The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


Letter to My Body

My Dear Body,

Oh the times we've had! Do you remember when...

Birth: We came out mooning the world! Our poor, petite mother was forced to give birth to a breach baby. We came out butt-first, which was a good indicator of how we'd relate to authority and being told what to do later in life.

Age 4: Remember when we had to drink that thick, pink stuff and stand on a little moving platform at the hospital, after complaining of tummy aches? Yeah, that was weird. Dad later discovered us drinking water out of the bathroom sink stopper. And that explained a lot.

Age 6: Until we had our adenoids removed, we couldn't really smell anything. But after the operation, it was like a whole new world. Manure was a big first. Remember that time we drove past the farms on the way to Aunt Mid's house and asked, "What's that smell?" Mom and Dad said, "It's the cows." And we said, "I don't like the cows!"

Age 8: Ohmygosh! Remember our Strawberry Shortcake bike? The one with the training wheels, pink and white streamer handles, and the plastic, white wicker basket? It was so fun when Dad took us to the parking lot below our house and taught us to ride. We even got good enough to take off the training wheels. And it's true what they say: You never forget. We got on a bike recently after a 15-year hiatus. And it was still fun -- legs pumping, wind in our hair, laughing all the way!

Age 10: We rushed around the rink on white roller skates, feeling the stale air blow past our face. For brief moments, it was like flying -- all to songs like "What's Love Got to Do with It?" by Tina Turner. Indeed, we didn't know.

Age 11: We were tall. Until sixth grade. Then everyone -- boys especially -- started to catch up with us. We were no longer one of the tallest kids in the class. And our friends started to call us the Incredible Shrinking Woman. That was funny. (It wasn't so funny when they changed it to the Incredible Shrinking Slut because we had so many friends who were boys. How could we be a slut? We hadn't even kissed a boy!)

Age 12: Tristan, our childhood sweetheart, finally kissed us! It tingled, didn't it? And he didn't seem to mind our braces, even though we felt self-conscious about them. When he finally French kissed us some time later, we instinctively knew that he was doing it wrong. After all, if you're going to use your tongue, it should do more than just lie there like a dead fish, right?

Age 13: Ah, this was the start of the ankle issues. Remember? We walked past Angela on the way to gym class. She was hobbling down the steps with her crutches. We thought to ourself, "I wonder what it's like to be on crutches." We were a little naive and thought it might be kind of fun. Half an hour later we were sitting on the cold basketball court, crying and grasping our ankle while the other girls kept running around us. That layup went wrong and we ended up with a nasty sprain that put us on crutches for two weeks. (That was our first lesson in the power of thoughts to become things.)

Age 14: We sprained the other ankle and ended up on crutches for another two weeks. This time we were running away from a boy for a prank we were pulling. We overestimated our ability to take the steps in a flying leap. Jumping six at a time was a bit much.

Age 16: About this time we learned the intoxicating effects of alcohol. And boys.

Age 18: This was the summer we had our tonsils removed after being sick every month of our senior year of high school. We'd just finished a big research paper on sleep and grilled the anesthesiologist about how the anesthesia compared to different phases of sleep. He said he didn't know. We worried about his professional expertise.

Age 25: Weight, which we've always considered an issue, suddenly got much harder at the quarter-century mark. Maybe it was the birth control pills, or possibly the effects of sitting at an office job for two years. Even now we wonder where these hips came from.

Age 31: We overcame a huge fear and started going to the gym. We finally understood all that blather about endorphines and energy from exercise. (Isn't it about time we got back to that?)

It's been a whily-twirly ride, Body. Sometimes we remember too much of the bad. And sometimes we're much too hard on the way we look. Let's look in the mirror and say "Beautiful!" Let's give thanks that all our parts still work. Let's dance in the living room more often, feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, savor the taste of fresh cherries. Let's give yoga another chance. Let's be strong and confident and sexy. Let's focus on pleasure, not decadence. Let's look forward to looking back on another 32 years of living together.

Your Mind & Spirit

This post is part of BlogHer's Letter to My Body Initiative.

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add to kirtsy | 7:19 PM


Blogger Lisa said...

Yet another great post! It made me smile :-)

I had neon green bike with a banana seat, and roller skates, and a sprained ankle (on spring break in Florida!) - and my first kiss and boyfriend (Jeff M.) at the age of twelve.

Time, memory, our bodies - the physical beings that house our souls - all weird stuff indeed.

3/03/2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger bella said...

This was tremendous. simply stunning.
You have, in speaking to your body, touched mine.

3/03/2008 11:06 PM  
Blogger Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

Lisa: Any idea where Jeff M. is today? :)

Bella: Thank you. It's wonderful when our own experiences -- and their retelling -- reach beyond the borders of ourselves and touch others.

3/06/2008 12:34 AM  

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