Gateway Panties

Believe it or not, there have been several times in my life that I have wondered when and how the transition from the average pair of hipsters or bikini cut panties to the excessively full-coveraged undergarment occurs. I mean, it has to be a process…or should I say slippery slope? There’s no way you simply wake up one morning and decide to set your bikini cuts to the side and slip into a pair a humongous underwear and feel great about it? While I’m sure that the when and how differs for almost everyone; from my experience, with working with the older adult population, the transition is INEVITABLE! Just be prepared. Some may say, “oh, it won’t happen to me, I won’t give in, I can handle the peer pressure”…but you just wait!

All of you who have read Quitters are aware that my family has recently suffered from some laundry mishaps. Well, Rick and my children weren’t the only victims! Several pair of my everyday underpants have what I decided to happily consider (on optimistic days) pull-up handles. Then, there are days when reality sets in and I come to grips with the fact that I simply have holes in my undies where the elastic waistband has given way from the body.
So, not too long ago, I decided to replace these, along with others that were simply tired and worn or who had without question… shrunk. I was having an optimistic day and decided in that moment that there was simply no other possible reason for their ill fitting.

I decided to take my new undies selection options up a notch and drove past Walmart to our local department store in our strip mall in rural West Virginia. I began looking at this and that and skipped over many that I’m sure Rick would have approved of and stayed on task to replace my functional, everyday, get ‘er done, work panties. I was desperate to find some undergarments that I didn’t have to think about! Some that could hang with me blasting through my To Do list on my “day off” at home with 3 kids. That was all I wanted! Some that would simply stay in place! No more hoping that the people in the pews directly behind me at church truly close their eyes during prayer; allowing me to get everything adjusted before sitting down for a long Baptist sermon. I was no longer up for the near impossible task of attempting to a de-wedgie with yard gloves on! I mean, come on! Is there not a reasonable answer out there without crossing over into my mother’s generation of underwear at the age of 38!

And there they were before for me… I almost dropped my previous selections in my moment of hopeful curiosity…The Modern Brief… Huh? They were made by Jockey. How bad could they be? Were they the answer to all my problems?!?! I picked them up for further inspection and immediately knew I should put them down.. but didn’t. They were briefs for sure but with some… edginess. The side seams were “only” 5 inches long, possibly going on 6 but who’s counting, and they flaunted something about reaching only the natural waist, in comparison to their full coverage brief who easily hides the belly button.

I was tempted. I’ll admit it. I looked at them and knew they could handle all the bending, squatting, and lifting requirements of a part-time PT, mother of 3, landscaper extraordinaire, and family courier without fail or repositioning needed… But I couldn’t pull the trigger. I kind of felt like I needed to discuss it with Rick or something? It was that big of a decision. I imagined it going something like, “Hey honey, do you have a minute? I would like to discuss something important with you. I’m thinking about… you know… making the transition. How would you feel about that? Do you think it would be confusing to the children to see me in that amount of coverage?”

It all then became suddenly clear. I had in my hands a pair of “Gateway Panties”. Sure, I would promise myself that I would only buy a few and wear them only on special occasions… you know like when doing yard work or running errands on Saturdays. But then, next thing you know, I would want more and more of them, and have plans to wear them every day; despite the activity level.

I’m sure that the first few times I left the house, wearing underpants with 6 inch side seams, I would be paranoid that everyone would know as they watched me walk by. I’m sure with time however, the inspecting of strangers walking by would switch to my side of the court. “Could her coverage be better than mine? She has absolutely no panty line and didn’t seem to be looking for a place or opportunity to reposition after picking up her 2 year-old, throwing a fit in the grocery store floor. I know she has on some 10 inchers. Where did she get them though? And how could I get my hands on a pair? The need to find some panties that could reach higher and higher on my waist and extend farther and farther past my groin and on to the tops of my thighs, would be my unfulfilled desire. I’m sure that all I would be able think about would be finding longer sides seams! I bet I’d feel invincible in them…despite their awkwardly large size. I’d be confident that there was nothing I couldn’t do in them and nothing I’d be scared to try! Nothing could make them budge! NOTHING!

I stayed strong that day and left those “Modern” Brief, Gateway Panties on the rack and avoided that first step onto the steep, slippery slope into a pair of nude-colored, nylon-blend, Sateen underpants by the age of 40.

A Turkey’s Life

I told you I had poultry on the brain…

One day at work, I was evaluating a new patient. I was skimming over his history and somewhere below age and height he was to fill out his occupation. There it was: Turkey Turner. Initially I thought he may work in a restaurant with a high demand for turkey burgers and I would be treating him for an overuse injury of his wrist. However, considering his dress and the fact that we live in West Virginia, I felt I needed to investigate this further. He went on to explain to me that he worked on a turkey farm not far from here. He told me nonchalantly that he walked around all day and picked up turkeys that had fallen over. Unaware that turkeys were such clumsy animals, I continued probing. He went on to tell me that the Toms, or male turkeys, were so genetically and hormonally altered, that they could weigh 60 to 80 pounds sometimes! That would be like Harrison (6) and Sophia (11) running around on muscle-less, scaly, three-pronged legs! No wonder they would give out and fall! I couldn’t believe that they needed help to get up or they would suffocate under the weight of their own breasts!!! What a terrible way to go!

“So how many turkeys do you help up in a shift?”, I asked. I assumed he would report a small number and that he was there to mostly supervise the birds, providing a “just in case” scenario. He went on to tell me that he could turn up to a hundred turkeys in a shift!!! He also reported that he wasn’t the only Turkey Turner per shift, that it could take 4 or 5 of them to keep those birds on their legs all day! “WOW”, I said and shook my head in amazement. I couldn’t help but to compared these big breasted birds to their wild turkey counterparts who can fly and like to sleep in trees. “Geez”, I thought to myself, “just one bad day of Turkey Turner “call offs” and you’d have a 5th Grade Science Fair Project on your hands.” “Evidence for Darwin: Survival of the Fittest”. Blue ribbon for sure.

To pass time I imagined them playing games like, “All Up”, where the object of the game would be to get all the birds standing at the same time. I also imagined harmless, low-bidding gambling going on throughout the day as well. “I’ll buy you a Coke if ‘Crooked Beak’ falls on his face first.” “Deal!” “And I get your break if ‘ol Knock Knees’ falls more than 3 times before lunch.”

I asked him if the turkeys seemed thankful and gracious when he returned them to their feet. He said, “heck no, they come running and peckin’ at ya “! I was thinking then, maybe he had an ankle injury from running or even possibly a finger laceration with tendon repair.  Maybe it was his back? I can’t quite remember. He provided too much other more interesting information. I asked him, “do you look at them differently during the month of November”?  “Do you feel sorry for them or do you check them out to find the one that looks the most delicious?

You know, now that I start thinking about it, I was treating him for back pain. I specifically remember both of us practicing turkey turning body mechanics in the middle of the busy physical therapy clinic. “Deep squat, bend with your knees, pivot, and RUN!” I’m pretty sure we looked like we were doing Cross Fit. After 3 sets of 10 turkey turns, however, it was evident that my job was a piece of cake, chocolate even, in comparison to my patient’s.

I wondered if the turkey Toms had breast envy? Or maybe they just felt less preyed upon if they were smaller chested.  I worried about how some of the older Toms may feel. I’m sure some of them were really smart and wise and knew exactly where and how to peck on the feeder to give extra grain between feedings. However, because of their scrawny or limp breasts they were less valued.

I can’t imagine being a turkey and living in a world where the size and quality of my breasts played such a role in determining my value and worth as a whole. That would be absurd, now wouldn’t it?

The Willies

I have nothing of real importance to talk about today. Therefore, I’m just going to talk for a while and when I feel done I’m going to stop. You can read and gain absolutely nothing or you can stop now and resume something more important. The choice is yours, take it or leave it.

Raw chicken freaks me out. IF I was ever being interviewed, and IF they asked me to name the Top 5 Things I would most hate to be slapped across the face with; raw, cold, boneless, skinless chicken breast would make the cut.

During my lunch break today I ran home to load the Crock Pot. I only live about a mile and a half from my work. I can say “ONLY” because I have a car and I can drive. Therefore, I often run home to eat, start a load of laundry, or take care of this or that quite often. Don’t be confused, I drive even though I said “run”. I wouldn’t say “OFTEN” either if I was talking about running. I’ve come to the conclusion however, that I go home for lunch, because I have a sick desire for the pressure of trying not to run late for work 2 times a day.

I was making Mexican Chicken A’ La Crock Pot. Which means tossing some raw chick in the pot, sprinkling it with Kroger brand taco seasoning, a cup of water, and a chicken Bouillon cube… whatever those are. I then throw in a can of black beans and a can of roasted corn, stir, cover, and leave unattended just like my laundry that is also unsafe while I am not at home.

Later that evening…

“Hey kids, we’re having chicken burritos!!!”, said with excess enthusiasm. “I hate burritos”. “Burritos stink”, they shout. Trying not to sound too prepared for their reaction, “just kidding!” “we are actually having Fiesta soup”!!! “A party in a bowl”!!!  I turn around and block the crock pot with my body from their vision. 3 more Bouillons + 3 cups of water as instructed=BAM!!! Dinner with a rejection option.

Being a mother, I am forced to touch many gross things with my bare hands. I remember watching my mother shove dinner scraps into the disposal without batting an eye. I swore, then and there, I’d never do such a thing. Sometimes however I even do it with the disposal still running. It gives me thrills that I miss from my younger days.

Touching raw chicken with my bare hands however leads to excessive washing and cleaning under my nails with each decontamination session for the next hour or so. In addition, I am a health care worker so “hands” includes halfway up my forearms. One might think I am a surgeon by the way I wash, but I’m not. I’m a physical therapist with 1. an irrational relationship with meat juice and       2. dry forearms.

I usually put on rubber gloves when I’m touching raw meat. My dad gives me a new box here and there, especially if I keep cooking raw meat for him. I think its a fair trade. I was unaware of how many single-handed, high-dexterity requiring dirty jobs I had until I noticed that I always ran out of right-handed gloves first. I used to get annoyed by all my residual lefty’s until I realized that a left-handed glove inside out is a right! (Go ahead, take a minute. Mentally flip it. It’s good brain work.)

Today however, I planned on minimally touching those bad boys and simply flipping them quickly into the crock pot, thus only contaminating my thumb and index.  I decided before hand that I was capable of rationally cleaning those two digits and wanted to save a glove. I think I did fairly well however as I’m typing this, my forearms feel tight and dehydrated. Raw chicken can just be so fowl.

I think I am done for now.

I have a Part 2 to this story titled ‘A Turkey’s Life’. My voice named “Common Sense”, that you met in my story Walkin’ On Sunshine keeps telling me I should keep pushing SAVE vs PUBLISH. I really try to listen to her! …but sometimes I don’t hehehehe….


I’m beginning to learn that I do some of my best writing when there are clearly, other more important things for me to be doing.  I don’t know what it is? It could be that I’m so absolutely, mind-numbingly bored with my To-Do list task, that has been perpetually progressed from the past few weeks’ To-Do lists, that I am flooded with stories and thoughts to entertain myself… or possibly… I thrive on guilty pleasure?

Anyhow, The Greenbrier Classic, PGA tournament just finished up this weekend at The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Spring, WV. For the past several years, we have had two weeks during the summer, instead of one, with an influx of people, traffic, activity, and often an unusual amount of rain and flies. Actually, the golfers don’t bring in many flies…just the West Virginia State Fair. I actually kind of enjoy all the drama about the traffic. My favorite are the people who are retired or don’t work and wait until the traffic is the thickest to go out to get their bread and milk everyday. Maybe this gives them something to complain about the next morning when they meet at Hardees for breakfast.

I am NOT a golfer, even though I have hit some golf balls. I can see where it would be entertaining though. You don’t have to worry about people throwing balls at you or being hit and knocked down like many other sports. It also sounds like a fabulous excuse to be tied up and unavailable for 4 hours, which is precisely how long my husband tells me it takes to play a round of golf. I have yet however, to come up with a traditionally female gender activity that requires the same demands…. but I’m working on it.

Twice, and not with the same person, I was a “professional golfer’s companion”. It is a very important and I believe, rare role. One time was when I visited my brother at Emory and Henry College in Abingdon, Virginia. They had a really nice 8 hole course. I think they had to sacrifice a hole at some point for campus expansion? I’m not really sure how many they have now but if it is less than 8, I doubt they brag about it in their college recruitment pamphlets; that could leave the false impression that the education you would receive there might also be incomplete. That is where my golfing education began. I asked my brother every question I could think of about golf and provided him with endless verbal entertainment until he told me to be quiet. He would later tell me when I could resume. The other time was with my husband, Rick, at The Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, West Virginia. I drove the cart and kept the scorecard so he could focus on his game. I learned the terms hook, slice, and halfway house; totally an untapped market for PTOs. If those golfers ate half the baked goods they sucked down at hole 9, we’d have a successful fundraising event on our hands! Both times the weather was beautiful and the company even more so. It was fabulous. I’ve asked them both to take me again but somehow it just has never worked out on their end?

While my interest in golf is negligible, I still usually go over to the tournament at least one day to take it all in. This year I went with my sister. We talked and laughed and really just enjoyed being away from anyone who bothers us. The golf tournament sounded like a perfect excuse. However, just like when I watch football, I kept missing every important putt, swing, catch, or tackle because my attention, or lack thereof, kept being turned to people watching, or landscape admiring, or wondering if the people in the beautiful houses, nestled in the mountain sides overlooking the course, were watching the tournament with binoculars or on TV?


My brother, sister, and me!

Well, after 4 consecutive days of golf and 72 holes sunk by all, it was down to a four-man playoff. I’m a very competitive person but not necessarily about sports. At that moment, I really wished that they all could win but I knew very well that the sports enthusiasts present would not be satisfied with this idea or even consider it an option. All I could think about was how hard each one of them had played for the past 4 days; how each and every swing and putt meant so much to their final score and outcome status. No room for error and no starting over everyday.

I find golf scoring interesting. A lot of the time when I don’t understand something that I find curious, I look it up and try to understand it in detail. I have not been driven to do this however with golfing rules or scoring but I think I know the basics. Every course has a par score but this score fluctuates from course to course based on difficulty. I’m assuming that the course designer and a few really good players and a few really bad players get together at Hardees one morning and figure it out. Each hole also has a par score and they seem to range from 3 to 5 strokes; based on length and aggravating factors such as sand traps, water, trees, and turns. Supposedly, on a good day, an average golfer should be able to get their ball from tee to hole in this many strokes. That’s why they include good and bad players at the Hardees meeting; you know, to get the average. It also seems to me that golfers who are not professional find this extremely difficult and throw little fits when they can’t do so.

When you reach the hole in two strokes less than par it is called an Eagle. One stroke less than par is called a Birdie. We have all ready discussed par. (Reread the above if needed. Don’t worry, I sometimes have to reread things too especially if my kids are being loud or I’m hungry. It happens to us all.) One stroke over par is called a Bogey and two strokes over is called a Double Bogey. At this point I should probably research “Bogey” before I continue writing but right now I’m simply not in the mood and would rather make some things up. If you all enjoy it, I promise to never ever look the truth up again, to check myself. before posting my blog. Here it goes…if an Eagle is grand and can soar, a Birdie is still amazing because it can fly. A Bogey on the other hand must most definitely be a bird, not native to here of course, or we would all be educated about them. Based on their score rank I would assume they have the flying skills much like that of a turkey. A Double Bogey would have to be two Bogey Birds tied together at just one leg. If you then imagine them trying to coordinate a three legged race just before attempting to jump into the air and fly, that would explain their position in the scoring. I’m sure that is all correct. Please don’t check or correct me, I like to be right.  I don’t know what happens after Double Bogey but I will think about it. If you enjoy reading about poultry check these out: The Willies   A Turkey’s LifeimageAn actual photograph of a Bogey bird is extremely rare, therefore I had Harrison illustrate one for me:) I believe it is spot on!

I am actually kicking myself right now. I just had a very convincing door-to-door book sales woman leave my house who was an exchange student from the European country of Estonia. Estonia is just off the southern tip of Finland; she showed me a map. I bet they are covered up with Bogey birds there! She probably had an entire educational book, all about them, in her car and that was the ONE that I didn’t end up buying!

One more thing…what is with this handicapping system? It had to have been designed by a very intelligent yet poor golfer. He must have been sick and tired of being smoked out on the course all day every day, and he needed an excuse to say he beat someone. In addition, his skilled golfing buddy, who was first convinced that this system seemed rational and was later beat for the first time that afternoon, probably has an extensive library sold to him by an Estonian door-to-door book sales woman. “They” say it’s in place so golfers with differing abilities can compete evenly against one another or to allow you to determine how you should or would possibly perform on a course you are unfamiliar with. Others say it is simply a numerical representation of a golfers potential….but I don’t buy it. I DON’T BUT IT! It really is quite confusing. I mean…multiply the number you got from subtracting your most recent scores from something else on your past twenty rounds of golf by the slope of the course to get your differential? Does it really take 20 rounds of golf to determine how sub-par you are? Without a doubt however, Handicapping 101 is most definitely the weeder course for the hopeful golf majors. I think it would make more sense to consider factors such as: age (of course on an exponential curve), previous sports injuries with residual deficits, and most importantly: the average amount of beer or other alcoholic beverages consumed while playing a typical round.

Can you imagine getting a hole in one? I mean that’s crazy!!!! I bet it would feel amazing! Well…. I guess not to everyone? I’m sure that there are some people, in other professions, who would hate to get “a hole in one”. Take for example, the furniture delivery man. It would be terrible to have to tell your boss that you got “a hole in one”. I don’t know about you, but if I were him, and was having to respond to, “how did the deliveries go today, Sooz?”, from my boss; I might try, “well, I got an Eagle on a PAR 3” and keep going. A lie wasn’t told and I’d simply hope my boss wasn’t an avid golfer or was too prideful to ask for clarification.

I did feel sorry for the golfers and the big time fans that were there everyday, all day in the rain. I guess they all just know that comes with the territory and have gotten used to it over the years. We all have environmental issues to deal with in the workplace. There are days at my office where the air conditioning is so severely abused that even after putting on a light sweater, my old patients and I are uncomfortably cold.  The Arctic temperatures definitely effect my concentration and performance. We all know that we’re not in charge of the weather; God is. At my workplace, I’m not sure who’s in charge of the thermostat but I’m well aware that I’m not. But do I complain? No. I just have to deal with my environmental circumstances just like a professional golfer. It is exactly the same. We are all just trying to earn a living.