August 07, 2014
Dead Wench Walkin'
While at the OB/GYN last month, Dr. Gyno asked me, "When was the last time you had a routine blood work-up?"
Like I don't know what that's code for.
What he was really saying was, "You are fat and probably have high cholesterol and/or type 2 diabetes. But I don't actually want to say that to you, so I'm going to couch it in this seemingly benign inquiry, so you don't hurt me."
I mean, I don't blame the guy. He'd be remiss if he didn't ask. Frankly, I'm surprised he waited this long!
I was a bit apprehensive about the blood draw, and not because of the needle. I'm not a fainter. Or a crier, or a runner. I was afraid -- as any lover of cookies, pasta, and cheese would be -- that I have high cholesterol and diabetes and high blood pressure and all kinds of things that mean I can never eat cookies or pasta or cheese ever again.
On the other hand, even scarier is the prospect that I'm perfectly healthy, leading me to believe I'm invincible and can eat ALL THE THINGS WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE. And, lacking proper life-threatening motivation, I would keep eating pasta-cheese cookies and be fat for the rest of my life and never have the physical stamina to high the fjords.
[Note to self: invent pasta-cheese cookies.]
So I went and got the blood draw last Wednesday. Veritably painless, I must say. She was a genius phlebotomist, even with my practically-non-existent veins. Being a junkie was never an option for me. I could never find a vein. Too bad. At least I'd have been thin.
Last Friday, Dr. Gyno called and we had this conversation:
Dr.: So I got your test results back. Really not much to worry about here. Just a couple of small things.
PW: What's the bad news?
Dr.: Well, your cholesterol is at 210. We like to see it under 200. But that's not too bad.
PW: Okay. And the other thing?
Dr.: One of your liver numbers is off a bit.
[Okay, he didn't actually say "liver numbers," but I forgot what he said, and "liver numbers" sums it up just fine for our purposes here.]
PW: Jeebus. What does that mean?
Dr.: Well, it can either be caused by too much alcohol...
Dr.: Too much Tylenol...
Dr.: Sometimes by weight gain.
Dr.: Well, we don't really know for sure, so I want you to go visit your GP. I will fax this report over to him. So give him a call and make an appointment.
PW: Can't he just tell me I'm fat and need to lose weight over the phone?
Dr.: No. You have to go see him.
As I said, that was on Friday. On Monday, my GP called and left a message. Monday.
"Wenchie, this is GP. I got a report here from Dr. Gyno, and I want you to come in so I can check you out."
HOLY SHIT, I'M DYING! He didn't have one of his nurses or office assistants call me to make an appointment. HE CALLED ME HIMSELF! It's not fair. My Dad drinks a bottle of whiskey a day, and I'm the one who gets liver failure. I'm too young to die!!!
So I called GP's office, gave the office assistant my brief back story, she looked me up on their computer to verify, and I got an appointment for THIS FRIDAY. THIS FRIDAY!!! That's three days from when I called! Do you know how fucking insane that is to get in that soon?! Oh, Jeebus. There are still so many things I want to do before I die!
Rewrite: There are still so many things I want to eat before I die. Since calling for the appointment, I've had macaroni and cheese, margaritas, fried ice cream, non-fried ice cream, different brand of macaroni and cheese, a sausage breakfast biscuit, and bacon chocolate cupcakes (that I made myself and were to die for, quite possibly literally).
I'm essentially a condemned prisoner having her last meal. S. Meals. And there's no nope that the governor will intervene on my behalf. I was too busy sifting flour and cocoa powder together to write him a letter.
July 30, 2014
Truth is Hilariouser than Fiction
I think I've blogged about my co-worker Jim before, but only briefly, and only in the context of MY hilarity. And yet Jim is quite hilarious in his own right. Not that he tries to be -- he's just so odd and random and prone to over-sharing that he can't help but crack me up on a daily basis. After which he stares at me with his head cocked and says, "No, really. I'm not making this up."
Dude, you being completely seriously is what's so funny.
Like last week. I was lunch-less and lunch-date-less, so I sent an email to a few friends in the building, including Jim, saying -- Let's go out for lunch! Maria's has a great buffet on Thursdays!
To which Jim replied:
I have to cover the reception desk at noon. From 11:45 to 12:00, I’ll have a tuna sandwich, nilla wafers, and glass of buttermilk by myself, and play online Jeopardy on my iPhone with the lights off in the small conference room.
See? That is genius! He's like the Hemmingway of... I don't know what. I giggled at the absurdity first, and then thought, Hang on; those are actually things he would do. Except for the buttermilk, the rest is completely plausible. Sad and pathetic, but plausible.
So I wrote back:
I can't tell if you're joking or not.
And he responded:
Actually, I have never played online Jeopardy. I got that from Laura. She does that.
I’ve only had buttermilk a couple of times in my life. I took that from a Barney Miller where a man caused a scene in a restaurant that wouldn’t serve him because he wasn’t “beautiful” enough. All he wanted was a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of buttermilk. The man was a stereotype of a diminutive Jewish New York sadsack. Of course, Wojo and Harris came to his defense. It was similar to the one with the guy who was a slave to the Bangladeshi diplomat.
As for the lights, I often sit in darkened conference rooms and eat and look out the window. Sometimes I call my mom. Other times, I listen to the Pandora Comedy channel.
And it will be a ham sandwich or rice balls. Most likely rice balls, since we have no bread that I know of in the house.
See. Reality is no fun. The one sentence semi-joke is funnier.
Actually, Jim's reality is funnier than the one-sentence semi-joke, not least of all for the inclusion of the words “rice balls.”
July 23, 2014
A Dollar Could Buy Four Candy Bars
Be good to yourself!
That's the advice my maternal grandmother, Marie, would always call after us, as we all dispersed to our cars after Sunday dinner at her house. She'd stand in her front doorway and wave.
I'd wave back and say, "'Bye, Gramma!" Always wondering why the heck the was telling us to be good to ourselves. Good is something you're supposed to be to other people -- not to yourself! Silly Gramma.
I was always being told to be nice to Billi. We're two years apart, so we were always trying to kill the other one off. It made sense at the time -- less hassle, more inheritance. Although we were expected to be good and be nice to each other, I can still show you the scar on my left arm where Billi bit me because I wouldn't hand over the Barbie she wanted to play with.
[You want some Barbie now, bitch? Come on! Try it! I dare you to make a move on my Barbie collection! It's worth more than your minivan, and you ain't touchin' it! I don't care how hard you bite!]
[I have no idea where that came from. Sorry, Billi. You know you can touch them all. Even Coach Barbie.]
At some point, Mom decided it was okay to leave Billi and I home alone together for short periods of time. Those times became the SISTER DEATH CAGE MATCHES OF DOOM AND FARTS!!! One time, I hit Billi in the head with my skateboard, so she pulled me up the stairs by my hair. I'm not even kidding. That bitch is cold. She wisely locked herself in the bathroom immediately after, and stayed there until Mom came home. But what she doesn't know is that I farted on her pillow.
Ah, good times. Obviously, being good to someone does not entail any of those things, but that didn't stop our parents from trying, bless their little hearts. Billi and I were also told to be nice to Spikette, our sister who is older than us by ten and eight years, respectively.
Because she was so much our senior, Spikette was under strict orders to never hit us. Which really sucked for Spikette because Billi and I were merciless in our torment. We would slap Spikette on the butt -- HARD! -- and then innocently claim that it was "a love tap."
[Side note: Where in our childhoods did we learn that smacking someone on the butt was a thing, and that it was called a love tap?! I am kind of creeped out now.]
Now, I can see Mommy Dearest's logic in all this. It's pretty horrible to see a kid beat on another kid a decade their junior, so I understand why she forbade it of Spikette. On the other hand, the endless torture of Spikette -- and the sick glee we derived from it -- would have ended right quick, had she been allowed to retaliate. I'm just sayin'.
So, yeah. I was often not good. So be good to fill-in-the-blank was something I was told a lot. But be good to yourself? That's crazy talk, Gramma.
I will admit, it was in my late 30s -- or perhaps even more recently than that -- when I FINALLY figured out what Gramma was trying to tell us, and why it's so important.
Although I'm much nicer to my sisters now -- I rarely smack Spitette on the ass anymore, and it's been months since I farted on Billi's pillow -- I'm not very nice to myself. Here are some things that I've said to myself just this week:
"Your face is crooked."
"You're not REALLY going to wear a bathing suit the pool party, are you? You'll scare the children!"
"Seriously, your skin is so gross."
"You are so disgustingly fat."
"How does Husband put up with you?"
"Geez, what a drama queen!"
"Did you really just say that out loud???"
This being only Tuesday, that's not a very good track record for the week. Conversely, here's the nice things I've said to myself:
"Congratulations on not spilling ketchup on yourself."
"Your grey hairs almost look like highlights."
Wow. I am so passive-aggressive. And it's terrible! I wouldn't say those things to anyone else! Why am I saying them to myself? Gramma would be horrified!
I think that Gramma also meant for us to be good to ourselves -- not just on the inside -- but on the outside, too. She was very thoughtful, always sending us a dollar when we were staying at our summer home. (Hey, a dollar could buy four candy bars back then! Oh, how I wish I were kidding! I'm old enough to remember when candy bars were a quarter each!) I'm sure she was always hoping that we'd be good to ourselves and treat ourselves to little things that made us happy, just like she tried to encourage with her dollars.
Nowadays, my little "treats" come more in the form of a massage or chocolate lava cake or new scarf. And I refuse to think of them as extravagant, or of myself as undeserving.
Please, please, be good to yourselves, my beloveds. It doesn't have to even cost a dollar! Take a nap. Leave work on time for a change. Forget the housework and watch a favorite movie. Don't respond to an annoying text/Facebook post from a relative. Give yourself a compliment. Have crackers and cream cheese dip for dinner. Whatever works for you!
I know how hard you work. I know how guilty you feel when your day is less than productive and your house is less than spotless. I know you think you can't say No to someone. I know you think having an entire sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies makes you a bad person. I know you think you can't ask for help.
Fuck all that. Fuck it right in its ear. You are awesome and exhausted, and you are not treating yourself the way I would treat you, and that is unacceptable.
Be good to yourselves, people. Treat yourself the way you would treat a beloved one. Remember, you are adored.