My sister Joy and I have shared some hilarious experiences. One of the most memorable ones was when Memphis Magazine held a treasure-hunt contest. We travelled all over Memphis and its environs with obscure clues in hand. Once we ended up in Mississippi, or Arkansas, or both, by mistake. Several times we traipsed around mud-filled parks and golf courses. We got soaked in rain. We tore our pantyhose. We went to playgrounds at night with only a shovel and a flashlight, standing behind trees to hide from oncoming headlights. We carried around crowbars to lift up manholes. We had so much fun! Alas, we never did unearth the Bufflehead prize, but I found solace in keeping a written record of our exploits, part of which Memphis Magazine published. Joy only had one reservation about my essays. “How come,” she lamented, “you always make me out to be the idiot?” My answer: “I am the author. I can do whatever I want.”
I was reminded of that this week. After I write each blog entry, I read it to Ed. He’ll smile or laugh or just roll his eyes, but recently he voiced a thought similar to Joy's - wondering how come I always make fun of him, and never mention the stupid things I do or say. My answer: “I’m the author. I can do whatever I want.” I added, “You can get your own blog and make fun of me.” Fortunately, he has never shown any interest in doing such a thing.
After some consideration, I decided it was time for an entry of personal confession. I will graciously give Ed equal time and sacrifice my spotless reputation to reveal my faults. Feel free to snicker or give an all-out guffaw. I can take it.
Most people already know how accident-prone I am. I burned myself by pointing an already flaming (unbeknownst to me) fire starter gel bottle at my face and squeezing, which resulted in an explosion. I’ve sliced a chunk of skin off the tip of my finger while peeling potatoes. I’ve slipped on the kitchen floor carrying a pot of boiling water with oil in it to the kitchen sink. Just last week, I burned my lip trying to get a loaf of homemade bread out of the hot pan. (Some people would find that challenging, but I have apparently perfected the technique. You have to shake the pan so hard that you lose control of it and it hits your mouth. And it has to be a really, really hot pan, right out of the oven.) I’ve sewn through my finger with the sewing machine needle, and another time I had a sewing machine needle pop out and bounce off my eyeball. I’ve run into things, tripped on things, and generally have had so many accidents that my co-workers once gave me a first-aid kit for my birthday. All my friends and relatives have their own ideas about why I am so prone to accidents. Ed says I just go too fast and don’t pay attention.
I also have what folks call “senior moments.” Like trying to turn on the TV with the phone (or trying to answer the phone with the remote). Like putting the yogurt cup in the microwave instead of the refrigerator. Like using confectioner’s sugar instead of flour in a cookie recipe (sweet!). C’mon now - I know you do it too.
I put my hot water bottle in the microwave to heat it up. I’ve done it for years. Yesterday it was one time too many, and it blew up. Water came pouring out of the microwave onto the stove below. That was one of my finer moments.
I guess the most recent incident in my life worthy of confession is my attempt to back up in our driveway. Our driveway is gravel, and it is on an incline with a slight curve to the left. Add to this the fact that we have no grass in our yard to visually separate the brown dirt driveway from the brown dirt yard (or the white snow-covered driveway from the white snow-covered yard), and one can understand how I might have a little trouble.
When the driveway is full of ice or snow, I get stuck on the hill several times when I’m leaving for work in the morning. The only thing to do in that case is to just back up to a flatter area and start over. For some reason, I can’t seem to back up straight. I back up crooked. I should see the side porch of the house in my rearview mirror, in which case I know I’m OK. When I see the front porch of the house in my rearview mirror, I know I’m in trouble. I know if I keep backing up in that direction, my car will be our new piece of living room furniture.
Our driveway is a few inches higher than the front yard, so as I back up crooked, I tend to get stuck on that edge, with the right half of the car being down in the yard and the left half being up on the driveway. For some reason, this perturbs Ed. Maybe it’s because he has placed a reflective post to alert me to the edge of the driveway. Maybe it’s because I’ve backed up on, run over, and flattened that reflective post a few times. Maybe it’s because I get him out of a sound sleep in a warm bed at 4:00 a.m. to go out in freezing weather to get my car unstuck. Who can say?
Well, that’s all I can confess today. It’s all Ed can think of, anyway. I told him that this is his only chance to develop a fan base for himself, to form a group of people sympathetic to his plight, wondering how on earth he could live with a crazy klutz like Carol.
Hey, confession feels good. Maybe I will try it again in the future. In the meantime, though, I’ll continue to focus on Ed and the rest of my family. They provide me with so much wonderful material that it would be a shame not to share it. If anyone in the family ever wants to take issue with my portrayal of their eccentricities, they can just give me a phone call. I’ll answer it as soon as I can find the remote.