Re-touch Me, Baby! Harder!

dreamstime.com

dreamstime.com

Oh…baby.  Please, I’m begging you… re-touch me, again and again.

 Ahhh….mooove me, shift me and rotate me, faster, faster, FASTER!

YES, YES!  Don’t stop!  Enhance me, Big Boy!  Right there, yes, right there!

CROP the @*& out of me, HARDER!!  Do it!  Do it!  DOOOO ITTTTTT!

Ahhh……………MMMmmmmm……

Ever notice how as we get older, the few pictures of ourselves (even the selfies) that we allow others to see, get smaller and smaller?  Body parts go missing, cut in quarters or halved?

My all time favorite words in the photo editing business by far are;  Retouch, Rotate, Enhance and Crop.

Just look at those words.  They are so, beautiful.  Definitely my bffs.  If you don’t know them yet, I suggest you introduce yourself to them, pronto!

But these besties were not always in my life.  Only since I have reluctantly been swimming to my f-*^@ 50’s, have they so gallantly walked into my exciting life.  

Before then, I was whole.  Complete.  A full person.

Now, I am only a collection of  broken pieces, scattered around like ashes.   

478446-bigthumbnail

don’t I wish…:)

Take my legs for instance.  They used to look like the picture above.

Now, I can only showcase this much of them:

 DSCN5597 

 My majestic hand, photo-150  can only be seen from afar ( masked by a glass of wine, of course).

Below, is my frontal lower side with my – never leave home without it – fanny pack. 

images

Here is my enhanced and re-touched Gravatar photo >: 305369_2084617269945_5541082_n 

Oh, alright.  I’ll reveal a bit more:

 305369_2084617269945_5541082_n_2 Who needs a whole face when you can have half!

Well, you get the picture.  

The fact is that as we get older, we feel the need to get retouched, enhanced, rotated and cropped (literally – wink, wink and figuratively) to pieces and show less of our beautiful whole bodies.  

Truthfully, if it wasn’t for the fact that my husband is a public official and I shouldn’t reveal much (even though I am blogging about my most private moments), I would let it all hang out! 

 

The Swim to My 50s – WTH? What Gives?

ang0098l

Word has it that as we age, we tend to become more set in our ways.  Or maybe it is the fact that we do not care what the hell others think anymore and are too cranky to change. Whatever the reason, the end result is that we hang on to our routines for dear life because it feels safe and comfortable.

Time seems to be somewhat of an obsession with older folks.  They suffer from an uncontrollable nagging need to know what time it is, what time something begins, what time it ends, what time they need to leave, what time you are picking them up and what time you will be calling. And, even after you have confirmed the designated time at least 70 times, they ask you again.

I get it that our idiosyncrasies are only going to multiply the older we get.  However,  I was under the impression that as we aged, our “silly” fears and phobias would fade away into the night along with our youth and we would become fearless (or is it  the fact that we can no longer see or hear whatever used to scare us?).    

As I approach my 50’s, I am experiencing the opposite to be true.

Back in the 80’s when I worked downtown Boston, I was your typical city slicker commuter (yes, I wore my shiny white Reeboks to walk to the office and then changed into pumps once I arrived).  I lived in the burbs back then and took the commuter rail to and from work.  I spent at least two hours a day (on the good days when there was no train mal-function) on the train.  

I passed those precious commuting hours nodding off, drooling, checking out the cute guys in their suits, eavesdropping on other’s conversations, looking over my shoulder to see what my seat mate was reading – you know, the things one does on trains.  I was a happy, phobia- free train passenger.  The question I have is, what horrible traumatizing event am I repressing that is responsible for my latest phobia?

 I have developed an insane intense fear, of driving over train tracks.  We are talking, rapid heart beat, sweats, the shakes, having to close my eyes, wanting to call my husband to come get me and yelling for my mama to save me!  Just like that.  I now mourn the normal, happily driving over the tracks kind-of-gal I used to be. WTH? What gives?

Just look how intimidating trains can be!

Just look at how intimidating trains can be!    livinglaughinglosing.com

I do not know if the derailment that occurred a couple of years ago on the track I most often cross, is contributing to this phobia.  It’s not like I was on the train when it happened, or on the road.  To make matters worse, the last time I suffered through a cross-over, there was a small train maintenance car whipping by right in front of me on the track, without any warning.  No red lights flashing, gates or bells!   I am trying to deal with this disability…by going 10 miles out of my way to avoid any tracks but one always sneaks up on me.

Then, there is my fear of thunder and lightning to reckon with.  It is not an uncommon fear but for crying out loud, it has gotten worse!  My teens stare at me in disbelief.  They cannot watch their otherwise strong mother, turn into a pathetic being when there is a storm.  For some reason, my words of choice when I hear thunder are, Ay Ay Ay!  I close my eyes, cover my face and Ay Ay Ay throughout the whole storm.   Hearing the crackling sound of lightning hitting something near by, sends me over the edge.  We are talking, call 911.  I have also noticed that as I get older, the Ay Ay Ays… get louder.  Not a pretty sight.  WTH? What gives?

The final phobia I will discuss with you, before you un-follow me because I have completely scared you away, is not being able to touch the restaurant pagers they give you as you wait for your order or table.  No, no and no!  When the nice hostess hands me the pager, I immediately go into my, Don’t you (waving my Spanish pointer finger) be giving me that dirty, filthy, touched by everyone pager that vibrates – mode.  If I must take it, I use a haz mat suit napkin between my hand and the thingy.  If my husband is with me, I make him get contaminated. WTH? What gives?

I have never been a germaphobe and have not minded getting down and dirty (breaking a nail – yes, but not getting dirty).  It now appears that I have developed OCD.  WTH? What gives?  

Like I needed new reasons to dread turning 50.  

BTW, what time is it, what time are we leaving and what time are we getting back?

 

 

 

{A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Susie Strong Day}

The Swim to My 50s – “Perfect is the Enemy of Good,” Voltaire

images-32

Last Saturday, instead of doing the usual mundane errands, I was swallowed up by our oversized soft leather living room chair, in front of our movie theater style television.  I had an icy glass of a Cranberry Spritzer I had made earlier and my feet were resting comfortably on the coffee table. The only time I looked away was to make sure no family member was lingering in the near distance, waiting to interrupt my self made oasis.   

I am not an avid television watcher and only watch the few shows I really enjoy.  Like for example,  Wednesday’s winner line up of The Middle, Modern Family, & Nashville.  I cannot miss Thursday’s tantalizing, Scandal, Monday’s The Bachelorette (I know…) and the sultry, Dancing with the Stars as well as CNN – particularly since the horrific events of the past month. Oh yes, there is also, Duck Dynasty when my son has it on and, Pretty Little Liars when my daughter wishes to bond with me.  I look forward to Meredith Viera’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire every day after dinner (although I do miss Regis), Nightly News with the handsome, Brian Williams, American Pickers with my treasure hunter husband and of course, The Voice and oh, I love Robin from Good Morning America….

Ok,  so my big brown eyes watch a bit more television than I originally admitted to but the point is, that on Saturday I came across the Hallmark Channel.  I knew it existed but always flipped right by it on my way to another channel.  I stumbled upon a tear jerker of a movie about an Amish young woman who finds out that she is adopted and decides she does not have to stay and live the Amish way and ventures out to explore the outside world, against her adoptive parent’s wishes.

The same big brown eyes soon morphed into a pair of swollen, blood shot, dried up balls as I sobbed like a baby who had lost her binky.  Part two of the movie soon followed and by then, I would not have been recognizable to my next of kin, had they attempted to interrupt me.

 Instead of redeeming myself once it ended, I sat mesmerized by our dizzying 55 inch, 1080p widescreen way-high resolution quality picture and was sucked in by an episode of The Waltons, followed by Little House on the Prairie.

But, the fun did not end there.  A talk show titled, Marie, came on.  Marie, as in Osmond.   She has endured her share of woes in her family in addition to delicately fainting while a contestant on Dancing with the Stars and did lose all that weight while on Nutrisystem,  but what caught my zombie-like attention was, her face.  

images-30

Quite unfortunate and disappointing, is the fact that she has joined the increasing number of people (mostly stars) who now represent the face of this century.  It’s that puffy, botox filled, collagen enhanced, stiff, clown-looking face.  What will our grandchildren’s children be saying about the way we looked, back in the 21st century, when they go through old pictures of us?  They will be puzzled by the anatomy of our faces and will try to study the causes of such deformities, for years to come.  I am by no means trying to be mean, I am just simply confused by this.  

Marie-Osmond 

I admit that there are more than a few little parts of my face that could use some nipping, tucking and plumping, and I don’t disagree that a little help can be a good thing,  but why isn’t good, good enough?  Take a look at these stars:

Janice-Dickinson-Plastic-Surgery-Before-After lisa-rinna-plastic-surgery-before-after

enhanced-buzz-21447-1281545855-20

No Mickey…come back!  barry-manilow-plastic-surgery 1307915539-barry-manillow-facelifts-botched-cosmetic-surgery “Looks Like We (You) Made It”…a big mistake that is.

Where, for the love of God, are their agents and family members in all of this?  Aren’t they supposed to look out for them and tell them how they really look?  Could I possibly be missing something?  Could somebody be so kind and educate me?   

jocelyn-wildenstein Celebrity-plastic-surgery-faces-before-after8 images-31

Every time I see a favorite actor/actress  join the circus – per say, I feel so distraught.  Why have they gone to the other side?  Wayyyyyy over?  There is no turning back now.   

Meg Ryan, please don’t….go!!! Darn it, it’s too late… images-35 

Courtney-Cox-Plastic-SurgeryMonica, I mean Courtney, don’t do it, don’t… join the circus! Aww man, also too late.

Between nodding off during Marie’s interview of a woman who had married a man who was really a woman who thought she was a man since birth but then dressed like a woman, and trying not to drop my glass on the floor, my mind delved deep into mankind’s fascination and desperate search for, perfection.

We don’t want it later, we want it now.  Fast.  We don’t just want some, we want it all.  We don’t accept good, we want perfect. When did good, become not good enough?

Please don’t let Perfect, be the enemy of your Good.

 

The Swim to My 50s – I was meant to be carried on a bed with a canopy and curtains and fed grapes to

images-33 images-34

This, according to a health provider that used to treat my feet and body when I was first diagnosed with RA.    She worked on trigger points and would try to alleviate my aching and rapidly deforming feet.

When nothing seemed to help, she simply looked at me and said, Your feet were not meant for walking.  You, my dear, should be carried on a ‘litter’ (a bed with four posts, a canopy and curtains) and fed grapes to.

I couldn’t agree more.

When God made me, this must have been part of his plan.  He knew that my feet would not be able to carry any weight and that my other joints would also fail me.

I am almost 50 and I have yet to see a litter parked in my driveway.  Where are the shirtless men in cloth diapers ready to carry me to my destination?  My old Toyota Camry has no curtains and although it sports a sun roof, it’s just not the same.

I have discussed most of my other body parts in earlier posts.  My feet, however, require a blog of their own.

I inherited my feet from my dad.  Size 9, wide, a long big toe and beautifully protruding bunions {I apologize if you have a foot fetish and I am turning you on right now}.  This is where my dad’s and my feet’s similarities end.  Now, picture these feet turning out to the sides with my bully of a big toe leaning and squashing the other more, fragile and helpless toes.  Not a pretty sight.

It is a good thing that I never understand what the ladies who do my pedicures are saying but I can guarantee you that as they are smiling at me, they are aghast at the sight of my feet and pretend not to notice.

Before RA, I wore all kinds of shoes.  My favorites were the stilettos I wore while frequenting the discos.  I am now the not-so-proud owner of several God-awful Crocs.  Pink and black.  And, I even have the winter ones with fur inside.  But once I had surgery on my left foot, my selection expanded again.

images

Crocs

images

I won’t even tell you what a nightmare the surgery was and how much I suffered.  It was so bad that I had my mom ask our priest if he could stop over to visit me, as I lay in bed for 4 months, recovering.  

There is a funny story about this day that I have to tell you.  After sitting at my bedside reassuring me that things would get better and to continue to have faith, Father asked me to pray with him.  He asked me to say my Hail Marys.  Now, I don’t pretend to be super Catholic, but at least a moderate one…at best.  I froze when he asked me because I, for the life of me, could not remember it!  Hail Mary, full of grace… After what seemed to be hours of silence as he waited for me to begin, I asked him if he would say it with me.  He agreed and began reciting it with his eyes closed.  I stared at his lips and tried desperately to match his words, accentuating the ones I remembered and mumbling through the words I had forgotten.  Not my proudest moment.

So now, I have one straight foot that has permanent nerve damage, with an even longer big fused toe (which I ended up jamming and breaking after the surgery) that is a size 9.5 and that prefers narrow fashionable shoes.   And, one deformed size 9 wide foot, that requires the comfort of…Crocs.

20130521_181149_resized

Ain’t they purdy…

20130521_181319

 I have often said, to those who will listen, that I refuse to operate my right foot unless I can be put in an induced coma for 6 months while it heals.  Needless to say, I have accepted the fact that I will be living my next 50 years with mis-matched feet.

I think I will say my Hail Marys every night until my birthday and hope that on that morning, I will wake up to find a huge shiny red bow taped to my new state of the art, loaded litter {men in cloth diapers feeding me red grapes – cuz green ones are too sour- included}, sitting in my driveway.

 

 

The Swim to My 50s – Things that make me ^%@#*- swear!

quotes.lover.com

quotes.lover.com

I am by no means a prude but I am no cusser either.  I get increasingly stressed out and anxious when others swear, yet hearing myself say these words, is not as bad.  I still try to avoid it.

Unfortunately, I am finding that the frequency of me reaching that…breaking point has increased over time.   Not only am I swearing more in English, but the Spanish swears are flying off the shelves of my sassy tongue!  And let me tell you, swearing in Spanish is even more gratifying.

I have an answer to the very clever quote above.  I don’t open my package because I…f-@#*%-‘in – can’t!

Have you tried opening packages lately?  For the love of God, somebody do something!

sunpack.com

sunpack.com

Did you know that by 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons in this country?  This is more than twice the number in 2000. People 65+ will represent 19% of the population by then.

Hello?  Manufacturers, are you listening?

This isn’t just a problem for the elderly or people with arthritis.  Everyone seems to be resorting to their chicklets to open just about… everything.

soyouwantocomplain.blogspot.com

soyouwantocomplain.blogspot.com

I have tried to adjust to this reality by purchasing user-friendly gadgets in order to make my life easier and to actually cook dinner for my family.  No one is ever home when I need to open those jars and cans and I was tired of hobbling over to the neighbor’s house for help.
 blackanddecker.com
blackanddecker.com

This funky electric gadget above looks like the Cat’s Meow but, it lasted one day.  The thing jammed the jar in there so tight that I could not only not open the jar, I couldn’t remove it and had to throw the whole thing away.

Got a headache?  Relief is going to have to wait until you figure out how to twist the cap open, rupture the safety seal, peel the remaining foil out, reach in the small opening for the cotton ball and get the two d-*&%# caplets out.

stopbuyingcrap.com

stopbuyingcrap.com

I’m sorry, but if you have to use a meat cleaver to open up your new way too expensive printer ink, something is very wrong!

I had just about enough a couple of months ago, when I purchased an OralB electric toothbrush in order to make my life easier and alleviate my aching wrists.  I tried opening the stiff “clamshell” plastic packaging (I even used my handy As Seen On Tv, Open X Dual Blade knife) and ended up with a big gash on my finger from the sharp edge of the plastic.  Really?  I bled trying to open up my new toothbrush?  After writing a letter to Procter & Gamble, they responded by saying that the instructions were in the back of the package.

bigluckydeals.com

bigluckydeals.com

How about those convenient little #@%^* ketchup packets?  After trying to “tear here” with your fingers and then your teeth,  you end up with a huge mess and thinking you would have been better off stomping on the packet instead.

Heinz Ketchup

Heinz Ketchup

For the sake of my new and rapidly developing  potty mouth and my grandchildren-to-be, I hope that companies stop triple packaging everything and realize that half of the population cannot use their products because they can’t… open them!

@$&^%$*#!!!

The Swim to My 50s – Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another you’ve been “messing around”.

images-12

photo by colourbox.com

How is a Catholic girl to blog about s—, you ask?  I know you did not really ask, but I will tell you anyway.  She researches the many euphemisms out there to describe the nasty, without having to actually use the forbidden word.  Oh, believe me, there are endless lists of them, enough to please a whole church filled with sinners who can continue to avoid saying what they actually mean.

As I approach my 50’s, I think about my, dippity doo-da history and what awaits me in the next 50 years of my life.  Truth be told, I was a late bloomer.  Having grown up Catholic and under the direction of a very, very, very (did I say very?) strict Puerto Rican father, bouncing the pogo stick, before marriage, was out of the question.

Interestingly enough (Grrr), this waiting to, dip the wick rule before marriage, did not apply to my two brothers.  Something that did not sit well with my sister and I and the reason for continued therapy.

It is very difficult to re-train your brain and body from believing that, buttering the muffin, is bad, bad, bad, to suddenly feeling that it is ok to enjoy,  feeding the kitty, every night.  The button does not just switch that easily from one day to the next. Often, the button actually stays stuck in one place for a while, until you have to force it to switch with a pair of pliers.

Lucky for me, my switch was not faulty and I have had a very enriched life of, dipping the donut, with my husband throughout our marriage.  I look forward to, hiding the salami, for many years to come.

Doctors and therapists encourage married couples of all ages to continue to, stuff the taco, at least three times a week.  Really?  What happens when your body stops cooperating and you can’t, bury the bone, as often as you would like?

I heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend, who, heard it from another that there are certain, aids out there to help the aging population, go fishing, more often. But, the same friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another, said that you can only get 4 of these aids per month. Seriously?

Who do the doctors and insurance companies think we are?  Monks?

 

The Swim to My 50s – My Bizarre Electromagnetic Field Disability

photo by movie-info-collection.blogspot.com

Courtesy of  movieinfocollectionblgspot.com

I am not kidding when I tell you that there is something very bizarre going on with my body (besides the obvious).  There has to be.  There are too many unexplained occurrences to ignore this fact any further.

I can count at least ten watches that sit in my jewelry drawer that have failed me.  Some are new, some old, some cheap and one is a Gucci my parents gave me as a gift.

In spite of my history with watches, I continue to buy them hoping that they will not fall victim to my Bizarre Electromagnetic Field Disability.  This BEFD causes all of my watches to STOP working for no explicable reason. Yes, I have replaced the batteries on all of them – to no avail.

It usually occurs within the first month of wearing the watch.  Let me tell you, it freaks me out every time.

But, my BEFD does not stop there. I am partially handicapped when using public restrooms.  While this germa-phobic society is happily enjoying the new technological advanced features in public restrooms, I am deprived.

No matter how many times I swing my hands under the automatic sinks, water will not come out.  Believe me, I try.  I will go from sink to sink swinging away in hopes that I feel even a tiny drop of water.  

People often give me looks and wonder why I am not able to figure out this simple automatic contraption.  My daughter has now become my own personal swinger when we go powder our noses together.

By the time I am visiting the sinks, I have already failed twice with the other ‘user friendly’ gadgets.  The automatic toilet NEVER flushes for me, even after doing a little merengue dance. I end up having to press the tiny yucky wet button with my hand or foot myself – in order to flush.  It is quite traumatic.

Forget about using any soap on my hands before attempting to rinse.  The #%&@ soap will not dispense for me either.  What have I done to deserve such discrimination?

images

Courtesy of uncgbls.wordpress.com

Finally, if I have been fortunate enough to have someone help me with the sink and my hands are actually wet…you guessed it.  The automatic paper towel dispenser will not dispense!  I swing those hands back and forth, I see a green light indicating that paper is near…but – NADA.  I just wipe my hands on my pants and leave the premises discouraged, once again.

images

Courtesy of haleyscomic.com

I am considering wearing my handicap placard that I have for my car around my neck when going to public restrooms, so as to elicit pity and assistance.  After all, my daughter will not always be there to swing for me.

I am not sure this constitutes as another official example of my BEFD, but when wearing custom jewelry (ok, cheap jewelry), my skin turns black.  Not only my ring fingers but my wrists and neck.  I know that discoloration of the skin is normal with metals but, it happens right away.

I can only hope that my BEFD will work to my advantage someday. Like, being able to swing my hands in front of a cash register to stop it from working allowing me to take home my items for free.  Or, flashing my hands in front of a scale and making it stop at 100 pounds.

How about using my disability when purchasing a lottery ticket and causing it stop at my numbers?  You get my point.  Why, oh why must I continue to suffer like this?

Perhaps I will do what the skinny long-haired woman (minus the gray hair) on my first photo is doing.  I will go outside during the next torrential rain when the lightning is rabid, and get hit.  This will throw off my Bizarre Electromagnetic Field and make me a regular human being, allowing me to flush toilets, own working watches and wear as much cheap jewelry as I deserve to wear.     

  

The Swim to My 50’s – Now, where was I?

I could not do it.  Since the Boston bombings, as I sat to write on my blog, no words would come to me.  Having lived, studied and worked in Boston for many years, I could not stop thinking about the horrible events.  Nothing I wanted to write seemed appropriate enough or worthy of a blog entry.  Everything felt so trivial in comparison to the mayhem in Boston.

How could I write about my silly experiences, stories or events?  It felt disrespectful and selfish discussing my insignificant little life, while so many were suffering.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis – AND?  At least I have all my limbs and extremities in tact.  Yes, I experience pain on a daily basis – SO?  It is nothing like the excruciating physical and emotional pain felt by the victims of the bombings.

I am going to turn 50 in September.  Really?  That’s my dilemma?

As the days passed and the suspects were still out there, I began to think about the want and longing we all felt  for some sort of normalcy.  We could not wait until the suspects were caught so that we could go back to our routines, as mundane as they may be, and to our little insignificant lives.

Psychologists were advising that parents continue their daily regular schedules with their children, in order to ease their anxiety. None of us could truly get the atrocity of the bombings out of our minds as we grieved for those affected, but we tried to resume our lives because – we had to.

Soon I realized that I had to move forward.  That, as trivial as my life is, it is nevertheless, my life.  Not unlike the lives of many out there.

You see, although major events in our lives can shape us into who we are, it is often the simple routines and experiences that bring us joy and that make us feel blessed.

We all have silly stories to tell and experiences to share.  We do not have to be famous, on a reality show or on the news to be relevant.  Our voices and opinions matter to us and to those who choose to listen.  We enjoy reading about other’s lives and opinions and learn to find the humor in the difficulties we face.

There are atrocities happening every day.  We cannot ignore them or avoid them, but we can show our strength by continuing to live our lives the best we can.

I look forward to sharing more of my silly insignificant stories (like how I got my thunder thighs) with you, on future posts! 🙂