Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life, In Its Fullness

When I was young, I thought life was going to be either good or bad.  I was mistaken.  Life is both good *and* bad.  When good things happen, there are dark sides; when bad things happen, there are silver linings.

This is especially apparent in my current circumstance.  Like most Long Islanders, I don't have electricity.  Which means no heat and no hot water.  It was fun and novel for 2-3 days, then the thrill wore off and life got hard.  The temperature in my house is slowly descending; it's now in the mid-50's.  Of course the refrigerator stopped working and everything in it is now spoiled.

The worst thing, I find, is not having hot water.  Not having a shower for a week means you wake up feeling grungy and there's no way to improve that.  Your hair sticks out sideways; your skin feels icky; and there's not enough cologne or perfume to mask your natural scent.

I'm used to a routine of taking a hot shower every morning.  Not being able to do that started to affect me emotionally.  I was depressed at sliding out of a cold bed, into cold air, for an inadequate sponge-bath with cold water. 

Fortunately, with the help of a fuzzy friend, that changed an hour ago.  Alerted by my good pal, I learned the local YMCA just opened up and is offering free hot showers to anyone in the community.  I rushed over and... OH MY GOD!!

Seriously, oh my God!  I'm human again!  I took a shower three times the length of normal, with blistering hot water.  I scrubbed half of my skin off and now I'm lobster-red.  My skin is terribly painful from the scrubbing but, damn it, I wasn't going to stop washing.  Luckily, I was girly enough to bring lotion to soothe my burning skin after the shower.

Here's the funny part.  In the midst of my personal little tragedy, there is some comedy.  Like the pictures I posted yesterday show, with destruction there is life; with decay there is growth; with ugliness there is beauty.  With tragedy, there is comedy.
I was poised to take my long-desired shower, in a communal shower-room surrounded by nine other naked men in very close proximity.  I pulled off my pants and realized I was wearing pink panties.  Okay, I could slide them off with my pants and no one was the wiser.  Then I pulled off my socks and realized, oops!, I have ten toes with bright red nail-polish on them.  No way to conceal those in the shower.  Now, you know -- there was never any doubt about my going into the shower; the only issue was how nine male strangers would react to the sight.  I steeled myself emotionally and decided to endure any abuse.

Happily, nobody said anything.  I'm sure several saw the sparkling toesies but were too flummoxed to vocalize their thoughts.  Just as well, because I wasn't going to accept any crap in my pursuit of the Holy Grail.

Have you ever walked into a room of strangers knowing all eyes are on you?


  1. Glad you got a hot shower. I'm in lower Manhattan and as such my power was restored Friday--showering was the first thing I did. I tried to take a cold shower but just ended up shivering and miserable and not very clean--I couldn't stand the cold water long enough to get all the conditioner washed out of my hair!! Hopefully your power comes back soon!

  2. I can only imagine how luxurious this shower must have felt...and I would love to hear the stories about your toes in other households tonight. I'm glad you didn't let that stop you!

  3. Aww, I'm glad you got your shower, with your head held high. Hope your power is restored very soon.

    Over the summers when we've had flooding in Nashville, we've lost power and I become that grumpy mess after one day without a shower. I know I throw out many many thanks every day I have a hot shower.

  4. I'm so glad you got a shower and I hope your power is restored soon, honey.

  5. So glad you got your shower! I can only imagine what a relief that was!

    Good for you for just going for it, pink panties and sparkly toes and all!

  6. wow, I had no idea it was at that state where you live.. lots of damage thats for sure.. glad you made it through the shower with no side comments-- however I bet it was your attitude that kept them all in check.. I could just hear from your writing you were giving off "NO NONSENSE" ... LOL

    great photos by the way!! J

  7. I'm so sorry you've been without electricity for so long, and I know not showering must've gotten to you. I'm pretty OCD about a daily hot shower. Big thumbs up to the Y!

    I bet after the week everyone in that shower had had, toe nail polish might've actually been a nice relief. I see guys getting manis and pedis at our local salon all the time, and I know some friends that paint their men - and their pets - toe nails pretty frequently. Probably they just thought you and your significant other had a little too much fun :)

  8. O,no! After the earthquakes here in Christchurch many were without power and water, some for months, unbelieveably.We had a week without one and 4 days without the other,but I can't remember which,now.My G dug a long drop, and many were still using chemical toilets for up to a year after the events.scary stuff! is IS amazing just how that one little thing, a hot shower,can affect you when you aren't getting it!It's a lesson, in many ways, but not one I want again! I'm so glad you can get to the Y,good on them! Things like this do bring communities together,at least.
    I am cackling about you being caught out with pink panties and nail polish!!! I wouldn't think anyone would give much of a shit these days!
    I have always felt like all eyes are on me wherever I go-I'm a Capricorn,it comes with the turf!

  9. That story really gave me a good laugh. It's definitely one of those funny-after-the-fact stories, as I'm sure it was terribly awkward at the time. But good thing you were saved from the clutches of ickiness!

  10. Ohh but they were only pink pants and nailpolish, won't hurt anyone! If someone has an issue with those, then they could watch in the mirror and ask "am I narrow minded?"

  11. :-D ! What a great story

    Maybe, just maybe... one of those fellas admired your pink panties and polish? Life is random. Never know where you'll find inspiration ;)

    I'm glad you got your shower. I'm hoping with all my might that power returns to you pronto. You probably have a network of helper elves locally but if you need something - let me know.

  12. I'm hearing more and more folks are getting power back - so I really hope you'll be one of them very soon! I'm glad you got a hot shower and I did chuckle at the thought of your pink panties and sparkly toes!

  13. Glad you were able to get that oh so luxurious hot shower anbd can feel human again. i hope you get your power restored quickly!!

  14. This made me giggle! The thought of nine other dudes having to deal with someone wearing pink underwear and nail polish is pretty comical. Glad you were able to get a shower...I know how wonderful it can be after a long time without. When I lived in NC, we were without power for days thanks to an ice storm...we "went for a swim" at the Y, for about five minutes, then we all piled into the locker room for a real shower. It was heaven!

  15. True life is neither all good nor all bad. It's always a mix of both!
    Your painted toenails story made me smile :) I wonder what the other guys were thinking when they noticed!
    Glad you got a nice hot shower. I know what it's like not having hot water. Even if you wash with cold water you don't feel clean. Do you have a bathtub at your place? When my parents brought their holiday home in France it was basically a barn (the water was pumped from the well, not hot, and the toilets were in a shack in the garden). We would boil water on the gas cooker and fill the bathtub to have a hot wash. Worked well!
    Take care

  16. I am glad you got round the lack f power, the shower sounded heavenly. I associate washing/showers with feeling put-together too, so I understand and sympathise. I hope you et your power back soon x

  17. I'm so glad you are feeling human again... I hate how I feel when I'm not clean, I can only imagine how awful it was after a week!

    I have to admit, I smiled a bit at your pink toes in the shower. Perhaps the guys thought it was left over from Halloween?

  18. Oh,my gosh. That was so funny about your painted toes and pink panties. lol
    So glad you got that shower without any hassles. I'm sure you were in no mood to put up with anyone's crap had they offered it. ha
    I was wondering if you were out of power. Soooo sorry for that. I can't even imagine. I hope everything is back up and running for you real soon, Ally.

  19. Gosh, I can't imagine that long without power. Or a shower. Thank goodness for the Y. I am glad you feel human again. I really hope things get back to normal soon.

  20. Glad you got to suds it up and safely! Here's to a speedy electricity and hot water recovery!

  21. first off, glad you are ok. my couple of days without power doesn't compare to your experience, but i know how icky it is to have to suffer thru cold showers. i wouldn't care about those sparkly toes at that point either, lol!!


  22. Ahahahaha oh Ally...
    knowing myself i would have died a little - and i think it's great you stood up to your colored tootsies ;)

  23. Ally. :) So glad you got in that shower.
    I love your perspective and attitude to bits.

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  25. That reminds me of a scene from Hair. Have you scene it?

    1. I saw the movie decades ago but don't remember that scene. I'll have to watch it again.