Last night, all dressed for our fancy evening out, I excitedly popped my head into the guest room where Husband was ironing his shirt. I'd showered twice to make up for the lack of showering enforced on me by my 48hour heart monitoring. I'd dressed, slathered on some eye shadow - which is as make-upy as I get - and even matched my undies to my bra. Well, okay, kinda of matched them, in that they both had red bit on them but not really matching in that they came as a set. I don't actually own any matching underwear. Contrary to Victoria Secret's beliefs, I can still feel sexy in six-year-old underwear. Or I can pretend I do. Sometimes. It's not like anyone is watching me writhing about on the floor pursing my lips and sex-pouting.
I digress as usual.
So, last night I felt fantastic. I was monitor free, squeaky clean and we were going to a fancy charity event, to see and talk to people we weren't married to. I sashayed my way down the hall to the guest room, stepped into the doorway and struck a pose for Husband.
And Husband looked up from his ironing, gave me the once over, pursed his lips in a non-Victoria Secret sexy way and shook his head, "No."
And just like that, my mood, my self-confidence, my Victoria Secret sexy self was gone. The world came crashing down and the screaming started. I spit out cuss words like a machine gun on automatic. I was layering cuss words on top of cuss words on top of cuss words. I lobbed insults at him, at our marriage, his manhood, and his lack of tact. And then I stomped off, threw off the shirt that apparently made me "short and wide" and started pulling shirts out of the closet all the while screaming, "Arg! Why did you do that? Now I have nothing to wear." Tigger the Dog, feeding off the crazy, began following me around, baby in her mouth, nose in my crotch. Her over-attentiveness to my wellbeing did not help the situation. Neither did my shouting at her. Or trying to run into another room while shouting at Husband to, "Get your damn dog off me!"
Now, before you before you burn Husband at the stake, you need to know that the number one thing I found most attractive thing about him when we met was his all out honesty. I would rather not go out into the world looking "short and wide" -especially not any wider than the eleven years of blissful togetherness has given me - and I was thrilled to find someone who had my best interests at heart. True love is really telling someone that they don't look great in an outfit or that they have spinach in their teeth or a bat in their cave. That being said, telling me I look like a fat striped house (my interpretation of his words) five minutes before walking out the door is not going to go down well. Especially when I'm self conscious about all my fluffy bits and my heart monitor suction cup boob wounds and my lack of wardrobe that fits the new fluffy bits and hides the boob wounds.
It was a long five minutes. There was a lot of flinging of clothing to punctuate my free flying curse words. Husband took refuge with TTD in another room as I tried on and discarded tops, self esteem dropping lower and lower as each top moved from the possible pile to the "What the hell was I thinking?" pile. It was getting bleak.
And then, miraculously I found a top that didn't make me feel like I'd put lipstick on a pig. A top that actually made me feel better than the original outfit that had spawned my mother of all temper tantrums. A top that actually made Husband freaking right to have voiced his opinion. A top that made me feel Victoria Secret sexy without any bits on display.
And that, dear friends, was way worse.
Because while the truth hurts, the "I told you so..." mortally wounds. Forever I will know he was right because forever he is bound to remind me.
I've said this before and my opinion hasn't changed, marriage is a series of little skirmishes. Husband has won this war. At least I looked good as I limped away from the battle. Little things...
Funny how life always seems to make a liar out of me; Monday I said I wasn’t going to post until there was something interesting to say and then Tuesday I went and got myself fitted for a heart monitor.
I’m fine, by the way. No need to panic. I have a few heart murmurs and they’ve been playing up and talking to me. And because my grandfather had a million heart attacks and strokes and my father buried his leg before his body died on him and because my cholesterol is through the roof, the doc put me on a monitor for 48hours to see what the heck the murmurs are saying. See, fine!
And yet, I’m me so a heart monitor for 48hours isn’t just a walk in the park. No, it’s just a bit of drama trauma.
Years ago I was a patient dummy for a group of cardiology doctors in training. Because of the dang heart murmurs, I was hired to be a fake patient so that they could practice their bedside manner and diagnostic skills. Of course there was a small problem; my murmurs are quiet ones and my boobs are big. What followed was two hours of awkward conversations and touching. "Ma'am. My name is Doctor blah blah. I’m going to listen to your heart.” Long uncomfortable pause as he tried to figure out how to listen to my heart and not touch my breast. “Um… sorry. I’m going to… May I… I need to move your… um… your breast?" Then the next one, slightly more confident because he’d watched the first dude go up in flames, “I’m Doctor blah blah. May I lift up your breast to listen to your heart?” And the next, “I need to access under your breast. May I just lift…”? And the next, “Could you please move your breasts up so I may…?”
When I’d agreed to do this fake patient gig, I wasn't thinking about the touching and the awkwardness and the weird pauses as they tried to hear murmurs that weren’t obvious to any of my doctors till I was in my late 20’s. I just thought, cool unusual gig. I didn’t think, “Cool. A gig with lots of boob manhandling and overly sweaty palms.” And I absolutely didn’t think “Cool. A gig sitting in my bra for three hours while thirty almost doctors stand about me ogling and making self-conscious comments.” I would have asked for more money had I known that was happening. Or the movie rights. Those would have been worth something.
I certainly didn’t think that all these years later, I’d be having my boobs lifted again and then wandering around for 48hours as a half cyborg (Husband’s description) with sensors on my boobs and under my boobs and sticky tape pulling my skin every which way.
And I didn’t count on having to do more than clutch husband’s hand as say, “There’s that weird feeling again.” Fact: when you have to note any ‘heart issue’ while wearing a monitor, every thing is a ‘heart issue’ and when everything is a ‘heart issue’ then you start thinking you’re being overly sensitive and nothing is a ‘heart issue.’ I’m almost hoping for a freaking heart attack or stroke so I know that something has happened worth writing down.
Not really. That would suck. Though having one while I have this sucker on would be really cool to see. Then when you meet me, I would have a womb AND a heart attack to show you.
In the meantime, I’ve not showered since Tuesday morning and I’m starting to feel like there’s a funk following me around along with my dangling wires and sticky skin. Add to that, every single time I’ve gone to the bathroom, I’ve forgotten the sucker is attached to my pants and almost pulled all the wires out and dropped the thing on the floor. Thankfully I’ve caught it just before the boob skin was ripped clean off but it’s been close. I’m not going to be able to wear a V-neck t-shirt for a few weeks without looking like some alien being Captain Kirk might have found on a distant planet. And every shirt I own is a V-neck. So there's that.
Last week, when we told a friend of ours I was getting this monitor put on, Husband joked that our insurance wasn’t good enough to get the actual monitor and that they were just going to hire a little person walk about with me, ear to my chest for 48hours and then Husband acted it out for everyone at the cocktail party. Awesome. And yet, I’m not sure that wouldn’t be better than what I’ve got going on right now. Of course, then I remember the fumbling cardiology students with their sweaty hands and and am thankful for the wires and the ripping skin and the lack of boob lifting.
It’s all about the little things… like murmurs and heart monitors and boobs.
I missed posting on Friday. I had something half written, told myself I’d finish it later and then never did. Years ago I saw a therapist who told me, after I’d missed most of my appointment because I’d forgotten about it and then had nothing to complain about, that it was a sign that I didn’t need to see her. Maybe Friday was my ‘sign’.
I recently saw a meme somewhere with a picture of a dorky man, trumpet at the ready with a statement that Facebook is the only friendship you announce to the world that you’re leaving. If I could find it again, I’d put it here because leaving social media or taking a time out from a writing blog seems to warrant a notification of some kind or people start to send out “I’m worried about you.” messages.
Don’t be. I’m not holding a trumpet right now. I’m just empty. I will blurt when the mood strikes or something awkward happens or I feel the need to share with you the inner workings of my mind. We’re going to a major charity event on Thursday with some famous musicians and fancy food. And I’m working the Killer Nashville writer’s conference this weekend with famous murder mystery writers and lots of "I wanna be published too!!!" writers. Something is sure to happen to me or someone else that will require purging.
And, if not this weekend, there will be stories to share somewhere down the line of life. I mean, my friend walked the whole of Target with thick white hair cream sliding out from under her skirt; there will be stories I have to tell.
I’m totally going to quote this blog I read called theshitastophy.com ‘I’ve stepped away from my blog for a bit, but I am not gone. I have just pivoted.’ I am pivoting, people. Breathing and pivoting.
Because they were on my mind, I will leave you with a few pictures of us in Australia seventeen years ago - when my hair was big and the humidity made it bigger. This was long before Husband became Husband and I got better glasses. Good thing because here's a random Husband fact: Husband believes people don’t die. They just move to Australia.
Husband has issues. And not all of them are me.
I wrote this before the doctor’s visit and forgot to post. And then I had the doctor’s visit and she hugged me and I can’t get past the trauma to edit this so here you go – a post about the future that is now the past…
Today is my annual physical. Otherwise known as the day I say something embarrassing to the doctor that makes us both uncomfortable.
Also, I did my blood work last week so we could discuss it at the physical so my doctor is going to be yelling me at today for my not good very bad results.
I’m blaming my father. It’s because of his genetics I’m predisposed to high cholesterol and all the lovely side effects. Damn him. He’s fully responsible for about 80% of that problem. I’m totally blaming him for the other 20% of my results too. Because he was such a shit of a dad, I have to eat my feelings about him in French fry form on an almost hourly basis.
The doc is going to tell me to eat better and exercise more which will bring up all sorts of promises on my end that I’ll break in two weeks with a binge on cookies and potato chips and ice cream while crying on the couch about my inability to move.
And, of course, then there’s this dilemma; a month ago Brother sent me a text to listen to a podcast about Hydrox cookies. I LOVE Hydrox cookies! They are SOOOOOO much better than Oreos and not just because the middle is pure sugar and no animal fat. Because when we first came to America, we lived with our grandmother who would sooth our daily brushes with racism with a Hydrox cookie that she’d stashed in the best little cookie jar ever. Hydrox cookies combined with Grandma love made everything all better. Then the Keebler elves bought Hydrox, put it on a shelf somewhere in the back of the warehouse never to be found and a happy part of my childhood was gone.
But now, because of some dude with nostalgia issues like mine, Hydrox is back! My box of feelings in cookie form was delivered yesterday. And I am now torn – do I eat them now, before the yelling or after, when it will be blatant ignoring of the rules.
Perhaps I can bring that up when she’s writing down all the things I should probably mention. Like my possible heart attack three months ago, my weekly dip in the pool of depression, my menopause journey and all the joys and sweat and roller coaster mood swings that seem to have come along with it, my weird aches and pains and bruises and general WebMD curiosities... Maybe she won’t notice the Hydrox thing in the whirlwind of issues I’m throwing at her. Maybe it will all be okay.
But it wasn't. She hugged me. The horror. I'll have to add hugging to the list of things to freakout about at next years visit.
Mom leaves tomorrow and we have a whole bunch of conversations we’ve started to finish today. I have a whole bunch of questions to ask that I need her answers to. She has a whole slew of stories of her life I haven’t heard yet that I need to hear. Not the ones she keeps telling me over and over and over because she's forgotten she's already told me them three times today. No, the ones like the time her roommate in college made bootleg raisin wine and she was the only one who drank it because it was too yeasty for the others but she likes the taste of yeast. My mom, the prohibition rebel.
It’s been a good visit. Like every conversation I seem to have with Husband, my mother’s visits are always peppered with “Did that just happen?” moments. Like at dinner on Friday when we were at a fancy restaurant talking about how my Aunt just surprised my Uncle with a trip to Australia using their airline miles and my mom said, “I don't know why she surprised him.” And then Husband said, “She must have misheard him when he asked her to go down under.” !!! And then Husband told us the story of a friend’s father taking him downtown to a hooker and swore up and down that the hooker’s name was Sally Sucker. We’re still laughing about that one.
Moments like when we took my mom to our friend's 72nd birthday party and stood Mom too close to the birthday girl and her pot-smoking friends. Pretty much gave my mom, who doesn’t drink or smoke, a major contact high. So, of course, we then spent Sunday morning searching the Internet for information about pot and what part to smoke and what the difference is between hemp and the stuff that gets you high. Not because she’s planning on growing any, mind you, but because she wants to know.
When we went on a boat down the Cumberland River, I kept trying to take a picture of the two of us, the Batman building in the background. Mom let me take one. Said, “That’s enough of that.” Turned around and refused to be in any other picture. All my pictures of the boat ride are of back of her large floppy homemade red hat and the inside of my nose.
As I said in my post last year when Mom left: I am sad that I won't have her here for the everyday and the exciting. I’m depressed that she won't be here to share bizarre experiences shopping as we end up in weird exchanges with the folks that work at the stores. That we won’t be able to have the type conversations we’ve had that we start on one day and finish the next. …. We’ve solved the world’s problems and uncovered a few random oddities about people, places and things… She’s ready to go home. I am ready for her to go home too. But I am not ready for her not to be here.
Today we’re spending the day wandering Target and having other mindless mini adventures while we babble the day away. I’m going to be listening hard, hoping to learn a bit more about this fascinating lady before she forgets herself. That day is coming all too soon.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me