For the love of Lisa


It’s been awhile since I added to my Blog and I apologize!  Two of my dear friends recently passed away and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you why I stopped writing for a time.  Both friends were in their 40’s, both had children who are soon to take big steps in their young lives.  Both deaths seemed so shockingly unfair that for a time I couldn’t find anything funny to write about.

One of my friends, Lisa, was in her own way, a comedian.  She would do whatever she could to make me laugh and we frequently belly laughed until we were sick.  Lisa’s cancer won in the end, but the lessons that I learned from her humor will live on!  She wanted me to be funny; in fact, she encouraged me in all forms of misbehavior just so that we would have a good laugh later.  She loved to re-play the stories of all our antics in the later years of our friendship as a type of balm for her cancer.   At the end of her life, Lisa told me that if God were willing she was planning on coming back to haunt me.  I’m going to live with that threat hanging over my head, because if anyone could get away with it, she could!

My friend’s deaths really have caused me to think about what I have learned in my life thus far. So in honor of these 40-something friends I’d like to dedicate a few of my recent experiences:

I’m really enjoying being in my 40’s.  I’m not as clueless as I was in my twenties, I understand people better, I think.  I’ve learned that just because someone tells me something doesn’t make it so, unless of course they tell me that I am hot and that being Rubanesque doesn’t matter.  Then I will believe them.  I need all the help and encouragement I can get.  But here are a few more concrete examples of what I mean…

First of all, when standing in your bra and underwear at the ironing board, you should put off ironing if you are angry.  I learned this lesson just recently.   I was ironing so vigorously because of something that I was thinking about that I ironed my stomach.  Now the burn will stay with me for a while and I can use it as a way to remember not to iron in anger again.  Some people get tattoos.  I got an iron brand as stomach art.  At least I am still with the current fads.

During this last winter I learned that under no circumstance should you ever keep your nasal allergy spray in the car.  It gets really cold during an Iowa winter and if you keep your nasal spray in your car it will be akin to storing it in a cryogenic deep freeze.  When you decide to spritz your nose in mid-January to clear up your allergies, you will receive an instant and sharply pointed brain freeze probably directed right at your Hypothalamus.  This is not beneficial.   It also does nothing to help your allergies since when you are in so much pain your eyes water, your nose drips and you often times see orbs.  This is a recent cold weather lesson that I have learned and wanted to pass on to you, my reader friends.  Word.

I’ve learned that sometimes after a long winter, when you re-examine your long-covered kneecaps, you will be shocked to realize that they look elderly.  One friend swears that if you look at her saggy kneecaps you can see actual faces.  I wonder if the face is Jesus like those folks who find Jesus in a cinnamon roll, a Dorito or a Mrs. Pauls’ Crunchy Fish stick.  Anyway, maybe that’s what people mean when they say that we all have Jesus within us, maybe they mean in our kneecaps.  I never really thought about it before.

I’ve also learned that when you are leaning over to clean your bathtub you should never look at your reflection in the drain or in the spigot.  The drag of gravity as you lean over the tub does not reflect well when magnified in the metal drain.  The fact that gravity is no longer your friend is a painful and difficult lesson that we women all learn after suckling a few kids.  For goodness sakes, don’t look at yourself amplified in a metal drain, that is self-torture!

Speaking of hazards of the bathtub, I have recently learned to be very careful when taking a bath.  Since this Blog is new and you are just getting to know me, you might want to know that almost every night I take a two-hour bath.  During this time I read anything I can get my hands on.  Sometimes I fall asleep in the tub and I have been known to dip a book or two, but mostly I just enjoy the peace and quiet.  Until the kids start knocking on the door, that is.

Anyway, what I’ve learned about my time in the bathtub is to be very careful to let bath crystals dissolve in the water before you sit down on top of them.  Last week I sat down on some bath crystals and those dang shards embedded in my backside.  It really wasn’t all that comfortable and did nothing to add to my enjoyment of the experience.   I didn’t enjoy the doctor extracting them from my butt cheeks either.  Well sure, he was good looking and a talented doctor I might add, but from now on I’m going to stick to bath bubbles.

I’ve learned that I am good in a situation dealing with blood, stitches, or broken bones, but you do not want me around if you are going to toss your cookies.  I can be trusted to maintain control unless there is barfage.  When my children were younger, they waited until their father’s airplane had just taken off before they began to evacuate the content their stomachs.  I don’t know what I have done to merit such abuse.

The best way that I have learned to deal with barf is to take a brand new bar of soap, preferably a deodorant soap like Zest or Irish Spring, and affix it to your face with a snow scarf or some sort of a headband.  It must be placed directly under the nose but not not covering it.  Hello!  You still have to breathe!  Then, make your eyes into slits so that you really don’t have to see anything.  This is actually very good advice for those of you who are barf- averse.  It only took me a few years to learn this lesson, but as I said, by my mid-40’s I have it mostly under control.

I feel good in my mid-40’s.  I still can do all the things that I did in my 20’s, it maybe just takes me a little longer.  In all the varied things that I do and have experienced at age 44, probably the greatest thing that I have learned is that I am glad for today; it certainly is not promised to us.  I’m also glad that Lisa hasn’t come back to haunt me…yet.  Stay tuned.

7 Responses to “For the love of Lisa”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Korky Gries. Korky Gries said: Please check out my new Blog post! […]

  2. Melinda Luzbetak says:

    Sweet…and silly….and sad….and satisfying! Very good stuff yet again. BTW, what does Rubanesque mean? I don’t think I know that one. I would almost guess it be “round in shape” or “portly”. Is that right? Loved the picture with the Korky face and the ironed stomach! Perfect!

  3. Scott says:

    Another great post. You have me checking my knees….Hmmmm is that Edward R Murrow?

    I must do some editorial defining of Rubanesque however. Rubanesque means “swanky fat”, refined largeness, classy, like a fine wine. Some people think it means just plain fat or rotund but they are not knowledgable about the many forms of large women or men. For example: The fat lady in Walmart wearing bright green and pink spandex in size 4 when she needs a size 20 …NOT Rubanesque that’s just outright scary fat. The rotund (which, by the way, is “funny fat”) man working on your plumbing with the large butt crack is NOT Rubanesque. The supersized guy in a t-shirt that says “Get a Piece of THIS”, going through the line at your local fast food place with the belt that is used as an undersized shelf for his gut, is NOT Rubanesque. The lady that wears the bikini on the beach and a size 32 B cup when she needs a size 46 H and the regular bottom looks like a thong… NOT Rubanesque.

    Rubanesque ladies are pleasingly rounded and finely shaped. They are intellegent and know what to keep covered and what to show off. Rubanesque men wear suits or tuxedos that hide any unsightly bulges. So while Rubanesque may not be attractive in the bathroom it can be quite fetching elsewhere. Have a great day!

  4. Korky Gries says:

    Ha! Well, the way in which I used it was exactly the way that I meant it. Rubanesque means, “Plump, fleshy, voluptuous”, all ways in which I would describe myself. That is not a subjective determination, by the way…it is a statement of fact. Rubens was a 17th century painter, a time period when a little “avoir du poids” meant that you had the money to buy more food. It was a good thing to be plump as opposed to today’s American society where the focus is on being stick skinny as a style.

    So those women who were painted by Rubens’ ( he used his wife as a model btw) probably were categorized as ‘in style’. In this period of art, fleshy women were also considered sensuous or desirable. I realize that it had nothing to do with the women (or men) who you see at Wal-mart who look like they are trying to stuff 310lbs of crap into a 50lb bag. I was just saying that by today’s standards of beauty, you need to be trim, athletic and sometimes downright
    anorexic. I am not those things, but I don’t care. I am what I am!

  5. Janis says:

    As always, you make my day. You have a wonderful way with words. Keep up the good work.

  6. Julie(Julia) Scaben says:

    Jon here!

    About my 40’s: I’ve been trying for some time to come up with a way to describe my figure in a more dignified manner. Short/fat/overweight just doesn’t seem to sound socially acceptable enough for me. Now you’ve done it! I’m rubanesque. I like that. Of course I didn’t know what it meant until I read the comments but I damn sure feel better about myself this morning. One goal I’ve always had is trying to find a way to make Julie laugh and feel better. You do such a great job of that for me. Take care, love ya!! Jon

  7. Deb Washburn says:

    I love Rubanesque!!!!! I will use that many times over and over again! And if Lisa comes to haunt you it will be in the most pleasant form of haunting!!!! RIP Lisa and DuWayne!

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