Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Never

As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again
I walked everywhere when I was young.  My family never owned a car so unless where I was headed was on a bus route, I walked.  To school and to the store.  To the homes of relatives and to church.  Up and down the avenue with our bags.  On display to all of our neighbors. My father the Bagman and his brood.  Man, I HA-ated that.

It was though good exercise.

Because my family never owned a car, in addition to my constant fear of running into someone or something, due mostly to perceptual problems and frequent drunkenness, I never learned to drive.  When I was 30 and sober however, I thought that perhaps it was time to face my fear and finally learn.  However, as I've mentioned before, I don't know my left from my right, am directionally challenged and am  phobic about someone like me controlling a 2000 pound machine.  So I did what anyone would do and I went to a therapist.  There I practiced with a paper plate in place of a steering wheel as  Kathy, my therapist would yell out "left," "right," "right" "left" "left" and I would try to turn the paper plate in the correct direction.  Kathy also taught me how to deep breathe  when I got paralyzed because, you know, it's not good to be going 60 mph and suddenly freeze.   Eventually over time with the help of said therapist I was able to call the Will Rogers School of Driving.  Will Rogers in turn sent me a young woman who was a driving instructor by day but made her real money stripping in a club at night.  This 19 year old would regale me with stories from her evening gig while I would muddle through our driving lesson, hitting curbs, driving in the wrong lane, turning the wrong way and practically totalling the car while she completely ignored me, while telling me about the tips she earned at the Cricket the night before.  I didn't care though because no sane person would let me use their car and the Will Rogers School of Driving provided me with a vehicle on which to learn and my stripper/instructor would pick me up and drop me off for each lesson.  Also, did I mention STRIPPER INSTRUCTOR?

One day out of the blue, my stripper finally decided she'd had enough and that she and I should go and test for my license.  We drove to New Castle and wouldn't you know it, I pulled the big butch state officer as my test instructor.  You know the one who scares the crap out of all the high school kids and flunks them for not coming to a complete stop.  This though was fortuitous because she had an affinity for me.  She passed me even though I botched the parallel parking and forgot to brake going down the hill at the end of the course sending us flying into the parking lot.  In the end I got my very first driver's license and Officer Krumpky's phone number.

Anyway, afterward I bought a second hand Chevy Beretta  built like a tank.  All the better to protect me when I ran into things.  And long story short, this is why I relate to Scarlett O' Hara.  Because on the day I got my license and picked up my car I said to myself "As God is my witness, I will never walk anywhere I can drive to again."  And I haven't.  For oh, like 17 years. 

I also haven't exercised in those 17 years because, you know, IT HURTS and as a result I have become fat.  Really fat. 

I don't say this with pride, far from it but someone once said, "the truth shall set you free but first it's gonna piss you off."  So yeah I'm fat.   

Until now being fat never really hurt bad enough for me to do anything about it.  Unfortunately, no one told me that if you are fat, when you reach middle age you feel as if you are going to break in two.  My joints are so stiff and my cartilage so worn that I creak like a mo fo every morning when I get up out of bed.  I used to laugh at my Gram and my mom when they complained about their arthritis.  Let me tell you, I'm not laughing anymore.

So...though I once said I would never walk (or exercise) or put on a bathing suit again, I joined a gym and have registered for water aerobics.  I was told that water aerobics is good for fat, arthritic people.  I attended my first class on Sunday and again received a dose of humility. 

When I registered for water aerobics this is what I had in mind:

However, when I arrived at my first class, this is what I found:
Reality.  It's a bitch.