Posted by: marilynmendoza | April 12, 2012

I injured myself with a matzoh while watching Ashley Judd on TV

Let me say first that I am accident prone. I blame this on my childhood. I was force-fed by my mother until I was 12 and this has hampered my motor skills. I’ve had so many freak accident my sister calls me “a disaster ready to happen.”  I’ve been called, clumsy, careless, klutzy, and other names too hard to spell.  My mother was mentally ill and just wanted to make sure I stayed in the chubby state that was considered healthy at that time. I was chased with bottles of milk while the other kids snickered. I was called a baby before I became a babe. This post has to do with my latest mishap. But I will also relate my most unusual accidents.

 I guess I should start with one that I wrote about in my memoir about Gerald  Washington. He didn’t like me. I was fifteen and he had a pea shooter. He followed me around the projects shooting his peas at me. I ran home with my heart beating like the bongo drum my father had brought home from the trash. My dad loved trash. Well, I wasn’t safe at home because all night the pea that I knew that was lodged in my throat, caused my first real panic attack. I made my mother take me to the emergency room the next day where the nuns at St. Catherine’s told my mother there was no pea in me and I wasn’t “right.”  Later that year, I accidentally ran into Gerald’s bike while he was riding it. I found out what it means to have the wind knocked out of you when I tried to get up. I tried to get up because my mother was screaming at the top of her lungs which was loud and I hate loud noises.  I survived and Gerald never bothered me again. But the panic and fear of those accidents stayed with me.

 I won’t bore you with a  couple of falls down a couple of stairs and a big fall off a stage where I danced Salsa in my 20’s. That could be explained by an excess of Sangria and a possible push from a fellow dancer who thought I was getting too much attention for my own good. I believed that story because the truth might have been I danced too close to the edge because I felt I was at the edge of the panic attacks that kept me dancing too fast and running away even faster.

I fell in a pothole in Soho NYC and busted my knee. The pothole was so large and the crowds so adept at walking gracefully around holes in sidewalks, that I didn’t blame myself for almost disappearing in the  huge hole. No one stopped although many gawked at me from above. I didn’t make a fuss even though I was bleeding and limping. I thought things like that just happen to me. A few more falls and a few more holes were starting to worry others. My sister who is prone to swearing in  public at drivers or anyone  who have “mouth’s on them” was almost silenced when I walked in front of a truck. “Oh No, you did “nit” she said in her Nyurican accent,  when the truck screeched in front of me and I didn’t even notice. “fugget about it”  she warned but I kept on falling

I went to Paris on my 60th birthday, a superb  present from my life partner, and I thanked him by taking a kid down with me on a fall. It wasn’t my fault. There was a kindergarten class and I was walking like I always do and something grabbed my leg and my  knee buckled. I didn’t know it was a kid, I just grabbed and we both fell down. That was the first time I took someone down with me.  The French were not amused and I had to look up some of the words they used to scold me with. Both of us were unhurt but the look on the kid’s face was priceless. I go down and I go down fast -so beware.

A more unfortunate accident wasn’t even a fall. It happened because I always hold stuff in my hand. I don’t put things away. I am not careless as much as so grateful to be out of my house. You see I was once a prisoner in my home, I locked myself away to avoid all panic and accidents. Now, I just wander around oblivious to anything but the beauty of my surroundings.  I heard in an old song, “Not all who wander are lost” and I wander a lot. I also wonder a lot. But I am not lost. I think.

I was in an elevator holding a paper card in my left hand while a poem was composing in my head.  A portly gentleman stepped in and pushed. I was in the back and not paying attention when I poked myself with the point of the card causing much tearing up and pain. My cornea was torn and remains so one year later. I didn’t want to hate the man for pushing so I began to hate myself for being unaware of any possible danger in the world. I didn’t like hating myself anymore because I was in the process of healing and decided to ignore the small stuff and if I’m still breathing, it’s all small.

So, today, I’m watching TV and heard Ashley Judd speak of her recent experience of being judged on her appearance. It brought back memories of my past experiences with appearance discrimination which started from my childhood and spilled over to school bullying and job interviews where I was judged not worthy due to a bad case of acne that persists until now . I always thought Ashley Judd to be a talented actress with an ethereal expression. Now I know she is also smart and a champion of all woman and men who have to conform to what Hollywood deems to be acceptable at any certain time. She spoke of plastic surgery and being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Yes, she is famous but she says that her “puffy face moment” could have been another less famous women’s “big butt moment” and another’s acne moment.I liked that. I had many moments of not feeling good enough on so many levels. I didn’t want to show my scars in front of the world so I hid myself and my talent for kindness and writing inside of a closet. Now, I am out and ready to face the world, scars or not,

So, the matzoh edge somehow  found its way to the roof of my mouth and it bled. But I just had a giggle and a feeling of love and self-acceptance  and most of all appreciation of how I now love myself not matter what. I might try to be a bit more careful though,  I don’t want to accidentally kill myself. That would be a  real disaster.



  1. Yes, it would so please, do be careful! I saw that piece on Ashley Judd too. She’s a smart, classy lady and I respect her for coming forward and blasting the media and those who were making assumptions about her “puffy” face. Some people really need to get a life. 🙂

  2. yes it would be a real disaster! we need you in this worid!

  3. More hilarity! If you ever need to cheer yourself up, read one of these blogs – especially if you have heard Marilyn’s voice – which comes through so clearly in a ‘writerly’ in her writing.

    I think Marilyn should write another book on the same theme as her first memoir – she clearly has a lot more stories in her that we can all explore together.

    Go for it Marilyn.

    • Hi Alan,
      Thank you for your support. I only will write another book if I feel it can give the message of hope and healing I believe I first did. I do have many stories. I need a theme to put it all together and that will come to me in time.I just keep writing with the hope it gives a chuckle and make other’s who have issues feel less alone much aloha Marilyn Maya

  4. I won’t comment over the hard times you’ve been through because that will bring pain back&it’s the least I want, but I’ll use Paulo Coelho’s words&you can as usual catch me: “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”

    • I got out of that river just before drowning and now try to live in the present with gratitude. You can comment on any of my hard times because my toxic secrets have been released and I am free. Thank you friend aloha

      • &I’m glad you’re healed, but if through a journey I choose to take, can skip tracks full of thorns yet still reach the rosy hill I’m heading to…why don’t I !
        Have a blessed morn. Dearest

      • wonderful, I wish I cold have skipped all the thorns but “all’s well that ends well” Shakey said. Love and aloha M

  5. Nothing like a tasty matzoh to brighten the day! ;-). Especially when it tears a hole in the roof of your mouth. OWWW!

    Oh honey, i sympathize with you and your mom. HORRIBLE!!! I’m so glad you survived albeit the matzoh incidents are scary! And scarry perhaps. FUNNY LADY!

    OK, i’m a BIG FAN of A.Judd. She wrote a book about her weird-ass family .. and they’re all living. GUTS. Plus, she rocks it with her fighting back about her effing face. For God’s sake! WTF? She is a smart, smart woman, and she is gorgeous from the inside out! Scratch that … she’s beautiful inside and who cares about her face … well that’s still not gonna fly in this society.

    THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME INSANE re: impact on Eating Disorders and focus on beauty.

    If our society is so messed up that they start rumors about a PUFFY FACE, then my God, what does that say about Who We Are as a Nation, right?

    We care about facial puffiness and not poverty, hatred, teens killing teens?

    Sorry about your mouth, and your knees and your mom. No excuses.

    NYC, thank God you didn’t fall into a SINK HOLE, we may never have found you. XO MEL

    • HI M,
      I have overcome my past and my flaws (well almost) but writing just makes it all better. Yesterday a friends mother asked me how I survived so much pain(she had read my memoir) and I told her I am happy today because my confused state about my life is over. I know the truth and I am living in the present or Zen. I am happy matzoh cut or not aloha

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