Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope all of you reading this are having a lovely day with the people you care about most. Here’s a little flashback to 1991, when we lived in PA and always had a bunch of people over for Thanksgiving dinners. But I didn’t really describe much of that here.
What was I doing while the whole family gathered around? Playing Nintendo, of course!
Thursday November 28, 1991
Today was nice, I helped Mommy make stuffing, coleslaw, carrots. it was fun. Then around four o’clock the Mayocks came, then the Fausts and Uncle Jim, Aunt Boo, Lindsay and Jackie and Drew + Jane + Karen. Also Gram and Aunt Evelyn. Jay and I played Nintendo all night.
I had to include the next day’s entry too because I can’t stop laughing at the ridiculous self portrait I drew.
Friday November 29, 1991
Today was okay we had no school so we played outside today. I had fun. Tonight we watched TGIF. (Perfect Strangers, Full House and Family Matters, anyone? Whatever, I was 11!)
Anyway, check out what I imagined myself looking like “in at least 5 years”
It looks like I have a butt growing out of my chest. Much to my disappointment, I did not have anything resembling cantaloupes in my shirt 5 years later (or ever), but I did succeed in growing my hair very long and getting a nice set of teeth. I was pretty happy about that!
1. When you refer to your implants and people look questioningly at your chest.
2. Not being able to feel if you have spinach, seeds, bread – anything – stuck on, in-between or around your teeth.
3. Getting massive quantities of food stuck underneath the bridgework.
4. Needing to use a WaterPik to feel like your mouth is actually clean.
5. Needing to bring two kinds of floss, toothpicks and a variety of brushes when travelling without the WaterPik.
6. Having to keep a stash of toothpicks in your desk at work, in the console of the car, and in your purse for those on-the-go moments.
7. The glare in photos.
8. Forgetting you have teeth (or just how far they extend) and smacking them with your glass while drinking.
9. Getting comments like “Wow, your teeth are perfect! How’d you get so lucky?”
10. Breaking a few teeth off your bridge while biting into a chocolate lollipop.
Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful on the daily for my dental implants and bridgework. Even with the hassle of keeping them clean, and the occasional incident (I’m not kidding about breaking off teeth with lollipops, as well as apples and chocolate), I love having a full set of teeth to smile with and to show off when I talk. My self-confidence is ten times greater than it was before my dental work was complete. I will happily WaterPik my evenings away if that’s what it takes. But sometimes you’ve just got to laugh at the silly things that happen when you’ve got a mouth full of man-made materials.
I’ve decided to liven things up by doing a weekly “Throwback Thursday” post. It will consist of photos, journal pages, and who knows what other mementos I will dig up. Hope you enjoy!
My mom and I were being silly as I got ready for bed. I probably asked her to play with my hair and this was the result. I loved making goofy faces to make my mom laugh.
This picture was taken shortly after my nose revision surgery. If you look closely you can see how red the scars are around the bottom of my nose, plus some of my stitches got infected so I had sores too. Ow.
I feel like this picture sums up how I felt post-surgery. After getting over the hump of feeling sad and wounded, there’s moments of feeling pretty happy and silly.
Being hearing impaired but not wearing a hearing aid (or a sign that says “I’m deaf on the left”) makes for some interesting life experiences. I’ve unintentionally offended people when I’ve seemingly ignored them, when really, I had no idea they were talking to me or talking at all. There have been plenty of times that I have not heard someone clearly and thought they said something totally different than what they really meant. I’ve also had scary moments of driving in my car and hearing a siren and not knowing which direction a fire truck or ambulance is going to approach from. Luckily so far none of the moments have been life-altering. At least not that I know of… perhaps I just misheard.
The other day I was in my boss’s office for a meeting. Both of my co-workers were out of the office, so it was just me and my boss. She has a small conference table in front of her desk, where my co-workers and I usually sit. Out of habit, I sat so that my boss’s desk was to my right, which meant that my back was to the door.
We were expecting someone to call in during the meeting, and right on cue, the phone rang. I saw my boss reach out and push a button. Then she said “Hey, how’s it going?” A voice I was not expecting to hear began to talk. I noticed that he sounded incredibly clear, and lacking that tinny, echoing quality that people usually have when they’re on speakerphone. It was another colleague, and he and my boss chatted amicably for a few minutes. I fiddled with my notebook, and flipped through a stack of papers I’d brought in for the meeting.
Then a weird thing happened. My boss’s phone rang again. The clear voice said “Oh, do you need to get that?”
Wait a second… I thought to myself. How does he know she’s getting another call?
My boss pushed a button on the phone to divert the call. I looked at her and noticed that she kept looking at something above my head. We have a calendar on the door, so at first I thought she was just looking at that. It finally occurred to me that there might be another reason she kept looking my way. Slowly I turned my head to the left and out of the corner of my eye I saw that there was someone standing behind me.
I’m not sure I can describe the feeling I had at that moment. As hilarious as it would have been for me to react as Lucy in the photo above, I did not. I had to spend a few seconds composing myself because I was pretty horrified that I hadn’t been able to tell that there’d been someone standing behind me and talking for what must have been a solid five minutes. I was also worried that I’d appeared rude for not acknowledging him the whole time. I decided to play it cool and not let on that I had just realized he was there. The next time he made a joke, I turned and looked him in the eye as I chuckled at his wittiness. I think I saved face there, but barely. I’m sure my boss was wondering why I hadn’t turned to look at him before that, and why I kept looking at her and at the phone.
Note to self: Avoid sitting with your back to the door. Or, start wearing glasses with side mirrors.
A few months ago, we had a huge event at work. It was a celebration for a new factory we built. At the start of the lunch, which coincided with torrential downpours, I was handing out name badges and table assignments to the 150+ people who were flooding into the tent.
In the midst of the chaos, a man approached me, holding a bundle in his hands. “Do you have some place I can put my jacket?” he asked. I took the folded-up jacket from him and looked around the crowded tent. My first thought was that he should just put it on the back of his chair like any sensible person would do, but not knowing who he was, I didn’t say this out loud. I told him I’d put it in the kitchen, and I fought my way through the gaggle of people, through the rain and back into the building, where I placed the jacket on a chair in the break room and promptly forgot about it.
Hours later, I stood by the gift table as the event drew to a close. A handsome man met my eye from across the room. Once. Twice. Multiple times. This was odd. I know I’m not the most average-looking woman, so I’m used to the stares, though usually people are a bit more subtle. But this guy was imploring with his eyes, his gazeburning into me over his glass of lemonade. What is his deal? I wondered.
Finally he came closer. “Uh, hi,” he said awkwardly, “I gave you my jacket earlier and I’m not sure where you put it….
What super power would you have? Why, invisibility, of course! Sure it would be nice to fly, or shoot lasers out of my eyes, but to be invisible . . . now that would be really cool.
One spring afternoon in Music class, we were learning a song about the rain. On the handout there was a drawing of a boy walking through the rain with an umbrella. As I often did, I doodled on the drawing, beginning with shading his rain boots. Absent-mindedly, I continued embellishing the drawing until I came up with an amazing idea. Imagine an umbrella with curtain-like sides, so you could be completely hidden from view while using it! I could picture myself taking a walk through the park, strolling along in my own private room while passersby were completely uninterested in looking at me.
That afternoon I leapt off the school bus and ran to the house, eager to build the prototype. In the mudroom, I located the big Mary Poppins-style umbrella, grabbed a roll of duct tape and the rag box – which had some old bed sheets in it. I brought all the supplies out into the yard and painstakingly taped the mis-matched, paint-spattered sheets around the umbrella. I taped each sheet together to ensure that there would be no gaps through which I could be seen. My friend Chrissy came over to see what I was up to, determined I was nuts, and went home to watch Saved By the Bell.
About an hour later, my umbrella creation was ready for a test run. I climbed under the sheets and hoisted the heavy contraption up off the ground. I’d failed to consider how I was going to navigate under this thing. After a few cautious steps around the yard, it was determined that an adjustment was needed. A section of sheet was removed and replaced with an opened-up black trash bag. The bag was transparent enough for me to see through, but not so transparent that anyone would be able to see me inside it. Brilliant! By then, it was time for dinner, so I closed the umbrella-contraption and tossed it into the mudroom, feeling accomplished.
A few weeks later, Joanna was visiting for the weekend. As usual, we spent much of the time lying around complaining about how incredibly bored we were. Then I remembered the umbrella. We decided to take it out for a walk around the park. It was big enough for the two of us to walk side-by-side in it, but it was awkward trying to coordinate our pace and not tread on the sheets which billowed around us. We made it across the parking lot to a bench near the tennis courts, where we sat down, still inside the umbrella.
Two teenage boys had just finished up a tennis game. They had probably seen us approaching the bench, like an enormous drunken jellyfish. They exited the tennis court and began walking towards us, their curiosity piqued. Joanna elbowed me in the ribs. “They’re coming over here!” she gasped, “let’s get out of here!” I grabbed her arm, “No! Sit here – let’s see what happens!” For some reason, I didn’t expect them to actually come over to us. But they did. One of them tapped the top of the umbrella with his tennis racket. “Hello? What is this?” he laughed. We sat, paralyzed with a mix of excitement and fear. The other boy pulled back one of the sheets and peeked in. “There’s a couple of chicks in there!” he exclaimed. The other pushed him aside to have a look. “Naw, they’re just kids.”
As soon as they turned and began walking away, we leaped up from the bench and began running back to the house as hard as we could. If walking in a coordinated fashion had been difficult, running was proving to be impossible. The heavy umbrella wobbled uncontrollably in our hands. Joanna tripped on one of the sheets, ripping it from the umbrella as she fell. I kept running, still holding onto the umbrella as the remaining sheets flowed out behind me like a horse’s tail. Joanna kicked her legs free of the sheet that had tripped her and desperately continued running. Breathless, we reached the safety of the yard, where we collapsed into a screaming, laughing heap of sheets and mangled umbrella.