Falling from Grace: When Gravity wins


Toddlers fall. Drunk people fall. Even temperatures fall. But when you as a functioning, sober being with a sociably acceptable level of agility fall down, it’s an event. Forget the humiliation, its dealing with the damage as you age that makes the blow harder. We walk around with a false sense of confidence thinking we figured out life, and all it takes is one losing battle with gravity to realise that we are just bags of bones with occasionally malfunctioning brains.

As we age, we learn how to do more and more things in auto pilot mode. We drift off mentally when we drive, we have conversations with people in our head while we do chores, and we certainly don’t spend every step we take assessing distance, quantum mechanics and Newton’s 3 laws of motion. But just when you think you have mastered something to perfection, gravity gives you a rude awakening, reminding you that lulled brains can lead to bruised knees, elbows and egos.

I’m a 40 year old mama. I think by now I’ve experienced enough in the way of accidents, with a wide range consisting of car bumps and getting peed on. But taking a serious fall in the middle of the day, on a very crowded street in town, certainly threw me a curveball. After falling as elegantly as a drunk and dyslexic swan could possibly hope to, my first thought was literally “What? Is my body still doing these?!”

People gaped, no one helped (lucky me) and to save face, I tried to clamour up as quickly as possible. But of course, I’m injured, so I looked like I was auditioning for one of the zombies on The Walking Dead. So I shot up as quickly as I could manage and began “walking” when a searing pain in my knee basically crippled me dead in my tracks. When you fall down, the adrenaline or shock or embarrassment basically hide the full extent of your injuries. So you get up thinking all is well and that you can resume your normal walking duties when your body lets out several screams and you have to CSI your own blood to the source of the injuries. 

As the hours went on, the bruises revealed the anatomy of said fall. My knee had taken a good smashing and by nighttime looked about nine months pregnant. In addition to serious skin scrapes, my elbow and whole left side were badly bruised, making normal every day movement as challenging as Calculus.

Falling at 40 is not like falling at 4. It’s not only that you are carrying significantly more mass, it’s also that your body has been existing for much longer and has developed some wear and tear, with a much slower ability to recover. I remember my childhood was filled with spills and scraped knees, but I don’t recall missing any thrilling Duck-Duck-Goose games because I couldn’t bend a bruised knee anymore. It was a sad realisation knowing that my very young spirited brain now needed to recalibrate and align with its much more mature host.

The fall really made me realise how important it was to be in good physical standing, with my full spectrum of mobility available. Picking up my 13 kg toddler with only one good leg? Not fun. Trying to bend down to fetch the keys? As pleasant as a visit to the proctologist, with similar sound effects!

Unfortunately, these accidents are unavoidable. There is literally nothing you can do to stop such calamities other than hide in an idiot-proofed cave for the rest of your life. And even though it really hurts the bones and mind when gravity chooses you out of a whole street full of potential victims, the bright side is that you do get to appreciate what your body can do and make efforts to care for it better. Until the weekend comes. Then it’s just you versus your liver, but that’s another story.


From ABC to OCD

Ah, the beautiful carefree spirit of children. They play, they swing, they run amok in all sorts of nooks and crannies. They kiss each other on the mouth, they start their meals with an aperitif of boogers and have absolutely no qualms with grabbing moving insects off the ground to cleanse their budding and innocent palates. Of course this doesn’t last. As we age, we put less and less things in our mouth (some of us, anyways). And invariably, many of us grow into less and less tolerant maniacs. So why does this transformation occur? Are we doomed to climb an upward slope with our placidity until we rot?

I was a messy, messy child. I was a messy, messy young adult. I’m still messy today, albeit less, but I have developed a touch of OCD in weird things and I can’t reconcile this with my character. For instance, if you come over and eat a cookie in my house without a plate, I will literally silently stare and try to memorize where each baked boulder lands, while I plot on disemboweling your loved ones. Then I will spend the rest of the evening with a fake smile, trying to count the nanoseconds till you leave and I can find said bubonic-plague-spreading morsels.

If I visit a public bathroom, I cannot touch the doorknob to leave. I need a tissue shielding me from the cold metal protrusion, from which I am sure I can visibly see creepy crawlies jumping up and down, touching themselves and yelling “Come on sugar! Bring your unsuspecting paw! I just want a ride baby!” Not ten years ago, this was absolutely no issue for me (the doorknobs, not the molesting bacteria, if I had known about those fuckers then, things would have been a whole lot different). Now, if the bathroom is out of tissues, I will literally wait till someone comes in to make my escape. How has this happened?

How did I go from someone who would share a beer with any sort of mammal to a person who cringes when someone takes a sip of my drink? There are very, very few people who I can tolerate sharing any body fluids with, and they include me. Is this a sign of insanity on the horizon? Is this one of many mental disorders that is fated to cloud my future days?

According to research, the shift towards intolerance in older age is linked to the epoch you grew up in as well as atrophy of certain parts of the brain. Additionally, some research shows that “intellectual curiosity tends to decline in old age”, which could support us becoming more and more closed off to certain behaviors. I take offense at that. Partly because I don’t want my intellectual curiosity to go down, and because I don’t agree. If I leave cookie crumbles to rue my house, it is not a sign of the degradation of my intellectual curiosity. Just because I’m not curious as to how many bugs will fester in my furniture doesn’t mean I am any less curious then I was in my 20s. I never once saw a child stuff a bug into its mouth, and while they sat there drooling with one twitching insect limb poking out did I think to myself “Oh what a wonderfully curious creature! Bless it!”

No, kids are stupid; they eat shit off the floor because they don’t know how to live without adult supervision. Many people are bums, and I don’t like cookie shit on my floors because I don’t want to host a free buffet for grimy guests. I like to think of my developing OCD as a glorious sign of my budding character, not a hindering consequence of my greying hair.

Ultimately, change is inevitable and it is a beautiful part of the life cycle. Even if it means you will invite less people over to your house. If you too are showing premature signs of Jack Nicholson levels of OCD, fear not, the road ahead is not all bad. You may end up with less friends but you can relish in the fact that you have less insects and disease in your life.

Also, there are just as many sources that say we become more mellow with age as there are that claim the opposite. The uptake from this is that: 1) we know research doesn’t count for shit and 2) your older days could really go either way.  I say embrace the tide, let the slobs cry over the corpses of their loved ones, let the bacteria keep longing for your skin, and do not go gentle into that good night!

 

crazy-cat

 

 

 

Better to Blow

Friends come in all sizes and shapes but one of the greatest ones to have is a blow-up doll. Whether you like the slutty kinds or not, these inflatable companions can fill in marvelously for where a lot of real people fall flat. They come in a great variety; blow up whales, dolphins, crabs, clowns, monsters, etc… . And now that summer is in full inferno mode, these water-resistant pals are even greater as you can drag one for support to any body of water.

Let’s face it; blow up toys are just as much fun in your one-digit years as they are in your nearing-mid-life-crises years. And it goes well beyond the act of blowing; take a look at some of the pluses of donning a bubble friend:

  • They never tell you what to do, put you down, or judge you (well sometimes they might judge you but at least they keep their nasty air-headed opinions to themselves).
  • You never have to worry about buying them drinks; they gladly take whatever is spilled their way, be it in the form of alcohol or other…liquids.
  • You can lean on them.
  • They will never pee in the pool; unlike those people that stay in the water for hours drinking beer.
  • You will finally have someone to talk to so people will think you are less insane.
  • They stay erect far longer than many people.
  • They are very sociable.
  • They don’t need to go to the bathroom so they can hold your bag/drink as you tinkle.
  • They will never give you an STD, although they may be responsible for some chaffing or scars.
  • If someone is boring you at a party, you can secretly deflate your doll and give it to the motor mouth to blow, basically shutting them up at least for a few moments.

Aside from the myriad of benefits, blow-up friends are also great conversation starters and ice breakers. I mean, think about it, how many times have you taken that one awkward friend to a party and had tons of people swarm you to touch him and tell you how cute your friend is? Exactly, never! However the minute you walk in with this bubble head on your arm people will flock to it like idiots to reality TV.

And aside from the cute ones, let’s not forget the world of good that the sex dolls have bestowed upon man. How many a girl’s orifice has been spared senseless pounding thanks to the eternally gaping silicone babes who have taken many for the team? So before you judge or say ‘ew’ at that voiceless femme, remember that she could be sparing  you a horrendous experience.

You don’t have to take it as far as this guy, but if you come across a toy that you see a potential future with, you should invest in that sucker and head out for the great adventure. Parties and events are certainly much more fun with this thing on your arm, and will nurture your precious inner child.  All in all, plastic friends can be valuable additions to social events, life and genital health. And in our crazy world today, this is one kind of blow up that won’t hurt anyone.

 

sarapeememe

Heel Thyself

Stilettos, pumps, platforms and “come penetrate me now” shoes. If you’ve ever had a flair for the feminine, then you’ve got one or a hundred of these babies lurking in your closet. Yet even though they look hot, one cannot negate the fact that many soles that don these instruments just don’t know how to maneuver in them. And if you can’t glide like a swan, then just leave the heels and do your back, and society, a favor.

There are more than a handful of fashion victims out there. I am always astounded by the sheer number of ladies who wear very high heels to work every day. I always thought that stilettos were only required if your office desk was, in fact, a pole or someone’s lap. Yet there are herds and herds of females that wear pointy devil shoes as part of their professional corporate attire.

The issue arises when those that don’t know how to walk in heels do so anyways. And there are many women who are completely unaware of what they look like. There are those that hunch forward, to try to avert the pressure on the ankles. The result is that they walk looking like they are about to charge you, kind of like a raging bull-ess. Then there are the femme fatales that allow their ankles to sway wildly while they try to resist gravity. Note to you ladies, the only things that should be swinging that much are the sexually adventurous folks out there.  And finally, there are the dames that insist on heels so uncomfortable that their faces are plastered with tears and grimaces akin to a birthing mother. These last set usually scuffle to the bathrooms for relief or just won’t get up at all.

If you look at the anatomy of the heel, it immediately becomes apparent that it was invented either by angry gay men or the Dark Lord himself. At least when they first made the scene, the heel had a little base to even out the impact on your poor feet, but as we can see today, fashion has diminished comfort to the point that some heels rest on atoms for support.

I used to wear heels before my disc. Months after my injury, I remember trying to wear a pair and as soon as that searing pain shot down the nerves of my leg, I kissed those babies good-bye and opted to rely instead on my big personality. However I do certainly understand the appeal, which is why I’m sharing a few tips for the height-addicted.

Tip number one: Keep your back straight. A great way to practice this is to walk around in the privacy of your own home and balance a book on your head. Once you can walk around swiftly without dropping the book, you are ready to take your strut to the general public.

Tip number two: your feet should always be parallel; not turned in nor out. If your feet don’t point straight ahead, not only do you look like you are being examined by a gynecologist while walking but you are also adding unnecessary tension to certain weak points, like your ankles.

Tip number three: start with smaller heels, or wedges. The wedge is my hero, it won’t hurt your back as much and you don’t have to worry about getting your heel stuck in sewage drain covers or ….

Tip number four: If you insist on wearing a pair when you go clubbing, sneak in a pair of foldable Scholl ballerinas in your bag. You’ll make your grand entrance, look astoundingly hot for the first few dances, then when everyone you’ve impressed has strapped on the booze goggles, you can enjoy the evening in the comfort of flats.

If you just can’t seem to manage any of these, keep the heels for turning on your lover in the safety and vicinity of the bedroom. You’ll still look hot with your legs in the air, and you can spare your spine and bones the pressure. Just make sure you don’t poke out his eye.

 

heels

Stand by your SO(B)

Relationships are special. Relationships are cursed. About all I can say with certainty after my life experience is that they are a delicate balance of giving in, looking the other way and sticking to your guns, literally, as in sometimes you need to threaten people with physical violence or they just don’t get it. Yet despite the hierarchy and anatomy of different types of relationships, one thing that I absolutely detest are people that put their SO (Significant Other) down in public.

I often see people put up with shit in their lives, be it from their work, their kids, or that vindictive slut karma that doesn’t seem to always live up to her word. Yet despite the crap we are dealt with, the one instance where we shouldn’t bend over and smile is when we are being put down by people we love. Life hands out enough humiliation, like that time you were speaking to someone and accidentally threw up on their face, or that time you thought you were alone in an alley and farted Mozart’s 5th symphony, only to hear the crushing giggles of an invisible audience.

Yet humiliation from a loved one is more painful than sodomy with a palm tree. There are several reasons for this. The first is that your Significant Other is significant because you love, respect and admire them, so technically they are coming from a point of authority. It’s like your mom announcing in front of your science club that the only white coat you were going to get as an adult was in the loony bin as you were dropped way too many times on your head as an infant. Another reason is the surprise element, like when you are out hunting deer and as you are crouching in the bush, an excited-nearly-extinct rhino spots your behind and decides to finally try out interspecies mating. It hurts from both ends; mentally and physically.

Not only does it hurt when you are involved, but it is also quite shitty to witness. Even if you are not close to either party, watching someone be humiliated by their SO(B) is as uncomfortable as watching your parents go at it. It’s awkward, its ugly and you would rather be miles and miles away, hunting the last unicorn in some dimension. Sure, sometimes, we lose our tempers and explode and say things we regret, yet these instances should be few and far between. Others however, thrive and exist on berating the partners they hold dear, with complete disregard to the audience. The fact that these assholes are even allowed to procreate is beyond me; I only wish it were socially acceptable to interfere and say something to their ugly faces.

Unfortunately though, you can’t interfere in someone else’s business. Unless they are physically smashing their partner’s teeth out, you kind of have to sit the abuse out. It’s sad but in every instance when you try to step in to stand up for a friend, it will always backfire and you will suddenly be the focus of the problem. Their dysfunctional relationship will survive way past your friendship, and years down the line they will be on some deserted beach, sipping Bacardi and talking about how they almost broke up that time because of that asshole one time; you.

If you are, unfortunately, in love or living with someone like this, and the sex is too good or you are just too lazy to seek an alternative life partner, I suggest the following to help Karma on its way:

  • Spit in their morning coffee. It’s a nice discrete way to send them on their day.
  • Hack into their bank account and treat yourself every month to a spa or nice day out
  • Give the brake pads on their car a little nip. Only do this though if you feel like you are ready to maybe start looking for the next Mr./Mrs. Wrong to ruin your life.

It’s a sad fact of life, but there are people who put up with demeaning partners because of low self-esteem. You can sugar coat it all you want, but glazed abuse is just as sickening as the non-glazed version. It is a form of bullying, that will probably be picked up by the children and perpetuated for generations to come. Ultimately, relationships should be a support system. Your SO should be the one raising you up, not crumpling you down to a wilted flower. And while it may be hard to step out of the madness, you need to remind yourself that life hands out enough shit, so you really don’t need to put up with someone else’s. And remember, abuse isn’t funny, unless it’s physical and happening to the abuser.  relationsheep

My Music Tastes Better Than Yours

We have different tastes in everything; I like potatoes, you like rubbing your butt on pine trees, I shave my legs, you think growing a 70’s vagina on your face looks cool. Yet one difference that sometimes causes the bombs and machetes to come out is music. It’s quite common, when sharing music you love with others to act as if you made it yourself. And even though it should be a matter of taste, if someone you care for doesn’t reciprocate in kind to your melodic preferences, then it becomes personal.

Music is an artistic expression and as we all know, art is a fancy name for letting you get away with deviant behavior like painting a wall with your period under the guise of feminist defiance of modern shackles, or some shit like that. But of course, upon reflection, it goes much deeper, because if you think about it, music speaks to a very primal part of us. It doesn’t pertain to logic; you can’t argue me into liking a song.

We have base reactions to melodies and it is because our preferences are so primal and innate that we treat them as personal. For instance, I love Psy trance and while most of my friends prefer the slower booms of techno, I find it incredulous when I share a cerebral molesting track and they simply don’t see or appreciate the beauty of it. It is one thing when they say “I’m not really into psy”, but when they make personal remarks against my favorite producer/Dj, I feel like stabbing their eyes with a salad fork, but my doctor said that’s a no-no so I just innocently fantasize about it.

Scientists have been trying to find our link with music for a while now and while some studies are starting to delve into the mechanics, we are barely skimming the surface of what moves us. Some sources claim that we develop our taste in music from the ages of 10 to 20, and that these form the basis of what we will listen to for the rest of our lives. From a personal viewpoint though, I have experienced a very wide development in the genres and styles I enjoy that I find this explanation somewhat limiting.

Another study that recently flooded articles was a research done to show that your taste in music was linked to whether you were a systemic thinker or emphasizer. I completely disagree with this as I hated the songs on the emphasizer list and I loved the songs on the other list and I’m known to have a high level of empathy, especially for the morons that surround me. All jokes aside though, the people that did these studies seem completely oblivious to two important facts: first they are forgetting to factor in the substance of choice that normally accompanies the genre, and secondly they are ignoring the potential for change in humans.

Take me to a jazz bar where the crowds are liquored up, and I assure you a fight or two will break out eventually (Jazz was on the emphasizer list). However, venture to a psy festival where thousands of people are on psychedelics and stomping on the earth while connecting through sweat and smiles, and no fights of ego are recorded. I’m not saying you need to be on alcohol or psychedelics to enjoy the music, but to me they certainly play a role in what crowd they pull.

The fact of the matter is that we are still novices in understanding what draws us to music but the beauty of it is that our tastes are as palpable as Middle Eastern politics. And you don’t have to like my taste in music, but say anything against it and prepare to part with an organ.

music tastes

Mind Your Language

By night, I roam as an intrepid, creative writer/fun-loving Muppet. However, as soon as the sun rises, mild mannered Sara earns her buck as an English Copywriter in an advertising firm. Needless to say, the two have very different demands. And working as a copywriter in Abu Dhabi has even more constraints, since such a cosmopolitan city invariably puts you in touch with American and British English, and the differences between the two.

I was never one for rules. I like pushing the red button and coloring outside the lines. Grammar however is a stern, uncompromising prison guard, who punishes sexually deviant punctuation with stiff commandments. For example, I was taught in an American school and survived for most of my life without the semicolon; I didn’t find out till I worked with British people how vital the semicolon is to breathing (and paragraphs).

The spelling differences are also a pain in the ass. I’m sure the ‘re vs. er’ rule (fiber vs fibre, center vs centre, etc…) has some dyslexics hiding under their desks trying to chew their own digits off. And there’s the s/z thing (Americans write apologize, as opposed to the British apologise); give the letter Z a chance, it’s already at the end of the line and doesn’t get used enough in daily matters, unless you work at a zoo or have an imaginary friend called Zebra.

Apart from the grammar and spelling, common or slang expressions are another source of mass confusion and delirium for me. I’ve met a few Scottish and Irish folks and I swear to a higher power, I don’t think these people are speaking English. We know the same alphabet, but that’s as far as it goes. The first time I heard “what’s the crack big girl?” I thought the guy was calling me fat and in need of some grade A uppers.

In another incident, I heard/saw ‘smeg off’ for the first time, and I thought the moron was calling me Meg and giving me a dancing peace sign. Smeg off doesn’t make any sense. I don’t even think the internet knows what it means. The only interesting things about this funny sounding word is that it might have been invented to curse on TV and get past censorship and the second being that, well, we all know two fingers are more fun than one.

Moving on, I once uttered lunch box in an office packed with Brits and faced sniggers and jeers. Apparently in the tea sipping UK, it refers to a man’s dressed genitals. Why lunch? Probably because they can only have sex in the day, I assume many are too drunk to fornicate at night.

Bollocks is another common and abrasive one. According to Your dictionary, it literally means testicles. I was shocked to learn this, especially as I always thought it sounded so much like buttocks that it would have surely been ass or cheek related. Nonetheless, the idea of saying “balls” as a retort carries its own merit. “Hey Sara, how was your day?” “Balls.” And this got me thinking, can you ever use ‘bullock’? Does any situation ever warrant a Lance Armstrong bullock? I wonder.

The American system isn’t without its faults; I’m just used to it hence less thrown off by it. However if we look at history, the Americans are completely to blame for this mess seeing as they were the ones who decided to change the language, just as they did with the metric system. The solution? Emoticons. Yup, luckily, it seems our race is de-evolving and relying more and more on images to express thoughts and feelings, so in the end, the smiley face may save us all.  😀grammar