What Jesus and Female Dogs Have In Common

Once upon a time, when I had a cubicle job, I worked right next to this guy who was into dog breeding. One day, he looked me straight in the eye, and referred to one of his female dogs as “a bitch.”

Never one to miss an opportunity to generalize about an entire group of white men based on an n = 1, I took this interaction to mean that the only reason awkwardish male/daytime cubicle dwellers even go into dog breeding is so that they can “legally” use the word bitch without getting into “trouble.”

I want a word that can be offensive to others, but if used in another context, is perfectly legit. Then “Jesus as local handy person” popped into my head (because my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant meds are beginning to reach therapeutic levels). I gleefully imagined his business card phone number:

1-800-HandyJC

I thought about having to leave Jesus a message when I called, because Jesus is so busy! Then, one night, my family and I would be sitting at the dinner table, when a call would come in. We’d screen it, because — well — dinner is family time and, also, because I keep getting phone calls from an Eastern-European-accented “John Parker from the IRS” who is threatening to sue me. Anyway, days after waiting to hear back, Jesus would finally be leaving me a message, so I’d RUN to the phone and, reaching it on time, exclaim “Jesus!!”

Of course, when I’d say “Jesus,” it would always have that under-my-breath/half-whispering-it, elongated/pissed-off/in-vain tone. Except that I would just be saying his name!

13 year old son, coming home from school: “Mom, who’s working in the basement?”

Me: “Jeeesus.”

Friend coming over for dinner (meds at FULL therapeutic levels now, allowing me to host The People again): “Oooooh. Who did the work in your kitchen?”

Me: “Jeeesus.”

And so it goes.

NOTE: No jokes about naming a female dog Jesus were made during the writing of this post.

I don't mean to brag, buy MY generalizations came before this movie.

My generalization about dog breeders came one full-year before this movie was made. Yay, funny stereotypes!

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Dr. Psychiatrist

I went to my first Dr. Psychiatrist appointment the other day. Oh! I just remembered this funny thing. The next time you spell out a word that contains the letter P, say, “That’s P, as in psychiatrist.” Hilarity will ensue. Continue…

When I walked into Dr. Psychiatrist’s office, the Front Office Lady (she of practically physically knocking me over with her request for insurance information) opened the glass window to her office and there, for all to hear, was country music playing. Country WHAT?!

psychiatrist_kate bush

What any adorable, small-minded liberal with mental health issues might expect to be playing.

Country music was so completely out of the realm of what I expected to hear in a psychiatrist’s office. I guess I just assumed that a psychiatrist would play something chill, generic, inoffensive, or — okay, if we’re being honest here — something from my OWN Volvo driving, Starbucks drinking, NY Times reading, NPR listening, sushi eating play list. If Dr. Psychiatrist was going to play a very particular type of music, I’d expect Kate Bush, not COUNTRY! Are you with me here?

But then I thought, “Okay, the quote-unquote music is playing in the Front Office Lady’s glassed headquarters. She can play whatever she wants in her own evil lair, even if it is incongruous with my expectations for Dr. Psychiatrist.”

Then I went into the waiting room, where the country music was ALSO blaring from the speakers. To be clear, it wasn’t some charming, old-timey, Cohen-Brothers-movie-soundtrack kind of country music. This was 90-point-something, Ashley/Amber/Tiffany (can’t remember which) calling from Barrington (for real) to say that she LOVES her Cat Country RADIO music.

So, I’m just sitting there, inadequately medicated, struggling with a resting heart rate of about 100 beats per minute, trying to sit as far away from the speakers as possible, searching for another place to wait where I can escape the awful, overly-earnest music, growing more and more agitated by the minute, when I saw it! A compendium of New Yorker cartoons sitting on the coffee table. Thank the good fucking liberal genius! New Yorker cartoons are what one EXPECTS to see in a psychiatrist’s office. I immersed myself in the book’s funny and tried my best to ignore the Sounds of Hell.

Let’s travel back…about twenty-five years…when I was in therapy as a young woman…my therapist fell asleep on me, not once, but twice. His excuse? That he was the father of a newborn baby and was exhausted. I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just testing my ability to advocate for myself, seeing if I would yell at him and tell him to wake the fuck up! (I failed both times; I just sat there.) ((Still traumatized by the whole thing and would likely do the exact same thing today.))

Is the country music some kind of Dr. Psychiatrist test or lesson, as in, if you can stay calm through this Chevy truck driving, Dunkin’ Donuts drinking, Wall Street Journal reading, Fox News watching, “American Fries” eating music, you can do anything? I dunno.

psychiatrist_v50

Waiting room.

What I do know is that I seriously need to manage my expectations of a psychiatrist’s demographics, which — after writing all of this — seem a lot more like STEREOTYPES. Let’s just hope that the free med samples he provided can calm me the fuck down, because the ONLY kind of music I hate is country AND western and if that shit is playing during my next appointment, I’m gonna wait in my Volvo.

FOOTNOTEY THINGY: “Country AND western” music is a reference to a line from “The Blues Brothers” and I typically wouldn’t cite it here, because, just like with Dr. Psychiatrist, I just ASSUME that we — me, the writer, and you, the reader of similar background, attracted to this blog –  all inherently GET “The Blues Brothers” reference, but — if you don’t — well, there it is, cited for legal as well as other purposes, and — also — you REALLY should see that movie.

The end!

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Someone High Up in the Vegan Movement Is Trying to Kill Me

I cook a lot of vegan meals for my dairy-free and moving towards vegan family members. So please, no angry-ass, pro-vegan comments about this post. Not that I’m afraid of you, since you are probably slightly underweight and also anemic.

But — seriously — what the hotel happened to all those hippie-dippy, Vermont-based, local-health-food-store-shopping, Birkenstocks- ™ -with-socks-wearing, cheese-and-egg-eating, healthy-bodied, good old-fashioned VEGETARIANS?! All we’re left with now is a people who not only won’t KILL a chicken, but who also refuse to gently remove an egg from underneath the ass of a perfectly HAPPY chicken.

vegannoying_morganSpurlock

I would consider eating vegan full-time if Morgan Spurlock’s wife did all the cooking + 24-hour nut soaking.

When I cook vegan, the thing I’m most struck by is how INVOLVED the recipes are (fortheloveofgawd do not email me “simple” vegan recipes). Yesterday I referenced a recipe that referred me to two OTHER recipes, both on different pages. And invariably, these recipes all seem to contain millet/quinoa/nutritional yeast/or turmeric. I like to call this…vegannoying.

I recently asked a couple of waitresses about the ingredients in two delicious vegan foods I had enjoyed. The answers? One food required soaking Brazil nuts for 24 hours and another said to dehydrate pureed/blanched nut flour for over twelve. That is the EPITOME of vegannoying!

As a kid, I was always an adventurous eater, enjoying broccoli with cheese sauce, lima beans, frog legs, mussels, you name it. Now as an adult with Ulcerative Colitis, I use the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) regimen to manage my symptoms. Unfortunately, the older I got, the more the menopausal hormones raged and the more I had to restrict even the foods on the “legal” SCD list. So, I guess I’m just baffled by anyone who restricts their diet when food doesn’t cause rectal burning, bleeding or spontaneous infections of body parts that only one’s self, spouse, doctor or Hobby Lobby, Inc. care about. [Other qualifying health considerations = passing out OR DEATH.]

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s not just about one’s own health, but about the health of the planet!” I agree! I just don’t think MILLET LOAF is the answer to our world’s problems.

I’ll leave you with this joke my friend Peter, owner of Marczyk’s Fine Foods (sells meat), told me at our 30th high school reunion: How do you know someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry; they’ll tell you within the first 5 minutes of meeting you. ROCK ON, VEGANS! Next up: we discuss the Pale-E-I-E-I-O regimen!

vegannoying_milletloaf

Saving the world one millet loaf at a time.

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If the Jokes Aren’t a Poppin’, Don’t Bother Knockin’

People who know me on my personal Facebook page  have often asked me HOW I think of things like this:

Facebook is suggesting I “like” Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Nickelback. Look at me! I’m eleven!

I took the What Kind of Storm Are You? quiz; I GOT SHIT STORM!

I just noticed that MONDAY spelled backwards is “fuck you.”

I have to apologize. I have been in Such A Mood for the last 7 years.

Most kids call me Mrs. Trachtenberg, because they have a hard time with Ms. Winchild. I’d actually prefer to be called “Catherine,” but I know a lot of parents don’t want their kids referring to adults by their first names. So, I’ve decided to have the kids call me Sexy Lady.

I think Obamacare just needs some better BRANDING. Hey, I’m no marketing major, but I’m thinking house teapublicans might be more supportive of a law called MerryChristmasGunsTransvaginalProbeBacon.

The truth is, all these thoughts just kinda POPPED into my head.

I recently read this brilliant book called The War of Art  and in it, the author talks about how the Muses visit artists and fill their heads with ideas. If Muses ARE making these self-crack-up thoughts pop into MY head, then those ladies have apparently flown the coop and found a writer who has already visited her psychiatrist and gotten a new anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication working at therapeutic levels.

I think these ladies are maybe visiting someone in Costa Rica right now.

I think these ladies are in Costa Rica right now.

Until the Muses visit again, I am left thinking thoughts like this::

I was walking down one of Swankington’s finest peninsula roads when a silver, Audi SUV came barrell-assing down the MIDDLE of the street, leaving me absolutely no room and pissing me the hell off. The amount of mental energy I then took to FIND which driveway the Audi had parked in and then FANTASIZE about what I would do to it with the beautiful chestnut that I’d found earlier on my walk and now held in my hand, was probably – for someone who is mentally compromised — Just About Right.

I promptly deleted that paragraph after I posted it on Facebook because I was worried that people would think I needed help. You know, MORE help than therapy, meds and a psychiatrist.

Just to follow up the deleted thought: no one in a CAMRY or a CIVIC has ever driven down the MIDDLE of a fucking road at high speed, leaving me in fear for my safety. (Note to anyone who is a complete douchebag and reading this blog: You just have to slow down and give the people who are walking some SPACE, especially if the walker’s BACK IS TO YOU! Why? Because you are driving an 2-ton, metal object that can HURT someone who is only being protected by a squeezable amount of excess fat on her ass).

Okay -- $98 dollars.

Okay — $98 dollars.

Oh…and also…I FOUND the stupid ass SUV and the woman driving it was parked in the cobblestone/gravel driveway of the house that I used to walk past when they were building it, after they’d torn down a perfectly GOOD multi-million dollar, waterfront home, and yelled (maybe just in my head), IT NEEDS MORE COWBELL! because the house is so obscenely large and has a garage that is bigger than most people’s homes, but — more than that — it’s just really fucking ugly, and I SAW the team of Stepford Wives coming down the driveway with — OF COURSE!!!! — a GOLDEN FUCKING RETRIEVER — and they were both so anorexicly/eat-two-bites-of-kid’s-mac-and-cheese-for-lunch-and-do-pilates-until-I-bleed THIN, that the Audi-driver’s yoga pants were HANGING off her ass while the yellow-dog owner had to wear a long, flowing cardigan sweater over her $200 (I’m sure) running pants, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS PERFECTLY WARM OUT.

There. That should make me seem a little less insane.

In conclusion, a funny thought DID pop into my head yesterday in the shower and it made me laugh out loud. But I forgot it. Now I just need one of those Muses who prevents dementia.

 

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Depressed!

I’m not sure which one of you assholes forced me to go off my anti-anxiety meds, but that was a really stupid fucking idea. (For those of you just joining us, that asshole is me.)

I went off my meds because of a  3-pound winter weight gain, but I knew early on that my head was in the wrong place. My doctor’s plan was for me to go on a NEW medication, use it as a “crutch” for 6 months, get myself into some cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and slowly move into medslessness with some CBT skills in place. The problem was, when I tried a new drug, it flared my colitis. So, I just kept plugging along drug-free, enjoying the reunion with my sex drive, working on my deep breathing, implementing my single-session of CBT strategies, feeling somewhat better from being off Facebook and thinking that all the stuff that Supremely Pissed Me Off was RIGHTEOUS.

Unfortunately, the things that I felt most righteous about were slightly distorted. I know many things about mental illness DO have a basis in reality, and — the reality is — our dishwasher often looks like it was loaded by the dog. But it seemed to affect me in a way that made me yell. A LOT. At the people I love. And live with.

My husband lovingly urged me to go back on meds.

I went to my second therapy session:

ME <to therapist>: Can you prescribe meds?

MY LOVELY THERAPIST (MLT): No, but I can tell you if I think you’re a good candidate for them.

ME: Blethering on for 20 minutes in a completely unfocused description of my current state-of-mind about how I don’t experience joy from the things that typically give me joy and and how my lows seem to be getting even lower.

MLT: How long has this been going on?

ME: Probably since I helped my mom and her cat fly to England. (Although this sentence was more like 1,000 sentences and took me another 15 minutes).

ME (again): Sooo…do you think I’m a good candidate for meds?

MLT <with the most empathic version of “Uh…DUH!”>: Yessssssssssssssss!! I have a psychiatrist I can refer you to.

Ooooooooooo! Just like Betty Draper in Mad Men, Season 1!

Sad Betty.

Sad Betty.

Here is what happened when I called Dr. Psychiatrist’s office:

ME: Hi my name is Catherine. MLT referred me to Dr. Psychiatrist and I’d like to make a new patient appointment.

SENSITIVITY-LACKING FRONT OFFICE LADY (SLFOL): What insurance do you have?

ME: Uh….Blue Cross Blue Shield.

SLFOL: What state?

ME <irritated>: Rhode Island!

SLFOL: Okay. What was your name again?

ME: Gee. What would have happened if I’d said something else?

SLFOL: We only take certain types of insurance.

ME: You know you work in the front office for a PSYCHIATRIST, right?! I pretty much think the  overriding demographic of PEOPLE CALLING TO MAKE THEIR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A FUCKING PSYCHIATRIST is SOMEWHAT FUCKING FRAGILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Asking for their health insurance without even a pause is just completely fucking obnoxious, you dense, irritating, Rhode Island front-office-lady beast of burden (except this last part was all in my head).

Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah! I guess I mostly wanted to tell you that I am a wee bit depressed and that after Therapy Session II, I went back on my OLD meds while waiting to see the psychiatrist (10/1) and give his front office lady the finger (in my head) and see if he can prescribe me a medicine that helps my anxiety+depression, but still allows me to have a decent sex drive and also does not add any body weight or flare my colitis.

Until all THOSE criteria are met, here is some dishwasher loading to inspire you:

dishwasher_lower rack

“She was depressed, but she sure could load like a pro.”

 

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Why I Ross-and-Racheled Facebook

How did one of Facebook’s most dedicated users and fans come to take a break? It all started this past spring when I learned that I’d gained 3 pounds. I know you are thinking that 3 pounds is nothing, but it is not nothing when the 3 pounds is added to someone who is 5 feet 2 inches, shrinking fast and who had already reconciled the FIVE pounds that menopause gifted her. So, it wasn’t just 3 pounds, it was more like TEN, if you’re rounding up, like a third grader.

I couldn’t do any of those butt-kicking workouts with Jillian Michaels to lose the extra 3#s, because I was going into severe back spasm each time that complete fatherfuckingwhackjob led me through an exercise routine with “her girls.” <— the 2 grown women behind her; not her breasts. As it turned out, I couldn’t even do a lateral move without hurting myself. So, it was daily walking to control the pain+spasm and I don’t know about the last time YOU tried to lose weight via walking+menopause, but it is about as easy as trying to convince someone that a person “high up in the Vatican” is following you.

So, the first thing I did was what every self-respecting female who’s been jacked up on mood-controlling, don’t-bite-the-kids’-heads-off meds for 5+ years: I went off my anti-anxiety pills.

no justice_going off meds

Now, anti-anxiety meds are a great invention for thickening one’s cheesecloth-like skin that, for decades, has let EVERYTHING in. It creates this shield around your entire body, protecting you from bitchez and also from some Serious Bitchez. The problem is that the new layer also happens to be PHYSICAL. Hence: weight gain.

But even worse is that the added “layer” ALSO covers your vagina, which — last I checked — includes the clitoris, meaning that I wanted to have sex about as much as I wanted to have a Rhode Island Tesla driver run me over in a still-needs-to-be-painted crosswalk on my way to a Yacht Club party involving drunken WASPs and wife swapping, which is to say, for those of you just joining us — never.

Once off the meds, everything started depressing me, Facebook the most. So I stopped posting. Well, okay, I had my husband change my password for me. Hello! I was completely addicted to that guy!!

But guess what? I started feeling better! The depression abated and I became much more FOCUSED. I even started Thinking Ahead. I was like the love child of Martha Stewart and Thich Nhat Hanh.

What’s going on now? I thought I’d go back on Facebook after we got back from our summer trip, but one dip into my Newsfeed had me shutting that fucker down faster than a southern republican on his state’s last abortion clinic. I could tell you a gagillion things that bug me about Facebook right now, but it’s not Facebook. It’s me! So, Facebook and I will continue to take a break AND if it wants to sleep with 250 million other people while we’re on a break, that’s okay by me.

Facebook F*R*I *E*N*D*S

Facebook F*R*I *E*N*D*S

The Venn Diagram of What My Family Can Eat

Every other summer, my family makes the trek across the U-S-A! U-S-A! and then heads north to another country. That country is called CANADA and it is one of our favorite places on earth. First of all, we have family who live there, so it’s always nice to see them. Second of all, I checked, and there are no vagina-sized-bible selling craft stores there. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay, Canada!

Traveling is a challenge for us, because 75% of us are on strict food regimens (and 25% are picky). We have digestive disorders ranging from Ulcerative Colitis to Irritable Bowel Syndrome to severe food sensitivities. I’m sure if I worked for a big corporation, the owner could help me solve all our digestive woes, but — until then — I prepare foods according to various food regimens to help my family not cry out in pain every 30-seconds.

The food regimens include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), a completely badass regimen that calls for absolutely NO complex carbs (no brown rice or sweet potatoes, even!). Anyone who is on it is Completely Adorable AND spends a FUCKLOAD of time in a kitchen.

Also for our eating pleasure we have the low-Fodmap regimen: newer, but taking the digestive world by STORM. That’s probably because it was developed in New Zealand, a country where ZERO douchebags are controlling their female employees’ birth control coverage. Lastly, we have a general soy-free/partial-vegan/low-something-something acid regimen.

Traditionally when we’ve traveled to Canada, I’ve written out a list of all the foods my family can and cannot eat. Needless to say, it was always confusing and of little help. THIS  year, I decided to make a Venn diagram that explains everything clearly and simply. Here it is — the Venn Diagram of What My Family Can Eat. It’s so easy to understand, a female employee can understand it!

food-regimens_MASTER

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A Good Corporation Is Hard To Find

When I was a little girl, I HATED corporations. I thought they were gross!

Then something happened in 6th grade. Our class went on a week-long, overnight field trip to this nature center on the Connecticut shore. I ended up getting this MASSIVE crush on a corporation.

By the end of 7th grade, a corporation asked me out. That corporations didn’t even talk to me when we went to a dance or to play tennis. That corporation was really shy!

Eighth grade was when I started getting a little CORPORATION CRAZY. OHMYGAWD I loved KISSING corporations. I loved talking to corporations on the phone. My first corporation-friend taught me that Led Zeppelin was not a GUY.

By ninth grade I was dating an older corporation. Unfortunately, by the next summer, the corporation lived in Montauk with a girl who would later be voted Best Looking in her class. But, I made-out with that corporation a TON my sophomore year at parties, even though the corporation was still dating Best Looking. Ha!

I went steady with a nice corporation junior and senior years.

College spelled M-E-S-S for me. This is probably because I did not read a bible. JUST KIDDING! It’s because my parents had gotten divorced and when I left high school I came UNHINGED. I ended up with an eating disorder and took some time off. By the time I went back to college, I was mostly attracted to corporations that didn’t LIKE me that much.

Post-college was a time I seemed to be attracted to only JEWISH corporations. To this day, if I’m attracted to a corporation, they are guaranteed to be at least some part Jewish!

At age 25, I met the nicest Jewish corporation I’d ever known. The corporation was kind and loving and — guess what? — the corporation and I got married!

The corporation and I have an egalitarian marriage: we take equal responsibility for our kids and for the work around the house. My only complaint is that the corporation doesn’t do much cooking. Bottom line: the corporation is a GREAT dad and husband.

It’s not easy to find a good corporation. But I highly recommend avoiding Oklahoma.
 

 

 

 

When a Bad Pedicure is Not Better Than Having No Pedicure

I’m really more of a “paint my own toenails while sitting on a beach chair on a sunny day with a friend in my driveway” kind of person, but — given my recent back issues — I can’t even bend over and reach my toes. So, a professional pedicure was “required” right before I was leaving for my 30th high school reunion. I just kinda walked into the nail place and took my chances, but it was pretty crowded, so The Lady told me to come back at 12:30pm.

I arrived promptly at 12:30pm, sat in my chair, put my feet in the water, picked up a People magazine and started reading. After about 15 minutes, I looked up and saw that every single person who worked there was busy with a manicure or pedicure AND there were two women next to me who didn’t even have their feet in the water yet.  The worker who’d TOLD me to come at 12:30pm was giving a pedicures to two high school girls. Hold on…I’m going to give you all the PARENTHETICAL, HIGHLY JUDGMENTAL thoughts I had when I found out the pedicures were for their senior prom:

Why do so many kids get professional pedicures/manicures now? Is it because the services are relatively cheap ($25/$12)? I didn’t have a professional pedicure until I was in my early thirties and pregnant with my first baby. <— clearly makes me better. What happened to draping an old towel over the floor and giving each OTHER pedicures? <– Yeah! And song lyrics you could understand! AND WHY THE FUCK ARE THOSE FUTURE-BITCHEZ NOT IN SCHOOL? In the middle of the day on a Friday?!

Thank you.

So, the lady giving the pedicures to the girls says to me, “As soon as I’m done with these girls, I’ll do you.” Okay, maybe 5 more minutes. The girls’ polish is finally applied, one of them takes off across the room to get her manicure (genius, help me) and I figure I’m gonna get my pedicure soon and get going for the fun weekend. Then The Lady says to Prommer II , “Do you want a manicure?” NO!! Shut up!!! Don’t ask that question!!! I’ve been sitting in this chair that is HURTING MY BACK for 20 minutes now! Did you mean 12:30pm Greeenwich MEAN time?

Here is where I will introduce the foreign language atmosphere of the nail place, which you might  find jingoistic, and for which I apologize. The Lady is Vietnamese, as are all the employees, and as they are polishing our hands and feet, they keep yelling across the room to each other in Vietnamese, which — I guess if you’re working on someone’s FEET — is CLEARLY your prerogative as a way to not THINK about the fact that you’re working on someone’s FEET. But, in some fucked up way, this bugs the shit out of me, mostly because I have NO IDEA what they’re saying and somehow I’ve come to the very ego-centric, highly self-involved feeling that they are ALL BITCHING ABOUT US.

At minute 30 (thirty!), one of the husbands of one of the employees walks in, takes over one of the services and finally The Lady finishes Prommer II’s manicure and begins to work on my feet. Now, I  don’t think it’s a cultural thing when I tell you, The Lady is Completely Batshit Crazy.

Evidence of Crazy — Exhibit A: The Lady starts telling me about how three people were out on vacation that day, which is why I had to wait so long, and she usually works in Worcester, but they called her down to help. And me, being the Champion of Workers Everywhere!, nods in sympathy and continues to soak. She tells the story about how there are 3 people on vacation and how she usually works in Worcester no less than 5 times.

Evidence of Crazy — Exhibit B: The Lady also starts saying how sorry she is that she kept me waiting 30 minutes and that she feels really bad, and do I want a manicure? “No…no thank you. I understand…I know what it’s like to be short-staffed. It’s okay. I just want to get my pedicure (and GO!) and I’m not really into having my fingernails done.” The Lady pushes the manicure like a County Fair salesperson selling cleaning products.

ME: I really need to leave at 2pm, to beat traffic.

HER: It’s okay! I’ll do it at the same time you’re getting your pedicure, you’ll feel like a queen!

ME <thinking she must feel really bad and wants to give me this FREE manicure as a way of saying sorry>: Okay.

One of the men finishes doing a pedicure, moves over to my chair and starts working on my feet while The Lady starts working on my hands. It was VERY NICE and I really DID feel like a queen, UNTIL…

MAN GIVING ME PEDICURE <in Vietnamese and holding up my foot by the heel, for everyone to examine> “????????????????????????????” <— I’m pretty sure he is saying, “Look at her heel! It is in really bad shape. Check out all the unsightly, thick skin!”

ME: <wishing at this point I could speak Vietnamese because I would have said, “DUDE, that is what a HEEL looks like WHEN YOU SOAK IT FOR THIRTY FUCKING MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!>

THE LADY: <points to what can only be described as a CHEESE GRATER>

pedicure_ankle injury

Cheese grated!

Man takes said cheese grater to my heels, then a few minutes later takes a salt rub in his hands and starts massaging it over my feet and calves and I’m thinking, “Owie! Something really stings!” Next thing I know, I’m bleeding from the ankle. The Man has OBVIOUSLY cut me with the cheese grater, but he starts telling me that I must have cut it while shaving. WHAT?! I barely remember to SHAVE MY KNEES! You think I’m going to reach down and SHAVE MY ANKLES??? Blood is dripping into my little chair tub, I’m feeling bad because I’m bleeding ON HIM and then The Lady comes over, wielding a small bottle of what can only be describes as Liquid Drops That When Applied to Bleeding Ankle Will Sting Like A Father Fucker But Stop Said Bleeding.

Further Evidence of Crazy — Exhibits C, D, E & F:

C — When asked what color I want for my fingernails, I ask The Lady to only apply clear nail polish, as I really don’t like having color on my fingernails. She apparently decides that means it’s okay to paint my nails as sloppily as possible and proceeds to covers my finger TIPS (I was pulling the polish off my skin for days). Oh well, it was a “comped” manicure.

D — While painting my FINGERS, she tells me that the person she’s been talking to the most at the shop is HER SISTER and that her sister is the youngest in the family, but she, The Lady, is the prettiest, “Don’t you think?”

E — The Lady now starts pushing me to have my EYEBROWS plucked and I’m all, “NO WAY. I haven’t seen these people in 5-10 years. I need to feel comfortable in my body.” And she goes on and on about this woman who FOUGHT having her eyebrows done and now LOVES it and starts telling me that my eyebrows are really WILD and to this day I look in the mirror and wonder what the fuck she’s talking about, because my eyebrows aren’t so much WILD, as Completely Non-Existent.

F — The Lady moves onto a new service victim (pedicure for an 11 year old) and then gets a call on her cell phone (from one of her Worcester clients, we all learn) and proceeds to put the cell on speaker phone so we can ALL hear the 15 minute conversation (cell phone conversation in English is to across the room conversation in Vietnamese AS anything completely annoying is to anything else completely fucking annoying).

My blood has coagulated, my toe and finger nails have been painted, I’m sent to the dryer and after 10 minutes of clearly being forgotten about, I ask, “Can I pay?” (Can I PLEASE go home so I can finally get on the road?!) The man who releases me asks The Lady “How much should I charge her?” which I understand, EVEN though he says it in Vietnamese, and The Lady, with Exhibit Z of Pure Fucking Crazy, CHARGES me for the manicure.

Tôi sẽ không bao giờ, không bao giờ, không bao giờ quay trở lại đó. Và bao giờ hết. Bạn không nhận được tip, công việc Whack. <— I will never, ever, never go back there. Ever. And you are not getting a tip, whack job.
I didn't even like the color.

I didn’t even like the color.

 

I Peed in My Pants at My 30th Reunion

I am ALWAYS one of the very last people to leave reunion, when the campus is empty, the parking lots are cleared, the dining hall has about four people left in it and the quiet feels like some kind of scary 1970′s television sci-fi drama. The whole thing makes me sad and anxious and then I get this intense, “I have to go home…NOW!” feeling.

The good news is, for the last two reunions, I’ve driven friends home. So reunion didn’t have to end when I left campus.

willy reunion

Not empty

The friend I was driving home this reunion (we’ll call him DAVE) agreed to meet me in the dining hall or on the quad after I was done packing. I ran to the dorm I’d been staying in, quickly changed into something for the ride home, threw all my stuff together and found myself with FIVE bags full of reunion essentials: clothes, shoes, quilt, water, food. Five bags meant two trips to the car.

The first trip was across campus, to the far, far away parking lot. I raced along, lugging all my stuff and sweating like crazy, tripping my way across the “cobble stones” in my no-back CLOGS (they were part of the Sunday outfit I’d planned and packed!). I got to my car, loaded three of my five bags, hopped into the driver’s seat, put down the windows and cranked the A/C.

Before my sweat could cool, I pulled into a parking space right behind the dorm, ran into the dorm, huffed it up the stairs, got my remaining bags, dragged them down the stairs, rolled them outside, put them in the car, got in, put the windows down, cranked the A/C and was ready to find my friend and GO HOME!

To save time, I drove to the school’s main entrance, hoping to drive my car onto campus and park as close to the dining hall as possible. But the main entrance was “officially” closed. I reversed direction and drove BACK to the original, far, far away parking lot and positioned my car right behind the dining hall.

I got out of my car, ran into the dining hall (clogs!) but no friend was to be found. WHUH?!

Okay. Maybe he was waiting for me at the dorm. I ran back to my car, drove back to the space behind the dorm, got out and realized I’d just dropped off my key in the dining hall and wouldn’t be able to get into the dorm’s main door.

Standing outside the dorm, I began to wonder if maybe my friend was in the bathroom next to the dining hall and I’d missed him while he was in THERE . Thinking about THAT made me realize how much **I** needed to pee. So, I got back in my car, disregarded the “officially” closed main entrance, drove up close to the dining hall, threw on my car’s blinkers and ran.

Now, I’m a 47-year-old woman who’s birthed two children and who has probably done ONE set of kegels in her entire life, and that was while stopped at a traffic light, 10+ years ago. It’s not like I need Depends Undergarments ™ or anything, but running? I try NOT to do that guy on a full bladder.

But, there I was, running down the steps, bladder loaded with two pints of water, three cups of morning coffee and a LOT of fruit, so with each step it became: pound, pee, pound, pee, pound, pee. Now, I may be making this up, but I think at that moment, I was mostly disappointed I wouldn’t be able to tell this story AT reunion.

I headed for the bathroom, first stopping to open the men’s room door and call out Dave’s name, but only heard the echo of my voice against the tiled walls. Then finally…FINALLY…I headed into the women’s room. PHEW!

peed_willy map_whole thing

I left the building, ran up the stairs (no worries this time!) and that’s when Dave called out, “Cathy!” I’D FOUND HIM! We could leave!!!!

Epilogue-like thingy: Dave had decided to wait in the dorm common room (apparently one COULD enter the dorm without a key) and we’d just missed each other. Without Dave knowing, when we stopped for gas, I changed my underwear. I didn’t have to change my pants, because I wasn’t wearing pants. I was wearing a skirt (it was the outfit I’d planned!). Plus, “I peed in my skirt at my 30th reunion” didn’t crack me up as much as “I peed in my pants at my 30th reunion” <–hilarious.

It was great to have Dave’s company on the ride home. We kept the reunion going and neither of us felt as sad or as lonely as we did on that empty campus. The best part? We didn’t have to stop ONCE on the way home to pee!

The end.

 

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