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Monday, June 30, 2008

Have I become a good public puker?

I have this very dear friend who is so damn classy and elegant that she even makes puking look not so bad. Even in public. Time to puke? She turns her head, does the deed, without even letting on there's a problem. She's back to her smiling, cool and tranquil self in no time flat. She never lets out a wail, she never musses her hair and she never smears her lipstick. She even misses her shoes. A hero in my book.

Historically speaking, I'm a lousy puker. I've never looked good doing it. I make quite a bit of noise. Overall, it's just a bad scene. Messy hair. Messy eyeliner. Lipstick wiped out. And, in one particularly memorable episode--ruined shoes. Very unladylike and extremely unbecoming. Case in point---after one horrendous night of celebrating something....not sure what it was.....I had this overwhelming need to puke....right there in front of my children's elementary school. At the children were both students there (what kind of mother am I?). Thankfully, I have this very compassionate and understanding friend who is a partier from way back. My sweet Kate. She's a good hair holder-backer. So, there I the very early morning hours as the sun peeked out--puking in front of Vince and Toni's school (Kate's son was also a student there!)...probably right outside the window where my darling children learned to read. One or two PTA members even jogged by. Lucky us. Naturally, Kate was friendly. As she held my hair, she greeted them good morning as if puking was as normal as them jogging by at that obscene hour. Yes, that puking episode sticks out in my mind as being one to tell the grandkids. Even though my memory of it is as vivid as it happened was many years ago. Fortunately, since then, my puking has been limited to bad food, influenza and the occasional excess gin. But, I haven't puked within 5 miles of an elementary school since then. In any case, no matter what the reason for my puking....they were all pretty miserable situations.

But, alas, there's a glimmer of hope! I'm getting much better at puking. Thanks to my Lapband. In the past few weeks, my puking skills have improved tremendously. Take for instance my puking at the dinner table on the cruise. Not only did I do it with great tact and decorum, I also had a wonderful excuse when my waiter inquired as to what the problem was. Seasickness, of course. And, these past few my stress soared , eating anything resulted in immediate puking. As it turns out, excess stress causes the stomach to spasm....who knew...thus tightening my Lapband. But, I did okay. I sailed through it all with no problem at all. No matter what the situation, I took it on. Talking to a lovely woman who I had just met at a party, as we nibbled on crackers--it happened. So, I feigned a coughing spell. I excused myself. And, looking oh so apologetic, I scampered into the ladies' room. Working in the kitchen at the graduation party mindlessly chomping on watermellon....yep, a problem came up. So, I daintily tip-toed over to the sink and quietly got rid of said problem. Very chic if I must say so myself. Then, there was the moment when I was carrying a huge salad to the buffet table (at the very same graduation party). Did I panic when the feeling to puke overcame me like the storm that raged outside the windows? Nope, not me. I casually glided over to the table, set down the salad as if there was nothing at all wrong. Then, with grace and dignity, I slid out the door, maneuvered my way around the smokers and then I quietly puked behind a beautiful holly bush. Those smokers never even knew it happened. In fact, a friend offered me a drag. Being the mannerly girl that I am, I refused. I mean, I had just puked. And, I had to get back to my buffet duties.

Being a good puker was never really an ambition of mine. But, now that it's happened, it's given me quite a feeling of satisfaction. You see, when I started on this Lapband journey, one of my major fears was what Lapbanders call P-B-ing. That's short for productive burp amongst the Lapbanded set. Not a nice thing. Especially not a nice thing for a person such as myself who really is not at all into bodily noises of any kind. When I asked what the term "pbing" stood for, I was overcome with disgust upon hearing the description. You see...pbing is an overwhelming urge that happens very a burp...yet it,you get the picture. It's very disgusting. And, because it's a sudden reaction.....there's really no time to prepare. It just happens. Essentially, you are screwed. Scarey, huh? Now you know why I was pretrified of pbing.

Now, pbing is not a definite in a Lapbanded life. But you have to be prepared because it does happen. Some foods just don't work. Sometimes you just eat a tad too much. And, of course, there's the stress thing. Pbing should not be a daily occurrence. In fact, a little too much pbing could spell trouble. It's not healthy for your body and it could damage your Lapband. So, keeping tabs on how much you pb is a must. In my case, I could explain each incident--a non-friendly food, an extra mouthful of salmon, a few forkfuls of pasta, lots of stress....etc. I need to be extra vigilant. Because puking is not good. But since it does's best to be good at it. Mastering the finer art of discreet, nongross puking is a good skill to have. Maintaining your composure, thinking on your feet and not letting your make up get messed up while out in public is worth striving for. (Even if you weren't working on your puking skills--they are still good things to have, right? ) All it takes is a little bit of creativity, some fancy footwork, a clear idea of where the closest private puke location is (it's a bonus if the area is within a few feet of sink and a mirror) and a few good excuses on hand. all about how you handle it.

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