Man versus nature

The title of this post was the prompt for our “assignment” at my writers’ group on Monday. I was late getting around. I’m writing this late Tuesday afternoon. As you might notice, I’m late getting around again. Well, always. It was a smashingly good idea to interview other writers in May. I’ve loved the interviews. I don’t have one of my own because, as I already said, I’m late…yes, right. Anyway, I apologize for having the wrong thing here. Hope you have a wonderful week!

I tried, this morning at 11:47 when I decided I should try to actually do an assignment, to think of some confrontation between man—in this case, that would be me—and nature that had been even remotely successful. For me. Hmmm….

11:56. Me vs. Edy’s ice cream. Edy’s won. Edy’s uses natural flavors.

12:03. Me vs. manuscript in progress. Manuscript decided my word count for the day was going to be 63. Writing comes naturally to me—writing well or prolifically doesn’t necessarily. Always. Hardly ever.

12:07. Me vs. an aging bladder. Mine. Guess who won. Damn natural bladder…

12:32. What was that assignment again?

1:15. Me vs. peanut butter crackers. Natural peanut butter. I didn’t stand a chance.

Daily. I apply moisturizer. This ostensibly will stop the development of crows’ feet and other crater-like tendencies in the skin on my face. Is it working?

This weekend. At the gala that concluded the writers’ conference I attended, I borrowed a nice flowy dress from my friend Nan Reinhardt. Another writer, whose build has as many hills and valleys in it as mine does, didn’t borrow one from anyone; she wore a sheath so tight my own underwires hummed in protest. “Thank God for Spanx,” she said breathily. I didn’t see her at dinner, so I’m not sure she was able to either sit down or swallow. If the zipper had broken on that dress, we’d have all been in danger from the explosion. I’m not sure whether it was nature or the writer who won that set-to, but I know my breathing has been erratic while I wrote this paragraph. I should add to this that she looked like a million bucks. I wouldn’t have, but she did. I really don’t take that well.

The past 38 years. My husband vs. our three-acre lawn. He fertilizes it in the spring, then spends the entire summer trying to beat its growth into submission. Whenever Duane thinks he might be winning, Mother Nature dumps some rain on the lawn and the sound of her saying “Gotcha” rumbles along in the wake of the lawn tractor.

Every five weeks. A half-inch of something white shows up at the roots of my naturally blond hair that has been over the years naturally red, naturally brown, and naturally multi-colored. The same hair is also naturally straight. Rumors that it is actually gray and frizzy are not to be encouraged.

My entire adult life. I have three sizes of clothes in my closet because nature is not a feminist. She’s much nicer to men, leaving them stately and distinguished instead of chunky and old. Women will fight this into infinity. We will not win.

Each pregnancy. I threw up nonstop for the first trimester and still managed to gain weight and walk around with swollen ankles and a weak bladder.

4:37. I need to finish this so I can brush my teeth and go to a writers’ meeting. I’d like to have a good way to wrap this up. You know, come to a satisfactory conclusion. Where’s nature when you need her?

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