No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back.
~ Margaret Mead
Banana and toast
Check a Sheila Video
6 July 2004
That I cannot dress myself has little to do with the fact that I'm a klutz with no sense of style (though there are those who will argue that this is a big part of it), and everything to do with the fact that when "skin" was passed out in that big cloakroom in the sky, God confused me with a mallard and I have skin which refuses to absorb water, and which seems impossible to pat or rub dry.
For years I excused my inability to actually dry my body by acknowledging that our threadbare towels had been through decades of teenagers and Brasilians and had no water-absorbing material left in them.
When the bathroom remodel was completed earlier this year, I actually went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and spent exhorbitant sums to buy towels with thick pile guaranteed to soak up the most stubborn of spills, and certainly guaranteed to do the simple job of drying shower water off of my back.
But, no. For some reason, no matter how thick the pile the water stays firmly affixed to my upper body.
Perhaps I need to go back to my childhood and take "towel-drying lessons" again.
When I'm at home alone, it's not a big problem. I can wander around the house in the altogether, lie on the bed and watch a few episodes of Columbo or engage in some other activity which is destined to eventually cause the water drops to give up the ghost.
However, when I'm here in a house with six other people whom I like--but not exactly intimately, the "air dry" method is not really practical.
Add to that an early deadline and you have the recipe for...uh...shall we say problems?
Dick and Gerry had invited us to join them for breakfast (we are making the most of our three day reunion!) and, additionally, an appointment had been made to visit a retirement community with Walt's mother at 11, so we decided to arrive for breakfast around 9 a.m.
A day's worth of salt sea air needed to be washed out of my hair and off of my body and so a shower needed to be taken. Unfortunately, I actually slept late this morning...sort of. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and got up to do my journal entry, but then decided to see if I could get a little sleep, dozed off, and woke up sometime between 7:45 and 8:00.
Of course I couldn't get into the shower until I'd checked e-mail, so it needed to be a quick shower.
"Quick shower" was easy. It was afterwards that was the problem.
It's a small bathroom and it had been a hot shower. So my duck's back problem was further compounded by the humidity in the bathroom.
I dried and dried and dried and I still felt like I'd stepped out into a Houston mid-summer heat. I finally decided to try getting dressed anyway. With great difficulty, the grannie panties went on, accompanied by great huffing and puffing. Next came the slacks. I was saving the worst for last. Putting a bra on a wet back is the most difficult.
Half dressed, I gave another stab at drying my back, but my wet hair had assured that the back would be as wet as it was when I emerged from the shower.
I tried putting on my bra--a front closing bra which I began wearing when my accident made it impossible for me to snap a bra behind my back.
I ended up with the thing skewed, one arm in, one arm half in, back twisted hopelessly, and unable to move in any direction. Not only was I unable to get the thing on, I wasn't able to get it off either.
I finally managed, with great difficulty (and fear of tearing my only bra in half) to remove it, straighten it out and think about trying it again, but now I not only had a wet back but also a damp bra and there wasn't any way that it was going to go on.
I was sorely tempted to open the door and risk running into my brother-in-law and have him get to know me a lot more intimately than he ever wanted to, but propriety won out. I finally decided to put on the t-shirt I was going to wear, wear that downstairs (hoping that it would absorbe the water) and then struggle with the bra in the downstairs guest half bathroom.
But the t-shirt is a soft, absorbent material and it would go on only so far and no farther. I ended up looking like this:
Fortunately nobody saw me in this disheveled condition and I was able to slip into the downstairs bathroom to continue the struggle with the (*&^%$# bra.
By now the shirt was fairly wet and removing it was nearly impossible too. When I finally got it off, I was able to start working with the damp bra--and by now all that exertion had made me start to sweat, so even if the back was starting to dry, I was working from the inside to moisten it anyway.
I was able to approximate getting the bra on, if I was willing to be cut right across the front midline and walk around like the hunchback of Notre Dame because of the twists in the damn side panels.
Finally I gave up, pulled everything down in front as much as I could, jammed the breasts into the cups to help stretch things out, and came out to ask for help in untwisting the back and pulling down my t-shirt. I felt pretty stupid.
To compound things, when I was finally ready to go, I went for one final visit to the bathroom to deposit the leftover undigested food from yesterday, which had passed through the colon and was ready to emerge.
When I went to flush, the toilet stopped up and threatened to overflow. I was unable to find a plunger and our hostess was still asleep. I had to leave things as they were and hope nobody decided to use the bathroom before we returned.
There are some days when I think I shouldn't be allowed out in polite society.
There are other days when I know it!