Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Eyes Have It

I knew I was in trouble at the Department of Motor Vehicles when I saw they were on #29 and I looked at my ticket printed with a large 831. I knew then it would be a long day.
But my number was actually B31. B.
So I very, very quickly went to my designated counter, had my picture taken, answered all of their questions, and promptly failed the vision test.
No new driver's license for me!
This terrible turn of events led to an impromptu visit to the eye doctor where I managed to have an anxiety attack and a mini freak out upon hearing the news that I had a stigmata!
A stigmata at Christmastime!
The doctor said "Thank the Lord for the DMV for making you come here!" and I was like, "Really? I've got a stigmata and you're thanking the Lord for the DMV?!!?"
In addition to my mark of disgrace, apparently I also have pterygium which a specialist will go ahead and scrape off for me if I ever want to see clearly again. I let them know that I don't really care about seeing clearly, per se, I just want to be able to drive (as if the two go hand in hand ... ?). So, they gave me a battery of eye tests which I easily passed!! The technician said, "Next, we'll do the Color Test." I said, "They're GREEN! I pass!"
She really did giggle a few times when I confidently saw things that were not there and was able to clearly identify squiggles as numbers. I think I have super-extraordinary vision, actually!! People should be honored to maneuver America's highway system next to me!
Seriously, I did pass the tests and was able to get a driver's license (albeit with a few restrictions). I will have some new glasses soon, and I promise to call the specialist for the eyeball scraping immediately.
But first, I must take care of that other little issue ....

Monday, August 8, 2016

Questions and Answers

I used to ask my grandmother a lot of questions. I never really got very good answers from her but I continued to ask. I did not, however, ask any follow-up questions, in spite of the fact that I never understood her responses. Many of the answers, frankly, just didn't make sense.
After counting the number of chairs around the table and the number of people waiting to eat, doing some quick calculations to determine we were down a chair, I asked Grandma, "Where am I going to sit?" (Funny that I assumed I would be the odd man out!)
"Where am I going to sit?" I asked. "Well, you could always sit on my thumb", she replied.
On a particularly boring afternoon I asked, "What can I do today?" She said, "Well, you could go to the garden and eat a worm."
Again, what?! (I don't think we actually had a garden and she knew I would never touch a worm let alone eat it! In fairness, though, I did drink from a mud puddle once on the assumption it would taste like chocolate milk.)(It didn't.)
"Grandma, why don't you like bananas?" "Oh, I like bananas", she said, "Bananas don't like me!"
How was that possible? How could bananas not like my grandma?!?! I mean, she said weird sh*t from time to time, but why would bananas care about that? It was no reason not to like her!! Overall I thought she was pretty awesome.
Stupid bananas.
Most of the "Why?" questions were answered with, "I'll tell you when you're Lori's age." Lori was our neighbor whom I assumed was about 10 or 12 but was apparently thirty-something because I never did get those particular answers. I'm sure Lori is full of excellent information, now that I think about it.
My mother always told me to stop scowling - my face was going to get stuck that way. I didn't think I was actually scowling, I was just confused all the time. If she and my grandmother would start making some sense, I wouldn't have to scowl. And, by the way, my face didn't actually get stuck that way, although it does slip into that position on an embarrassingly regular basis.
So, of all the questions I did ask my grandma, all the bizarre answers she provided, and all the answers she evaded, I never asked the most important question of all, "What the hell are you talking about?!?!"
I'm going to go find Lori.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In A Tight Spot

When I was a kid, I took everything quite literally. Well, "quite literally" isn't exactly accurate. I took everything extremely literally. Brutally literally. Is that possible?
I've been thinking about my life, lately, and when I talk to people and try to describe my situations, I find myself using terms from my childhood. And that, inevitably, gives me flashbacks.
The other day, while talking with a friend, I described feeling like I had painted myself into a corner.
I was in fifth or sixth grade when my parents decided to move to an old home on the lake outside our small South Dakota town. It was a fixer-upper, to say the least. My sister and I got to help decorate our rooms, though, and I remember going to a store in town to pick out wallpaper. I got to choose the colors and accessories for my room, under my mother's discriminating advisement, of course. My parents had the idea that we should paint the wood floors in our rooms and I was "allowed" to paint my own.
I chose green.
And I was tickled at the opportunity to pour new paint into a pan and dip the roller. I was on Cloud 9 (probably another memory) smearing green paint on the clean wood floor of my new room.
Now, I enjoy tasks like painting, ironing and mowing the lawn. These are tasks that give me a sense of accomplishment. My mind tends to wander while performing such tasks and I enjoy getting lost in myself. I can go a million miles away in my mind only to turn around and see the fruits of my labor.
That's what happened the day I painted my bedroom floor. I got lost in my head. I went to the moon and back. The world was still ahead of me at that point and I enjoyed imaging the possibilities. I wrote a song. I composed fantastic poetry. I fashioned a beautiful outfit and acceptance speech for the many awards I was sure to win.
I painted the hell out of that floor!
And when I turned around to appreciate all my hard work?
I had literally painted myself into a corner!
And I had to sit there for, like, eight hours literally watching paint dry.