You Can’t Make This Stuff Up


Before I tell you this story, I have to set ground rules. I’m not posting photos. Not gonna happen. You’ll get clip art and like it.


I think I get what old age is going to be like: it will be making up heroic adventures to explain injuries sustained in the most mundane ways.

I think I cracked my rib.

And, for my readers, I’m going to be honest about the injury.

I was posing for my husband, a photographer who is always frustrated by the lack of cooperation his spouse exhibits whenever a camera lens is turned her way. I do not like the way I look in photos. I have an image of myself, one that props up my self esteem, and I do not care to see it contradicted in four-color glory.

But, finally, in a burst of what-the-hell, I agreed to let him take photographs of the boudoir nature. I had lost weight. I wasn’t getting any younger. He finally asked often enough. Whatever the reason, the date was set.

My husband set up a privacy cabana of hanging bedsheets on the upper porch to ensure privacy and capture the best daylight. And there we were.

I decided to try a pose on my stomach and then I remembered someone said that Kim Kardashian simultaneously arched a bit and sucked in her gut for the best photos. So I tried. Slowly. But even moving with caution on the hard wooden porch, I heard a crack from my left side.

The pain went all up my side for a second before settling beneath my left breast. No, not a heart attack. This tale is a comedy, not a tragedy.

Now, the day after, it hurts to press on my sternum, hurts to twist certain ways, and god help me if I sneeze. The rib is either cracked or bruised, neither of which can be treated with anything but time. But that story is just for you.

For anyone else who sees me wince, I’m going to expound on how I saved an entire city from a villain, super-hero style and got injured in the battle. Because, who would believe the truth?

pinup-girl-sexy-wearing-pink-bikini-84986312Check out Helen’s podcast, Keep it Juicy!


The Art of Being Helpless


We promise to love through better or worse. Confidently, I tell my husband that I will take care of him if he gets sick, will stick with him when he gets old. I know I can take care of him.

I just never figured how hard it would be to be the one needing help.

We’ve all seen the homeless on the side of the road with hand-lettered signs, asking for help. Asking even though they know that most of those driving by won’t even meet their eyes, much less help. How do they do it? I suppose the answer must be that they have no choice, because I find it amazingly hard to ask for help, even from one who has promised to care for me for life.

My husband and I are both equally pig-headed, type-A dominants. We’ve learned to step up if one or the other is going through a crisis, but overall, it would be hard to name the leader in our marriage. Equals.

Except, a few weeks ago, I had foot surgery. On both feet. Which has left me asking for permission and help to go to the bathroom, begging for the treats from the grocery store that I normally buy myself, directing my husband to find the precise piece of clothing I want to wear that day.

Uncomfortable, I fall into the default boss tone. You know the one: this is a request because it’s phrased politely, but not really, because the only answer is “yes.”

“Why do you feel like you have to keep giving orders?” my husband asks, stopping me cold.


Because the truth – that this is a situation where I have no power, where the answer to my request could be “no” and I could do nothing about it – is just uncharted territory. I don’t have the tools to navigate this territory.

I think this may be some of the “worse” we promised to live through in our wedding vows. But my husband is caretaking like a champ. I’m the one falling short of the saintly invalid I always envisioned.

I think I need help asking for help.