I went to the Mom 2.0 conference last week. I didn’t attend the conference itself, just drove down and spent the night nearby so I could see a few friends, most especially Schmutzie, who is well worth driving for.
A bunch of people didn’t recognize me. I know it has been a while, but I recognized THEM. I wondered if it was my haircut or my glasses or the fact that I am fat again. But on the other hand, I wasn’t that surprised.
When I was sitting on the table at my doctor’s office, getting my hormones changed up for the third time (it’s as much of an art as a science, people), I complained to my physician’s assistant, Karen “I don’t feel like myself anymore.”
“That’s what all my menopausal patients tell me,” she said.
It was kind of a relief to hear external validation. No one feels like themselves.
It’s not US. It’s the chemicals.
I am here to admit that I haven’t felt like myself for over a year now and it has pretty much sucked. I haven’t been myself. I feel like a drone circling an empty parking lot, endlessly, my little video camera waiting for something interesting to happen.
The hormones are starting to kick in. I can feel it. There’s still a bunch of parking-lot-circling going on, but I can see something on the horizon. Maybe at BlogHer, I will be recognizable again.
Situated on a sun-blasted section of Venice Boulevard, the Museum of Jurassic Technology looks out of place among the Qwik-Marts and tire stores. A tiny doorknob set high opens a door into a darkened room…which leads to another darkened room, and another, connected by narrow hallways lined with odd objects.
The displays are accompanied by giant explanations with blocks of text in brown print on black backgrounds in very dark rooms (I busted out the flashlight at one point, just so I didn’t trip and hurt myself), much of the “factual” information made up or falsified somehow.
The whole “museum” is some kind of weird post-modernist joke lacking a punchline. My overwhelming feeling was:
It reminded me of a game of Apples to Apples I played with some college kids a few years ago. The usual notion of the game is that the dealer has a word or phrase and everyone else has cards with other random words, phrases or names on them, and the players submit one of the ideas on their cards as the one that goes best with the dealer’s.
This works best when the crowd is witty and loves wordplay. The problem with playing with these students was that they would submit their ideas seemingly at random, and the dealer would pick without reason, just saying something like “That’s the one I liked.”
Everyone else seemed content with this system, which led me to believe I might have been experiencing my first unsurmountable generation gap. I was left on my emotional porch, silently screaming at these annoying kids to get off my lawn.
Ok, I’ll say it. I want things to make sense. I may be an old fuddy-duddy who uses terms like “old fuddy-duddy,” but that’s all right by me. I’ll be over here studying my encyclopedia and looking at the Monet waterlily ponds. The kids can go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology (no the name doesn’t mean anything) without me.
The world measures in money, but the heart measures in time.
I have a friend who has become sort of a punchline with her other friends. “Oh, we really HAVE to get together!” we imitate, rolling our eyes.
She is literally always “busy.” She tells us with great specificity what she wants to do: “Oh, we’re going to get together for a spa day. We’ll drink mimosas and get massages at this great place I know. Oh, you’re going to LOVE it. Let me check my schedule and I will call you!”
She never calls, so she has become a FINO – friend in name only. I like her. I think she’s smart and funny and interesting and pretty. But she has become Lucy to my Charlie Brown, and I am just never going to try to kick the football again. If she shows up on my doorstep, fine, she is invited inside. Until then, I’m not hoping.
If you love someone, if you cherish them, you will make time for them. Love is an action verb, as they say. Being there is showing you care.
Don’t be Lucy to your friends. Hold the ball steady. There is only so many times people will fall for the same thing.
I went to the doctor today. Nothing remarkable in that. I told CC the other day that my aging body is like driving a crappy old car. A few years back all I had to do was provide fuel and tires, and the occasional tune-up. Now the thing is in the shop all the time, and it is costing me money.
I had to wait almost an hour to see the doc, but I didn’t care. I had my phone and Jenny Lawson’s book, so I had to stifle hysterical laughter over and over, lest they think I needed mood stabilizers.
When she saw me, she looked at my lab results and said “Well, you look good on paper.”
That’s my new slogan.
Afterward, I stopped at the desk to get orders for Xrays (ankle) and a prescription (hormones). There was some confusion and I got the Xray orders, but not the prescription, a fact I realized when I was 10 steps out the door, blinking at the darkness – I had been in there so long the sun had set.
I walked back and the door was locked. They must have locked it right behind me,
Knock, knock, I went softly, knowing they were right on the other side of the door and they could quickly open.
Knock knock, I went louder.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
Suddenly, I became utterly and completely focused on the single task of getting them to open the damn door. They could NOT do this to me. They could not make me wait one hour to see the doctor, then refuse to give me my damned prescription 10 seconds after I left.
I tried calling. No answer. Called again. No answer.
BANG BANG BANG BANG on the door in a big scary noise.
It was like I was the field goal kicker at the end of a tied championship game. Every fiber of my being was on task. I was ready to stalk them out into the parking lot.
I suddenly realized the back office door was right there. And there was a buzzer. I stepped over, raised my hand and…the door jerked open.
The office manager, looking sheepish, began blathering about “Being in the back.”
It was a good thing I went back, because they had electronically transmitted my Rx to a pharmacy that I hadn’t used in years, so I might never have found it.
But let this be a warning. Do not mess with a woman who wants her hormone medications.
Part of me is delighted that December is here. Just 3 weeks until the solstice, until the days start getting longer.
Then I think “In 6 weeks, the days will only be as long as today? Oh my god, help me.”
I read recently that Norwegians look forward to winter. Maybe if I had the northern lights and liked skiing?
Nah, it would still be horrible.
And I’m still having hot flashes. I get a tantalizing month off, then they return with a vengeance.
I’m about ready to carve a thermometer shape into my forehead and take on a permanent blank gaze, a la Charlie Manson.
Is it 8 pm yet? Good! Time for bed!
After limping my way through NaBloPoMo, I find that I did not publish one day, due to a technical error. On the 26th, I thought I published a draft of an old post, but it is gone with the Schwinn – now neither on my blog nor in my drafts folder.
So it’s NaBloAlmostPoMo for me.
And you get a new header. You’re welcome.
Today was Pajama Sunday at church. It was a fun, silly idea for the Sunday after Thanksgiving – elastic waistbands and too much food going hand-in-hand, you see.
The only problem was that Pajama Sunday was not well-publicized, though about 10 of us got the memo.
Friends, do you know how awkward it is to greet your neighbor when it is the neighbor’s first day at your church and you are wearing a red flannel nightgown imprinted with fat white snowmen?
I was going out to take the dog for a walk this morning when my toe caught on the fourth step from the bottom and I went flying down, leaving my foot behind.
It was almost like I had done the yoga Pigeon Pose, except with a big gravity assist and against my will. And with my leg turned out at the knee, not in.
I have never been good at the Pigeon Pose.
After about 5 minutes of sitting on the step going “We’re okay. We’re okay,” as Abbie barked at me to hurry up, I dragged myself back up the stairs and examined the damage. Nothing broken. Sprained ankle. Knee that now makes a weird liquid popping noise. Hurt hip. Hurt shoulder.
I drove Abbie over to the dog daycare and went home to collapse. I cried a little, out of mad frustration. I cursed living upstairs, as I had foreseen something exactly like this happening.
I have learned a few things today.
My condition has a name: Chronic Ankle Instability (thanks, Miss Banshee). I have always had it, but had just assumed I was clumsy. There’s something about a diagnosis that can make you feel just a little better.
The Great British Baking Show is perfect for days like this.
So is hydrocodone and acetominophen. I know, I know. I’m only taking them halfsies at a time, because pain meds tend to hit me hard, but I am so thankful I have them and that they work.
Onward. I know tomorrow is going to hurt more than today. Not looking forward to morning.
But you know what? There is so much more love than hatred, and love is winning.
A villain explodes one bomb. It’s horrible, yes. We can all agree.
But that is one act. Every good parent does 1000 loving acts before lunch each day. And most of us do good all day long. We don’t call it good because it seems normal, but love is the silent river that flows through our lives.
We greet each other. We make meals. We drive carefully. We let other people go first. We wave. We smile. We fix things. We wait patiently. We let the person cross. We put on jackets. We put socks on little feet. We put on socks again. And shoes. And leashes. Not all on the same being, hopefully.
We say “I love you,” “Drive safe,” “Hurry home,” “I missed you,” “Thank you,” “Have a great day.”
We laugh and dance and make love. We sing. We work hard. We get up even when we’re tired. We put on makeup and pretty clothes. We put on uniforms. We go to weddings. We go to sports games to cheer for people we love. We go to hospitals. We go to funerals.
We look in each other’s eyes. We stand up for each other. We hold our tongues for each other. We hug.
The villains can try to destroy. But destruction never builds. And the building never stops.