Living with My Imperfections

I’ve been in Spain so didn’t have a column the last 3 weeks. Maybe you didn’t notice…anyway, I’ll tell ya all about it later. In the meantime, here’s a column written when I was MJ (Married Janet).

I can’t say there are many personal features I particularly like about myself. To begin with, I’m three inches too short. At only 5’3” (and that’s stretching it a quarter inch) all my pants need to be hemmed.

My car seat is so far forward, the steering wheel appears impaled in my chest. And hiding those fat bulges isn’t easy because, let’s face it, there’s just less territory.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are some things I don’t despise about myself. My mom was generous with some of her genes and gave me her dark eyes and Portuguese olive skin.

But she couldn’t leave well-enough alone; she also gave me the family nose and chin to go with it. And these thighs, well, someone was playing a cruel joke there.

My dad was a handsome man, but what my chromosomes latched onto was a slight pigeon-toed gait. Therefore, I look silly in heels.

But of all my personal imperfections, and there are many, I never considered poor hearing to be one of them. My husband Jim begs to differ, but what does he know?  When he watches television, the windows shake. Well, not really. But they probably would if I didn’t turn down the deafening volume.

And he has the nerve to say I’m hard of hearing? As a matter of fact, I’ve never had, nor needed, an ear-wash in my entire life, while Mr. Wax Build-Up has gone under the gun on numerous occasions.

So that’s why I’m a little disturbed by what happened last night. Jim had some friends over for Friday night poker and since I prefer to avoid most testosterone-filled male bonding sessions, I secluded myself in my office to write.

In my defense, I’d like to explain that I had a loud portable heater blazing three feet away, the furnace going full-blast in the hall outside my closed door, and music playing on my computer. Top that with a purring cat draped across the back of my chair, inches from my ears, and surely you can see how I was in a sound-proof cocoon.

An hour into my writing, one of the guys rushes in, picks up the phone on my desk and says he needs to call Steve’s wife. Jim is right behind him and simply says, “We’re getting your ears checked on Monday,” then walks out.

So I’m thinking: What is he talking about and why is this other person that I have never met using my office phone when we have two others in the house? (This was before cell phones.) And better yet, why didn’t anyone offer me a piece of the pizza I now smell coming from the open door? But I do digress (another of my faults)…

Anyway, I got up to see what the fuss was about. As I walked into the living room, two paramedics were carrying Steve out on a stretcher; an IV stuck in his arm. Two firefighters followed behind as the red lights from their fire truck flashed across our porch windows.

It was like I walked into the middle of a Grey’s Anatomy episode, only nobody looked like Patrick Dempsey.

It turns out that during the poker game, Steve had a seizure and fell over. He was stiff as a board and foaming at the mouth. So with sirens blaring up to the house, four men entered our home and administered lifesaving techniques while I sat typing, completely unaware, less than 25 feet away.

Thankfully, Steve is fine, but after that experience, teasing Jim about his awful hearing is, regretfully, over. I’ve even made an appointment for an ear-wash.

Still, I refuse to worry about my imperfections, focusing instead on what really matters – things like good morals, having character, an engaging personality and straight white teeth.

One down, three to go.

6 thoughts on “Living with My Imperfections

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