I'm sure most women designate a day each week for annoying chores that build over time. Because my work schedule is flexible, my catch-all day is Tuesday. It's crammed with running to the post office, grabbing dog food at the pet store, stopping at the outlet shops, and my favorite, tackling the toilets.
I hate Tuesdays. Not because I do all the things I dislike, but because it's never a day that makes me proud. I've never felt fulfilled because I remembered all the letters or bills for the post office or that I finally removed the rust from the bolt on the toilet. The humdrum of the day escalates to guilt because my list of duties is never completed. There's always an interruption that steals too much time and shreds my list in a dust storm of activity, leaving an even bigger mess behind.
Last Tuesday was no different. I opened my eyes just as our cuckoo clock tweeted six times. I wondered if hearing the cuckoo first was an ominous commentary for my list-filled day. I tried to move out of bed but my arm refused to budge from a rotator cuff injury.
Great. I guess I'd better call the doctor, I thought, feeling the pain getting worse. This new interruption was going to throw off my whole day of trying to handle my already-full list.
With only one eye open I stumbled into the bathroom. My husband, Ron, had changed the light bulbs from a safe 60 watt to a spotlight 380 watt. I clutched my eyes trying to spare myself from being blinded. I should remind him that at our age there are a few things I prefer to leave unlit.
I squinted one eye just long enough to retrieve my toothbrush, then smacked off the light and retreated back into the darkness. I felt around for the toothpaste, unscrewed the lid, and squirted at my toothbrush.
This is pretty cool. I'm good in the dark.
I happily brushed my teeth for about three seconds before the terrible taste made me realize something was wrong.
I flipped on the light and blinded myself again. But kept the light on long enough to see a tube on the counter that horrified me: Preparation H. I screamed and immediately spit and tried to fill my mouth with water.
My dog, Toby, ran in to see what he could do to help. His pawing and wagging tangled in my robe, and in the frenzy I fell on top of him as he yelped and bit my ankle. One hand went in the toilet, the other hand still grasping my toothbrush jammed into the trash can, and my head popped the side of the cabinet.
"Debbie, what's going on?" Ron said as he walked into the bathroom.
The pain throughout my body didn't equal the terrible taste in my mouth and all I could do was spit and yell for more water. I tried to get up but couldn't get a hardy grip on anything.