I think it’s time we have a little conversation about who’s running this show. More precisely, I think it’s time we have a little conversation about how I’m running this show.By which I mean, just to be perfectly clear, that I’m in charge here, and you’re not.
I’ve lived in you for a long time. We’ve been pals, you and I, for mirty-mumble years now, and I like to think that I’ve been a pretty good sport about things. “I want to try a new haircolor,” you’ve said, and I’ve gone out and bought dye. “I want to eat all the pizza in the free world,” you’ve said, and I’ve gone looking for coupons. “I want to lie around the house all week and watch mindless tv and munch on cookies,” you’ve said, and I’ve dug out the fat pants and settled in.
But here’s the thing. I’m a little bit tired of having my abilities, my dreams, my desires hampered by what is, in essence, my house. You are where I am, not who I am, and the Real Me wants to test-drive some new activities. I want to go dogsledding or horseback riding without worrying about whether hoisting my appreciable-fraction-of-a-ton self up onto the poor beast constitutes animal cruelty. I want to go to foreign countries without having to spend the entire plane ride squeezing my knees together because–let’s face it–we’re not about to fit into one of those wee bitty airplane restrooms. I want to live a principled life that includes an emphasis on supporting local farmers and avoiding frankenfoods, and I’m pretty sure Pizza Hut doesn’t qualify.
Now, I’m not going to deny my own culpability here. I’ve spent plenty of time standing in my own way, making excuses, hiding from myself. I’m the one who decided that it was just too embarrassing to wedge myself into my workout pants (the largest size available in the plus-size section of the store, by the way) and go jiggle my wiggly bits in public. I’m the one who had no idea (until recently!) that she liked rutabaga, because she was too busy buying doughnuts to try preparing a weird-lookin’ root vegetable. I acknowledge that you’re the one that suggested we have Hardees biscuits every day for breakfast back in college, but I’m the one who bought four at a time. I’ve been naughty too, and I own that.
But I’ve sorted that out. At least, I think I have. There are still going to be days when I decide that I don’t want to be mindful of my choices and let you convince me that what we really need for dinner is six tacos and a Peanut Buster Parfait. And that’s ok–I’m not calling for sainthood from either of us. So see? I’m not taking away your vote entirely. I’m not saying we’re never going to splurge again.
What I am saying is that I hear you. I feel the aches and pains that you send up as warning flags when I do something stupid. But I’m also saying that I’m a little sick of the aches and pains that you send up when you’re not getting your way. You’re there, I appreciate your service, I love you, I hear you, now shut up.
You can go right ahead and trip the Pain switch in my knees when I’m jogging. I’ve got nifty braces to help with that.
And if the braces don’t work, we’ll walk for now.
And if the walking doesn’t work because of the Pain trigger in my ankle, we’ll crawl.
And if crawling doesn’t work because of the Pain trigger in my wrist, we’ll get a friggin’ skateboard and make weird swimming motions down the sidewalk.
And if it’s too cold or snowy or rainy for sidewalk skateboard swimming, we’ll lie on the living room floor and do crunches and leg lifts until spring.
You see where this is going?
So go ahead and start your shutting-up process now. You’ve got complaints and urges galore, and I’ve got a smart-aleck comeback for every one of them. Whether I like it or not (and sometimes I get mighty grumbly about it), there are people in this world who need me, who rely on me, and/or who would simply be inconvenienced by my dropping dead of a heart attack tomorrow morning.
So I’m steering this boat from now on. You can send your comments or concerns to the same cosmic feedback box that’s been getting my complaints for years.
Here’s a hint: they’re terrible about responding.
Love you forever,
(we’ve been frozen in place long enough, Body. time to start the thaw.)