My sweet Sven was standing in front of me.
He had a funny look on his face.
"How long did you say you have not been taking calcium?" he says.
Sven has been prescribed to take three a day.
I never figured out how.
Because they are gigantic.
"Cut them in half," the naysayers would say.
Do not cut them in half.
You are gonna end up with two very large pills with very sharp edges.
And you will have to hunt them down since they both shot across the room in opposite directions.
This is not a practical routine for someone who never quite got down taking those teeny tiny birth control pills on a daily basis.
I mean, a person can dream.
But let's be real.
It is not going to happen.
"About five years," I answered.
I tried to follow doctor's orders back when she prescribed them.
I had a bottle sitting on my desk at work. It was right next to my computer and in my line of sight.
I had a bottle in the kitchen cubby just in case I forgot to take one while at work.
And I had a bottle in the upstairs bathroom in case I forgot to take one while at work and then forgot to take one at home in the kitchen.
"It's not that bad, Millie," bragged Sven.
There was a day when I tried to out ski, out bike, and out run Sven.
That was fun.
The earth has not stopped spinning.
And like Bob Dylan sang, the times they are a changin'.
I was not about to be outdone by a guy sitting on my couch going on about his great pill taking skills like it was some kind of a competition.
I now have fingernails.
I am not a scientist but I am pretty sure that fingernails are made of calcium.
I know you are all wondering, "But, Millie, how in the hell did you do it?"
I went into training.
First off I had to clear my head.
The best time to clear your head is right after you get out of bed and you are fumbling around in the kitchen, tripping over your pets.
There is not that much to clear at this point.
In your zombie like state while you are staring off into space, reach for a glass in your cupboard.
Stick it under the faucet running with cold water.
Point the little arrows together on your bottle.
Pop off the top.
Place a mammoth sized pill between your right index and your right thumb.
Put the smooth object on your tongue.
Remaining in zombie land, follow the pill placement with a shot of water.
Not too much.
Just enough to make your pill float.
You got no more than a millisecond now.
Don't fuck it up.
Do not panic.
Panic is what will cause the gates to close.
That enormous vessel just slipped under the bridge and sailed down your hatch.
It is still there?
That is okay.
This is going to happen from time to time.
That bridge goes down pretty fast.
But you are not defeated.
Rocky didn't make it to the top of those stairs that first morning either.
Crack an egg into a cup and drink it.
Just take the pill out and set it on your countertop.
No one is going to steal it.
The next time you wander into your kitchen for something completely unrelated, try again.
The pill will be a little bit smaller.
Eventually it will be a decent size and easy to take.
With all the calcium competition going on in this house I wasn't surprised when Sven said, "We are out."
"Hey wait," he says. "I found some more here in the cubby."
And that is when he said, "How long did you say you have you not been taking calcium?"
And that is when I answered, "About five years."
And that is when he said, "Well, this bottle expired in 2010."
This explains why I am sitting here in a boat with a bunch of bewildered people just like me wrestling with child proof lids.
We are all too old to be young.
And too young to be old.