I could sum up my day like this: I went to the allergist to have patch testing done to see if the reason my eyelids blow up like puffer fish is contact dermatitis due to chemical sensitivity. The doctor put tiny amounts of chemicals on little silvery discs and taped them to my back, writing the numbers 1-24 beside each disc on my skin. This is not my back in the pic, but one half of my back or so looked like this.
I could sum up my day like that, but then you'd miss a lot of the pertinent info about why I'm a tad bit grumpy tonight.
I have to back up to tell you that when I first went to Kazakhstan in 1998, cultural sensitivity required American females to wear long skirts and sleeves at all times, even while playing volleyball in 100 degree heat. (It was an English camp for grade school children.) We also did not have showers. We "sponged" off. When I returned home, I had a spot on my back about 5" x 7" of dirt. Yes, it gags me even now to think about it, so it's only fair that I should make you suffer, too.
Therefore, "Kazakh back" is a big, nasty deal to me.
So this morning, as I showered, the memory "Kazakh back" came flooding over me, and I knew I had to make sure I was completely spot-free. So I used a brush and other utensils and thoroughly cleansed my back.
Except I didn't believe it.
So when I toweled off, I grabbed a hand mirror and checked myself out. I wasn't sure, but I could have detected some dirt. So I grabbed the brush and soap with one hand, the hand mirror in the other, and laid into my back again, even though I was probably clean to begin with. It was a case of OCD meets fear of being gross, a powerful combo.
Balancing all of these tools proved to be too much for my dexterity, so I dropped the mirror which, of course, shattered into pieces.
Since I had already spent so much time cleaning and polishing my back, I was running late for work and had to leave the glass on the floor while I finished getting ready, wearing thick house slippers to avoid cutting myself.
After work, I immediately changed into a white cotton sleeveless shirt with the intention of putting a sweater over it because it's frigid here.
I began cleaning up the glass on the bathroom floor, including rolling up the two rubber-backed cranberry throw rugs and shaking them outside. After I shook them, I pulled on the door to come back inside, but it didn't budge.
Remember in "A Christmas Story" when Flick gets his tongue stuck on the pole and repeats, "Stuck. Stuck-stuck-stuck STUCK!?"
Well, "Locked. Locked-Locked-Locked LOCKED!"
I pulled on the door over and over while Zoe went out of her mind trying to protect me from me.
I knew that all of my doors were locked because I keep them locked. My only way in was to run to the front of my house and let myself in through the garage door. I was freezing--it was 16*, and the wind was wicked! You Texans do not know the pain of Siberian winters like Hoosiers do. I'm talking pain-in-the-bones cold.
So I wrapped each red rug over my shoulders and ran as fast as I could to the front, praying no one would report a giant running, flapping, screaming cardinal breaking into my garage.
When I got in, Zoe was still standing there barking at the locked door, oblivious to my walking in another door. She is brilliant. In fact, sometimes I call her "Lassie" because they have so much in common.
And that has been my day, which was topped off by a two hour choral Christmas concert tonight during which my taped up back itched the entire time. My only recourse was to rub my back across the padded chair back. I'm sure I didn't look weird at all; I just looked like I was really into "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," dancing in my seat.
The last thing my husband said to me tonight was not a word at all, but a song about someone named "Patches," and I almost had to sic Zoe on him. I have a feeling that "Patches" is a nickname I'll be "stuck" with for a while.