Monday, February 11, 2008

My Left Shin

Like most women, every year or so I go to the gyno to be poked and prodded and have my pap smear. I haven't been this year and I should make that appointment, come to think of it - it's such big fun and all that. Anyway, though, my gyno is very Asheville, in that she has a fountain in her waiting room and several huge dogs trotting around the office. She's also very Asheville, or maybe this is everywhere now, in that she asks searching psychological questions during the pre exam period. Well, they're not all that searching. Usually she asks me what I'm using for contraception, to which my stock answer used to be celibacy and then she asks me if I have a partner, to which I used to reply, "No, hence the celibacy" and then she asks me if anyone is beating me up.

I answer this one in the negative as well since nobody is beating me up at the moment or, in fact, pretty much ever. Now, I know this is a serious subject and I shouldn't be making light of it but I always kind of wondered who, exactly, given my partnerless, celibate state, she thought was beating me up. The dogs? My kids? Vampires? Some shadowy, anonymous assailant? I wonder this because she never wants to take my no as a serious answer but instead, gets that look on her face that means she thinks I'm lying (same damn look she gets when I tell her that yeah, I'm totally going to quit smoking soon) and asks me again. I can understand her quandary, actually, because, okay, I do generally have bruises all over me. I can't help it. It's because inanimate objects hate me.

Right now, my main enemy is the bathtub, replacing the kitchen cabinets. It's always a kind of complicated global strategy game around my house - either I'm at peace with the kitchen cabinets and the tub is trying to kill me or the lamps team up with the bookshelf while the tub and I reach a tentative peace agreement. You see, the tub drain is slow at best and straight up clogged at worst, which makes the bathtub slippery and by slippery I mean that standing on one leg in it while you attempt to shave the other leg is a major death defying feat.

They (and by they, I mean large shoppes of the Mart variety) used to sell gritty stickers in the shape of dolphins and seashells and frogs and monkeys (why? Why, oh lord, monkeys?) in a bunch of unappetizing pastel colors to counter this exact problem, but apparently China doesn't make those anymore. Instead, they now make smooth white plastic dolphins and starfish with little suckers on the bottom. These things do not work unless you're using them to slide across your bathtub on one foot, which is apparently what they were designed to do. This is how I ended up with one of the huge raised bruises on my left shin: I stepped into the bath and onto a dolphin with my right foot, which promptly slid gracefully across the tub. By some law of physics, this made my left shin meet the outside edge of the bathtub. Hard.

Therefore, I went out and bought a plastic bathmat with little suckers on the bottom. This will work, I thought proudly, and I stepped on it confidently with my right foot. The little suckers behaved exactly the same way as before, to wit, kind of like a bathtub Zamboni. And just like an Olympic figure skating champion I zoomed across the bottom of the tub, whanging the hell out of my left shin in almost but not quite exactly the same place as before.

The third bruise, though, is a healthy outdoor bruise from a large stick that attacked me out of the blue when I was walking the dogs this morning. The other two bruises are sort of starting to fade and since I apparently must have at least three giant welts on my shin at all times, I think the bathtub sent the stick to ambush me. I was walking along, minding my own business, spacing out completely, ruminating vaguely about work and kids and god only knows when suddenly I stepped on this stick with my right foot and it swung around and whacked me hard on the left shin. When even my household appliances are outsourcing their warfare, it's getting clearer that I cannot win this battle. I cede defeat. Yes, I am getting beaten up and it's my house that's doing it.


Edgy Mama said...

I think this is a genetic trait. In fact, it's a Scotch-Irish gene. I, too, often am beaten on by inanimate objects. My current nemesis is the 100-pound coffee table made from an old barn door in my living room. It's incredibly cool, but the corners are at mid-thigh level and it does not budge a centimeter when I run into in the dark in the middle of the night. Just don't ask why I'm walking around in the dark in the middle of the night, kay?

zen said...

Not only do i have the Scotch-Irish gene as Edgy and you, but i am a Saggitarian, who, by at least one by one Astrology book's account find that most inanimate objects seem to prefer attacking my head. Stick-whacking and corner whomping seems to happen to leave great divots in the sides and top of my noggin. It's why i cannot ever ever enjoy the cool radicality of shaving my head - the one time i did i found that it more resembled the surface of the moon than those cool round pates that look so minimally wonderful. And hats. It's why i wear hats to soften the blow - though, it rarely works.