Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Throwdown at the Fairgrounds

My doctor hadn't told, me, personally, much of anything that dreary Friday morning. It had been nothing like hospital drama's on television. No one had been talking about their doomed relationship with Dr. McSteamy or their plans of parenting a baby with their newly turned lesbian lover. Everyone, with the acception of the nurse put in charge of dispensing my IV med rations, had been eerily silent. That had not been all bad as I had hoped everyone would be focused on their piece of the puzzle and not on what or who they'd be having for dessert.

Had my doc told me to take it easy? He had asked, "Can you make that a little darker?" But as I had my head taped to a table, ala Dexter style, rendered completely incapable of movement, I had assumed he had been questioning a technician. Thus, my previous query had been nothing but a fabrication as he never really had spoken directly to me. The only other words I heard him utter, regarding going in again to do a venogram could have also very easily been directed at a technician.

Remembering our initial meeting as I had been uber determined and perhaps overly confident that he would find something if he were willing to look - I imagine a hush had fallen over him due to his caring nature. Perhaps, he had spared me the bad news wanting to wrap it all up in black paper and ribbon to give it to me later with a note that read: I TOLD YOU SO! No, surely not! He had shared the lackluster news with Jason immediately afterwards explaining that if he had told me anything I might not have been able to remember it. And Jason had relayed to me that our maverick doc had seemed genuinely disappointed. Yeh, dude. Me too.

So where had I heard such nonsense? Did I need to rest? Maybe one of my nurses had told me. In fact, the nurse that had wheeled me to the truck had a bit of a flirty exchange with my darling husband. (It's allll good. I'm used to it.) To steal a quote from another favorite movie of mine, "He IS really, really ridiculously good looking." Can you name the movie? It's "Zoolander" starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and even more importantly - David Bowie!

Anyways, she wheels me to the truck somewhat speeding up when she recognizes my gorgeous husband holding the passenger door open. The truck's metallic finish gleemed as bright as its chrome even on that dreary cloud-filled day. They were a stunning sight - that man and his truck. I'm lucky passersby didn't start jockeying for position or diving into the truck's bed just for a chance at this surreal destiny.

Now face to face, each on opposite sides of the wheelchair, they bend in perfect unison towards one another to clear the foot rests out of my way. It would have been the perfect moment for stealing a kiss had I not been sitting right there between them close enough I could have become a victim of wayward saliva. Next she smiles up at him and bats her lashes. In hopes of breaking up this flirt fest I rock forward to my feet. As soon as my rear lifted from the seat she slid around to the back of the chair. A cunning move if I'd ever seen one, to gain a position closer to my Jason. Then I turn to rest my rear against the truck before thrusting up and back to my seat, only to find her left hand on the chair and her right, . . . on my buff husband's left bicep.

Again with the slow motion, dreamy eyelashes, already. She giggles shyly and inserts the tip of her index finger from her left hand ever so slightly into her mouth, just past her sensuous pink glossed lips, and playfuly bites down, making sure she has his undivided attention before asking for his number. He takes his right hand from the door forcefully pushing me into the truck before aggressively, passionately embracing her around her waist, nearly lifting her from the ground. Their chests begin to heave against the others in ecstasy as he now reaches with his left hand to clutch her neck and run his fingers thru her flowing hair. Once caressing her head in his massive hand, he . . .

ENOUGH WITH THE FABRICATIONS! But they're sooo much fun. Did I have you going? Seriously, she flirted a little, but nothing too drastic. And after I had gotten myself positioned in the truck she wished me well and said to Jason, "Now you let her rest some today, but you can have her back to work by tomorrow." Gee, thanks, I remember thinking at the time. And she did wink as she'd said it. I swear it. Maybe there had been a gnat fly in her eye. I dunno. Anywho, it seemed to me not much recooperation time was to be needed. Fine, but what of recovery time for a broken down old MSer like myself?

We'd just play it by ear, as we always do. It's not like I had to return to work as my only official occupation as of 2000 has been that of a trophy wife. And as for typical stay at home mom or housewife chores around the house, yeh, right!? If you are wondering that, you don't really know me. It still bothers me when stuff is left unattended or piles up, but with MS, such is life. Quite often all I can do is sit back and stew about it. I had been so looking forward to being able to give my huge new house a real thourough going over.

Oh well, what other questions had I left you pondering? Ahhhh, yes. Would I appear drunk? Probably, but who cares? It was a risk I was willing to take. Would I fall? Odds here were not in my favor, but thankfully, no! By the grace of God I did not fall. There is no earthly reason why I shouldn't have - the grass was tall and the terrain - uneven, at best. And with nothing but a strange dancing horse within my reach as any form of support, I'd almost expected to fall. My plan had been to throw fists as I was going down. Put on a good show for the masses. Then as we were being separated, some big strong cowboy would help me up, ya know, to protect the other lady from me. I had it all worked out. No worries!

The horse, of course was a different story! I didn't have a plan for him. I didn't know the horse. How would I, since I didn't even recognize his owner? And she'd made it clear in more ways than one that she didn't know me. Nor did she want to. Would he be as hateful and contrary as his owner? Probably a kicker. So here it goes . . .

As I let go of the Cruiser having already voiced my request that she kindly move, she answered her domineering, "No" and commenced to swinging her horse's rear towards me. First things first. You should never walk behind a horse - especially one you are not familar with and even more so one that is being led by a woman with an uncanny vendetta against PT Cruisers. I mean really?! Turning his ass end to the car? Really?! So I'm sorry Grandpa, but I break a couple of rules here. I hope my boys weren't taking notes on equine safety.

I put my left hand on the horses whithers (the part of him just in front of where the saddle should go). And with that although his owner is still attempting to turn him, he stops as if confused, receiving commands from both directions now. With this, my forward momentum could not be stopped - - - that is, without some creative assistance. Again, I knew this lady wasn't gonna help me so I took advantage of that suprisingly decently trained animal. I sunk my right hand into the neck strap of his halter. He even put his head down as if he were being corrected to do so.

Good job, boy, I'd thought at the time, until his owner jerked down on the lead causing her horse's head to fly up in fear. I bet she was wondering what in the world her horse was up to, whereas I was thinking he was all of a sudden being very well behaved. When she saw that I was touching her horse, with both of my hands at that point, her mood changed - real quick. She'd gone from uber arrogant lady in charge to timid and pissed lady just thinking she was in charge.

I could see fury swirling deep in her eyes, but the simple fact that she chose to begin positioning herself further and further from me on the opposite side of her horse now even nearing his hip -- well, it made me wonder. Had she been in fights before? Was she literally using her horse as a shield from little 'ol innocent, nearly crippled me? Must be paid well, that horse - he's not only a show horse - he blocks punches and Chryslers! So not wanting to exchange any further words without being able to make eye contact I moved my left hand from his whithers to the halter and took another brave step forward. As I did this she motioned clear across the enormous arena and explained, "You can park over there."

I said nothing as I made my way to the front of that horse. Seeing me approach, she continued, "That's where people park, 'cause this here is the practice arena." Well, no, I'd thought to myself, it wasn't exactly. Quite specifically the practice area (as it was not technically considered an arena unless it was entirely fenced in) was maybe 10 yards or so away from the small grassy spot that we were going to battle over. Had I brought my 'A' game and had the fortitude to stay standing long enough I would have calmly, kindly, and rationally explained this to her. But alas, my time upright was beginning to wane.

Let me clarify a few things for ya here. First, we aren't just people. My grandfather is an honorary lifetime member of this particular saddle club. Also, it just so happens that he built the darned arena. Yeh, take that nameless lady! And I have been showing on these very grounds with this very club since 1984. I've been on a brief hiatus since my diagnosis, but WHATEVER! All these fascinating fun facts aside we had always parked there as of late due to unforseen circumstances beyond our control.

My dear mother is even more immobile than me. It saddens me to see her like that as she used to, after practicing with us two weels solid prior to the show date, and mowing and weedeating the entire grounds the Thursday before, plus washing and trimming all our horses, and loading the trailer, . . . she'd still have ass kickin' energy to spare. I know it saddens her to see me like this too. But again with the constantly getting off the subject already. I LOVE YOU MOM!

It's hard enough for either of us to get dressed and get out and drive to such an event. Let alone be expected to park miles away and trek rough terrain to bleachers that are either too high for her to get up on or too low for me to get up from. I've been blessed with only MS so far, but mom has more of a smorgesboard of diagnosies. I'll mention diabetes and periphreal artery disease just to give you an idea. We're a sad pair the two of us. And had it been any hotter out, well, I won't even go there. This nameless lady, or myself would have surely required an ambulance by this point. Resulting from either a shorter wick on my fuse, or from heat exhaustion, you decide. But still I wouldn't cross us if you could help it. There's only so many ambulances in Posey County.

Where was I? Breaking yet another cardinal rule of equine safety no doubt. It's usually not too smart to stand directly square in front of any animal that large. So there I was near the head of the horse as she continued backing up. I remember it well. But what's this? A silver PT Cruiser gaining on her horse? No. The Cruiser hadn't moved. She had been backing her horse this entire conversation to maintain maximum distance from me. I can't have looked that scary in my tank top, cut off jogging pants and knee high socks. Maybe it had been the crazed drunk factor that had her rattled. So upon the revelation that she'd ran out of room she began her departure towards, get this -- the actual practice AREA!

Mom had a chance. She should have accelerated wildly into her spot. But she didn't. She was waitin' to see this play out. I wonder who she had her money on? I realize I'm a bit handicapped these days, but I still had come from my momma and my daddy, and by God, we was parkin' there or I was gonna take the whole arena down tryin'. If I couldn't get 'er done with the Cruiser, I'd be back with my truck. No? Guess not. All this walking and adrenaline was making me think irrationally. Our old truck may not even start, and besides, it didn't have air conditioning. We was gonna have to win this one fair and square and soon so we wouldn't miss seeing what we'd come all that way for. Had we already missed her? We'd better not have. Yeehaw!

After some silence and my discovering she was not officially forfeiting, but simply taking a scenic route to re-position herself and her horse between the Cruiser and the arena, I again took ahold of that silver brazened halter. With this maneuver I'd lost a little respect for my horse friend as all my halter horses had been able to pivot turn and would not have needed an entire acre for the simple purpose of turning around. I am a snob when it comes to horses. I apologize for that. I'm workin' on it. Promise.

So just to be sure we were clear, I asked, "So, YOU'RE really not gonna let us park here?" Emphasis on YOU! And before allowing adequate time for her to answer - 'cause I sure didn't want hear much more from her besides an apology - I asked, "What authority do you have here exactly?" Well, guess what blog fans? That seemed to really shake her. At this point she began surveying the surrounding grounds, I had imagined, eagerly searching out an authority, should one actually be required to squelch this matter. It became clearer she hadn't been happy with the grip I had been maintaining on her horse, when she pulled him left whilst motioning me to talk to someone on my right.

Neigh! (pun intended) Someone waaaay, away on my right. Half way to the opposite end of the arena stood the announcer's stand. She explained that her club did not allow people, blah bla bla, and if I needed an officer of the club to relay the rules to me, bla, bla, bla - she was sure I could find one there. Well, I was sure I could have to, but I was in no shape to further tempt fate and attempt that trek. I took a step forward towards the railing on the arena fearing my horse crutch might soon be made to leave me. However, as of yet, I still wasn't gonna release that halter of my own free will.

So half the distance between the animal and the rail I turned my back to the arena to peruse any of the nearby spectators that we may have drawn from the show itself. Besides a couple of fellow halter class participants and some youth class parents and handlers who had left the practice area to see what all the commotion was about, the majority of the crowd was still immersed in their own little worlds readying their horses or simply, innocently watching the show. Alas my attempt to recognize an officer nearer to my current location had failed.

And as "cog fog" had clearly already kicked into high gear I could not have come up with any of their names or even been able to pick them out of a line up. The club's secretary, for Pete's sake, grew up riding horses with me. We'd gotten our 10 year 4-H pins together and graduated high school together. How in the world could I have forgotten my dear friend in all of this. She'd have had my back for sure. What a missed opportunity. She's an ass kicker from way back! Love ya, Phillona!

So after my survey of anyone within my short walking distance capabilities had miserably failed, I said quite eloquently, if I do say so myself, "As you can see I'm not getting around too well today, and I don't really want to have to go all that way for permission to do something I've always been allowed to do." Calm. Simple. And kind - well as kind a kind as I could muster anyways. I continued (whilst pretending to still be seeking someone specific out), "Is there anyone around here closer that we could ask?"

Luckily, the actual president of the club had been standing all of maybe 20 feet away manning the gates. She had spotted him earlier and did not offer him as an authority at that time. Now upon my persistence to solve the matter, closer to home, if you will, she offered him up as somebody who "might be able to help us." Yep, those are the exact words she had used to describe this fella. I only learned later on in the day that he was indeed the club's president. Head honcho. Man in charge. And it was clear this lady had no respect for him or trust in him - none whatsoever.

But all the petty perceptions aside she called out for him and started that direction. Knowing I wouldn't be able to keep up with the pace I finally released the halter - and none too soon as when I did I found a sweaty aching palm. I must have unknowingly had a death grip on that sucker.

Sidenote: After sharing an account of this with my little sister she became astounded at my actually having clutched another person's horse's halter. You know what? She's right! That had been horrible horsemen ettiquette. AND had someone done that to me when I was showing my Dusty, Imp, or Oakie, or anybody for that matter -- I surely, without a thought, would have loosened my grip on my leather lead strap and attacked. SMACK! And that leather strap as a weapon, would have stung a bit. Prolly more - guaranteed! What had I done? Amelia was so right. That would have sent me in to . . . wellllll, CRAZY MAD!

Alone again, I opted to step towards the railing. Two steadied steps later I took my right hand from the rail and again set out on my own unassisted. I didn't have to go far as the gentleman she had called for was coming towards us faster than I was coming towards him. During my stroll, the mystery lady had been filling the man in on the situation. At one point early on in their conversation he stopped to turn and point behind him. At what, you wonder? At the practice area, of course. Like me, he too had known where it was. Again, for clarification purposes, the terrain of this particular practice area was worked up dirt, very similar to what was in the actual arena with the exception of thickness.

Admittedly, I hadn't heard his side of the dialog. Or hers. I only imagined that it had been going in my favor. Especially when he turned around. That was so great. That's what inspired me to let go. Another sidenote: The last show of last year there were two cars parked there. Mine and my mom's. Just a little history. Couldn't keep that fun fact bottled up too much longer. So as he stood between the arena and my mom in her Cruiser, I heard him clearly explain, "we usually let her park here."

If looks could kill, that poor man would have been standing there DEAD! Then the four of us - the president, the nameless lady, her horse, and myself - stood there motionless. Should I have jumped for joy? Ha! I wish. I'll leave that for Denise. What was next? The man was looking from his boots to the lady and back again as if awaiting some sort of approval of his previous declaration. Obama's not too worried about making anyone happy. Why should this guy act so timid?

I break the silence. (Imagine that, right? No suprise there!) To the man, I say, "Well, thank you, sir. I sure appreciate it." Then I do the unheard of. While thanking him I take two, yes two, steps backwards without help and without falling. Then another monumental thing happens as I recognize my mom in her Cruiser with her window down awaiting a go ahead. How could that have been when I have little to no peripheal vision? Hmmmm?

I then motion towards my mom as I cross in front of her car, continuing to thank him, saying, "We sure appreciate it. Neither of us can get around very well." He motioned at mom to pull forward. Thankfully she waited for me to cross to the passenger side of the vehicle. Noticing the lady still standing there staring the man down in utter disbelief and disgust, I added one more, "Thank you!" in hopes of illiciting some kind of response from the disgruntled defeated. With this third and final "thanks" he nodded his head and replied, "No problem" before turning to return to his post as gatekeeper.

Before collapsing into the Cruiser's seat I stood a bit to reflect, a bit to calm myself, and a bit to watch that lady follow that poor man and give him what for. He may have said "no problem" but only time would tell. I wonder what membership fees are these days? I'm thinking about renewing mine just to re-elect this guy. Once in the car I had to fight to find the energy to even reach the door and pull it closed. I was spent ladies and gentlemen.

Baby Girl got a 4th out of 8. Phenomenal considering it was her solo debut, she was the youngest exhibitor, AND the only of the contestants to be leading a pony. How awesome to beat 4 horses with a tiny pony. GOOD JOB! And I got to see it. She and her new man Leo were adorable. And she came in second in leadline. I found out later that when the judge had asked her if she was having any fun -- she wrinkled her nose at him and said, "No." Could it be that maybe she was my child after all? Nah.

Had it been me, I would have said, "Yes, sir." And winked. Ahhh, those were the days. Perhaps I'll see more of them.

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