Tag Archives: laughing

Solider Boy…Oh My Little Solider Boy


I have a best friend who everyone wishes was their best friend. Actually, ALL of my besties instill jealousy in others. Not intentionally, I am just one hell of a lucky gal and I have incredible best friends. When I think of the women I have been blessed to have in my life, as my friends, closer than family, I marvel…because I myself am not that great of a friend. My intentions are always good but you know where good intentions lead you…

When I was pregnant with baby #1, I was secretly terrified. I didn’t even know how scared I was. Mainly because I had no birth story of my own. I was adopted so my life began at 5 months old. My mother couldn’t give me any idea what birth was really like or even what MY birth was really like. So, as far as I knew, my stomach was simply swollen. Or possibly I was growing a huge tumor. I was the second in our group of friends to have a baby. Our first friend wasn’t all that helpful at the time because, well, she was taking care of a baby. My girlfriends didn’t really know what to make of the situation. I wasn’t a “kid” person. I wasn’t particularly maternal, like, ever. So, they rallied but we all just acted as if nothing was different. Which was comforting.

My best friend had been through a major surgery just a couple of years before so she was the one who instinctually knew I must be scared. Thinking back, we were just kids. But holy hell were we strong. Friendship really doesn’t cover what we have. This particular best friend is always ready with a laugh. She is the one who makes me funny. She makes anyone she meets feel like they are her best friend. She’s a good egg.

One day we were at my mother’s house. My mom is kind of what Oprah would call a hoarder. She has lots of random things lying around and stuffed in cupboards and tucked into corners, stacked in boxes, pushed up against the walls, on shelves in the garage, you get the idea. It’s heaven for little kids and prop comedians. We were sitting there at the kitchen table discussing plans for who knows what, when all of a sudden my best friend picks up a tiny wooden solider toy from the back of the stove and starts laughing hysterically which makes me laugh hysterically which makes me cry…down my leg. Even when I wasn’t pregnant this was the way our time together generally went. She laughs, I laugh, we pee.

Now we are both laughing so hard we are crying and she starts singing the song from the 60’s by the Shirelles “Solider boy….oh my little solider boy…” ( I should mention here that she has a killer singing voice. Like, she was in a blues band and all, cut a cd…the girl can sing which makes this all the funnier). I know I know, you had to be there. But, we decided that she WOULD be there for the birth of my first baby. I needed her. She would make this terrifying thing I was going through ok. She would make me laugh and remind me that it wasn’t the end of the world. And, she would bring Solider Boy with her. I was supposed to have a focus object for labor and Solider Boy was obviously perfect.

Now we had a plan. My best friend would smuggle Solider Boy in to the hospital in her mouth, cause he fit in her mouth and then pop him out when she got to my room so I could focus! We were still in fits of giggles when we left my mother’s house for the our own houses…ofcourse she called me 10 minutes after she got home to sing the Soldier Boy song on my answering machine which sent me running for the bathroom.

When the blessed day came and I was in my hospital room in writhing, unbearable pain, I wanted my best friend there with me. But the nurses refused anyone to come in! I have NO idea why. Possibly because they were bitches, possibly not. Anyway, I heard the commotion in the hallway and I heard my best friend yell “THEY WON’T LET ME IN!! I LOVE YOU!! WE WILL BE RIGHT OUTSIDE……ME….AND….SOLIDER BOY OH MY LITTLE SOLIDER BOY!!!!!!!”  And she walked slowly back to the waiting room singing at the top of her lungs Solider Boy….and I laughed and then cried. 100 years, 3 pain shots and an epidural later I pushed out my beautiful baby girl. My best friend and Soldier Boy weren’t there to witness her first breath but I knew they were there in spirit. I slept and when I woke up, I lifted my head to check on that little pink peanut sleeping in the bassinet next to me and then shifted my gaze to the night stand to see Solider Boy keeping watch over both of us.

In the 18 years since that night, I have moved house a few times, had a couple more kids, been divorced and basically lived a lot of life. My best friend has been living in New York City for the last 15 years. We are still tight. Anyway, I didn’t know where Solider Boy had gotten to. I couldn’t imagine that my best friend would know where Solider Boy was. But recently I was reminded of our Soldier Boy after watching a Seinfeld episode where Jerry, George and Elaine were attending a classical piano concert and were supposed to be very sedate and Jerry put a Pez dispenser on Elaine’s leg and she starts laughing so uncontrollably that she has to leave the concert disrupting the other audience members and ofcourse upsetting the piano player who George was dating. I sent the clip to my best friend and told her this reminded me of us and Solider Boy… did she remember Soldier Boy? She sent me back this:

Do I remember Soldier Boy?? I had to wipe the chicken salad I had for lunch off of him to take this photo. Of course I remember Soldier Boy!

Do I remember Soldier Boy?? I had to wipe the chicken salad I had for lunch off of him to take this photo. Of course I remember Soldier Boy!

And………… I peed.


The Zumba Police


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!!!