It’s My Spot and I’m Sticking To It!

One of the running jokes on my favorite sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, involves neurotic genius Sheldon Cooper’s obsession with his “spot” on the couch in the roommates’ apartment. Sheldon has chosen his special spot for a number of reasons that relate to warmth during the winter, cross breezes during summer, angle in relation to the TV set, etc. It’s played to the extreme for laughs–but how many of you have your own special spot in your living room, in your favorite restaurant, or anywhere else?

When I was growing up, we all had our own spots in the living room. Mom always had a recliner. We had a large sectional couch–Dad and I each got half. In our current home, Collin has a rocking chair. He likes to bring his computer into the living room and get online while we’re watching TV–he has a computer stand on wheels. I’m always on the couch, always on the end next to the endtable. Like Sheldon, I chose my spot for specific reasons: the lamp, which I need for reading, and the table, because I always have something to drink and need a place to set it down.

The funny thing is that almost everyone who comes to visit also goes for that same spot. I’m not sure why. It’s like some little piece of prime real estate, like Boardwalk or Park Place on the Monopoly board!

Collin has his favorite spot in the movie theater. I only care about being in the back row. Anywhere in the back row will do. If it’s stadium seating, Collin likes to go all the way to the top and get the two seats at the end of the aisle, where no one can possibly be sitting in front of us, blocking our view.

I have an issue with the backward-facing seats on our city’s light rail. I don’t like to ride facing backward. Maybe I’m as neurotic as Sheldon….

Church is another place where most people tend to have their special places. On any given Sunday, it’s not too difficult to tell who’s there and who’s not by glancing around the empty places in the pews!

Collin says he used to envison a cartoon depicting the breakroom of his first employer: a long, empty table at which only one person was seated–and a waiting line for that chair!

Happy Birthday, Collin!

I’d planned to post this at 7:56am–the exact time at which you entered this world thirty-four years ago today–but the best laid plans can go awry, even for well-meaning mothers. I planned to use your hospital photo in this post, but not only have I not yet scanned it, I can’t even find it. It’s in your baby book–which I believe is locked in your grandmother’s cedar chest. It was unlocked all those years–what genius finally decided to lock it, anyway? (Please don’t say it was me….) Instead, I’ll use the photo of you with Easter Bunny on your first Easter….

Yep. That’s the one. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t use the bathtub photo. I’m saving that one for your future wife.

So, anyway…this is my birthday message to you, and it just happens that everybody else gets to read it, too.

I’ll never forget the morning you were born. You’ve heard the story before, but now I’m recording it for posterity. One day your kids can come and read all about your entry into the world…and know what a wuss their grandmother was!

It was cold, it was raining…my feet were so puffy, I couldn’t get my shoes on when we left for the hospital. That was no fun. In spite of everything I had read in preparation for your arrival, I had no idea those vague lower back pains that woke me in the middle of the night were labor pains. For crying out loud, they were nothing like the women I’d seen in labor on TV! It wasn’t until around 2am that I realized there was a pattern to those pains. Five minutes apart. Okaaay…. I went to get Mom. Dad had already alerted her. “I think you’re going to the hospital tonight,” he told her after my third trip to the bathroom. Seriously. I really didn’t know!

By the time we got to St. Agony’s–okay, okay, it’s St. Anthony’s!–there was no longer any doubt in my mind that you were well on your way. March 3rd–what were the odds of you arriving on your due date, yet here you were, about to make your appearance. I was excited–and scared to death. I had no business having a baby. I didn’t even know how to take care of myself! I wanted Mom in the delivery room with us, but the nurse said she couldn’t go because she hadn’t taken the Lamaze classes.

“She doesn’t need any classes,” I protested. “She’s delivered hundreds of puppies and pigs!”

They didn’t understand that I needed her there. They had no way of knowing that she would be a calming influence if I were to panic. Mom had always been good in an emergency. She could handle it, with or without the classes. (Besides, taking the classes didn’t guarantee anything–my hospital roommate’s husband took them, and he passed out during her delivery!)

Labor progressed quickly for a first baby. “How big was she when she was born?” the nurse asked Mom.

“Six pounds and a half ounce,” Mom said.

The nurse smiled. “This baby’s going to be a lot bigger than that.”

Just what I wanted to hear….

My obstetrician finally arrived and decided to examine me. “I just checked her, Doctor,” the nurse told him. “She’s not dilated enough yet.”

He looked up. “She is now. Let’s get her into delivery.”

Your birth came fast. Six hours of labor, an anesthetic for me after I socked a delivery room nurse, and there you were–eight pounds, two ounces, twenty-one and a quarter inches long, with a mop of dark hair that got everyone’s attention–especially since I was bald until I was four! I remember regaining consciousness and hearing Mom talking to Dad on the phone. She was crying. I thought something had gone wrong until I heard her say, “He’s got hair….”

Oh, for crying out loud!

And now, for a laugh–Collin received this birthday card from our dear family friend, Pearl….

Pretty funny, huh?