Poetic License – the distortion of fact or narrative to tell a story or evoke a feeling. It’s cool.
I mean, poetic license is cool when you are writing a poem. But blogging or a personal narrative? I call bullshit on “poetic license.” I call the stretching and fudging of truth and fact bullshit when you are telling a “true story.” And man… that is just too damn bad.
Sometimes when something happens to me I start to write a blog post in my mind. I ramble on in my own personal little stand-up routine. Occasionally I get to laughing and I realize that the “punch line,” the part that made something really, truly funny… it didn’t actually happen. And I am left with what could have been funny “if only…” But more often than not what makes it funny is if I stretch the truth about how I think or feel on a subject. A spider in my medicine cabinet can get really funny if I couple it with a crippling fear of spiders. But I am not scared of spiders. At all. It is kind of funny to realize that I am standing in my bedroom fresh from the shower and all the blinds are open if my neighbor moonlights as a cabana boy, not so much if it is the seven year old son of my best friend. You get the picture.
Today I tore open the top of a PowerGel with my teeth (because working out like such a bad mamajama that you require PowerGels means that you no longer use scissors! The brute force of your own teeth will work just fine, thankyouverymuch.) I squirted the Vanilla tasting snot-like substance in to my mouth, waiting for the promised immediate burst of energy and thought to myself:
PowerGels taste like shit. The horrific taste helps make me certain that it is entering my blood stream and getting shit done! Just like tossing back hard liquor – I wince and think good lord, that was heinous. And that is how I know for sure that it is going to fuck me up.
Only that last part is not true. At all. I might have been the only college undergrad that didn’t hate the taste of booze. Not even Scotch. Sure, I am not wild about the lowest of the low. The bottom-shelf, plastic bottle of rotgut and I are not fast friends – but I can guarantee you that it is not as horrible as a PowerGel.
But the trouble is the blog post that starts “So, I ate a PowerGel today and man, did I wish it was a mini bottle of vodka” isn’t very funny. Although, now that I have typed it out perhaps I am on to something. I can see how a quick shot of vodka midway through the bike portion of the sprint triathlon might actually kick my ass in to high gear. It would at least help me out in the fearlessness department. I have a moderate fear of riding my bike really fast downhill brought on by one too many late-night crash and burns in college. But I suspect once the shot wore off my run would certainly suffer – unless there was more booze and a pizza at the finish line. Again, I think I might be on to something.
I will be 37 in 19 days. 9 days before that I will swim 250 yards, bike 10 miles and then run 2 more. It’s no Ironman. Hell, it isn’t even an Olympic distance triathlon. But it’s further than I have moved my ass in a long, long time. And it is a first for me.
A few years ago at the bottom of a bottle of wine I confessed to Mike that I wanted to get married before I was 35 so we could try and get pregnant before I was an “elderly gravida,” a wickedly offensive term for a woman over 35 who is pregnant. We pulled it off. We got married 7 days before I turned 35 and I am fairly sure that we were pregnant by my birthday. Take a newlywed couple that has been living with their five year old daughter and give them a hotel room and an open bar and they can make a baby pronto. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
36 passed in a blur of breastfeeding and tears and sleeplessness and finding my groove. If 35 was the Year of the Newlywed and 36 was the Year of the New Stay At Home Mom, what I am calling 37? Beats me.
I can tell you this. 37 will not be the Year of the PowerGel because they taste like shit. I have a sneaking suspicion that in retrospect 37 will be phase one of Turn in to a Bad Mofo Before I Turn 40. I will continue to work on a catchier name. I have 384 days before it is over.
Sorry this wasn’t really very funny. Or insightful. Or poignant. Y’all seem to like the funny and the sad. You especially love the embarrassing. So, I offer you this. My pinhead is disguised by my widow’s peak ordinarily. I’m glad swimming caps are not required for all trips to the gym or my effort at picking up gym moms might be fruitless. I mean, would you go on a Mom Date with this girl?