Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

There Will Be Blood July 12, 2012

This weekend is Chris’s family reunion.

Which is a milestone.

Which is awesome, right? Because we all know how I love milestones. And its a pretty big one as far as these things go.

What’s less awesome are the activities associated with this family reunion.

When Chris first told me about this event he prefaced it by saying “My family isn’t a sitting family, like yours.”

I was like “Huh? What else is there to do when you get together with your family aside from sit around and talk and tell stories?”

Well, a lot, apparently.

Saturday morning we meet at 8am to get into a van that will drive us to the top of a mountain, where we will get on mountain bikes and ride down the mountain along a 17 mile trail (which is not actually entirely down hill. Bike peddling will need to occur.)

I have a few issues with this. They are, in no particular order: 1. the down a mountain part, 2. the being on a bike part. 3. the 17 mile part. 4. the 8am part.

Plus, we have only two hours to do it, non-negotiable, because then we have to get cleaned up to get the picnic. Which means “Suck it up” and “Push through the pain” and “that’s barely bleeding at all” will be phrases I expect to hear frequently.

Then there’s the picnic. Which is the real heart of this reunion, with dozens upon dozens of Chris’s family members.  And in case that wouldn’t be anxiety producing enough on its own, there is also rock climbing involved.

Now, when Chris first explained this day to me, I thought he said that we have to climb these rocks/cliffs/instruments of death in order to get to the picnic.

That’s the part where I started to cry. Seriously.

Now he has clarified that we drive to the picnic but that the rock climbing is just an activity that people do. Which makes me feel much better, because I’m sure not everyone will participate, so I’m going to become BFF’s with whoever seems least inclined to impersonate a billy goat. That way, I can be all “I’d love to climb that big rock, but I feel bad leaving my new Soul Sister. Sorry!”

After the picnic, there are fireworks. This part I’m actually looking forward to. I love fireworks. From a distance. So I’m going to let Chris go with his cousins up to the hill and set things on fire, while I sit back at the house with my BFF from the picnic and try not to imagine all the different types of death by pyrotechnics that can occur.

Sunday morning we get back in the car to drive home. Assuming I haven’t been hospitalized.

Talking, sitting, and storytelling are really my only solid skills. And if Chris came from a normal family, AKA a “sitting family”, I would have only the normal level of anxiety about meeting all his people.

But instead I keep picturing myself being introduced to a family member with my face red and splotchy from the heat, my hair in a wild disarray (possibly with some leaves in it) dirt smeared across one cheek, and so out of breath, either from the activity or the anxiety attack brought on by the activity, that I won’t even be able to engage in conversation. Which, if you remember, is the only thing I bring to the party on a good day.

My biggest fear is that at some point, maybe while I’m trying to arrange a helicopter to pick me up from the side of the mountain, or while I’m digging a trench in the grass  with my heals as Chris drags me toward the climbing cliffs, that someone, or perhaps even several someones, will say “Why’d he have to bring HER?”

Ok, that person likely be me.

But at least I should get some good stories out of it. Near death experiences usually make for good material.

Assuming I live.

Advertisements
 

New Year’s Resolutions Progress Report July 2, 2012

Remember back at the beginning of the year when my bossy know it all, very wise BFF, over at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy? wrote my New Year’s Resolutions for me? Well, since we’re about half way through the year, we thought it was time for a progress report.

I have to admit, I took these resolutions much more seriously than I’ve ever taken any of the resolutions I’ve ever written for myself. I’m not saying my success rate will be any higher, but I definitely thought about them a lot more and have more guilt over the ones I ignored failed to achieve. Although, the year isn’t over yet, and like in grade school, a progress report is nothing more than a heads up to get your act together. I expect to report nothing different great things at the end of the year. And also like  school progress reports and professional performance evaluations, I’m full up on defensiveness an creative explanations.

Behold:

1) Find and make a home. A real home. Whether it’s by yourself or with your man or with a cute little kitten named Rhett. Find a place you adore and want to stay in for a long time. A place that feels like yours. It has to hold all your important stuff, like your shoes and your books and your random photos. I’d really like to add a caveat about keeping it orderly and clean-ish, but I feel that might make your place less yours, which entirely defeats the purpose.

Technically, I didn’t do this. BUT, I would like to encourage a more liberal than literal interpretation, in which case I’m not doing too bad.  I moved out of the crazy place I was living in, and into a (so far)  nice normal place, and I like the room very much and feel more comfortable and more at home there than I ever did in my last place. And Chris gave me a key to his place, which made me feel more at home there as well, so I think if you add up my place and his place, I’m at least more settled and anchored than I was when this was written. Grade: B-, and I suggest that it get carried over for next year. Bonus Points: my room is actually quite neat and orderly, which I’ll bet no one saw coming:

2) Do not text and drive. Ever. As your mom says, you need to “concentrate”.

I do a pretty good job of this although, in all honestly I could probably be a little better. Grade: B+. Bonus Points:  I NEVER talk while I’m driving without my hands free device.

3) Continue to stay in touch with your body. Exercise, nourish, and strengthen it in the best way you know how. I want you to feel and be healthy for a very long time. It’s not impossible that we’ll be in the same nursing home someday and I want you to stay cute enough to rock a colostomy bag.

I’d like to say I thought about this resolution a lot, but really, any achievements I’ve made on this point are coincidence. But that still totally counts. So, I got back into Pilates, and its made a huge difference in how my body and I get along.  Chris and I have also made an effort to be active as much as possible on the weekends, and I can now hike 3 miles without wanting to stab him in the eye, so that’s something. We also joined a gym (that’s technically still under construction, but whatever) but I’m very excited for their big indoor pool and Pilates/yoga room. OH, and I’ve also gotten really good at following my new low sugar, gluten-free diet and have learned more about what my body responds best too.  Most significantly I’ve learned that if I under-eat by even a few hundred calories a day, my body will retaliate by swelling up like a water balloon. So I don’t do that anymore. Grade: A. Bonus Points: I’ve taught myself to like buckwheat granola. Its got all kinds of raw, and “sprouted seeds” in it, which are super healthy (apparently) but taste suspiciously like dirt.

4) Decorate your own Christmas tree. Like a real one, where you go and pick out at least 75% of the decorations and put a lopsided star on top. May I suggest candy canes as decoration?

I totally get a pass on this one because it would be weird if I had decorated a Christmas tree between January and July. Ohhhh, but if I was smart, I totally would have gotten a tree and decorated it, just so I could get an A+ on this one. Damnit. Grade: N/A.

5) Get moving on this book we’re supposed to be writing. I look to you to be the leader on this project. Lead by writing, as I’m greatly influenced by peer pressure.

Ummm, well. Ok, here’s the thing. I have written a couple of essays that would go with the book, but then I started rethinking the focus of the book, and then I got caught up in learning how to publish books, which is totally going to help us when we do finish this book. And that is taking up every minute of my free time right now, so… technically, the book hasn’t moved forward. BUT because I’m becoming an expert at publishing and promotion, once we do finish the book, everything else will go so much faster. Grade: C++

6) Keep your standards high when it comes to your romantic partnership. I know this whole “grown-up relationship” thing is kind of new to you, but I really think you’re getting the hang of it. I would like to shake you really hard to ensure that you learn from all of my mistakes, but I think this long, drawn-out, whiny way that I communicate about my failed relationship seems pretty effective.

I think I’ve made some progress here. I’m much more comfortable with the whole “grown up relationship” thing than I was this time last year, or even six months ago. I’ve still got some work to do, but I’m actually pretty impressed with myself. Most of the time. Grade: A- (But maybe I should actually have Chris grade me on this one?)

7) On a somewhat related note; don’t be afraid that you’re going to screw up this whole love story that you and Chris have going on. You’re not. If it gets screwed up, both of you will be able to take a bow. So just . . . be present in your relationship. Recognize where you are emotionally. And please, don’t be afraid to plan ahead for the life you want to have together.

I’m working on it, and as I said above, I’m getting better. But I still have attacks of insecurity that make me ask, in all seriousness, if the fact that I don’t like roller coasters will one day make him feel like he settled. I see now the absurdity of that question, but at the time, it felt really reasonable. And I’m totally better at the planning for the future thing. I mean, I signed a year contract at the same gym as him for Pete’s sake.   Grade: B- Bonus Points: For doing this.

8) Keep storytelling. It’s a gift you have and it should be shared. Most importantly, make sure to post it on YouTube. If I can’t be there, then I need to be able to access it later.

I’m assuming you define “keep storytelling” as getting on stage and telling stories. Which I did. Once this year. BUT, if we define “keep storytelling” as “stay a part of the community, keep learning about the craft, keep finding new ways to stretch myself creatively” then I’m rocking this. So far this year I’ve: taught one class and one boot camp, directed my first show, started writing a weekly column for the SpeakeasyDC blog, which, by the way I also started and am the Managing Editor of, so…  Grade: A-.

9) Consider getting a kitten. Like, one you’ve picked out yourself and named after some random fictional character or a TV star from an 80s sitcom.

I wish! I want a kitten so bad. One that will cuddle with me, and chase imaginary bugs along the wall, and let me make funny YouTube videos of her…but kittens aren’t allowed at either of the places where I live. So really I’ve made the responsible choice in not following this resolution. Grade: A Bonus Points: I haven’t bought a stuffed kitten yet that I pretend is real.

10) Self-host your blog. Get legit, girl.

I have plans. It’s not time for this yet, but I have plans. Grade: C+

11) Tap into your insight when it comes to your own emotions. Listen to yourself. Listen for that little tingly noise that sounds when your comfort level has been surpassed. Once you hear it, do something about it. Talk to someone, write it out, sing in the car in your loudest voice. Just don’t stuff it down until it erupts in a flood of tears and incoherence. You’ve got a bunch of people who’ve got your back but we’re only useful when you communicate, even if it’s initially in a series of bumps and false starts.

I think about, and reference this resolution ALL THE TIME.  Usually when I’m crying incoherently. I think I’ve made some progress… Ok, so I WAS crying when I asked Chris about feeling like he’s settled for me over the roller coaster thing, BUT I was not crying incoherently. Grade: C-

12) Leave the country at least once in the year 2012. You’re the type of person who may very well get old and become a homebody who doesn’t drive and eats ¼ cup of raisins for breakfast every morning. You need to travel while you’re still spry and can figure out how to use a bidet and tolerate people with weird accents.

This might not happen. I was going to go to Denmark again this summer, but the discount airline stopped flying from the US, and as of now I can’t afford to pay normal airline prices to go to Europe. Plus, it ate up a lot of my vacation time last year and I’m kind of liking the idea of having flexibility for more domestic travel, like, ahem, trips to Charlotte, NC. For example. Grade: N/A Bonus Points: we could decide go to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when we go visit my parents in August.

13) Make a three-year plan for your career. Map out something long-term and realistic, but challenging. It could be writing a novel. Officially becoming a freelancer. Searching the want ads until you find something that you’ll really love. I can’t pretend to guess what would be the absolutely perfect job for you, but I want you to focus on figuring it out. You are so talented and I would like you to be emotionally and financially satisfied by the work you do.

I think I’ve figured it out. I’m not ready to lay it out for public inspection yet, but I’ve got the makings of a plan and I think it’s a really good one. And might happen in less than three years. Grade: A+

14) Attend BlogHer’12 with me. I promise you, you will be inspired.

Did we miss this? Because I’m totally in. Grade: N/A

15) Challenge yourself physically at least once this year. Like, run a 5K. Swim across a small lake by yourself. Go camping without the benefit of an electrical hookup. Something outside of your comfort zone that requires the use of your body.

I was totally going to do a 5K run thingy, but it sold out before I could register. But, I did go to a giant amusement park and rode several rides, including a roller coaster, which was WAY outside my comfort zone, (and technically required the use of my body – there was a lot of walking and climbing into and out of seats. Fun Fact: I’m super uncoordinated when it comes to climbing into and out of rides) and I’m going to go back and do it again at least two more times this summer. I’m also going to go kayaking more than once this year, maybe one time in a solo kayak even, and that is definitely outside my comfort zone and requires physical exertion.  Grade: B

16) Acknowledge the fact that you are not some sort of grouchy curmudgeon who believes the worst in people. Yes, you had Drew pegged long before I did. Yes, you are better than me at ejecting people from your life who are toxic. But at the end of the day, you are this loving, positive force to the people around you. Own it. Own it enough to direct it toward yourself.

False. I AM a grouchy misanthrope, and my co-workers and anyone who calls my office will back me up on this. Grade: F

17) And lastly, I’m going to save the best for last,and quote your very words back to you. They’re brilliant. Never waste a second of your time or energy on anyone who doesn’t immediately find you hilarious, brilliant, talented, loving and perfect just the way you are.

Since I don’t like people very much its very easy for me to walk away from people who don’t find me hilarious. Not that that’s ever happened, mind you, but if it did, they’d be history in a nano second. Grade: A


You can go read her progress report on the resolutions I wrote for her, here. And I just want to say its totally not a competition.

(But if it were, I’d totally win.)

 

Just Dance August 26, 2011

I went to the gym this morning, but I wasn’t really into it.  I’ve got some health issues that are making it kinda painful and crappy and not any fun at all to work out… BUT, I’m getting those issues sorted out, and in the meantime, I’m still going to the gym (usually) because it’s better than not going, even if I can’t do much, so I’m establishing a pattern for when I’m better.

After I’d finished my cardio I was stretching on the floor and getting increasingly grumpy over the ways in which my “workout”  has come resemble the physical therapy routine for a post hip surgery octogenarian.

I stand up to do some calve stretches, and that song comes on my iPod. You know the one, everyone has one. The one song that just makes every cell in your body cry out to dance.  I’ve listened to this song during every workout for the past month while on the treadmill or the elliptical and I always imagine myself dancing around an empty room singing with heart.  Which really doesn’t take much imagination because I was introduced to this song by a 6-year-old during a kitchen dance party.

The song is Loser Like Me, Glee version. Don’t you judge me. Not until you’ve put it on at top volume and seen what it can do for you.

Anyway.

So I’m standing at the back of the empty gym in my office building. I’m not stranger to making a fool of myself in this space. I feel my hips moving as the song worms through my ears to take over my brain. I’m about 90% sure that old guy who just lifts weights for an hour every morning is still in the locker room but… my hips are moving a little more. My arms are now in rhythm to my hips.

My head might be bobbing a bit.

I immediately feel my mood start to improve.  I realize that from my vantage point I can see if someone comes in the door or out of the locker room.

So I let go a little more.

There’s some swaying.

A little more bobbing.

Maybe a butt wiggle and chest thrust or two.

I might have hit the backward button on my iPod at some point so the song would start again.

I’m smiling. I’m realizing how long its been since I danced for no reason.

My confidence that I won’t be discovered is increasing, and my dancing starts to get a little freer.

Which is when I see that old guy – that I knew was in the locker room – come out.

I quickly stop dancing and after a second’s hesitation, throw a leg up on a bench in an attempt to try to make it look like he has simply caught me –  awkwardly and somewhat spastically- transitioning from one stretch to another.

I’m pretty sure he bought it.

But he’s kinda ruined my groove.

So I hit back on my iPod again, telling myself, as one might a toddler, “This is the LAST TIME.”

I’m 99% sure there’s no one left in either locker room, and I have a good view of the door.

I resume dancing and feel my mood kick up a notch.

There might be some singing happening, but there is definitely some serious, if still slightly reserved, dancing happening in the back corner of this gym.

I find myself wishing this could be my workout every morning, and I know that as soon as I’m able, there is a Zumba class in my future.

The song ends, and I obey my direction that this was the last time, and pick up my water bottle, put the mat away and head into the locker room.

Which is when I realize.

The locker room is the perfect place for a solo dance party: back where the showers are I’d have plenty of warning if someone came in. But no one ever comes in at this time of morning. My smile is wide as I scroll through my Power Workout playlist. I decide that my Glee friends will be how I close.

I decide to open with Switch by Will Smith (Seriously, stop it with the judging) as I undress and step into the tiny shower stall. While shampooing and conditioning my hair I shake my money-maker to The Time (Dirty Bit) Workout Remix by the Black Eyed Peas, and I get dressed to Kanye West’s Stronger (Workout Remix), and right after I put my shoes on my jam comes on.

And its on. Right there in the locker room of my office gym. I hit my full on, club worthy groove as I sing, at full volume, the chorus:

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down
Baby, I don’t care
Keep it up, and soon enough you’ll figure out
You wanna be
You wanna be
A loser like me
A loser like me

I face myself in the mirror as Finn’s voice takes over from Rachel, and even though I’ve never been bullied or made to feel like loser by anyone other than myself, I feel vindicated as I sing, and vaguely act out the lyrics as I dance:

Push me up against the locker
And hey, all I do is shake it off
I’ll get you back when I’m your boss
I’m not thinkin’ ’bout you haters
‘Cause hey, I could be a superstar
I’ll see you when you wash my car

I wonder if my voice might carry through the vents of the building as I sing out the lyrics with gusto. But then I decide that I don’t care, because much like when I’m singing at top volume in the car, my voice is amazing. I’m starting to think I could actually be ON Glee.

The song ends and I resist the urge to play it again, knowing I’m on the verge of burning this song and I don’t have a replacement yet. And probably won’t until my next kitchen dance party with a 6-year-old with great musical taste.

But I think going to the gym before work just got a lot more fun.

 

The Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Super Hero August 11, 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all “I’m a guest blogger!” ? over at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy? (Btw, the answer is, “li’l bit”)

So now its Tara’s turn to be a guest blogger on my page.  And she’s not holding back.

But before you read it, I’d just like to say that while I know its hilarious, and hilarious always equals “totally true”, there are a few things I would just like to comment on before you start reading why I’d make a terrible super hero.

First of all, I did not watch every episode of 90210. I totally missed like at least half of the final season because I was in college with my own “for real” drama, which it turns out is way more interesting than TV drama. (But only because they didn’t have reality TV back then, cause that shit beats real life every time.) However, Luke Perry is probably at least 70% to blame for me failing 9th grade math.

Second, yes my boyfriend is super cute, isn’t he? (But um, pssst, Tara? Even though I love you like a sister and I’d do anything for you, get too friendly with him and I’ll cut you and not feel bad.  Just sayin’).

Third, I would argue that points 4 and 9 actually are super powers, not anti-super powers, as Tara believes.

Here’s why: #4 keeps people off-balance and often leads to great spontaneous comedic moments. Especially when small children repeat me. And funny is always good.

Always.

And worth corrupting minors and offending grandmothers and priests for.

As for #9 – this pretty much means I get whatever I want. In high school I had a TV and VCR,  in my room, along with a phone and a double bed that was perfect for sleep overs. Tara was always jealous of my sweet set up (made more sweet, I like to believe, by the gray and pink early 90’s inspired design elements), but did she ever think to wonder how I got all that? And all the traffic tickets I’ve gotten out of, the jobs I’ve kept despite gross incompetence? You’d be surprised what a few tears can do…they even led to Eunice Kennedy Shriver being nice to me for 5 whole minutes.  If that’s not a super power, I don’t know what is…

Anyway…I’ll let you all read her post and see what you think, because now that she’s reminded me about the squirrels, I have to figure out where the bathroom is in my office building (again), so I cry in private.

————

Remember a few weeks ago, when Mer was a guest contributor on my blog?  She was all, “Tara almost starved her children because she’d rather see their cold, dead, emaciated bodies lying on the floor than crack an egg or risk getting burned on the stove top.  So I had to drive down there just to make those sweet babies some pancakes and rice krispie treats.”

Um, that was an exaggeration.  They’re not that sweet.  And they’re no longer babies who can be fed via my breastmilk, fully saturated with chocolate and caffeine, which is why they are in a constant state of near malnutrition.  Finally, they certainly weren’t near death, as several friends had dropped off some treats in the last month or so and we hadn’t even resorted to picking the last of the strawberries out of my neighbor’s garden.

So don’t go thinking Mer’s some sort of superhero or anything.

Truly, she’d make the worst superhero ever.   I mean, sure, she could rock a pair of thigh-high boots and her cleavage would look majestic in a sequined spandex top.  But that’s where the likeness ends, folks.

And because she was so focused on bragging about how she can melt butter and marshmallows together in a single pot, she didn’t stop to think about how I know approximately 134,577 secrets about her.  I’ve known her since we were twelve years old and we’re now, like, 100. I know that she once owned a Thighmaster.  I know that if a clown even looks at her, she’ll cry. I know that she’s watched every single episode of Beverly Hills 90210 and lusted after Dylan McKay and his scarred eyebrow so hard that she almost failed ninth grade math.  I even know how and with whom she lost her virginity.  The first, second, and third time, mind you.

(Dry spells that last longer than 1 year = renewed virginity, y’all.)

See, she forgot about my extraordinary knowledge base in her quest to showcase her ability to hypnotize my hungry children with her fancy pancake shaper-thingies and a liberal use of sprinkles.  She also failed to consider that I have an underdeveloped conscience, a verbal filter that crapped out on me the day my husband ran for the hills, and an active aversion to the delete key on my laptop.

As an additional factor, she’s got this really cute boyfriend whom she’s still trying to impress.

(Hiiiiiii, Chris.)

Anyway, let’s talk about the Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Superhero:

1)      She has absolutely no sense of direction.  None.  I’m not just talking about east vs. west.  No, I mean left/right and up/down, too.

2)      She has no pain tolerance.  Like, she can barely handle a hang nail without excessive whining, an unveiling of her wound as though she’s displaying a newborn baby, and at least three phone calls to her mom, who studied homeopathic medicine for this very reason.

3)      She loses stuff.  Aside from obvious stuff, like her virginity and self-control around M&Ms, she has also lost tickets to an awesome concert, at least 50 dollars in cash, all her tax records from 2008 and 2009, and the left shoe from a pair of kick-ass heels that she once wore to an event attended by the Kennedy family.

4)      She really enjoys using the word “f*ck”.  In front of children, preferably.  And it’s done in a sneaky, non-angry way, so you don’t even have any warning.

5)      She absolutely falls apart when she’s around someone who is in a crisis situation.  Like, if you are ever in a life-threatening situation, please understand that you will die.  And as you are taking your final breath, there’s a decent chance she might reach out to you for comfort, as watching you die is obviously very traumatizing and will linger in her mind long after your wretched death.

6)      She doesn’t like being too hot.  Or too cold.  Or wet.  Basically, she really can’t handle the elements.  Like, if she could fly, instead of being all, “Omg, I can fly”, she’d just get super pissed if a bug flew in her mouth or she got sunburn.   Oh, and “camping” is not a term that she’s ever going to look favorably upon, no matter what she tells her ex-military boyfriend.

7)      She’s not brave.  At all.  Once she became nearly catatonic for several hours after watching a momma squirrel eat her baby squirrels on her back porch.  We were all super worried about her and ended up having to stop making little baby-squirrel-screaming noises every time she walked into the room.

8)      I can’t even bear to discuss the concept of “Mer” and “weapons” in the same sentence.

9)      She’s a crier.  Big time.  She tries to normalize it by saying that my ability to hold my shit together when I watch the final scene in romantic comedies means I’m “dead inside”, but my extensive experience as her friend tells me that this girl is a crier who can be tipped into hysterics about as quickly as it takes a momma squirrel to eat her first baby.

10)   She’s a little bit racist, so she’d probably only be willing to save white people or Asian babies. Okay, that’s a lie.  She’s not racist at all and she has no particular affinity toward Asian babies.  But when she read this, she was probably like, “What the f*ck?  If I could stop crying long enough to find my left shoe and figure out which way was south, I’d totally kick her ass.”

There.  You see?

I’m super confident that this list has thoroughly convinced you that Mer should never, ever, EVER be considered a superhero.  Well, not for the general public anyway.

The thing is . . . she’s kind of my superhero.  Sure, she might not be brave, or organized, or particularly good at problem-solving in a crisis, but she is stellar at feeding my little ones, driving seven hours in order to spend New Year’s Eve making me margaritas and watching Redbox movies, reading all the drivel I write on the internet, listening to me whine about my failed marriage, lending me her Thighmaster, letting me making fun of her guest post on her blog, and agreeing that I’m smarter and prettier.

Okay, I may have made that last part up.

Regardless, she’s mine.  So, hands off.

 

Yeah…I’m Kind of a Big Deal…. July 5, 2011

I’m a guest blogger!

This is like, a big deal in the blogging world. Especially when you area  lower case “b” blogger who isn’t sure if she wants to become an upper case “B” Blogger, but might, because like, Bloggers have a shot at making some money or at least getting free stuff once in a while, while bloggers just get friends saying “Cute blog post. I mean, I didn’t finish it, but I’m sure it had a great ending,” or their mom’s heavy sighing when you write about how you keep forgetting your house keys when you go out with your boyfriend. But Blogging is a commitment, and takes work. You have to be serious about it, and frankly I don’t do serious all that well.  So I’m just hanging as a blogger, but flirting at the edges of making the leap to Blogger.

But I have this BFF, Tara, who is totally a Blogger, like she has tons of people who read her and she’s sorta famous in the area where she lives. Strangers stop her at the gym and her kid’s school and stuff to say they like her blog.  Because she’s totally hilarious. And now she’s hanging around with all the other cool super popular mommy Blogger chics and they  all follow each other and comment on each others blogs and are always like “OMG you’re SO funny,” “NO YOU’RE so funny,”  “I worship you.” “I want to BE you.”

Not that I care.  I’m all “whateves, I could be at the popular kids table if I wanted to be. I just don’t want to be.”

It’s exactly like when Tara and I were in high school, except then she was in Honor Society and I wasn’t. Which meant she got to go to the cafeteria in the mornings with all the other Honor Society kids and have orange juice and donuts while braiding each others hair. Or something, I don’t really know because I wasn’t there. But as I always told Tara when she’d ask why I didn’t join:  “I could be in it if I wanted to be, I just don’t want to be.” And I really didn’t want to be. Everyone was so serious all the time, and I didn’t much see the point, aside from the donuts, but my mom would totally have bought me donuts for breakfast if I asked her to. And this way I got to watch Beverly Hills 90210 instead of doing my math homework.

Anyway, Tara and I have been friends for like, a billion years or so and in that time our friendship has renewed or reinvented itself like a million times. We’re really more like sisters at this point, in the sense that she couldn’t get rid of me if she tried.

I was calling myself a writer and blogging long before she was, but then she jumped into the world of over-sharing and thinking every detail of your life is worth sharing, and it turns out, we’re BOTH writers.

I mean, who could have seen that coming? (although we did co-write two short stories for extra credit in high school English, which I still have, and one day will scan in and post on one of our blogs for the world to see our early genius).

I happen to think its pretty awesome that given the divergent paths our lives have taken that they are intersecting in this way at this time in our lives. Hence the excitement over the guest blogging.

(It’s so awesome, in fact, that its possible we might, maybe, be working on a book of personal essays together… possibly. Nothing for sure yet. But how cool would that be, right? But for now, lets just keep it between us.)

But enough about that.  Go read my blog on her site – Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy?

And then go through her site and read her other posts. But first promise you’ll come back to my blog and still read my ramblings even though I don’t have ridiculously cute kids to feed me content all the time… Pinky swear. Ok, thanks. Now go.

 

I See Crazy People June 9, 2010

Filed under: Home — Meredith @ 12:19 pm
Tags: , , ,

Since this month marks one year from when I acknowledged that I’d found a lump in my breast (which was about 3 months after actually finding the lump), I thought I’d mark the occasion with the only really good story to come out of all the whole thing…

Last fall I had minor surgery to remove a benign mass from my breast. The most dramatic part about the whole thing was a) using the words “mass in my breast” in a sentence and b) the fact that I was having a medical procedure of any kind, let alone surgery requiring general anesthesia. And I was milking the experience for whatever benefits I could get.  As is my way.

Because I was being put under general anesthesia I couldn’t wear my contacts. Which became a perfect excuse to finally get new glasses and contacts. I was about a year overdue on new contacts  and hadn’t gotten new glasses in literally 10 years. But as is also my way, I waited until the last possible minute to go to the eye doctor. My surgery was scheduled for early on a Tuesday morning, and I went into the eye doctor’s office on the afternoon of the Wednesday prior, but confirmed they could have the glasses by Monday before making the appointment.

I am assisted in my search for frames by a sales girl who was at most 22 years old, with huge green eyes, dressed head to toe in H&M, and who is as perky as only a wide eyed 22 year old can be.  Upon realizing I was there by myself she immediately appoints herself my BFF and is thus committed to helping me find “the PERFECT frames.  She is the picture of confidence and composure, despite her youth, and I am impressed and accept her as my BFF. Initially she steers me toward subtle, wire rimmed frames. The third time I explain that I prefer frames that make a statement she capitulates and directs me toward a $450 pair of Chanel frames because “EVERYONE looks good in these.” Admittedly, I did look good. But not $450 good. After explaining that I don’t wear my glasses enough to justify $450, she finally gets on my page and together we pick out about 25 frames and then sit down at a table with a mirror to start narrowing it down. She did not hesitate to give me her feedback, both positive and negative, and it became clear rather quickly that we had different tastes.  I was 45 minutes into the appointment before I remembered that she wasn’t actually my friend and I didn’t actually have any reason or obligation to trust her opinion… but eventually we ended up with a pair that we were both happy with.

As she was writing up the ticket I decide to confirm the delivery date.

Me: I’ll be able to pick these up on Monday right?

BFF: No, sorry, they won’t be ready for at least a week.

Me: (fighting a swell of panic) When I called yesterday I was told I could have them by Monday.

BFF: No, because of the non-glare coating, it takes at least a week. 

Me: I don’t need the non-glare coating.

BFF: Ooooo, you really do though. Its important with a prescription like yours (I’m blind. My glasses are really just stylish coke-bottles. But I don’t know what this has to do with glare). 

Me:  Here’s the thing, I’m having surgery on Tuesday, and I can’t wear my contacts, and the glasses I have are broken, so I HAVE to have these glasses by Monday.

BFF: (purses lips and looks thoughtful for a moment) I know! We’ll give you the glasses on Monday and then you can come back later and get the coating put on!

Me: Perfect! (I had zero intention of returning to get the coating)

She returns to writing up the long and complicated ticket and as she’s writing she says, very casually, “So. Whatchya havin’ surgery on?” I was caught totally off guard. NO ONE had ever asked what the surgery was for. The closest anyone came was a vague question like “Everything ok?” and I would say “Yup” and we would all move on.

When I didn’t immediately answer she looked up at me, all fresh faced and innocent and I found myself stuttering out “I’m having a lump removed from my breast.”

Her reaction was as startling as it was dramatic. Her mouth drops open and her eyes expand to take over the rest of her face, and then she just freezes in that position. I don’t know what answer she was expecting, but it sure as hell wasn’t that one. After a long and awkward 15 frozen seconds or so I said “But its benign. So I’ll be fine.”

BFF: (no change). 

(another 15 second pass)

Me: Just a quick surgery… but that’s why I need the glasses…

BFF: (becomes unfrozen at the word “glasses”). But you’re going to be ok, right?

Me: (trying not to laugh at her display of emotion). Yes, I’ll be fine. 

BFF(Shakes it off, and becomes all about business) OK. You are going to have your glasses. OK? You just don’t worry about it one more minute. 

Me: Thank you, I appreciate that. 

BFF: (the very picture of earnestness and concern) Seriously. I don’t care what it takes. If I have to drive to the factory myself and get the lenses, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR GLASSES ON MONDAY.

Me: (trying REALLY hard not to laugh) Perfect. Thank you. 

BFF: Seriously. Just don’t think about it again. You just focus on you, and let me take care of this, ok? Because I mean it. WHATEVER IT TAKES. I will make sure you get your glasses before Tuesday. 

Me: (speaking softly because other people in the store are starting to stare at us) I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

She finishes writing up the ticket and gives me the (shocking) total.

Me: Do I pay the entire balance now or just a deposit?

BFF: (still showing some signs of shock) Whatever you want. I mean, usually a deposit. Or the whole amount. I mean, whatever you want.

Me: Ok, I’ll pay a deposit and the remainder when I pick them up.

BFF: Ok, great! So on Monday you’ll come and get fitted and pay the balance and you’ll be all set.

Me: How long should I plan for the fitting to take? (its been 10 years, I can’t remember the process of getting glasses at all, and have several things to do on Monday).

BFF: How long do you want it to be? I mean, how much time will you have? To pick them up, I mean…err…Its usually quick. Like 20 minutes? Is that ok?

Me: (losing the battle and laughing. Just just a little) That will be fine, thank you very much.

On Monday in between pre-admission stuff at the hospital and getting ready for a “lump dump” happy hour with my friends, my sister and I stop in to pick up my glasses. My BFF isn’t there, and when I ask about my glasses, no one seems to know of which I speak. As the girl at the counter is searching the files for a second time I start to laugh, and it only has a touch of hysteria in it. I’m actually thinking that this is pretty much the best end I could ask for to this story… Except that this isn’t about having a good story… OK, it’s not JUST about having a good story. Even though the procedure is minor, I’m still pretty stressed out about it and I’ve been keeping it together pretty well, but I suddenly realize that I’m about to completely drop my shit in the middle of the glasses store. My sister has the same realization about two seconds after I do. “Don’t worry. You’re going to get your glasses,” She says with all the confidence of a person powerless to control anything. I start to laugh harder. “I’m serious,” my sister says looking me in the eye. “Whatever has to happen I will make happen and this will all work out.” And this is why she’s the one I picked to go through this experience with me. I believe her and I relax a little and stop laughing.

The girl who was looking through the files says “Um, I have to talk to the optometrist, but he’s at lunch. Can I call you when he gets back?” I wonder if I should give her the story so she understands the urgency, but my sister steps in and says “what time will you call? And if you don’t call then, can we call you?” The girl nods. My sister smiles, says thank you, and leads me out of the store. Back home she cleans and reorganizes my entire apartment while I watch and obsess, and two hours later the phone rings, my glasses are ready, and I let out the breath I’d been holding for the last two hours.

I know it was a little bit crazy, but I’d put all of my anxiety about the surgery onto having new glasses to wear to the hospital and while I was stoned on vicodin for 2-3 days of recovery. Now that I had the glasses, everything was going to be fine. The only thing I was left to do was wonder if I should check in with my BFF after the surgery to let her know how it went…

 

 
%d bloggers like this: