My New Hip Henry

imagesI got a new hip.

It’s my left hip. I have named him Henry because he’s not really part of me and needs to have his own name. I’m not sure why he’s a guy when I am a girl, but it was the first name that came to me, and that’s the end of that. He’s Henry. No one can accuse me of being Lean In sensitive. I’m gender neutral as are all fake hips.

I still can’t get over the fact that I have a new hip. I wonder what they did with my old hip? I forgot to ask. I’m sure they tossed it away without the proper burial that it deserved. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on all that left hip did for me over the years, and to say goodbye. To say nothing of the possibility of a hip fairy who might leave me some money if I’d put it under my pillow.

I love to drive. Love to drive. I drive and drive and drive. I’ve driven cross-country by myself three times. I put the groovy tunes on and sing away. Or I listen to a book on tape, which is no longer accurate because they are on CDs or iPhones, not tape anymore—like my hip, tapes were just shoved out of our lives without a second thought. Anyway, I always drove with my left foot on the dashboard. Yes, I know, I know, but it stretched my leg, and I liked it. My hip did not like it, but it never complained. Not until the last three years, when I could no longer lift it up on the dashboard.

I rode horses for the better part of twenty years. I put that left foot in the stirrup each and every time I mounted, and that hip lifted the rest of me up and over. Then I jumped things and landed bam bam bam on that left hip. But it never complained. Not until the last few years, when I stopped riding because of the pain.

I played tennis. A lot of tennis. Women’s tennis, men’s tennis, and singles. Lots of singles. I was a strong player and well trained, so people wanted my Chrissie Evert kind of play on the court, and I gave it to them. I’m not really sure I liked playing tennis. To be honest, I can’t remember. But I’m right-handed, and my serve had me landing on that left hip and again and again, pivoting on it and laterally stretching it for a shot on the way to the net. Okay, that last part is a lie. I hated going to the net and rarely went. I was a baseline player. And my fabulous left hip never complained. Not once.

When the doctor looked at my x-rays six months ago, he looked around the room and asked if I were using a wheelchair.

“Why would I be using a wheelchair?”

“Because this is bone on bone in a way I rarely see. You must have a high threshold for pain.”

“Not really,” I replied. I thought for a minute and then said, “To be honest, my body and I don’t chat much. We aren’t really all that close, so if something hurts, I don’t really notice.”

He looked sideways at me, and I smiled to show him I wasn’t someone who had to get a psych consult (I love Grey’s Anatomy, don’t you?) before having the surgery. He moved on and so did I.

My friend Paula went with me to the surgery. I was very calm on the way over that morning. She said she knew I was nervous because I was making jokes in the prep area, but really I was doing that because that’s just who I am. I think I’m very funny.

So it’s been six weeks, and I’m no longer limping painfully. Titanium Henry is well ensconced in my hip, with my muscles growing back around it like the un-tended shrubbery around my house. Wow. It really is something, isn’t it?

I was reading a Facebook posting by a friend who was making bone marrow for dinner. I should make that for my hip, I thought, and then realized that the old hip could have used some marrow perhaps. But Henry here is titanium, and who knows what to feed titanium? Oil? Olive oil? Actually, I don’t really know if Henry is titanium but it’s the lightest of the metals, so I’m assuming that’s what they load into women who care about what things weigh.

Henry and I have been together six weeks, and our marriage has had no arguments to date. That’s a good thing right? When he’s a pain, I figure he’s entitled. We are doing fine.

And I guess that’s that. But I wanted to say goodbye to my left hip. This is an Ode to My Old Hip, which wins my personal Academy Award for a lifetime of achievements. Thank you old friend, old part of me.

Anita Hill Documentary

1991. Anita Hill.

I lived in New York City and had just started The Women’s Resource Center when Anita Hill came out of the closet and spoke what she said was her truth. I watched a Berlin Wall of white men strangle her with ridiculous, repetitive questions on TV for what I think was two straight days. She barely reacted. She just kept answering the same questions over and over again in the same way.

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Life Itself Movie Review

I wasn’t a reader of Ebert’s reviews. Shame on me. How is that possible, I ask myself, now that I have seen Life Itself?

I’m not sure this film is for everyone. If you love film, you’ll watch every second, waiting for the tidbits that appear amid the footage of his illness and the last few months of his life. I think it was a mistake to devote so much of the film to those

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Humans and Other Species

Sometimes I’m really funny. Not today.

Facebook tells stories of animals almost like they were people with Facebook accounts. I read one this morning about a baby Rhino who couldn’t sleep alone after watching its mother killed by poachers. There was a sweet picture of baby Rhino cuddled against a person’s knees. We even named him Gertje. So far, more than 750,000 people ‘liked’ the story and many forwarded it as well. I wonder if

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Fourth of July, 2014. Corruptio optimi pessima.

I’m a West Wing girl. I mean, I love The West Wing. I think it’s the finest show ever written for TV, bar none. I think Aaron Sorkin is a genius, and if I could have lunch with one person who is alive today, believe it or not, it would be him.

I love The West Wing because it has taught me more life lessons than anything I’ve ever watched. More than any piece of

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It's Norman's Fault.

I have been pondering who is to blame for the misconception of the “normal” American Family that we all struggle to overcome when our own families don’t quite measure up. Okay, forget the “don’t quite measure up.” Let’s call a spade a spade: Our families look nothing like the Leave it to Beaver, or even Modern Family models that we all love to turn on each week. There is no sign of the real sadness,

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My Ballet Recital

We all have them, those stories from our childhood that are laugh-out-loud funny today, but at the time were like Greek tragedies that we thought would destroy our selves forever. I was having lunch with a friend the other day, and I started to tell her how much I admired her grace in getting out of things. How she could quietly resign from a women’s group of which we were both members. We both wanted

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Meet Reggie, a Cryptologist During World War II

Sometimes my work makes a lucky girl. I do strategic marketing, and we have a client — Extended Family, out of Portsmouth New Hampshire — that is launching something called Ageless Lifestyle, which is all about providing information so you can minimize the effects of age by adopting a lifestyle that allows your body to be its best self all through your seventies, eighties, and nineties. As someone who has been way too busy to

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My friend Maya

I want to pay tribute to my friend, Maya Angelou. She passed away today, and I want to say a few things about her.

Maya was the first one to teach me about good energy. She believed that if you spent time lessening the worth of another by speaking ill of them then the negative energy would be part of you. When you entered her house, you were not allowed to speak of others unless

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A Memory on Memorial Day

My stepfather was an Infantryman in the 11th Armored Division of the 3rd Army. We’re talking Patton’s army. He was awarded a Purple Heart after being injured in the Battle of the Bulge. He and I were not close, and while I knew he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, I never asked him about it. Like so many other missed moments, I’m so sorry I never did. My daughter Sarah did. And, she

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