Monday, June 24, 2013

Maude goes to a Dance Recital

So many of my readers (the ones not related to me, all five of you!) have no idea what I was/am like in "real life", in particular as a youngun.  Here's a short description: tall, lanky, thin, goofy, absolutely no coordination whatsoever.

Graceful and athletic were never words you could use to describe me.  Funny?  Hellz yeah, but gifted in the art of making my body function as a unit?  Nope.  Not. Even. Close.

So fast forward a good 30 some odd years to when my baby girl started asking me to put her in dance class. Before we moved to the greater Portland area, I had the perfect excuse.

In a small, remote town in north Idaho I could get her into a Gun Safety easier than finding a dance class.  There weren't a lot of options.  That said, I did my due diligence and I called one studio ONE TIME, and never got a call back. THANK GOD.

I deftly avoided enrolling her for another two years after arriving in Oregon before I had to relent and sign her up for a jazz dance class.  The only reason I even considered it was having met the teacher and also seeing the end of the year recital in which all the dancers were dressed age appropriately (so you know, not like budding strippers which is what I remember most recitals to be) and all the dances were also VERY appropriate, no whoreish grinding moves either.  These are, after all, little girls.

Against every fiber of my being that SCREAMED not to do it, I signed my sweet girl up for a once a week jazz class.Under no circumstances did I want to be the mom of "that kid" that went the wrong direction in the recital, didn't know the moves and for the love of all that's good and holy, ran off the stage crying.

Not that I ever did the running off the stage thing, but I'm pretty sure based on my current dancing abilities (that certainly show NO improvement after several glasses of hooch I might add) the other two are an accurate description of my performance in the two years I was subjected to tap.

At first I watched my baby girl's class a few times and it was clear to me that my resistance to her being in dance and then suddenly sucking it up and tossing her in was a very mean thing to do.

It was painful to watch.  Painful.  But, God Bless her, she TRIED.  And I mean she was INTENT on learning....I've NEVER seen her more focused on anything in my life, up until basketball season and/or torturing her brother, but that's another post for another day.

I finally quit watching her class, and would just ask her how things were going.  She assured me that she knew the dance, and I just figured we would see at the recital.

I feel like such a bad parent, well I know I am.  No one's perfect, but I feel like such a schmuck that I allowed my own insecurities to get in the way of my girl doing something she loves.  I projected my own fears and insecurities about my dancing ability and lack of coordination onto my daughter.  SHAME.

As you all know, Maude (my menopausal alter ego) is emotionally compromised as it is.  Tamoxifen Tami was way more fun, she didn't cry so much as she was just kind of bitchy.  Maude, however, is just an emotional train wreck.  I cry for no reason half the time.

So imagine my emotions during the RECITAL.  I cried so much that my sweet husband had to go get kleenex so I could blow my snout and for the love of God pull myself together after she left the stage.

I am so proud of my girl.  So, so proud.  She danced.  She really really danced.  Was she perfect?  I have no idea.  Do I care?  Not one single bit.  How did she compare to the other girls in her class?  Couldn't tell you.

All that fear, all that anxiety, all that worry was for nothing.  Here's what I didn't know about me and my baby girl dancing:  The only child I had eyes for was mine.  There could have been a thousand girls on stage and I wouldn't even notice them.  I'm sure it's the same for all of us parents.  We're not comparing notes, we're simply watching the angel we created.

I learned an important thing about myself, to never again put my fears and insecurities in front of allowing one of my beautiful children to try something new.  While both of them contain a variety of genetic similarities to me, that doesn't mean they can't do something I never could. 

She is so beautiful, graceful, and perfect in each and every way.  And she danced.  And I've never been more proud.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Maude VS The Photo Shoot

In all likelihood I can't really add "fitness model" to my resume, but I had the COOLEST opportunity ever today.

I've got to back up the truck just a bit to explain.  My BRF is a runner and about 1.5 years ago roped me into running again.  OK, it was an EASY sell.....  Then she introduced me to the Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother author Sarah Bowen Shea who is just totally amazing.

SBS and CBP have long been friends on FB so one day I took a chance and sent a friend request to Sarah which was accepted.  To me it was like being friended by Julia Roberts!  A celebrity?  Friends with me?!  OMG.  I think I'm still a little giddy about it.

Yesterday SBS posted the following plea:  Need help from my Portland pals: I'm trying to find a mother runner by the name of Evelyn. Very tall, Asian, super pretty. I'm fairly certain her family attends Madeleine might go to Madeleine school. I'm trying to find her to use as a model for new Sweaty Bands we're selling on our site. Thanks.

Never one to shy away from an opportunity to make fun of my hot flashes I posted the following comment:   If you can't find her Maude would volunteer! I sweat all the time w my dang hot flashes! Hope you find her!!!!

SBS emailed me IMMEDIATELY and the next thing I know I'm skipping work to drive to NE PDX this morning to her HOUSE (OMG pinch me, seriously) to have some pics taken with their new Sweaty Bands. 

I was so excited last night, I was jumping up & down and giggling like teenager reading the new Tiger Beat magazine with a Justin Bieber cover. (yes they totally still publish that magazine).

Not more than two minutes after I confirmed I could pawn my kids off on my BRF and set a 9:30AM arrival time I realized I had a zit.  On my face.  Just below my right cheek. CRAP.

I PILED on the zit cream last night, I mean SLATHERED LIKE FROSTING.  And as I said my nightly prayers I implored the Good Lord to restore my skin to it's former 20's elasticity and pimple free state.

Not so much.

I woke up this morning at 6:15 (yes on purpose) to hit the gym for a quick Spin (part of my tri-training) and when I looked in the mirror I lost my schmidt.  Not only do I now have TWO ZITS on my face, but my left eye was swollen, pink and oozing.  Yes, oozing.  OMG.  

I thought to myself "I am sure she's got photoshop."  Then, maybe I should eye isn't a big selling point for most products...

This has happened before and I hoped after a good sweat session and a shower that it would just have been allergies and almost look normal.  Thank goodness that was the case.  However, the zits did not miraculously disappear....

Nothing like prepping for a "photo shoot" to make you realize your shortcomings (thank you aging) like the crows feet and the giant shrubs for eyebrows.  No time to wax them (not like I would anyway, here's why:  previous blog post: A Story Never Told) so I used my little trimmer thingy and spiffed them up.

But then, oh crap, never got around to bleaching my Tom Sellek worthy 'stache (referenced in my post from yesterday) and I've got no time left.  Please, I pleaded silently, let her have photoshop.....

And oh no, should have bleached my smile how I love you for waking my ass up and hate you for the stains you leave behind.

And the hair.  Oh crikey.  When WAS the last time I dyed it?  Holy shnikes, this is for HAIR BANDS.....she's GOT to be able to make my hair look brown, right?  You won't be close enough to see the gray?  Right?  RIGHT?!

After making a mental list of about a dozen beauty treatments I'll need to take care of as soon as humanly possible, I did my best to cover up my pimples (about the only thing I could control today) and put that lightener under my eyes so you don't (hopefully) see the big ass bags I'm sporting cuz I got up at 6:15 after a night of tossing & turning because I was worried about a pimple.

I headed out the door to drop children off and make the short (and easy) drive to Sarah's home.  Giddy.  I was just giddy to be there.  She is so gracious and made me feel like I was doing her a favor, but oh no, it was so fun to just be invited.  I asked if I could live in her basement.  I am pretty sure I freaked her out...just a lil' bit.

I got to meet two of her kids and also her husband, plus Miller the cat who was so freaking soft I could have sat there and rubbed his ears all damn day.

Anyhoozer, to say that I can't wait to see how the photos all turned out is an understatement.  I did get to see this one:

I immediately changed my Twitter profile pic to this...I love the shirt and I think Bonnie & Clyde look spectacular in this tank, not to mention the coordinated Sweaty Band.  AND I am NOW the proud owner of a Bad Ass Mother Runner tank and matching BAMR Sweaty Band.  

I'm wearing the tank RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE and I am in love.  I might sleep in it.  And I've also got he sweaty band on too and will sport both of them on my bike (band under the helmet of course) and run during the Wahine All Women's Sprint Triathlon on August 3, and well, like every time I go running for the rest of my life!

So, Sarah Bowen Shea you are the one who has done ME the favor!  I feel like sort of famous and like model-y AND I've got some sweet new running swag, but the MOST important thing you've done for me is remind me to: dye my hair, bleach my mustache & teeth (could be at the same time, yes?), wash my face twice a day and to smile like I'm having more fun....

PS - please don't look at the crows feet or gray hair.  It's all about the product folks!  




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Maude VS The Dentist

I don't think I've yet mentioned that I am sort of like the Hulk of menopausal women.  When I get angry, something happens to my body.  I don't turn green and get all creepy giant sized, but I do turn all red and flushed like a tween girl gushing over that Harry kid from One Direction.  As soon as I start to get upset I can tell the fire is stoked and ready and all it takes is a little more oxygen and then......Maude Angry....

I also tend to hot flash when I'm nervous, scared, curious, walking, talking, breathing, etc.  Imagine the hot mess I was as I prepared to go to The Dentist for a filling could fry an egg on me, jussayin'.

Without going into too much detail, I had several really bad experiences in the dentist chair as a child.  I don't want to risk a good therapy session so that's all I'm gonna say about that, needless to say I've carried a little anxiety with me over the past 40 years.

I've done a good job, for the most part, of avoiding having a lot of dental work done.  I floss (OK, not EVERY night, but once every other month, that's regularly right?!), brush twice a day for two minutes at a time and I avoid eating & drinking crap that eats away my enamel.

I've worked hard to minimize time in the dentist chair, but as we've discussed in the past, time (and aging) is not our friend.  It's given me bifocals, the ability to pee when I sneeze and a lot of gray hair.  Time has also wreaked havoc on the dental work of my youth.

I knew this to be true, and did ALL I COULD to avoid going, but eventually I had to cave.  Mostly because the Hubs made a dentist appointment for me and made me go.  So of course I knew there would be work needed.  And I was right.  I did get my teeth all cleaned up & sparkly the last time I was in there, and we set a date to get one of my old fillings repaired.

I deftly avoided my original appointment a few weeks ago, and when I called to cancel, the receptionist swiftly and kindly rescheduled me before I had a chance to hang up.

God bless them, they email you and text you to remind you of your appointment.  But alas, that's not enough to make sure I won't avoid going anyway.  I conveniently "forgot" about the appointment (what I mean is the trauma of my childhood allowed me to block the appointment from my memory) but my husband was quick to remind me.  Gee, thanks.

I arrive at the dentist, having completely forgotten to self medicate with Valium.  Damn.  But, I did drive myself, so there's that....

The dentist is a good friend of a good friend of mine, so there was of course lots of small talk (well, OK, I just kept asking her LOTS of questions hoping we'd run out of time to do the actual dental stuff) and she is soooooo nice that she humored me for a bit.

THEN she showed me photos of my teeth.  She is very smart and was pointing out all kinds of things, and all I could focus on is the fact that the blown up photo of my face made me look like Burt Reynolds rocking the 'stache back in the day. 

NOTE TO SELF: Bleach that damn mustache BEFORE you go to the dentist next time.  So, yeah, I'm not sure what she was trying to tell me.

Then it was time to numb my face.  She asked if I needed anything before they got started.  I said Tequila, and I don't think they knew I was really freaking serious.  About the time she was getting ready to give me the shot I totally lost my shit.  TOTALLY.

I kept saying, through embarrassing sobs (really Maude, get a hold of yourself for Pete's sake) "I'm a grown ass woman, why the hell am I crying about this?"  Allegedly (at least according to what they were saying to make me feel better) is dental anxiety is normal.  I wouldn't classify my level of anxiety about the dentist as normal, but at least the sentiment is common.

My anxiety reaches the totally bat shit crazy level of anxiety, just one level below being commit-able.

I think it was all of about five minutes to talk me off the ledge, they offered me "happy gas" which I refused, because as I pointed out I'm a grown ass woman, what the hell is wrong with me?  I'd rather gut it out and cry like a two year old who has their favorite toy taken away, than just take the damn happy gas.

I figured I'd run 6.5 miles in the morning, I could suck it up as this couldn't hurt any worse.  Oh my gosh I seriously did everything but start sucking my damn thumb to calm myself down.  I literally said "hold on, let me go to my happy place."

But finally, I relented.  It was sunny outside and I could tell that she wasn't gonna let me leave without fixing that filling.

And, in all honesty, it wasn't that bad.  Like anything in life that we fear, childbirth, going to work, once you get there it's not always as bad as you thought it might be. 

My dentist is really good at putting in the numbing stuff, I hardly even felt a thing.  Which isn't to say that I'm not going to totally freak out again the next time, as I mentioned I've probably got a good month's worth of shrink visits to attend to before I'm ever comfortable in the dentist chair again.

But I did learn a few things about myself in the process:
1. My face is hairy and maybe I should look into laser hair removal

Yeah, just learned the one thing.