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I’ve been considering a tattoo since What’sHisName ran off with StayPuftGirl (special thanks to EternallyPregnantWoman for giving her a new name, since MissPiggy is trademarked and OfficeWhore no longer applies because this time it’s different). I wanted a physical reminder that I was surviving – something visual for the world to see, but also I think there was something alluring in the pain factor. Like, if I can grit my teeth and endure this, then how bad can anything else be? I know, I know. Clichéd. Important to note, I have a VERY high threshold for pain.

This is the design I found and fell in love with.

Ooooh.  Ahhhh.  Pretty.  Ouch.

The script, if you cannot make it out, says, “Only one who has lost all has the freedom and the ability to gain everything.” Beautiful. Plus, it’s right on the spine. What better place to prove I am a badass?

The only thing stopping me this far is the fact that while I want you to see it so that you know that I’m a badass, I don’t want to see it; not in pictures, not in mirrors, not looking over my shoulder and stretching my neck just right. This is why my only tattoo to date was placed on the bottom of my left ring toe (and maybe not too surprisingly, after my first divorce).

This morning, I got over that.

No, I didn’t get the tattoo. I didn’t even get my waist cinched like the picture, but I’m not ruling that out. I found the perfect compromise. I have no unsightly reminder that I’ll one day outgrow, and I got enough pain to cross that threshold three fold, plus I have to go back 5 more times.

I got my pits lasered.

And boy did I feel it. That reminder you do not see – or more importantly, that I do not see – that’s my badass.

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I don’t know much about TheZone, as I was really only introduced to its concept by ShirtlessRoland. I recognize now that I’ve known other people who lived in TheZone (my daddy, for example), but just didn’t know enough to understand what an enviable thing it is.

TheZone enables its inhabitants to transform wadded up gum wrappers to 3 point shots into a waste basket, step from rock to slimy rock in La Jolla, California without so much as a drop of seawater brushing their ankles, effortlessly score tickets to a show that has been sold out for months, and get upgraded to first class on every single flight.

These are all things I, too, can do when standing inside ShirtlessRoland’s field of influence. Outside the field my spasmodic episodes might make a blooper reel, and I don’t see very many shows. Coach-class, however, suits me just fine. My legs are short. But last Wednesday I learned that TheZone’s value goes far beyond parlor tricks.

ShirtlessRoland hydroplaned on the interstate and did a 180* turn, smashing the passenger side of his car against the concrete median and coming to a stop in the emergency lane. The car is totaled, but he didn’t hit another motorist and didn’t re-enter the now-head-on stream of 70mph traffic. He didn’t even crap himself. Three minutes after impact he sent me a txt message telling me what happened, that he was ok, but that he would need a ride.

When I arrived on the scene, he was his usual calm, cool, and collected self. We met the tow-truck driver at the body shop and went to lunch before coming back to my home so he could make a few phone calls. I suggested he throw his soaked shoes, socks, and pants in the dryer. In a breach of Undressing Man In The Room etiquette, I burst out laughing at the sight of ShirtlessRoland bent over, exposing the green waistband that read, My Lucky Boxers.

Later in the day I heard news on the radio that not even an hour later the location of ShirtlessRoalnd’s accident was the site of an unusual pig spillage. No automobile accidents occurred and the pigs were rescued and driven to the local animal shelter by policemen (there’s a picture I wish I’d seen).
Click here for the audio.

So I’m still not totally sure how to explain this Zone thing, but I’m so very glad it chose ShirtlessRoland and that he was able to share it with the pigs.