Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fear=F*** Everything And Run

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Really, it's a good thing I only had a kitchen knife...

I grew up above a funeral home. The lock on our door was broken. I had a stalker who prank called me for my entire adolescence. My two favorite movies growing up were Mommie Dearest and Sybil. And my childhood best friend thought it was hysterical to hide behind stuff and jump out and scream. I know a little something about fear.

I slept with a kitchen knife under my pillow. I would watch my cats intensely for signs that they heard a noise that I may have missed there by giving me a head start on getting away from the manic mass murderer who was inevitably coming to get me. Fear was my constant companion. And when you have a constant companion you learn how to incorporate that companion into your every day life.

I learned how to cope. I looked for protection and found protection sorely lacking. I faced my fears regularly and became aware of things I could do and should not do so that I could keep my fear level reasonable. I won’t get into what stories I tell myself or rituals I have cause y’all would think I need to be medicated. And maybe I do…but I come from hardy German/Lutheran stock and we really don’t encourage the drama.

It took me awhile to figure out what was not a good idea for me to do. Like, not a good idea to watch Children of the Corn. Good idea to watch Caroline’s Comedy Hour. NOT a good idea to read anything by Stephen King. Good idea to read Seventeen magazine (although I wasn’t allowed to have a subscription…I got Young Miss…*sigh*). Bad idea to listen to Heavy Metal music…good idea to listen to christian talk radio….I know, I know….but whatever calms the fear and soothes the soul….Amen and hallelujah!!!

I used to listen to christian talk radio at night. It was soothing to have a voice talking about God while I tried to fall asleep. I would put the radio on sleep timer and usually have to reset it a few times before sleep finally found me. I mean really, how could I possibly relax when I had to make sure I didn’t accidently stab myself in my sleep with the gigantic kitchen knife I had hidden under my pillow? Anyway…..

One night, my best friend and I were home alone for the night. We were about 11 years old and my mom was working late. This wasn’t a common occurrence but it happened every now and then. I was just happy to not be alone….even if she was constantly running into the room and hiding so she could jump out and scare the shit out of me. God that pissed me off!!! And she ALWAYS got me. Always. She was the second youngest of 8 kids. If only I could get her back….

We were getting ready for bed and she brushed her teeth with a quickness so as to run into the bedroom and hide and jump out and give me a heart attack. By this time, I was on edge and pissed off. I couldn’t sneak attack her…I wasn’t fast enough. So, off she runs, into the bedroom where the radio had been off for the entire day when all of the sudden, as she is snickering in anticipation of my shriek of fear when she pops out at me, a disembodied voice says “Hi! My name is Bob and I’m going to rent your room!!!”

I have never ever heard any girl scream as loudly as she did as she ran from the room right into me, hugging me and laughing (cause that’s what she did when she got scared)!!!! Apparently the radio had turned on and a commercial for something or other just happened to be on at that exact moment!! Can you believe it? I didn’t have to do anything!!!! Those christian radio preachers were RIGHT!!! they said “Let go and let God get’em!!!” And He did!!!  You wouldn’t believe how many times in my life has God masqueraded as a guy named Bob…

 I hate when people pop out at me, in real life or in the movies. I don’t like scary movies and I have had my fill of ghost stories. I used to love a psychological thriller but my marriage kind of killed that for me. Despite that, when my best friend (not the same best friend…) suggested we go see Black Swan, I agreed. I know I cannot afford to be scared. I am The Mom now and I have to be brave in all situations. It’s in the job description so I cannot take a risk that a movie may put me over my fear threshold. Regardless of the fact that I know this movie is supposed to be creepy and disturbing, I really was in the mood for popcorn and I had a free ticket. 

My best friend was a little leery of being freaked out too…but we had heard SO much about this movie. It was good…really good. I watched the gross scenes through my fingers and I had to lighten up the mood by mentioning that Barbara Hershey’s dentures were far too big for her face…..that could make anyone psycho.

On the way to my car in the parking garage, a really good looking guy was walking in step with me. He was headed towards the parking garage with a belt in his hand. I mention that he is really good looking because all the psycho murders in the movies are good looking. He actually smiled and held the door open and as I felt the background music (in my head) swell….he took the stairs down as I took the stairs up….whoa…close call.

Then, I get in the car and call the kids. They don’t answer. Now I am sure Natalie Portman is in my house forcing my kids to do fouette turns and stabbing herself with a nailfile….damn it…and me without my kitchen knife.

The Zumba Police

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where are your sneakers bitch?

ok, zumba. I started with the zumba a few months back. For those of you who don’t know, zumba is the aerobics of the new millenium. Insted of Jane Fonda up front leading the class in a high cut bodysuit with matching headband, the leader is in baggy cargo pants and bra top with the zumba logo emblazoned on it all. To be fair, it is fun. It is more like dancing in a club, with all the lights on and no one is drunk….well, at least

Now, I have had a rough couple of years and I have fallen out of the pristine shape I once was in. My muscle tone has left me and I have no stamina. It crossed my mind that maybe I should start drinking and hitting the clubs again when all of the sudden the zumba craze erupted!!! Oh happy day…no hang overs for me!!!

What a shock that first class was. I had no idea that there were actually cliques of women and a hierarchy to the whole gym experience. I was so naieve. I figured we were all a bunch of out of shape ladies who were coming to get in shape or at least feel like we were getting in shape and have fun while doing it. Little did I know…

I was getting my zumba on and laughing at myself. Zumba uses latin rhythms and movements with some hip hop thrown in just to make sure that we feel really silly. I was loving it and watching myself try to imitate the instructor was hysterical. Being the friendly girl I am, I nudge the lady next to me and say “Oh my gosh…my butt is still moving even though the rest of me has stopped!!! Hahaha   ha   ha…” I got a grunt out of her.  I turn to the one on the other side of me and say ” I almost peed when she took that triple ‘up a notch’ “….no reaction. Ok, well, fine. These women are very serious about this zumba thing apparently.

About half way through, my knees started to swell. This is nothing new to me. My knees are very sensitive and always have been. So, I take off my sneakers to ease up on the resistance on my legs. It’s my body, I am 38, I know how I work. No big deal, I think. After all, every other day I am in this  same studio with bare feet for yoga. And immediately my knees start to feel better which leaves me free to zumba my ass off!!! There I am smiling away, shakin what the Lord gave me, looking like your quintessential white chick when the short lady from up front marches back to me and takes my jiggly elbow to lean me down to her and says “We recommend that you wear sneakers for this class” with a very smug/snotty look on her face. I was so high on zumbadorphins that I smiled and said “yeah, well, I have a broken toe and my knees were starting to swell” to which she replies ” Yes, exactly, we don’t want you to get injured!” to which I replied “I’m all set thanks.” and she finally marched away…literally…it was the march sequence. What the hell was that? The zumba police? Why would this little woman care if I had sneakers on or not? It’s a rule??

Then, after class, I saw her telling on me to the instructor! I was outraged!!! This short, older, out of shape woman is trying to tell ME about footwear protocol in a studio for a psudo-dance class? I thought logically about the whys of their sneaker rule. There was no logic to it. None. I have danced barefoot all my life. Sometimes on carpet, sometimes on tile, on the street, on concrete and on sand. There is NO reason why I should have to wear sneakers if I am uncomfortable in sneakers. That woman ruined my zumba.

I didn’t let her stop me though. I returned later in the week. And I took my sneaks off half way thru so as to relieve my knees. And I gave her my award winning smile as I did so. She just gave me the finger.

After this confrontation about the sneakers, I began to watch the interactions of the 40 or so women in the class. Where they stood, who talked to who, who had the licensed gear on, who was smiling and who was trying to look cool. Nobody looks cool. We all look like assholes. The music is way to young for us and the moves make things on our bodies shake that shouldn’t shake. It’s a great workout but I don’t see how zumba is going to further anyone’s career or personal relationships. I haven’t heard of a performing zumba company. I don’t get competition in a gym atmosphere. It’s just silly.

Anyway, I stopped going for about 2 weeks and I did miss it. I missed the music and the movement and the teacher singing along with the song. Plus, I gained back some pounds and I lost some stamina. I went today and she had changed the entire routine!! I didn’t know any of the steps or the music. But whatever, I still looked hysterical. I still laughed at myself. I still had a good time. And the lady next to me was totally new and she was having a hard time also, not because she was new but because she had NO ASS!!! She was built beautifully, but she didn’t have hips. I mean, obviously she had to have hips otherwise she would have fallen down. You can’t walk without hips. She just couldn’t shake them. Her flat ass was not made for zumba, which is what she said to me half way thru. I realized then that I had just climbed a rung on the ladder of zumba popularity. My large hips and ability to shake them made me one up from the lady with no idea where her tiny ass was or how to move it!!

And as I took my new found status out to the parking lot, I realized that the car next to mine had parked too close. As I was squeezing into my car, trying not to bang the other car, I thought to myself what is an asset in zumba is a liability in the parking lot. One of the bigger lessons zumba has to teach!!!