Take your time to paint that mental picture, I'll wait.
But since my back injury last year and the repair this past January, I'm about as pliable and bendy as a cement block. Even Jumby, who has spastic Cerebral Palsy and routinely imitates an unbendable wooden plank, is more flexible than I am.
My new reality is he sits and chews on his toes and I tell him to stop showing off.
Oh, how the flexible have fallen.
These days I'm lucky if I can put my own pants on, one leg at a time without toppling over like the wood pecked poplar tree out back.
Since I'm not particularly in pain any more; it only hurts when I breathe, I count myself lucky because it could be worse. At least that's what my surgeon says, and since he keeps threatening to rip out my spine and beat me with it if I feel sorry for myself, I choose to believe him.
But things aren't all rosy.
I can't cut my own toenails. When I was a child I used to sit on the couch and chew them off as my parents groaned in disgust but these days I would happily settle for making do with a pair of nail clippers. Or a hack saw if I had a steadier hand.
Instead, I'm forced to watch them grow and at night, as they scrape the sheets and take large chunks of skin off my husband's legs when he's home, I swear I hear them mocking me.
Their whispered taunts haunt me as do the yelps my husband yips out when ever I accidentally slice him with my deadly toes.
(Yes, I know, I'm killing any sex appeal one post at a time. All in the name of keeping it real.)
No one thinks about toenails when they contemplate back surgery. When you are flat on your back, counting the cobwebs, waiting for the pain meds to kick in and praying for your back to ease up on the aching, your toenails never once cross your mind.
Toenails are completely taken for granted in the grand scheme of things. That is until they start to rub holes in the tops of your shoes. And I'm here to tell you toenails are life's deadly weapons that the world needs to be more concerned about.
So last night, I had my children pull of my socks, hand me the nail clippers and watch as I attempted to contort myself into a position to reach the damn things. I briefly contemplated paying someone to make this their problem, but I'm still haunted by the memory of my last pedicure experience and quite frankly, I love humanity too much to burden them with my bare feet.
(My sympathies to all the nail technicians in the world who make their living carving off the dead skin cells off other people's feet.)
I'm sure the sounds I made as I bent and reached were not dis-similar to the sounds a dying elephant makes right before he goes to the peanut playground in the sky.
My children watched in horror as I cussed repeatedly and accidentally nipped the top of my big toe on my right foot. While they ran for tissue to staunch the blood I reassured them I was fine. "Don't worry about it! The couch is navy blue. It won't show the blood!"
"Doesn't that hurt Mom?" My daughter asked incredulously.
"Nah, it's the numb foot. I can't feel a thing. You could saw off this entire foot with a butter knife and I wouldn't notice."
It was right about then both Fric and Frac remembered they had homework to do and spent the rest of the night hiding in their bedrooms, trying to avoid the carnage. I tried to woo them back with promises of an unending cookie supply and an eternal gas money fund but apparently, they'd rather pick up the carcasses of dead animals than help their poor crippled mother with a toenail problem.
While my foot is numb, my back certainly isn't. Pain shot up and down by spine until my eyes almost crossed, and still my toenails remained a crack addict's dream. A flexible crack addict's anyways. Hard to snort coke off of long nails if your feet can't reach your nose.
In the end, I gave up. I quit. That's right, I stand before you all and admit my defeat. I can't cut my toenails. It hurts too much.
And according to my children, there isn't enough money in the world for them to do it for me.
Which leaves me with two options, either suck it up and get a pedicure (which would also mean shaving my legs because let's face it, I would already be dealing with the judgmental silence of forcing someone to deal with my razor toes, my ego would likely shatter if they commented on my leg hair,) or walk barefoot down main street and hope a homeless person is hungry enough to want to earn money to chip off my problems.
Either way, my dignity is in tatters, my back is aching and there isn't enough nail polish in the world to make my feet look cute.
Suddenly, the inability to swiffer the floor using nothing but my bum cheeks seems insignificant.
I really miss being bendy.
Some people dream of climbing mountains or swimming across oceans. Me? I dream of having longer arms and bending far enough to trim my toes.
Grace. They say it's in the small things. I say it's in the toenails.