Aging gracefully, like a tugboat

Last night I was fiddling with a small mole on my stomach, because I had nothing else to do and I didn’t want to clean the kitchen, and I suddenly remembered that it’s not a mole. At my last appointment, my dermatologist informed me that it’s actually called a “barnacle.” You know, like the crusty crap that grows on the underside of a boat.

So that makes me feel pretty sexy. Between my barnacle, my bunion, and my wankles, I would say I am aging less like a fine wine, and more like an expired container of milk that you forgot you had in the back of the fridge until one day you smell something rank and you think, “What on earth is that stench?!?” and you dig through your fridge and throw out a ton of shriveled baby carrots and realize maybe you should stop buying so many baby carrots and you keep digging and find 14 half-eaten jars of pasta sauce and realize maybe you should stop opening new jars of pasta sauce and then finally you see it hiding in the back corner with crusty milk bits hanging off the lid and you say “Oh hi Amy – I didn’t see you there. You’re old and moldy and you’re starting to rot.”

Me. As a barnacle-infested tugboat.

Me. As a barnacle-infested tugboat. Please note my feet are not actually the same size as my head. Yet. And my wankles are not actually visible. Yet. 

How to kickstart an exercise program

Step 1: Decide to go for a walk with your 5-year-old while she rides her bike. She only recently started to ride it after months of resistance, and is still on training wheels, so tell yourself that she’ll be slow and easy to keep up with.

Step 2: Because this will be leisurely, wear a large backpack, a floppy sunhat, and put your other kid in your slow-moving umbrella stroller.

Step 3: Go to the most populated walking path in the city on a Saturday morning, because crowded areas are perfect for entry-level bike riding.

Step 4: Give your child a gentle push to get started, and watch as she takes off at speeds of 25-30 mph with no fear, hesitation, or looking back to find you. Realize immediately that you need to haul ass and run in order to avoid losing your child, who shows no signs of slowing down whatsoever.

And thus began my Saturday morning, panting like a dying dog, with my enormous backpack flapping against my sweaty back, pushing my rickety umbrella stroller in and around, up and down, as I raced desperately to keep my child within my sight for three miles.

I often joke that I’d only run if a murderer is chasing me. But honestly I suspect even then I might give up and stop. Because seriously, running? No thank you. Just kill me.

But little did I realize that if I am the chaser, not the chasee, I may actually manage to run for more than 5 minutes. Because nothing propels your body forward like watching your child bob and weave between throngs of runners, dog walkers, roller bladers, kidnappers and serial killers – always dangerously close to escaping your field of vision.

This was about as close as I got.

I have no doubt that to passersby I looked slightly panicked, rather ill-prepared, and extremely out of shape. I was like the crazy lady running to catch her plane in the airport, with one hand on my hat while screaming “SLOW DOWN!” and then gasping to catch my aging, depleted breath.

There were moments when my daughter got far enough ahead of me that I could see other people pass her and wonder, Why does this small child not have an adult with her? Then they would eventually pass me and chuckle.

More than once I felt light-headed, and realized it would’ve been wise to drink water before I left the house instead of that extra cup of coffee, which was now seeping out of my sweat glands in small caffeinated crystals.

In my darkest moments, when I felt certain I was about to pass out and die, I worried that I should’ve taped my husband’s cell phone number to my children’s backs. Lesson learned for next time.

Needless to say it was an effective, albeit uncomfortable, way to re-motivate myself to exercise. It also felt a bit like that symbolic parenting experience – watching with delight and fear as my child learned a new skill, realized she didn’t need me, and then took off like a bat out of hell enjoying her newfound independence. I loved it even though I hated it.

When I met up with my husband afterward, the first words he said were, “You have a sweat mustache.” Thank you, dear, for noticing. Honestly I’m just glad I wasn’t wearing flip-flops, because Lord knows I would’ve broken a wankle.

Summer is not the season for blogging

Whoo boy I am finding it hard to blog lately. The weather has been amazing so I’ve been outside cavorting with the kidfolk. Unfortunately this subjects me to greater risk of injury because I am a delicate flower. Last week I stepped off a ledge in our yard in my flip-flops and twisted my left ankle. Then I stepped off a different ledge thirty seconds later, and proceeded to twist my right ankle. I have determined that I have weak ankles, or ‘wankles,’ as I shall call them to enhance my sex appeal.

Speaking of wankles, one time I broke a man’s ankle when he picked me up on the dance floor. He lifted me up, and his ankle buckled under the pressure and snapped. He was on crutches for weeks. Surely he had wankles. Surely.

Speaking of not blogging, lately I spend my evenings playing ladder toss in the yard. With family, with friends, or with my husband after we put the kids to bed. I dare say it’s our Game of Choice for Summer 2013.


I like it because there is very low risk of a wankle injury. There are also lots of opportunities to say things like, “Who has the blue balls?” and then wait for me someone to snicker like a 12-year-old. If you come to our house this summer and don’t want to play ladder toss, prepare to sit alone and stare at the walls. And maybe pick up that mess in the kitchen, will you?

Speaking of food I’m stuffing in my face this summer, we’ve eaten what I believe the southern folk call a ‘low country boil’ four times in the past two weeks. My mom became a fan of it in Texas and introduced us to it. Yeehaw. Talk about a dish that suits my skill level – stuff a bunch of potatoes, corn, sausage and shrimp in a pot and voila! This is similar to the recipe she uses, plus onion and lemon. It’s great for hosting guests, and pairs perfectly with Coors Light and ladder toss (we keep it classy up in here).

Speaking of things I like this summer, I know I’m way late on this one – as is usually the case with me – but holy smokes Alabama Shakes is a good band. The singer’s voice is so badass I have a mega lady crush on her.

Well, I guess that’s all I have for now. I still vow to try and stop writing long-winded incoherent posts, but until the rain returns and my wankles are safely under wraps in wool socks and boots, this might be all I can muster. Viva la summer!