GALLOPIN’ GRANDMA: New Year, New Nonsense

By on January 26, 2016

Jackson, WY – It’s the new year again and the time has come to make all those resolutions we have no intention of keeping. I will explain with a cautionary tale.

Here is Gallopin’ Grandma’s husband in high school, 1947. He is planning on running faster than a speeding train and leaping tall buildings in a single leap. (Photo: Gallopin’ grandma)

Here is Gallopin’ Grandma’s husband in high school, 1947. He is planning on running faster than a speeding train and leaping tall buildings in a single leap. (Photo: Gallopin’ grandma)

A friend of mine decided that she would spend the year becoming a physical goddess. She would run a marathon in spite of the fact that she had rarely walked more than 10 feet. She went to Wal-Mart, bought a pair of running shoes and began her quest. She started out at night because it was dark and no one could see her, and she took along the dog who did not want to run a marathon. At some point she fell over the dog and landed on the sidewalk, breaking a number of things. Eventually, her children missed the dog and went to look for it, discovering their mother on the sidewalk. They wanted to know why she was there and she told them to get her the hell out of there. I’m sure she never ran a marathon and neither did the dog. I am telling you this to remind you that in the heat of battle, some people make dumb decisions that they come to regret.

I can remember when workout fever hit my hometown of Corn Cob, Iowa. Everyone ran out and either joined a gym or bought some expensive equipment they couldn’t afford and didn’t know how to use. The gym-goers lasted about two or three weeks, or until they realized that they didn’t have cute workout clothes and they would get terrible BO and shin splints. A number of young women thought they could meet hot guys there, but you know how that goes.

For a while the emergency room was filling up with victims who thought they could be like those people on TV and would soon have a “six pack.” The closest most of them came to a six pack was the refrigerator. Mavis Merch, the mayor’s wife, bought one of those bars that fasten on to a doorframe like a curtain rod on which you can do pull ups and stuff. Mavis took a flying leap and bar, doorframe and Mavis catapulted into the next room. Worse came to Oscar Oscarson when he bought one of those incline treadmills. He started off at a decent rate, but something went wrong (something always goes wrong) and the treadmill rocketed into warp speed. Oscar whizzed off the back and kept going. I don’t think he ever used it again, but the dogs liked to ride up and down on it. He sold it at a garage sale for $10. The dogs were sorry to see it go.

Someone recently suggested that I could become a new me and look just like those stars on the red carpet. All I needed to do was to wear shapewear like they did. It would flatten my many lumps and I would look sleek and fabulous. When I was a kid, shapewear was something called a foundation garment, which looked like sheet metal and whalebone fastened together with rope. It flattened. Everything.

No, they said, this is just like underwear, all soft and stretchy. I got some and when I finally struggled into the top it rolled up under my arms like a window shade. I then attempted the bottoms but they had molecular properties and bonded with my skin. The lumps went away but I felt like one of those rubber toys you squeeze and the eyes pop out. Mine did. I cut the shapewear off with a pair of scissors. I heard a bang, and my lumps leapt out into the fresh air where they were glad to be.

I don’t think there needs to be a new me. I have been friends with the old me for a very long time and we are used to us. We spent a lot of effort digging our cozy rut and we are happy there. At our age, we are happy to be anywhere. PJH

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