An Open Letter to an Inanimate Object

How my new undergarments done me wrong

Photo by 🐴chuanyu2015 from Pexels

Dear Package of Fruit of the Loom underwear that were on sale at Target:

Look, let me just start with the end in mind. It’s not going to work out between us. Mostly because of the way you have behaved around my hind end.

Oh sure, the early days were grand. Glorious. Filled with anticipation. You lured me over to your side by wearing that fabulous “on sale” tag at my local Target store. Your price was so shiny and new and your colors, oh your colors. Yes.

I’d been with my old yonderwear brand for years. And years. YEARS I TELL YOU! And I had been wanting to get some new pairs, since time makes fools of us all. Yes, the holes, the leg elastic is shot, the droopy nature of the old drawers made me long for something fresh.

The store for my usual brand of chones is a bit of a drive and I thought hey, maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe I can make a new friend with a new brand and I won’t have to drive over hell and tarnation and deal with a jacked up parking lot just to get undergarments.

Just as I was thinking this, you entered my life. There I was already at Target and your price was right and you looked cute and I thought “why not?”

Why not, indeed.

I flipped over your simple package and I looked at the sizing chart on the back. I checked and double checked and yes, I picked out the right size in the right colors in the right style.

Oh how excited I was to bring you home and try you on! I’d also procured a new nightgown so I looked forward to all of the newness and shiny and happy and joy in my house!

I did hesitate for a moment. Yes, I did. I also walked over and considered another brand of undershorts but they were more expensive. You got me on price. Oh ho ho, you sure got me.

I put you into my basket and then took you out again. Then I decided I was being a fool and put you back in there.

That warm Saturday evening I took a nice long bath, scrubbed up, shaved the ol’ legs and then toweled off, ready for my new garments.

I opened your pack, picked a color and slid on my new skivvy fashions. Ah yes, they fit perfectly. Excellent!

But then, oh then, I began to move around. I picked up some towels and hung them up, put some things in the hamper, emptied out the trash in my room.

The bending over. That’s where things took a long bad trip. Instead of being supportive and helpful, each time I bent over you packed up shop and moved north.

Very far north.

And so I’d forcefully tug you back in your assigned location only to have you shoot north again at every turn.

Twenty minutes. That’s how long you lasted on my nether regions. Twenty. Minutes.

Then you were cursed at and quickly removed and thrown across the room in favor of a pair of the ol’ standby. The brand that knows my curves and cherishes them so. I did a bend test and nary a problem in Ol’ Faithful. Everyone stayed in their assigned campground and didn’t drift in wrong directions.

Photo by Todd Trepani from Pexels

So here’s the thing Fruit of the Loom knickers…it’s not me, it’s you. Very much you. One hundred and ten percent YOU.

I’m so disappointed and so ashamed I cheated on my loyal and trusted brand.

Thus, I must banish you from my home.

Don’t go away mad, just go away. Forever.

Unkindest regards,


The Ballad Of a Walnut Bladder

I was born with a troubling affliction*. It’s been so difficult to manage my whole life, and it’s so difficult to discuss. Today I feel is the time to make public my ailment.

I am affected by a disorder known colloquially as walnut bladder. Yes, it’s true. I so much as look at a glass of water and I feel the need to pee.

In such times as walnut bladder-itis affects the life of The Good Man, he calls me his little tree frog. “You know, you pick up the frog and it tinkles in your hand?”

That’s me.

As a child I presented quite a challenge to my folks who liked to take road trips. The average child has to pee frequently but I was even more prone than normal. I always had to pee and I had the kind of dad who refused to stop. It was always a problem.

We used to spend summers at our place at Ute Lake. The drive from Albuquerque to Logan, New Mexico is about three hours, plus or minus. Even as an adult, three hours is just too long for me to go without a trip to the potty.

I vexed my mother terribly with my affliction. Once she threatened to use a clothespin to clamp off my leaky plumbing.

Well that got my attention.

From then on I planned well ahead for an upcoming road trip. I would cease intake of liquids at least a day in advance of the trip and would steadfastly refuse to drink any liquid until we arrived.

In hindsight, not having much liquid while living in the high desert wasn’t probably the best idea, but it worked and it avoided clothespins in delicate places.

In daily life I manage my ailment by working a path between my desk at work and the restroom. At home I get up at least twice a night to pee. The Good Man and The Feline have learned to adapt.

But I had occasion last week to really realize again the utter torture of a completely full bladder and no good plan to empty it out.

It was a typical afternoon at work and I was, as usual, drinking lots of good fresh water. Staying hydrated is still important. And that means ol’ Walnutta here has to go at a minimum once an hour. Sometimes more.

Usually before heading into a meeting, I will go right before so I can get through the hour stretch.

On this day, I was so busy with work and in other meetings and I bumped right up to the top of the hour when my next meeting was due to start. I did an internal gut check and then a clock check and thought, “Yeah, I’m ok.”

Silly, silly me.

At about twenty minutes into the hour and a half long meeting, a job interview with a prospective candidate no less, I had that first twinge of “oh…hmm, I’m going to need to pee here pretty soon.”

As the seconds on the clock ticked by with molasses speed, and the candidate droned on and on and on, things started to get bad.

One goes through most of the stages of grief when it comes to an overfull bladder.

First, denial: “Pfft! I’m fine. No big deal. I can make it.”

Then bargaining: “Ok, well, if I can make it just ten more minutes, maybe I can excuse myself and take care of this. Please please bladder don’t let me pee my pants.”

Anger: “Dangblamit why did I drink so much water today! And why is my bladder so tiny? And why can’t I just distract myself and make this feeling go away!?!”

Depression: “Dude, you are such a loser. Look at everyone else at the table, they can hold their liquids. What is *wrong* with you?”

Acceptance: “It’s going to be ok. I’m going to make it. I’m not going to pee my pants. And if I do, it will be fine, right?”

Over the course of an hour and a half I moved up and down and back and forth through all of those stages and I squirmed mightily in my chair.

Look, my attention span isn’t that long to begin with. Add in a full to bursting bladder and I don’t hear what anybody has to say about any topic.

It was horrible. At one point I thought I might even cry, I had to pee so badly.

And finally! Finally at the hour and forty five minute mark that damn candidate stopped talking and I was free to go use the restroom all the way over on the other side of the building.

Then it becomes like that question of walking or running in the rain. As in: In which method do you get wetter? (I think Mythbusters proved it’s a toss up)

The question became: do I walk to the bathroom thus taking longer and upping my odds for peeing my pants? Or do I run thus jangling my stuff and making it more likely I’ll pee my pants?

I chose a sort of tight-legged shuffle and finally made it safely into the bathroom stall.

And once I made it to the safe zone and did my business, my whole world looked a little brighter. A little happier. A little more at peace.

I know everyone has gone through the ballad of the full bladder at one point or another. When you have a walnut bladder it happens a little more often than I’d like.

You better betcher sweet life I’m doing a much better job of meeting and bladder management. No one likes the full bladder squirms.

Ok, not *really* an affliction. The word just sounded good to add the right amount of drama.

Image found here.

Hi Hi He

While I will admit to the fact that I am the kind of storyteller that enjoys a liberal splash of hyperbole in all my writings, I hereby certify that the following is a true and accurate description of the events of yesterday.

Here we go.

So there I was in the ladies room finishing up my I-drank-too-many-cups-of-green-tea business when another lady entered the stall next to me and with much huffing and rustling of seat cover went ahead and copped a squat.

As she settled in she began heartily whistling “over hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail” also known as the Caisson Song or the Army song.

Apparently this rousing rendition was the perfect accompaniment to the job ahead.

I hi hi hee’d right the heck out of the concert hall before she got to the part about “field artillery.”

No one wants to be a part of that.

That completes the entirety of the thoughtful and meaningful content of this post, dated Friday, March 8th in the year 2013.

Happy Friday.

Image from Observations & Answers.

What a World

I had a really good day yesterday. An exceptionally good day. Really top notch, if I do say so myself.

I belong to a group of professionals who do the same kind of work that I do. Internet modesty causes me to decline to state. Suffice to say, it’s not like I’m a part of the Action Hero Institute or Society of Scientists Doing Cool Stuff. For the sake of ease of this post, let’s call what I do paper shuffling.

This group has some meetings and they fund their cause by offering training courses in the various aspects and disciplines within the paper shuffling profession.

A few years ago they put out a call for instructors and I threw my hat in the ring. Back in 2010 I conducted my first training class, a four hour session. This was my first time teaching a course and 80+ slides and four hours of talking seemed daunting. I was as nervous as I’d been in a long time (pit stains reminiscent of passing my boards for my MBA) but I ended up having a really good experience.

Recently, the Paper Shuffling Professionals of America asked me to come back and teach again. I agreed and that queasy nervousness set in right away. I pulled up the PowerPoint deck I had used back in 2010 and said aloud, “hey…this is pretty good.”

I had a class of fifteen souls yesterday who actually paid money to listen to me yammer on for four hours about the art and science of paper shuffling.

It was such a great group, though. They were fun and interactive and even seemed to laugh at a good portion of my humor. Teaching the class didn’t give me pit stains this time, the hours seemed to fly. I ended the class energized as all get out and walking about half a foot off the ground.

I felt, dare I say it, very proud of myself.

As you’ll recall from this blog, I’m the girl who once, as a child, had to have a doctor extract a piñon nut I had shoved up my nose.

I once got a dime up there too. My big sister was able to get that out before the folks caught wind of the situation.

I’m the girl who was following my big brother on a hike in the mountains of Cuba, New Mexico and was trying so hard to keep up that I ran smack into a tree branch and scratched my face.

I’m the girl who wrapped a rubber band around the end of my nose. In the hour before I was to attend a ballet class. How was I to know it would badly bruise and I would be mocked mercilessly by those prissy ballet girls?

In college I once got so lost on the Border Highway I had to go to someone’s home and knock on their door to ask for directions back to Las Cruces (pre-mobile phone days). This was at night. I am still amazed I didn’t get shot.

I cannot add a column of numbers in my head. I cannot tell you which direction is north (I could do it when I had the Sandias as my guide). I often drool when I sleep. I am prone to cursing like a sailor.

And most recently, I am the girl who, just before leaving the house to go to teach a training class, used the rest room and as I flushed I also manged to drop my keys in the toilet. Big important teacher woman leapt into the bowl and held on to them for dear life as the waters rushed by (thankfully it was only a #1 bowlful).

And yet, the Paper Shuffling Professionals of America wanted me to teach a class, and worse yet people paid good money to listen to what I had to say.

What a world, what a world. Who would have thought all my years of hard work would erase my beautiful dorkiness. If only for a moment.

Photo found on The History Bluff.

The Right Tool for Every Residence

This past weekend, I found myself kneeling by the side of my bathtub pouring extra super thick double maxx Liquid Plumr down the drain.

The thing didn’t even gurgle back at me it was so clogged up. Not that the drain on this sad ol’ tub ever worked that well to begin with. The strands of my luxurious mane are, sadly, more than it can take.

As I sat back on my heels waiting for that satisfying gurgle/sigh that pipe gives off when it’s cleared, I thought about how every damn place I’ve lived since the moment I set foot in the State of California has had plumbing issues.

Every. Single. One.

The first place where I unpacked my bags in Cali was in Sunnyvale. It was a cheery little eight unit building with a landlord so cheap he made Abe Lincoln on the penny squeak. He wasn’t a bad guy, he was just a massive tightwad.

My next door neighbors, two over tanned ex-hippies, came over to my place to welcome me to the building. They also presented me with a gift, saying, “Trust us, you’ll need it.”

This was the gift:

Isn’t she a beauty? Yes, I still have her some fifteen years later. This little black beauty has been my guardian. My savior. My favorite tool.

That plunger has unclogged toilets, sinks and disposers across the Greater Bay Area.

I thought of my old friend as I gazed into the drain of the sad, blocked bathtub that fills with water halfway up my shins when I take a shower. I wished old Black Beauty could step into service on this problem. She has a magic touch. Sadly I was unable to get her assistance on this one.

It took an entire bottle of the Plumr to finally get some movement in that damn drain. It’s ostensibly fixed, but still slow as molasses running in an uphill direction on a cold January day.

But the toilet, that flushes like a champion. That’s cuz Black Beauty is standing guard.
Yes. I wrote an entire blog post about a plunger.

Happy Friday.

As I’m sure everyone wants to rip off my photo of a plunger, I am obligated to tell you that it is Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license found in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone 4s, the Camera+ app, and love.