Having lived with Nurse Judy (my critical alter ego) for so long, I find myself responding to many of her criticisms by finally trying to improve myself. I have to admit I do have a great many flaws.
She’s right when she says I’m out of shape. I am so far out of shape, no one can tell what my shape is. Not only is the shape gone, but my sagging body has plumped up until I wheeze walking up the driveway. Not only that, I seem to have lost my social skills and have become somewhat of a hermit. I’d rather spend any off time curled up on the couch with a good book.
The only intellectual activity I care to indulge in is playing bingo and Nurse Judy tells me that takes no intellect at all. My exercise regimen consists of walking from the couch to the kitchen to over fuel my aging body with inappropriate food choices. I have to admit Nurse Judy is also right to criticize my fashion sense. I’d rather not get dressed at all and am content to wear my dirty robe all day. It really is very comfy – no belts, buttons or restrictions of any kind to remind me that I am a tiny bit rotund. If I must get dressed, old disgusting “mom jeans” with an elastic waist and an oversized sweatshirt work fine for me.
Once I’ve taken a good look at myself through N.J.’s eyes, I do see that I’m a bit of a mess, and I am going to do something about it. I decide to take it a step at a time. Somehow, I have been thwarted at every step. First, I decide to tackle my exercise regime. I used to have a CD walking and yoga tape that I worked out with every day. I am going to renew that schedule but first I have to find the CD. It is finally located (a bit cobwebby and warped) in a basket on the back porch. I put on my stretchy jeans and pop in the CD.
Of course it doesn’t work, so that plan has to be put on the backburner. I move on to a mental improvement plan that will get me off the couch and out into society. Again, I decide that the first step will be a baby step. I’ll take in a movie, but not one on TV that I can watch from my couch. I will go to the big city of Tallahassee to a movie theater with lounge chairs. That really appeals to me.
I pay my money and adjust my seat. I doze through the commercials. The movie just begins when there is a loud boom and all the lights go out. I don’t know if this is a terrorist attack or what. I try to remember the rules. They were something like run, hide, or fight. I’m not sure, but I try to get me out of the lounging position so I can do at least one of these.
Of course, the lounge chair isn’t working, as there is no electricity. I eventually manage to crawl out, bad knees and all, and receive a pass for admittance to another movie at a later date. (By the way, I met no terrorists. It was a lightning strike.) Another plan was now on hold. To go out in the world to that movie, I bought myself a new jump suit.
I washed it before wearing it, and the shoulder straps stretched so badly the top part didn’t even come up high enough to cover my bra. Nurse Judy scolded me for buying such a cheap garment. I made do by cutting the straps in two and tying them on my shoulders. When I put my sweater on, the lumps from the bows made me look deformed, but that wasn’t the major problem.
I had no idea how I would ever go to the bathroom without completely disrobing. I guessed this was another ‘hold’ problem. From the movie, I ventured out in the storm with a plastic bag on my head. I could feel my jump suit shrinking further in the crotch, as I finally did the “run” part of my terrorist escape plan. I made it to the car and drove to a restaurant. I was going to have a healthy lunch. I ordered a vegetarian dish with loads of vegetables. I was enjoying it when I noticed some of the morsels in it were meat.
I checked my receipt and I was eating a pork stir fry. I had someone else’s order. I decide I couldn’t reform, even when I wanted too. I drove home, put on my old robe, grabbed a book, turned on the TV and curled up on the couch with a bag of chocolates by my side. I was soon dozing happily. Now that’s the good life. My entire reform package is on hold at the present time.
By Judy Conlin