Friday, May 13, 2011

Selective memory

Why is it that I can't remember a lot of details about the past, but utter trivia will come back to me clearly?

For example, when I'm in the gym locker room getting ready to work out, as soon as I start to put on my sneakers and socks, a scene from "All in the Family" plays in my head.

Archie and Meathead are in Archie's living room arguing about whether it makes more sense to put on both socks, then both shoes, or to put on a sock and a shoe followed by the other sock and shoe. I think Meathead's opinion was that it's better to put both socks on first. If the house is suddenly on fire, wouldn't it be easier to run out if one has on a complete pair of something?

I think of this every time I put on those shoes.

Just don't ask me anything of importance.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Black and blue and red all over

I am my own worst enemy. I blame it on advancing age, although I admit I was always a little clumsy. There are days that, to look at me, you’d think someone was being abusive. That someone is me.

I bump into things, as I always have. Maybe it’s a little worse now because my balance is not what it used to be.

I can live with the black-and-blue bruises I get when I hit my shin on the shopping cart bar (especially those smaller black carts that are an option at Dominick’s; they have that extra horizontal bar at the bottom and I keep moving forward while the cart stands still…). I have no need to be embarrassed about the discoloration on my knee that arose from slamming the car door before my body got out of way. I don’t have to explain the bruise on my shoulder after I’ve misjudged the amount of space between me and the wall. After all, it’s not yet summer, and long pants and three-quarter sleeves keep my secrets.

But the red marks on my face and hands are another story. Here’s a summary of three recent stupid accidents:

1. I had just had my hair cut, and rather than have the stylist blow it dry (an added expense), I sat under the three-bulb heat lamp, scrunching clumps of hair into curls that the warmth of the lamps locks into place. Never satisfied with sitting a safe distance away from these red-hot globes, I like to slyly bend one of them a little closer to my hair, hoping to shave a little time off the process. Then, forgetting about that indiscretion, I started scrunching again, burning my hand in the process. Now I had an obnoxious red mark on my upper hand that got redder while it healed.

2. Just after waking up one morning, I hit the Snooze button and then settled back down on my pillow. But, as often happens, my curly hair was on my cheek, and I wanted to push it back. I casually swept the curls off my face, failing to realize that one of my fingernails was jagged. Within seconds I felt a stinging on my cheek and a wetness when my hand felt it. Could it be blood? It was, and the result of my finger swipe was a one-inch horizontal gash—not so deep I needed to have it taken care of, but ugly enough that I’ve had to use concealer on it as it heals.

This could have been prevented. It’s not that I don’t’ know that my nails are so weak that a tap on a piece of fabric can tear them. I should have filed it before I went to bed. But who could have guessed I was a menace to my face?

3. Back to heat-as-evil, I was innocently defining curls with my curling iron and I decided to counteract the letter C that my short bangs were forming (a pet peeve). To straighten them a little, I used the iron and pulled the hair in the opposite direction. And burned my forehead. It’s just a little red burn on the upper left, but it adds a nice balance to the red gash on my lower right.

(I've noticed a common thread here: hair. Can't live with it; don't want to live without it.)

My only consolation is that I’m not a menace to others. That is, unless I forget to trim my toenails this evening. I’d better warn my spouse.