January 24, 2015

Grecian Eyes, Niagara Falls, and a Doctor's Office...

There are some stories that I find hysterically funny, and (yet) when I tell them to others all I hear is crickets.  My sense of humor is just sometimes at odds with others and other times it's just really poor taste.  I know this because sometimes my closest friends on the planet call me an asshole.  No subtle read-between-the-lines there!

This one, however, is funny.  Funnier because it happened to me.

In all honesty I had forgotten about this until one of coworkers was telling me about her doctor's appointment.  It triggered my memory and I told her the story.  There might have been an emergency run to the bathroom to avoid the laughing-too-hard-I-pee syndrome.  Maybe.

Several years ago, before my amazing doctor passed away, I had a funky mole on my upper arm, so he sent me to a dermatologist to have it checked out.  I was a touch nervous because my grandfather had to deal with skin cancer when I was younger.  Because of this, I got the full treatment.  Let me share...

As I walked into the office, I was greeted by a full room of people.  I checked in and parked myself into one of the few chairs close to the entry.  I'm weird about walking across a waiting room full of people I don't know.  This gave me a premium view of the receptionists' office.  Receptionists are like secretaries in that if you really want to know the vibe of an office, secretly watch them.  They are the true gatekeepers of all important knowledge in any business.

photo: wallpaper2020.com
While I'm doing recon on the receptionist, a gentleman in a white coat walks behind them...Obviously a doctor or PA.  He is lovely.  No, I mean LOVELY! Olive skin, dark hair, eyes that look like the Grecian coast has been bottled inside them.  As I'm reflecting on his godliness, it hits me that I am a new patient.  A NEW PATIENT.  This means I have no doctor or PA.  Oh. My. God. He could be...no, no, no.  I decide at this time that God does not hate me enough to make this happen. After all, I'm being responsible and taking care of my health.  This responsibility demands absolutely no cute doctors doing my inspection.  Right?

No. No, it does not.  

As I'm now sitting in my little (very white, sterile, COLD) room, in walks the Grecian God of Eyes.  Of course he does.  I am in a thin paper gown sitting on an exam table/chair thingy covered in thin paper.  Sigh.

After introductions, I realize this man is quite nice.  Which should be comforting, but I'd prefer he be an asshole like me so that I could hate him a little instead of being in awe of those damn eyes of his.  We start with conversation about why I'm here, blah, blah, blah.  Then the games begin.

The arm part is easy enough.  That's already sticking out of the gown.  Then we move to legs, toes, hands.  Again, easy.  Then he says the words I never expected:  "I need you to stand and take off your gown."  Oh. My. God.

When he initially walked into the room, I began to perspire a bit.  Not like I'd been running from zombies or anything, but enough that I could feel the warmth on my back.  I had sort of forgotten about it because arms, hands, legs, and toes are easy.  Removal of gown?  Not easy.

photo:  freepik.com
I'm sure I would have been a little, um, sweaty regardless of the person performing this glorious inspection, but I immediately developed more than a little glistening of perspiration at this point.  I've never been to Niagara Falls, but I would wager I was within range of daily output in less than 60 seconds.  You can't stop that kinda sweat.  Not perspiration, full-on sweat.

And so I stood.  I stood up to remove the paper gown to stand there in a freezing (yet not enough to stop the waterfall of sweat), sterile, florescent-lit room with Grecian God and two nurses, to bare myself in my obviously-not-chosen-with-care underwear in the sake of my health.

That moment.

When I planted my feet on the floor and began to rise, I realized the sweat was actually acting as a glue between myself and the paper on the table.  And it came with me.

Firmly planted between the cheeks.  Not the cheeks on my face.


I'm not sure if it was embarrassment or relief when I finally heard the paper RIP away from my body and fall back against the table.  I'm sure the heat coming from my face would've powered several electrical grids for days.  So there I stood...no gown, yet still decorated with lovely bits of paper.  

Ain't nothing you can do with that mess.

So, as my friend/coworker that I dearly love and admire tells me her story of being embarrassed by being pretty-much-naked in front of others (she's tall, blonde, and appears a decade younger than her years, mind you.), I say to her, "At least your ass cheeks didn't kidnap the paper by force of sweat in front of the Grecian God of dermatology."

You're welcome.

November 2, 2014

Circles...Coming Around and Easing Back

It often strikes me how life comes full circle, weaves around the bend, and comes home again.  When I start over-thinking things (cause that's what I do...even at the grocery store), I try to remind myself it'll all come out in the wash as my grandmother used to say.  Sometimes, tho, that's one long damn cycle.

The 48 hours of this weekend have been a topsy-turvy ride...last night I celebrated as two of my favorite people promised to be each other's best friend, to shelter each other from the world, and to be there forever.  It meant so much because their love story started over 20 years ago and is now starting again.  

Tomorrow I will go to the church cemetery to lay my uncle to rest.  Those words are heavy.  Heavy with regret, joy, sorrow, finality...

He was my uncle by marriage, inherited when my aunt married him.  He had two sons from a previous marriage, and they had none together...which made me as close to a daughter as anyone could be.  I will tell no lies: I was spoiled rotten by the both of them, both in the things bought for me and the love I was given.  Like all good stories, that came to an abrupt end.

When my aunt (of Wanda's Stripper Dip fame) passed away unexpectedly, we each responded in our own ways.  Each of us, though, fought hard to stay away from each other.  It was hard to hear that laughter that sounded like hers...hard to see faces that were mirror images.  And, as humans do, we tried to tear each other apart because that was easier than facing the fact that she was gone. We inflicted pain with words and deeds to make sure everyone hurt.  It kicked off a 20 year battle of wills that left no one the better.

As I drove to my in-laws house one day, I saw my uncle's garage door open.  I said to God (we're tight like that...I think, anyway), "If that door's open when I drive back by, I'm stopping."   God's funny because the door was open.  Like, "So, what are you gonna do with that, big girl?"  So....I stopped.  That easy.  I just stopped. We talked briefly, exchanged numbers, and had lunch not too long after.  Just. Like. That.

We had several lunch dates in the following year or two.  Initially there were stops and starts in the conversation, but eventually we developed our rhythm and our conversations were always wonderful.  Don't get me wrong:  He could be a stubborn, principled ass at times, but for that reason I loved him.  It's easy to give in to the rest of the world, but it takes hard guts to stand your ground. He always paid for my lunch and hugged me goodbye.  Every last goodbye was followed with "I love you."  And he did.  I loved him, too.  I loved him because he was my uncle, because he was kind to me as a kid, because he was my last tie to the years of my youth when I didn't know people died and left you.  

Yesterday at the grocery store, there was a family of four: mom, dad, son about 10 years old, and a toddler.  They were walking down the aisle arguing about money.  The dad was telling mom he needed pants for work because the only pair he owned without holes were the ones he had on.  She was upset, telling him there was no money for that.  The young boy was just walking with his hands stuffed in his pockets, defeated and sad.  They weren't yelling, but it was loud enough for everyone close-by to hear in a quiet, Saturday morning grocery store where the 16 year-old kid forgot to push play on the shitty muzak.

I walked to the cash register and bought a gift card, and then I went to search for them in the store.  They were in the frozen food section, still arguing.  I walked up to them, and, while handing the card to the mom, said, "I remember not having money to pay bills, but I was lucky to have family to help me.  My uncle recently passed away, so this is in his honor.  Buy the pants you need, or just take your son for pizza and a movie.  You're all each other has, so be kind. Just be kind to each other."  The dad was shaking his head no, and the mom was teary, but I walked away before they could say no to me.  No was not an option.  It was important to me that they be kind to each other for the sake of not breaking apart as a family and missing years of time spent together.

Tomorrow I will cry because he is gone.  I will forever hate that I didn't get that last lunch date.  Despite those tears, I am so, so grateful that I stopped that day. I know that, against 20 years of hard silence, in the end I had an uncle who loved me.  That is enough for today.

Sit down, pick up the phone, and ease back into those relationships you're missing...Before you can't.

Happy birthday, Wanda...

August 31, 2014

In The Blink of an Eye...Tooth Fairies and Teenagers

This family is a little strange...we love to get our teeth cleaned.  When I say it's time to go to the dentist, these weirdos run to the car.  That doesn't mean they love brushing their teeth at home, but they're all in when it comes to someone else cleaning them.

At our appointment a couple of weeks ago, the hygienist mentioned that the Hurricane's two front teeth on the bottom were loose.  She says to me, "They will be coming out soon."  While Hurricane was just over the moon about losing some teeth, I am less so....like, a LOT less so.

THIS smile....*sigh*
The next night, as I lay in bed, I suddenly felt really small and sad.  Many of my friends were posting pictures of their children heading off to college, and I realized that day was coming for us, too.  We still have five years before Girlo Two heads off to brave her new frontiers, but the Hurricane still fit in the palm of my hand five years ago.  Now she's losing teeth...how the heck did that happen?

The Hurricane

It sounds silly, I know, but I'm gonna miss her "baby teeth" smile.  Not only because it fills her whole face and is full of innocence and optimism, but because it means she is moving one step closer to being a big kid.  She is the last of my babies, and she is the last of all those firsts...first steps, first teeth, first day of Kindergarten.

I know there are a million things I have to look forward to, and I do.  I can't wait to see the amazing adults they will all grow up to be.  I just wish they weren't quite so close to being those amazing adults.

As I get older, I realize that life is a series of phases, each with its own amazing adventures and occasional goodbyes.  It's hard to realize how quickly they are moving away from me and into their own lives.  I'm happy for them, but still a little sad for me. I push them to live life big, but I'd love to keep them closer just a little bit longer.

Soon, the tooth fairy will come, and I promise not to slam her lithe wings in the window.  I promise to not pack myself into Girlo Two's luggage when she leaves for college.  I promise these things because I love them, but I do not promise to not cry after the Tooth Fairy flies away into the night and Girlo Two drives off into the sunset.  
Easier said than done, Seuss...