I somehow doubt there are many woman (maybe even men) out there who don’t wish they could change something about their body. We all could like to be taller or thinner or have different hair or less acne. People long to look like Barbie or Jennifer Lopez or Hermoine Granger, but today as my left ring finger throbbed, I decided I might just have the most unusual case of body envy ever. Before I got RA, I might would have said one of those ladies listed above. You know who I would have traded bodies with today? Mrs. Potato Head.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Our dear friend has finally lost her marbles. But I woke up this morning with an inconsolable pain in my left ring finger and one of my toes. As I was rubbing the finger, massaging it, and even at one point putting the knuckle in my mouth to sooth the ache, I realized, “That chick, Mrs. Potato Head, has the right idea. I would pull this damned finger off right now if I could.”
If I’m honest, this envy of the dear wife of Mr. Potato Head started before now. I remember when I had my knee drained and a cortisone shot put in it, I was lying in bed and just couldn’t be still. I was resisting taking any pain meds, and BJ said, “What are you doing?” I thought for a second and answered with all honesty, “I think I’m trying to get away from my own leg.” If I were Mrs. Potato Head, that would be easy. Just snap that leg off, leave it in a corner for a while, snap it back on when it’s feeling better.
There are other perks to being Mrs. Potato Head. I have a face that tells on me. My thoughts are written all over my expression. I’ve tried for years to fight it. Now, it causes even more problems because my expression may have nothing to do with what a person is saying or doing. It may not be telling on my thoughts about the other person, but the expression of pain or frustration on my face is read the wrong way. If I were Mrs. Potato Head, I would just snap on my happy face and roll on.
That face changing business is no small matter. I think everyone could agree just being able to go from sleepy and tired to awake and rested in a quick snap would be worth whatever money it would take to be changed into Mrs. Potato Head. I can just picture it now. I wake up groggy with hands too sore to fix my hair or make-up. No problem. Just snap on my extra set of hands, use those hands to snap on my face and make-up, and voila! I am ready to go. Think of all we could accomplish in a day if getting up and ready were that easy.
Being Mrs. Potato Head would be really helpful during cold and flu season. When that sick person wants to shake hands with you and all you can think is, “Oh, let’s hope I don’t catch whatever that is, but I don’t want to hurt their feelings,” you just shake hands. Then snap that hand off, pop it in a Ziploc bag, and snap a clean hand on. Problem solved.
I am notorious for misplacing things. I really should wear cargo pants or a fishing vest every day so I can keep up with the various things I put down in people’s classroom, at friend’s houses, and in public places. If I were Mrs. Potato Head, I would have plenty of storage every where I went. Sure, the location of Mrs. Potato Head’s storage is unfortunate, but I think I could learn to deal with that.
Mrs. Potato Head has exactly the right set-up to use at my job. Teachers are always needing an extra set of eyes. I already amaze kids with my uncanny ability to “know” what they are doing when I’m not looking. (They really do think that we are either dumb or their tricks are something new). How much more effective would it be with an extra set of eyes snapped on the back of my head? And I don’t even have to explain how useful all those extra parts would be as a mother.
I do have one thing Mrs. Potato Head has, and that’s a husband who likes her just the way she is. I’m very blessed he loves me the same even though this disease has changed me. I know it wears on him, just like it does me, but he never complains. Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head have been together 61 years, and I feel confident my Mr. Potato Head and I will make it at least that far. Our little spuds are pretty amazing, too.
Reality is that this is the body I have. So, since I have learned to love the straightness of my hair and the shape of my face and the length of my legs as I have gotten older, maybe I can learn to love the part of me that is sick, too. Then, I can even let go of envying Mrs. Potato Head.