Recommended wine accessory of the day: Yes, I said accessory. My friend Kim brought me this perfect gift: A cool, handmade house for wine corks! How often have you tasted a new wine and thought you’d surely remember the name so you could buy more, but then you stood in the wine aisle with nothing but a first consonant? Enter the decorative and functional CORK HOUSE … the perfect accessory for the home bar! A wonderful gift — thanks Kim!
Well, after about a half century of people begging me to shut up, one of them has put the whammy on me but good.
I have been rendered mute.
I do not like it. Everyone around me seems much happier, but it is totally NOT WORKING for me.
On Wednesday, I started an EXCELLENT book, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. A must read. But the protagonist, Edgar, is a mute, and because I r-e-a-l-l-y relate to the characters when I read, I awakened Thursday with a scratchy throat. I bravely endured my two-hour shift recording for the blind and reading impaired though, croaking out two hours worth of a sports magazine that sounded like a middle school boy in voice-change limbo.
And in all my heroics I strained my vocal chords.
I first realized I’d been muted when, in the middle of the night, someone (feline, not human) was doing the three-gags-til-the-furball-flies noise right next to my pillow. NOOOOO, I mouthed futiley, get on the ground, go, go, down, get down….
And before I could fling it across the room, like I usually do to help a sick kitty, it barfed right on top of me. Thank goodness for thick (and washable) quilts. Yes, I was distraught, though not surprised, to find myself swathed in previously digested Fancy Feast, but I was MORE distraught that I’d lost my voice.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal. But the ramifications are quite far-reaching.
You would understand if you’d seen me trying to stop my dog from digging in the far corner of the yard, clapping so hard that the palms of my hands bruised. When he finally looked over, I started flapping my arms like a bird. No, I have no idea what that was supposed to mean, and –no surprise, here — neither did my dog. So he finished digging to China and then tracked all of the pan-Asian dirt throughout my house.
After that, one of my daughters called. Not able to even squeak out a “hey,” I rejected her. But I immediately texted her.
I CAN’T TALK.
I CAN’T TALK. NOTHING.
why? where are you? call me when you’re done.
NO MY VOICE IS GONE AND I CAN’T TALK.
ok, I’ll call you after this class
Well, little darlin’, life isn’t a Disney movie — you know, as wonderful as it was when Ariel’s voice was suddenly released from the shell where it had been neatly stored away and she burst into song? Mine is not going to just come out like that. And while we’re hitting you with reality, Ariel wasn’t real.
But I digress. Friday got a whole lot better, as I elected to stay home and not speak a word. Until, of course, we had tickets to the Louisville-Connecticut game and I can be quiet while you pull my toenails off, and I can be quiet when you waterboard me, but I cannot be quiet at a college basketball game.
Instead of cheering, I decided to clap really, really, REALLY loudly. So the players could hear my enthusiasm. Except after the first 3-pointer, I remembered, quite painfully, that my hands hurt like a derelict schoolkid’s butt in the 1960s.
I did take care of my vocal chords by offering them cold beer at frequent intervals. They seemed to appreciate the gesture, even rewarding me with the best volume of the day when I tapped my husband on the shoulder and said, in my best Oliver Twist: “Please, sir, could I have some more?”
Things worked out better for me than for poor Oliver.
My muteness remained through the weekend, while my vocal chords quietly (silently, in fact) goaded my lungs into joining the conspiracy. Right. A cough. A nasty cough.
But I was hungry, so yesterday I took my cough on the road. Maybe you recall my horror when I found that they are putting health clinics into grocery stores, begging germs and naked produce to mingle and merge. Should you need a refresher, here it is: https://ashleyolsonrosen.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/trials-and-tribulations-of-a-frequent-shopper-grocery-that-is/. So I sped through the store, praying I wouldn’t have a coughing fit, because they last like 20 minutes and involve not only coughing, but also (this is the general progression): eye watering, face reddening, doubling over, eye bulging and finally … and this is where the fans really start to accumulate … gagging until I’m sure my spleen is going to come plunging out. This time into the pyramid of Yukon Golds.
So I stumbled over to the deli section, where they have water and Cokes in coolers for those buying lunch or dinner on the run. And you’re supposed to pay for it right there. So I stumbled over and pulled out a bottle of water, thinking it would either stop my coughing or preserve my spleen until I could get it reinserted. Luckily there was a worker sitting right there, so I figured when he turned and saw that all the blood in my body had converged in my face and my temporal arteries were perilously close to blowing all over his rotisserie chickens, he would come to my aid.
But he just glanced up at me and continued sticking thermometers in the tray of 100 chickens. And I couldn’t talk to ask for help.
Finally he gave me a look of disgust (I can’t say I blame him) and said “I don’t have any cash.”
So, with a look that I’d like to think was filled with fiery indignation but probably looked more like a sickly and repulsive middle aged mom, I met his eyes … and opened the bottle and took a big swig. Without paying for it first. Then I dramatically swiped my arm across my mouth and he, in his superior way, went back to his glamour job, taking the temperature of deceased poultry.
Rock on, buddy.
I maintained my facade of wellness until I stood in the checkout line behind a doctor in scrubs, when I felt a tickle and knew another fit was about to start. I frantically grabbed the cold water from my cart, threw my head back and chugged half of it. It served its purpose and I finally screwed the top back on, uttering something like, “Oh, wow, thank God for this. This is what I needed. Yes!”
The doc looked really concerned. But I’m pretty sure it’s because he thought it was vodka.