Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Miracle Files

From the It's a Miracle I've Lived This Long Files.

1. I do stuff like try to test the warning labels on household cleaning products. The bathroom sink has been draining slowly for a couple of months. Of a sudden last week it became unbearable. It was a race to see if I could brush my teeth before the water reached the emergency drain. So I bought some of that stuff that comes in a double bottle and when you pour it everything goes all foamy. I did, actually, read the instructions before I used it. Apparently it doesn't work in standing water. But you are supposed to use the whole bottle. I tried to use the whole bottle but it was foaming so much that it was making standing chemicals so I stopped and came back later to try to put some more in but it was still foamy. You're supposed to leave it for an hour so I just walked away. Now, I know you're only supposed to use such things in a well ventilated area but I have cats so I closed the door to the bathroom. I felt like it was a lesser evil than not noticing a cat going into the bathroom, jumping up, getting deadly chemicals on his/her paws, licking it off and keeling over in the middle of the living room. Later I went back. Two and a half hours later. I got up to pee before I walked the dog, wondered for a moment why the bathroom door was closed and realized what I'd done. My bathroom is about 5.5 feet square. You know on CSI when they put something in a box and blow smoke at it to see fingerprints? This is what my bathroom was like. But my drain runs perfectly now.

2. I live in New York City. Frankly I don't find it quite as dangerous as most people I know. Personally I think I'd be in much more danger in the 'burbs given my anti-social nature but according to a bunch of people that know me its a miracle I've survived almost 20 years here. For the record I love it here.

3. Speaking of social anxiety, there's that. It's sort of amazing that I haven't actually been swallowed by a hole in the earth's crust during some sort of social interaction. Did you know that before I go to meet someone I write an opening line in my head? I'll be headed to lunch and I'll see, say, a couple of 3 legged dogs. I will spend the remainder of my approach to the lunch venue crafting the perfect opening line. Something that sounds spontaneous and cheery and preferably comical so that I don't have to live through awkward opening moments. You know, like "Hi." "Hi." "How are ya?" "Great, how are you?" "Great, thanks, how...uh..." Instead I'll be prepared with something like, "It's like the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm out there! I met two rescued injured dogs on my way here." Some of you are probably thinking, She doesn't mean with me. I'm one of her best friends/see her everyday/her parent. You're wrong. I do it with all of you. I am actually painfully shy. But I feel like it's a failing, something I ought to be able to control and that if I were to let it keep me from doing things I'd be stupid(er) so over time I've developed some tools and I use them almost without thinking about them now.

4. One day I put some mulled cider on the stove to simmer and I forgot to turn it off for 3 days. Fortunately it was plenty of cider so the pot didn't burn to a crisp. Note to KingBee: See? if you leave a ham in the oven while you go out for an hour it's just not as scary as you think.

5. Had an affair with a married man. His wife is strong. I'm very lucky not to have been caught and killed.

6. My mother is an undiagnosed but clinical hoarder. In terms of killing me this could go 2 ways. There are very real physical dangers to this, getting pinned under something, tripping and hitting your head, allergies to little known types of mold and whatnot. And there's the embarrassment factor. Though I know it's not my fault that my mother has this issue and while I have, fairly recently, come to terms with the fact that there's nothing I can do to change her I'm still wildly embarrased by it. You can't walk into her house. You can't use the shower. There is no place to sit in the house or in the yard. She will tell you differently, she bought a table and chair set of garden furniture...which she sets up in the driveway. I always feel as though people are looking to me for 2 things, a. to reform my mother and b. to see when I'll get the disease. It makes me pretty defensive. I'm working on it. Really, that's the best I can do.

7. Four to six nights a week for the entirety of my college career I had a coke and a snickers for dinner. That coke was one serving of about a 2 litre a day habit that I had from the age of 15 to about 24. I probably ate my lifetime allottment of sugar in the first year of that habit alone. And yet, up until very recently I was as likely as not to eat ice cream out of the carton, with chocolate sauce, for dinner on a weeknight. I do not, as yet, have Type II Diabetes. I'm thinking of starting an online pool for the onset date. Hopefully whoever wins will donate the pot for a top of the line glucose meter and some test strips.

8. The last 4 years are the first four years since high school that I've had proper medical coverage. I lived most of my reproductive years, most of the years where I was working manual labor jobs, most of the years where I was traveling without any backup if I were to be injured or come down with something.

That's enough isn't it? I'm still here despite all this so I must be doing something right.

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