peculiarly unholy gathering of hard bodies concentrated at one time in the cathedral of tennis. This put me in quite a crappy mood. I found myself tempted to flip my middle finger at the lot of them and scream accusations of plastic surgery zombies to no one in particular.
But the biggest joy-buster of all was the round of doctors I had appointments with over the course of these past few days. What’s up with that? Was I born with some kind of built-in obsolescence? They sucked out my blood, made me pee in a cup, pounded on my back, and placed bets on whether I had a pulse. It made me quite weary, and I fought valiantly to stave off depression.
So I did what every woman does when things look bleak. I went to lunch with people who are just as flabby as I am. Of course, we reminisced about the good old days, and recalled a whole dictionary of terms that are obsolete in today’s vernacular.
We used to buy Yippee Cups and milk nickels from the Good Humor man who came down our street each evening at supper time. And then we’d pop tar bubbles in an era when there were so few cars, we could actually sit in the road for hours and not endanger ourselves.
Our Moms cured every ailment with ointments like merthiolate, cod liver oil, and paregoric, and cautioned us of the dangers of sucking on tooth picks soaked in cinnamon oil.
And teenage boys with “dagoed” cars hubristically drove laps around Liberty Park after they’d laboriously scrubbed the white walls and coiffed their hair into elaborate pompadours held in place with the grease extracted right from their own carburetors.
Everything was either “cherry,” “boss,” or “groovy.”
Ah, those were the days…before Facebook, texting and Anthony Weiner. Back then, people who exposed themselves were perverts. Now they’re Congressmen.
But I am not exactly ready for laxatives and conversations about my latest pains. Oh my no! I have decided to cannibalize my inhibitions, release my emotional liabilities, discard my mode of decorum and associate only with co-narcissists. On my next visit to the dentist, I plan to get an NBA mouth guard and become so skilled at twirling it, I’ll make it do a one-and-a-half gainer off my lower lip without dropping so much as a string of drool. I will be the featured star of “America’s Got Talent,” and await the phone call from “Dancing With the Stars.” I want to become like those fish that live so deep in the ocean, they must produce their own light.
Since Dennis has a break from chemo treatments, we are going to visit some sites of true historic significance, starting with Custer’s last stand. The Battle of the Little Big Horn saw fighting almost as frightening as the thought of Lindsay Lohan being released from house arrest.
There is so much to learn from history. Voices from the dust manage to inspire us still. For instance, an Ogalala Sioux chief rallied his warriors by telling them, “We have everything to fight for. If we do not fight, we have nothing to live for.” I find that most applicable to many of the battles we face today.
Finally, one of my favorite authors, William Faulkner, once said, “I believe that man will not merely endure, he will prevail.” That is our game plan: to produce our own light, to fight and to prevail. We will not be deterred.