Legitimate Owie.

by Alexa on January 22, 2014

Actual sentence I uttered the other day: “You can only have a Band-Aid if you have a Legitimate Owie.” LEGITIMATE OWIE. Am I talking to an adult or to a toddler? Half and half, I guess! Having children has rendered my speech patterns entirely nonsensical.

Simone is having her birthday party, as requested, at Hell On Earth! (I have taken some liberties with the name), a local inflatable play area/festival of civil liability. She is wildly excited. My enthusiasm is considerably more muted. I wasn’t going to throw her a non-family birthday party this year, but she is at a new school and the social waters in which elementary students swim are, as I recall, fairly treacherous, and so I am processing my own memories of being tormented by attempting to bribe the classmates of my sweet, social, strange little child into liking her. Which they do already! And yet I have only to call to mind any one of a hundred scenarios from my own youth and imagine Simone in my place to feel immediately and helplessly compelled to offer everyone cake in her name.

Here is a thing I am interested to see: which is worse, being sick at work, or being sick at home with small children? Will the soothing lack of offspring and their attendant requests for water/food/attention compensate for my inability to recuperate on the couch while clad in soft fabrics? I suspect that it will, and I’m about to find out, as I am rapidly developing a dreadful cold. It came upon me suddenly sometime between morning and lunch, so I have no Kleenex and have been alternating between sniffling and wiping my nose with bark-like cafeteria napkins, as befits the glamorous professional woman I am now.

Yesterday I started eine kleine weight training, and all day I have been using the handicapped stall in the bathrooms because I require the rails to lower myself onto the toilet. Lowering myself using my legs is out of the question, as I seem to have broken both of my front thigh muscles; the other option would be to fall backward from a standing position and hope that I land squarely on the seat rather than crumpled shamefully on the tile, and that seems risky. I was ten minutes late for work this morning because that is how long it took me to traverse the stairs from my apartment on the third floor to my car, which was cruelly at ground level. This happens every time I start working out after one of my customarily lengthy lazy dormant periods. I get overexcited and overexert, merrily doing weighted lunges for the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference with no thought to future staircase descending/toileting (these actions are performed separately, you understand). I have unilaterally decided to name this ailment Dilettante’s Thigh.

They should have a thing like coffee that is nice and hot to sip and keeps you wide awake and perky but which can be neutralized later by having a single glass of wine. Completely neutralized, so that you sleep like a baby, even if you had the last cup of Not-Coffee at, say, two o’clock in the afternoon. Please get right to work on this and keep me informed of your progress.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

MJ January 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Excellent idea on the Not-Coffee. I look forward to the responses. And I hope you feel better soon.


SarahB January 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Oh, yes, yes, the coffee-neutralizing wine I would take in a heartbeat. I need that a lot of days.


Peg January 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

It’s posts like this that make me so glad you are back to writing more regularly. The handicap stall totally cracked me up.


Melissa January 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Dilletante’s Thigh! Pardon me while I wipe up the not Not-Coffee I just sprayed on my screen. Now that’s taken care of–yay for more Alexa! Not that I don’t love adorable Simon-Twyla Instagram Flotsam, but yes more words please!


QoB January 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Welcome to the day after Leg Day :)

A little bit of DOMS is nothing to be ashamed of… and once you get use to regular training, it will lessen or disappear entirely. And you’ll have some awesomely strong legs!


Alexa January 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I vaguely remember that it DOES go away, eventually, but at the moment this seems terribly unlikely. Also, I think then I probably need to add more weight or something, which will only start it up again…


J.Edam Jones (Ms.) January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Oooh, I am suffering from a case of Dilettante’s Thigh myself at the moment (and have been planning my activities around what requires the least amount of stairs at work/ can I make an intern fetch that for me?), but I have been calling it the vastly inferior name of “I went back to the gym after a month away”. I am adopting your term forthwith.


LifeofaDoctorsWife January 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I started this comment by listing my favorite bits, but turned out I was just retyping your post (rather a tedious exercise using one thumb) so I will just say HA! You are wonderful, as is this post.


jenni January 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I think my coffee neutralizing only happens at three glasses of wine… thus starting the whole damn thing all over again in the morning. Ah well, there are worse things I suppose… like giving up both. Over my cold, dead body.

Thanks for the clarification on the staircase/potty thing. I was concerned for a moment. I lifted weights for the first time again on Sun. and brushing my teeth is torturous. Sneezing makes me say ‘ouch’ out loud.


Liza January 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Funny, I *do* sleep like a baby after drinking coffee in the afternoon. That is to say, I sleep fitfully, waking often and requiring lots of comforting in order to fall back to sleep again.


Alexa January 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm

YES. It is NOT sleeping like a baby I am after. I should like to sleep like a teenager.


laura January 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

um, i laughed til i cried at this post.


Angie January 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I believe the word for “Not-Coffee” where I live is pronounced “tea.”


Alexa January 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Tea! I love tea! I wonder if that would work? Even with something nice and sturdy like Yorkshire Gold or PG Tips? Would that both keep me awake enough and allow me to sleep? I can’t remember.


M January 23, 2014 at 5:37 am

You are an awesome writer.

I am raising my cup of not NOT-COFFEE to you!


Susie January 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

I only work out once a week lately, because no time/no sleep/ugh, and I have that to be the exact amount of a break I need to where I can get Dilettante’s Thigh (and Dilettante’s Ass) EVERY TUESDAY and omg. I just. MY ASSTHIGHS HURT SO BAD.


Alexa January 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Well, that seems like the worst possible arrangement.


Megan @ Mama Bub January 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm

You are my favorite. I am so majorly tired lately that I can drink fully caffeinated coffee any time of the day and sleep on command. It’s my superpower.


Momma, PhD January 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm

What about Choffy?

It’s cocoa beans you grind up and brew like you would coffee.

I’ve been wanting to try it.



Debbie A-H January 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

I am so happy to have more Flotsam! You make me laugh, and I’m always happy to support a fellow editor.


Jo January 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Oh my God … “Dilitate’s Thigh”! I was in tears reading your description. I SO had this … or, er, have this, since I had my first workout in over a week last night and was reminded what that first workout back from an extended absence a few months ago was like. In my case, I had to travel two days after that return to weight training and all those damn weighted lunges. I had to take a regional jet where you had to disembark on a stairway? While carrying a rollerbag and laptop bag? Boy howdy, that was fun.


Christa February 1, 2014 at 12:40 am

Hysterical. You are indeed a gifted writer.


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