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There was that time when I bought the REALLY expensive chicken by accident.

$75+ worth of On-Sale, free-range, raised-with-classical-music-in-the-barn-and-wearing-knitted-chicken-sweaters kind of chicken, instead of the On-Sale chicken for the non-fancy-pants folks.

So, I can’t be trusted in the grocery store.

Now, we have an excess of sour cream:  in fact, an entire, unopened container, ready to expire.

Doesn’t that sound perilous?  “Ready to expire”.

Refrigerator products are so melodramatic.

Anyhoo, I thought I could be trusted.  In fact, I felt rather like Ma in Little House on the Prairie when I had a light bulb moment this evening about the nearly-dead dairy product.

I know, I thought.  I’ll make Grandma Helen’s coffee cake.

She used to feed it to us for special breakfasts and it’s all brown-sugary and sour-cream-donut-y and NOT CHOCOLATE, so clearly suitable for breakfast because that’s a rule.

I rushed off on a surge of pride to tell Practical Man as these Ma-in-Little-House-frugal moments are rare from me.  Grandma Helen’s coffee cake has lots of sour cream in it and would use up most of the almost-at-the-pearly-gates container.

Yay, me!

While Practical Man was doing the garbage/recycling in the garage (and no doubt marveling at my frugal brilliance), I made my usual mess in the kitchen.

In addition to flour on the floor, nuts behind the canisters, and butter up my arm, while whipping up the batter, I managed to lift it out of the bowl to “clean” the beaters and they sprayed batter all over the entire world.  There was some in my eyebrow, some on the backsplash, some on Mars, I’m pretty sure.  And, it’s a sticky batter, this sour-cream extravaganza.

As in:  not easily remedied before certain people come in from the garage.

But, I got that sorted (I think – this will explain the weird blobs you see on our light fixtures a few months from now) and grabbed the one-foot-in-the-grave, but un-opened sour cream container from the fridge.

I opened it and stopped short.

It looked funny.

White, like sour cream.

But, also not.

Kind of chunky.

Maybe it had already gone off?

Or, maybe, maybe, maybe…

I realized with a sudden taste of sour dairy in my mouth,

it was not drama-queen sour cream

but instead

!!!!

highly-tricky-and-well-disguised-all-except-for-the-dastardly-label-oh-please-say-this-happens-to-you-too-won’t-you, COTTAGE CHEESE.

Ummmm…

This is precisely, almost exactly like that time I was wondering why the ginger we had frozen in the freezer was so uncooperatively melty when I was trying to grate it.

(It was blobs of frozen garlic puree, hardy-har-har).

I have worked at an institute for higher learning for nearly 25 years.  Honest.

Luckily, Practical Man had brought home a new container of sour cream this very evening.

So, instead of using up excess sour cream, I had to use brand-new sour cream so now, we have to buy some more.

And, I have to figure out what to do with on-its-last-breath cottage cheese.

I’m pretty sure I can’t be trusted though.

Sigh.

The cake is really good.

Tra-la-la.

sour cream coffee cake - piece on a plate

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I am loathe to admit it, but someone I DO. NOT. LIKE. helped me last week.

You could say I was a little desperate.

And, desperate times call for desperate measures, dontcha know.

Like enlisting the aid of someone you REALLY. DON’T. LIKE.

It all started when I decided to retire from my day job, which means that my dental benefits will stop soon.

You know how retirees always seem to say that they’re “so busy” and they have “no idea how they had time for a job, before”?

I figure that’s on account of all the brushing, flossing and swishing.  I’m going to be spending a good part of my retirement brushing, flossing and swishing, yessiree.

Don’t want any cavities to crop up.

Cavities are expensive to us pensioners.

Vintage Fisher Price dentist set

Vintage Fisher Price – Dentists

Mind you, I’ve only ever had one cavity before.  But, I scared the pants off my dentist at the time, because I fainted after I got the filling.

And when I faint, I look dead.

My already low heart rate drops to nearly nothing.  My already low blood pressure is non-existent.  My skin looks grey/blue.  More than usual, I mean.

You may have heard of Heroin Chic.  This is Dentist Chic.

It’s a look!

And then, people attempt to stick a tube down my throat.

Totally unnecessary, but I guess when you appear dead, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I woke up just in time, tra-la-la.

My dentist looked grey too, after all the excitement but he’s not half dead like me, so no one tried to stick a tube down his throat.

My dentist is retired now.  Recovering from the trauma of doing my filling, perhaps.  Probably brushing, flossing and swishing.  Not to mention golfing, cruising, and travelling (him, not me).

Cavities aren’t great for pensioners but I suspect that they are quite good to former dentists.

Now, I have a new dentist.  He graduated two minutes ago.

I have reached THAT age.

Even though I’m retiring nearly 20 years early.

Sigh.

And, horror of horrors, I failed my dental exam.

I had to get two tiny cavities fixed.

On account of the impending loss of my dental plan, the new dentist said I should get them done now, instead of waiting for them to grow up into real cavities.

I wanted to ask him if I should wait for him to grow up into a real dentist, but he had a needle in his hand, so I kept my cavity-filled mouth shut.

Plus, I only have so much time for dental visits, what with all the brushing, flossing and swishing in retirement, you know.  Best to get baby cavities taken care of, now, by the baby dentist.

Sigh.

During the filling, he was very patient and kind with high-maintenance me.

He was very slow to tip the chair back, lest I get my spinny vertigo.

He checked in with me frequently about how I was feeling, lest the “I look dead” fainting was overtaking me.

I didn’t faint, but I’m not too proud to admit that I had to use all my evasive maneuvers to prevent it.

And also, one I AM ashamed to admit.

Keep in mind that I can faint while cooking pancakes.  I can faint while I’m sleeping.  I take daily medication which mostly helps but not completely.

I’m such a joy to Practical Man.

He never complains.  He’s my Mr. Darcy.

I’m not the least bit afraid of the dentist or pain or fillings.  And my new dentist, like my former one, is really wonderful.  It’s not his fault that he makes me feel like his mother.

But, my body is a big ol’ drama queen.  The slightest hint of adrenaline and it tells my nervous system to go to DEFCON 5.

So, I ate a big, salty lunch and drank a bunch of water before Practical Man escorted me to my appointment.

I crossed and uncrossed my legs in the chair, trying to pump the blood back to my heart and brain.

I flexed my ankles back and forth and back and forth.

I huffed, like a woman in labour, to push my diaphragm so my blood pressure would go up.

I tried to concentrate on the Fixer Upper episode that was on HGTV on my in-flight TV (dental offices have gotten quite fancy, I’m telling you.)

Nothing was working.

I could feel my heart rate dropping into the Zombie Zone.

There was a loud buzzing in my ears (and it wasn’t the drill).

I was losing my vision (and not just the age-related kind).

And, I was already lying down (the usual advice from onlookers).

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, I did it.

I called on the one person I know who can raise my blood pressure.

 

The person who I find to be an unfortunately extremely visible and powerful, despicable human being.

I thought about HIM.

He-who-should-not-be-named.

Not the Harry Potter one.

The Apprentice one.  The can’t-say-anything-nice-or be remotely tolerant-or-empathetic one.

Lest you think I’m just picking on a politician, my distaste for him pre-dates his current role by decades.

I chanted his name over and over in my head.

Almost immediately, I felt my blood start to boil (or at least, get lukewarm, being half dead as I am).

The point is, it worked.

I didn’t faint.

But now, I need an exorcist.

Sigh.

Who knew retirement was going to cost so much?

 

 

 

 

 


In case you haven’t figured it out by now…

I’m a weirdo.

Tra-la-la.

Weird–for reasons too numerous to count–when we are not on Daylight Savings Time anymore.  We’re losing daylight with every turn of the calendar, my friends.  Focus on the precious hours of sunlight and stoke up those sunshine cells while you can!

Today, the weirdness refers to the fact that I’m nearing 50 years old and I still have a living grandparent.

She turned 91 yesterday.

Happy 91st birthday, Grandma Verna!

91 going on 61.

She’s always been my Movie Star Grandma, but I didn’t officially think of her that way until my friend, Corvette, pointed it out.

My wedding to Practical Man was the first time Corvette had ever met my Grandma Verna.  This is what Grandma looked like on our wedding day:

Grandma dancing, in a blue dress, at our wedding

Doesn’t she look like what Princess Diana might have looked like, had she been able to reach a luxurious age and attend our wedding?

No disrespect to the late Princess, but who needs Diana when you have our Grandma Verna?  You can sort of understand why Corvette gave her the Movie Star moniker.

That would make me the Movie Star’s granddaughter, tra-la-la.

I think I skipped the Glamour gene, so I’ll take my glamour by association, yes indeedy.

Grandma’s 91 now, but she seems 61 and she’s full of sass.

She drives all her friends around in her immaculate car.

She passes her driver’s test every two years and to my knowledge, she’s never left the right blinker on for miles and miles on the highway.

She celebrates Happy Hour with some red wine, most days, along with one friend or another and they giggle like a pair of 13 year olds.

She has a great giggle.

It’s hard to catch it in a photo, though.  She hates getting her picture taken so you have to sneak up on her all Secret Agent-like.

She lives, alone, in a lovely, lake view apartment (NOT a senior’s residence, retirement villa, or old-age anything).

I covet her apartment and fabulous style.

Shhhhhhhh!

Isn’t that written somewhere, “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Grandmother’s Apartment and Fabulous Style?”‘

Maybe not.

She does all her own banking and noticed recently that there was $3.76 missing from one of her accounts and boy, was there (rightly so) a hulabaloo at the financial institution that day!

“Most seniors wouldn’t even notice that they were being ripped off,” she told me, “I have to stick up for all of us.”

Darn Right!

She’s kind of the Ever-Ready Bunny of Grandmothers, our Grandma Verna, that is, if the Ever-ready Bunny was WA-A-A-A-A-Y more stylish and had red patent ankle boots and a matching scarf.

These boots are made for Grandma, make no mistake.

Except, instead of batteries like the Ever-Ready Bunny, Grandma runs on swimming and one hour of her daily “stories” on TV.

Many of my friend have parents in their 80s or 90s, so having a grandmother who buys the same shoes as you do, is a little unusual.

Hence, the weirdness.

Even weirder:  I had four grandparents and a great-grandmother and a great-grandfather, until I was in my 20s.

I even had a great-GREAT grandmother, until I was 11.

She was my grandpa’s grandmother!  How weird is that?

Also, very lucky, dontcha know.  Those of us with grandparents really are the luckiest people.

But, Grandma Verna suddenly had a medical incident this week.

No sparkly dresses in sight, like the one she was wearing last year on her 90th:

My grandma, wearing a sparkly dress at her 90th birthday

It could have been a lot worse and we’re hoping she’ll make a full recovery.

She’s out of the hospital, after only 2 days, and recuperating at my parent’s house.

She’s doing the crossword puzzle in the paper and reading all the birthday cards she’s been getting, for days.

But, she fainted this week so she’s a little unsteady and using a walker to get from room to room, at the moment.  She’s sleeping a lot and tires very easily.

Sounds a lot like me, in fact.

She’s a little less Snazz and a little more Snooze.

Definitely, like me.

Not that this will last forever, but suddenly, she seems closer to 91 than 61.

That’s perfectly normal, of course, after an illness.

Just weird, for her.

So, now we’re both weirdos.

Tra-la-la.

Get well, Grandma.

I hope we get to be weird together, for a long time to come.

 


Last weekend, I had a day when I wished I were a guy named Larry.

Let me explain.

Years ago, when I had a job working for people with intellectual disabilities, I had two clients named Larry and Ronald.

Those aren’t really their names, of course, because that sort of thing is confidential, but, what you need to know is that Larry and Ronald were brothers, who lived together in a two-bedroom apartment. Their elderly mother had passed away recently and they lived among her many, many possessions, as well as their own and seemed to be managing their bachelor life just fine (other than eating nothing but hamburger patties for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week).

Larry, the younger brother, loved gadgets and machines.  He (and his late mother) had collected record players (6) and cameras (they had everything from a Brownie to a Polaroid to a Disc camera to a Nikon SLR) and fans (29), among other things.

Larry liked to take things apart to see the insides of the gubbins and how they worked, so all of his many, many gadgets and machines were in bits and pieces.  Larry was better at taking things apart than putting things back together, it seemed.

Anyhoo, to get to my point:  one day, their landlord called and said that their apartment was a fire hazard because of all Larry’s and his mother’s junk, not to mention the 29 fans and the evolution of cameras and that we needed to get rid of some stuff pronto, or he would serve an eviction notice.

I hightailed it over to Larry and Ronald’s and began the process of trying to respectfully negotiate the removal of some of their treasures–some to storage, some to charity, some to garbage.  These were adult men, after all.  They had a right to live among their junk.

Heaven knows, I do.

But, only until the roof over your head is in jeopardy, I figure.

The conversations went something like this:

“Larry, do you think you need 5 vacuums?”

(Larry looked at me with sadness in his eyes.)

“Maybe you don’t need five, Larry. What do you think?”

(Puppy-dog eyes.)

“Larry?”

“Well,” Larry stammered, “I need one.”

(Pause and puppy-dog eyes.)

“And, Ronald needs one.”

(Pause and puppy-dog eyes.)

“And…”

(Pause and puppy-dog eyes.)

“What if one breaks?”

So, I managed to give away 2 vacuums, leaving Larry and Ronald with 3 vacuums, which is apparently the perfect number for a 2-bedroom apartment and no one who vacuums.

Last weekend, I was wishing I had the foresight of Larry.

I killed the vacuum.

Dead, dead, dead.

And, there were no spares, no sirree.

But, I do live with Practical Man so after explaining how the vacuum had inexplicably, mysteriously perished on my watch after a mere 15 years or so (maybe I shouldn’t vacuum, whot, whot?), he set to work.

In the meantime, I gnashed my teeth about having to spend hundreds of dollars on something as boring as a new vacuum.

Gnash, gnash.

While I was grinding off my teeth, Practical Man went about breaking into the vacuum.

There were no screws to remove anything to get at the gubbins inside on account of it’s very vintage to want to re-use and fix things you already own.

vacuum apart on the worktop

Very vintage.

Maybe you have wondered at times why I called this blog, “A Vintage Life?”

These are some of the times and the reasons, why.

I mean, seriously, have you ever seen the inside of a vacuum when it wasn’t in Larry’s apartment?

But, in our modern “green” society, practically no one fixes stuff anymore so why would you need to get inside something to look at what might be broken?

Y’know, unless you are Larry or Practical Man?

Practical Man somehow figured out how to break into the vacuum, without…um…breaking it.

I’m not even sure how that happened since it’s 98% plastic.

Crazy, mad, skills, that man has.

vacuum hose taken apart so you can see the electronics inside

He came back from the workshop and announced that the motor was fine, it wasn’t the relay (I nodded and tried to pretend I vaguely recalled something about relays from O-level Physics) and that he figured it was the switch.

I could barely hear him over my gnashing of teeth.

Vacuum shopping – blah, blah, I thought again.

Maybe I could console myself over having to spend hard-earned moulah on a boring vacuum by buying a nice yellow one, I reasoned.

Have I mentioned that I’m the yin to Practical Man’s yang?

Meanwhile, he was looking online for switches but they were expensive and likely imported, meaning more expense and duty and exchange, etc etc.

So, he found an electronics vacuum shop (someone spent hours working on that name, I bet!)  And, when we got there, he did something oh-so-vintage and awesome:

He pulled out the wiring schematic he had made for the vacuum:

detailed hand-drawn schematic on graph paper

Isn’t it adorable?

I love science-y people.

So do guys in vacuum repair shops who almost never, ever meet a bona-fide Practical Man.

The guy’s eyes practically fell out of his head when he saw the hand-drawn schematic.

And voila!  New switch for $15.

switch

Today, he installed the new switch, fixed something else that also turned out to be broken and the vacuum is now put back together and very much ALIVE.

Also:  Not. Thrown. Away.

Also:  Not a Boring, Blah Blah Blah Expense.

Tra-la-la!

But, we still only have one.

Not one for Ronald, too.

Not one, in case one breaks.

Sorry, Larry.

Thank you, Practical Man.

 

 

 

 

 


Last week, I had my first bath in over a decade.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEK.

Why so traumatized, you ask?  Because, this, my friends, was not a good bath, with bubbles up to your neck and your favourite Ernie-and-Bert-inspired Rubber Duckie.

No, no, no.

Rubber Duckies - one large with a small one on its back

There was no lovely book or glass of wine (although I’m really not coordinated enough for any of that kind of nonsense).

Nope.

Not even the sort of lovely BAWTH that one of my favourite literary characters, Eloise, likes to take.

No sirree.

This was the kind of bath that your mother tells you to take.

Or rather, MY mother.

Because, I’m in my 40s, dontcha know.

You’re never too old for a little vintage, motherly, health advice.

Or, for a bath.

“With oatmeal”, she said.

“Or baking soda”, she said.

“Maybe some Epsom salts”, she said.

Possibly a cocktail of all of the above.

Yessiree, I am officially a geezer.

No Bath and Body Works jams and jellies for me.

I get to bathe with breakfast cereals and baking products.

I’m like Wilford Brimley, with hair.

This was the kind of bath you take because you have been itchy for nearly a month FOR NO GOOD REASON.

And, all the icky sticky goo and chanting of OM doesn’t make it stop.

OMMMMMMM…I’m so itchy!

And not only that but, this was the kind of BAWTH where you had to decide which third of your body to dunk in the water at a time, on account of, you are possibly eleventeen feet tall and your tub is a shallow, five-foot long, jetted, vintage relic from the late 1980s.

It was a complex dance of toes-ankles-calves for a while and then knees-thighs-abdomen for another while and then chest-shoulders-neck for an encore.

Slip sliding away.   It’s not as exciting as it sounds in the song.

Who, among the regular old, pre-every-bathroom-must-be-a-spa-thing-that-we-seem-to-have-going-on-now, bathtub owners, finds this fun?

You must be blessed with some short-ness, is all I can figure.  Me and my eleven-teen feet of tall-ness are jealous.

Anyhoo, this was the kind of bath where Practical Man had to set a timer in order to get me to stay in there for 20 minutes, because someone–possibly me–kept yelling, “Can I get out YET?” approximately every 32 seconds.

I am a delight to go through life with, as you can tell.

This was the kind of bath where, when I scrunched down so my shoulders could get a little of the water action–and my toes were creeping ever so elegantly up the wall towards the shower head–I was exactly eye level with the toilet.

Lovvvvvely.

As my friend Pippi has said, “Bathing beside the toilet is not my idea of luxury.”

Toilets figure prominently in 5-star resort brochures, I’m sure.

Um, yes and this was more of a long-term-care facility kind of bath.

With a little Nessum Dorma that Practical Man piped in, to help me stay put for the requisite time limit.

Nessum Dorma is the key to life, really.

Honestly, just close your eyes and listen.  You don’t need to be in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bathtub for it to be magic.

But, after a million-zillion torturous hours, when I was finally allowed to get out, I was victorious.

I had a few hives.

Tra-la-la.

Nearly a month of scratching and complaining about invisible sensations and I finally had something to show for my efforts.

I’m a little Type A that way.

Stay with me.  The hives mean that maybe, possibly, I’m not imagining the itching–just having some kind of allergic reaction.

To what, I don’t know.

New vitamins?

Pickled eggs?

Or maybe…don’t you think…it might be…Nessum Dorma beside the toilet?

The basic treatment for hives is, YOU WILL NEVER GUESS:

Take a bath.

Or as I and Eloise prefer it:  BAWTH.

With oatmeal.

Or baking soda.

Possibly some Epsom salts.

So says The Google.

And my mom.

Can I get out yet?

Me in a pink clawfoot tub, holding my book, "Career Cupid" - 2009

Yep, that’s me in a pink claw foot bathtub, in our driveway, circa 2009. The things I’ll do for book promotion.

 


Every year, when we take the tree and decorations down, I am startled.

I don’t think I have reached the Griswold level of festive decor, so that can’t account for the Disturbing Disappearance of Decor.

Triple D – that’s a thing, right?

foam cut outs that make a white fridge look like a snowman

Okay fine, I made the fridge into a snowman–that’s proof of nothing.

Yet, take away the seasonal dressing and everything suddenly looks bare and forlorn.

I guess it’s to be expected when you remove a giant conifer and acres of greenery and glittery things from your Not-So-Great Room.

(Our house was built at a time when Great Rooms were not yet a thing, so we only have an ordinary living room or as realtors probably think of it:  a Not-So-Great Room.)

Our Not-So-Great Room looked perfectly fine in November.

In early December, it suddenly got bulge-y with a seriously extraverted Tannenbaum and all its festive friends.

I think we might be kindred spirits, me and the Not-So-Great Room.

I feel quite bulge-y in December myself.

“Deck the Halls with crates of Toblerone“…isn’t that how that song goes?

Anyhoo.

Every year during the time when the Not-So-Great Room is still looking seriously festive, Practical Man and I head out to admire our neighbourhood lights.

First, I admire the heart he stamped in the snow of the front lawn, with our initials in it.

Swoon-y swoon.

Then, we cruise around for a while (we used to walk when we lived in town but we’d have to be Santa to make any time, now that we live rurally), surveying the crop of Griswold-esque specimens.

Deciduous trees lit with blue lights

I’m not really keen on the blow-up thingys, so I haven’t photographed those.

suburban house completely outlined with lights as well as lit trees and Charlie Brown Christmas motif

Nor the keel-over-inducing light shows (even when coordinated with music).

Completely lit house, yard full of lights and a steeple on the garage!

Give me a loaded, over-the-top, plain old, static light show any day.

Country house in Battersea, lit modestly but fully

Or night, as it were.

Once we have oooh’d and aaah’d for a good while, then comes the hard part.

We have to choose.

We each get one thank-you card, that we filled out before we left the house:

Thank you for your beautiful lights.  Your house was our favourite!

We don’t sign our names.  We simply slip the thank-you card into their mailbox.

house and garage completely outlined in multi-coloured LED lights

It’s seriously festive and fun.

Fa-la-Tra-la-la!

Then, we return home to our own festively-adorned, albeit slightly bulge-y Not-So-Great Room and cuddle up.

Even though I don’t think I’m quite at Griswold level of festive decor, I can still love those who are.

I’m just too lazy for that sort of outdoor, holiday hulla-balloo.

Forget the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m all about the 12 Days of Pajamas.

Zzzzzzzzz.

Happy New Year to me!

Except, that after all the Disturbing Disappearance of Decor, our Not-So-Great Room will soon look like the Nearly-Naked Room.

Naked, I say, in January.

Please agree with me that naked in Canada in January is sometimes not such a good look.

‘Tis the Season for down-filled puffy coats, thank goodness.

But, having no such down-filled puffy coats for the Not-So-Great Room, it has to spend the first parts of the new year standing around, naked.

Naked in the season of diet and exercise commercials galore.

Naked in the season of resolutions and recriminations.

After a little while, we get used to our naked, Not-So-Great Room again and can see it for all the beauty that it holds.

Unadorned and lovely, in its year-round state.

Naked.

Perhaps, a lesson for us all.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2016.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet


spaghetti eis, from GermanyI scream,  You scream,  We all scream, for ice cream.

So goes the vintage saying, but actually, I scream when I see old Volkswagens (giving Practical Man heart failure, in the process) and occasionally, I scream for cows. Because, they have big teeth and even bigger, hairy tongues.

Stop snickering.

The other day, I zigged when I should have zagged during lunch and the resulting coughing fit caused my body to try to faint for nearly an hour afterwards.

Dear nervous system:  you are seriously high maintenance.

But, I take medication so I can (mostly) avoid having things like this happen.  That is, if along with the drugs, I live a careful, don’t zig instead of zag, I’m-basically-a-Jane-Austen-character-even-though-I-don’t-wear-corsets kind of life.

Here are the BAD things about being a fainter:

  1. I am not, actually, a character in a Jane Austen novel.  Although, I can play the pianoforte (as they called it in Jane Austen’s time) and recite long-winded poetry (okay, Alice’s Restaurant is a vintage song not a poem, but it sort of counts).  Not being a Jane Austen character is unfortunate because my waist would look much smaller if I had to wear a corset.  Or, if I stopped eating Wispa chocolate bars, which I obviously can’t because being a fainter, one has to have some compensatory perks in life.  It’s a yin-yang sort of thing.   So there.  And, I’m pretty sure Jane Austen would wholeheartedly approve (and subsequently write about how a true gentleman brings offerings of “delectable sweeties”, which everyone knows–well, at least Practical Man does–is Jane Austen-ish code for: Wispa chocolate bars.)
  2. I have landed with my head on un-glamorous things:  like toilet bowls and berber carpet and my boss’s lap.  Um, yeah.
  3. I got a large, oozing, rug burn wound on my forehead the last time I fainted, from fainting off our pillow-top mattress–which is tantamount to Olympic diving.  Have you seen how high North-American beds are these days?   I tried to tell people that the cucumber slice-sized mess on my forehead was from stealing jewels in my alter-ego life as a cat burglar but, apparently fainting goes hand-in-hand with fibbing and tall tales.
  4. There isn’t a frequent fainter’s club where I get sent free stuff.  Y’know, an “every fourth time you faint, you get a trip to Paris” club, or something.  I think that should really be a thing.  Instead, it’s “every time you faint, you lose your driver’s license“.  That club is not tra-la-la at ALL.
  5. When people compare you to a FAINTING GOAT.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Hey, aren’t there goats on the internet or something that faint?” and get to marvel at being compared, yet again, to a farm animal that went viral because that’s just so very flattering and sweet.  And, we already know how I feel about farm animals…like scary, scary cows.  Jane Austen would not approve of my being lumped in with that feral lot.  Neither would Mrs. Bennett.  Think of the disastrous consequences to my marriage prospects!
  6. No one ever picks me up and carries off my teeny-tiny, waif-like, unconscious body, the way they would in a movie.  I am 5’9″ and I eat Wispa bars whenever I can get my hands on them so, it’s completely sensible, of course, that people don’t try to heave me over their shoulder, because one doesn’t want to cause other people to have hernias but, I really think the faint-and-go-to-Paris (maybe, with Mr. Darcy) thing should be a thing, don’t you?

But, like other annoying life stuff, it’s not all bad.  Here are the GOOD things about being a fainter:

  1. I feel very tra-la-la when I’m not fainting.  As in, since I started taking medication, I don’t spend nearly as much time whacking my head on toilet bowls, berber carpeting or my boss’s lap.  Um, yeah.  Even better:  I don’t spend nearly as much time WONDERING if I’m going to be whacking my head on toilet bowls, berber carpeting or my boss’s lap.  This leaves my brain time to think of pithy banter I can exchange with Practical Man, a la characters in a Jane Austen novel.  And, for him to roll his eyes, but never mind about that.
  2. When you get your driver’s license back and then Practical Man suggests that you buy the vintage car of your dreams, it is THE BEST DAY (even if there are no Wispa bars around.)  Insert an ugly cry here (but don’t cry too hard because you may not know it, but, crying leads to fainting, which in turn leads to losing driver’s license and, well, this lovely circle of drama is how things go when one is afflicted with the tendency to swoon.)
  3. Fainting seems vintage, somehow.  As in, the manner of swoony women from times gone by.   This sometimes makes me feel vintage and lovely (a la Jane Austen) and sometimes makes me feel vintage and pathetic (a la Jane Austen).  When it’s pathetic, I console myself with images of highly-trained, stoic male and female soldiers standing on parade and keeling over.  Or, that guy from The Wiggles.  I remind myself that fainting is a non-gendered, training and stoic-ignoring, international activity.  Plus, in the hierarchy of diseases, this is pretty darn minor.  I could be allergic to chocolate – quelle horreur!  There, I’ve found my happy place again.
  4. I get to be sanctimonious in the manner of ex-smokers, ex-wheat eaters, ex-aerobic exercisers:  because no doctor ever harasses me about high blood pressure.  In fact, when they’re finished looking alarmed at how low my blood pressure is, they proceed to order me in a stern voice to “eat more salt”.  Obviously, I can’t be in the middle of ages, because what chubby, 40-something human from a G10 country is told to “eat MORE salt” in this day and age?  A woman living the faint-y life of a Jane Austen character, that’s who.  I am also grateful that my neuro-cardiogenic syncope syndrome hasn’t been diagnosed as “female hysteria” or “neurasthenia” which, if I lived in Jane Austen’s time (or even mine, in select locales), would be a certainty.
  5. When you get your driver’s license back (I can’t quite emphasize this one enough) for the umpteenth time, it is THE BEST DAY AGAIN, even if there are no Wispa bars or vintage automobiles around.  Although, as every frequent fainter knows, this losing/getting back/losing thing gets old really quickly, so maybe some Wispa bars will be required in the future.  Or the get-a-free-trip-to-Paris thing.  Yes, that one, pretty please.
  6. I am medically required to have regular ice cream.  I am not medically required to have Wispa bars but,  lucky for me, the doctor told me that ice cream is apparently loaded with sodium.  Sodium:  as in “eat MORE salt”.  I am pretty sure that means that ice cream counts as first aid and preventative medicine, for me.  Not only that, but, I’m positive that eating ice cream WHILE IN Paris WITH MR. DARCY (aka Practical Man) will cure me of fainting, forever.

I’m almost sure of it.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2016.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet