Celebrated the fourth, just MP and me, on a blanket in the backyard, watching WHOA-OOOO-AAAH inspiring firework shows around the valley.
There was much “American Idol Flag” waving.
And it was good.
A flooded basement
A ripped up wood floor
A broken garage door
A broken washing machine
A broken checkbook
A Vietnam Vet
Jack and Jill, Lady and the Tramp and Scooby Doo
A lot of sweaty yard work
Vodka lemonades with friends
Monkey butts and a merry-go-round
Ghosties and things that go bump in the night
Allergic eyes swollen shut in cat dander protest
Hot light bulbs and tiny fingers
Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch, and most importantly, my new secret boyfriend, Mike Rowe
Not to mention
Three-week old yummy baby cuddles and two-year old tickly toddler hugs
What a trip.
10:30 p.m. and JUST now got MP down to sleep. It seems a few obligatory overpriced toys from the Denver Zoo Gift Shop weren’t the only things she came home with. Add a 102 degree temp to the list. At this moment, preschool tomorrow is up in the air.
Considering the late hour, my sheer exhaustion and an anticipated restless night with a sick preschooler, I’m hittin’ the hay. I’ll recap the whole quick trip in more detail later, mkay?
It’s good to be home.
The past week, I’ve been convinced I had bugs. An unbearably itchy rash had broken out on my arms, and the first few days, I thought nothing of it. Then I consulted Boyfriend Web MD.
And I FREAKED OUT. The parasitic possibilities were endless. And considering MP spends all day with booger-eaters and then sleeps with me in my bed, the very plausible idea she could’ve given me bugs has literally kept me up at night.
I washed the sheets. I checked the mattress seams. I Febreezed.
Finally, yesterday, on the verge of a full-body Clorox Dip, I made an appointment with the doctor. He turned out to be new on staff. He was kinda hot. And wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Which really made no difference, because if my suspicions were correct, I would be effectively humiliated and unable to set foot in his office ever again.
Dr. Man: So tell me why you’re here.
Me: I have this ITCHING … on my arms. Normally I wouldn’t be here for a rash, but I looked it up on Web MD and kinda freaked myself out.
Dr. Man: Mmm hmm. Good. And what do YOU think it is?
Me: Uh … I don’t know … I was afraid … (oh, the hahra) … scabies?
(Dr. Man emits nearly imperceptible sucking sound and subtly backs up.)
Dr. Man: Well, it could be. Let’s see.
(I roll up my sleeves)
Me: Do you see those bumps?
Dr. Man: Mmm hmm.
Me: They’re just getting worse.
Dr. Man: I don’t think it’s scabies.
Me: Don’t you have to do a scraping and look at it under the microscope?
Dr. Man: If I thought it was scabies, but I don’t.
Me: Body lice?
Dr. Man: No. You don’t have body lice.
(Gets up, walks across hall to his office and returns with medical encyclopedia — not unlike the kind kids everywhere secretly spend hours looking though. Remember the ‘staple in eyeball’ photo? Or the ‘foot caught in lawnmower’ pic? No? Oh, I do. Ew.)
Dr. Man: See, this is scabies (pointing to photographs under the SCABIES header). That’s not what you have.
He turns the page, holding the book so I can see what he’s reading. I now see the scabies info is located adjacent to a page dedicated to some kind of funky scrotal skin condition. BIG full color photos of hairy buggy ballsacks. Beautiful.
After more reassurance from Dr. Man there was nothing actively burrowing under my skin, I was armed with a scrip for anti-itch lotion and sent on my way.
Breathing a sigh of relief.
THANK YOU JESUS — in this case, a rash really IS just a rash.
First, she asked for some tape.
Next, she asked how to spell ‘no.’
And then we hit another milestone.
The first KEEP OUT sign.
Not only did MP post one on HER door …
She posted one next door at the entrance to Grammy and Poppy’s room too.
Grammy and Poppy let her watch cartoons to her heart’s content in that room. And eat ice cream in their bed. So Mommy is not allowed in there either.
Because Mommy is a buzzkill.
My little girl, she’s growing up.
This weekend I watched the movie P.S. I Love You. If you haven’t seen it, (and I think I can safely say this without giving anything away) it’s about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor. I bawled the ENTIRE movie. Literally. There might have been short 10 – 15 minute reprieves scattered throughout, but for the most part, I nearly drowned in my tears. And by the time it was over, seeing through stinging eyelids that had swelled to the size of golf balls proved quite the accomplishment. With every thought, the pounding headache I felt only intensified.
I knew the storyline was going to hit close to home. Granted, the man in MY storyline, the man I loved, was my ex. And we were never married. And although he was sick, it was his failing liver and not a brain tumor that ultimately did him in. Nevertheless …
By the time I crawled into bed, my spent body huddled under the covers, I realized that although I’ve always been a sucker for sappy movies — even terribly bad ones — I now watch them for reasons very different than those of just a few years ago.
I watch them to cry. Because I don’t do much of that otherwise. I graduated from the School of Suck it Up a long, long time ago. Which serves me well as a single parent. Holding it together is crucial for our survival.
If I don’t, who will?
But if I’m honest I have to admit sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I want to, need to, scream my lungs out. Because I’m still angry at my ex for leaving. For dying. For leaving his daughter fatherless. I want to slap him and punch him and embrace him forever, all at once.
So I watch the movies to confront my sadness. To allow me to FEEL the pain. No matter how messed up the end of our relationship was, I miss him. And I have to honor that reality.
I watch them to heal. And to renew my faith that love CAN persevere. That magic can still happen. And to spark a longing that signals maybe, someday, I’ll be ready for it again. And maybe it’ll find me once more.
In the meantime, I’ll continue my weekend love affair with Blockbuster. And Advil. And lots and lots of tissue.
I hate the gym. Squeezing a workout into the day is a challenge. I have just 30 minutes after work allotted to the treadmill before having to pick up MP. Preschool closes at six.
If I don’t leave the office at exactly 5 p.m. or a few minutes before, I’ve blown it. Usually I blow it. Which means I make it to the gym on average … once a week. Which is stupidity. The Girl’s Trip is coming up fast. I have two months to get rid of the gut and at this rate, I might as well just stay home.
Today, during my frenzied 30-minute workout, I’m on the treadmill next to an attractive 40ish guy. There’s something a little different about him … I can’t quite put my finger on it …
Until, sweaty and excited, I realize I have come in contact with the highly elusive and low-key small town homosexual.
Rural homo cornholius.
Even in a small town gym, gay guys got game. It just looks a little different. It sounds a little different. And, to the casual observer, probably goes unnoticed.
“Hey Fish & Game Guy …” my neighbor calls with a big smile to a burly guy with a thick, redneckish Fu Man Chu, wearing standard government khakis. “What do you think of the .40 vs. .45 caliber semi-automatic?”
The innuendo is thick.
I squint my eyes and hope for the best. Please no ass-kicking, please no ass-kicking, please no ass-kicking.
To my amazement, Big Fu smiles and comes forward.
And just like that, these two people, who only moments before were complete strangers, found common ground and were engaging in conversation.
Just two gay country guys talkin’ ’bout huntin’. (Had to be code.) I was so busy trying to remember this priceless exchange and NOT pee my pants, I didn’t hear much more. They are, after all, rare birds in this neck of the woods. And I loooves the gays. They always have a way of making me feel like the most beautiful creature in the world.
As for me, the gym is the LAST place I’d ever hope to find a love connection. And I have to admit, it IS a little irritating how EASY they made it look.
Not that I’m looking.
Watching CNN during MP’s SORELY NEEDED nap, I learned a few things, just from the news ticker.
THIS nipple cream is bad for nursing babies. REALLY bad.
Speaking of babies …
Communists are big fat ones. Members of Russia’s Communist Party are calling for a nationwide boycott of the new Indiana Jones movie, saying it “aims to undermine communist ideology and distort history.” They even went so far as to warn it could provoke another cold war.
It’s a MOVIE, people. A MO. VIE.
Speaking of ridiculousness …
The whole gas thing. It stinks. The nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose to $3.875 today. Retail gas prices are up nearly 10% from a JUST A MONTH AGO and have climbed more than 20% in the last 12 months.
There’s gotta be a better way.
“Hillary can suck it. I am SO winning this thing.”
“Practicing my dance moves for Inaugural Ball. I loves me some Running Man.” (Oh, pleeese click on that link. It made my night.)
“Sh*t. The dog pooped in the Change Tour Bus. AGAIN.”
Yeah. Think I’ll check it out …
Speaking of commies (waaay back there) …
MP’s response when I woke her up?
“MOP! MOP THE FLUURR!!!”
Aye aye, Cap’n.
I’m being totally serious when I say, this morning, thought I might be a goner. And just now, typing “morning” I typed “moroning,” which is apropos, because that’s just how I felt walking into work at 10:30 after calling in sick with a heart attack.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a hypo. But nowhere NEAR hypo enough to drive myself to the ER, or even the doctor, until symptoms have had at least a few days to take hold. Until this morning.
I was getting MP ready for school when a sudden and totally unexpected bout of heartburn came on and progressed rapidly. I couldn’t make sense of it, especially considering I hadn’t eaten a thing since dinner the night before. Within 15 minutes my entire chest was tight and I felt nauseous. In the car on the way to MP’s school, I broke out in a cold sweat, and by the time I’d dropped her off, the pain was radiating to my back.
I had already called work to let them know I’d be a little late. Because I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack and was driving myself to the hospital.
I think I can say full-blown panic never really did set in. I arrived at the hospital, got out of the car and walked to the ER doors. I sat down on a bench outside, debating whether to go in. I REALLY didn’t want to spend 500 bucks for a monster case of heartburn. And, I figured, if I DID collapse, I’d be right outside. Eventually SOMEONE would find me, right? (Which, in itself, is sad commentary about our health care system, but I won’t get into that.) Two times I got up and walked to the doors, feigned a cell phone call, and walked back to the bench. I imagined the conversation on the other side of the glass.
“I got 10 bucks says she comes in.”
“$20 says she goes home.”
“Five bucks says she passes out on the bench.”
I waited it out. I sat on that bench for an hour, mentally measuring the pain every five minutes or so. Slowly, but surely, it seemed to be decreasing. As I got up to leave, I wondered which RN or receptionist or orderly won the pool.
Ten minutes later, a slightly scruffy but absolutely adorable guy in an old Volvo pulled up next to me at the light. His antenna was topped with plastic flowers, and I swear he had a bottle of Corona in his fist … but that can’t be. His window down, he looked over at me, smiled and waved. The light changed, and we turned our separate ways. And in my overactive, overly dramatic mind, I imagined him as the Ferryman, come to usher me across the River Styx. I imagined him having a change of heart, and moving on.
Another day, Mr. Ferryman.
I have miles to go before I sleep, and a little one who needs me. Who right this very minute is yelling from the potty — where she’s been sitting, reading books for 20 minutes — for me to try and find her. And when I step into the bathroom, there she’ll be, hands over her eyes, honestly believing I can’t see her.
(and that’s a biiigg IF)
THIS is how I want Mr. Pie to see me.
To look right past the baggy sweats.
And the scary fro in the morning and the few extra pounds and the frazzly crazy OCDin’ mess I can be.
To see that inner goddess I KNOW is there. Somewhere.
THIS is what I’m holding out for.
I don’t think that’s asking for too much, do you?
Thanks to Mama’s Losin’ It for this little blind date with Trace.
Blind Date with Trace.
Someone smells a reality show …
First off, thank you Doogs for all your sweet bday wishes! The day was nice and low key, culminating in 75-minute deep tissue massage at 3:00, my favorite cold-weather dinner — Grammy’s pot roast — and a spectacular pink cake proudly decorated by MP.
Tuesday night I DID go out for a few glasses of bubbly with some co-works. It was a dual celebration as Co-work QB and I share the same day. What are the odds?
We had a little food.
We had a little drink.
And were having a most excellent time.
And then Creepy came to dinner.
Creepy sat down behind QB, and, after ordering a glass of wine, produced a small notebook. He then began to write. ‘Take notes’ might be more accurate.
Creepy appeared to be writing down our every word. I think it’s safe to say, we are Very Interesting People (VIPs).
Attempting to alert QB proved fruitless — Creepy wouldn’t take his eyes off us for more than a second. I meanwhile (being the responsible 40-year-old I am), begin taking photos, in the event there was a future need for evidence … all the while, trying to nonchalantly appear as though I was taking QB’s photo.
I think he bought it.
QB certainly did.
About this time, she figured out what was going on.
And I started to get a little concerned. I finally got a good view of the notebook, however. I also got a good look at his face. Turns out he looked suspiciously like the actor Christopher Meloni.
In a psycho killer kind of way.
So, Creepy goes to the bathroom. We peek at the notebook.
And, with the entire bar watching — who, by now, have all seen Creepy and his creepiness — I lean over and take a hurried, worried photo.
In my haste, I forget to focus.
Thus, bringing to an end my short lived Pinkerton career.