Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #589

Clarissa, left: “Why, yes, Mother. I am feeling a little blue. However did you know?”

Mother, always right: “Partly because I gave birth to you and I can sense your erratic mood swings. But mostly because I could hear you from the other room, sighing with the increasing roar of a disgruntled typhoon. Now, what’s troubling you?”

Clarissa: “Well, it all began when I was five and you refused to get me a Burp and Gurgle Baby Doll like all the other girls had and I-”

Mother: “Dear, we don’t have time for that. Let’s get to the point so I can get back to the other room, the one where I was happier.”

Clarissa, pouting: “Fine, just run off and leave me, then. You’re always doing that.”

Mother, eyes tightening: “That isn’t fair, Clay-Clay. Going to the other room is not the same as me taking a year off in Malta when you were especially annoying in the fifth grade.”

Clarissa: “Of course I was annoying that year. The wretched teacher kept insisting that I increase my vocabulary. I was perfectly fine with the words I already knew.”

Mother: “And you knew some very choice words, based on what you were screaming at me and Mrs. Jones in the headmistress’s office. Where you learned that kind of language, I’ll never know.”

Clarissa: “I got it from those books you used to keep in your nightstand.”

Mother, pausing: “Surely not the books in the second drawer. I kept that securely locked.”

Clarissa: “Not as securely as you thought. Especially after you would have a long conversation with Jose Cuervo at dinner. Or instead of dinner. Whatever you were trying to accomplish.”

Mother: “Hmm. Perhaps I shouldn’t have blamed everyone else for your behavior instead of myself. Still, I’m not apologizing for what eventually transpired. I rather enjoyed that year in Malta, and you got to meet your best friend, Gina Tonica, at that alternative school you were forced to attend, The Sophie Tucker Center for the Repeatedly Untucked. As I recall from the telegrams your parole officer sent me, the two of you were quite enamored of one another, always running about and getting into mischief.”

Clarissa, pensively: “She taught me a lot of things. Like how to pick locks. And the amazing things one can do when not wearing undergarments.”

Mother, reflectively: “That reminds me of my own experiments when I summered in Greece after my sophomore year at St. Sapphia’s. One should always explore certain options when possible, just to answer any lingering questions they might have. But I really need to get back to my bridge game. Can we focus on your current issue instead of doing a retrospective of all the others?”

Clarissa: “It’s that procedure I’m having on Wednesday.”

Mother: “You might have to narrow it down, my pet. You seem to be involved in a lot of tedious. procedures. Like this one right now.”

Clarissa: “The procedure where a strange man is going to inspect one of my secret gardens. The one at the back of my property.”

Mother: “Oh, that. It’s called a colonoscopy, dear. Perhaps you would know the word if you hadn’t been so resistant to Mrs. Jones trying to do something about your negligible vocabulary.”

Clarissa: “Who’s doing a retrospective now? I know the word, Mother. I just don’t like saying it. It sounds so… nasty and wrong.”

Mother, starting to sigh but then stifling it, as sighing had gotten her into this minefield in the first place: “There’s nothing wrong with a colonoscopy. It’s a perfectly normal procedure that is well-advised once you reach a certain age. You may still look dewy and youthful, what with all that plastic surgery I keep discovering on my Visa bill, but your back garden is wrinkly and overgrown by now. Trust me, I’ve seen photos of my own decaying horticulture.”

Clarissa: “I just don’t want him to find anything.”

Mother: “Like your head?”

Clarissa: “Mother!”

Mother: “Sorry, dear. I just had a brief senior moment and thought I was talking to your father. The brain also gets wrinkly here and there, often when you least expect it. Anyway, there’s nothing to worry about. Not now. We do the procedure and we see what happens. When do you start that hellish liquid diet?”

Clarissa, back to the sighing: “Tonight at midnight. And then there’s that chemical power-wash mess tomorrow afternoon.”

Mother, nodding: “Then you’ll be wanting a nice dinner this evening. How about I fix you something special?”

Clarissa, eyes reluctantly lighting up: “That would be swell. But no red meat or nuts or-”

Mother, patting Clarissa’s hand and then releasing it: “I know the drill, as I’ve been drilled many times. Now, I’m off to finish the game. Then we’ll eat in a bit.”

Clarissa: “Are you winning?”

Mother: “This round with you? Perhaps. But I’m not about to have my back garden in the air whilst strangers look for bad turnips, so I have an unfair advantage.”

Clarissa: “No, the bridge game. I assume you can win one. I’ve never played.”

Mother, smiling: “Oh, I never care about the score. I’m just happy that I can still play the game. And let’s do what we can to make sure you play for a long time as well.”

Clarissa: “Thanks, Mother.”

Mother, turning to go: “Of course. Okay, we’ll chat later. You try to think of other things while I’m gone. And by other things, I don’t mean my books. Stop reading them.”

Clarissa, watching her mother disappear into the adjoining room: “Then stop putting locks on drawers! You know what it does to me when people tell me no.”

Mother, faintly: “Can’t hear you! The reception is bad in Malta.”

Clarissa smiled. And worried just a tiny bit less…

I also start the liquid diet tonight, followed by the power wash and the eventual intrusive gardening. As such, I will most likely be measurably dissatisfied and not in the mood for WordPress for a few days. We shall see. In the interim, stay safe and play nice.


43 replies »

    • To be fair, this was my second time down this particular path, so I was familiar with all the stations on the journey. Still, I was not impressed, and I would rather do anything else. Well, not ANYTHING. But most other things… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahhhh I thought this one had a deeper meaning. Been there done that. All part of the growing process. Hope you noted that I did not say growing old process. Everything goes back to feeling normal after a good night’s sleep. And you do feel slimmer for a day or so after the flushing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I noted. We should celebrate the growing and not the growing old, hard as it is to do sometimes.

      That good night’s sleep was delicious. I have chronic insomnia, so the rare to chance to lay down, close my eyes and immediately drift away was VERY satisfying. And I managed to lose TEN pounds during the goings-on, which probably says a lot about my questionable diet… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, the shining of that sun. Isn’t it a delight when there are 15 people in the operating room who are intensely focused on your sun? That was fun, said no one, ever… 😉


  2. 18 years ago my wife sent me to get a colonoscopy. What a betrayal when I found out it wasn’t a fancy new telescope. I have not been back for another. If procrastination is fatal, I will die of embarrassment.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sadly, because they found things that are not fatal but mildly-concerning from a scientific standpoint, I have to do this whole mess again in a year. I cannot express my sublime joy at the thought of such. I would much rather go with the 18-year interval plan… 😉


  3. It was suggested to me that I’m due again for that test. I said I was not, that they guaranteed me five years, prod-free in 2018. I’m good to go. My sympathies and my support are with you, and there is that lovely conscious sedation to enjoy if one survives the nasty pre-procedure wash and rinse and repeat. I have to take these gigantic (and allegedly cancer-causing) horse pills because I can’t stomach (literally) the drink. There’s nothing those proctology types hate worse than a less than clear portal to put their probes. Actually, men have it good and may not know it, because while the rear door probe is unpleasant and embarrassing, women must endure it from both the front AND the back. Showing your rear entrance to someone while you’re asleep (while the stuff of certain porno films) is more pleasant than someone requesting you fling your legs over your ears and show Mrs. Happy to them while wide awake while they stick metal things up your hoo-ha is nothing short of torture. One has to worry about the landscaping and other annoyances that one might have let slide because nobody plays in one’s empty garden any longer. Aliens got their ideas from watching GYN doctors do their stuff, I’m convinced. Beam me up, Scotty! Just keep your probes to yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ll break this response down into plot points, because you know I enjoy numbering things…

      One, I would LOVE to have a five-year guarantee. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be my allotment in life. I had this same procedure in 2019, and based on the surprising number of polyps they found (all benign, happily) they advised I should have another excavation in a year. As we all know, 2020 was all about Covid, and the procedure was deemed non-essential. So now we’re in 2021, and they found more polyps. (Not as many, but still.) So I have to do it again next year. This does not make me happy in any way.

      Two, that power-wash drink is abysmal. I was constantly on the verge of urping, but I managed to keep things down. And then those things came out the other end, with dramatic flourish…

      Three, I cannot even begin to imagine having both my back AND front garden violated. I feel for you. (Music reference!)

      Four, I used to very invested in my personal landscaping. But now I’ve reached the point of “if something wants to grow there, let it grow”. There are many more-important things that require my attention…

      Five, I fully understand why aliens would laugh at humans. We often don’t know which end is up… 😉


  4. I have yet to encounter that particular mile stone. I’ve had to do all the lead up, when there was blockage, and I’ll stop there. I wrote about it once, and that was enough.

    I agree with Melanie. My next visit with my Primary will involve the dreaded exam. My doc is approximately 1000 years old, so it should be quite an experience 🤦🏼‍♀️

    I’ll be sending you Spain Vibes until you’re recovered enough to resume your hosting duties. 💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve hit the milestone twice now, so I suppose I’m something of a veteran, as many folks subject themselves once and then vow never to subject again. Proper preventive care can sometimes be a pain in the ass, literally.

      Your Primary also does the boo check? That’s a multi-tasker right there. My primary referred me out…

      Thank you for the Spain Vibes. I tried to focus on that vision as they ripped open my paper party dress and they started spelunking… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. All the love and support for your upcoming event. I had it and hated it so much that I haven’t gone back to do it although I was advised to. LOL. Wish you great result. I googled and it says, “Clarissa is a 1941 German romance film directed by Gerhard Lamprecht and starring Sybille Schmitz, Gustav Fröhlich”. I think this is not it. Your picture looks more like a Hollywood movie. LOL. Wait. Here is another one. 1935 movie “Splendor” in which a man disappoints his destitute family by marrying a poor girl. Probably this one. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just LOVE the support I get from the Bonnywood regulars. It warms my heart.

      As for the photo, this is one of the few where I couldn’t find a history, which is why I didn’t include any helpful tags. Normally, the Google photo search does an excellent job, taking me right to what I need to know, but this time the options were too vague. I think the younger actress might be Myrna Loy and the older actress May Robson, but it’s iffy and I’m not going to swear to it. If you figure it out, let me know!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was my introduction to your blog, with no idea what was going on (much like the rest of my life). I was pulled in by the pic and proceeded to get more confused and entertained by every line! Great stuff (the writing, not the intrusive gardening – hope yours went ‘smoothly’ !), you write the way my brain thinks! (it’s not an insult, I swear!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, this was certainly an interesting point in which to wander into the main lobby of Bonnywood Manor. On the flip side, there’s never really a risk-free moment to stop by, as there’s always something crazy going on, especially when I do my multi-part stories. I’m sure new folks who drop into the middle of those run right back out the door, screaming… 😉


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