My Mother-in-law hated for anyone to touch her. I'm sure Jean let her husband touch her, but if anyone else, even her sons, touched her, she would flinch. She was the most rigid person I have ever met, shoulders constantly scrunched, and she walked a little hunched over. She and my husband mercilessly teased each other, and one of Duane's best ways of getting her was to grab her neck - boy would she jump. Not surprisingly, in her mid 60's Jean was diagnosed with Osteo-Arthritis in her back, neck, hips and knees. She couldn't even bend over to clip her own toenails, and when I suggested she get a pedicure, I received the most shocked and incredulous look ever.
So, I did them for her.
She didn't ask me to give her pedicures. In fact, out of pride she went months without tending her toes, but they got so bad, walking was more painful for her feet than her knees, and she finally relented the next time I offered. Every couple of weeks, I would sit on the floor at her feet, and groom them - clipping nails and cuticles, and filing calluses.
To say I didn't enjoy this task is an immense understatement! I dreaded it! A person's feet are the lowest part of their body. So, in my small brain, the person who touches them and grooms them must be even lower than that, right? Slave-like and subservient was my sad perception of Nail Technicians who give pedicures...sitting on stools, while the pedicure-ee sits in a raised, throne-like, vibrating chair reading a magazine or talking loudly on the phone, never once saying a word to the nameless person providing a personal foot-grooming and massage. I gathered these observations, and made this determination while getting manicures - a service given face to face, where I could converse respectfully with my manicurist.
I, like Jean, had never gotten a pedicure.
I continued my nail duties for my Mother-in-law until my husband and I moved away, chasing our careers. My Father-in-law took over, but within a few months Jean started getting professional Pedicures. She was finally able to overcome some of that touch anxiety (either that, or it was the lesser of two evils: Pain from her husband's nail clipping vs. a stranger giving her wonderful relief).
At the same time, my first quarter at the new job saw great results for myself and the company; so the female owner of this amazing Tech Head-Hunting firm took the all-female team out for a day at a spa. Oh Crap! I was either going to explain to my boss the reason I didn't feel comfortable subjecting someone to tending my toes, or I was going to have to swallow those feelings, and get a pedicure.
I decided to swallow. (cowardly, I know)
I explained that this was to be my first pedicure, and when all the girls looked shocked and sympathetic, I said I had never had cause to have one before. "I get regular massages," I told them (which was true), and thought pedicures would be overkill. My feelings of subservient Pedicurists were completely confirmed as I looked down upon the beautiful woman, eyes downcast as she filed my feet. Consequently, I did not enjoy the experience, and did not repeat it.
A few months before Jean died in September of that year, she confessed to me her regret at not getting over that "touching problem" sooner, consequently missing out on all that wonderful massage and foot pampering. She asked me if I had gone for a pedicure yet. When I answered her by way of my slave perception, she laughed, and said, "Sounds like you need to get over something too." Then she added, "Oh My Goodness! Did you feel like a slave all those times you did my toes?"
"No!" I replied a little too quickly. In that instant, I realized, and changed my perception.
From that day on, I got over my slave-nail-technician feelings, and now sit back in my massaging throne-line chair bi-weekly, and let my toes be pampered and my legs massaged. I silently thank my Mother-in-law for, among many other things, removing that future regret for me.
I'm sure she is right now enjoying a massage, and toasting me with a White Zin and a wink.
What fear or perception is stopping you from some simple pleasure, and more importantly, when are you going to just let it go and indulge?
I am sick to my stomach.
'Outraged' does not even begin to describe my anger.
I have a 10 year old son. Big, beautiful brown eyes, and a dimple when he smiles, which is often.
I have a 10 year old niece. Freckles, fiery and all girl...who also plays a mean soccer game.
Two stories in the news made me do a double intake of breath when I heard and read them.
When Jerry Sandusky was seen in 2002 violating a 10 year old boy in the coaches' locker room at Penn State, no one called the police.
Called the police????
Maybe its the 'mom' in me, but I'd like to think that if I walked in on that, I would have gone 'Mama Bear' on the supposed adult, and made him go limp in more ways than one!
An article by Bill Phillips explains the possible reason the assistant coach, who actually witnessed the violation of the 10 year old boy, chose (on the advice of his father) to report the incident to Joe Paterno only, and not the police, was because psychologically,
“Men are still socialized to not show vulnerability, so it’s easy for others to make us feel like we’re being too emotional, that we’re big babies.”
Men still know right from wrong. A man having sex with a boy is a scene very few people would find 'normal', so I wonder how long it took the memory of that 10 year old boy's face to cause that assistant coach to start suffering from ulcers.
I then read another article about a 10 year old girl giving birth to a baby boy in Mexico. The girl was only 31 weeks along when she gave birth, so the baby stayed in the hospital, while the girl was released to go home. She visits the hospital daily to breastfeed.
Breastfeed? A 10 year old is breastfeeding a baby?
Here again, my small, naive mind cannot conjure such an image. The article went on to say that,
"The Puebla state Attorney General's Office is now investigating whether the girl could have been raped and who the father is..."
Could have been raped?
Since the article also points out that the minimum 'age of consent' is 12 (which also sickens me), is there any other option besides rape?
I will not accept an excuse like, "she looked much older than she was", because once she opened her mouth to speak, SHE WAS 10!
Seeing a parent discipline a child in the grocery store using corporal punishment is one thing. Seeing an adult sexually violating a child, or the obvious result of such an act is quite another.
Why are there still adults allowing the abuse of our most precious gifts ~ our children?
As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Why is anyone upset that Joe Paterno was fired?
I can't believe it just happened.
I smell rubber, hot asphalt and dusty, dry weeds. My legs feel like they have been smashed into the pavement, and are full of needles My whole right side is on fire, and I smell and taste my own blood.
I open my eyes and am momentarily blinded by the hot sun. I focus, and see a yellow line on the road, pebbled and uneven looking , and I look down at the bundle in my arms, a mass of blond hair, pink t-shirt, skirt and pudgy legs ending in sparkly sandals and pink painted little toes. No blood or odd angled limbs. Thank God!
I hear whimpering, and whisper, "Are you all right?"
Continued whimpering prompts me to repeat forcefully, "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I think tho." the little first grader lisp whimpers back as she looks up at me. She has blue eyes like my son, light blue, almost gray.
Her whimpering starts to grow, becoming a little sob, and I adjust my left arm to brush her hair back as she starts to get up.
"It's okay, sweetie. It's going to be okay," I whisper as I lay my head back down on the pavement, hearing screams, running footsteps and car engines idling. I close my eyes as the distant sirens wail, and welcome the reprieve from the bright sun, but I still see the light shining through my eyelids, until, finally, painless, cool darkness.
Yes, I occasionally do cross walk duty, and actually take my life, and the lives of elementary school children in my own hands. And, yes, occasionally, I have dreams about it. This delusional dream of grandeur is very revealing of my biggest fear - children (especially my own) in danger. Thankfully, I am never a victim in these dreams...I always fight, and win the safety of the child, but the cross walk fear is very real.
The insecure, inconsiderate mom/dad going around on the wrong side of the road to cut in front of everyone else. The self-important mom/dad texting or talking on the phone while stopping traffic to cut in front of the next rightful car, then walking her/his child back to their car still talking on the phone as if the child is the grocery store clerk with whom kindness and consideration is apparently not required. The non-parent too busy to wait, passing on the right - sometimes off the paved road to get around all this 'child pick-up mess' - and speeding through the intersection, oblivious to the cross walk monitor holding the large stop sign...hence the dream.
Always show patience and kindness in the face of the impatient and unkind. Otherwise you become what you detest. It is one thing to be too insecure, inconsiderate and self important to let anyone else have the right-of-way, and it is something totally different to put children in danger.
"It's all right, sweetie..."
"It's all right..."
"What do you want for your first breakfast from your wife?" she asked sweetly.
"Ham and cheese omelet, please, Mrs. Halver," he replied softly with a kiss to her cheek.
"Oh . . . I don't know how to make an omelet," she said, both cheeks turning pink now.
"Then, I'll have whatever you want, dear," he replied with another peck.
The husband noticed a new cookbook on the nightstand next to his wife's Bible, the week after his next paycheck.
"What would you like for your birthday breakfast, dear?"
"Ham and cheese omelet, please, Mrs. Halver," he answered confidently.
"Coming right up,"was her shaky reply.
About half an hour later, she slammed a plate down onto the table in front of him, knocking a piece of egg onto his tie, and said with a hiccup, "Here! I tried, but I just can't make an omelet! Here's your scrambled eggs with ham and cheese." She turned, ran to the bathroom and locked the door.
The husband sighed and did not go after her.
"Let's see, what will we have for breakfast?" the husband heard his wife ask the room at large as he read his morning paper.
"How about trying a ham and cheese omelet again?" he asked casually, without taking his eyes off the paper.
"Jack," she whined in frustration, "We don't have time for such a big breakfast. We have to get Robby to his baseball practice this morning. How about fried eggs and toast?"
"Am I going to have to go out to a restaurant to ever get a good omelet?!" he snapped, putting down his paper.
His wife did not answer.
"WOW! Our 25th anniversary calls for a special breakfast, don't you think?" he asked his wife as he poured himself some coffee.
"I don't do omelets," was her curt reply.
"Kate, this is the best ham and cheese omelet I've ever had," he gushed to his daughter-in-law. "I wish I could get omelets like this at home."
"Oh, I'm sure Mom makes better omelets than I do," Kate replied.
As a fork dropped loudly to the floor, the mother-in-law said sweetly, "Oh, how clumsy of me."
"Dad," Robby cut across her, "Did you know we signed up Little Jack for Little League?"
"Grandpa, can you make us omelets every morning while we're here?"
"Yeah, Dad," adds Kate. "Since you learned to make them, your omelets are better than mine."
Surprised to find he is holding his omelet pan, the man says, shaking his head groggily,"Sure, Little Jack," He smiles sadly and adds, "I'll make you as many omelets as you want, but if you love omelets as much as I do, you have to promise to help me, and learn how to make them yourself."
"Deal!" replies his grandson.
"By the way, Little Jack, did I ever tell you about the first time Grandma made me an omelet, and what she taught me?" the man adds with a wink.
What future regrets can you prevent right now by creating what you love with the ones you love?