Thursday, November 26, 2015

Middle Aged Spread...

I fucked it all up last January.   That was when I had a sore throat that turned into the flu, that turned into bronchitis which knocked me on my ass for about two months and instead of pushing through as I usually would, I actually rested.  Mostly on account of the fact that after walking from the bedroom to the bathroom, I needed to lie down.  I rested so much in the winter that my body said "Hey, I LOVE this resting thing, let's do more of that." I rested so much that my body forgot that it craved exercise.

I compensated for this lack of movement by eating salads every day at lunch.  My body rediscovered vegetables.  "Green things.  I like these green things.  And the red things and yellow things.  They are so... crisp... so... tasty..."

And then in the spring, I got to feeling better so hopped back on the ol' treadmill.  By summer, I was going for lots and lots and lots of walks in the actual outdoors, forcing the spouse with me so that the pair of us could mock those poor non-exercising schmos from our moral high ground.  Rissa and I started exercising in the evening - doing strength training.  And you know something?  Doing 60 squats a night?  After two months?  It actually makes one's ass look spectacular.  My ass looked fucking spectacular.   I used one of those exercise band thingies to strengthen my arms, I had defined triceps again.  I was feeling good, I was feeling strong, I was feeling fit...

And then?  Then I stood in a group of "20-something" girls in NY.  NEVER do that.  Stand next to one maybe, but not FIVE of them.  Don't surround your middle-aged body with women who are 25 years younger than you.  Their tiny bodies with their tiny waists, tiny asses and tiny thighs make you look like God-freaking-zilla amidst a terrified population. Next to these girls I looked like the big-boned middle-aged Aunt visiting from Europe with a uni-boob in a dress that, until placed next to these girls, I'd thought was flattering.

I persevered though.  I continued to be mindful of my eating, my exercise.  I kept doing those squats and lifting those legs.  Then I went to see my endocrinologist...  who put me on the scale and informed me that I'd gained 6 pounds in the last year. 

"I'm sorry... I did WHAT NOW?!?  But I've been exercising and eating salads!!  I know that it's not about the number on the scale, but what do I have to DO here?  Do I have to actually CUT OFF a limb to get to within 15 lbs of my ideal body weight??"

I'm not saying that I want to be 135 lbs which, according to most statistics, is what I should weigh.  I would look like a fucking corpse if I weighed that amount.  I'd be ecstatic arriving at the 150 lbs mark - which still means I'd have to lose TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS!!  I'd have to lose the equivalent of two, 3-month-old babies from my body.  Oh fuck - that's disgusting.  I have THAT much extra weight on me??  Jesus.  No wonder the vintage dress that I've been holding onto since I was 24 no longer fits me!  There's no extra room for my body and two hip babies!!

I blame peri-menopause (which has so many adorable symptoms, but the one I'm focused on right now is the seemingly inevitable weight gain), hypothyroidism (again crazy-amounts of symptoms - but ... weight gain), and...night caps.  That Rusty Nail that I have every now and again or mug of mulled wine while I'm cozying up with a book or binge-watching Netflix, that contributes, I'm sure, to the issue.  So I ask you this: How much more exercise would I have to do, how little food would I have to ingest to still be able to enjoy those night caps.  'Cause when the depression hits about not fitting into a dress from 2 decades ago, jogging 5 times around my small town isn't my go-to.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"You cannot post about that!"

Says David.

"But it's so good.  It's a great bit."

"I am not a great bit," he says determinedly.

I raise my eyebrows at him.

"I am serious.  I don't feel comfortable with you leading a post with that."

I pout.  "You're taking away my comedy."

"No, I'm taking away MY comedy.  I don't want people reading it and saying 'Hey David, nice about your (redacted words),' when I see them on the street."

"Even if it's for a really good cause?"

"What, this is going to help stamp out Islamaphobia?  It'll cure cancer?"

"You never know.  Laughter is very freeing."

"I don't feel comfortable."

"Can't I just mention the  (redacted words)?"

"No you may not."

"What about the  (redacted words)?"


"(redacted words)  (more redacted words)  (Still more redacted words, with extra fancy redacted phrasology)??"


"But it's so freaking charming."

"I don't care.  That is just between you and me..."

" 'I came here for a party and what do I get?  Nothing.  Not even ice cream.' " I say in my best Groucho Marx.

"Too bad for you."


Thursday, November 19, 2015

And you shall not run...

I've got the PF.   Plantar Facsiitis.  I can no longer run.   I mean, sure I could run if something was chasing me - or if a building was on fire - but I'd pay for it later.  I'd get up the next day, attempt to stand on both feet and then collapse to the floor when the heel of my left foot gave out. Just the left foot.  MY left foot.  And unlike Christy Brown or Daniel Day Lewis, I have nothing to show for my left foot.  I sure as shit can't paint or write with it.

I haven't injured my left heel.  It's not like a car ran over my heel and my body is still processing.  This ailment is just from arriving into middle age. You run when you're a kid and you can run forever;  you laugh as you gallop, skip, sprint... You run in middle age and apparently you're pretty much fucked.  I ran to catch up in the parade last weekend and now I'm limping like hamstrung giraffe.

Do a quick poll of women of a certain age and you'll be amazed at how many also suffer from PF.  It's an epidemic of failing foot ligaments.

You might say, off the cuff, "My heel's been giving me grief."

Six women over the age of 40 will turn to you. "Plantar Fasciitis," they will nod, commiserate and suggest exercises.

If they're really good friends they'll get you in to see the hot physiotherapist.  You know, 'cause a cheap little thrill at our age makes one's day brighter.  Although if I were to do that, I'd have to pluck my toe hair, paint my nails and pretend I don't have hammer toes.   That seems like WAY too much work.  So much easier to simply inform the poor schmuck who's caring for your feet that it's coming up to winter and what lies under your socks ain't gonna be pretty.  Unless the physiotherapist is  REALLY, REALLY hot... And then, I mean, come on... I defy any person not to take an interest in their pedal appearance if they have someone of Matthew Goode's or Scarlett Johanssen's ilk touching their little piggies.  Tough call. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Porta-Potty Peril

"It must be tough to be a highway construction worker," says Rissa.

"Hmmmm?" I respond.  I glance towards the central median of the 401, taking in the construction zone.  "Yeah, especially when you're working there."

"I mean, when do you pooh?"


"They've got Porta-Potties, but really, who could ever be comfortable enough to actually have a pooh, when there are cars whizzing by you at 100kms an hour?"

"I guess you get used to it."

"HOW?!?  How would that be possible?  Most people aren't comfortable poohing in a public washroom..."

She's right.  I myself, couldn't poop with anyone nearby until well into my 20s - until I'd developed a spastic colon because of my unwillingness to acknowledge that a #2 was a part of life and sometimes when one did it there was noise.

"I'd be there all day.  I couldn't do it.  I would have to wait until 3:00 a.m. and then do my business."

"Let's light a candle for them when we get home, to give them strength."

"Oh God, they're mostly dudes.  Mostly dudes nervously using a Porta-Potty on the 401.  They can't light a candle in there.   How can we send bulk Poo-Pourrie to road workers??"

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chasing Cyd Charisse

In the mid-80s the bus dropped me off on Ness Avenue and I walked two major blocks south to get to high school.  I walked down the alley behind Ainsley Street -  this was Winnipeg - we had alleys everywhere.  I had two goals every morning: get to school early and walk faster than Francine Bishop.

I would see Francine walking ahead of me down that alley and it became my obsession to overtake her.  It was an impossible task.  Francine was at least six inches taller than me, with Cyd Charisse legs that bent the laws of physics and physicality.  Her legs appeared at least 10 inches longer than mine.  Maybe I had a long torso and she had a short torso, but I swear those legs went all the way up to her fucking arm pits.  I looked up to her, figuratively and literally.  She was a year ahead of me, took drama was super smart.  I have no idea why the need to walk faster than her kicked in.  Maybe my inner Neanderthal took control and needed to be the lead hunter/gatherer.

"Gronk need be first!"  Chest thump.  "Gronk fast!"

It was ridiculous.  I'd have to practically run to even get close. I'd be pumping my arms, speed walking - then, if I managed to get within striking distance, I'd have to act all nonchalant as if I was not attempting to break the land speed record to catch up to her and her unbelievable legs. 

I did it once.  I passed her, offered a cheerful "Good morning!" and then kept powering through, the lactic acid burning in my legs, the muscles in my ass twitching by the time I made it to the school.  I could barely manage the stairs before collapsing beside my locker.  But as I lay there, gasping for breath, I imagined the head of the Olympic Committee presenting me with a gold medal.  In a near-coma I saw the Canadian flag being raised as I mumble-sang Oh Canada to the crowd.  It never happened again.  I think maybe the day I passed her she was sick, or tired... or humouring me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Is that a dirty book?

... asks Rissa as I pop open my e-reader.  "I'm asking, 'cause you mostly have dirty books on there, right?"

"Yes, there are mostly dirty books on this e-reader.  But this one hasn't gotten dirty yet."  I'm not a fan of Dickens when I'm winding down with a book.  Some good character development, some sex, some puns and I'm good.

"What's this one called?" she asks.

" Beautiful... something..."

"It's called Beautiful SOMETHING? That's a terrible title."  She leans back on the pillow and puts a lavender cat mask over her eyes to block out the reading light.

I explain. "No, it's just that on an e-reader - or at least my e-reader - they don't have the book title on the top of each page and you can't just turn the book over to confirm the title or even the author.  The book is one in a series and they all start with 'Beautiful.'  Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger.. HAH!  This one must then be Beautiful PLAYER."

"So basically you could just have some random title and it wouldn't even have to be sexy?"


Rissa lets out a snort of laughter, the lavender cat becoming displaced momentarily.


"I'm thinking of titles now.  Twenty questions with Irving."

"You're such a goof."

"The Lampshade of Destiny."


"Indigo the Bullfighter Meets the Marsupials."  She is vibrating now with laughter.

"You are so weird."

"Elbows and the Renaissance!!!  Or, or... if you have sentences within the dirty book they could be even weirder, 'She was fine until Marcel and his marionettes came to town'. "

She is silent for a moment and then starts convulsing with laughter.


"I have to  ̶  " she stops.  "I have  to be able to do this without  ̶ "  She blows out calming air, but then loses it again and pitches into a fit of giggles.


" 'Linda never though that the limbo could be fun until she met Jean-Paul and his dog' !!!!!  BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAA!!!!"

I am snorting now too.  "How do you come up with this stuff?"

She cackles again.  "I have my thinking 'cat' on.  Get it?  I'm wearing the cat mask?  BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAA!!!!"

This is one of the many reasons why I love my child.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quick! The kid isn't home - let's DO this!!!

Rissa was going to be gone for three whole nights.  David and I begin sharing the the waggling eyebrow looks, the suggestive head tilts, the...


"What?  Doing what?!?"

Rissa rolls her eyes.  But then gives us the I'm watching you look.

Surreptitiously now, I am trying to communicate with David all the places we will have sex during our childless days:  All the kitchen counters, the living room sofa, ottoman, possibly the Laz-y-Boy, the family room sofa, the bed in our room, the blanket box in our room, against the wall in our room, the bathroom floor...

David whispers in my ear, "You can be as loud as you want."  I blush.  Rissa dramatically points to her eyes and then us.

Noisy sex - the thing you can't have when there's another person in your home.  Though you may experience an earth-shattering orgasm that makes you want to scream, possibly yodel, joyously into the abyss - you just don't.  When Rissa was little it was because the last thing I wanted was for our toddler to come into our room and holler, "DADDY YOU'RE SQUISHING MUMMY!!!"  Now that she's a teenager, and remembering myself as a teenager,  I basically don't want her to vomit when she thinks of what could be instigating the sounds from our bedroom.

We are going to have three nights.  And by nights, I really mean three late afternoons, evenings and nights of sex.  I'm hyrdating, stretching, epiladying.. I am ready... Let's DO this!!!  David comes home from work.  His laptop bag is flung from his shoulder, he struts into the kitchen...

I'm on the sofa in the family room.  My entire body is disappointment, I have a hot water bottle across my abdomen.  "Batten down the hatches...thar she blows..."

"No.  Really?"  He sits on the arm of the sofa.   He's thinking now, I can practically see the cogs turning in his brain.  "Yeah... Yeah... we should have known this.  You've been craving chocolate and pretty frisky..."

My shoulders slump.  "But we have three days!!!  We were going to have sex everywhere!!!"  I swallow my ibuprofen.

He sits beside me and drops a light kiss on my lips.  He smooths the hair off my face.  "I guess," he whispers, kissing me again, but not so lightly this time.  "I guess we're just going to have to get creative." His eyes meet mine and the bottom drops out of my stomach.

"Creative?" I gasp.  (After almost 19 years of sex with this man, he still makes me gasp.)

"VERY creative."  He cracks his knuckles, waggling his eyebrows.

I snort.  He kisses me again.

"Dinner now or later?" he asks.