What is a sign you blog too much? I think when you are in the shower shaving your vagina and you start thinking about some of your blogging friends: that might be a sign.
So I am shaving my genital area (my VA-VA, my VA-GA!) because ‘darn it!’ I AM going to wear a thong tonight! Then I notice I can’t quite get all the sides triangulated in a nice even fashion (maybe because humans don’t come in geometric shapes) and I start obsessing and stop myself by thinking, “Do you WANT to become like Alphabitch? Do you want this to obsess you until you start taking the supersticky duct tape and try to give yourself a homemade Brazilian wax?” (I might have mixed up at that moment her Area 51 post and some other waxing post she had made) Anyway, I decided enough was enough and I finished and being me, I then put on my thong and took a picture of it peeking through my robe. A picture I was going to post here. Only then my robe falls down (that not so good at consistent limb function thing) and Linda goes, “Oh ho ho, I have a MUCH better view” and she takes a picture of my bum (talk about being an enabler). So during the picture edits for the blog Linda says that my bum picture is better than my vagina picture (which personally I find a bit insulting AND sort of diminishes the shaving effort put in) but here it is.
Of course then there was drying my hair and playing the dangerous game of trying to put on limited make-up and timing my mascara between the shakes which is a lot like putting on mascara during an earthquake. And then the getting dressed. I get my corset on and get help with my stockings (I decided to forgo the boots and wear black flats instead which saved about 15-20 minutes). So I am there sitting waiting for help and I suddenly excited start shouting, “Linda, Linda, do you have of that US money?” And she says yes, in a grumpy way. And I tell her to bring it and the camera quick because I am doing disability lap dancing. So I get a dollar and fold it (like the movies have shown me) and put it in my thong string. Woo hoo! Linda, the killjoy, says “Disability lap dance? You are just sitting there!” Yeah, mobility impaired lap dancing, get it?! (Seriously, I have a bunch of degrees, but I spend my time making up visual puns on mobility impaired lap dancing and then give myself tip money in my thong string as MY societal contribution). And Linda who is taking the pictures of my “lap dance” (which is me just sitting there smiling), gets in the spirit and says, “Forget the dollar bills, I think you deserve a $10” and gives it to me and I tuck it in and keep on dancing (did I mention Linda the crazy enabler?).
Anyway, I finish getting dressed, go with my basic black choker and baroque cross earrings with my widow and lace headband. On our way to the party, which is for Linda’s government section, we stop at a friends place who has better light because Linda wants “a nice picture of US, we can send...to family!” – sheesh okay! So we get a picture of US, and ironically, Linda stole my top to wear to the party from a year ago when I was AB (ish). I have my coffin purse with velvet (and vampire teddy inside) and Linda is wearing (gasp!) jewelry including earrings so we actually look socially acceptable. So here is our “love” picture. Of which my only complaint is that Linda can wear black and have sizable boobs while I wear a black corset and it is flat chest ahoy! (yeah, way to kill that special moment!)
The party itself was rather depressing because 1) we were told there was “one step” to get in, which turned out to be two giant steps down and four up and required four guys to lift my wheelchair to get me inside. Nothing like the sound of strained grunting to make you feel welcome. 2) These were people from Linda’s work, including many of the bosses who had bullied her, made her feel unhappy, underpaid her, hired her for a job and didn’t give her the wage they should have and other non-happy things. And I was going to be sort of nice except then I got introduced to one of the account directors and had a bit of blow up and got over it and was talking disability rights in Canada (the account director said, “So what are you doing to improve that?” My first thought is first, when you have at least one medico appointment a day, you are bit tired and two, hey, am I not talking to the boss of a government employee who is a caregiver but STILL required to do 15-20 hours overtime a week without pay – or rather, what Ms. Account Director ARE YOU doing for disability rights, starting with me?). Then the one man I hold personally responsible AND who owes me $60, John Hammond came up and Linda introduced me. I looked at her like, “You aren’t doing this to me, giving me the double whammy?”
Here is a big kudos to Linda about boundaries. She understood and respected that I could have feelings and express those feelings to people who she worked for, people who were her bosses. She didn’t try to stop me or even tell me after that I made things uncomfortable for her because we are two people and she respects that I am entitled to my feelings. So when I said to John Hammond that when I hear that I have to lie there, in pain, or without being able to eat because “John Hammond” has said Linda needs to do this or that, I have a name for my pain, and it is John Hammond. Then he fled. Then I started some diatribe on the remaining boss about Machiavelli's The Prince when I went into an attack with seizures, limbs doing funky non-limb things and PAIN all because I had overheated. And Linda dragged me toward the door and the cool air but somehow I pulled myself upright. I broke free and started rolling back toward this petrified wide eyed manager saying, “So if you ever again put Linda in a room and try to bully her…” and then there was another series of spasms and I passed out. Linda says this was a wonderful and terrifying counterpoint to my argument and brought home the fact that yeah, I’m sick and yeah, I need care and Linda, not the manager was the one giving it.
Later I got eyesight back in one eye and lost speech for most of the night and was on oxygen and the rest of the party, to be honest, sucked. I mean, these were work people having a party around their bosses. So except for one friend who showed up and said, “I love being drunk!” and we told her how we snuck more sex toys across the border and Linda got caught last time (and has said, “That’s it, no more, it is too embarressing!”), the evening was a bust. Well, except for the woman who went on about how beautiful I was and a couple women who liked my clothes, that was good. But since I couldn’t eat for myself (Linda was feeding me) and my talking was all slurring, making the flirty moves for a bit of Xmas party lip lock in the corner wasn’t likely to happen.
I do have to say though that I haven’t been that intentionally humiliated in a long time. I had to sit at the buffet table because I couldn’t hold fork or plate. I was sitting in my chair at the end of the line. Women would go around the table, come to within inches of me at the end of the line and intentionally not look at me, look directly over my head and walk past me in my chair. Tell me, when is the last time in the Western Culture when a woman has invaded another woman’s body space and refused to even look at her (except a quick glance from the corner of her eye)? There wasn’t even the usual, “Just let me slip by” or “I won’t be a moment” or acknowledge that you are a PERSON and have equal body space. Then there were the people who made some comment, I responded back, they couldn’t understand me, looked confused then simply turned around and left. Then there was the 20+ people who just kept glancing over, fear and curiosity mixed, a sort of “My God, what is she doing here?” And the few people who did talk to me treated me like Linda’s pet imbecile, and were visibly shocked when Linda put them straight and said, “Actually Elizabeth here is Dr. McClung.” (Double kudos to Linda).
One woman asked me, “So how are you.”
I said, “Terminal.” (My friend Mel who was eavesdropping laughed and said, “That’s Elizabeth!”)
The woman was sort of stopped and said, “I mean, how ARE you.”
I repeated, “TER-MIN-AL.”
After a couple minutes of “oh I believe in science and I know that they are going to find the cure (she didn’t even know what I had, she hadn’t asked, NO ONE asked). Then she did the “you are so courageous” thing about coming out and being here and living every day. Which a) made me understand why people with disabilities hate the C word. And b) made me misty eyed because this woman had NO IDEA what it took to live every day. I hated the way she could just jump in with her concerned look and make me remember all the pain and crap I really did and do go through and had already gone through just to be there for her to tell me I was courageous (already passed out twice that night and still counting…).
So in the end I didn’t get to drink or even eat much (if you had to be fed in public, would you want to eat much at a party?) but I did talk some, and slur some and try to talk and I made squawking noises some. And I came home and my body was, oh I was in hell. If I slept more than 40 minutes at a stretch last night I am surprised. Problems breathing, maxed out on pain meds and sedatives and in SO MUCH pain. I was moaning in my sleep and waking myself up; that much pain. But it was worth it; to try. Yes, it sucked as a party but if I stop trying, if I stop making myself look as fab as I can and getting out there, then the time it is a great party, I won’t be there to be part of it. So, invite me to YOUR party please. Because here is what I looked like, with wings poking out behind, at the beginning of the night, when everything was possible.
I’m big on that, trying for those possibilities. I’m not giving up on people, even if people don’t treat me with the same body space or social courtesies that they use to treat other able bodied people. And yeah, it hurts to think that now, most of Linda’s office workers see me through that look of aghast curiosity and fear on their face. That they might even start to pity HER for what she has to ‘put up with.’ But really, I was still Elizabeth even when Mel was there and no one could understand me as I am slurring “Eeeexxxx Oyyys” (Sex Toys!) till I am shouting it out and they finally get it. And the part of my face that isn’t twitching is grinning and we are all talking about vibrators and her husband has moved quickly out of ‘female circle of forbidden topics.’ You know, those conversations men will leap off cliffs rather than have to stand there looking supportive while their wife starts talking clitoral stimulation in public.
So, on to the next party, because it will be better, or at least another possibility.
47 minutes ago