Day 7: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty





Day #7 Question: The worst thing that could happen to me is…

I’ve noticed that as these days are rolling by my posts are getting more and more honest.  This one is no exception.  I must preface this by saying that if you haven’t read the book Your Changing Body, you may want to check it out before reading this post.  Also, if you’re prone to sudden vomiting brought on by unsavory topics, you may want to skip this post and reread the one above about my cat. 

This post is rated TMI.  Parental Guidance is Suggested

Well, the answer to this question is pretty obvious. I think most people will claim that the number one worst thing that could happen to them would be the death, injury, or maiming of one of their loved ones. I am certainly no exception in giving the same answer, however, that response makes for a very short blog, so I will tell you that the number two worst thing that could ever happen to me. The second worst thing that could happen to me is that my body would fail me and forget to go through menopause. At 47, this is something that I’m certainly beginning to worry about, because every month, like clockwork, my little friend is there in all her raging glory, determined to ruin at least a week out of my month. Menopause is something I have looked forward to going through ever since I was twelve years old, and if Mother Nature let’s me down with this event, I’m going to be miffed!

I remember the day that I started my period. It was the very first day that I began dreaming about menopause It was also the first day of spring. I was wearing my very cool green Levis, a Peter Frampton Live tee shirt, and bikini underwear with little pink and purple umbrellas on them. I had long ago read the book Your Changing Body that had been lovingly presented to me by my mother on my 12th birthday, along with a huge box of thick Kotex Classics and a Schwinn 10-speed. While  I was fairly pissed at my mother for allowing me to open such a personal gift in front of my grandfather,  I didn’t think too much more about my own changing body or about the jumbo pads that I’d stashed away in my closet right before going out to ride my new bike. Less than a month later,  still not expecting to need one of those bulky little monsters for quite a while,  I “started” right in the middle of English class.  I excused myself, and made my way to the restroom,  anxiously shaking my backpack, hoping against hope that I’d find a dime for the pad machine in the bathroom. I had no such luck and I knew better than to query any of the girls herded around the restroom mirror, putting on strawberry Lip Smacker, for a dime. “Hey, do you have a dime?” Is junior high code for, “I’M HAVING MY PERIOD!” and the repercussions of that were far more embarrassing than bleeding on my umbrella underwear.  So, being the resourceful girl that I am, I fashioned a make-shift pad out of toilet paper and went on about my day. I had gym, then lunch and right afterward I decided to go to the restroom to see how my new “situation” was coming along. Upon pulling down my cool green jeans, I was horrified to find that my homemade pad was gone!  I was catapulted into a frenzy of panic. I checked my pant legs. I checked the bathroom floor. I asked the girls around the mirror if they had seen a homespun pad. (Just kidding; that would have been social suicide!) It had vanished!  I imagined it hiding somewhere in the school hallway or in a classroom, hunkered down in a corner hoping that no one would find it and reveal its shame. I quickly fashioned a new pad and rushed off to math class, but I didn’t get very far down the hallway before I ran into a group of my classmates playing a jolly game of “Kick the Pad.” “Hey, Sprinkles, look, it’s someone’s gross pad!’ a boy said as he kicked it towards me. “Disgusting!” I replied as I returned the kick. “Who would do something so vile?’ Everyone was laughing and kicking, but I was probably laughing the hardest because I knew that no one suspected it was mine!  Finally, a teacher broke up our little game of Kotex soccer and sent us to class.

Be Prepared!

That evening, over a cup of tea, and with much laughter, I recounted my rough day to my mom, who responded with appropriate empathy. “When will this mess end?” I asked her. “At what age will I go through menopause?” She assured me that sometime in my late 40s or early 50s that my monthy guest would end its visits. So, I guess now, after years of putting up with Mother Nature’s “little gift,” I’m getting more than a little impatient. I’m done with having children. I’m seriously over the cramping, the bloating, the mood swings and the general bitchiness that PMS causes me each month. From my general knowledge of biology I know that eventually my monthly event is sure to cease and desist, but there is one small part of me that fears I’ll be buying Kotex when I’m 89, and that is the second worst thing that could even happen to me!

Never Marry a Guy you Meet While Making a Prank Phone Call (Part 1)

Here’s a confession; I turned 47 last week and I still delight in making a good prank phone call. I know it’s illegal, and that there are probably a million ways to get past *67 and wind up in jail. I do have a healthy respect for the law and admit that I am a little afraid of my local paper displaying a headline that reads: Former Teacher Jailed for Crank Calling Wal-Mart, but that doesn’t stop me. It’s a sickness.

My obsession with phone play began at the ripe old age of eight, the year my mother began to work outside of the home. Instead of coming home to cookies and milk at my own house, my new after school plan was to have a snack at my friend Laura’s house and hang out there until my mom or dad arrived home. I was delighted! Laura’s mom was a very cool psychotherapist who dressed in hippie clothes and didn’t make us do our homework the minute we finished our snack like my mom did. One day, after growing bored with roller skating in Laura’s driveway, we ended up in her mother’s downstairs sewing room. It was just a small, musty room with stacks of folded cloth, a rack filled with multi-colored thread, jars filled with buttons and an old Singer sewing machine. It seemed stuffy and boring until Laura showed me the green push button phone mounted elegantly on the wall. She informed me that it was a private line and asked me if I wanted to make some prank calls. Although it was my first time, Laura had an older brother and was a seasoned pro at cranking. In mere minutes we were scanning the skinny phonebook of our small town looking for our first victims. If your last name was Assweiner, Grossman, or Butts we called you. Once we ran out of interesting last names we started on the ‘A’s and went through nearly the entire phonebook. There were no lame classics in our repertoire like, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” we were much more creative than that, or so we thought. We had three main cranking themes. They were: “I’m Dating your Husband,” “ Radio Station WASS Giving you a Chance to Win a Date with Charlie’s Angels,” and “Little Girl Trapped at Pizza Hut Needs you to find Her Mommy.” I’ll use “I’m Dating Your Husband as an example of how our cranks usually went down:

Unwitting Victim: Hello

Me: (In my sexiest 8 year-old voice) Hi, I’m Natasha (a name I thought sounded super classy at the time) and I’m sorry to tell you that I’m dating your husband. (At this point Laura and I are snorting back giggles and nearly peeing our pants.)

Unwitting Victim: You G.D. kids stop playing on the phone! (Click)

Sometimes the victim was funnier than we were:

Unwitting Victim: Hello

Me: (trying even harder to sound sexy with my limited knowledge of sex) Hi, I’m Misty, (not a classy name, but it has its allure) I have big, big breasts (I only knew the proper names for body parts.) and I’m really, really sorry to inform you that I’ve been dating your husband.

Unwitting Victim: Well good for you, Misty. He’s an old asshole! You can have him! (Tons of honking laughter after that one!)

Our pranking went on for nearly an entire school year until I came up with the bright idea of calling Andy Gibb, the pop star that Laura and I were madly in love with. Tiger Beat magazine had long ago informed us that he had spent his childhood in Australia, so we decided there would be the perfect place to begin our quest. Little did we know that there was a charge for international directory assistance, as well as a very large fee for calling five people in Sydney with the surname Gibb. When the phone bill arrived, our after school game soon became doing yard work to pay Laura’s parents back.

After my punishment was complete, I soon found myself in a rigorous after-school tennis program. Yet despite my mother’s warnings of jail time and other wicked punishments for cranking, I still couldn’t quell the desire to hear those first few rings, to hear that innocent “hello” and to experience the first stifled snickers of my friends as they listened in. The phone was my drug, and I was its slave. As soon as I turned 13 and was old enough to watch my little brother after school, the cranking began again. Like any good addict, I taught my brother to make calls with me, that way I was assured in his not tattling to the parental units. My evil plot worked and we cranked our way through high school without getting caught. The summer after graduation, I left for my state’s university, tearfully handing our tattered phonebook over to my brother, making him promise to continue our sordid legacy.

You might think that the advent of college would mature me, and make pranking less enticing, but you would be thinking incorrectly. I was blessed with a roommate who was just as silly as I was, and one night while having a few friends over for drinks, we decided to make some prank calls. It was free to call any phone on campus so we each took turns calling different dorms. When it was my turn, my friend Kevin suggested I call a neighboring guys dorm and tell them I was a phone sex operator calling to see if I could provide any services. With four Pabst Blue Ribbons in my system, Kevin’s suggestion seemed the logical thing to do. Here’s my fuzzy recollection of that call:

Unwitting Dorm Guy: Hello

Me: (doing my fairly decent Marilyn Monroe imitation) Hello, this is Trixie. (Yes, I got the name from Speedracer.) I’m calling from the campus sex line to see if there’s anything at all that I can do for you, if you know what I mean. (Mind you, I’m still a gigantic virgin at the time of this call!)

Unwitting Dorm Guy: Our campus has a sex line?

Kevin: (butting in) Tell him you’ll toss his salad!

Me: Yes we have a really hot sex line, and (having NO idea what this means) I make a really, really good salad!

Unwitting Dorm Guy: You do?

Kevin: (butting in again) Tell him you want a Dirty Sanchez!

Me: (to Kevin) What’s that?

Unwitting Dorm Guy: Kevin? Is that you? Hey, is that Kevin Peters? Hey Kevin!

Me: Oh, Shit! (Click!)

Long story short: “Unwitting Dorm Guy” was, by a stroke of fate, one of Kevin’s friends. He, of course, wanted to meet the girl with the sexy voice. After Kevin assured him that I was basically a very good girl and not at all like my alter ego, Trixie, Kevin introduced us. “Unwitting Dorm Guy” eventually became my college boyfriend, my first husband and the father of my two daughters. Glean from my experience with prank calling any advice or cautioning that you wish. But, I will warn you, cranking is like heroin and I have an itchy dialing finger.

**Readers, I invite you to share your prank phone call stories in the comments section. (Yes, I do realize it’s my addiction asking you to do this!)

My Husband Insists that I Call this “Why I’m a Bad Wife!”

My husband’s IQ is within the upper 2% of the general population.  He was a member of Mensa until the early 80s when he discovered that mentioning a Mensa membership gets you about as far on a first date as revealing your ability to recite the title, writer, director and guest star of every original Star Trek episode, which I swear to God he can do!   Being a genius has its advantages. For my husband pesky subjects like calculus or quantum mechanics are child’s play. He’s a fabulous problem solver and the king of “thinking outside of the box.”  His superior intellect saves us both money and time.  We’ve never had to fork out big bucks for math tutors for our children, and I rarely have to waste my valuable time digging through the junk drawer for my crumb infested calculator when I need to know what 248 X 17 is.  As beneficial as his mental powers are, they do have their shortcomings.  He’s a complete head-in-the-clouds, absent-minded professor type, sans the professor, (not surprisingly, he’s an engineer). It once took him two weeks to notice that I’d painted the kitchen green, despite the fact that the paint fumes that hung around for several days were making him dizzy.  He doesn’t always recognize social cues, which is probably the reason that long ago, despite the fact that he is very nice looking, the Army issued him a “girlfriend” for functions that required a date.   Perhaps the biggest downfall to my husband’s super intelligence is his inability to devise and execute a successful joke.  This is extremely sad, because more than anything in the world my darling husband, who proposed to me in front of a dishwasher, wants to be thought of as funny.

My husband’s sense of humor is mainly plagued by horrendous word play, one-liners that are funny only in his head, and jokes that he’s painstakingly memorized from the internet.  Always after each failed zinger, he scans the room to see if his quip has conjured at least a smile.  Every so often he’ll return from work beaming, because he made everyone laugh at his weekly staff meeting.  “They’re your subordinates,” I tell him.  “You sign their paychecks and decide who gets promoted.  They have to laugh.”   Then I remember that he’s playing to a staff of other engineers who very well might hoot passionately at his misguided jocularity. 

While his attempts at hilarity do little for us at home, there are times that my husband kicks ass in the humor department when he’s not even trying.  A prime example, is a few years ago when I broke my leg and had to have surgery.  The day my husband brought me home from the hospital our very kind, Southern neighbors brought dinner over to us.  Even in an oxycodone induced stupor, complete with the nods and drooling, I was still able to cringe when I heard my husband say to them several times during their conversation the phrases “Yeah, buddy!” and “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!”  This incident wasn’t funny until several days later, when I was fully sober.  “So honey what was with the “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!” and the “Yeah buddy!”  when the neighbors were here the other day?” I said nearly snotting (yes, actual snot was about to exit my nostrils) with laughter.  “Well, they have that Southern accent thing going on and I guess I got carried away with trying to fit in.  Was it that bad?” he said with a sheepish grin.  “Well, with your New Jersey accent it sort of sounded like The Sopranos meet Sanford and Son,” I not-so-reluctantly admitted. Luckily, he, too, found the situation hilarious in retrospect.  Several days later, when our daughter recounted to us how the neighbor’s son overheard his parents mentioning my husband’s ill phrasing, we laughed even harder. To this day the phrase “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!” still sends us into seizures of laughter. 

  There are many more riotous illustrations of my darling husband’s unwitting comedy, but my blog is beginning to break the rule of being too prolonged.  I’ll close by confessing that although there may be some awkward times associated with being married to a brianiac, that I am blissfully happy to be his wife and supremely thankful that our home is filled with mirth!