Friday, August 6, 2010

The Verdict Was Read & The Sentence Pronounced

Three hours in the chair!

The electric kind? Oh no, dear readers! That would have been far too quick and merciful. No.....the chair I had to endure, was a far more medieval device than "old sparky". Relatively comfortable at first, it lulled me into a false sense of security. Then very gradually, as the clock slowly ticked away, it began to work it's evil intent on sinew and bone, becoming ever more uncomfortable, until no amount of shifting my weight around, or repositioning my legs could alleviate its torturous effects. If the person who invented the steel folding chair hasn't been inducted into the Torturer's Hall Of Fame, then he certainly deserves to be!

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Well......I guess it's unfair of me to compare myself with the widow, Mrs. Lincoln, but my three and a half hours at my monthly support group meeting tonight, was a tortuous affair for this almost 62 year old arthritic frame. I had already spent about forty minutes on my Trek mountain bike after lunch this afternoon, and that took it's toll on my lower back, but more importantly on my poor derrière. Well.........derrière is actually putting it politely. Anyone who has ever ridden a multi-speed bike, knows that your derrière is not exactly what makes contact with the hard (albeit slightly padded) narrow little excuse for a seat. At about the forty minute mark, I felt an uncomfortable sensation coming on right between my.......ahem......cheeks. I knew what was happening, but being the fool that I am, I tried to tough it out. No pain, no gain, right? Big mistake! A minute later I was off the bike, and lying flat on my back on my bed, taking deep breaths and slowly exhaling, trying to relax the death grip that the cramp was putting on my nether regions. If you have never experienced this exciting sensation, then imagine some horrible brute grabbing the end of your colon, giving it a nice tight twist, then refusing to let go, even when you cry uncle! When I was in Army basic training 42 years ago, I remember my drill sergeant telling some miscreant, that he was going to jerk a knot in his ass. I laughed when I heard that, but now I know exactly what it feels like! It took about fifteen minutes of biofeedback through relaxation techniques, to relax the cramp. Then, just as quickly as it came on, it was gone. That marked the first assault on my rear end today, then came the evil chair!

I showed up on time tonight with a big bowl of salad, and a chicken broccoli and noodle casserole for our pot luck supper. I added them to the veg and dip platter, sushi platter, baked bean casserole, whole roast chicken, and pepperoni and anchovy pizza already sitting on the kitchenette counter. I didn't sample the pepperoni & anchovy pizza, or the roast chicken, and I'm sorry I didn't, as I was still hungry after a bit of salad, a small portion of the casserole that I brought, and a few spoonfuls of the baked beans. By the time I had finished those, the pizza and chicken had been devoured. Small wonder that I went straight to the fridge when I got home, for a snack of some sliced Virginia ham, cheddar cheese, and my favorite whole grain standby, Triscuits!

The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.

T, our events coordinator, had scheduled a therapist to come to our meeting tonight, to be our guest speaker, but apparently said therapist forgot to come. Poor T didn't have an answer, because this therapist never called to cancel, and didn't return any calls. I'm willing to put it down to a poor memory, but all the same, I hope that if I ever need a therapist, I don't encounter this one.

Lacking a guest speaker, we did another round robin, where everyone got to speak their mind on the insecurities that haunted them when they first came out, or when they first transitioned. As is the case with most of these types of discussions, it quickly morphed into a much less structured conversation. At the start, a few stuck to the format and gave a brief succinct description of actual insecurities they had experienced, then other's began to digress, delving into their psyches and delivering long soliloquies, ranging far from the topic of discussion. Not to dismiss the heart felt and intellectual concerns of sisters, but some went on so long that when my turn came, I had been lulled into a semi-conscious state, and I had completely forgotten what I planned to say, so I simply told everyone that I couldn't care less less what strangers thought about me when I was out and about. I told them that I was about to turn 62 next month, so why should I be bothered with what total strangers thought about me?

It was nice to see everyone again, but by nearly 10:00 PM, my hind parts had had it with the folding steel torture device. I was also feeling a bit ragged, having been up since 7:00 AM, so I was happy that the meeting had finally come to an end. I stood up, for the first time in three hours. Ahhhh......blessed relief! I walked back to the kitchenette, looking for something to drink that contained caffeine. I found some Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, and poured a cup, since no one had thought to make some coffee. Funny, no one ever does. I wonder if I take on that responsibility, if anyone besides myself will drink any? Sounds like an experiment for next month's meeting.

I drank my Dr. Pepper, then collected my salad bowl, which was still about a third full. The casserole had been completely devoured, so it's disposable container went straight into the trash. I then bid my farewell and retreated to my Dakota, parked out back. I made my way out of the free clinic's parking lot, and through Richmond's west end streets to the parkway that led to I-64 West. It was after 10:00PM/ 22:00 on a Friday night, but the traffic was still fairly heavy heading west of Richmond and as has been the case for the last year, three lanes of traffic leaving Richmond, were narrowed down to one lane at times, so road crews could make long needed night repairs. Once past the far west end of the Richmond metropolitan area, the repairs ceased and the road opened up again, but traffic was still relatively heavy all the way out to where I live.

Finally arriving at home, I checked my mail box on the highway out in front of our neighborhood. Nothing but catalogs. One from Beauty Boutique, one from Essentials by Anthony Richards, featuring 15% off on their entire stock of intimates, One from Duluth Trading Co., featuring their Longtail T, The Perfect Solution To Plumber's Butt, and one from Silhouettes, featuring their final summer clearance sale on tops, pants, dresses, shoes and swimsuits. Only one of these catalogs (Silhouettes) had the decency to address themselves to Melissa! Duluth Trading Co. can be forgiven, since they sell mainly manly things, but I think I need to have a serious word with Beauty Boutique, and Essentials.

Melissa XX


Lucy Melford said...


Yet it's strange: one can sit (slump?) in front of a computer screen for hours and not feel a thing; but two hours in a theatre/cinema/village hall seat can be torture. Apart from the task of fighting off sleep.


Jenny said...

Uncomfortable chairs must be a common thread to support groups worldwide. However there is hope for our group, the council have replaced the plastic torture devices with ones featuring neat little red cushion pads.

I trust by now your rear has recovered.

Caroline said...

You should have give them a talk about the benefits of roughage in the diet!

Shame to go to all that trouble to transition only to die of colon cancer or hang about with the pain of p****!

Trust your rear has recovered.

Caroline xxx

Melissa said...

@ Lucy

When I was working, people (including me) had to fight off the urge to sleep during long boring meetings. One older fellow was so bad about it, people accused him of having a limit switch on his rear end, because as soon as he sat down, his eyes would close!

@ Jenny

Chairs with cushions? I'm green with envy!

@ Caroline

Someone else brought a veggie platter with a dip of ranch dressing. Those are always popular, so I think that made my salad somewhat redundant. Still, it was a big bowl, and they did eat half of it. You always run the chance at those affairs, of bringing a duplicate item. Once I brought a Bundt cake, pre-sliced with an assortment of four or five different flavors. When I walked in, the first thing I saw on the counter was an identical Bundt cake. I haven't seen another one since.

My behind is fine. ;-)

Melissa XX

Veronica said...

Might you replace the seat of your bike with one that works better with your particular derriere? You definitely don't want exercise to become torture!

I used to go to a support group meeting that always turned into one long, boring check-in. It's not that individual stories weren't sometimes compelling. It's that the facilitator never set a time limit. I hate when that happens. I make sure it doesn't happen in my online support group meeting.

Two Auntees said...

After reading the comments, I have gotten some good tips on how to keep a meeting on topic, we intend to do a better job and keeping our PFLG meetings from dissolving into trips to the far galaxies.

It tough trying to keep to more low calorie diets when the table is loaded.


Stace said...

Definately get a better seat! Hope that it's feeling better now!


Calie said...

Well, your back side may be sore but, girl, you don't look anywhere near age 62. How do you do it? You look fabulous!

Calie xxx