I've had occasion recently to ponder my many faults. As many of you know (via Catholic school or Brad Pitt movies), the Seven Deadly Sins are Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth
Let's start with the ones that don't trouble me. Bear with me,this will be a short list.
Nope. Having money or things just because it's there. That mentality has never interested me.
I'm not particularly afflicted with envy. Not that my life is so shit hot, but everyone has problems. Sure it seems like it would be great to be filthy rich but who knows. It would certainly suck to be famous and of that I have no doubt.
I wasn't sure where to put this because let's face it; the munchies are a universal phenomenon. On the other hand, I don't make it a habit with either food or drink. But I've certainly had my moments.
And to round off this category (and I'm not going to dwell on this), the only thing I remember about lust is how to spell it. The last time I had an x-ray, before the technician activated the machine he asked, "Is there any chance you could be pregnant?"
"Gee, I don't know," I replied. "Is there a star rising in the east?"
Now, onto to the "capital vices" that have an implacable grip on my soul.
I admit that every now and then I can have moments of wrath (I am typing this with a straight face), but I prefer to see the funny side of things rather than react with blind anger. On the other hand, I am not someone you want to piss off. You might wind up in this blog.
I agonized over this for days and even now, I'm still not sure if Sloth should come in at a mere second. Sloth's grip on my will is absolute and weak sinner that I am, I generally find it easier to just give in.
Who am I kidding? I embrace it. I luxuriate in it. I fling myself at it with giddy abandon. So epic is my laziness that family legends have sprung up around it.
And when added to my cardinal sin, pride, the mix creates a Louis the Sun King aura (without, of course, the royal heritage, pots of money, accomplishments and a place in history).
Which leads me to my next item.
What can I say? I admit it. I am a vain woman. But it's more than that. Sometimes I'm quite convinced that I am really rather marvelous.
While obnoxious, this would not be all that remarkable, there are thousands of vain people in the world. In fact, our whole society is all about vanity and glorifying the superficial. We've all been assaulted by media images of perfection and many of us have fallen for it. I just happen to be one of them.
Besides, I'm a Leo with four other planets there, which apparently makes this sort of thing more or less inevitable.
But since I've also been cruelly cursed with self-knowledge, I must acknowledge that my behaviour could be the result of an undiagnosed narcissistic personality disorder. So sue me.
(This is what is known as "The Likely Story".)
But take heart, "A pride did indeed goeth before a fall." Here it comes.
Ladies, we all know that each of us has three sizes of clothing, 1. the skinny stuff you get into when you're in great shape, 2. the normal stuff that you usually settle for and 3. at least one pair of "fat jeans".
I can't say now what in the world possessed me to stuff myself into pants I was about 5 pounds too heavy for but I think that a heartbreaking dose of caffeine and a delusional episode had something to do with it.
Hmm, I thought, gazing at my reflection, not bad at all. Kind of hot as a matter of fact. OK, so they were a little tight but they'd loosen up, right?
I was doing stuff around the house, so I had not really had a chance yet to sit down. The first glimmer of foreboding I had (apart from complete numbness below the waist) struck me at the two stairs leading out of my house. As I attempted to descend them, I found there was not enough play in the fabric to allow me to bend my knees, but I persevered and hauled myself down the steps.
Whew! Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all but I was stuck with it now and I knew I could suck it up. Besides I was getting ready to go out and sing Karaoke and that I was sure would distract me from any discomfort I might experience courtesy of a size four denim tourniquet. I could do this, no sweat. Once I was at the bar and absorbed in the fun, none of this would matter. Convinced of this, I tottered confidently into the bar, put my coat away and sat down at a table.
I sat down -- and felt a little thrill as my legs went dead.
I heaved myself to my feet, desperate to sort myself out before I was struck dead by deep vein thrombosis.
The blinding lightheadedness caused by the sudden surge of blood thundering back into my parched lower extremities staggered me only momentarily and was soon replaced by a case of pins and needles so severe that I began to pray. The tingling, numbness and an inability to bend my knees (combined with the inseam's increasingly menacing assault on my most intimate areas) lent my gait a jaunty, almost pirate-like air. (Argh!) I reeled to the other end of the bar, determined to make it to the sanctuary of the bathroom in record time.
Once inside, I desperately dug into my viscera (belly-flab-overhang) for the button at my waist.
The relief as I popped that button was immediate and as my grateful lower body began to swell, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. In addition to cutting off all my circulation, my reflection revealed that I had magically been transformed into an interesting performance art piece; a topographical map rendered in exquisite detail on flesh.
There was a deep groove where the zipper had been and the line of the seam was imbedded so indelibly onto my thighs I could count the stitches. In fact, I was pretty sure the pattern could be seen from space. Clearly, I was now one with the jeans in an unpleasant Borg-like way. Peeling them off was no small task, as it soon became apparent that they had bonded to my flesh, evidently on a cellular level.
Then a chilling thought struck me. Oh, gawd.
Have you ever removed your boots after a long hike? Ever tried to put them back on five minutes later? It was kind of like that. Unless I could manage to stuff myself back into the damn jeans immediately, I'd never get them back on. I gritted my teeth, sucked in one last, unencumbered breath and hauled the button toward the buttonhole.
This endeavour gave me an idea of what it must be like to force 100 pounds of Jello into a straw. By midnight, I was seriously considering calling the paramedics. Clearly, the only thing that could separate me from my jeans was the Jaws of Life.
Don't ask me how I got through the night - I have no memory of it, thanks no doubt to imminent death by constriction. It tends to be a bit distracting.