Monday, July 8, 2013

The Truth About Lying

"Does this hurt, Miss Puttmann?"
I am doing a little physical therapy this summer.  I have a wee shoulder issue that sends searing pain to my upper arm.  Not a major problem unless I attempt to pull a shirt over my head over my head or lift anything heavier than a pencil.  Yes, I have procrastinated a bit dealing with this.  Remember my physical of several weeks ago (stirrups but no ponies...)?  My doctor decided that my summer should include 6-8 trips to PT.  I made the first today.

I spent an hour going through a series of "tests" which involved the therapist tying my body into a variety of pretzel shapes to see what was truly causing the pain.  Then she ran me through the "exercises"--to be done 3 times a day along with massive amounts of icing (not the frosting kind).  I never was a dancer or a cheerleader.  In fact, I was a Jazzercise dropout in the early 80's.  I can't memorize exercises or routines.  I have no left-right orientation.  I always use the wrong arm or move in the wrong direction.  My therapist could see she was dealing with a special case when I was finding it difficult to mimic even her simpliest moves.  She printed out six pages of instructions to go home with me.  Like that is going to help.

Truth be told, I cheat at physical therapy.  Oh, I start out promising myself that I am going to faithfully adhere to the regime, but by day two I have usually lost the instructions and let the scheduled exercise times slip from my mind.  It is like my brief stint at piano lessons.  I never practiced.  Well, 15 minutes before I was to leave the house for the lesson, I would crack the spine of the music book and attempt the first measure.  Right before I get out of my car for the next PT appointment, I will pretzel myself in the car a bit and call it good.  For these particular exercises, I may have to open the sunroof for my overhead stretches and then dangle my left arm out the driver's side window.  I am glad it is summer.

When I ran this idea past Eydie, she said, "It is like lying to the dentist about flossing."  Lie about flossing?  I was totally shocked.  I religiously floss every night, sometimes twice if I have had a little extra snack after the initial toothbrush session.  She lies to her dental hygenist.  I may lie to my doctor about how many cups of coffee I drink per day, but I would never tell a falsehood about something as sacred as dental floss.  But then Eydie is the type who stretches the truth about the actual dates of her children's birthdays, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

During my brief stint as a Roman Catholic, I learned about venial (itty bitty) and mortal (humongous)sins.  I am figuring that lies about PT exercises, piano practicing, and flossing won't put the two of us into the burning fires for all of eternity.  But when do you cross that line?

All of this brings me to Pa Ingalls.  Eydie and I have discussed, ad nauseum, a moral issue that occurred in The Long Winter.  The Ingalls Family is slowly starving to death as the umpteenth blizzard hits their small Dakota Territory town.  Pa leaves the family huddled around their last potato skin to go to Almanzo and Royal's house.  Pa finds the brothers tucking into a feast of flapjacks made from  the seeds that were to be used for the spring's wheat crop.  Pa sits down to join them.  Remember the Garth Williams drawing of Pa with the huge stack dripping in melted brown sugar before him?  Of course you do.  Pa returns to his starving family with no doggy bag and no mention of the feast.  A sin of omission!!!  Now I would put this one in the biggy category, much worse than a teeny fib about doing a stretching exercise. 

Stack of flapjacks
(perhaps the originals)
And while I was hunting around for flapjack picture, I came across this quote that I believe came from Laura Ingalls Wilder's first, The Little House in the Big Woods.  It is a bit disturbing.  It deals with that whole "crossing the line" thing.

                 "Once you begin being naughty, 
                 it is easier to go on and on, 
                 and sooner or later something
                 dreadful happens."

I think my mom use to say something like this to me now and then.  I suppose if I don't watch my P's and Q's with this venial stuff, I could end up in the state pen by the time the time I am 65, and I don't think they let felons collect Social Security.  I wonder if prisoners are allowed to blog?

And no, good readers, I haven't forgotten it is Michael Landon Monday.  I found this shot of M.L.  It just proves his incredible versatility as an actor.  
I Was a Teenage Werewolf,
released in 1957,
with Michael Landon playing Tony Rivers. 
Prairie Sherry 

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