Forget This Middle-Age Crap, I Want to be Old: Part Two

As I was so absorbed in the benefits of being old, I forgot to mention why I would rather skip the next 30 years instead of going back about 10 years and re-living my “glory days” before wrinkles, sagging body parts, being senile, etc.

Although it might be nice to have that pre-kid body, having kids can actually be pretty fun (not having as in childbirth, having as in owning…ok, not owning like that…I hope you understand what I am talking about). From what I have heard, grandkids can be even more fun.

Another benefit to not being young is that there is not so much pressure to be pretty or strong or whatever else society expects you to be. If you try out for something (talent show, beauty competition, role in a movie, being in the cool-people club etc.) when you are young, it is a much bigger disappointment when you don’t make the cut. If you are old and don’t make it than you can blame age-discrimination, or just say “they didn’t want the liability of my triple-bypassed heart”

It is also nice to not worry which “group” you are in, and not to worry that someone else will wear the same clothes as you or other things that you “would just die” from. Old people only worry about things that actually could kill them. Things like fast-moving cars, high blood pressure, and practical jokes which might (at their age) cause a heart attack.

Yep, no matter how you look at it, old people have it the best. Now, if someone would just get around to making that time machine…

It was also brought to my attention that another benefit of being old is Social Security and Medicare benefits. Although to exist solely on Social Security would be incredibly difficult (because of the cost of living and the low benefits); it is nice to have income without the pressures of mean bosses, work place drama, etc.

Life is more simple when you get old, especially if you have dementia or memory loss.

Learning: And The Point Is?

If you have school age kids, especially if they are in middle school, odds are you have heard “I don’t know why we have to learn this stuff anyway” a few hundred times. Like most parents, I explain that one day they will have to balance a checkbook, measure something, play “Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire?” or some other example of why it is necessary to learn what “x to the 3rd power divided by the square root of 318” is.

One of the biggest problems I have with this particular “why” question is that I don’t like lying to my kids. Unless you become a professor, or something like that, odds are you will never use half the stuff you learn in school. Even if you did become a science professor, why did you have to learn geography? If you are a mathematician, do you really need to know how to properly diagram a sentence?

Don’t get me wrong, I love school. I think it is great for kids to know all kinds of stuff, plus it is wonderful to get them out of the house for a few hours. I just don’t know the best way to answer the “why do I have to learn this” question. I have started to tell my kids that “To be honest, you won’t actually need to know the capitals of each state and country throughout the world, but they aren’t going to let you graduate until you do, so just put it in your “school-term memory” and deal with it.”

That seems to satisfy them until the next painful subject area comes up. Thankfully, if you tell your kids the truth, that they don’t actually need to know all the subjects other than to pass school; you can give them the same answer each time they ask.

One day they will be old enough to go on Jeopardy and then call to tell you “You were wrong mom, I did need to learn that. Thanks for making me lose.” When that happens, just remember that without your guidance, they might have become physicists or astronauts or something, in which case they would have put you through another 8 to 10 years of “Why do we have to learn this?”

Best Things About Being Disabled: Top Ten

Before I start this list, I would like everyone to know that I am not making fun of or minimizing the difficulties of being disabled. Anyone in their right mind, and most of us who aren’t; understand that living with a disability can be very difficult. I am disabled, so I have freedom to talk about this. Remember, laughter makes everything easier…except maybe eating with your mouth closed.

#10. Handicapped parking – Imagine trying to find a parking spot when someone takes the one you were about to get. Suddenly a handicap spot opens up and you can hang your placard, laugh your best villain laugh, and stick your tongue out at the driver who is now parked several cars behind you.

#9. People are nice (in general) – Our dog got out of the back yard and knocked over a little neighborhood girl (another reason cats are better). When the mom came over to yell at us and I came to the door in my wheelchair, she blushed and started explaining that she just wanted to make sure that the dog wasn’t mean and her kids didn’t need to fear it…silly kids. Now, I don’t recommend letting your dogs out to terrorize the neighborhood, but I do not think she would have had the same attitude if I had not been in a wheelchair. Ok, that one’s not too funny. Sorry.

#8. You can pull great April Fools Day pranks – I can carefully lie on the floor with ketchup all over me and totally get my husband/kids ha ha… Okay, so I don’t actually do that because it would be mean. To all you kids out there, April Fools Day is the best holiday of the year, but people should never pull pranks that cause others to worry or cry. (Although you can think about them and write about them on your blog).

#7. You have access to some of the coolest gadgets out there – My wheelchair is the deluxe model, (pink flames, full tilt, leg lift, can bring up to eye level/counter height, etc.) but you know what I like even more? My grabber. Even if you are not disabled, you should get one of these things. It can pick up small pieces of paper, things that weigh about 3 lbs, and can reach into small cracks that your hand could never fit in. I got one for free from the therapists (best thing about breaking my hip), but you can buy them online and probably in some stores. Here’s a link:

#6. Provides great writing material – If you enjoy writing, having a disability can provide some great ideas. I am working on my books The Art of Wetting Yourself, The Silence of the Hamstrings, I’ve Fallen and Can’t Reach My Grabber, and a few others. Look for them soon at a bookstore near you!

#5. Life slows down – Not only can you “stop to smell the roses”, but you can also make people walking behind you uncomfortable, notice the dust all over your house, pretend you are dancing under a strobe light by stopping every few feet to rest and changing your pose, and other fun things.

#4. Access to painkillers – Sure it would be better if you didn’t have the pain to begin with, but at least we can go to the pharmacy to pick them up instead of hanging around a high school parking lot. (Doing drugs in never funny and is illegal without a prescription for it. I just used that as #4 because I am running out of ideas).

#3. A whole new assortment of accessories – walker skins, cup holders for your wheelchair, bags to hook on to your assistive devices, etc. (I use a fanny-pack thing with 2 cup holders and a zipper pouch in the middle strapped on to my walker). Not only is it easier to find things than with a purse, it has cupholders…when are the purse manufacturers going to figure that one out?)

#2. Little children stare at you – Ok, I know it sounds like that would be a bad thing, but think of all the embarrassed parents. All the lectures going on about how kids shouldn’t stare at people who are different, etc. If you added it all up, I bet you would be as well-known as any movie star. (Too bad we don’t make money off people watching us).

#1. You have an opportunity to reach out to the world – Although sometimes (especially around a certain time each month) I am sure I get as depressed/angry/suicidal as anyone else, but if I am having a good day, I like to think that maybe I made a difference in someone’s life. Whether it is just by showing my kids that they can’t let life’s circumstances get them down (unless again, it is that time of the month) or helping someone realize that there is always someone worse off than you, so suck it up and quit complaining. Sometimes life throws you a curve and you just have to do what you can and to do what you love.

I hope I have not offended anyone with this post. I also really need to take my advice because I have it pretty great compared to a lot of people. If you have a disability or know someone who was just diagnosed with something, please also read Sometimes it is helpful to make people laugh and other times it is better just to let them cry, and to cry with them. Thanks.

Controversial Topic: Beware

Sshh! No talking! sign

There are some things that are better left unsaid. Like “I have really bad diarrhea” or “Your nose is too big”. There are plenty of appropriate things to talk about, but there are a few things that should be left unsaid unless you are a professional at whatever you are talking about, or if you are on the Dr. Oz show.

One of these topics is the direction a roll of toilet paper should be in. This topic has come up several times in our marriage, and throughout the years I have found myself siding with my husband’s opinion. He thinks the roll of toilet paper should be positioned so that the loose end comes out on top of the roll. Some people place it so the end comes out underneath the roll. I used to not care either way, but living with a person with OCD, or at least some traces of it, has a way of helping you realize the hidden dangers/annoyances of every day life. *See Rules for Being a Pessimist.

I also have some friends (I know, you didn’t think I would have any left after this post, but since they don’t read my blog we are still cool) who I think have some OCD themselves. So, I guess my question for all of you is, which way should the toilet paper go? I have also been informed that certain people think women put it the wrong way (comes out underneath) more often than men, so it is quite important that we come to a conclusion. When we do, we can begin informing which ever gender is wrong that they are truly wrong.

Thanks for your help.

When Did Weird Start Being Normal?

I have a 13-year-old daughter. I also have a 7-year-old, a 17-year-old and a 5-year-old.

3 out of my 4 kids have dyed their hair in very interesting shades/patterns. Before “The Last Airbender” came out, my son had a blue arrow down his head. He also has had kind of blue polka dots. My daughters bangs are purple at the moment, and the rest of her hair is reddish, about to be black.

We have always told the kids that for the most part, their hair is theirs, so as long as they have their own money, they can get it cut/dyed/anything but shaved.

I say all this because it seems that more and more people are dying their hair, wearing weird stuff (lady gaga), customizing their cars/license plates, piercing everything, etc.

Remember when the only people who had blue hair, were the old ladies in the old-blue-hair-lady jokes? When did all this stuff become normal? (ok, so lady gaga is still not quite normal). Now, don’t get me wrong, I like individualism, and I don’t have a problem with most of the things people do to themselves. I just think it is a little strange how strange people are. I guess pretty soon the “weird” ones will be those in jeans and t-shirts. It is a crazy and fun world.

Happy Anniversary and We’re Breaking Up MS!

Dear Multiple Sclerosis,

It has now been 10 years since you and I first got to know each other. Well it has been a rough ride (smoother now since I have a wheelchair), but I have met so many amazing people who I never would have known without you. Everyone has limitations and setbacks in life, just some of ours are more obvious than others. Unfortunately for you, I have to break up…no, they haven’t found a cure, but I can’t keep living in this co-dependant relationship. Sure we will stay in touch and you will always be a part of my life, you just can’t control it. I made a video for you to remember me by:

Happy Anniversary and We’re Breaking Up MS!

Sincerely, The Hobbler

Are Stupid People Smart Enough to Know They’re Stupid?

Emoticon making decision

As anyone who has read my blog has probably figured out, I think I’m pretty funny…hilarious really (I tell my husband this all the time). I also think I have what I call “witty” aka “smart” humor *see witty humor category. These opinions of myself got me thinking about whether or not what I believe is actually true.

If I was not funny or smart, would I know it? It seems to me that if I thought I was smart but I was really stupid, I would still think I was smart because I wouldn’t be smart enough to know what “smart” was.

So, now we have a problem. I could ask all of my readers if they thought I was smart, but that would probably seem pretty needy, plus what if they/you had the same problem I had? In fact, what if everyone has the same problem? We all think we are smart but really we are pretty dumb. If this is the case, the smartest people in the world would be the ones who think they are dumbest.

Based on this assumption, I would like to tell all the people out there who think they are dumb that they are actually smart. Smarter than lots of people. I would love to be dumb…I mean smart…I mean…well, you know what I mean right?

Just in Case You Didn’t Already Know…

Animated image of a child holding up a homework page marked "A+"    view details

Bull fighting is really bull avoiding, in which case I am a professional now that school is back in session.

Driving is much more fun in a go-cart or bumper-car.

If you don’t know the words to a song, you should probably not sing it loudly in public.

You can’t run for president unless you’re a millionaire, so quit telling your kids they can be anything they want to be.

There are too many people with too much time on their hands.

There is no such thing as a stupid question…only stupid people.

It is easier to parent when you don’t have kids.

You should probably be suspicious of everything.

Happiness can’t be bottled, but bottles can bring happiness.

You are never more right than when you think you are wrong.

Shout Out to My Doctors

Kids playing doctor and patient

Ok, so last night I was thinking about all my different doctors, and I thought I had better give them some much deserved praise. So here it goes:

Dr. J. (Urologist) – Thanks for always having me catheterized each time I visit your office. Not only does that remind me of the pain of childbirth, it also helps me to realize how much urine I carry around even when I don’t have to pee.

Dr. M. (Blood/Circulation doctor who visited me during my time spent in rehab) – Thank you for coming into my hospital room to tell me that you think everything (as far as the swelling and color changes in my foot) is just fine. No other advice would be worth the almost $400.00 you charged my insurance.

Dr. Ya. – (Rehab Doctor) – Thanks for the pain-killer prescription that I am now addicted to. Your care has helped me become the psychotic person I am today.

Erin and Amanda (Physical Therapists in Rehab) – Thank you girls for teaching me exercises which I don’t do, and for not laughing when you helped me take a shower.

Dr. Ye. (Primary Care) – Your sympathetic attitude and quality time spent listening to my concerns brings back memories of when I first met my husband. I also appreciate your help in determining the best laxatives for my medication filled body.

Dr. P. (Neurologist) – The six month wait for your personalized care is completely understandable. You do a great job of working with all of us MS’rs. Since no one appreciates a good joke as much as I do, I also enjoy your sense of humor as you ask “other than falling down and breaking your hip, is there anything else we should know about?”

Dr. K. (Surgeon) – Thanks for operating on me. I appreciate your care and attention to detail as you explain why the screws are backing out of my hip and I will soon look like Frankenstein. Your x-ray techs are also very optimistic as they remind me of how strong my arms will soon be from using a walker (a little broken hip is well worth it for improving upper body strength).

Amy (Current Physical Therapist) – You are great at what you do. Thank you for recommending an ESS machine (basically a shock collar) and for refusing to work with me until I got Botox injected into my leg. I didn’t really want to work out anyway, and you have given me an extra couple of months to be lazy.

Dr. C. (Botox guy) – I haven’t met you yet, but I am already looking forward to trying to talk you into giving me some Botox in my frown lines and crow’s-feet as well as the recommended shots in my leg.

To the psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists and other doctors I have visited throughout the years, I am sorry I don’t remember your names. I do have records of my visits somewhere and thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, I can find you if I ever need your services again.

Forever yours, Hobbler

Snoring…and other annoying/stupid things (part two)

*See: Clothes and Other Annoying Things here:

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Do you ever wonder why people snore? My husband is sleeping and snoring now, but since I don’t have to worry about him reading my blog, I can talk about it.

Also since I am sure that I do not snore, I again have every right to talk about it.

I also have the freedom to talk about crazy/stupid drivers since I can’t drive now.

When I was younger and worked in a daycare I knew how everyone should raise their children. Since I have kids now, I realize how impossibly idealistic my opinions then were.

My point is (don’t you hate it when people say that…if that is your point, why didn’t you just say it to begin with?) it is easy to find fault with or to be annoyed by things that you do not do.

Therefore, I have decided to stop doing anything so that I can have good blogging material. You are welcome. Look for plenty of great posts soon!