Thursday, February 7, 2013

Be Mine

Around 10am this morning I noticed the lonely brown paper sack sitting in the fridge.  It was someone’s forgotten lunch, so I texted my daughter to ask if it was hers.  It was.  Her lunch break was only 45 minutes away so she asked if I would drop it off.  I was headed  out anyway so I said, “of course.”  I took it out, folded over the top and stapled it shut.  Catching a glimpse of the pink highlighter nearby I picked it up, popped off the lid and spontaneously filled in a pink heart on the front of the bag above her name.  Several minutes later it was waiting for her at the school’s front office.

I’m familiar with this routine – getting the call, “I forgot my (homework, folder, flute, Xanax, just kidding, Advil, not just kidding, underwear, still not kidding, running shoes etc.)” so I grab the item, jump in the car and make my way to the school.  Sometimes this exasperates me, other times I’m happy to help.  It usually depends on whether I’ve showered yet.  I’ve shown up in various forms of impressiveness/shame at that front office but today was extra special.  I was on my way to help my friend do some painting so I had not showered, was wearing paint stained overalls (overalls!) (with paint ALL over them) (they're going to make a comeback I just know it), had no make up on, and then, because it was cold I threw on a fleece jacket OVER my OVERalls just to help me get that female lumberjack who needs lap band surgery feel.

Rare form guys, RARE FORM.

Later tonight we decided to run through the drive thru at Chick-fil-A before dropping Drew off at basketball practice and on the way home, the girl who forgot her lunch just started talking.  And talking and talking.  She prattled on about school, boys, friends, teachers….  At one point she paused for emphasis before adding, “Mom, I LOVE ENGLISH.  I mean, when have I EVER loved English?”  Her teacher is someone that she adores, who went so far as to cheer for my Samantha when she spotted her after school running drills with the track team today.  I love teachers who root for their kids, especially when “their” kids are mine. 

The car ride monologue eventually transitioned to the kitchen as we arrived home.  I set to work unloading the dishwasher and just listened as Samantha analyzed her high school life and I marveled at her awareness and ability to dissect the psychology of it all.  That girl is paying attention to the world around her – she knows what she wants, and she knows what she doesn’t want.  She gets it when people are being manipulative, and her senses warn her when someone is being inauthentic. 

I’m just listening. 

I squirted some detergent on the dishrag and started to move it in circles around the counter as she talked about some of the decisions she is making and why she’s making them.  This whole time I thought she was just cruising along but no, she’s making conscious choices - freaking awesome conscious choices.  As I stood there and relished this seemingly out of body, glorious moment she suddenly stopped, looked up at the clock and gasped, “Oh!  I have to go!”  I checked the clock also and confirmed, “Yes, you do.  Drive safe, have fun.  I love you!” I called out as she grabbed the keys and headed for the door.  Seconds later the door reopened and she re-emerged from around the corner.  “Can I just give you a hug?” she asked as she came toward me.  “Of course, baby girl,” I answered as she threw her arms around me and told me she loved me.  I kissed her head and reminded her, “You know you never have to ask.”

After hugging her tight I released her from my grip; she started back toward the door and turned around before shutting it behind her and explained, “You know, when I went to pick up my lunch from the office today the security guard saw the heart you drew on the bag.  He commented about it then told me I should go home and give you a hug and I thought to myself, ‘Yep, I definitely should.’  Anyway, ‘bye Mom.”  And with that she was gone.

I stood motionless and stared at the freshly closed door, soaked in the lingering presence of that child who is mine and my eyes began to sting.

I’m so glad she’s mine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Cape And Drape

Back when I had all my “parts” I had the luxury of letting my annual violations lapse.  I know we’re supposed to get them every year but I’m also supposed to aerate my lawn every fall, make a vision board and swear off saturated fats.  There are only so many hours in the day people, and the Property Brothers isn’t just going to watch itself.  But then my epic hospital stay happened and I emerged without parts.  I also emerged with the notion that I was heretofore released from all future GYN visits.  Nothin’ to see here folks, go force someone else to sing “Moon River” while staring at the ceiling.  It was the silver lining around everything I had been through.  

Until I needed a refill on my prescription.  A year into my recovery with no apparent side effects from my hormone replacement therapy, I called in my refill to the Pharmacist who called back to tell me I was not eligible for renewal until I had a visit with my doctor.  I couldn’t understand what could be gained from this, seeing as I had nothing left to check.  I imagined the following scenario:
Dr:  Hey Vern, how’s that uterus?
Vern:  Well, see this 8 inch scar?  You put that there when you took it out.
Dr:  Oh, right!  That’s healing up nicely.  I did an awesome job.  
Vern:  Yep.  Hey, how did you spend that $30K?  Nice college fund for the wee lass, I hope.
Dr:  *chuckle* Silly Vern.
Vern:  No really, how’s the new car?
Dr:  She sure is a sweet ride but I’m due for a little extra window tinting.
Vern:  So THAT’S why I’m here!

The point is, now I have to go back every year whether I like it or not because I NEED THOSE PILLS.  Without those pills I could refill all the reservoirs with my night sweats and take down al Qaeda with my mood swings.  So against my will I made my appt. and went last week.  Even after 20 years this experience still sucks, but I like how they try to ease you in gently by telling you to first step on the scale and then go pee in a cup.  I want to say, “I thought this was the doctor’s office, not a sorority hazing ritual.”  While we’re on the topic, could someone please explain to me how we are able to grow babies in a Petri dish but we haven’t figured out a better system for collecting urine samples?  Like that little basket of wet wipes next to the Dixie cups is supposed to make me feel any better.  All that does is make me pine for BBQ ribs and fried chicken.  First I’m demoralized, then I’m inconvenienced, and now I’m STARVING.  

The nurse escorts me to the exam room where she casually tells me to undress and then gestures to the pink tissue paper on the table and adds, “And there’s your cape and drape, pink for the top and white for the bottom.”  Her tone is so deceitful, like a Nazi saying, “Oh here, go on into this lovely SHOWER!  You’ve worked so hard today, go relax and get nice and clean.”  It's a conspiracy, I tell you.  And now I'm to the part where I wonder, just how much time do I have before the good Doctor knocks on the door and comes in?  I have this fear that one day I won’t change my clothes fast enough and he’ll walk in on me, and I’ll be standing there in all my glory and 7th grade PE will all come rushing back to me.  Then again, what am I hiding?  I’m wearing half a tablecloth with armholes the size of manhole covers forcryingoutloud.   

Having said all that, I’m really looking forward to getting that postcard in the mail telling me that my tests came out normal.  I can say, “No Duh,” my doctor gets his tinted windows, and the world gets the version of me that doesn’t require a pickaxe to relieve stress.

Everybody wins.

Friday, February 1, 2013

'88 = Not That Great

Are you gonna make me say it?  Alright, I hated high school.  I don't expect you to care, I just expect you to listen to me talk about it ad nauseam.  Apparently.  To sum up, I guess I grew up thinking I was special and the only thing middle/high school taught me was that I was, in fact, invisible.  Blah blah blah, crocodile tears, puppies die, cheese goes bad, and Channing Tatum won't always look like that.  I spent over a decade of my life living happily before high school and 25 blissful years since its anticlimactic finish, so what I can't figure out is why on earth these people are so excited about the prospect of getting back together to reminisce over "old" times; as if a half rate buffet at the Radisson is the ideal spot for that.  (Gee Vern, bitter much?)  Hey, you would be bitter too if you waited for four years to get acknowledged in the yearbook and this was the picture that made the cut: