November 2012
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Extreme-sour Kegels

We bought a treadmill the other day.

Shut up.

At first, I just marched in place for a bit . . .

1)      We should get a treadmill, but we do not have money for a treadmill.
2)      Ooooh . . . we could buy a cheap used treadmill!
3)      This will be great.  Lots of barely used treadmills going for pennies on the dollar.
4)      I’ll just buy a used treadmill!  I am a genius!
5)      OK, but not from that guy.  He looks like an axe murderer.
      And not from her – are those cat-litter boxes resting on the treadmill in the photo?
7)      And not from the man with face-tattoos of lightning bolts.
8)      And not from the woman whose husband dropped dead of a heart attack.
9)      I will now stop using my magnetic freak power and just find a nice normal person with a used treadmill!

  • What?  You have been storing it in the back yard for the last two years?
  • Wait.  It needs a new belt?
  • Seriously?  The controls don’t work unless you jiggle the wires?
  • Hmmm.  It squeaks if the runner weighs more than 100 pounds?
  • What is wrong with you people?

10)  I just thought of something – an assembled treadmill is so not going to fit in the minivan.  Which means I have to . . . or I could rent . . . but what about getting it through the . . .
11)  Fuck it.  Fuck the whole used thing.  We’ll get a new treadmill.  There must be a cheap-ass new treadmill in a flat-box that would suit our needs.

Mark soothes me.  Enough said.

New treadmill #1 – a way-marked-down floor model – Our whole family stands around it protectively to prevent anyone else from snatching up this incredibly good deal.  Seriously.  We’re like badgers if badgers are the sort to snarl at interlopers possibly intent on interfering with said badger family’s potential athleticism.  After a lengthy delay, the salesman comes over to sadly inform us that this treadmill has “been through the wringer,” and is no longer good for anything but walking.  He sizes us up, “If you’re looking for a good indoor walk, this machine will be adequate.”  Feeling the sting of judgmental (albeit accurate) appraisal, we leave the store in a walking huff.

New treadmill #2 – a black shiny monstrosity that calls to me with a vaguely threatening sexually masochistic glow – I run a caressing finger along its console, “I like this one quite a bit.”  Sadly, this treadmill costs about a bazillion dollars, so I tamp down my spare-change-holding lust and move along.

New treadmills #3, #4, and #5 all urge me to LIVESTRONG and expensively, and a vaguely familiar face smiles down at me condescendingly from a poster which also urges me to LIVESTRONG at a dear price.  I turn to Mark, “Wait.  Shouldn’t all of these steroid-tainted treadmills be on sale?  Let’s find the one most ostentatiously tied to Lance Armstrong – I bet it’s marked way down!”  Nope — it is not.

New treadmill #6 might have been the perfect treadmill, but the salesman is too young and too perfectly muscled and too blatantly and insincerely flirtatious.  Mark and I flee in a panic of middle-aged mockability.

We’re at the mall now, and so we decide to eat lunch.  We amuse ourselves by calculating how many miles we all have to run on our as-yet-unpurchased treadmill to burn off the Panda Express calories plus chocolate-chip cookies we are consuming.

Answer:  A lot of fucking miles.

Kallan licks chocolate from her fingers and points to the small candy store in the food court, “Can I go to the candy store?”

I shake my head, “You have Halloween candy at home, and you are eating a cookie, for heaven’s sake.  No, you may not go to the candy store.”

Kallan holds out sticky fingers, “I have to go to the bathroom to wash my hands.”

“OK, but only the bathroom and then right back here.  Do not stop at the candy store.”

Kallan runs off and Maj stares at me, “You know she’s going to come back with candy, right?”

“Maj, I am watching her.  Look, she went into the bathroom.”

“She’s so coming back with candy.”

“No way!  Look, here she comes – straight back from the bathroom – no stop at the candy store.”

Maj starts clearing her tray, “Whatever, Mother.”

Mark speaks decisively, “The only place we haven’t looked is Sears.  I have a good feeling about Sears.”

I sigh, “Whatever.”

We buy a treadmill at Sears.

Here’s why . . .

1)       Mark and I are filled to bloat-capacity with unhealthy food and guilt-twinges.
2)      The salesman is about 70 years old, and Mark and I feel all spring-chickenish in comparison.
3)      The salesman gives the girls the activation-keys to the treadmills that fall within our (suddenly expanded) budget, and we stand and watch our daughters run like small perfect dream-versions of our younger selves.
4)      We are tired of comparison shopping.
      They have the treadmill we like most in stock.
6)      This treadmill is on sale, marked down from an astronomically high price at which it was surely never sold but which makes us feel good nevertheless.
7)      Maj and Kallan bounce around the sales-floor in a giddy acquisitive fever.
8)      Mark and I are tired.

Ring that sucker up!

While Mark takes care of the actual purchase, I wander Sears with the girls.  Or rather, I lag behind as they run from display to display.  Wait, what is Kallan doing?  I stare at her for a minute as she tips her head way back and opens her mouth, and . . .

I call to her, “Kallan?”

She races back to my side, “Yeah?”

“What were you just eating?”


“How can you possibly have candy?  I watched you walk into the bathroom.  I watched you walk back from the bathroom.”

Kallan reaches into her pocket and pulls out a tiny plastic bottle, from which she squeezes a few drops onto her outstretched tongue, “I bought candy in the bathroom.”

“You bought candy in the bathroom?”

Maj arrives, “I told you she would buy candy.”

I am still trying to work this out, “They sell candy in the bathroom?”

Kallan nods, “There’s a silver-box vending machine on the wall in the bathroom.”  She ticks off the possible purchases on her fingers, “You can buy tampons, sanitary pads, flavored chapstick, and sour-drops candy.”  She holds up the tiny bottle, “See?  It’s from Oralabs . . . Extreme Sour Candy Drops.  Seventy-five cents.”

I put out my hand, “Let me see that.”

“What, you don’t believe me?”

I have to squint to read the tiny bottle’s labeling, “I just want to make sure you’re not eating some sort of personal-hygiene product.  This better not say anything about vaginal refreshment.”

Maj snorts, “That sounds like you are offering snacks to your girl-parts.”

Kallan giggles, “It’s Extreme Sour, Mom.”

Eeek.  I do a few involuntary Kegels of horror at the thought.  I hand the candy back to Kallan, “Seriously?  You bought that in the bathroom?”


“Kallan, you better not be lying to me.”

Maj shakes her head, “She’s not lying.  I’ve seen that machine before, and I always wondered who would possibly be stupid enough to buy candy from a bathroom vending machine.”  She stares at Kallan, who has once again tipped her head back to drop a few sour drops into her mouth, “I told you she would buy candy!  Ugh.  Bathroom candy.  Mother, I may Panda-vomit from the horror.”

I want to go see the vending machine for myself, but it is all the way across the mall, and honestly?  I have done enough walking for one day and I am tired.


Mark reappears with the receipt and we all walk together out to the car as I relate for Mark the story of how I have been outsmarted (yet again) by my younger daughter and “I-told-you-so’ed”  (yet again) by my older daughter.

Maj pats me on the shoulder, “Mother, maybe this treadmill will help you to keep up with us.”

Maj and Kallan laugh until they cry.

Stupid small mocking dream-versions of me.


Also, people?

Running on a treadmill after drinking a large glass of water is not wise if you have minor post-pregnancy bladder control issues.

A few of those Extreme-Sour Kegels were required.


    44 comments to Extreme-sour Kegels

    • Vaginal refreshment?

      Thank you — Don’t mind if I do.

    • I love when your writing makes me laugh out loud. Don’t ask which lines. There were several.
      Fortunately only the dog is listening and he is very non-judgemental.

    • Shawna

      AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH! Bathroom candy?? I am beyond horrified! You really need Maj to give that girl a very long lecture on how many airborne poop molecules were on that candy. A very long lecture.
      Parenting by proxy is acceptable in this situation as I’m afraid you don’t grasp how serious this is. I have to wash my hands just reading about it.
      And no, this is not The Maj writing in under someone else’s name, I just happen to agree with her sometimes, that’s all!

      • Shawna -

        Maj was HORRIFIED, and she lectured and squawked and ranted at her sister.

        Kallan was unmoved.

        Bathroom candy.

        Just . . . ACK.

    • Amy

      Bathroom Candy!? UGH I’m feeling as though I may Panda-Vomit too.

      I hate it when they outsmart us, but I’m giggling like a fiend on bathroom candy :D

      • Amy -

        Kallan is an evil genius.

        But me? I am all shuddery with horror at the thought of the germs on that machine and that candy.

        Oh . . . my . . . god.

        So horrible and so hilarious.

    • a snowsprite

      Why??? Just … Why?
      Is it possible to laugh and cringe at the same time?
      Bahaha! “magnetic freak power?”

    • You so should have bought the one that Harry Potter was selling.

      I’m giggling at the Lance ones needing to be on sale.

      ps. I’ve seen that same box in the restroom with EXTREME SOUR!!! candy drops. Same box has glow in the dark condoms, 92 year old tampons and something else. It’s kinda the box of shame.

    • BRIGHT GREEN KY. That’s what it has. You may wonder how I know, but rest assured there is a younger version of Kallan in my house. Her name is Bailey.

    • I was eating a huge, like HUGE bowl of pasta as I was reading this. In trying not to choke I may have peed a little. Cheese and rice, woman! I know of those odd bathroom favors. Maybe this is a regional thing. I just can’t imagine buying Chapstick in there. Like, “Now, with Herpes!”

    • And you’ve already positioned it perfectly to ensure maximum family fitness! Win! Wait… http://www.healthylivingindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/ignored-home-treadmill.jpg

    • Treadmills are spawn of the devil. Pretty sure.

      I read in horror imagining the candy to be candy of the adult type.

      So why, exactly, did you decide to buy a treadmill?

    • Mishelle

      Shudder… “Bathroom Candy” shudder…

      Treadmill… shudder….

      Chocolate Chip cookies? Yummy!

      Which sadly explains why I am the chubby little woman I am! :-)


      • Silly you.

        Chocolate chip cookies are delicious.

        Treadmills are a long walk to nowhere.

        And bathroom candy?

        Yeah, I still can’t get over the bathroom candy.


    • "OG" Axel

      kinda-sorta sounds like an old treadmill in massage parlor- a lot of fucking miles.


      • Do you know how incredibly difficult it would be to get a massage (much less a fuck) whilst running on a treadmill?


        And hello, man of hugs.

        Stop that.

    • Jen

      Holy…crap… Yeah…we, and by we I mean I, as my hubby was on duty that weekend, bought a treadmill once…ONCE. It now served as a reminder of why I am, A: Not allowed to go to a sporting goods store after trying on THE SKINNY JEANS. And B: Why the hubby should ALWAYS answer desperate texts from the person whom, not only delivered both of his 9 lb+ boys into this world, but is also slowly strangling to death at the knees by said skinny jeans. Those two things may be closely related… either way, IT is now in storage as I could never have gotten anyone to bring it up to our 3rd floor walkup and my new neighbors below may have killed me. Hope you enjoy yours!

      • Jen?

        I have heard from quite a few people who have treadmills on which they do not so much tread.

        Ours is so far being used every day, although not always by the same person and not always in the manner in which you might imagine.

        Hee hee.

        Also, I am filled with giggles at the image of your skinny jeans squeezing tightly and trying to strangle you at the knees.

        That’s a fabulous image!

    • Jen

      Also… EXTREME SOUR KEGELS?!?! Now I need to go do some as I just peed a little when I laughed.