So – I took a social media break for August because my social life was more virtual than physical. Also because August is, according to Brother, when I go crazy. I thought going social media free would be a step in the right direction to living a better, more creative life.
And, for the most part, it was. I remembered that my free time used to be spent reading books and not down the time suck of someone else’s awesome or not so awesome life. And yes, I realize that reading is a time suck of a different kind but it felt a healthier choice for my soul.
Of course - because whoever is running things has a wicked sense of humor - it got interesting on day one of my self-imposed break; the allergist thought that my massive hives attack in July was likely due to alpha-gal, otherwise known as a meat allergy due to a bite from the Lone Star Tick.
Seriously. That is a thing, a meat allergy to anything with a hoof.
Sooooo, I go on a social media break and I can’t talk about being possibly allergic to meat. And that, if I were to test positive for alpha-gal, I would need to carry an EpiPen in case of an allergic attack because of accidental meat contact.
Seriously! An EpiPen in case the knife that cuts my turkey meat first cut roast beef and the roast beef meat juice cooties got on my turkey meat and I swelled up like an itchy balloon...
Welp, turned out I am not allergic to meat. (PHEW!!!) Or Penicillin. (DOUBLE PHEW!!!) My hives were due to an autoimmune issue. (WHAT???) But the allergist only covers allergies so, not his department. What’s wrong with me is still a mystery…
Unless you ask Brother, because he’s sure it is because it’s August.
And that was week one of August; ticks, meat allergies and an unknown autoimmune issue.
Of course, the rest of the month was just as random – I had a fascinating conversation with transgender country songwriter in short shorts, with a bad wig, an NFL ex-husband and major delusions. A mom I know was killed by logging truck, while jogging and now her 5yr old has to navigate life without her. I was cast in my forth ‘of color’ role ever. My Father-in-law is visiting. Again. A kitten decided the under carriage of Husband’s SUV was a perfect place to live. It took him two days to get it out from under the SUV, two days to get it out from under his sports car, one to get it adopted before we got our cat pee smelling garage back - just in time for yesterday’s tornado warnings, flash floods and my near drowning on my way home in the Smart Car because the roads were mostly rivers...
Turns out a social media free August was as random as my life often can be, just not as creative as I’d hoped. September, you must do better. Life is too short for anything less.
I was meant to post this on New Years Day. But I made some seriously bad choices on New Years Eve and lost two days to recovery and self name-calling. Then the rest of my good intentions got in the way and here I am - Day 6 - still eating badly, still making bad choices but finally posting this blurt. I did say that do-overs are part of life, right? Well, here are a few final things we learned in 2016:
• A really good waitress - one that is attentive, anticipates your every need - is a great thing.
• A really good waitress - one that is attentive, anticipates your every need - is a great thing… UNLESS it’s New Years Eve and you’re in a bar and started drinking at 4:30pm so you can toast the British New Year at 6pm. Because every time you finish your vodka and cranberry, that good waitress pops up right next to you and asks if you’d like another. And, since the last one hasn’t hit the “You’ve had enough, ej. The world is starting to looking less shiny and more blurry” mark yet, you keep saying yes. And when you keep saying “Why yes, I’ll have another…” you end up on the floor of the bathroom at 3am regretting a whole lot of things - especially the invention of vodka and who’s every dumb idea it was to toast every county’s New Year.
Yeah, that really good kind of waitress is the kind of waitress you don’t want.
• It is imperative that Husband and I are not drunk at the same time, because the dogs cannot take care of themselves.
• And speaking of those dogs, they sure as heck are incapable of taking care of us while we’re lying on the floor in separate bathrooms, dying. I should have remembered that part from Broken Ankle when I was lying on the driveway and they brought me a Frisbee and a shoe. I did not. When you have drunk most of the bar, a soggy, headless Lamb Chop will not make the puking all better but thanks for shoving that squelchy wet thing in my face, Tigger the Dog. Husband said he kept calling for help and Joseph would just at paw at his arm and drool on his face. Useless.
• Apparently no matter how old I get, a hangover sucks. And the older I get, the suckier they get and longer to get over they take. And no matter how old I am, I forget that key bit of information when the nice waitress offers me a millionth vodka and cranberry.
• You know you’ve had WAY too much to drink if you get home and can’t remember if you’ve a) paid the bill and b) tipped the waitress. It’s been years since I’ve done the Walk of Shame but I’ve never done the Walk of Shame INTO the bar FOUR days later to ask if we paid and/or tipped. Mortified. In my defense, we’d left the house with $100 and came home with $2 so we thought we were good. Until I found $60 in a pocket and had to concede that nope, we had likely not paid OR tipped. Not the best start to the New Year.
On the other hand, I have yet to die of embarrassment, so there’s that…
• Husband and I know a bunch of interesting and entertaining people. When we get them all together in the same place, magic can happen. We forgot that last year - the bringing together part. We resolve to do better this year. But sober.
So far, this year has been interesting, challenging, and hysterical and no day has been the same. Hangover aside, that’s a good start, right? Fifty-one weeks to go!
A random assortment of lessons from the roller coaster that has been 2016:
When a 64lb dog is running at you at 30mph, stand still. Do not shift to the right thinking he’ll run past you, leaving your body intact. He will not.
Friendship at my age is exactly the same as friendship when I was first in school.
Some ‘friends’ will only play with you if you play the game exactly the way they want you to. Those people are not friends you can rely on. They never were, they never will be.
People can and will always surprise you. Not always in a good way.
I - a light skinned, mixed race female, raised in one of the wealthiest areas in the USA - am some people’s only ‘black’ friend.
Regardless of my age, I will always need my mom. And even though I’ve prepped myself for her eventual end, I will be shattered.
Everyone wears a mask. It is rare and lucky to find people who will show you their real self. Treasure them.
Eggplant emojis are not just about eggplants. Taco emojis are not just about tacos. And Eggplant Fridays is a thing that can make me, a person who’s seen everything, blush. I’d put links but I’m scared to.
I will put this link to things people have put in their bodies because I find it fascinating. Especially those who tell the doctors and nurses that they “fell” onto them with a straight face.
Sometimes, sitting on the couch is the best medicine for the blues. Sometimes it’s the worst. No matter how old I get, I don’t make the right choice.
No one couple’s marriage is like yours. No ones. So when people share advice, or get divorced or their partners do something crazy good – like fly you to Kenya for a safari for your birthday - or crazy bad – like dump you over the phone - it is not your marriage. Don’t treat it as if it were.
I don’t like strawberries. I have never liked strawberries. But for most of my life, I’ve eaten the strawberries because someone gave them to me or they’re in the damn fruit cup and I know I should eat fruit. But am old now. I am big enough and ugly enough to not eat the stupid strawberries.
A Gnome on someone’s front lawn is apparently a symbol that Swingers live there. Yup. Don’t ask me how I know. I’m not ready to talk about it yet.
I bet your grandparent’s love of gnomes taking on new meaning?
Some people keep score. If you forget an event or say the wrong thing or don't answer a flipping text message, they will put you on the 'dead to me' list. Forever.
If someone is a scorekeeper, they will always keep score. Always.
You cannot win against scorekeeper. Ever. So don’t even try.
No matter how healthy I try to be, a bag of potato chips can tempt me into that dark place where I don’t breathe between mouthfuls and will bite the fingers off anyone who tries to take one.
A bad day can be warmed up with a giggle and three dogs can irritate anyone into a giggle.
No matter how intelligent Husband might be, he cannot load the dishwasher in the most logical way. In fact, not one of my very intelligent family members – by marriage or by blood – can load the sucker in the most commonsense way. And if you want the damn dishes to be stacked in the cupboard in color order, load the dishwasher in that color order. Especially since that someone isn’t the one to UN-load the dishwasher.
Sometimes dishwashers mean more than just dishes. Sometimes, not.
If someone tells you they are not judgmental. They are.
If someone tells you they aren’t sexist. They are.
If someone tells you they’re not racist. They are.
Life is full of do-overs. The clock is the same time twice a day, every day. A diet can start whenever - or in my case, after almost every meal. I can decide on a plan, change my mind and then change it back. That’s what makes me me. Life is not an absolute so I need to do my best to keep on moving forward and not getting stuck in the mess that is my past, appreciate the present and not eat the effing strawberries.
Bring it on 2017. I am ready for whatever lessons you have to teach me - though I would prefer to ace the year so be gentle and make it an easy one, please. Not all of me is held together with Titanium.
This spectacular art - which expresses my brain/heart/soul - is by Ingo Maurer. This is a great article about him/it here and the product page should you wish to go shopping, here.
No idea who took the photo - I snagged it off Facebook - but love the light and imperfections of the shot. Wabi Sabi, people!
Six months ago I went out the front door with the dogs for a quick walk about the yard.
Six (ish) hours later, Husband brought me back in the front door in a splint with three broken bones in my ankle, a prescription for heavy drugs, an appointment with a surgeon for the next morning and a new appreciation for my Husband.
Seven weeks ago, that surgeon pronounced me healed – though Broken Ankle and I dispute that every day. Sure the bones are healed, my plates and screws are settled in to their new home, the scars beginning to soften. But my muscles, my ligaments, they would disagree. And disagree they do – loudly and frequently. Add to that my lack of mobility and his cheerful "You're healed." couldn't be further from the truth. I’m so dang slow that when I walk with Husband, we can't hold hands because even at his slowest pace, he ends up dragging me, shuffling along.
My new normal is random mystery shooting pains that bring about sudden limping that I’m sure to others look like I’m putting my acting training to use. I promise, I’m not. It really is the only way I can walk these days – "good step, good step, ah fuck, limp, limp..."
Sure I can walk downstairs now alternating feet but only if I’m holding onto a rail for dear life. I can move things about the garden while wearing my steel toed work boots but only if I stop after an hour, mainline pain killers and put my foot up for three. I still can’t get Broken Ankle to bend enough to put on a boot but I’ve added one more pair of shoes to my rotating outfit - bringing my total to three. My very un-fancy twelve-year-old Keen’s are still my mainstay shoe of choice. Winter is going to suck.
Tomorrow is my last day my beloved red temporary handicap placard is valid. I will now have to limp from parking slots much further away from any shop. With the coming ice and snow, I dread each step. On the other hand, I’ll be less likely to be judged by the blue handicap placard folks who scan my body for injury to determine if I’m worthy of the spot. Which is funny because I’m the dumbass who will pull off my sock to show you my scars at anytime. Consider yourself warned. I’ll show you my scars without asking. I need you to know I’m still broken despite my outward health. Just be thankful I didn't feel the need to do this with my hysterectomy scar.
I’m officially that person that can feel a storm coming on and will tell you about it in the aisle of the grocery store. Broken Ankle aches with the cold, a deep throbbing ache that radiates up the calf and cannot seem to be soothed. Not even with my constant whining and tears. I baby it constantly, rubbing oils on it to break up the scaring and ease the pain, covering it in decorative socks that make me look like a pirate. Heck, I even found a tattoo sleeve and wore it to a party as an impromptu Broken Ankle warmer with my fancy dress. I’m sure I came off as way cooler than I am in real life. I’m totally considering a full leg tattoo when it all stops being tender. Surprisingly, Husband is on board with this.
Speaking of Husband, as wonderful has he has been during this ordeal – and it has been an ordeal - he still can’t touch Broken Ankle. He has never liked feet and the gnarly scar isn’t tempting him to change his mind about them. He might like to force hug me when I’m fighting with him but I can shut him down by pulling Broken Ankle and shoving it in his face.
If I’m looking for a sliver lining, that will have to be it. Three broken bones, one plate, eight screws, six months of angst, a foot that will never be the same size or color again and I have an automatic out of any fight for the rest of my marriage.
Going to call that a win.
Since I don't feel like/want to post old gross pics, here are a few Broken Ankle posts with pictures. The titles are unintentionally connected. I mean, that I was on heavy drugs and came up with that kind of throughline, well, that's just awesome. It's the little things...
My. Right. Foot.
So. Dang. Gross.
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