This entry is like a corn maze. I didn't know where I was going until I got to the end.
On a day like yesterday or today,
Sunday, in November, I would usually be playing a racket sport
somewhere. For hours. Tennis indoors, or platform tennis outdoors. Now
I'm too crippled to play anymore. And it has no longer been weeks or
months since I had a racket in my hand, but three years. Not being able
to burn off the excess competitive juices has taken its toll. On
my fat ass for sure. But mostly on my mental state. I'm not a
person who likes to sit around for long, but now I have no choice. And
I feel like a caged animal. Just ask people around me.
I tried swimming. Not once, but
twice, even a third time. BLECH. That water is freaking cold. Even
inside. Except during the dog days of summer. And it's a solitary sport
-- lap after lap after lap. I tried competing against myself and it
wasn't the same as competing against someone I could pretend to hate
for a set or two. I mean, when it was just me, I was reduced to
wondering how many seconds, okay minutes, could I take off a single lap
-- did I mention I'm not very fast?
I even bought all the equipment the
lap people wear:. a snorkel so you don't have to turn your head to
breathe. Goggles so my eyes won't turn red. A swim cap so my hair
doesn't turn green. And three Speedos so I can have a dry one to
wear while the wet ones are airing out. Did I mention
earplugs? I didn't get a waterproof iPod or any of the other
gadgets -- they'd just weigh me down. It occurred to me that water polo
would be fun, but they don't have leagues for women in their sixties.
We have two outdoor swimming
extravaganzas in my town and an entire store devoted to the sport, but,
despite my best efforts to embrace the opportunity that being crippled
has afforded me, swimming is not for me. It's for people who like dry
flaky skin, smelling vaguely like chlorine, and permanently bad hair.
Which brings me to Wal-Mart,
because not being able to play my sports reminds me that I have to take
prescriptions too, which I usually get at Walgreen's.
A long time ago I decided not to
shop at Wal-Mart because they seem to be making it impossible for mom
and pop stores to exist. And mom and pop stores are what this
country was built on. So I refused to shop there. I really
do try to patronize my local shops first, from the book places to the
restaurants, to the dress stores, even the coffee places, too -- their
hot chocolate is better than Starbuck's boiled milk stuff.
However, when Wal-Mart started offering huge discounts on prescription
drugs, I peeked at their prices. The stuff I take costs about thirty
dollars a month at Walgreen's. At Wal-Mart, it costs four bucks.
Walgreen's, in an attempt to be competitive, offers a free membership
to AARP and a ten dollar card which you get for buying ten dollars
worth of Walgreen's branded stuff. Woo-hoo.
Walgreen's is closer. That's about it. But since I'm not spending
money on court fees, membership fees, new equipment or the latest
clothing, which used to add up to much more than thirty dollars a month
when I was playing, I could still go to Walgreen's and not succumb to
I'll think about that today on my way downtown. To work. And not play.