Last year, for the entire month of December and part of January my mouth was wired shut because I had jaw surgery.
It was a little inconvenient for me because we go to the beach each year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. But even though I was wired shut, on a liquid diet, and my doctor strongly advised against it, I went anyway.
It was especially nice last year because between my surgery and our departure date I had spent three solid weeks in my house with the exception of my required follow-ups with the doctor.
When I was excitedly planning our beach trip, though, I didn’t really take into consideration that I would be around people. In public. Where I could be seen.
I was a bit of a spectacle.
At Laser Tag, I scared some kids I didn’t know when we were paired up as teammates. In the black light I was glowing… in a creepy Hannibal Lecter mask sort of way. Except it was my real face.
I got strange looks from everyone around me when I drank four bowls of soup through a straw at the Pirate’s Voyage dinner show.
And on our next-to-last night there, I made a complete fool of myself jumping and flailing in an attempt to stop an elderly man from backing into my car. That story can be found here. It’s especially funny if you’re not me.
That same night, we ended up at the Spring House Restaurant, where we always visit for down-home comfort food. Since there was no real dignified way for me to do it, I had avoided eating in well-lit public places as much as possible. But I was starving after the whole parking lot debacle, and there were few other customers in the restaurant. I decided to chance it.
I ordered soup, and they were kind enough to blend it for me so I could drink it through a straw.
I was pleased business seemed to be slow, yet, there were other customers. Namely, an elderly foursome sitting directly behind us. One man in particular, the one facing me, found me particularly fascinating.
After all the jumping and flailing and watching my car get hit, I had very little patience for anyone googling at me. And this guy? He just wouldn’t stop staring. And watching me eat. And whispering to the person next to him while he stared at me and watched me eat.
So I stared back. It didn’t help.
I even took his picture. (Though, for the record, I took the photo with my phone and the man had no idea what I was doing. Matt was so embarrassed. See him nervously playing on his phone?)
Finally, I gave up and smiled at him. A big, wide smile so he could see all my hardware very clearly. What he saw looked something like this. (Meme courtesy of Matt).
Guess what happened then. He paid the check and left. A year later, I still smile when I think about it.
Yesterday when we returned to Spring House I was ready for him, but he was nowhere to be found.
So far, our trip has been happily uneventful. It is really nice not to draw attention everywhere I go. I’m also enjoying the food immensely. No soup for me!
On tap for tomorrow: laser tag. Hopefully this time my teammates and opponents won’t be talking about my resemblance to a horror movie icon, but instead my impeccable aim.
Or maybe I will just blend in and they won’t be talking about me at all. Even better.