My Underwear and the Path to Enlightenment

I am convinced my underwear are holding me back from developing a higher level of consciousness.  I recently bought several pairs of the jersey knit and spandex combo panties with no tags thinking they’d be a sure form of comfort.  Turns out, they’re hip-hugging, gut-pinching, inner thigh-squeezing mother f**kers.

I put on a pair of these name brand form-fitting undergarments and felt comfortable in them for about a half an hour.  They were just a twinge annoying when I made my fried egg for breakfast this morning.  They became an issue when I sat down to eat my egg and drink my coffee.  They kept riding up in places they were supposed to cover.  I got so distracted by them that after breakfast I went to my room and traded them in for another pair.  I paced around the house testing out the gray and blue-polka dotted skivvies I pulled from the drawer to make sure they wouldn’t ride up on me before I got dressed.  That’s when I noticed a burnt smell pervading my living room.  I walked in the kitchen to find my skillet was burned and the stove was still on.  I cursed and turned off the stove and mourned the loss of my $30 Organic Green Fry Pan I bought a few months ago at Target.

I tried to get all Zen by rolling out my yoga mat, but by my second down-dog my underwear were jamming into my inner-groin/thigh area.  My puppy thought it was play time and began licking my face and biting my hair as I wiggled and squirmed in the pose and balanced on one hand while I tried to pull out the underwear from my creases with the other.  She also sat in my lap and licked my face while I tried to meditate.  Om. . .lick, lick.  Om. . .lick, lick.  Om. . .and I cut the meditation short because the waist band was cutting into my flanks.

I would have changed into another pair of underwear, but at that moment, my friend texted me and told me she was on her way to meet me.  We had plans to meet at the mall so she could drive me to see her new house she and her husband just purchased.  I texted her a quick, “See you soon!” and went into my room, threw on a pair of khaki shorts and a t-shirt and tennis shoes.  I forgot to brush my teeth.  I threw my hair into a ponytail, and I saw the zit on my chin and mourned the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to do a cleansing scrub before leaving the house.

Before I got into her car, I adjusted my underwear that were now sitting high on my pelvic bones.  She gave me a strange look and I smiled and merely said, “Underwear.”  She laughed and told me I looked cute.  I glanced at her sideways (afraid to turn my dragon breath in her direction) and said, “Thanks.”  It was then that I felt the seam of my underwear pressing into my ass.  The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur and I did my best to focus my attention on my friend and visit with her and her two little boys instead of worrying about the lack of circulation around my middle.

After our lunch, we said our goodbyes.  I went to the department store nearby to exchange a few items and on my way to Customer Service, I saw the underwear section.  I debated on purchasing a few new pair, but decided against it as this was the place of origin for my 5 other pairs of “seamless panties”.  Plus, I had to pee and I didn’t want to use the public restroom.  It notoriously has dribbles of pee and wet toilet paper on the seats, but also I didn’t want to peel off my underwear and massage the indentions they left on my flesh.  That type of deep tissue massage is best done in the privacy of your own home where you can moan and groan to your heart’s content.

I returned home, used the restroom, massaged my thighs and undercheeks and then traded out that pair for another pair or revolutionary underwear technology.  These felt a little better, but I think it was the same mental trick you play on yourself when you kick off a pair of flats that you’ve had your feet crammed into all day only to put on tennis shoes and double knot tie them and hit the ground running for another few hours.

I met another friend in St. Louis for coffee and our weekly writing/critiquing session.  I was more at ease in these panties because I was drinking a chai latte and was in an urban coffee shop where I could be distracted by the crazy guy outside who was listening to music and doing a knee-jerk dance on the side of the street.  I was suffering a little from writer’s block and thought maybe I should’ve worn a thong.  At least that way the wedgie is self-inflicted and therefore an acceptable form of self-flagellation.

Two hours in to our discussion of our writing and the meaning of life in general, I realized I needed to go.  I told my friend it was because I had to go and walk my dog, but it was also because I had to pee again and I felt that I had to do another round of deep tissue massage.  The panty dilemma was creeping up on me again.  Before I got into my car, I casually looked around to make sure I was in the clear before pulling the wedgie out my butt.  That’s when I saw the yellow paper stuck to my windshield.  I had a $15 ticket for an expired parking meter.  I sighed and said, “F**k it,” and pulled the underwear out of my ass before putting the ticket into my purse.

Once home, I patted my dog on the head and raced to my bathroom where I peeled off the butt-numbing, wedgie-wielding, soul-sucking material and massaged my butt and hips.  I let out a whimper as I saw the red indentations.  I vowed that all underwear should be burned like the women who burned bras in the 60s.  I put on my loungewear, sans bra and underwear, heated up a frozen pizza and sighed, “Ohhhhh God. . .”  I sat down on my couch, similar to the Buddha who sat under the bodhi tree of wisdom, and surrendered to the naked truth:  painful panties are the root of all suffering.

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Why I’m Awesome and You Are Too.

I think I need to take a break from self-discovery, self-transformation, deep thoughts and all around pontificating on the greater meaning of life.  It can all be exhausting.  Plus, I accidentally showed side-boob today at the grocery store, so any philosophical ponderings will just have to wait in lieu of my public embarrassment.

Ok, if you haven’t read my FB status already, here’s the long and short of my accidental (yet tasteful) side-boob:  I’ve been wearing my sleeveless, long zip up swimsuit coverup over tights all day today since coming home from the Y’s water yoga class. I’m fancy free under this getup & have been industrious all day (cleaning, cooking, writing).  I had to go to an appointment and run errands.  I decided that I looked “beach bum chic” with my long zip-up coverup shirt and tights, big purse and big sunglasses and hair in a disheveled yet sexy bun.  I was even sashaying my butt around the store when I kept getting looks.  I thought, “That’s right.  I’m awesome.  Look at me and my sexy, trendy outfit.”  As I was bagging groceries, I felt a bit of a draft at my armpit.  That’s when I noticed that area had a wider opening and the young clerk standing off to the side was looking at my accidental (yet tasteful) side-boob.

“Awesome sauce,” I said to myself as I finished putting the last bag in the cart and tucked my elbows in close to my sides to keep the coverup from gapping.  I was embarrassed, but by the time I got into my car I thought, “Oh well.  No harm, no foul.  Everyone got what they wanted.  All is good and you get to go home and you don’t have to change out of your comfort clothes.”

I am pretty hard on myself most days.  I find something I said, did, didn’t do, or how I look or feel to be a weapon to criticize myself and tell myself I’m not good enough yet, and can only have good things in my life once I fixed myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been working on self-love and acceptance, and so the humorous and accepting way I handled my social faux pas today made me proud.  I’ve shown growth in the area of being a mere mortal who does or says silly, stupid things on occasion.  I’m starting to warm to the idea that these imperfections and personality quirks and stupid things are what make me awesome.  And, so I’m indulging myself on a list of my awesomeness:

1.  I do to water yoga/aerobics with old people.  And I don’t pee in the pool.  (And I hope they don’t either.)

2.  I cry in front of my friends when I am talking about a subject that is close to my heart.  My friend Sarah asked me a good yet touchy question yesterday at lunch before I even got a damn bite of salad in my mouth and I teared up and said, “Damn’t dude!  Let me at least taste my food first before you make me cry.”

3.  I curse.  A lot.  And often.  (Please, ask me about the best cursing phrase my sister and I created at the bus stop when we were kids.  I will say it with gusto and it will offend you and make you laugh at the same time.  It’s brilliant.)

4.  I am a connoisseur of American sitcoms.  Ask my yoga teacher training friends how many times I quote Ron Swanson from “Parks & Rec,” Liz Lemmon from “30 Rock,” and now Titus Andrommedon from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” or how I creatively and relevantly relate someone’s life-changing moment to an episode of “Friends”.  (Ask me about this carbon monoxide fire alarm incident that was a bit like Phoebe’s confrontation with here fire alarm.)

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5.  My cellphone ringtone is Huey Lewis’s “Do You Believe In Love?” and I sometimes don’t answer my phone because I’m in the middle of singing along to the song.

6.  I lose my keys at work at least twice a week.  My friend Jules always has to unlock my classroom door with her master key.  I also once had mini-Hershey bars in my pocket and put my keys in my pocket as well.  I forgot about both all day long and then at the end of the day, with books and other stuff in my arms, I had to lock up my classroom.  No one was around and chocolate was smeared all over my hands and my keys.  I didn’t want to set my stuff down, clean off my keys and my hands in the bathroom halfway down the hall, so I licked the chocolate off my keys and my hand and locked my classroom door up before stuffing my keys back in my pocket.

7.  I had a head cold and cleaned out my nose with a Neti pot.  The next day at school, in front of my class, I bent over to get a book off a shelf and some of the Neti solution and my own snot poured out of my nose and onto the floor.  In classy teacher fashion, I set everything down, gave an instruction for students to finish reading the passage in their textbook and went to the restroom for some paper towels and cleaned everything up like it never happened.

8.  I secretly desire to be that asshole who picks up food in the grocery store and eats it while shopping.

9.  I have piles of books in every room in my house.  I have bookshelves with books on them, but they’re not enough to contain my inner nerd that spills out into my outer life.  The books range from Calvin & Hobbes collections, best-selling fiction, collector’s editions, signed copies of books by kickass writers like David Sedaris, books on mythology by Joseph Campbell and yoga and spiritual books written by lots of wise guys.

10.  I freak the f*ck out sometimes when I make a bold decision that I know came from my gut (aka my heart).  I search for reassurance from friends and family members to tell me that my decision was right or I need them to give me a metaphorical swift kick in the ass to tell me to go ahead and do it.  Intuitively I know I”m going to do it anyhow, but it is a bit of a comfort to get support for my decisions just so I know I’m not in this world alone.  But, I know there will be times (as there have been in the past), that I’ll just have to keep my self-doubt to myself and not involve my friends as I boldly and bravely follow my heart into the unknown anyway.

I know I’m leaving out a ton of quirky, silly, stupid things, but that’s Ok.  You get the point. In this light, my imperfections look like tiny little blips on a radar screen of awesomeness (and better than this pic of me after a long day of showing accidental yet tasteful side-boob).  What makes you awesome?

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It’s Gonna Be a Shitty Day, A Shitty Day, A Shitty Day. . .

I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning with my 7 year old nephew’s hand on my face.  He is visiting for the week, and he apparently woke up in the middle of the night and climbed into my bed.  The day before he had been worried if a tornado was going to come and kill us.  At midnight he woke me up and asked me if we were going to die.  At 1 a.m. I caught him sleepwalking in the living room and walked him back to bed.  At 2 a.m. I woke up to that question and had to help him get back to sleep.  At 3 a.m. I caught him sleepwalking in the living room again, and sometime between then and 6 he had crawled into my bed surreptitiously.  At 6, my dog woke me up for her morning walk.

I had a reprieve for a few hours and caught up on my coffee and reading time.  At 8 a.m. he came into the living room, curled up on the couch and fell asleep for another 2 hours.  I took advantage to start laundry and clean up my house a little bit.  I went to the main bathroom and found that my toilet wasn’t flushing after I had already done my morning business.  I went out to the garage and got the plunger.  No luck.

I decided to clean up and finish my last bit of dishes while Ben and the dog sawed logs on the couch.  That’s when I noticed the washing machine was finished earlier than usual.  I opened up the lid and found none of the water had drained and the machine hadn’t switched cycles.  I messed with it a few times to no avail.  I decided I would go back to finishing at least one task and started on the dishes and noticed my garbage disposal wasn’t draining well enough.  By this time, I was anxious and nervous about my house, my nephew, my skills as a homemaker and aunt, plus, I was also holding back bodily functions for fear that my other good toilet would clog as well.

I went back to the bathroom to plunge the toilet and this time some toilet paper and a dead mosquito floated to the top.  By this time, my stomach was hurting and my back was aching, but I pushed through and cleaned up the bathroom as best as possible.  It was time to call the plumber.

While waiting on him (for over 3 hours), I made a delicious lunch for my nephew who woke up to the sounds of the monthly tornado siren check (which launched a 3 hour question-answer & reassurance session about tornadoes and if we were going to die).  I managed to put the dog in her kennel, usher the plumber in, and finish Ben’s lunch when the plumber came in to tell me that the washing machine was an electric problem, the garbage disposal was draining fine (although I could buy a special cleaner for $60).  He gave me a $200 estimate for taking an auger to the toilet.

Ten minutes later, the plumber comes into the kitchen with wide eyes and a surprised look on his face.  I asked him what was wrong, and he said, “You had a mound of poop backed up that no plunger would’ve fixed.”  My mouth dropped open.  He then said, “You’re not gonna want to know the rest.  There was a lot of paper too.  And other stuff.”

The smells from the oven and stove were still wafting in the kitchen where we stood, but a wave of nausea came over me as he told me this (and as I wrote out the hefty check).  To make me feel better, he told me the toilet was an old model and was probably coming to the end of its life.  He said I should invest in an American Standard brand or better yet an industrial strength toilet with a hard suction.  I started laughing as I thought about the damage a 7 year old boy could do for a plumber to tell me this.

I paid my bill and then checked in on Ben who had eaten all of his waffle fries, gnawed on three cherries and only eaten a quarter of the homemade cheeseburger I made him.  I had had enough.  It was a shitty day all around.  I was in a pair of trendy yoga pants, and apron and a junky t-shirt (because my matching top was soaking in the laundry) and my wild hair was tossed up into a pony tail.  Then, I jumped and realized the laundry had been sitting in sudsy water for almost 3 hours.  I ran to the laundry room and started pulling out soaking wet clothes and ringing them out and tossing them into the utility sink nearby.  I was elbow deep when Ben walked in and asked “What’s that smell?” and I realized that it was the laundry.  It smelled like poop too.

He ran back into the living room and I ran to the sink and scrubbed my arms and hands thoroughly while also trying to not gag.  I finally got around to cooking my lunch.  At this stage, I was a little woosy and needed to take a bathroom break (especially now that the plumber had finished his job).  I took advantage of Ben watching a stupid show called “Uncle Grandpa” while I did all of that and ate my lunch in a bit of peace.  I was texting my mom my sorrows and out of nowhere I started crying.  As if right on cue, Ben came in with his plate and his barely eaten food.  This made me cry even more.  He asked what was wrong and I said, “I made that for you and I was happy that you were going to eat something delicious.  And you didn’t eat it.”  I started crying even harder and told him I ate all the food he made last night and he could’ve done the same for me.

He came up to me and put his arms around me and said, “I do like what you made me, but it was hard to eat.  I did the best I could,” and I cried even more.  We talked about how even adults have emotions and sometimes they need to cry to let them out.  We also talked about pooping and how he shouldn’t hold his poop because he’s embarrassed and nervous about pooping at other people’s houses.

This discussion prompted us to do an art project while we waited on the repairman for the washing machine (who by the way, never showed up after 5 hours of waiting and our clothes are still in the utility sink and stagnant water is still in the machine).  I picked up a marker and started drawing out shapes, letting them morph into a picture.  Ben asked what I was doing and I said, “Drawing my emotions.”  He liked that idea and he did that too.  And we sat for over an hour, coloring, talking, drawing, and listening to music.  This is what became of our project:

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That’s when I stopped worrying about providing a “good day” for him and making sure everything was “perfect” and running smoothly.  Sometimes, we just get backed up, whether that’s physically, mentally or emotionally and we have to figure out some creative way to release it all.  In order to do that, you have to start by accepting that you’re backed up in the first place.  So, I accepted the fact that my stomach was hurting and that I needed to release the tension I was holding inside of my body.  I acknowledged my hips and back were hurting and I sat down and just breathed and colored with a 7 year old.  I accepted that he wasn’t going to change out of his pajamas or eat his entire meal or quit watching stupid shows like “Uncle Grandpa” and instead I just provided a space for him to be a kid who wanted to wear his pajamas all day, watch TV and build a fort and for me to be an imperfect adult who needed to just cry and accept that the day had turned to shit and would get better from there.

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Wow Man!

My 7 year old nephew, Ben, is staying with me for the week.  This evening, we were driving to Monkey Joe’s playhouse and we had the following spontaneous conversation.  (I’m so grateful that I carry a small notebook with me so I can record moments like this.)

B:  Meeda, do people in Russia and China and Africa and Japan care about Jesus?

M:  (suppressing a giggle):  Yes, they do.  And other people there and in the rest of the world care about Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu and so on.  There are lots of different names for God, did you know that?

B:  Oh wow!  I didn’t.  Even Yo-Ho-Va or Ya-ya-may?

M:  Um, you mean Jehovah and Yahweh?

B:  Yeah.  Can you pray to them?

M:  Yes.  You can pray to any of them as long as you know you’re praying to a higher power that you feel a strong connection to.

B:  Well, if I could name God I would name him “Wow Man!”  Ha ha!  I would you know why?

M:  Wow Man?!  I love it!  Why that name?

B:  I would say “Wow Man!  You made all of this!  You’re awesome!”

M:  (suppressing tears) That’s beautiful Ben!

B:  Yeah.  I would pray to Wow Man and say “Wow Man, thanks.  You made all of the nature.  Everything that is beautiful in this world.  And you made even the aliens, real or not real (because we don’t know just yet).  And you made the streetlights and guns and arrows and bullets and lasers.”  And he made you and me, Meeda.  Well, he is you and me, Meeda.  Did you know that?

M:  (goosebumps, swelling of the heart and tears in my eyes)  I do now, Ben.  Thanks.  That’s so beautiful.

B:  Yeah.  It is.  And did you know that all the clouds are are the face of God?  And the tornadoes are his feet?  Are we going to have a tornado, Meeda?  Are we?

M:  No, Ben.  What you are saying though is so beautiful and it makes me really happy.  I’m glad you’re telling me all of this.

B:  Well, thanks.  And do you think God’s sister would like hearing all of this?

M:  (dumbfounded but really amused, excited and convinced that God has a Divine Sister):  I think she would.  I like that God has a sister.

B:  Well, yeah.  God has a big family.  Who do you think looks after them all?  His sister. And you know how some sisters can be bothersome, Meeda?

M:  (laughing):  She’s not bothersome, is she?

B:  No!  She’s really, really nice!

M:  (pulling into the parking lot) That’s good to know.

B:  Yeah!!!!!  Monkey Joes!  Monkey Joes!  Hey Meeda?  Do you think kids can be astronauts?

M:  Huh?

B:  I am going to jump so high here that I will go to outer space.  Well, once I jumped so high I broke my back, but I’m Ok now.  Can I get some cotton candy?  How long are we going to stay here?  Did you say I can get some cotton candy?

M:  Wow.  Man.