Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So you think you can swing your leg around in some semblance of normalcy?

I have developed a morbid fascination with the show "So You Think You Can Dance?" If the Food Network is food porn and the various real-estate/marriage/baby shows are "fulfill your bourgeois heteronormative destiny" porn*, then "So You Think You Can Dance?" is ability porn. It's completely masochistic. The music starts playing and Bendy McBenderson begins throwing his leg behind his ear while doing a backflip and his calf muscles are popping out like there are tiny woodland creatures crawling under his skin and your own toes start tapping to the beat and you realize that, no, your toes are not in fact tapping. They are spasming, because your hip is pissed off that you sat in a car for more than 20 minutes. And you think: damn.

Before I get all "poor Arley," it's worth mentioning that even if I had not become disabled, I would not have been a dancer. In fact, I would have had to train for years to achieve the coordination necessary to become even an exotic dancer. The last time I took a dance class at the local community centre, I was so gangly and clumsy that putting me in the dance recital would have posed an injury risk to the other children. Instead, I was dressed up in a foam-rubber dinosaur costume spray-painted fluorescent purples and green with a long swinging tail and sent out to roar and stomp amongst all the pretty little girls. (I'm not sure how giving me a long, swinging tail made me less of a danger, but at least I didn't throw off the symmetry).

So I don't harbour any illusions that my hip injury ruined a promising dance career. Besides, today I had my own milestones to celebrate. Here are the following reality TV shows I am starring in today:

1) So You Think You Can Stand on your Own Without Assistance?: No more stinky crutches! (Why are your crutches stinky, Arley? Because you take them in the pool and don't empty them out afterwards, thus causing them to rust and go moldy? Because you get all sweaty on the exercise bike and stick them under your armpit?) Instead, I am graduating to using a cane. Are the 90-year-olds at physio still sighing impatiently whenever they get stuck behind me in the hallway? Okay, yes. Does my mom call me "Igor" whenever I try to walk unassisted? Granted. But this is a baby step (or, "old lady step" as the case may be) towards recovery! Today: the cane. Tomorrow: I stop walking like I'm auditioning to play the Phantom of the Opera and start running circles around the lady with a cat's face Be-Dazzled on her sweatshirt and matching cat socks.

2) So you Think You Can (wear) Pants?: Not only did I managed to put on a pair of jeans, but I took my jean-clad self (with the help of my mom) to Vancouver where I proceeded to sit for nearly two hours (another first) and proofread for Front Magazine. The fact that proofreading felt like a mental rollercoaster of joy and exhilaration was a sign of how truly understimulated I have been. (This was not surprising, given the fact that I have been ranting about a grammatically incorrect Degree deodorant commercial for the past three weeks. It's "FEWER white marks" not "LESS white marks," people!) Still, I returned to the land of the living and I only needed a 15-minute nap to recover from it. Life skills win!

3) So You Think You Can Binge? My physio also brought to my attention that a good way to stop rubbing your ass-bones raw is to put a bit of nature's padding there. Why buy a hemorrhoid donut cushion when you can eat a real donut? Also, my mom found these happy-faced cookies I loved when I was a child but the bakery that made them closed down. I ate three and they were delicious. Take that, anti-ass!

* I'm sorry. I'm completely overcompensating for the fact that I'm unemployed. Look! I went to school and learned big words! Which I use in sentences that are correct!


  1. Yay! Congratulations on the cane, the pants, and the cookies!

  2. Thank you! It is a good feeling indeed to step outdoors in an outfit that would not get me nominated for "What Not to Wear."