Hellooooooooooo campers! How nice of you to join me today and a special shout-out to Debbie from California [whose blog "Ribbonwood Cottage" is one of the blogs I follow over to the right of this post, not to mention her wonderful Etsy shop!] who is praying for Sister Grumpy here. I am better, and am almost back to being the sparkling Weltha.
When I was a kid and I was sick or downcast or upset, my mom would say, "Well, honey, you just seem like you've lost your SPARKLE!" Years ago, I said that to Scott my Co-worker and he said, "Oooooooh, I don't like that. I don't think I have sparkle!"
Since that day, I have made it my mission in life to hang out with men who do have sparkle and are the first to acknowledge it. Anyhoodle, girlfriend here is getting her bearings back. And people praying for me is one of the reasons...
India buffet yesterday for the co-worker's b'day: it was GREAT--it's at a restaurant that I love but which for some reason I have not visited in a couple of ice ages. I had lovely tomatoes and cucumbers in that raita dressing, combined with some curried meat (yum, oh yum, oh yum) and tandoori chicken, saag paneer (creamed spiced spinach--yes, spinach!--with cubes of this incredible cheese...it's great and generally the idea of creamed spinach makes me want to be very ill...), and the extraordinary mango lassi (a wonderful drink made with yogurt and fresh mangos). And of course, naan bread. I would like to propose to the onion and especially to the garlic naan. I didn't go back for seconds, and I did enjoy everything, particularly that garlic naan. It was so good and fresh--all of it. I ate joyfully without any worries.
And this morning, because I am stiff and sore from still lugging boxes and stuff, as I slooooooooooowly unpack, I treated myself to an everything bagel with chive/onion cream cheese from Old School Bagel Cafe. Said it once (or 57 times...) and I'll say it again, if you live in "my town" or you are visiting "my town," come on down to Peoria between 31st and 41st and visit Old School Bagel Cafe, owned and operated by my friend Scott the Bagelman and his merry band of bagel-persons. Sure, it's mostly guys, but a few notable women work there, and it's a great place.
And I had the blackberry-jasmine iced tea and doggone it, I left it in the car...sheesh...
And although I am still kinda stiff, I am--for the very most part--no longer in el crappo mood. Or as Susan Y's daughter says, "craptastic." I love "crap"--it's an all-purpose swear word without all the guilt. Although I must confess that I am not a stranger to swearing, as many of you are aware...However, girlfriend here is struggling today with [spoiler: potential TMI] upset colon. Just your basic colon spasms, set off no doubt by being upset. I have not had it this bad in many years...I hurt--not horribly--but just a dull ache. I am not likin' it...not likin' it at all...and in the immortal words of my friend The Ringmaster (whose blog "Because It's My Blog" is one of the blogs I follow over at the right of this post), I feel "no bueno." Thank you, Ringmaster, for giving me the words I need...I'll get over this, but the whole thing is "no bueno." Fooey and double fooey...
But now...on to Day 6 of 30 Days Of Truth. And today's prompt is:
For What Do You Never Receive Compliments?
And because I'm back at "woo hoo, let's have fun" mode, my short answer is:
my athletic abilities.
And this would be because....? you ask.
Because I ain't got any!
All right, all right, that's not exactly correct. But let's start with the "ain't got any" part.
I am not a track star nor ever have been. Yes, I have the tall and rangy (when I'm thin...) build of one, but I am not a runner. I can't play basketball; when I was in high school at 5'9", I probably looked like one, but I'm not. I'm not an especially great volleyball player although I would LIKE to think that I might have had some talent in that area. I took fencing in college and was told I had promise, but not being an athletic sort, I never developed it. I had some promise as a swimmer but never, etc., although an ex-boyfriend said I had a swimmer's body, whatever that meant and whyever he said it, oh let's not go there...never could play softball or baseball, either...
I have never played soccer in my life because I'm sorta the wrong generation for it. And unlike The Brothers, I am not a tennis player. I wish I had been because I would have loved to carry on the family tradition of being a tennis star, but it never happened. I just couldn't get into the game, and I didn't have any desire to develop the discipline to learn, practice, and perfect.
But...remember how I said that it wasn't exactly true that I had no athletic abilities?
I have two. Two areas where I actually have some skill and talent, and possibly there is a third area. Let's start with
Somehow, I have always had this idea that on a smooth, clipped lawn (preferably in Kent--the "garden of England") on a warm spring day, dressed in am elegiac [no, not a synonym for "elegant"] white linen dress and a big, swoopy hat, I might have been capable of Killer Croquet. I love croquet, and we played loads of it when I was a kid, but it has fallen out of fashion. I'd like to resurrect that fashion a bit, and have croquet parties on the lawn. Of course, actually having a lawn would help, but we do have a back one where I live, and it's a thought....anyhoodle, I think I might have developed some skill there.
But I did have one particular athletic skill in high school: I played Killer Badminton. And I do mean Killer...Why? Because I was P.E. Nerd of the Year, and sometimes, some of the other girls were...not so nice about the fact that although I could beat all of them (except Sandy Coombs...and even her occasionally) academically, I was a total Sports Geek. But something about badminton was made for me...I didn't have to have much speed or much strength, but I needed quick reflexes and agility. I had both in spades. And when I played opposite those who felt a need to taunt me in volleyball, well, I used the birdie as a weapon and aimed that little sucker straight at them...
"Ms [fill in the blank of the PE teacher...I had several...], Weltha is HITTING ME WITH THE BIRDIE!" [waah, waah, waah...]
Of course, I never got into trouble--because no PE teacher ever believed that I was capable of that much athletic skill, because I was a really good student, and because I was sort of a good kid...never made trouble, never late to class, never talked back...okay, talked in class but why aren't you surprised?
Anyhoodle, it was terribly sweet revenge...mwahahahahahahahahaha....
And finally, the actual, real athletic ability I do possess but which no one ever sees is that I can paddle a canoe. As in, really paddle a canoe...
You know, where you don't ever take your paddle out of the water, where you never switch it back and forth over your head, where you don't go up the river in an exaggerated zig-zag...the "paddle a canoe" where you never bang the paddle on the side of the canoe or even make a sound. My Aunt Helen taught me how...and I used to take Daddy fishing down at Linden.
Before you say, "Aww....how sweet!" my dad--who was a man among men--harbored no sentiment toward his youngest child as a paddler of the canoe on the way to Catching Those Fish (well, if he did, it wasn't much sentiment...). He really expected me to do it right--"Don't be talking loudly, don't bang that paddle on the canoe...or you will scare the fish away...and try to get my right under that branch on the third tree, right by the shore but for heaven's sakes don't run us into the bank!"
So I learned. Long arms and agility made it possible. Not to mention that I had to live up to Aunt Helen's reputation and also that of The Brothers, who raced people up the river...right-handed Bud in one end, and left-handed Bill in the other...no paddling on a side "against nature"...extremely long arms, and all the strength of teenaged athletes...I didn't race people, but I was good. Very good.
And I still am. Paddling a canoe is just like riding a bicycle in that once you learn it, you can return to it years later...and you won't have forgotten a thing.
On the rare occasions I get into a canoe and get to start paddling, I'm as good as I ever was. And yes, I'm really proud of this because people don't look at me and think, "You know, I bet that gal can paddle a canoe!"
But I can...and no one ever compliments me on it because no one ever knows...
But now, you do!
Either Yogurt+ or Work Salad Bar for lunch today...and remember...tomorrow is Weigh-In Wednesday...and I'll tell you the truth, you know that!