I’m measuring my life in fainting spells.

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Like any good alt-Victorian lady, I’m prone to fainting spells, fond of hats, hysterics and cumbersome clothing.

I like to think of these fainting episodes as a true mark of my neuroses. Trails of my faints weave throughout my life and color memories of doctor’s offices, tattoo parlors & rock shows.

I can’t be sure when it began, but I do recall an unfortunate slip of a stapler in 4th grade that produced a bloody finger, panic and my 1st school faint.

Sybil

Do yourself a favor, don’t ever watch this movie.

I went on to faint TWICE during a teacher’s attempt at teaching high school psychology by showing the 3 1/4-hour mediocre miniseries, Sybil, in class. Creepy Sybil crashed her hand through a window and, much like my brother’s same exact faint 2 years before, I crashed out of my lab chair and forever cemented myself in my classmates’ freaked-out minds. In the ensuing chaos, the teacher failed to turn the movie off and guess what? I came to… just to collapse again.

I will never be able to look at Sally Fields without getting swoony.

Victorian

Like a Victorian woman, I’m prone to fanciness & fainting.

Like everything else, the faints of my young adult years morphed into a more disturbing condition and at a higher rate of consistency. Damn, I was passing out left and right. When I couldn’t take the heat, literally and figuratively, I would collapse into unconsciousness for a minute or two.

True to my alternative roots, I longed for piercings and tattoos. Three piercings & fainting spells later, I was looking pretty cool…and wimpy. I fainted with each new hole in my body. But, I REALLY wanted that nose ring, so I went for it.

That’s some twisted braveness.

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My fainting was at an all-time high. Can’t explain the dolls hanging from nooses made of tulle.

The tattoos were another episode.  At 16, I gifted my already-tattooed super-cool high school flame with a gift certificate to a tattoo shop. My ride to purchase it? Um, my mom. Later, 3 of my friends & I embarked on an ill-advised pilgrimage to get the same tattoo. I fainted and caused a scene, we were obviously underage and the “fainting girl” is always a party-pooper.

Even writing about fainting makes me want to faint.

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a 1744 oil painting by Pietro Longhi called Fainting

Another legendary faint happened during a party I was hosting on a college break.  This party was a little different from the nightly parties I threw while my mother spent weekends in another state, this party attracted the loveliest girl from high school. She showed up and she fainted! Just from witnessing her faint, I fainted. I came to by myself, alone, slumped against my refrigerator while the whole party fawned over my co-fainter. I got it, I was old news in the fainting circles.

Dual fainting girls really brings down a party, I assure you.

I went on to have 3 children naturally. As you can imagine, it wasn’t because of a dislike for painkillers, it was because I fainted even thinking of that needle. As luck would have it, I fainted in my sister’s delivery room while she was receiving her IV. I woke up and was immediately moved from the premises.

I fainted last weekend from intense pain in my lower back and it’d been a few years since I’d done so. It’s terrifying and funny, and it feels close to death. You’re in there somewhere, but everything is muffled. I only realize I’ve fainted because I remember the familiar fog and the panicked voices coming in and out, “wake up, wake up!”

Gotta go, I’m feeling a little woozy. Till next faint.

 

 

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