There are things that fall outside of our expectations for ourselves. You know, stuff that happens to other people in other places but certainly not to us. Well, to you, maybe. But not to me!
What kinds of things? Coffee breath, warts, wrinkles, undignified medical conditions that shall go nameless. Scary things. The kinds of things that come with living to adulthood.
The following is a list of things that I assumed would never happen to me, things that have happened not necessarily because I deserved them, but because it turns out that I am as human as you. Or him. Or any of those people over there.
These are in no particular order. Seriously.
Stretch Marks: This one surprised me. Silly, when I think about it, since I was a good seven months pregnant when I first saw them… What can I say? They were hidden under my swollen belly… Caught the full picture in a three-way mirror at Sears whilst looking for something – anything! – that would fit. I burst into tears and came out of the room asking my boyfriend, “Why didn’t you tell me?” He knew exactly what I was talking about. “I figured you had enough problems,” he said.
Lay Offs: Nothing exciting to say here other than those low-life scheming bastids let me and a dozen others go a week before Christmas rather than cut the salaries of the six-figure guys.
Cellulite: Ah. Another condition I thought would not happen to me. People with cellulite are fat, aren’t they? Or lazy? Or – what was I thinking, anyway? I don’t remember, but I never expected to have dimples on my butt. No use in fussing about it, though. Others may think of it as “hail damage”, but I prefer to think of it as Braille for the blind boyfriends I’ve yet to meet.
Gingivitis: Any time you go to the dentist and they suggest that you have work done in either two sessions (half a mouth at a time) or four sessions (quarter sections of the mouth), you know you’re in for Big Fun. Having dental work done in shifts is the kind of suggestion you’ll hear when your dentist diagnoses gingivitis. All I can say is: Listerine, kids. Listerine.
Practical Shoes: Despite the continued ability to run in three-inch heels, I’ve found that I am now more interested in comfort and practicality than how great those heels make my legs look. I now wear my beautiful heels only at work, not while getting there. I leave that bit of foolishness to the youngsters. Carry on, Next Generation! Calluses and bunions await you!
Loss of Love for the Horror Movie: This I place squarely on the shoulders of the movie industry. I mean, I used to love a good horror movie. But now? Pails full of blood hurtled toward the camera do not make things scary. I can’t remember the last truly scary movie I saw, although I have seen a number that just made me leave the room in disgust.
Beans and Other Gas-Producing Vegetables: Earlier in life I had assumed that this was a joke. I’ve come to find out that it’s not. You can take my word for it or you can learn it yourself. The lesson I’ve learned? A bowl of chili for lunch prior to a late-afternoon job interview is a bad idea.
Looking at this list, I think I've found the common link in these things; and here it is: the whispered stories of stretch marks and cellulite had turned out to be true. What else is true? The generation ahead of us – what do they know that we don’t?
Ooh. There’s a horror movie for you. “I Know What’s Going to Happen To You”.
Now that’s scary.