Monday, June 15, 2009

I Fell Off The Wagon and I Can't Get Up

Sometimes I forget how old I really am. I mean I think I’m 18 most of the time then I try and do something hard like, you know exercise and I am reminded of the fact that I might think I’m eighteen but my body tells my thinker “Dream on!” Oh don’t start thinking I went out and tried to do anything stupid like exercise or get healthy. You really don’t know me at all if you think I’m out there running a marathon or something similarly crazy. I have said this before, the only reason I’m running is if something big and hairy is chasing me and honestly I’d have to think about it real hard even then. I have several reasons for this. My first reason is that I hate to run. My second reason is I REALLY hate to run. My third reason is that I might get hit by an errant meteor and smushed to molten nuclear waste in which case the big hairy thing chasing me won’t want me.

I am not writing about that no siree. I am writing about feeling old. First let me say “My name is Gladys and I’m a sugar-holic.” (This is the part were you guys say “Hi Gladys”) You see I took me and Kahuna completely off of sweets about 6 weeks ago. I have had notta, none, zip, zero zilch sugar other than what is in water and cardboard. Wait is there sugar in cardboard? Any how we have had none. We have eaten nothing but cardboard, shoe leather and drank swamp water. You should try it. It is a very cleansing diet. We ate nothing that had even passed by the sugar canister, until yesterday.

How, you ask did you fall off the wagon? I was attacked by acute hunger pains and the only thing to eat was cake. You don’t believe me? Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it. I can pass up almost anything but cake is my kryptonite, my Achilles heel and my downfall. It was the cake that did me in.
Doodles, our daughter-in-law, wife to techman, graduated from college yesterday. We got up early scrubbed our faces and drove up along the California coast to witness this auspicious event. We drove past point breaks and pods of surfers.
We wound our way through the star studded berg of Malibu and the fertile fields of Oxnard until we finally reached our destination of Santa Barbara, home of Oprah and Rob Lowe. Yes we had arrived in our khaki shorts and our white t-shirts. I looked at Kahuna and him at me and we said “Guess we better get gussied up”. We strolled into the upscale Santa Barbara hotel at which we were not staying. We carried our luggage and acted as if we had reservations which we did not. We slipped into the hotel bathroom and emerged moments later dressed spiffily and slipped back out to our awaiting vehicle. We arrived to find the rest of the family still in the process of dress. Some were showered and wet waiting in line for the use of a blow dryer or curling iron. Have you ever tried getting four women dressed in an apartment with one bathroom? Well I wouldn’t advise it.
We managed somehow to get the graduate into our vehicle and proceed to follow her husband in another vehicle. Now I must stop here and tell you the University of California at Santa Barbara is a gorgeous campus. It is on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is also home to about 20,000 full time students plus faculty and administrative staff. All of which converge on the THUNDERDOM for graduation services. Yes, I said THUNDERDOM. Why do I capitalize that word? Can you say it any other way? Oh and no Mel Gibson was not in the THUNDERDOM nor was Tina Turner. I was highly disappointed but I digress. We had to park five hundred million miles away from the actual ceremonial grounds and hoof it. (Remember I’m in heels. I told you I dressed up). We let the graduate out at the light so she could just scuttle across the street. Then we found our remote parking spot and went in search of the rest of our party. Once we found our graduate we learned that she had forgotten her sash. Why is it at any important event something is always forgotten? Luckily Lulu’s boyfriend saw it hopped on his trusty skateboard and wheeled it right on over to us. Yes from the same apartment from which we drove. All was right in the graduate’s world and so it was with us.

Those are not Mardi Gras Beads that is a money lei.

We made our way to the center stage and looked for a seat. We looked out over the row upon row of chairs and decided instead to stand in the shade for awhile. We watched as the graduates entered.
We watched as the faculty descended. We watched as the crowd played musical chairs and settled in for the duration. We wondered about and listened as the chancellor spoke. We strolled from one side to the other while the Dean spoke. We finally sat when the distinguished guest speaker began his oration. Then at long, very long, last the graduate’s names were called and one by one they ascended the stairs to the platform, they shook hands with the dignitaries, received a piece of paper rolled up which stated: Your real diploma will be mailed to your last known address or to Mars depending on whether your fees are all paid and your cap and gown are returned. You must send in another four thousand dollars to receive a signed, sealed and official diploma. You must also submit a forty-two thousand page thesis on what you have learned while at this institution and it was signed by Dean Wormer. The graduates then took their tassels and moved them from one side to the other and they were declared official. I was still not feeling old. I was however feeling very hungry.

Kahuna grabbed my hand and we hiked the two hundred and seventy five million miles back to our vehicle with our newly graduated scholar in tow. We returned to her and Techman’s matchboxed size apartment and changed once again in to shorts and t-shirts. Then it was time to eat. Only not knowing our new dietary habits they had nothing but scrumptious sandwiches surrounded in yeasty doughy white bread. They had lovely salty corn chips and rivers of salsa. I held myself back. I ate only a little bit of salad and scraped the guacamole off of one sandwich and picked the cheese and mushrooms from another. Kahuna was equally as hungry and he dove into the pile of sandwiches not bothering with removing the bread. I looked at him and he said the magic words “one won’t hurt you.” My blood sugar was a little low. I was feeling a bit puny. Yes I needed something of substance and just a little bit of bread wouldn’t kill me, would it? I picked and pulled and nibbled feeling just a wee bit guilty. I justified it with the fact I had eaten nothing all day. I finally reconciled it within my own pea brain. I had been saving up calories and carbs not to mention the sugar molecules from all the many weeks that I had none. I could afford this. I mean it was like I had been banking my daily allotment by eating cardboard and drinking water. So I made a withdrawal from the First National Carb Bank and ate bread.
I was feeling better my head was a little clearer. I did however feel as if my stomach somehow responded immediately to the yeasty wonderfulness that is bread and bulged out another two inches. I sat up a little straighter and sucked in my belly thinking, ha I’ll show you. Then it happened. The cart got up ended. I didn’t just fall off that wagon. I was catapulted from it. They brought out “the cake”. It was beautiful and white with yellow sugary roses and lots of creamy frosting. Then they cut into it and it was layer after layer separated by chocolately whipped creaminess. I couldn’t control myself. I leapt from the table and dove into the cake making some type of growling hissing noises. My children’s friends were sore afraid and ran into the house. I hissed and growled and gobbled and they stared at me from the sliding glass door. I stuffed my mouth full and licked the plate until I was finally satiated. I fell into a sugar induced coma and sat glassy eyed licking the excess sugary frosting from my face and fingers.

There are no pictures here because honestly, it wasn't pretty.

The grown children came outside and inspected their near sugar induced comatose mother and smiled. They looked at one another slapped high fives and said “who is up for beer pong?” They then spent the next several hours engaged in either pong or imbibing in other means of alcoholic frivolity until it was finally time for Kahuna and I to leave the night to the young. I remember saying to my mate as I laid my head on the pillow “those kids are going to be hung-over tomorrow”.

The morning dawned and the light shown through the blinds to our 1980’s d├ęcor hotel room at the no-tell motel. My right eye opened and took in the day smiling smugly to myself that my children would all be feeling the effects of a night of swilling the spirits. Then I felt it, that familiar pang. I felt that pressure behind my eyes and the knife in my head. I felt the swirl of the room and the desire for copious quantities of water, aspirin and greasy food and in that order. I had a full blown hang over. I had a sugar hang over. I again thought of my alcohol consuming offspring and that they must be experiencing the same symptoms. I got showered and dressed, very gingerly I might add. Kahuna immediately got me my requirements and called the children. I smiled my knowing smile. I listened while he inquired as to their health and general well being. Then he smiled that knowing smile. He looked at me with that superior grin and said “nope not a one of them is hung-over, just you.” That is how I knew I was no longer young. My youth was gone. I can no longer ingest the magical crystal known as sugar without feeling 102 years old and hung over.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's a sad, sad day isn't it? I have reached the age where one night of alcoholic overindulgence results in not one, but two days of hangover. You better believe I don't overindulge very often.

Pammerys said...

I feel your pain! Great post!!

Kelley said...

Great post! I've tried going without sugar, but after the first day, I'm so cranky my family is practically pelting me with sugar cubes.

Ed said...

You needed to look beyond Thunderdome. He was probably just a block down the road...

Oh...and you know what you're called when you lei for money...just sayin'...

cozzie laura said...

great post! I feel your pain. I actually caught myself saying "no thank you, I can't have caffine after 8 pm," much to my disgust.

Gladys said...

Jenn - forget the alcohol when the heck did I loose my ability to overdose on sugar?

Pammerys - Yes it is hell getting old

Kelley- They just lock me in a crate and only let me out to cook and clean.

VE - What do they call you? I looked BEYOND THUNDERDOM and I even looked for Mad Max but all I found was Crazy Cora.

Cozzie- I have not given up caffine. They would just have to bury me if I gave up my caffine.

Suzy said...

As Jenn said, about the 2 day hangover, that's when I quit. HOwEVER I am as addicted to sugar as you are and I know to get rid of the cravings, eat more protein. I went off sugar once and plunged into such a physical depression.

I have to go frost my steak now.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

I don't recover from a good time like I used too. As much as I hate to admit it, i have to not have as good of a time as I used to. Does that make sense?

Wonderful story!

Gladys said...

Suz- I am on a high protein diet. In fact I've been eating Purina's High Pro Puppy food. What? It said HI PROTEIN.

Katherine - I gave up on having too good of a time after I drank a half gallon of tequila and had the To-killa Flu for 2 weeks.

Tatersmama said...

Oh my GAWD... thank you for this!
It's nice to know I'm not alone (and it's even better to LMAO at 8 am in the morning)
I need to go clean my keyboard now.
And get another cup of coffee.

What a joy to read!!!


Girly Stuff said...

Then you might as well have done a keg stand. And another slice of cake.

I can't drink tea after 6pm. Do you feel better now?