07 April 2009

Beached

I was 14 months pregnant, and weighing in at one hundred and eighty two pounds. I was standing in front of the swamp cooler, sweating, when the little man in the radio announced that it was 117° in the shade. Hell with this, I'm gonna stand under some cold water.

It was 1970, and with my first husband, I lived in a wee house. It was a small cottage, one of several in a row, built sometime in the late 4os. The bathroom was so tiny (3 by 5? feet) you couldn't open the door without hitting the toilet. And you had to sqeeeeeze past the sink to get into the shower. (I would shimmy in sideways, letting the bottom of my tummy drag across the rim of the sink.)

The fixtures were all new: the toilet, the sink, and the shower. The stall was 3 feet square, with shiny, stainless faucet knobs and a sprayer. And it was completely tiled in 3-inch squares of white ceramic, all the way to the ceiling. It was closed off with a turquoise, vinyl drape patterned with a checkerboard of yellow fishies and odd green plants that looked more like saguaro cactus than sea foliage. The floor was also new. A green linoleum that clashed enough with the shower curtain to make me sick to my stomach. I tried not to look at it as I side-stepped into the shower.

God, it felt sooo good - cold bliss running its fingers through my hair, cupping my breasts, and running its smooth palms over my round belly. I stood there for 15 minutes when it occurred to me, why stand when I can sit? So I let my back slide down the wall behind me, till my bottom felt the cool tile below. I pondered my feet for awhile, trying to remember what it was like to have toe knuckles and ankle bones....and the days when I still had an abdomen, and could reach under to wipe myself after tinkling, without dislocating my shoulder.

Ten more minutes of daydreaming, and I realized it was starting to feel a little chilly. Mission Accomplished. Time to get up, and get dressed.

Only I couldn't seem to get up. I tried to shimmy back up the wall. Not a chance. I tried to slide out of the shower sideways, but I couldn't lift my enormous ass up over the 3-inch lip at the bottom of the stall. I tried rolling over the lip, but couldn't maneuver my thighs over my tummy. Finally, I settled for turning off the damn water. Great. I can't reach the knob.

So I sat.

And I rehearsed what I'd say to my husband when he came home expecting dinner, only to find the cook beached in shower stall.

I reminded myself, it could be worse. My bladder could be full.

oh, hell.

17 comments:

Patia said...

Ha, that's a funny story. Can't imagine being pregnant in 117 degrees. Ugh!

lissa said...

wow, what a tale, at least you get to tell this story to your child...or maybe not

Thomas Paine said...

Great story, and very well told.

Keep 'em coming!

artandsoul said...

Oh - I should have come here!!! :) Wonderful picture to go with the story!

Although he looks quite comfortable!!

Aaron said...

An acquaintance and her husband have made themselves pregnant. I think maybe I'll point them here...

>chuckle<

Kevin McGinty said...

Loved the picture. Loved the story. Love the new look of your blog.

But 14 months pregnant? Must be another story.

Have a good day all...

fredwrite said...

This was over too quick. I think you intrigued me. What happened next? You've got a humorous mystery started here.

studio lolo said...

Seems to me the full bladder wouldn't be a problem if the drain was close by :P

This was a terrific read! I'm so entertained by your brilliant writing and I'm always left wanting more.
XX

catnapping said...

Patia: It was California. I can see why the Spanish Missionaries called it, Hot Furnace. I remember one year it got to 125 degrees where we lived. My dad loves the place. He retired there. He grew up in the snow, and loves that the valley rarely gets any.

lissa: My daughter has heard this one often. It's part of our family's mythology now. When she got pregnant, and couldn't get up from a couch, ever, without help...I must've told her this story once a week.

Thom: thanks

Art: I was bigger than that whale.

Aaron: Please tell them congratulations for me. Let her know she'll wanna wear panty liners for that last 3 months...they sure woulda come in handy back in the olden days.

Kevin: Pregnant months are measured differnt than human months.

Fred: My husband came home...and never stopped laughing. He actually called friends on the phone to tell them what I looked like...

I divorced him, ya know.

Studio: Yep. A drain comes in handy...and all that water coming down to rinse away any evidence...

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

LOL! What a riot! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but it's hilarious at this distance! He he he!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

CUTE picture to go with the story! H e he he he!

catnapping said...

Mary: I actually was chuckling to myself at the time. I thought it was funny. And now...yes. I think it's hilarious to think about the stuff we go through when we're pregnant.

I forgot to give my whale a blowhole. ooops.

Kevin McGinty said...

Ahhh, there was more to the story. Loved it and thanks for sharing it with us...

tsduff said...

Oh dear - the tears are running out of my eyes - I can so picture that happening, step by step! HA HA HA HA oh man that is so funny. And the graphic to accompany it is perfect. I can't stop laughing.

Once when visiting Ireland, my Mom and I were in the hotel room when she decided to take a bath in the enormous bathtub. She was a big gal, and I can remember all the funny tub squeaking sounds when after draining the water, she tried to exit the tub and found she couldn't gain purchase on the slippery surface. She squeaked and slipped around in there for a good 10 minutes while I anxiously stood outside the door waiting for permission to help. She finally made it out on her own - I still almost cry with mirth when I remember it now.

LentenStuffe said...

Loved it there. Love it here. The art is great ... so are you. [ZB]

Catnapping said...

tsduff: i can imagine how anxious you must have been at the time. and your emotions must have been running the gammut between glee and dread. i'm cracking up just thinking about it.

i can remember stuff with my mom that struck me as funny, but if i'd been caught laughing...she would have killed me.

ZB: it's good to see you. i'm tickled that you liked reading this. i hope to write more.

and you're pretty great, yourself. thanks.

Renee said...

laughing my head off. har ha ha

So funny, I guess you were cold enough then.

Love Renee xoxo