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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Now I'm Schlepped

When I was a kid I used to look cross-eyed at people in an attempt to provoke a reaction from them. If my mother was around she'd usually say something like, "Your face is going to get stuck that way and you're going to look like that for the rest of your life. Is that what you want?" I'm not positive, but I think all moms of that generation said something like that. I know a few friends who had moms that said that right after bopping the kid on the forehead. And though I never believed my mom when she said that, I know some kids were absolutely convinced their mother was right. One time I made the cross-eyed face to a group of kids when there were no moms around at all and still some kid said to me (in a somewhat terrified voice), "Don't do that!!! Something could hit you on the head while you're doing that and your face will stay that way forever!!!" When I tried to argue with the kid and tell him that was a made up statement moms say to make us stop doing that, all I got was, "It will too! My mom went to school with a kid that happened to!"

Anyway, the other day I got into a bit of a stupid debate over the difference between "strolling" and "schlepping." Unless I have a definite purpose or destination to reach in a specific amount of time, I like to stroll -- that is, leisurely walk down the street. However, I was recently accused of "schlepping" instead of strolling. Of course, I highly objected to this.

I do not SCHLEP!!! The elephant man SCHLEPS!!! Igor SCHLEPS!!! Pandora strolls... she DOES NOT SCHLEP!!!

To SCHLEP is to walk as though one has a club foot, a curved spine, and a limp left arm.* So, much like looking cross-eyed at the guy, I demonstrated what it means to schlep: I proceeded to drag my right foot behind me as I hunched over and swung my left arm limply (and I'm pretty sure I made a few strange noises and perhaps drooled a bit for an extra special effect) all in an attempt to a) make a good impression on the guy, b) get a rise out of him, and c) prove my point. It worked beautifully! (particularly since he was forced to admit I was right, because I wasn't going to stop doing that until he couldn't withstand the eyeballs of the passers by and he was forced to say, "Okay okay! Pandora strolls, she doesn't schlep! Stop! STOP!") The problem is, I think the curse of my mother may be coming back to haunt me because I've been schlepping (minus the drool, strange noises, curved spine, and listless left arm) since Saturday morning.

Something happened between sleeping and waking that Friday night. My right hip keeps popping in and out of socket (something that has happened to me every so often since I gave birth to my daughter) causing me great pain and definitely affecting my ability to walk or stroll. Ever since I got out of bed Saturday morning, I've been standing up to hear myself let out a bit of a painful holler and then schlep the rest of the way to my intended destination. It was really great when I went to have lunch with my mother (who's now 70). When I got up from the table and started to schlep to the restroom she said, "Uh oh! You're walking like a cripple! What happened?" and my daughter said, "It's karma, Grandma! She was making fun of people who schlep and now she's stuck schlepping!" And though I denied mocking the schleppers of the world, my mother just gave me that knowing eyeball and shook her head as if to say, "I told you it would stick, and now look at you... you're schlepped."

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do about this. It's day three of schlepping and I have to say it doesn't do much for the power of the power suit when I schlep into the conference room instead of stride. I suppose I'll have to endure this for a while, a sort of penance for mocking the power of the schlep. And I suppose I'll have to start warning Hope about things like this, because she likes to make this sort of lizard looking face once in a while and I would hate for her to get stuck looking like that forever.

*not really. To Schlep means to walk slowly and awkwardly, perhaps even lugging something behind you, but it is still very different from strolling and I was using the art of exaggeration to prove a point.

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