Revelations – the Detox Story Continues

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My journey toward writing my New York stories – whether by book or by blog – took me to this particular page where I was surprised to read what I had written over 25 years ago. I’m inspired to share the chronicles of New York and NYU, in my usual style of humor and a bit of sarcasm, but this page – this page – was anything but funny. The most shocking bit of it, was the only part I have no memory of.

I recently wrote about discontinuing Paxil, and how difficult it has been. It’s been 17 days, and all that appears to be left is waking nausea – not unlike morning sickness – and the emotional hurricane inside my whole being. To the former – many of my withdrawal symptoms look like pregnancy. However, I can assure you, I am not. To the latter – anything, and everything, has the potential to release the floodgates on my usually composed emotions.

I was sitting at a table in the water park on Tuesday, and our song came over the sound system and I just tensed up with stupid pent up tears. It was ridiculous. I fully expected to cry on my two high school friends the previous night, you know, because we haven’t seen each other in sooo long and how many years has it been and we’re getting older and… for the love of GOD. Thankfully, I didn’t. But that’s the crap part of this – you never know when it’s gonna hit. Well, except when we’re watching movies and then I can be sure it will come – and what the hell was I thinking watching Ghost under these circumstances?

According to what I’ve read, this crying thing is part of the withdrawal. And it sucks BIG TIME. This medication, just like anti-depressants, “takes the edge off” so much that I was actually numb. I even asked my alarmed, and slightly annoyed kids – when is the last time you saw me cry like this? And they can’t remember. Because, it’s like – never.

Yesterday Todd and I went to the bike shop to have my bike repaired after he accidentally rolled over it in the garage in the Mustang (SO glad I didn’t do that). He’s in the market for a road bike, so he and “Mel” were chatting while I sort of wandered about the store, touching at the jerseys and bike shorts in a disinterested way. And then I saw a yellow jersey that struck me instantly with a memory of my uncle, an avid cyclist, who lost his battle with cancer twelve years ago. Lance Armstrong sent him a LiveStrong jersey, post- mortem. It was hung over his bike at the memorial service, where I cried an uncontrollable torrent of tears. In public. And later, all I could think of was, is this what life will become? Everyone I love will eventually pass on and I get to stand here and watch it happen, over and over again? It was a heartbreaking revelation and it took me a very long time to recover. And now – in that bike shop – all those emotions came flooding back to me and I found myself fighting back tears.

Okay so back to the point. So, ultimately, I don’t want to be on medication. I don’t think I need it. Yet, after re-reading what I wrote at age 20 – I wonder that I always felt so conflicted, so fragmented, so emotional, so angry at things I couldn’t even articulate. That the semester I took a course in Women’s Literature I started to really consciously recognize these feelings. I read A Room of One’s Own. I read The Golden Notebook. I plunged into my writing classes. It all started to click. And now, in retrospect, besides knowing there’s a significant genetic link to this – I was always this way – Born this Way – and now I’ve got wisdom on my side. The wisdom to know what works for me, and what doesn’t. The wisdom to know the difference between just surviving, and thriving.

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Flashback: February 24, 1990

Tuesday morning I had my Medieval Lit in-class paper – I didn’t even finish. Then yesterday my Irish Renaissance paper was due, and a Math test I didn’t get to finish.

Last night we partied in the dorm – Roxanne, Julie, Chris, Ian, Luke, and I. The living room looked like a tornado went through it. I left around 11 to visit Michelle and Lori in South Tower and apparently they all thought I was out wandering the streets alone. Ian was so worried he went out looking for me, wandering all over the village. When he didn’t find me he came back to the dorm and wrote me this bizarre yet very creative poem that didn’t rhyme, in which he called me an “infant arachnid.”

Roxanne is feeling paranoid about her weekend with Bryan. She thinks she’s pregnant. Her period is so irregular it’s entirely possible that it’s coming soon, but worrying about it just makes it all seem worse. Meanwhile, I’m having doubts again, about the whole thing with John. It’s so easy for me to be away from him right now. I think it’s time for that whole “space” thing again. I keep having doubts about him. Thinking about the future just scares me to death.

I wish I could talk to James Joyce sometimes. I feel like I’m struggling to realize myself, and perhaps he could help. Mom and I got into a fight on the telephone yesterday about silly things. I started to cry.  She called back a little later, we cleared the air, and I realized we share the same irrational fear. We both feel like when one of us gets mad, the other will stop loving us. It’s a sad realization – our bond is so powerful that sometimes it hurts, sometimes I feel like I can’t leave her, and it’s like a force is pulling me back to her and when I resist it tears me up. I wonder if she feels the same?

Sometimes I get so messed up that it frightens me – because occasionally I feel like I just want to die.  To close my eyes and sink into nothingness. Let the tears stop flowing and reach a higher plane, full of light and warmth, for eternity. God put me on this earth for something – I don’t think He wants me back for a while. But who is out there? I sometimes can’t find her. The fog moves in and becomes so thick I can hardly see her, and then she drifts away. God, please don’t let me fall into boring patterns when I grow up. All my life I wanted to grow up, and now I’ll be 21 in a few months. What then? I still don’t have a clue.

 

Detox City

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Definitely #notPMS.

I’m not sure how to begin, so I’m just going to jump right in. Today’s Public Service Announcement: Never, never, never, evvvver, stop a medication cold turkey. ***

I did. And I’m paying for it, in spades.

Why quit? Why was I taking it in the first place? What drug is it?

I quit because a) I don’t like taking “drugs,” b) it no longer felt effective, c) it was causing me dangerous drowsiness, and d) I forgot to take the tablet two nights in a row.

I started this particular drug after finding another drug useless and I felt like I personally didn’t fit the labeling. My NP at the time suggested Paxil, which I started on the tails of the other drug (which, by the way, was a much milder medication, it turns out). I took the meds to “take the edge off” of something I can’t quite explain. I think it boils down to “unspecified anxiety,” which – along with my thighs – is also a hand-me-down from my grandmother.

The NP never discussed my reasons for taking such a drug, never asked if I sought alternatives (like counseling), never mentioned side effects, or withdrawal effects. To be fair, I never asked any questions. However, I do think it’s a practitioner’s duty to not just prescribe a drug like they’re giving out candy. I had no idea what kind of dependence is created by a drug on the body.

I have noticed, for a long time, that Paxil was making me extremely drowsy at certain times of the day. It was a low-dose, extended-release tablet. I was taking it with my morning coffee, because no one – not the NP, nor the pharmacist who slapped the label on it – mentioned that it’s best to take before bed.  I figured that one out on my own. Still, I drive the kids twice a week an hour away to their dad’s, and I was having difficulty keeping my eyes open during these trips. I mean, falling asleep at the wheel difficulty. And, I really couldn’t see how Paxil was improving the quality of my life – or relieving perceived anxieties (especially since I noticed I was still feeling anxiety). I planned to talk to my new NP about it.

Meanwhile, I forgot to take it one night. And then again the following night, after a long work shift. By Saturday morning, I decided, why bother? I don’t want to be on it anyway. And, sometime last weekend, I wrote about a reminiscence with Todd that left me teary. I figured it was PMS residuals. Wrong.

A day or so later, I woke up with muscle aches and all over soreness that defied logic. It felt like the flu. Then the dizziness started. REALLY dizzy. It’s now a week since my last dose and, after four days of debilitating vertigo and dizzy spells, I can now stand up and not feel the room spinning. At least not all the time. Still, it’s dangerous to make sudden movements of my eyes and head. It’s totally bizarre. I liken it to taking that small dose of Valium before a minor procedure – relaxation aside – your head just feels kinda fuzzy like drunk-fuzzy, but without the drunkenness, kinda floating-on-a-cloud fuzzy, and gait is unsteady.

I haven’t been able to drive all week, except short distances. And yesterday, against my better judgement, I drove down to the city for a 3-hour lunch/business meeting. They each had a glass of wine, which looked lovely, but I bowed out. Even alcohol tastes bad. Really bad. And I didn’t need the added challenge to my stability anyway.

I tried to run two days ago and my legs from ankle to knee felt like there were electric currents running through them, shocking my muscles as I ran a solid mile without stopping. That’s the one part that makes no sense at all. I could run without fatigue, which made me very excited, but the electricity in my legs and the swimming brains inside my head alarmed me enough to stop after a mile.

And the nausea. I am nauseous on and off all day long, I have aversions to just about everything and rarely hungry. I eat what sounds good, and I feel better for a bit before I feel sick on what I ate. I can liken this to morning sickness. I remember it well, and this is exactly like that. (Side note: yes, many of the side effects closely mirror early pregnancy and NO – I am NOT pregnant.)

I Googled “withdrawal from Paxil” and found a dedicated website founded by a fellow sufferer who is not a professional. Withdrawal symptoms can be brutal, as testified by numerous other people on the site, and I have many of those listed including the not-so-common ones. I finally have the words to describe the sound in my ears – it’s a scratching noise that has become maddeningly constant over the last few days. It sounds like that sound a percussionist makes with a brush on the drum.

And the crying. Oh. Em. GEE. The crying is the worst. The kind that makes your kids look at you like deer in the headlights, your husband constantly asking what’s wrong (as IF he can’t remember you’re withdrawing), and everyone else kind of tip-toeing around you like you’re a survivor of some terrible disaster no one wants to talk about. Except for Bree – who hugged me tightly at work on Friday in a show of solidarity.

I looked at Opac the other day and – being mom – he just took my breath away. And then I started to cry. I have no idea why. And this, my friends, is what really pisses me off. The ridiculous overflow of emotions, like my cup is full and runneth over, and everyone in my path is gonna get wet.

It’s now been 11 days. Most of the side effects have faded away. The nausea lingers at the peripheral, but the biggest relief is that today the dizziness is gone. It was certainly nothing I ever expected. I was warned before about weaning off medications (under medical supervision too), but – like most people – I thought I could do it my way. I was in the eye of the storm when I read the side effects of withdrawal. Probably wouldn’t have deterred me anyway. However, I will never, ever do it again.

**Based solely on personal experience, and not intended to be professional advice. I am not a doctor or a health practitioner. Please consult your physician before considering altering or stopping any medications.**

July 10th – A Week in Review

Blogged with a Cosmo and homemade paella simmering on the stove.

Whew! What a week. The kids have been spending their weekends with their dad, thanks to Opac’s weekday summer workout schedule. So Monday mornings have become yet another driving day – typically 2-1/2 hours round-trip for me.

Last Monday I had a mammo scheduled afterward, which is not far from our old hometown. (Because I happen to love my OB/GYN and I only have to go once a year, and she convinced me to try the new Breast Center there.) The woman doing my mammogram was either having a bad day, or desperately needed a personality. If I was doing this job, I’d try to be perky (no pun intended) and quick-witted to put patients at ease. Which is exactly why I would never get hired. Or fired for blurting inappropriate things.

Tuesday night I was invited by a girlfriend to see Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge back “home” in PA. I dropped the kids off at their dad’s for an overnight and then girlfriend and I went out to dinner at a popular outdoor restaurant before the concert. As we approached the arena, I noticed a sea of aging faces and graying hair. I started giggling to myself. Of course these two women – Pat is 63 and Melissa is 55 – would fill an arena with an older crowd because Gen X’ers and DUH, I am one of them! These are my people. O.M.G. These are my people now.

I said, well, at least we won’t have to worry about people getting into fist fights at THIS concert. Girlfriend laughed. I saw more women my age and older, sporting tattoos. I saw more than a few men in tie-dye who appeared to have gotten lost on their way to a Dead show. The whole thing was surreal.

Melissa, excuse the language, was fucking amazing. And she’s a Gemini, by the way. She delivered all the beloved songs with that throaty voice, with all the power behind it that compels you to open up your lungs on the highway. She mentioned taking a walk in Gring’s Mill – a local park that is beloved for its beautiful paths and scenery – and all I could think was I used to run there and I’d have shit my pants to have run into her.

She sang a new song inspired by the Orlando shooting that brought tears to my eyes. (PMS was creeping up and I didn’t even know it yet.) And she talked about racial and cultural divide, and implored us to stop hurting each other and practice love and acceptance. And, because irony isn’t dead, a brawl broke out in the front row during Like the Way I Do. A Brawl. Broke out. In the front row.

Some woman, high on drugs and alcohol, started biting and hitting people. At a Melissa Etheridge and Pat Benatar concert filled with middle-aged people. The arena was certainly not counting on this, as it took several minutes before their middle-aged security team tased the bitch and got her outa there. Melissa stopped playing and tried to encourage the brawl to stop, and when security had the situation under control, she said, jeez! What IS it with this song?? And the audience roared.

At the risk of not giving proper due to Pat, I’m going to summarize her concert as nothing short of awesome. And – excuse the language again – Pat was really fucking amazing. Did you know her husband plays with her and that they were introduced by someone in the industry like 40 years ago? They’ve been married for 34 years. Really, you know how some concerts you go to, the artists just aren’t so great live? Both of them were phenomenal.

At 7 the next morning I was driving back to pick the kids up. I got about 10 minutes before coming to a dead stop, by an oversized load attempting an impossible right turn. Traffic stopped in both directions while this double tractor trailer carrying a steel beam the length of a football field pulled forward an inch, backed up an inch, pulled up an inch, backed up an inch… I tried to be patient. Until I saw the second truck coming. Oh HELL no. I turned around and went a different way. I got about 6 miles before another intersection with THREE oversized steel beam trucks stopped traffic again. I called Todd to rant and he told me to relax and breathe, in a voice meant for a two-year-old having a nuclear meltdown. The irony of this isn’t lost on me, particularly after a tense and lengthy car ride the previous weekend on I-95 whereby Todd was cursing every driver within 50 feet of us.

The rest of the week was mostly uneventful. I worked Friday night and we were busy. Someone commented on my short haircut (obviously she hasn’t seen me in while), saying she loved it and it made me look younger. Huh? I accepted the compliment, but in hindsight remembered her saying she would be FORTY this year, and so now I’m wondering if it wasn’t meant to be a dig. Oh well. I think I rock at 47. (sticking tongue out.)

Saturday we catered a wedding off-premise, at this beautiful venue built like an old barn but with luxurious central air. It was a small wedding – only 60 people – done on a small scale, just 3 of us and no bartender –a self-service bar with wine and beer (and what a beer selection!), and a buffet. The busgirl and I cleared empty plates from each of the 7 tables while the other server rinsed the rented dishes and flatware. The whole event went seamlessly. Except for the 95-degree temps that left us soaked in tuxedo shirts and long pants. (I hate this uniform. I. hate. It.) I snapped a bunch of photos of the inside during the outdoor ceremony. But the one photo I wished I could have taken?

I see things that strike me and I want to capture the moment before it’s gone forever – like the photo of two little old ladies dining at the casino with the Kiss tribute band playing under blue lights in the background. There was a very tall black man who looked like an NFL linebacker (but teddy-bear demeanor) standing on line at the wedding at one point, and right in front of him was this tiny old white lady that maybe came up to his navel. The contrast made me smile broadly and, while I’m sure he had no idea why, the man returned my smile warmly.

That is all. For now.

Except for Pulse.

This is Not About PMS

Blogged while finishing off the coffee Todd made. (Sorry babe.)

At the risk of scaring away any male readers, PMS sucks. It was not in my plan to make this an opener today. I had other plans for this post. But today’s post isn’t going to be about the original plan, and it’s not going to be about PMS either. However, PMS has driven the direction of my thoughts today, and so there you have it.

I just want to preface this by stating that being in my 40s has given me a sort of Superwoman ability to recognize when PMS is coming. Okay, so maybe it’s really just a side effect of maturity… but still…this, my friends, is a –UGE milestone. Where in my  20s I’d hit that week where everyone and everything pissed me off and I barreled through all of it like a freight train bent on destruction, I can now see myself getting stabby and am able to sort of reel it in before everyone in my orbit feels like they’ve been tased. There are far fewer victims in my wake now.

Todd can talk me down off the wall, but I still have to make him understand why I feel this way and he has to acknowledge it before I can let it go. Like yesterday in the garage. I was putting stuff away from the community yard sale and sweating my balls off, and complaining wildly about it. The sweating, not the putting away of stuff. And before someone tells me I don’t have balls I will tell you I have plenty, and I’m not afraid to use them, but I was sweating so hard [sweating my balls off] that I sweat them right off! So in which case, you’re right – I have no balls now.

And, while we’re on the subject of balls, a few weeks ago my mom was over and we were all standing out on the deck enjoying a relaxing Sunday when she suddenly looked at Opac and said, don’t scratch your balls in front of your Nannie. Veruca’s face registered an amusing struggle to simultaneously control shock and hysteria. Opac stopped scratching/adjusting/ whatever-you-boys-do and fired back matter-of-factly – why were you looking there?

Anyway, back to not talking about PMS. It makes me stabby, and occasionally weepy. But we’re not going to talk about that. Except for the fact that I am almost never feeling that way, except for that one week every month, and even then it’s almost always never weepy. Except for this time.

I’m trying not to feel weepy about Pi, who’s 15 and falling down a little more often every day and sometimes when she does she loses her bladder. I have a post started along the My Life Is Shit series, meant to be funny, but today it’s anything but funny.

Todd and I were simultaneously cleaning up kitchen surfaces this morning – him, the pile of papers on the island and me, the pile of stuff on the kitchen table. I bought these “Calming” chews for Sabra and I held up the bag to show him and he wondered aloud if someone makes something all-natural like this for humans, which surely someone does, and I said as much while remembering some Chinese herbs someone had “prescribed” me years ago for my anxiety. So of course he asked, who? Someone I dated on and off over a 6-year period, who moved to California to study Chinese medicine and acupuncture. He said, why don’t you call him and find out what it was? I would never, because he would never speak to me – I’d walked away from him three times. I’m not so callous to think he has even thought of me in the last 18 years, but if he did, it was with hate.

Todd’s on this plane right now that is equally matter-of-fact and at times quite harsh. His response to this? That guy had no business being with me. You were never his, he said. That may be true, but for the record – I was never about breaking hearts.

The conversation segued into how series of events lead us to the places we end up in… like for me, had I never gone to a small college in PA I would never have met a guy who introduced me to my big sister (sorority), and with whom we would not have visited a fraternity brother in a hospital in North Jersey, and ended up spending a whirlwind day in New York City whereby I discovered a certain University whose purple flags hung all over the village and intrigued me to the point I would never forget them.

Todd pointed out that had we not broken up, he would not have left town for Baltimore. Or, that I might have moved down there with him, and gone to college there. He mentioned that night I came to his work to return some things of his, and how difficult it was for him. Tears filled my eyes as he told me how he flipped out on someone and walked out. I can still remember that night like it was yesterday, or at least the emotions I felt. Erikah drove me over there. I remember the anxiety, and the awkwardness between us. And how I cried as we drove away.

I swiped at the tears while we talked this morning. I don’t remember what I was returning to him that night – because we’d had another day when he’d come to my house and I gave him his jacket and his ring, and we’d ended up on the floor, loving each other like it would never be over.

If he saw the tears rimming my eyes as we talked, it didn’t stop his train of thought as he pointed out how, when something is that difficult to let go of, you’re not supposed to let go of it. And – our breakup was very, very hard to do. It wasn’t a breakup where one of us said to the other – I don’t want you. I just want and/or need something else too.

It was me. The child, the Gemini in me, had something more she wanted to do, something more she wanted to know, experience, live…  He said this morning, he would never have broken up with me. Maybe not, but we will never know. We took a different path. He chose not to fight me. He didn’t want to hold me back – a display of love and maturity that defied his 17 years. I stood before him conflicted and heartbroken, and cried a thousand times over him as I moved on. It’s amazing how easy it is to remember and feel them in the same way, in all of my extremities and my heart and the pit of my stomach.

I’m so glad he took me back. I’m so glad he loved me. I’m so blessed to share the rest of our lives together, as it was written long ago.

And equally blessed because this man who knows me better than I know myself, just walked quietly past me and dropped a handful of M&Ms on my desk.

 

 

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Happily ever after…

Copyright The Tara Chronicles.

To Practice What I Already Know

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Blogged while trying to avoid yard sale preparations.

I have “unspecified” anxiety – which I’m fairly certain just means, “I get nervous frequently and for no apparent reason.” My grandmother had anxiety, and I’m just going to assume it’s genetically inherited since I have no real reason to have it otherwise. Well, okay – I have a good reason, but I seriously don’t worry over Veruca’s diabetes. I just DO IT.

Anyway, counseling. I went to counseling. But not for anxiety. However, I was anxious about it. I’ve been to counseling before, and it wasn’t really for me. I went in my 20s because I thought I should, and the therapist was great, but I really wasn’t into sitting on a couch dissecting my childhood and my character. For the record, I’m still not.

I went again about 3 or 4 years ago, after the custody crap was over, in an attempt to heal myself from the trauma of that fight I didn’t start. I went once. I ran. Far, far away. This therapist was a little “too close” to the situation I was trying to heal from. She asked too many questions about the technical parts of the custody battle, like who was the judge, who was my attorney, who was his attorney, etc. And here’s where this healing foray for me ended – she knew everyone involved. Well, everyone but my attorney. My anxiety took liftoff to space and it was over. My trust ended before it even began.

Anyway, back to the present. Long story short, after the debacle in my ex’s driveway I called for an appointment. I had a long wait. You know when you have plenty of time to ruminate over something, and you start coming up with reasons not to do it? Yeah.

I have been having issues with Veruca for a while now. Mostly parenting issues. I have realized that she causes me anxiety. She is demanding, and spoiled, and challenging, and takes no prisoners. She will ask me something a hundred times, and no matter how many times I say no – she’ll ask just one more time. That expression, “when momma aint happy, aint nobody happy”? This is Veruca. Now, I’m fully aware that she is not the problem. I am.

The counseling I was seeking was two-fold. One, was empowering me to become a better parent and take control. The other was about working through old baggage that I carry from an abusive marriage. Baggage I had under control, until that day it wasn’t.

“Jane” listened intently, repeated back to me what she heard, and made suggestions. Followed by orders to put my crown back on and stop taking shit from Veruca. Essentially, shut down the learned behaviors by NOT reacting emotionally to them. Being matter-of-fact. Sounds easy, right? I had been taking the “choose your battles” to new levels by pulling out of the war altogether. Or, I continued to engage with her when I should have been saying it once and meaning it. I knew that this was a huge part of what was usurping my joy. I am the one who has the power to be happy, and the power to stop a little terrorist from taking it away. Sometimes ya gotta fight the battle to win the war. It’s a process.

So far it’s been a week, and I’m feeling much better. So far, Veruca hasn’t really tried to engage me in anything. I practice deep breaths and matter-of-fact statements and, though inside my heart is racing and I’m tense, I focus on a calm face and voice. It seems to be working. However, having lived twelve years where you never knew what was coming around the next corner, I’m not so naïve to believe that everything is hunky dory.

As for the second part of my counseling needs, I was reminded that I was married to a “big bully” who liked to control everything, and everyone. The acknowledgement of abuse. And, while it seems silly, I needed to hear a professional tell me that what happened in the driveway was assault. It was assault. And I could have called the police.

And in one quick statement, that’s all over with. And, aren’t you glad you’re not married to that anymore? Yes it is, and yes I am.

 

Flashback: July 25, 1989

July 25, 1989

I realize now just what I need in a relationship with that degree of commitment.  I need to be me, plain and simple, and never lose my separate identity. I’m aware of my good qualities in spite of the bad, and that I should never put up with bullshit, because it’s not worth my time. I can do better. I’m still healing from the breakup with Ben. I sent that letter I wrote him. I’m hoping he’ll call. Which is probably why I can’t fully engage my heart and mind with John.

Speaking of phone calls…Todd called me last night. We haven’t spoken in two years. We spent some time catching up. He said he considered coming back to visit this weekend, but then he changed his mind. I’m considering going to Baltimore to visit him some weekend. I don’t know.

I nearly hit a dog today – it ran out on the street and scared me half to death, no kidding. Sherry and I went shopping the other day, spent a ton of dad’s money and I came home with some beautiful clothes. She told me that dad thinks that the grandkids he’ll have some day will be immaculately conceived. She found this enormously funny. I’m not sure whether she expected me to dispute the fact, but I said nothing and instead laughed with her.

Work at the nursing home has been slow lately, but being there makes me feel a little better… changing the beds and delivering meals…. Tonight I got to feed Eleanor and Mary R. at the same time, while Mary F. entertained with her usual striptease in the dining room. The RN came over and says, “Mary, I’ve had it!” Mary looked up at her and said in the most casual of voices, “well — who gave it to you?”  Agreeable Eleanor just nods and giggles to herself. Linda and I just lost it.

I was talking to Dorothy earlier, who told me she’ll be 84 in October. She was telling me about a thunderstorm where she got shocked by her vacuum cleaner.  She doesn’t really look like she’ll be 84. But then, Mary G. doesn’t look like 98 either. Eloisa is this little old Sicilian lady who grabbed a hold of me when I wasn’t expecting it and wouldn’t let go. She holds on so tight, it’s painful. I can’t say I wasn’t warned not to get too close to her. She was imploring me for medicine for her “head-achy.”

Mr. “A” is the grandfather of a classmate of mine. I was warned about him too. He’s very touchy-feely. Still, the nurses let me walk him back to his room at the end of the hall from dinner one night. The walk back to his room was slow and very awkward, as he tried his best to wrap his hands around my personal parts. He’s sneaky and subtle about it too, and I’d bet my car he uses his “senility” to get away with it.

 

 

 

Catching Up

It sounds cliché and a bit redundant to say “I’ve been so busy.” I think coming down off the high of the anniversary party was like suddenly being on vacation. Without kids. Except in my case,  there were kids. I’ve been randomly inspired to write over the last week or so, but life (and Veruca) keeps getting in the way. I’m always hit with the writing bug at the least convenient time, like when I’m driving, or have to leave for work. Some might argue this is my mind’s lame excuse to either avoid writing, or work, or both. At this point, it’s after 11 a.m. and I have little time for cohesive writing. So this is my offering.

Overheard at the restaurant:

As Bee removes wine glasses from a table of a 70-ish couple, he says “you can take this candle here too.”

Bee: Awe, you don’t want any more atmosphere?

70-ish gentleman: I have all the atmosphere I need, just looking at her. (His wife.)

Cue collective, and audible, sigh.

Random shit I’ve seen:

More people wearing pajamas in public. Seriously. Is this going to be a thing now?

A dude riding a lawn tractor, texting. (I wonder if there’s a law against this?)

A Confederate flag hanging from a laundry line on an Amish farm. No, I wasn’t drinking.

Bizarre and surreal shit:

Listened to someone sing Purple Rain and be forced to dance to it. Painful.

Bumped into Balloon Boy ‘s mother, who introduced me to her friend as the girl “he was so in love with” who “wouldn’t go out with him.” Speechless.

Came face-to-face with a woman who dared to enter my mother’s orbit after a very bad fallout 20+ years ago. Weird.

Random shit I’ve done:

Started marathoning Friends. I am not among that 52 million people who watched it when it was actually on. I read somewhere that there’s a good 85 hours of this show to cover, so if I’m missing for a while, you know where I am. Roughly, anyway.

Continued binge-watching Orange is the New Black. I still love this show, four seasons later. It’s gotten better over time, as the writers explore each character’s history. I still can’t decide which character is my favorite – it’s a fairly equal toss-up between Red, Crazy Eyes, Nichols, and Cindy. And Sophia. And Big Boo. And Sister Jane. And…

Posed for a picture with a Kiss tribute band. I think I’m going to add this goal to my bucket list… pictures with tribute bands/artists. (Since the real thing is too hard and I’m not ambitious enough.)

Went with the fam for crabs (ritual for any true Marylander); however, I chose crab cakes over picking though a pile of steamed crabs covered in brown dust (this is called Old Bay seasoning, for the uninitiated) and filled with green goo (which I’m told is organs of some sort but I think is just shit). What can I say? I was born and raised in Southeastern PA, where cheesesteaks ruled the universe.

Ran almost 4 and a half miles, just to show up my husband.

Started counseling. Yeah – there’s the big news. An hour could never be enough time to cover all that ails me, but we got to some things on the immediate plate that have me feeling confident about change, and I got some validation I seem to need desperately sometimes. More on that in a future post.