The One Damned Sock…

May 1st was Blogging Against Disablism Day, and I have in my drafts at all three blogs to which I contribute regularly a post started where I had intended to write something for the day. I had my work writing caught up, so it was all I had left, really. Then something unexpected happened.

I had a really good day that day.

Like, a low pain, high energy day. The kind where I woke up and the first thought in my mind was not “oh, damn, my neck should not be moving right now”. The kind where I was able to sit up right away, get dressed, make the bed, and not even think about much else other than what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to stretch or cry or shake The Guy awake for a pain pill. I felt… good.

I got up before anyone else, and went straight to the kitchen, and turned on the stove, and got out all of the ingredients to make my famous on two continents and a Pacific Island brownies, which I had been wanting to do, but hadn’t really felt up to in quite some time. I have managed to do the things I have needed to do, mostly with great pain, and some of the things I have wanted, with guaranteed pain. Often “things I have wanted” meant that I had to plan on some quality time with my sofa, or even my bed the day after because of the massive overdraw of spoons. But on this day, this particular day, I got up and made brownies, before anything else (OK, I lied, I went to the bathroom and such things). I made brownies, and when Kid woke up she arrived just in time for me to have finished the double boiler melting portion and she got to help, and it was a joyous experience that we seldom get to share.

Then, as the brownies were baking I made Kid’s favorite breakfast; Spam, eggs, and rice. We ate to the wonderful smell of chocolate baking in my DeMarle muffin cups, which I managed to rig in my Korean oven, all while correctly guessing the temperature (our oven doesn’t have numbers on the dial for whatever reason and we have yet to find an oven thermometer) and to the sound of my new Kelly Clarkson CD mixed with my pop/rock mix on the iPod dock in the kitchen. Everything was perfect by the time we cleaned up. We had cupcake-shaped brownies for later, a clean kitchen, and I still had energy… all before 1000 (that’s 10 AM for you non-military folk).

So, since laundry is my nemesis and I was feeling spunky, I rounded up all the white clothes to be done and tossed them in our Korean combo. We packed up all of the things we needed for the baseball game for that afternoon ahead of time so we wouldn’t be rushed later. I washed and packed our new sun tea-pot and the tea we intended to brew (Ginger Snappish, you can’t find that when it isn’t the holidays, but thankfully my Guy picked up a ton of it at the after X-mas fiasco sales) and snacks. We had Kid pack her after game bag for her over night play date (you mean, a grown up night alone!?! Perish the thought!). Everything went so smoothly. Showers, dressing, all without near-passing out in the shower simply trying to wash up. I didn’t have to sit down for a rest after my shower before dressing and managing my hair. Everyone was ready to go, and I checked on the laundry before we left: one hour to go and we could hang it when we got home.

The baseball game was so much fun, as I have decided Coach Pitch games are. If you haven’t had the pleasure you should swing by one and check it out. NO ONE KEEPS SCORE! It is one of those rare things that fills you with such glee (the lighthearted joyeux feeling kind, not the rage-inducing trainwreck of a U.S. Telly show kind). There is something about the event that is kids sliding into home plate when no one is even in the vicinity of the catcher with a ball. We bantered with our new friends while our kids picked flowers in the outfield (“Hey! The ball is coming right at you, Center Field!”) and our tea brewed in the sun. A good friend I have made here wandered over and we had a genuinely great time watching 6-8 year olds slide into home plate while perfectly safe.

The Guy and I had a quiet evening and went up to the mall to catch a movie, and after eating at our favorite Ramen place (because my new throat thing has left me Not Allowed to have spicy food, so budae jjigae, which is our usual grown up night dinner, was right out. WOES!). We wandered through the book store and I got a lovely key chain for 3,000 won that is shaped like a shooting star and a pencil case for my purse, and a few bobs and bits for crafting. We went to the theater at iPark to see what was playing, and saw that Iron Man 2 was here, but decided that we just can’t see it w/o Kid, so we decided to have some Red Mango and go home.

We got a cab easily, which is a surprise, got home and put on some comfy clothes. I read my new Star Wars book and laid my head in The Guy’s lap while he rode a Chocobo around for some post-game Final Fantasy XIII fun. Then, before long we just went to bed. Because it was the end of the day and we were sleepy. Not because I was exhausted or because I was in so much pain after having been out for the day that I was pleading for a pain-killer and sleep to get through it. Just…because.

The next morning we decided to treat ourselves to Early Bird Brunch at the Dragon Hill Lodge (where, as it turns out, The Kid was brunching with her school mate and her family, but we played like we were some big movie stars hiding in the corner, which was both funny and ineffectual). With the hour and a half we had before we had to pick Kid up we hopped a cab toward Dongdaemun to do some quick errands. I got a new mug with a smiling waffle on it, which makes me so happy I could *squee*. A smiling waffle! On my coffee mug! I love Korea!

Kid and her Friend and Friend’s Brother were playing baseball at the playground when we picked her up. We loaded her stuff up, brought her home for a short nap before we did our Sunday chores (like we have regular chores on Sunday! HA!). When Kid was rested from her night of fun, she helped me hang all of that laundry. Getting all of the white clothes done is a special accomplishment for me because I hate washing and folding socks. Like, loathe with the passion of ten thousand suns hate. I remember my mother saving entire baskets of socks for me to mate and fold, and to this day I detest the chore. They were all done and I was so happy. Yay me and my body that let me get something done.

And that is when I found it. Stuck under the shelf in our laundry area. One sock. One damned sock, smudged with baseball dirt from the field from last week’s game I am sure or maybe practice, but there it was. All of the white clothes hung on the line clean, and there I was with one dirty sock.

That might also be the time I realized that I had missed finishing any post about BADD. I honestly felt like crap about both. In truth, though, I think that when we live with disabilities we seldom remember that living those good days — if we are privileged enough to have them — is our own way of speaking out against ablesism/disablism in small but powerful ways. We are allowed to live, and to not make every moment about our disability if we are able. Because we are more than the sum of our abilities or disabilities. We are also people. We have lives and families and friends events that mean things to us. There are things that happen every day that keep us, sometimes, from that drafts folder. Occasionally life happens and we are allowed to hold on to it.

This is not to downplay the activism that is writing and blogging because these things are essential in my life. They keep me whole as a person and fill wounds that are gaping for me, emotionally, especially when there are so many that doctors can’t fill for me physically. It has given me a network of people who I can’t believe I ever did without. But I am going to say that I will not flog myself for missing this one event this one day, or rather, getting this done a few days late.

That one damned sock got away from me on Saturday, and I am going to wash it eventually, but it will have to wait until I am ready. I certainly didn’t plan for my disability to take over my life, and I don’t get to plan my good days. I just take them when I get them.

Originally posted at random babble… on o3 May 2010

12 Comments

  1. That’s a beautiful post, OuyangDan. I can relate. Ooh boy, can I ever relate. Those good days are such a gift.

    Also, why is there always one sock left over? This ALWAYS happens!

  2. It’s true! That damned sock is my nemesis! HA!

  3. This is a great post, thank you.

  4. I loved this post, although I have nothing smart to say about it. 🙂

  5. i loved this post too! i like the idea that my good days and my accomplishments and activities on those days qualify as activism and are worthy of celebration. (even if those activities are “just” making brownies, connecting with family, and going to a movie.) thanks for the reminder.

  6. This made me cry. It’s been so long since I had a day like that. If I were you, I’d frame the damned sock and hang it somewhere to remind you that there *ARE* good days. In a way, the one dirty sock is a victory all its own.

  7. Your joy in a good day comes through very strongly in your writing. This piece was lovely. Thank you.

  8. Such a lovely piece and so true. Thank you for sharing.

  9. That’s a beautiful post, OD.

  10. This is beautiful.

    Too often the bad days wipe out the good days, sometimes it’s good to take a few minutes and chronicle a good day or a good hour or whatever was good.

    Unfortunately, true good days can be misinterpreted – as I’ve said before, Dr Ego has assumed my pain has changed because I’m laughing with my mom when he walks in. A good mood one day has no effect on the pain.

    Another thing is the idea of “well, you had a good day yesterday, why not today?” Or maybe that’s just me.

  11. Thanks, everyone. You actually just kind of welled my tears up a bit with your comments. I am glad I could share that sock with you!

  12. I know the situation. More or less anyway. Both of my BADD posts came in Sunday, because on Saturday I was having fun, living what little life I can. Being with friends, role-playing, having a good time. So posts came in late or in your case not at all(?), but having a good day is a damn good excuse for that. 😀