Needle Therapy

I did it. I crossed the boundary from modern to ancient. I went to an acupuncturist. I never thought I’d do it. Western medicine is losing its hold on me. It’s becoming more about scare tactics and meds than medical practitioners that can think outside the box. My arthritic toes needed help and my choices were orthopedic shoes that looked like army tanks or surgery. So I opted for the Chinese way.

On the recommendation of a friend, I went to see Dr. Chen. He’s a mild-mannered man with an accent. He showed me the needles he was planning to use and how he was going to treat my feet. I swallowed hard. He stuck the needles in every toe. It didn’t hurt. My feet looked like pin cushions. He left me lying on the table with my feet under heat lamps while he checked on other patients.

On subsequent visits the sticking of needles routine hurt. “That’s because circulation is returning,” Dr. Chen said with a smile. I didn’t know my circulation had departed. Now that it’s back, I’m wondering if it’s going to stay. Alf calls this foot therapy. That I’m working through my regret at not having pursued a dance career.

I need another three sessions according to Dr. Chen. Then I can retrieve my ballet shoes from the closet and soar.

Calvin says, “What happened to soaking your feet in warm sudsy water in front of a crackling fire? That’s what the ancients used to do.”

Ode to High School Teachers

In high school I loved two teachers. One taught Algebra, the other Literature. I had flunked Algebra and I would need to take it again. The teacher knew she had me as a second attempt student. Perhaps there were more of us in the class than I knew, but we never divulged our dull brains to each other. She was young, thin, with dark, short, curly hair. She deconstructed the concepts and made them easy. And for some reason, this time around my brain opened up like a Monet’s lily and I mastered the class. You’d think for such a milestone as this I would have remembered her name, sent her on a world cruise, given her a parade, blessed her continuously, and still kept in touch with her, but I didn’t do any such thing. I was just relieved to be finished with Algebra for the rest of my life and I could graduate. Life is filled with people along the way that help you master certain skills, even some you will never use like Algebra. They impart their gift for a moment and then vanish like shooting stars.

Image result for tony statueMy English teacher introduced me to plays, novels and poetry. She was fond of having me read out loud in literature class. That led to auditioning for the school play and getting the lead role. On opening night, after the performance, the mother of stage actor Richard Kiley, who was playing the role of Don Quixote in The Man from La Mancha in SF, urged me to study acting in college and go into the theater. But I had no self confidence. My mother had died two years before and I couldn’t picture myself doing it. And there went an opportunity I regret to this day. Could have I made it as an actor? Would I have become a Vanessa Redgrave or a Meryl Streep? I’ll never know.

Calvin says, “You’re actor enough for me. Especially when you’re yelling my name when you think I’m lost.”

Online Dating Is Not For Wimps

Getting married used to be a simple thing. You lived in a village all your life, and when it was time to find a spouse, Aunt Sadie, the village matchmaker was only too happy to oblige.

The village is now the world.  Aunt Sadie is an online dating site that fulfills a similar role, but in a less quirky way. If you don’t like the looks and sounds of someone, you move on. After all he was only a photograph with a few descriptive lies, not a real person. I suppose the same happened back in the village, but in that instance you ran the risk of bumping into him the next day at the county hog races.

Finding a mate is not for the fainthearted. It takes finesse, timing, the right circumstances to come together, and plain sheer grit.

I asked a friend of mine, a perennial bachelor who continues to comb the online dating scene for hopefuls, what he does when he is hurt and in pain over not finding the right person. “I tell myself God loves me much more than all these losers,” he said with a laugh.

“Even at your age when you behave like a dejected 17-year old?” I asked.

“We’re all 17-years old inside. And it doesn’t get any better as you get older either,” he said.

And he ought to know. He’s been looking for a wife forever.

The truth is I know many couples who met online and they have happy marriages.

It’s the ones who are still hopeful that I feel for.

Sometimes the search is aggravating and unbearable.

Calvin says, “Do what I do. I dig up an old bone to re-acquaint myself with it. Then bury it under your pillow so I have something to keep me entertained while you search on your iPad.”