Polly Does Dopey : A Chronological List of the Dopey Things I’ve Done that Amuse Me

  1. When I was 16, my youth group held a wet n’ wild event where I proceeded to get wildly wet. At the close of the evening, I climbed into the back seat of my friend’s dopeyrefreshment-438399_12802car, my shorts drenched, and I was immediately sitting in a puddle. I did have a semi-dry towel which I used as a screen to remove my Sham Wows. I wrapped the towel around my waist covering my near nakedness. We stopped at a light and my most supportive friend yelled, “Chinese Fire Drill”. Do I have to continue?
  2. A friend and I used to swing on the swings at the elementary school behind my dopeyswing-846077_12802house. We were having a jumping off contest scored on height and distance. My last jump, my flimsy shorts remained on the swing. Are you getting the impression that I like to run around publically in my underpants?
  3. I had a friend who worked at a Second Cup Kiosk. I stopped for a visit and she gave me a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans. I don’t drink coffee, but a chocolate covered gift is a gift. I proceeded to eat most of the bag. I went for a bike ride at 3:00 the next morning.
  4. I was working at Sears during my college days. I was folding some towels a ways away from the check-out desk (they were paying me) and the phone rang. I dopeybackground-686856_12802dashed to retrieve the call and wiped out like I was sliding into home base, skirt flyin’ high, in front of a lady and her son. I pray for that boy.
  5. I can hold down a job. Again, I was working at Sears. A lovely, older lady and co-worker of mine approached me with concern in her eyes at the beginning of my shift. In a most compassionate tone, she asked why my forehead was covered with miniscule X indentations. She nudged my bangs aside like a kindly nurse wanting a closer look. I had no idea what she was talking about and scurried off to the restroom to investigate. When I looked in the mirror, I laughed myself silly. I’m a compulsive zit picker.
  6. On my wedding day, I wanted to make sure my pretties were lifted and supported dopeybra-362805_12802so I cinched up my harness to perfectly perky. In the receiving line, all the hugging caused a wardrobe malfunction. My brassiere became a necklace. I was forced to flee to the bushes.
  7. When I was still a newly-wed, we invited a family over for dinner. I didn’t know the rule that one should only use tried and true recipes when having company in. (I still don’t have any of those.) The party was fun. The dinner was disgusting.
  8. We were invited to a potluck where I was asked to bring steamed green beans with lemon wedges. I boiled the beanies out of those things while squirting them with my trusty, plastic lemon. When people came through the line and stood before my dish, they could hardly hide their distaste.
  9. Shortly after I had my first child, a friend called to ask if I wanted to go for a walk in the river valley. My stomach had been a little queasy, but I was eager to get out and talk to an adult while breathing in the fresh air. Am I the only one who doesn’tdopeydisgusting-1300592_12802 listen to her body? Halfway through our stroll, I feared I may explode. I dithered around in my mind, no longer able to even concentrate on what my friend was saying. I could not banish the image of me, legs parted, schlepping home like a slug leaving a trail of smelly, melted, chunky peanut butter behind me. When we arrived back at my place, I ran downstairs to shoot the moon, but sadly, didn’t even get the gun out of the holster. While my friend waited upstairs, I tried as best I could to swipe up the splats. I had no towel and no extra clothes for such an emergency. Pulling my maternity top down, I marched upstairs and, peering around the door, explained my malady to my guest. She graciously averted her eyes.
  10. I’d worked as a Dental Receptionist for a number of years and most of my days dopeytelephone-1223310_12802were spent with a telephone in my ear. At the end of one particularly strenuous call session where I’m sure I talked to upwards of 50 answering machines, I lost it. “Hello, this is Polly calling from Really Expensive Dental Centre. This call is for Polly. Oh…Wait…(audible confusion)…that would be me.

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Bite My Muffin Top

I read an article the other day written by a personal trainer. I don’t have my own personal trainer ( I kinda feel like I’m talking about a pet) and I don’t believe I’ll ever have the need for one. Why did I read the article then? Because I’m obsessed with my weight and how I look, like countless others on the continent. I’ve read the diet books, the workout books, the anti-diet and anti-workout books. I’ve swallowed the latest exercisecrossfit-534615_12802infomercial’s hype and bought videos that make me feel foolish, look stupid, and want to stop. I purchased one plastic contraption where the only exercise I got out of it was kicking it to the curb on garbage day. I’ve done the dusty stationary bike, those monotonous aerobics, the funny breathing exercises,the tedious weight lifting routines and the lie down and trim down Pilates. (I’ll admit I enjoyed the lying down part.) I wanted to see if he had anything new to say, any wisdom to impart that would inspire and motivate me to take better care of my body. What was I thinking? He’s a personal trainer. It’s in his best interest to tell us that there is no mind game, no pill that eats up fat cells like Pac-Man, no food that will release the stores of chub we’ve been self-consciously hugging. The success of his business depends on the premise that extreme physical exercise supervised by a glowing Adonis who eats hamburgers wrapped in lettuce (a travesty) is our only hope of becoming the Jennifer Aniston we were meant to be.

Mr. Good and Sweaty wrote something like, “If you think you’re going to lose your muffin top by running around the block, think again.” He made an assumption that we all want to lose our muffin tops; as if it’s a crime to have one and if you don’t shed the cheddar, you’ll be shipped off to a muffin top colony where you’ll live out your sorry life exerciselake-constance-1937138_12802segregated in shame. He assumes that we lie around berating ourselves and cursing our muffin tops (not too vigorously, as this would require too much movement) while waiting for a personal savior, I mean, trainer to rescue us from our prison of pudge. According to him, if you want to tumble the jelly from your belly, you have to trick the body, challenge the body, and hurt the body. You have to regularly work your body to the point of exhaustion. I have a friend who has a personal trainer and she has a fantastic figure. Some days she would come to work and she could hardly walk. She groaned through the various physical maneuvers she had to perform to do her job, like bending over to file something or getting up to use the photocopier. She willingly paid someone to put her in this condition. My innate dislike of pain tells me that if something I’m doing hurts me, I should stop doing it. My common sense tells me to refrain from giving anyone $75.00 an hour to hurt me, no matter how hot or physically imposing they are. My slogan is “No pain, I gain and I’m okay with that”. Those of you who are close friends of mine, please take a cartoon-sized sledgehammer and flatten me into a pile of oozing pink blubber, if I ever speak of hiring a personal trainer. At the very least, have me committed to a loony bin/fat farm.

I run around the block. That’s the only exercise I do besides walking. I try to do it in the morning to get it over with. True to the cliché, it feels really good when it’s over. I don’t allow myself to stop until I reach that certain point on the sidewalk. I know that if I stop a step sooner every time, in a month I’ll be sitting in front of the flat screen downing a exerciserunning-573762_12802jumbo bag of cheezies. My muffin top isn’t going anywhere. If there are fitness fanatics out there who don’t like it, they can stop looking in the bakery window. There are other worthwhile reasons to exercise. I run to strengthen my body. I run to keep my weight down. I run so I can keep up with my kids. I run and I will keep running so that in my old age, I won’t be stuck in a motorized wheelchair, farting, and playing scrabble. I run so that I can enjoy chocolate and poutine and greasy pizza and pasta with cream sauce and sugary pecan pie and big slabs of cheesecake. I’m not about to torture my body or give up eating all kinds of real tasty food for flat abs and slim hips. That would be far too painful.

Author’s note: I wrote this 10 years ago. I recently began running around the block again and lifting weights. After working in the health care field for the last 5 years and caring for obese patients who could hardly do anything for themselves, it impressed upon me the need to be as fit and healthy as possible going into old age. Of course, I’d always rather sit on the the couch, but I now know where that leads and it’s not pretty!

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

The Aging Game

Wrinkles are life’s measurable outcome.

I would say my face started visibly aging when I turned 40. (My soul’s age is skipping in a groove somewhere in adolescence.) People were always telling me how young I looked. I’ll throw out a few examples:

1) In our first year of marriage, my husband had a picture of me on his desk. A man in his office picked up the photo and said, “You’ve got a good lookin’ daughter there”. My husband and I were both 25 at the time. My picture disappeared from his office that day and hasn’t been seen since. Should I be concerned?

2) A cute, little boy came to my door selling honey and asked if my mother was home. I was 37 with three births hanging over my belt. I said, “No” which was the truth and he accepted this and abruptly left. Am I a meany? Indubitably. I’m a money-lacking, honey-hating meany.

3) I got out of my car at the library, just as an older woman was walking up. She looked bewildered and said, “You have a driver’s license?” I’ve chosen to take this as a compliment and have only momentarily considered the alternative, because I know, at first sight, I don’t appear disturbed.

When I boldly stepped up to the big 40, I began to see subtle changes in my appearance everyday. When you pile subtle on subtle, you get my current state. I look in the mirror wrinklesface-984031_12802and being a writer, I’m tempted to start a paragraph on my forehead. Rivulets trickle down through the alarming black trenches that are being dug under my eyes by the evil black trench fairies. I notice people who have ten years on me with chiseled parenthesis further separating their eyebrows. Whenever I encounter someone like this, I wanna grab a sharpie and fill in that blank between the parenthesis with a question mark. I tell myself to relax my forehead and eyebrows repeatedly to avoid looking permanently stern.

I’ve read that a woman must slather her hands with moisturizer and stick them in tube socks overnight to keep them from giving away her age. My hands are a blinking “I’m a shriveled up, apple core of a human being” sign. I haven’t tried the tube sock solution on my head yet, but I think the effects would be more damaging than helpful. With the night sweats I’m experiencing, I might just spontaneously combust and then I’d look like a wrinkled, burn victim.wrinklesanimal-1851495_12802

I catch my hands sneaking up to the skin on my neck which is starting to feel like the texture of raw poultry. I’ve seen people pulling on their own chicken skin and I would strongly advise against this. I know I’m being like a mother who tells her kid who is having oodles of fun making faces that he should stop or his face will stay like that. Someone should do a study. What if it’s true? Do you know what a flap of loose skin, found on roosters, turkeys, some dog and goat varieties, and even some humans, is called? A wattle. Do you want a wattle? I should think not. I’d give up that habitual wattle wiggling before it’s too late.

Do I care enough about the natural decay that I see taking place on my person to book an wrinklesscalpel-24257_12802appointment with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon? I don’t even take off my makeup before going to bed. I’d like my children to be able to go to college. The idea of someone carving my face up with a scalpel reminds me too much of CSI. I think women who use Botox or have plastic surgery done are giving away their age anyway. It looks unnatural. Most movie stars who have it done look worse to me, not better. They fiddle with their eyes, noses, lips, and chins and end up looking like a not so pretty caricature of themselves. Our skin isn’t supposed to be stretched taut. It’s supposed to be supple and soft and eventually weathered and capable of revealing the most nuanced emotions.

There’s nothing wrong with being healthy, taking care of yourself, and trying to look your best, but people are going crazy with the injecting and the cutting. I’ll mention here that I’m in no way an untouched Eve. I spackle on makeup everyday, shave my legs and my pits when I have to, and I’ve had my upper four front teeth done. I’ve succumbed as much as anyone to the message that my appearance isn’t quite good enough for public display. But I’m determined to allow my largest organ, my skin, to age as gracefully or ungracefully as it will.

My husband says he finds older women attractive (good, good). He says they possess an elegance and self-confidence that only comes with age. He says younger women look like children to him. Some of the wisest, most attractive, fun people I know are in their 70’s. Their battle scars, their marks of character, their wrinkles don’t affect my opinion of them. My mother is the most beautiful woman I know. She’s as warm and effervescent as sunshine and people of all ages are drawn to her. We were standing in the bathroom together and she frowned at her reflection and said, “I’m so wrinkled”. I countered her self-accusation by bringing up her age which I won’t share with you. I have no problem wrinklesmakeup-2589040_12802sharing my age and I don’t understand why others do. I’m 51 years proud and I’m merrily rolling along to 52 as I write this.

Do people look in the mirror and see their own corpses rather than the regal, worn but winning individuals they are? Do their reflections remind them that they don’t have much time left? Isn’t it perfect that as our beauty fades so does our vision. I’ve decided to look in the mirror with gentleness and kindness, to look past the uneven tone, fine lines, deep creases, and dark circles into my still vibrant soul. The package may be looking a little shabby, but it’s the contents that matter. Only a child plays with the box the gift came in at Christmas. Adults know that the good stuff is on the inside.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

With Rest Like This

I recently had a visit from the relatives. I don’t know how it’s for you, but I find it exhausting. It was fun, but it’s like eating too much–after awhile you start to feel sick. They left on Monday. It’s Thursday and I’m still recovering. There’s something wrong when a person has to recover from a holiday. We took our kids to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo this year. We did it in seven days. It was busy. All along the way, we were dazzled by creativity and enchanted by the magic of rest2make believe. We made some happy memories and I’m glad we took the trip, but I noticed the attractions begin to repel quickly. The noise-level, flashing lights, bright colors, and crowds of sweaty tourists are over-stimulating and that’s an understatement. There’s a lot of standing in line, straining to see, listening to whining and crying (I couldn’t help myself), interspersed with snippets of glee, spontaneous “oohs” and “ahhs”, and a year’s supply of french fries. We waited two hours to find Nemo and my daughter said when she found him, she would slap him. The cheery attendant standing nearby was horrified. Three days at the Magic Kingdom and we were sprinting for the drawbridge. We started using it as a disciplinary tool.

“I told you to stop it. Don’t make me take you back there.”

By the time we hit Sea World, we were so glad they had animals to look at. Our insides were scrambled. What is it with the ride thing, anyway? Are our lives so boring that we need to fly around at top speed in the equivalent of a gigantic blender to feel something? As an aside, don’t you find that many tourist attractions fail to live up to their advertising? rest3Those listed above are certainly the exceptions. We went to a corn maze once. The write up said it would be “fun for the whole family”. It seemed overpriced and the cashier gave us a discount, saying it wasn’t quite finished and she didn’t feel right about charging us the full amount. The maze was covered in jagged wood chips that stuck to my kid’s socks and gave them splinters. The train ride lasted about a minute as we chugged around a smelly slew. The budget ghost town was populated by what looked like corpses, dried-up, rotten, apple core faces with naked, bony hands and feet. Maggots would have been appropriate. Some of the scenes were so gruesome, I had to shield my children’s eyes. Talk about your creepy rip-off!

My favorite part of our California adventure was visiting the beach. We took the whole day. We chose a lonely stretch of ocean. The weather was mild and the sun was shining. The water was cold, but it was so blue it almost blended with the sky. The sound of the rest4waves keeping time caressed my bombed-out senses from their catatonic state. We spread out the towels. We set up the snacks. We laughed at my husband for once again buying yet another bag of inedible, chile and lime styrofoam that no one would help him eat. My oldest daughter shrieked and giggled as she chased the water in and out. My son dug deep, covering himself in the warm, wet sand. My youngest girlie collected shells with her daddy. I walked along the shore, relishing a few moments alone. We talked and rested. We could have used a few more days like that–the kind of day that makes your heart ache in a good way.

When we take a vacation, is it not because we’ve worked hard and need a break? Why do we work at our play and rest? Are we doomed to toil in everything we do? I believe part of the reason is the “get all you can out of life” mentality that’s so prevalent in our society today. There’s an urgency to this way of thinking that keeps us running. A person must see and do everything before she dies even if she ends up in a hospital with her left eye twitching, half her hair pulled out, and a draft whistling up her tuchus. All this go, go, going is enough to make us all sick, sick, sick.

I’m determined to put off the drab hospital gown indefinitely. There is wisdom in knowing your limits and they’re different for everyone. My life may not be as exciting as a travel blogger’s, but it’s a good one and I want to live it with a healthy mind and body. I’m thinking the key is to slow down in my down time so that when I return to work, I’m refreshed and ready to pick up where I left off.beach2764081_1280

I’m dreaming of the ideal holiday. Visit an interesting place. No racing from one attraction to another. No schedule. Discover as you go. Stop when you’re curiosity is aroused, not when the tour book tells you to. No guilt if you decide to take a pass. Have fun, but remember that too much tickling can be tiring. Eat good food. Take naps and walks. Be with the ones you love. Leave the work at work.

Author’s note: This piece was written when my children were small. It seemed appropriate to post it as I embark on a holiday. There is no post scheduled for next week. I hope to see you back here on July 9. Grace and peace, friends! 🙂

Complete the experience. Listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s Land of Opportunity.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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To Clean or not to Clean

A messy person spends countless hours swearing, searching for her keys, glasses, important papers, etc.cleaningswearing-294391__480
A clean person puts things in the same place every time. Therefore, she always knows where things are and has more free time to color code her sock drawer.
A messy person wears whatever crawls up to her bed in the morning.
A clean person’s clothes are always freshly laundered, pressed, and laid out neatly the night before. A wrinkle or stain can cause psychosis.
A messy person eats fruit over the sink, cold pizza straight from the fridge, and TV dinners in front of the tube.cleaningelegant-tableware-1431790__480
A clean person will only eat at the table with a full place setting, decorative table linens, and music to aid digestion.
A messy person lounges in the living room eating and drinking. Her couch has the equivalent of a bag of chips and three day’s bus fare under the cushions.
A clean person covers her couch with a tasteful throw and no one, and I mean NO ONE, is allowed to sit on it.
A messy person hacks and coughs, as she writes love notes and funny sayings in the dust on her furniture.
A clean person polishes her furniture until it shines and she can stare at her perfectly coiffed reflection from across the room.
A messy person’s bed looks exactly the way it did when she rolled out of it.cleaningunmadebed3330870850_39bd7af674_z
A clean person’s bed looks like a catalogue advertisement
A messy person moves her piles around to accommodate guests.
A clean person has a guestroom complete with scented candles, designer bedding, and travel-sized toiletries, all the comforts of Martha Stewart’s home.
A messy person looks out the window and notices the sunshine, the blue sky, and the birds flitting from tree to tree. She winds up wondering why everything looks so blurry.
A clean person never gets past the smudges and streaks on the window. After conducting IMG_7444_Fotora thorough cleaning, she steps back to survey her handiwork and notices the drapes need to be vacuumed.
A messy person’s pad smells like Parmesan cheese, dirty socks, and flatulence.
A clean person’s living quarter’s smells like fresh lemons, ocean breezes, or country meadows, depending on her mood and chemical preference that day.
A messy person is spontaneous, carefree, and relaxed. She makes the world more fun.
A clean person is organized, careful, and accomplished. She makes the world more beautiful.
Which one are you?
The world needs us both. 🙂

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Mushy, Gushy Spider

I don’t like spiders. I don’t care that they eat mosquitoes. I can kill my own mosquitoes. spider-452489_1280It’s their appearance that makes me half close an eye and shudder. I can’t even look at pictures without convulsing. They’re hideous from afar. Their supreme ugliness is comparable to the most beautiful flower. I don’t discriminate either; the hairy, hand-like Tarantula, the gawky Daddy Long Legs, the infamous, poisonous, big-bellied Black Widow, the nameless house spider with the chunky body and appendages that looks like it does steroids, the little one that jumps at you when you go in for the kill, I hate them all.
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The Gift of a Giggle

Salty patient without a filter, grabbing my flab, as I leaned over her to adjust her pillow: “I see you’ve got your winter tires on.”

Me: “They’re all season.” 😀

 

Author’s Note: This was written when I worked as a health care aide on the geriatric wing of the local hospital.

The other day, my daughter and I made pizza together. I bought some pizza dough in a tube which, as I’m writing this, sounds gross, but what are you going to do, if you’re not a domestic goddess? We started well in advance of when we needed to be done. We read the directions, popped the tube, and Rose went to work rolling out the dough. Only, it didn’t roll out. While I grated cheese, I watched her grapple with it, her frustration increasing with every pound of her delicate fists. I figured it needed a little more muscle. anniversary2I put the big guns to work. I kneaded, pressed, and patted it. I massaged it with all the pizza love I had in me and, if you’ve seen my wedding cake, you know I have some formidable pizza love. It remained on the cutting board, a cold, unyielding lump the color of death. Even the rolling pin hardly put a dent in it. Meanwhile, the time was fast approaching when my big husband would bound through the door, growling like a hungry bear. I began to get desperate and a bit silly with exhaustion. Why not? I thought to myself. Nothing else I’ve tried has worked. I whipped that inflexible blob into the air, tossing it just like I’d seen elderly, Italian gentlemen with moustachios do it. I whooped and hooted and tossed, delirious, insane, no longer caring about the time or that what I was doing was making no difference in the dough at all. The difference it made was in me. It released the tension I was feeling. It melted away the frustration.
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You Oughta be in Pictures…or Not

My first camera, a basic Kodak, was a Christmas gift, a costly gift, when I think about it now, in time and coinage. One had to purchase film, snap the allotted pictures, take the film into a store that would develop it, and pick up the pictures when they were ready. You paid for every photo, the pic of your grandparents with grandpa’s head cut scan00152off, the pic of your grandparents where you almost sliced grandma clean away, and the pic of your foot (Seriously, I loved my grandparents. I just sucked at taking pictures). There was excitement happening when you retrieved those photos and you were pleased if some of them turned out to be semi-worthy of the time that went into their creation. You slapped them into a coil bound, self-adhesive photo album and, if you’re anything like me, hardly ever looked at them again. Sometimes, you left the used film sitting for so long, you didn’t even know what was on it anymore.
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A Guilty Daydream

Jesus said to Martha, and I paraphrase, “Mary has chosen the better way, hanging out with me while you cook and clean and fuss.” Do I ever like that guy!

 

broomThere are crumbs on my floor to make a meal

Dust obscures the TV screen

My windows have been licked and gobbed on

My walls are glazed with grubby fingerprints

Little strings and bits of lint languish on the rug

The floor is spattered, scuffed and split

My bathtub proudly displays its ringbubbles

I am the only lonely one in the cycle of chores

I bow down to the pail godpailandsponge

I slop with water

I scrub and scour and wipe away

I bend and contort and laborvacuum-41720_960_720

I say this sucks as I push the stick that sucks up the dust

I get tired and everything gleams

And then I have to do it all again

I think gleaming is over-rated

And in my case, it’s just a guilty daydream

book-157851_960_720Nothing gleams

I sit in the naturalness, the mess

And smile and read a book

 

 

Author’s note: I wrote this poem while running a day home when my children were small. My dislike of cleaning has only grown. I’ve tossed the guilt. I get a lot of reading done. 🙂

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

I’m Fresh out of Style

Never judge a chick by her cover.

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I don’t like shopping. I can look at oodles of cluttered stuff without leaving the privacy of my own home and it’s free. Some women might say I’m abnormal, stricken with some horrible disease. You should see our bedroom closet. My husband’s side is packed, but neatly arranged, sweats and sweatshirts for the weekend, button down shirts, sweaters, trousers, (he has a real job). My side is a careless collage of shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and jeans. At times, I need something more and must enter a mall. My husband has been banned from the trip. When I’ve taken him before, he comes out with three bags to my one.
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