Friday, March 11, 2011

Sister Patsy Gets It Together, and Bails

Guess I’d better explain myself. I had a slow but spectacular collapse over the Christmas holiday and spent the next month and a half deteriorating in a recliner I now call Saint Jesus (hay-SOOS) Malverde, who is the patron saint of Mexican drug traffickers. Mind you, all my drugs were ethically prescribed by an orthopedic surgeon and a pain center that had all the hopeful ambiance of a methadone clinic. So that was a good time. A month ago I had spinal surgery with titanium implants and am now looking forward to a lifetime of enhanced airport security screenings, but Phartacus and Slappy are putting up with all my high-maintenanceness because they know I’ve got metal rods that may spring out like Wolverine if they piss me off. This kind of cred makes me almost as cool as my good friend who had cancer as a child and gets around on what the boys reverentially refer to as her “robot” leg. If you’re a small boy, forget plastic and silicone: upgraded metal body parts are the road to awesome.

Anyway, my not writing has more to do with the copious amounts of pain and medicine that flooded my system for the past two months than my riveting social calendar while hanging out on Saint JM. I’d taken enough prescription pain killers to set up house in the Bahamas with my lawyer and film crew, and while anyone who’s seen recent celebrity capers would no doubt vouch for the exciting thoughts that emanate from the chemically dependent, I hadn’t been able to form coherent sentences in quite some time. The good news is that I’m recovering and off the pills. The bad news is I have constant loud ringing in my ears as an apparently peculiar side effect of something or other I was on. I guess it’s better than hearing voices.

So now I’m getting back into the glamorous routine of getting children ready for school, driving them to and from school, volunteer teaching at an early-morning arts workshop at school, dropping off baked goods at school, making sure schoolwork is completed… wait, I’m sure there’s something else. Oh yes, laundry.

On the way home from school yesterday morning, I decided to investigate a local Flab Fighters meeting. I had tried it several years ago, when Phartacus was a toddler and Slappy just a squirmy carseat baby, and discovered a room full of doting retirees ready to play peek-a-boo and paddy cake. They also helped with the kids. Anyway, nice as they were, I didn’t feel connected to the conundrums of how to bake Horace’s favorite buttermilk biscuits at 5pm or how to fit dieting in with their health issues, so I stopped going.

But after a couple of months of recliner living and shoveling in candy as a pain coping mechanism, I thought checking it out wouldn’t be a completely crazy idea. I know you won’t be shocked to read that the local FF meeting is held in a church. Last time, the meeting room at Holier Than Thou was just a basement hall, but since then they’ve put in a sort of mini pulpit at one end. A little raised platform with a podium and quilted banners with squares of crosses, doves, and words like “Jesus”, “Peace”, and “Pray”. After receiving my name tag and sitting in one of the folding chairs facing the pulpit, I wondered if maybe The Lord was taking a personal interest in our muffin tops. Should I confess that I’d eaten cherry pie and Reddi Wip for breakfast? Oh wait, wrong church. 

Just as I started to worry that we might be called forward to witness about last night’s dessert transgressions, the meeting was called to order, and so began 45 minutes of more clapping than a preschool graduation. I clapped for Reba (I’m not making that name up), who reached her 10% goal, and Wenndy (that's right, two "N"s) who lost five pounds. I clapped for Dorothy’s husband Frank (really), who came to the meeting under duress. I clapped for several Carols (yes) who had started walking together and who were excited to spread the word about a recipe for microwaved cake in a mug. The Carol sitting next to me was also very excited about some FF lemon snack bars she’d just purchased after weigh-in, and got into an actual wrestling match with the Carol next to her, trying to cram a bite in her mouth despite the woman’s struggles. The meeting concluded with a discussion about Reba's adorable hat and boots. The Carols were excited about them.

By the time it was over my hands and brain were both numb and I had lemon crumbs embedded in my fleece. Not to mention all that talk about food had made me hungry. I escaped without joining, came home, and sprayed Reddi Wip directly into my mouth. Now what.


  1. Is an online group an option?? People aren't all that great to be around, and religion's even worse. ...Although I'm also banking on you moving out of Splendaville one day soon....

  2. I thought about an online option, because you're so right about the whole people thing. But now I'm thinking for two months at Flab Fighters, I could have unlimited time in my living room with Body Gospel.

  3. SO glad you're back - I was quite worried about you! Mostly, and quite selfishly, because I feared your wit and sarcasm (and Splendaville) might have vanished forever! Now that I know the whole (?) story, do take care, and do keep writing!

  4. sorry to hear about the surgery and all the pain! but I am so glad you're back!