I'm twenty-five, but if you were to just look at the state of my hips and back, you'd think I was decades older. I have a lot of strange issues with my skeleton, most of which are caused by the fact that I have a very acute form of spina bifida. Don't worry, it's so mild that it isn't life-threatening or anything, but it does come with its own issues. Essentially, I have an extra vertebrae in my spine, and my tailbone never really... happened. I guess when I was still in my mom's womb, my tailbone was all "NO! I'M NOT READY! I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE THE REST OF THE SPINE!" and then the rest of my spine was like "Dude, if you don't do what you're supposed to do, this girl is going to be born with a tail. IS THAT WHAT WE WANT, REGGIE?" The end result? A sort of half-formed tail bone... thing. It's not noticeable in any way, unless you're looking at my x-rays, but it's a thing that sometimes causes problems.
For example, I woke up the other day and my hip felt like someone just popped it out of the socket and now it's refusing to go back in. And, because I know that whole song about all the bones being connected, there is shooting pain and discomfort up and down the whole left side of my body... which results in people staring at me when I think I'm alone as I try and bend my body into all sorts of weird positions to hopefully put my hip back in its rightful place. And this is a small town. People talk. So now I'm that girl.
And my hip decided to do this at a really not awesome time, you guys. As many of you know, I work in a bookshop, and yesterday was Independent Bookstore Day. Indie bookshops across the country, including this one, were celebrating with tons of festivities. I planned many of our festivities, and one of those festivities was a Rad American Women Dance Party. This was because one of the exclusive merchandise items was a 7-inch LP inspired by the book, Rad American Women A-Z, which is an awesome book, and I suggest you rush to your local indie bookshop and buy it right now.
So yeah. I was doing my best on this very busy shopping day to not show how much pain I was in, all the while knowing that the grand finale would be a dance party, and that I was to be pioneering this dance party, so I was really going to have to shake it.
Oh, and did I mention that I had no pain meds with me?
Let's just soak this all in.
- Spina bifida.
- Rebellious hip bone.
- Terrible back pain.
- No meds.
- LET'S BOOGY.
I was about to panic for a moment, so I went into the back room to take a deep breath and to try and stretch my back and then I took to twitter:
My back is in the worst pain ever and I have to host a dance party for #bookstoreday in 3 hours. I WILL POWER THROUGH. I MUST DANCE.
— Emelie Samuelson (@AwkwardlyAlive) April 30, 2016
And all I really got in response was some nonsense about wildebeests that I'm still trying to make sense of... so twitter kind of failed me on that one. I think. I'm still not sure.
And then the time came, and - I kid you not, folks - no one showed up for this dance party. There were a few stragglers in the store, yes, but they were all very disturbed when I told them what was about to happen.
But you know what? I blasted Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and danced anyway. Because life is short.
Plus I was also hoping that if I danced, maybe I would move a certain way to pop my hip back into place.