Diana Belchase here: Today I’m super excited to welcome guest blogger Chris Campillo to BookSmart! Chris is the kind of person everyone loves — she’s the girl next door, a gal who always has your back, a phenomenal writer with a great sense of humor, and a stand up comic. When this Texas mom isn’t taking care of her kids, her home, and working (with her hubby) to make ends meets, she’s using the honesty of her daily life to imbue humor into her books. Her comedy will have you keeling over howling with laughter.
This is the thing about Chris: She says the things we’re all thinking — the average day-to-day horrors we’ll never talk about. There is something so cathartic about reading her stuff. It’s like therapy between the covers of great fiction. I promise you’ll come out entertained and feeling so very good about yourself, too!
And today, Chris’s latest book is only 99 cents! Honestly, where else can you get incredible entertainment and therapy all in one for that price? 🙂 It is genuine five star reading! And don’t take just my word for it, Chris Campillo is a Golden Heart Award Finalist.
So without further ado, here is Chris, doing what she does best, writing about how everyday situations go from average to horror story and end up inspiring her to share the laughter.
Take it away, Chris!
Once You’ve Flashed Your Podiatrist … You Can’t Help but Become a Writer
It did happen. Every detail is forever stained in my brain. It was my second appointment with the podiatrist. I was to be fitted for orthotics for my arches. Back in those days, I was a workaholic career girl, so it was true to form when I rushed into his office straight from a meeting. As I sat in reception, I had a moment of concern when I realized I wore a dress, but then I remembered my first visit. He’d just had me walk around and looked at my feet. No problem.
It was when the nurse took me into a different room and told me to remove my panty hose that my, “Oh, Momma” meter kicked in. On one wall was what looked like mini-bleachers. Elevated platforms. What the hell? As I removed my panty house (it was 1991, we wore them anytime you wore heels) I remembered they were Underalls. Those were basically panty hose with a cotton top, combining panties and panty hose; the end result providing a smooth look under form-fitting dresses. Perfect for a career girl, back in the day when I had a form that I didn’t mind my clothes fitting. Not so perfect for the gal in a mini-coliseum who realizes she’s now commando.
But I calmed myself with reason. The man was just going to look at my feet. He’d never know.
The doctor arrived with a tray of some kind of clay mixture. That’s when he asked me to sit on the highest bleacher. What? He preceded to roll a small stool from the corner and sat down, basically putting him at eye level with my girl. Ooooooh, Lord. Breathe. You gotta breathe. Unaware of the mini-stroke rushing through my brain, the man explained he would be taking molds of my feet. Fight or flight—or in this case, fight or sight—kicked in. I wasn’t Catholic, but I could hold my knees together as well as any good girl. We could save this situation.
Then he started the process. He took my right knee and moved it over, manipulating my foot in the goo. I moved my other knee along, keeping those thighs hermetically sealed. Then he took my left knee and repeated the process. So of course, I followed along with my right knee. Moses couldn’t have parted my legs.
But the doctor wasn’t in on that plan. He went back and moved my right leg back in place, and true to form, I took my left knee along for the ride. Obviously frustrated, he looked up and explained that I had to keep my feet and legs exactly how he placed them in order to get the right mold for the orthotics. That’s when I accepted my fate. This moment had been destined from the minute I’d selected a freakin’ dress for the day.
Arranging one foot in the goo, he firmly held that knee still while he moved the other foot (and thus knee) in place. And there it was, Miss Kitty’s big reveal. There was a moment of hesitation on his part, probably the realization of “Oooooh, that’s why….” Fortunately he was a professional and went about his business. I think we were both clinging to the delusion that if we didn’t talk about the vagina in the room, it wouldn’t exist. I think I really did go to a happy place at that point.
Once I was back in my car and the numbness wore off, I laughed. Hysterically, until tears fell. And they were happy tears. I couldn’t wait to go and tell someone. Because, come on, it’s the podiatrist. How many surprise “visitors” does he see in a year. It was hilarious, even if it was at my own expense.
(This clip is from Chris’s first time at stand up. (Material intended for mature audiences))
I think that’s why I write. Exploiting the moments in my life that were sometimes painful, but are now—thankfully—pretty freaking funny, make for some great laughs. In my book, THEN HE SHOWED UP, I revisited this moment. Not the same situation, but the feelings of panic, helplessness and then that mother that always wins, acceptance.
I hope I’m always writing, weaving precious/scary/hilarious memories within a fabricated tale. Lord knows, I have a huge inventory. Case in point, the other day, my daughter and I were having a lovely talk about life, lessons learned, and how she values what her father and I have done for her. Not one second later, my son stormed down the stairs, bellowing, “You are the worst mother in the world! You are ruining my life!” How can you not love the juxtaposition of these two moments? Then again, maybe laughing is my coping technique. But that’s okay. It’s cheaper than Merlot.
Thanks again to Chris Campillo for guest blogging here today. Chris’ first book, Then He Showed Up is on sale today and her next book, THEN HE CAME BACK, will be released in February 2017.