Fact. I live in the longest-running I Love Lucy episode.
And since we’re talking about an episode(s) and it’s my episode and I’m a Beth rather than a Lucy, I’m starting with a flashback.
Two and a Half Months Ago
INT. STEP-MOTHER’S BATHROOM – DAY
An over-engineered pristine, porcelain, walk-in contraption resembling a bathtub sits in the alcove of a newly remodeled bathroom. Everything in the room pops with the crispness of “new.” This is NOT your Granny’s outdated 1970’s tribute to rose-petal pink. A breathtaking woman steps in. The audience senses her warmth, wit, and charm. (Hey, I’m the writer here. Write your own narratives.) The outside of the tub is covered in knobs and handles and a hint of jets, lights and other doo-dads peak out from the inside.
Ok, so enough of that. To the story. This tub actually intimidated my stepmom, and rightfully so. It’s a lot. It’s just not a straightforward contraption. It’s a bathtub leviathan, and there I was staring it down. Committed. I stepped in and spun the wheel to hermetically seal the door – a mechanism put in place in the event either the rest of the house or the bathtub itself floods. Unfortunately, the designer/engineer/what have you forgot to install a clear portal to allow you to wave any final or teary (if you’re on the dry side) goodbyes.
Fine. It didn’t have a spinning wheel lock, but I’m sure it was just another design oversight to this beast.
I sat down on the seat, plopped the stopper in place, and opened up the flume. Water rushed in, and rushed in, and rushed in some more eventually covering my ankles. Holy cow, it takes a lot of water to fill this thing. Guilt set in as I realized this was enough drinking water to hydrate a small community for a month, and we weren’t even up to my knees. Finally, there was enough to fill the front well of the tub; however, thanks to the volume of water needed to fill it, the temperature in the water flowing from the faucet was now cold. I’d emptied the water heater of every drop of warm water. Enough! I shut the water off. There was enough very warm (perfect) water in the space in front of me, and heck, I’m bendy-ish so I decided to slide forward and drop down.
It was absolute, slightly cramped bliss. Water was up to my chin, the ends of my hair were slightly damp, and steam rose around my face. LIVING MY BEST LIFE! I’d even turn the interior lights to a lovely shade of teal – ripples reflected off the ceiling and around the alcove. BEAUTIFUL! So, obviously, it was time to try out those jets. Bubbly water could only enhance this perfect experience.
I reached behind me, depressed the button for the jets, and was rewarded by an alarmingly fast-moving spray of water straight to the back of the head. Ugh. Since I wasn’t seated properly on the seat, my head was level with the jet designed to spray you in the middle of your back. I snickered. Whoops! I relaxed back into my bathtub bliss again and thought “ooh, jets would be nice.” And I repeated what I did before because I’m a big fan of expecting different results from doing the exact same thing. I burst out laughing and as I laughed I bumped the stopper. Water drained rapidly. I couldn’t get the stopper properly reseated in a way that the seal would hold. Ugh x1000.
So, there I was crammed into the front of the tub with no water as that last slurp of water rudely and loudly made its exit as it departed. (Earlier, I had used the water’s buoyancy to easily move up to the seat.) I was effectively stuck, which was made slightly worse because I was laughing pretty hard. I just kept picturing my stepmom saying, “Well heck, you silly goose! I swear!” and just laughing with me. She would have handed me a big fluffy towel while cracking up at this whole misadventure.
Dad eventually came by, calling through the door to make sure things were. I admitted I was stuck, but promised to work my way out of it; it was just going to take a minute thanks to the laughter. I would have killed to have that little door to the bathtub open out instead of in, then I could have just gracefully spilled my “warmth, wit, and charm” out onto the floor. Eventually, I worked my way out, but it was ridiculous and it made me miss my stepmom all the more. She would have been so tickled by the whole thing.
INT. LARGE GYM – EARLY MORNING
A tucked-away, but scaled-down football field yawns out towards a packed gym. It’s a new year, and the football field is a landmine of people trying to figure out what they should be doing because their resolution merely said “go to the gym” and were scant on details regarding the “plan” for going to the gym. A breathtaking woman pushes a sled laden with weights down the length of the football field. The audience senses her warmth, wit, and charm. (I’m still the writer.) The woman glistens from her effort and glides effortlessly across the field because that’s how she moves through this world.
Ok, this is a quicker story but speaks to this theme.
I made it to the end of the football field into the endzone and start pulling the sled backward. Yay hamstring stuff! This is my third time through and I’m nearly done. (FYI – sleds/tanks – 2nd worst thing in the gym narrowly behind the stair master – why do those stairs never end?!?!) I’m doing my best to avoid every other person in the universe who has decided to stretch across the width of this field (MOVE TO THE SIDES, PEOPLE! LADY WITH A SLED COMING THROUGH). On this third and final time back, I’m no longer able to pull it back in a straight line thanks to the people obstacles. “Oh hey, someone is moving the sled, but this open space they keep crossing is pretty great. BEST SPOT EVER! Imma work out in the middle and live my best gym life.” My path back is erratic as I plot a path to miss everyone. I make it to the end and begin to pull the sled into that end zone but am not finishing where I initially started. I’m actually now where my kettlebell is – 20 kg of small, unmoving darkness against a rich deep blue background. I don’t have my glasses on. Who can see detail? Not me! I don’t see it (because truthfully, if I did, there wouldn’t be a story); however, my foot finds it easily. As I’m slowmo falling I announce quite loudly and clearly to the gym “whoopsie!” and land with a wee bounce on my tush. I did a quick “who saw me???” scan (this is important), confirm I’m ok and promised a younger woman seated nearby that I’m good. Then I continue to just sit and giggle a bit.
Sooo… remember the part where I said I do the same thing and expect different results? I should probably mention here that I did the exact same thing the week before (whoops!), but instead of tripping over a kettlebell and falling to the ground, I fell into a seated position on top of a plyo box (the boxes people jump on at the gym). I kind of failed to notice it was directly behind me, because why look when I have faith my paths are always clear?
For the record, pre-Friday’s kettlebell incident, I ensured there were exactly ZERO ply boxes behind me before starting. I wasn’t going to let that happen again. Who says I don’t learn? (Well me, but can you trust the author?)
I’ll end with a final note from a breathtaking woman who is both witty and charming. (Again, get your own blog, and don’t be so ugly/sarcastic in your heart that you’d say on the one hand “you should be more positive about yourself” then try to teach me a special lesson in humility for my hubris when I do just that. Whoops, side rant for another day, but don’t think I don’t see you. I absolutely do.) 😉
Right, I got derailed.
Back to that final note to put a bow on this:
A co-worker recently told me, “Beth, I wish I could be like you. You let things slide off of you like water off a duck’s back. Something happens, and you just laugh it off. I want to be more like that.” I thanked her and my response was, “you can take the sting out of a lot of situations if you just laugh. Think about toddlers when they fall, especially if they’re not really hurt, they immediately check in with the people around them. A split second determines how they feel about what’s happened. If people react in a way that shows overconcern, they may start crying. If people applaud and laugh, they may start laughing, too. I can’t always laugh at everything, in fact, I can fall on a sword so fast and hard it will make someone uncomfortable, but if I do something ridiculous and then laugh about it – that informs everyone around me it’s ok to laugh, too. It’s a tactic that can disarm a situation – take away its power.”
And truthfully, or thankfully, my life is filled with these Vaudevillian-esque pratfalls and misadventures. They happen regularly and can be quite ridiculous. So, since I know they’re going to happen, I do what I can do since I can’t go back in time – I laugh.
You see, I live in my own I Love Lucy episode – one of my choosing. Life is easier and much more fun that way.