Dear Ms. Le. Bido…


…I know you’ve had a lot on your mind over the years but I wanted you to know that I miss you terribly.

O M F’ing G do I miss you!

Oh and yes, if you’re wondering, Mr. Dick Wad misses you as well!

I know that for a long time you’ve been down in the dumps and tossed around like a cheap salad because I’ve been so busy with my life, but I just don’t understand why you’re not responding to any of my e-mails or calls?

I don’t remember abusing you or misusing you in any way so I just don’t get it!

I’ve been searching for you non-stop these past few years.

I’ve looked under the couch hoping maybe you’d somehow accidentally slipped out that night I had one to many tequila’s and slept with my legs askew. That would have been an easy fix since I could have just slipped you back inside and no one would have been the wiser.

But no, you were nowhere to be found!

I’ve looked in the back of my closet and inside all my boots thinking maybe you felt you needed a break and quietly slid down my leg that day I had to stand in line at Costco.

I have a vague memory of a horrible itch that day. I seem to recall it was really hot and my panties were making me uncomfortable, but it would have been too embarrassing to scratch ‘down there’ in public. I’m sorry if that made you uncomfortable , so again I apologize if you felt neglected.

I’ve searched and searched endlessly!

Hell, I’ve even scoured my underwear drawer several times hoping that perhaps you just got stuck on one of my thongs but my search proved fruitless. You have simply vanished.

I recently put up posters hoping that someone would recognize you and bring you home safe and sound, but apparently posting pictures of our atrophied ‘Ms. Gina’ is against the law here.

I found this out the hard way after two uniformed officers showed up at my house informing me that in order for me to continue putting up these posters I would have to add a pair of underwear to the picture to cover Ms. Gina and I wasn’t sure, since you’ve been gone so long, which underwear you would recognize.

It’s been a tough road without you, and although it’s far more work these days to get my mojo on, I persevere.

I’m still holding out hope that one of these days we’ll cross paths again.

Until we meet again,

Mom

**********************************

Dear Mom,

Whaa, whaa, whaa!

Here’s the deal. You’re very needy. I had to make a stand. My biggest beef is that I felt over worked.

Sex, sex, and more sex! Whoo Hoo for you!

Jesus Christ!

You never gave me a break so I did what I had to do. I slipped out the back door during one of your, ahem, midnight silent killers.

I knew this would be the only way I could make a clean exit. Well actually, I guess it wasn’t exactly clean in that sense, but your hubby was so busy trying to get the pillow over his head I knew you wouldn’t even notice my abscence.

Just to let you know, I plan on coming back some day, but it’s not going to happen any time soon. I NEED MORE TIME. You’ve worked me hard for the last 35 years or so, I think I deserve some time off for good behavior.

I know you’ve been trying to lure me back and I’m appalled at the depths to which you can sink.

That Horney Goat Weed shit was child’s play. You actually thought you could drug me into returning?

By the way I’m currently in rehab THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

You’re such a fool.

If you were serious about trying to get me back you might want to step on the treadmill once in a while. I hear exercise really helps.

And while we’re on the subject, perhaps you’ll consider one less shot of tequila at night. This fucks with your brain as well as mine.


These are not threats but, I want you to take me seriously!

I know what you said to Thing One and Two and you just don’t scare me anymore.  One and Two still speak to me and they agree with the exercise thing.

Your’s truly,

Ms. Le. Bido

*****************************

Dearest Bashing Bido,

You suck!

Please do not rush back for my sake…bitch!

You should know better than to bite the hand that feeds you!

You know who.

Baby Fat…


…is something that all women have to deal with after that freaking blessed event of allowing a far too large object to slide out of the smallest portal on our body!

Let’s face it girls. We really don’t give much thought to our expanding girth when it’s falls under the guise of ‘baby fat’. As that little sucker grows inside of us we cling to that self-serving deception tactic of “I’ve got to feed the baby” or “I’m trying to protect the baby” with all this added cushion.

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t!

Pregnancy brain makes us delusional is what I think.

What we’ve really done is stuffed our bloody faces until we look like we’re ready to explode because we think no one’s really watching our weight–they’re only watching the blessed progression of a developing baby.

So, flash forward a decade or two.

You realize your kids are nearly adults now and you’re still carrying around a pile of flab that’s been there since way back when.

Double CRAP!

With the recession like it is now, so many of us are left to our own devices to get in shape because gym memberships are still at a premium. The price of working out one-on-one with a personal trainer is also out of reach for most of us, so what do we do–we start looking around to find the cheapest possible way to get the most for our money.

Hubby and I usually walk every morning at our local park. If we go around the outside twice we can get in about two miles. Unfortunately, when it’s a little cooler outside, we take a shortcut so we can stay in the sun. Hello…short cuts will not get rid of said baby fat.

But the good part is, we find new inspiration during these little treks because every day we’d see different groups working out. You’ve got your boot camps, your one-on-ones, basketball games, joggers…there’s a plethora of people trying to get fit, or as I like to think of it–getting your J-ello to finally set.

One group I’ve notice over the past year is made up of several young mothers and their toddlers. They use the strollers for balance, use their kids as free weights, and all in all, they seem like their having a good time instead of just sweating their asses off alone. They’ve got that camaraderie going on, and from the look on their faces, they really don’t seem to mind the stretching, crunching, or jogging so long as they can do it together.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. You grab a bunch of your ‘baby-fat’ friends who are stuck at home with their young children and you work out together. It’s the perfect world–like minded women at the same place in their life.

So after pondering this idea I finally got brave enough to go ask them if it was an open group and how much did it cost to join.

“We don’t pay anything, we just work out together because it’s more fun to do it this way,”  says the girl who kind of looks like she’s leading the group.

“Oh,” I said.

I notice that they’re all kind of staring at me in that odd kind of way because it’s obvious I’m a lot older than all of them.

“Could I come?” I ask.

“Well…you’re..um…I think you’re a little old for our group,” she says looking me up and down with that smug superior look on her face.

I want to bitch-slap her but I refrain from doing so because this might be my ticket to shed a few pounds without spending a dime so I keep my cool.

“No…I don’t think I’m too old,” I say as I crush the urge to take this bitch down right then and there. “I’m not as old as I look you know.”

The whole pack of them exchange a look, you know the one. I can see them trying to formulate a reason to get me to go away.

“Do you have kids?” she asks because I’m pretty sure she can see the daggers flying out of my eyeballs right towards her heart.

“Yeah, I’ve got kids,” I reply waiting to see where she’s going to go next.

She looks around at the others in the group trying to surmise by the looks on their faces whether or not she should offer me a place in the group. They pull themselves into a little huddle and have a short conference. A moment later they separate and the spokesgirl takes another long look at me.

“Why don’t you come Wednesday…WITH your kid,” she says. “We’ll see if you can keep up with us.”

Oh no you didn’t girl!

I can’t believe she went there so fast!

Yep, she upped the ante by attacking my competitive side. She may very well have opened Pandora’s Box!

Oh well, maybe this was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate me to undo what time and gluttony had done to me.

“Okie-dokie, I’ll see you Wednesday then,” I say.

I can hear them giggling as I walk away.

CRAP!!

I may have bitten off more than I could chew!

So here’s one of the only perks of home schooling. My son is constantly available, and fortunately for me, he has the same warped humor that I do. I know he’ll be game for this, and besides, he loves to work out so it’s game on.

Tuesday rolls around and I go to my neighbor and ask if I can borrow her jogger stroller.

“What do you need a stroller for?” she asks.

I lie and tell her I’m going to be babysitting a friend’s kid on Wednesday.

“Oh, okay,” she says.

Wednesday morning, I get up early, wash my hair, do my makeup, dress in my best workout clothes. I’m not going to let these young she dogs see the real morning me under any circumstances!

I get my son up, feed him so he won’t get cranky, and we head off to the park.

When I pull into the parking lot I can see them off in the distance. There’s five or six of them and they’re already stretching, and sucking back the last drops of their coffee. Why the hell do they look so perky already? I slap my face a few times trying to get that ‘warmed up already’ redness in my cheeks.

I get the stroller out of the back of my car, set it on the ground and try to open it.

Crap!

I guess we should have done a run through at home.

I realize it has some kind of dam fangled lock on it somewhere but I just can’t find it. I look around in desperation, and like a mirage before my eyes, there appears another health nut, a mother, with her kid, in the same kind of stroller, and I know she’s not part of the mommy group I’m about to join. She sees my plight and comes to my aid.

She flicks a little toggle and the god damm buggy springs to life just like when you pull the toggle of the life jacket on an airplane. Oh yeah! That’ll be a story for another time!

I jump out of the way and she laughs at me.

“Sometimes these things have a  life of there own,” she offers.”They take some getting used to.”

“No shit!” I say thinking these things must be manufactured by Toyota.

The smile on her lips turns sour and she glares at me.

I slap my hand over my mouth.

My bad!

I look down at her beautiful little girl who is also staring at me now.

“I’m sorry…that just kind of slipped out,” I say trying to salvage my bad self.

She say’s nothing in return for my apology. She just turns away and heads off with an air of indignation.

My son looks at me and we both burst out laughing.

Okay, so now we’ve got the stroller ready for loading. I look at my son then look at the stroller and wonder how this is going to work.

At six-feet-five inches this is definitely going to be interesting.

Knowing that my son’s in pretty good shape I figure we should be all right. It might take a minute or two to finagle his gangly limbs into it—but come hell or high water—it was going to happen!

My pride and mid-life fat was on the line here.

After ten minutes of pushing, shoving, contorting, and cramming his gangly body parts this way and that, he was sufficiently trapped in the damn blasted contraption.

Was he a happy camper? No!

“I can’t breathe,” he said. “My balls hurt!”

“Oh shut up you big baby,” I said slamming the sunshade down over his head.

Then it hit me. This was so uber-perfect because he was acting like a two-year-old.

I win!

As I approach the group I am met with stares, glares, and more of those WTF looks they’d given me on my initial approach.

I still win.

They never mentioned anything about an age limit—their loss—my gain!

“You didn’t say anything about your son being…well…older,” Miss Perky Boobs says.

“You never asked,” I say smugly because I know she can’t think of one damn thing to come back with.

I could see a couple of these young girls checking out my son and it brang a smile to my lips. He’s pretty damn cute if I don’t say so myself. He’s tall for his age and I’m pretty sure there’s a few gutter thoughts breezing through one or two of these young mother’s minds. But you know what? I don’t mind so much as long as they let me work out with them…FOR FREE!

Oh the sacrifice’s we mother’s make to save a dime here and there.

“Well, let’s just start then,” Miss PB says.

Now here’s where having my son in the stroller pays off big time. We’re starting out with squats.  I can see that these young girls are really going to have to use their leg muscles in order not to tip over their strollers as they use them to keep their balance. I watch as they check the safety straps and harnesses that will keep their littuns’ safe and sound.

My son is an anchor for me. His hundred and seventy five pounds of lean muscle hunkering down in that stroller means that I can disperse the muscle usage equally between my double chinned arms and my less than toned legs.

“Just hang on dude,” I warn him because the straps on this stroller are unusable with his size.

He unfurls his thirty-six inch inseam limbs, adjusts his gonads, then pushes the sunshade away so he can watch me. I here the first hint of a giggle sneaking out of him because he knows this is my least favorite exercise and I really have to concentrate so I don’t start laughing.

Miss PB starts the drill.

“One…hold it………………..Two…………..breathe.”

During the second squat, I start to feel that old familiar gurgle that emanates from my five-decade-old gas pipes.

CRAP!

Remember: mid-life and squats are not the best combination for me, especially with the absence of GasX . That’s what got me into this situation in the first place.

I take a deep breath and squeeze the old sphincter muscle as tight as I can in hopes that I can avoid the possibility of my butt actually erupting.

OOPS!

There goes the first warning shot! I count my blessings immediately because there’s no obvious noise.

Smell…well that’s another thing. Thank God I was down wind.

Dipping for number three felt a little better. I guess the warning shot had relieved enough pressure to let me continue without fear.

WRONG!

When I finally get all the way down—my butt, which has acquired it’s own life cycle, has decided it’s time to party. Oh yeah…bells and whistles—drum roll please—it was time to blow the party horn. The best I could hope for is that it wouldn’t react like a piñata that might actually spill its guts.

“WOW, THIS FEELS FANTASTIC,” I scream at the top of my lungs hoping it will drown out the sound of the thunderous blasphemy that seems to be taking its time exiting the building.

Of course my outburst is greeted with more WTF stares. I fight fire with fire and stare back because I don’t really care because, if I had my druthers, I’d rather they think I was a crazy old bitch instead of a stinking rotten smelly one.

I’d been so worried about the noise I didn’t notice that the wind had changed direction.

My first hint that something was way wrong was when my son clutched, first his nose, then his throat before making that gagging face over and over. About five seconds later he keeled over and played dead.

One of the girls noticed him slumped over while he was playing possum and pointed towards him.

“Is he okay?” she said with real concern in her voice.

“Oh yes, he’ll be fine in a minute,” I assure her.

I kick the bottom of the stroller to get my point across, to tell him to quit it. If he blows this for me there’d be a steep price to pay later.

That’s when he throws in a full body twitch just to make sure he gets his point across—that being that I’d nearly killed him as last night’s broccoli regurgitated itself.  I guess there’s only so much a person can do to reign in our personal carbon footprint.

“He just needs a little fresh air,” I say and start squatting again.

“Noooooooo…!”

It comes out of his mouth like a little childish whisper.

“OMG! Don’t do it Mom!” he says seeing me as I prepared to do the fourth squat.

“Can you just shut up?” I say to him.  “You don’t see any of the other kids making a scene.

“Hello…What are they, six months old…a year?” he says in his own defense.

I look over at their sweet little faces. They look like little angels ‘NOW’ and all I can do is smile.  They have no idea what’s to come ten, fifteen years from now.

Miss PB calls off the squats, announcing that we’re now going to jog around the park twice.

Oh Lord!

I knew I should have quit smoking a long time ago.

My mind starts to reel as I anticipate the possibility of respiratory failure. I know if I keep a fairly slow pace I can probably do it, but it’s much, much harder than I’d anticipated. I am comforted by the fact that I can see the giant hospital directly across the street from the park. I’m sure that if anything happens, like me going face down, the six of them can surely drag my sorry ass across the grass and deposit me in the emergency room in a timely manner.

The six of them take off leaving me in a heap of dust. Bitches! I watch their perky little asses and am fascinated by the fact that they don’t flop up and down like mine. WTF?

Before I can even think about running we have to reconfigure my sons legs back into the stroller so we don’t get tripped up and end up on a gurney for other reasons.

Okay, so we’re off. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be except for the fact that I can’t remember the last time I ran anywhere while trying to push a car in front of me.

My son decides he’ll help out by unfurling his legs and straddling the stroller trying to run along with me. Each time his foot hits the ground however, the stroller zigs in the opposite direction and we end up looking like we’re drunk.

“Put your damn feet up,” I yell. “You’re gonna kill us both.”

“I can’t, you have to stop first.”

“No way Jose,” I say looking over my shoulder. The girls are about to lap me.

He somehow pulls his legs up so we can keep moving. I try desperately to keep ahead of them, but it’s no use. One by one they zoom past.

CRAP!

I hate failure!

Try as I might I cannot keep up. Plan B starts to formulate in my befuddled, not enough morning coffee brain. I can see the group is about to round the last corner of the track, the home stretch, and realize that if I don’t act now I’ll have to go down in defeat.

I tell my son to get out and we cut across the center of the track. If I time this right, not only will this put us ahead of them, we’ll also have enough time to squish him back into the stroller and build up a little sweat.

When the girls finally ‘catch up’ with us they look confused.

“I know…I know, you didn’t even see me pass you huh?” I say pretending to be breathless. “Evelyn Wood’s Speed Running…took that course last year.”

This seems to impress them or at least this is what I tell myself.

Really, all I want to do is sit down, slug back some water, have a smoke, and rest for a few minutes.

No such luck. Apparently this workout group works like a ‘real’ boot camp. No rest for the weary.

This is really fucked up! How come I didn’t notice the ferocity of their regime during my walks? Guess that boils down to the old adage of ‘you only see what you want to see!’  But then again, this is probably why Miss PB’s boobs are still perky, and why all their butts are so firm. Guess I’ve been out of the loop a little too long.

Miss PB barks out that we are about to use the children as free weights so we should unleash them from their stroller seat.

I gasp, my son sighs!

We are instructed to lie on our backs, pull our legs up to a fetal position and then place our child up onto the lower part of our legs so we can do callisthenic leg lifts.

As I lie there on my back looking up towards the sky and the smirk on my son’s face, it hits me that I should have brought a towel because now my back will be scratchy all day as the dead grass penetrates my t-shirt.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face son, this is serious business,” I say.

“Oh I know, I can’t wait to see how this works out,” he says getting down on his knees.

He maneuvers his chest onto my lower legs. About two seconds later as his dead weight hits home, I feel all the air in my lungs disappear.

OMG!

Where oh where had my lower body strength gone?

I’m the handy man/woman of the house! I’ve framed in walls, built fences, framed out and built concrete stairs, hung drywall, plastered walls, moved two tons of pebbles, sand and rocks, planted trees out of their twenty four inch boxes, changed tires on cars, reworked plumbing, and gave birth twice vaginally.

How was it that this had not strengthened my legs. Why was this hundred and seventy-five pound punk suffocating me?

I looked to my left then my right, and each one of these girls was breezing through the routine.  Well no shit! They were balancing maybe fifteen or twenty pounds at the most.

Miss PB is glaring at me by this time. I’m sure she’s formulating the words she’s going to say to me after all is said and done that will make me go away and let them get on with their business of getting fit.

My son is looking down at me with that ‘what are you going to do now’ look and all I can do is smile.

“You know, you could help me out here you little Peckerhead! Put your hands on the ground and take some of the pressure off,” I say to him.

“But Mom…that would be cheating wouldn’t it?”

He says this not knowing that these words were, in reality, a death wish on his part.

“Sweetheart, if you don’t help me out here your gonads might just meet up with an unsightly accident,” I say smiling through gritted teeth.

“Oh,” he says as the smile evaporates from his lips.

He realizes that he’s in a compromised position. He lowers his hands to the ground in self-defense.

Okie Dokie then! In this position I can actually lift him. We manage to get about ten leg lifts done. Just as I really start to get the rhythm down Miss PB says we’re done.

She stands up and sets her oh so sweet daughter down in the middle of the circle with the other toddlers. She looks over at me, smiles her movie star smile, and I start to wonder whether or not my family can sue her for unnecessary cruelty in the event that I actually drop dead from exertion.

OMG! I know she can see the sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls, and that my face must be red as an apple at this point, but she doesn’t say a word—nor do I.  It’s just another moment where I want to bitch slap her for pushing me to, or rather, beyond my limit.

I am older and wiser and she is not going to win!

I need to gather myself here and pull my t-shirt up so I can swab away some of the fluids that have leaked out of me. Not a good move on my part because now they all see the body sucker I’ve been sporting under my clothes to reveal only my curvy side.

OOPS!

I can see them staring at me.  Yep! There were twelve eyes bearing down on my girdled midriff.

“I have a bad back. I need the pressure to hold my spine in place,” I say returning my t-shirt to where it should have never left.

Crap!

This is going to hell in a basket!

Miss PB rolls her eyes back in her head. I imitate her so she’s aware that I am not going to let her throw me. She announces that she’ll stay with the children while we go free jog.

WHAT? Free jog? She can’t be serious! That last stint nearly killed me even at the piddly-assed pace I tried to maintain. If I had to move faster than that, which I assumed she would want us to, I might never see my family again.

My son plopped down amid the toddlers and waved me off.

“Go on Mom, don’t worry about me,” he said right before he burst out laughing.

I put one foot in front of the other and made my way back to the track. Without the distraction of the added weight (my son and the stroller) I figured I could ace this portion of the workout for at least for one lap—maybe even two.

Unfortunately, my boobs, otherwise known as thing one and thing two, had other plans. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about doubling up on the sports bra, I just know that I hadn’t. Big mistake!

I was now being bitch-slapped by my own flesh.

My breasts had turned into out of control Slinky’s—undulated up, down, side-to-side—stretching in ways that could—in no way—be considered flattering.  I slowed down in order to stop this hideous circus act. I hadn’t even reached the second turn on the track when two of the young mothers lapped me.

Son of a bitch!

I did the only thing I could. I stopped.

I made my way back to the center of the track.

With my shoulders slumped in defeat I headed directly to Miss PB.

“You win! I’m done.”

“But we’re just getting started,” she says flashing her chicklet-white smile.

I’m so tired I can’t even be witty. I glare at my son who is currently sucking his thumb mimicking the other toddlers. I have just enough wherewithal to pull my shoulders back and stand as proud as I can.

“Let’s go son,” I say.

“Where we going Mom?”

“To lick my wounds!”

As we finish packing everything back into the car I catch sight of a group of seniors doing Thai Chi under the shade of several giant eucalyptus trees next to the parking lot.

“Ah-so young grasshopper,” I say smiling at my son. “There is a God after all—I’ll be right back.”

…is something that all women have to deal with after that freaking blessed event of allowing a far too large object to slide out of the smallest portal on our body!

Let’s face it girls. We really don’t give much thought to our expanding girth when it’s falls under the guise of ‘baby fat’. As that little sucker grows inside of us we cling to that self-serving deception tactic of “I’ve got to feed the baby” or “I’m trying to protect the baby” with all this added cushion.

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t!

Pregnancy brain makes us delusional is what I think.

What we’ve really done is stuffed our bloody faces until we look like we’re ready to explode because we think no one’s really watching our weight–they’re only watching the blessed progression of a developing baby.

So, flash forward a decade or two.

You realize your kids are nearly adults now and you’re still carrying around a pile of flab that’s been there since way back when.

Double CRAP!

With the recession like it is now, so many of us are left to our own devices to get in shape because gym memberships are still at a premium. The price of working out one-on-one with a personal trainer is also out of reach for most of us, so what do we do–we start looking around to find the cheapest possible way to get the most for our money.

Hubby and I usually walk every morning at our local park. If we go around the outside twice we can get in about two miles. Unfortunately, when it’s a little cooler outside, we take a shortcut so we can stay in the sun. Hello…short cuts will not get rid of said baby fat.

But the good part is, we find new inspiration during these little treks because every day we’d see different groups working out. You’ve got your boot camps, your one-on-ones, basketball games, joggers…there’s a plethora of people trying to get fit, or as I like to think of it–getting your J-ello to finally set.

One group I’ve notice over the past year is made up of several young mothers and their toddlers. They use the strollers for balance, use their kids as free weights, and all in all, they seem like their having a good time instead of just sweating their asses off alone. They’ve got that camaraderie going on, and from the look on their faces, they really don’t seem to mind the stretching, crunching, or jogging so long as they can do it together.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. You grab a bunch of your ‘baby-fat’ friends who are stuck at home with their young children and you work out together. It’s the perfect world–like minded women at the same place in their life.

So after pondering this idea I finally got brave enough to go ask them if it was an open group and how much did it cost to join.

“We don’t pay anything, we just work out together because it’s more fun to do it this way,”  says the girl who kind of looks like she’s leading the group.

“Oh,” I said.

I notice that they’re all kind of staring at me in that odd kind of way because it’s obvious I’m a lot older than all of them.

“Could I come?” I ask.

“Well…you’re..um…I think you’re a little old for our group,” she says looking me up and down with that smug superior look on her face.

I want to bitch-slap her but I refrain from doing so because this might be my ticket to shed a few pounds without spending a dime so I keep my cool.

“No…I don’t think I’m too old,” I say as I crush the urge to take this bitch down right then and there. “I’m not as old as I look you know.”

The whole pack of them exchange a look, you know the one. I can see them trying to formulate a reason to get me to go away.

“Do you have kids?” she asks because I’m pretty sure she can see the daggers flying out of my eyeballs right towards her heart.

“Yeah, I’ve got kids,” I reply waiting to see where she’s going to go next.

She looks around at the others in the group trying to surmise by the looks on their faces whether or not she should offer me a place in the group. They pull themselves into a little huddle and have a short conference. A moment later they separate and the spokesgirl takes another long look at me.

“Why don’t you come Wednesday…WITH your kid,” she says. “We’ll see if you can keep up with us.”

Oh no you didn’t girl!

I can’t believe she went there so fast!

Yep, she upped the ante by attacking my competitive side. She may very well have opened Pandora’s Box!

Oh well, maybe this was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate me to undo what time and gluttony had done to me.

“Okie-dokie, I’ll see you Wednesday then,” I say.

I can hear them giggling as I walk away.

CRAP!!

I may have bitten off more than I could chew!

So here’s one of the only perks of home schooling. My son is constantly available, and fortunately for me, he has the same warped humor that I do. I know he’ll be game for this, and besides, he loves to work out so it’s game on.

Tuesday rolls around and I go to my neighbor and ask if I can borrow her jogger stroller.

“What do you need a stroller for?” she asks.

I lie and tell her I’m going to be babysitting a friend’s kid on Wednesday.

“Oh, okay,” she says.

Wednesday morning, I get up early, wash my hair, do my makeup, dress in my best workout clothes. I’m not going to let these young she dogs see the real morning me under any circumstances!

I get my son up, feed him so he won’t get cranky, and we head off to the park.

When I pull into the parking lot I can see them off in the distance. There’s five or six of them and they’re already stretching, and sucking back the last drops of their coffee. Why the hell do they look so perky already? I slap my face a few times trying to get that ‘warmed up already’ redness in my cheeks.

I get the stroller out of the back of my car, set it on the ground and try to open it.

Crap!

I guess we should have done a run through at home.

I realize it has some kind of dam fangled lock on it somewhere but I just can’t find it. I look around in desperation, and like a mirage before my eyes, there appears another health nut, a mother, with her kid, in the same kind of stroller, and I know she’s not part of the mommy group I’m about to join. She sees my plight and comes to my aid.

She flicks a little toggle and the god damm buggy springs to life just like when you pull the toggle of the life jacket on an airplane. Oh yeah! That’ll be a story for another time!

I jump out of the way and she laughs at me.

“Sometimes these things have a  life of there own,” she offers.”They take some getting used to.”

“No shit!” I say thinking these things must be manufactured by Toyota.

The smile on her lips turns sour and she glares at me.

I slap my hand over my mouth.

My bad!

I look down at her beautiful little girl who is also staring at me now.

“I’m sorry…that just kind of slipped out,” I say trying to salvage my bad self.

She say’s nothing in return for my apology. She just turns away and heads off with an air of indignation.

My son looks at me and we both burst out laughing.

Okay, so now we’ve got the stroller ready for loading. I look at my son then look at the stroller and wonder how this is going to work.

At six-feet-five inches this is definitely going to be interesting.

Knowing that my son’s in pretty good shape I figure we should be all right. It might take a minute or two to finagle his gangly limbs into it—but come hell or high water—it was going to happen!

My pride and mid-life fat was on the line here.

After ten minutes of pushing, shoving, contorting, and cramming his gangly body parts this way and that, he was sufficiently trapped in the damn blasted contraption.

Was he a happy camper? No!

“I can’t breathe,” he said. “My balls hurt!”

“Oh shut up you big baby,” I said slamming the sunshade down over his head.

Then it hit me. This was so uber-perfect because he was acting like a two-year-old.

I win!

As I approach the group I am met with stares, glares, and more of those WTF looks they’d given me on my initial approach.

I still win.

They never mentioned anything about an age limit—their loss—my gain!

“You didn’t say anything about your son being…well…older,” Miss Perky Boobs says.

“You never asked,” I say smugly because I know she can’t think of one damn thing to come back with.

I could see a couple of these young girls checking out my son and it brang a smile to my lips. He’s pretty damn cute if I don’t say so myself. He’s tall for his age and I’m pretty sure there’s a few gutter thoughts breezing through one or two of these young mother’s minds. But you know what? I don’t mind so much as long as they let me work out with them…FOR FREE!

Oh the sacrifice’s we mother’s make to save a dime here and there.

“Well, let’s just start then,” Miss PB says.

Now here’s where having my son in the stroller pays off big time. We’re starting out with squats.  I can see that these young girls are really going to have to use their leg muscles in order not to tip over their strollers as they use them to keep their balance. I watch as they check the safety straps and harnesses that will keep their littuns’ safe and sound.

My son is an anchor for me. His hundred and seventy five pounds of lean muscle hunkering down in that stroller means that I can disperse the muscle usage equally between my double chinned arms and my less than toned legs.

“Just hang on dude,” I warn him because the straps on this stroller are unusable with his size.

He unfurls his thirty-six inch inseam limbs, adjusts his gonads, then pushes the sunshade away so he can watch me. I here the first hint of a giggle sneaking out of him because he knows this is my least favorite exercise and I really have to concentrate so I don’t start laughing.

Miss PB starts the drill.

“One…hold it………………..Two…………..breathe.”

During the second squat, I start to feel that old familiar gurgle that emanates from my five-decade-old gas pipes.

CRAP!

Remember: mid-life and squats are not the best combination for me, especially with the absence of GasX . That’s what got me into this situation in the first place.

I take a deep breath and squeeze the old sphincter muscle as tight as I can in hopes that I can avoid the possibility of my butt actually erupting.

OOPS!

There goes the first warning shot! I count my blessings immediately because there’s no obvious noise.

Smell…well that’s another thing. Thank God I was down wind.

Dipping for number three felt a little better. I guess the warning shot had relieved enough pressure to let me continue without fear.

WRONG!

When I finally get all the way down—my butt, which has acquired it’s own life cycle, has decided it’s time to party. Oh yeah…bells and whistles—drum roll please—it was time to blow the party horn. The best I could hope for is that it wouldn’t react like a piñata that might actually spill its guts.

“WOW, THIS FEELS FANTASTIC,” I scream at the top of my lungs hoping it will drown out the sound of the thunderous blasphemy that seems to be taking its time exiting the building.

Of course my outburst is greeted with more WTF stares. I fight fire with fire and stare back because I don’t really care because, if I had my druthers, I’d rather they think I was a crazy old bitch instead of a stinking rotten smelly one.

I’d been so worried about the noise I didn’t notice that the wind had changed direction.

My first hint that something was way wrong was when my son clutched, first his nose, then his throat before making that gagging face over and over. About five seconds later he keeled over and played dead.

One of the girls noticed him slumped over while he was playing possum and pointed towards him.

“Is he okay?” she said with real concern in her voice.

“Oh yes, he’ll be fine in a minute,” I assure her.

I kick the bottom of the stroller to get my point across, to tell him to quit it. If he blows this for me there’d be a steep price to pay later.

That’s when he throws in a full body twitch just to make sure he gets his point across—that being that I’d nearly killed him as last night’s broccoli regurgitated itself.  I guess there’s only so much a person can do to reign in our personal carbon footprint.

“He just needs a little fresh air,” I say and start squatting again.

“Noooooooo…!”

It comes out of his mouth like a little childish whisper.

“OMG! Don’t do it Mom!” he says seeing me as I prepared to do the fourth squat.

“Can you just shut up?” I say to him.  “You don’t see any of the other kids making a scene.

“Hello…What are they, six months old…a year?” he says in his own defense.

I look over at their sweet little faces. They look like little angels ‘NOW’ and all I can do is smile.  They have no idea what’s to come ten, fifteen years from now.

Miss PB calls off the squats, announcing that we’re now going to jog around the park twice.

Oh Lord!

I knew I should have quit smoking a long time ago.

My mind starts to reel as I anticipate the possibility of respiratory failure. I know if I keep a fairly slow pace I can probably do it, but it’s much, much harder than I’d anticipated. I am comforted by the fact that I can see the giant hospital directly across the street from the park. I’m sure that if anything happens, like me going face down, the six of them can surely drag my sorry ass across the grass and deposit me in the emergency room in a timely manner.

The six of them take off leaving me in a heap of dust. Bitches! I watch their perky little asses and am fascinated by the fact that they don’t flop up and down like mine. WTF?

Before I can even think about running we have to reconfigure my sons legs back into the stroller so we don’t get tripped up and end up on a gurney for other reasons.

Okay, so we’re off. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be except for the fact that I can’t remember the last time I ran anywhere while trying to push a car in front of me.

My son decides he’ll help out by unfurling his legs and straddling the stroller trying to run along with me. Each time his foot hits the ground however, the stroller zigs in the opposite direction and we end up looking like we’re drunk.

“Put your damn feet up,” I yell. “You’re gonna kill us both.”

“I can’t, you have to stop first.”

“No way Jose,” I say looking over my shoulder. The girls are about to lap me.

He somehow pulls his legs up so we can keep moving. I try desperately to keep ahead of them, but it’s no use. One by one they zoom past.

CRAP!

I hate failure!

Try as I might I cannot keep up. Plan B starts to formulate in my befuddled, not enough morning coffee brain. I can see the group is about to round the last corner of the track, the home stretch, and realize that if I don’t act now I’ll have to go down in defeat.

I tell my son to get out and we cut across the center of the track. If I time this right, not only will this put us ahead of them, we’ll also have enough time to squish him back into the stroller and build up a little sweat.

When the girls finally ‘catch up’ with us they look confused.

“I know…I know, you didn’t even see me pass you huh?” I say pretending to be breathless. “Evelyn Wood’s Speed Running…took that course last year.”

This seems to impress them or at least this is what I tell myself.

Really, all I want to do is sit down, slug back some water, have a smoke, and rest for a few minutes.

No such luck. Apparently this workout group works like a ‘real’ boot camp. No rest for the weary.

This is really fucked up! How come I didn’t notice the ferocity of their regime during my walks? Guess that boils down to the old adage of ‘you only see what you want to see!’  But then again, this is probably why Miss PB’s boobs are still perky, and why all their butts are so firm. Guess I’ve been out of the loop a little too long.

Miss PB barks out that we are about to use the children as free weights so we should unleash them from their stroller seat.

I gasp, my son sighs!

We are instructed to lie on our backs, pull our legs up to a fetal position and then place our child up onto the lower part of our legs so we can do callisthenic leg lifts.

As I lie there on my back looking up towards the sky and the smirk on my son’s face, it hits me that I should have brought a towel because now my back will be scratchy all day as the dead grass penetrates my t-shirt.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face son, this is serious business,” I say.

“Oh I know, I can’t wait to see how this works out,” he says getting down on his knees.

He maneuvers his chest onto my lower legs. About two seconds later as his dead weight hits home, I feel all the air in my lungs disappear.

OMG!

Where oh where had my lower body strength gone?

I’m the handy man/woman of the house! I’ve framed in walls, built fences, framed out and built concrete stairs, hung drywall, plastered walls, moved two tons of pebbles, sand and rocks, planted trees out of their twenty four inch boxes, changed tires on cars, reworked plumbing, and gave birth twice vaginally.

How was it that this had not strengthened my legs. Why was this hundred and seventy-five pound punk suffocating me?

I looked to my left then my right, and each one of these girls was breezing through the routine.  Well no shit! They were balancing maybe fifteen or twenty pounds at the most.

Miss PB is glaring at me by this time. I’m sure she’s formulating the words she’s going to say to me after all is said and done that will make me go away and let them get on with their business of getting fit.

My son is looking down at me with that ‘what are you going to do now’ look and all I can do is smile.

“You know, you could help me out here you little Peckerhead! Put your hands on the ground and take some of the pressure off,” I say to him.

“But Mom…that would be cheating wouldn’t it?”

He says this not knowing that these words were, in reality, a death wish on his part.

“Sweetheart, if you don’t help me out here your gonads might just meet up with an unsightly accident,” I say smiling through gritted teeth.

“Oh,” he says as the smile evaporates from his lips.

He realizes that he’s in a compromised position. He lowers his hands to the ground in self-defense.

Okie Dokie then! In this position I can actually lift him. We manage to get about ten leg lifts done. Just as I really start to get the rhythm down Miss PB says we’re done.

She stands up and sets her oh so sweet daughter down in the middle of the circle with the other toddlers. She looks over at me, smiles her movie star smile, and I start to wonder whether or not my family can sue her for unnecessary cruelty in the event that I actually drop dead from exertion.

OMG! I know she can see the sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls, and that my face must be red as an apple at this point, but she doesn’t say a word—nor do I.  It’s just another moment where I want to bitch slap her for pushing me to, or rather, beyond my limit.

I am older and wiser and she is not going to win!

I need to gather myself here and pull my t-shirt up so I can swab away some of the fluids that have leaked out of me. Not a good move on my part because now they all see the body sucker I’ve been sporting under my clothes to reveal only my curvy side.

OOPS!

I can see them staring at me.  Yep! There were twelve eyes bearing down on my girdled midriff.

“I have a bad back. I need the pressure to hold my spine in place,” I say returning my t-shirt to where it should have never left.

Crap!

This is going to hell in a basket!

Miss PB rolls her eyes back in her head. I imitate her so she’s aware that I am not going to let her throw me. She announces that she’ll stay with the children while we go free jog.

WHAT? Free jog? She can’t be serious! That last stint nearly killed me even at the piddly-assed pace I tried to maintain. If I had to move faster than that, which I assumed she would want us to, I might never see my family again.

My son plopped down amid the toddlers and waved me off.

“Go on Mom, don’t worry about me,” he said right before he burst out laughing.

I put one foot in front of the other and made my way back to the track. Without the distraction of the added weight (my son and the stroller) I figured I could ace this portion of the workout for at least for one lap—maybe even two.

Unfortunately, my boobs, otherwise known as thing one and thing two, had other plans. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about doubling up on the sports bra, I just know that I hadn’t. Big mistake!

I was now being bitch-slapped by my own flesh.

My breasts had turned into out of control Slinky’s—undulated up, down, side-to-side—stretching in ways that could—in no way—be considered flattering.  I slowed down in order to stop this hideous circus act. I hadn’t even reached the second turn on the track when two of the young mothers lapped me.

Son of a bitch!

I did the only thing I could. I stopped.

I made my way back to the center of the track.

With my shoulders slumped in defeat I headed directly to Miss PB.

“You win! I’m done.”

“But we’re just getting started,” she says flashing her chicklet-white smile.

I’m so tired I can’t even be witty. I glare at my son who is currently sucking his thumb mimicking the other toddlers. I have just enough wherewithal to pull my shoulders back and stand as proud as I can.

“Let’s go son,” I say.

“Where we going Mom?”

“To lick my wounds!”

As we finish packing everything back into the car I catch sight of a group of seniors doing Thai Chi under the shade of several giant eucalyptus trees next to the parking lot.

“Ah-so, not so fast young grasshopper,” I say smiling at my son. “There is a God after all—I’ll be right back.”

Suppleness is…


…a major concern for women of every age. Many of us who’ve passed the hormone marker, as in we have none any more, are constantly searching for the perfect combination of serum’s that will lift, soften, and moisturize our skin.

We’re constantly in pursuit of these miracle fluids or creams that can reduce those wretched wrinkles we lovingly refer to as smile lines that form around our eyes. We want something that will rid us of those hideous brown spots that seem to manifest themselves out of nowhere. We want something that will reduce the swelling and dark circles that appear underneath our eyes while we’re sleeping. You know the ones I’m talking about–the ones that make it seem as though you’ve recently been involved in some sort of brawl. We want something that will eliminate those spidery veins that leave parts of our body looking like road maps. We want, we want, we want!

It’s an endless quest. It’s expensive and time-consuming trying to track down these products that promise the fountain of youth but we do it anyway.

No big deal right?  Vanity know’s no boundaries I guess.

But here’s my new dilemma.

Because I’m a major insomniac I watch television in the middle of the night when my writer’s mind experiences what is known as writer’s block. You can pretty much be guaranteed that most of what’s on during these early morning hours are infomercials.

What’s amazing and particularly cool about that is that it makes me realize I’m not alone, I’m not the only woman who rises at these ungodly hours because most of these adverts pertain to women’s problem.

I’ve witnessed women losing 20 pounds of belly fat in ten days, women growing a full head of hair back in less than a month, women losing weight by popping a pill a day without having to change their diet, women getting a face lift in under ten minutes, and eewwww, women getting their butt-hole bleached for some God awful reason. The list goes on and on.

The exercise infomercials that really irk me are those freaking cardio routine ones. You know the ones. You can’t keep up, you trip over your own feet, and you have to take a five-minute break between every rep because your lungs no longer have the capacity to suck air in at that kind of speed.

What’s really a pisser is that usually there’s not one single female in the video who needs to lose one single stinking pound. Most of these bitches…I mean girls… are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They already have protruding rib cages, and that perfect little line that runs down their perfectly concave belly defining their tight little abs. Their hair remains perfectly in place. Their makeup does not run. Their perfect teeth glow like neon chicklets as their highly glossed pink surgically altered gargantuan lips part in smile. Their breasts, which are usually bursting out the top of their little skin-tight half-shirts, remain pert and immovable, and not one single ass cheek bounces around.

Never ever do they show some fat-ass woman wearing baggy ass clothes, sweating her fat ass off while gasping for air as they try to keep up the pace. What the hell is up with that?

Where is the reality here?

Okay, so I have to admit that once in a while I’ll bite the bullet and work out with them to make the time pass quicker. I’ll grab my resistance ropes or my little weights and follow along. I’ll work hard enough to get to the burn they talk about and I’ll continue until the fail point but then I stop because my heart is sending out that message ‘you stop or I’ll stop’.  At that point all I want to do is bitch slap the smile off their faces.

Oh yeah, I’ve been sucked in many times. I’ve picked up the phone within that golden ‘ten minute time limit’ to get the deal on their program or pill or cookie or whatever. I now own more exercise equipment than most gyms, most of which can be found hidden away in my 15 year old man-childs room. He loves that I like these infomercials.

Yes, I am constantly being barraged in the middle of the night with a plethora of images and information on how I should be taking care of my body.

With so many things to already worry about in order to have a somewhat reasonable appearance,  the last thing I ever thought I’d have to worry about is VD.

Yes, you heard me right–vaginal dryness.

At my age I’m apparently supposed to be worried about this. From what I understand now, almost forty percent of women my age suffer from this affliction.

‘That’s just fucking great’ I’m thinking to myself as I watch this stupid commercial that’s somehow slipped under the FCC’s critical eye . Like I don’t have other things to worry about, now I have to worry about that little sucker too!

What a bitch!

So there I am at three in the morning wondering whether my vagina is worn out after fifty some years of workin’ it.

Has it gone the way of my face?

OMG!  Say it isn’t so!

The thought of wrinkles and whatnot down there sends a shiver right through me. Should I go get this stuff and moisturize just in case, or should I just let sleeping dogs lie?

If you think about it a vagina get’s put through its paces over the years.

A good night of sex is like sending your ‘gina’ to the gym. Sometimes the work out’s slow and steady and sometimes it’s fat- burning cardio speed. Either way I’ve always considered this a good thing.

Aside from the good exercise as stated above our poor old vagina’s have to endure years of menstruation, which is both a blessing and a curse. Then, when we decide to have babies, we pray that it’ll play along when it’s time to give birth because it’s got to stretch itself far beyond what it signed of for as that little pink bundle slides out into the world. That’s a work out like no other and all we can do afterwards is pray that it’ll use common sense and somehow return to its normal size.

Seeing this commercial brought to mind a question my daughter asked me several years ago.

“Have you ever queef’d during sex?” she asked.

That was the first time I’d ever heard that word.

“Of course I have”, I replied without blinking an eye.

My assumption was that it was when some  sort of epiphany that happened during sex.

She laughed her ass of then went back to her room at which point I hightailed it into my office to look it up in the dictionary.

“Queef: (verb)…a vaginal fart during coitus.

No wonder she laughed. I’d definitely experienced that once or twice but I’d never given it a name.

All this time I’d thought it was just my vagina trying to catch its breath. My bad!

I digress.

Maybe those ‘queef’s’ were a sign of some sort. Maybe that’s the signal that you’re headed towards a vagina that will soon be reminicent of the Sahara Desert. One that is awaiting the presentation of an oasis in the form of vaginal moisturizer.

Based on its location it’s not easily accessible to your own eyes. The thought of asking the hubby about what he see’s down there is completely out of the question. This is in line with ‘if you don’t draw attention to a problem people won’t notice it’.

I think this is a gimme here!

I guess all I have to do now is decide which way to go here. Will I work under the premise that  ‘knowledge is power’ or ‘ignorance is bliss’ on this issue.

Exercise is…


sometimes like corporal punishment. We brutalize our poor little muscles mercilessly in hopes  they’ll shape up as fast as possible. We stress and strain them, often times beyond their capacity, and then wonder why they seek revenge the day after or the day after that. They’re smart little buggers. They can tie you up like a pretzel on crack.

Yes, they’re sneaky little bastards.

My last trainer’s favorite phrase was, “Do twenty more”.

I’d look at him with my best ‘fuck you’ glare.

Twenty more and they’ll be picking out a pine box for me. Twenty more and I might be picking out a pine box for him.

“My fat does not want to do twenty more” I’d tell him.

He’d glance at my gut knowing this would hit home. I’d cuss him under my breath but start counting.

“One, two, three…”

Bastard!

By the twelfth curl I’d feel that little candle like flame burning sensation building itself up to bonfire status.

“Why are we using such big weights,” I’d ask while trying desperately to suck in a breath.

“They’re only two pounds,” he’d say.

“Oh.” I’d say.

The thing about trainers is that they’ve already done all the work they need to on themselves so they’re well aware of the pain they’re inflicting. Do they emote any sympathy towards you as you struggle through each exercise? Hell no!

What I hated most about my trainer was, when I’d start moaning and grunting like a pig during our weight lifting sessions, he’d take his fingers and strum the fat on the underside of my upper arm like a virtuoso harp player just to make his point.

I’d try desperately to ignore his mockery of my fat flags and his snarky little grin. The whole time I’d be thinking, with very little effort I could probably make contact with the side of his head with the ‘two-pound’ dumb bell clenched in my sweaty palm.

Oh yeah, I’d picture him slowly melting towards the ground shortly after impact completely unconscious, in which time I could pour water over my head and down the front of my shirt then sit down next to him. When he’d come to all I’d have to say is ‘wow, that was a good workout, see you next week’. Unfortunately, I could never actually go through with it because we worked out at a public park. There would be witnesses. I had to force myself to stay in control and out of trouble.

Of course by this time he’d gotten that underarm fat moving so fast it was actually creating a nice little breeze that kept me cool.

“…eighteen, nineteen, twenty.”

At that point I’d feign exhaustion then let the weights drop from my hands hoping one of them would meet with his foot, but he was too fast. He knew me too well. He’d step back, smile, then bark out what was next.

“Squats,” he’d say.

“How many?” I ask.

“Fifteen,” he’d say.

I hate squats. I like what they do for my butt, and I like what they do for my legs, but I fucking hate doing them but not for the reason you might be thinking. The word ‘squat’ and the menopausal gastrointestinal system do not go together.

Once that word left his lips all I could think about was whether or not I’d taken my Gas X that morning.

He’d tap his watch and wait for me to spread my legs, square my shoulders, then raise my arms out in front of my body hoping to keep some semblance of balance. I’d start to lower my body ever so slowly. One inch, two inches, three inches. It’s then I’d remember that I DIDN’T take that little green pill. I’d meant to–I really did. I’d popped it out of its little vacuum sealed package but then I’d set it down on the kitchen counter while I went to retrieve a bottle of water.

OH NO!  I knew right away this was not going to be good.

“Go deeper,” he’d say.

I’d feel my stomach starting to gurgle. It wanted to purge itself in a big way.

“NOW,” he’d say as he put his hands on my shoulders pushing me towards the failure position.

I’d close my eyes and put all my concentration on keeping my sphincter muscle clamped tight. This is where all those kagel exercises you learned during pregnancy come in handy.

I’d go down a few more inches as requested and as always I’d feel my knees starting to shake. I could also feel one of those humongous gas  bubbles traversing around in my gut like a slalom racer looking for the gate.

OMG!

I knew I could only do about two or three more of these dips before this situation reached the ‘Houston, we’ve got a problem’ stage. I knew my limit.

“Two,” he says out loud as though I’ve lost my ability to count.

I suck in my lower belly as I rise hoping somehow to push this gaseous troublemaker back up to where it started. No dice my body tells me. This puppies gonna blow pretty damn soon.

My mind would be racing by this time. Maybe it’d be one of those polite silent ones, and if there is a God, it wouldn’t be one of those Chernobyl stinker’s that are bad enough to take out an entire neighborhood.

He’d move in closer to better control the depth of the squat and all I could do was concentrate on keeping my butt cheeks together.

As you can imagine, this is nearly impossible in this position.

Then it would occur to me that this strategy would eliminate the possibility of silence.

If the gas left my butt during the tightening of the cheeks it would likely come out sounding like one of those canned air horns. I’d  have to think on my feet and make some kind of decision. Let her rip and take my chances it would just blow out like a soft gentle breeze or publicly acknowledge that I had a rip-roaring case of gas.

But wait, I’d say to myself. If I let mother nature take its course and let it blow in its full glory, the sound ringing out like a proud duck quacking with a cold, this might put an end to this particular exercise. Maybe he’d see that it was not in his best interest or mine to force my body into this ridiculous position.

Oop’s!

Too late. My bad!

Half way down on the second squat my body took control, my sphincter relaxed and justice was served. It was not polite, nor was it quite. As a matter of fact a few people passing by us during this assault actually looked up in the sky searching for the flock of ducks they’d just heard.

“Jesus Christ,” he’d say looking down at his legs to make sure I hadn’t left skid marks on his tight white workout pants.

“What are you talking about?” I say pointing to the people looking up into the sky. “Didn’t you see them, the ducks?”

He’d follow their gaze searching the clear blue sky for any sign of birds.

Then it would hit him.

The air surrounding us was so toxic it rippled the same way hot summer sun does over cool asphalt.   It smelled so bad the end of his nose actually curled in such a way as to close itself off from the foulness.

Distraction is the best defense so I began to squat one more time.

“NOOOOOO,” he’d manage to squeak out while trying to hold his breath. “We’re done with those.”

“Oh, okay,” I’d say. “What do you want to do now?”

“Shower,” he’d say.

“Oh, okay. I’ll see you next week.”

“No…I think I’m busy next week.”

As I stood there digesting his comment I realized that we were done–forever–so I bent over to pick up my towel and delivered a parting prize.

I guess I should be grateful he dumped me. All the money I’d been spending on getting in shape has now been diverted to purchasing the big box of Gas X from Costco. My entire family is grateful to him now I work out at home.

In Passing…


…gas that is, I’ve come to the conclusion that every time I let one rip I’m adding yet another X on my carbon footprint. CRAP! That’s why I never attend those ‘green’ conferences. Without a doubt I’d be the one walking around with the big neon sign hovering near my ass that say’s “guilty, guilty, guilty”. I’ve tried to do my part for the environment.  I’ve been pretty diligent about changing my light bulbs and unplugging appliances, but this internal gas thing it seems is completely out of my control now.

Age tends to load us up with lots of aches and pains, and from my experience, after you let cheek-flapping farts loose, many of those aches and pains disappear. I swear to God, ninety-nine percent of the time I’m spot on. I’ve always been a big believer that everything that ails you boils down to gas.

My kids tell me their stomach’s hurts.

“Once you fart you’ll feel better”, I say. “Let her rip.”

“But Mom!”

“I think I have appendicitis.”

“Fart, you’ll feel better. Trust me.”

“But Mom!”

“I think I broke my arm”.

Just fart…oh…wait…maybe we should see the doctor.”

I hate it when they throw a wrench in the engine.

Okay, sometimes it’s not gas and you actually have to do something to cure what ails them, but for the most part, it’s a pattern they follow as they reach for attention.

In mid-life I’ve come to the conclusion that gas is one of life’s perks as you age. It’s a glorious thing too! We can write off nearly everything that’s going on in our body as gas related. Who wants to think of the alternative? Yes, I tend to live in the mind-set where ‘ignorance is bliss’.

When we were kids, we never thought too much about it, we just let it go whenever. We didn’t care who heard it. As a matter of fact, the grosser we made it sound the better we felt. It became a job well done! Oh yeah, if you could press your butt against something solid, something that would enable the noise to become this thunderous crescendo, whoo hoo!

We used it as a tool to gross out our friends. We did it in the classroom because we knew no one could escape from the foul air.

We did it in the car when we knew our parents had the safety locks on the windows so none of us could accidentally fall out of the moving vehicle. We waited patiently for the aroma to waft forward from the backseat waiting for signs of recognition on our parents face, and then we waited with great anticipation for that age-old question of ‘WHO FARTED’?

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

It was a game we all played very well.

It was always a giggle inducer as my sisters and I sat piled on top of one another watching as my mother secretly surveyed my fathers face out of the corner of her eye to see if she could detect any signs that he was the culprit. Even if she did suspect him she’d never say anything because it was never good to embarrass the husband in front of the children. She’d just crack the window a little and maintain her presumption that it was one of us kids. Why is that father’s don’t need an excuse for this kind of behavior? They just do as they please and expect everyone to ignore it?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, somewhere along the way we developed this sense of  pride and that took all the fun out of it. If we got gas we’d undo a button, let a zipper open an inch or two to help relieve the pressure, or we’d suck back some kind of bubbly drink hoping it would diffuse the bubbles in our belly without having to let them pass naturally. We suffered through countless seconds, minutes, or hours until we could find a private place to let our suffering go. We had reached the age where it just wasn’t polite to fart in public anymore because we knew we would suffer ridicule if we got busted. It didn’t matter how bad you felt holding it in, you just sucked up, squeezed your butt-cheeks together and waited until an appropriate time and place arrived where we could undo the evil that lurked within.

On a recent visit to my local grocery store, the one that offers seniors shopping day every Friday, I was inexplicably possessed with joining my elders in their unpretentious symphony of sound. I showed up at the store with that awful gurgling feeling in my gut. I tried to wait it out at home but realized I was running out of time to get all my errands done so off I went. I knew the evil was lurking and ready to go but pride was fighting me tooth and nail. I sucked up, walked up and down the aisles squeezing my cheeks together like I was doing some kind of cardio-muscular exercise to improve the look of my butt.

But try as I might, there was no doubt in my mind that there was no holding this one back. I started to become desperate because there were more people in the store than usual, and most of them seemed to be around my age. I began searching for that ‘golden aisle’, the one that had a couple of senior citizens ambling along. BINGO!

“Hello shoppers, we’ve got two old farts on isle ten.”

I think by this point there was even a tear in my eye as I approached them. I’m not sure if it was relief or disbelief that I was going to blow and let them take the fall. The fact was, I didn’t care at this point. I managed to manouver myself between the two of them. I reached up and grabbed a can of something from the shelf in order to maintain my position. I felt ‘it’ move and prepared myself for release. Ahhhhhhh! There was no sound, thank God, but it took longer than anticipated.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see one of the seniors slowly approaching my position. Unfortunately, just beyond her was this very handsome guy also making his way towards ground zero. “Oh no”, I thought to myself. I knew I had to bust a move so I set the can down and headed directly towards the two of them. If I could get next to that old gal then I’d be home free. Like most things in life, timing is everything.

I got next to her, and because my nose is very sensitive, I knew that foul odor had followed me. I took two steps beyond her, which put me about five feet from the handsome guy. He looked my way and I reverted to my old acting chops. I grimaced. I pointed my thumb towards the old lady and then appropriately waved my fingers under my nose. Then I made that ‘whew’ expression and kept on moving. It was going to be okay.

In the check out line, I stood there waiting for them to slide everything over the scanner. Low and behold both the old gal and the handsome guy got into the same line as me. I tried to ignore them but suddenly found the front of her cart bumping into my hip. When I turned to look at her in protest of this physical intrusion I couldn’t help but notice this odd look on her face.

Girl, you should take something for that,” she says to me. “Jesus Christ, you just about bloody killed me back there.”

The handsome guy of course is privy to this dialogue and starts to laugh uncontrollably.

I left the store vowing that I will never, ever again, pass gas at the grocery store no matter how old I get!