Author of Breasts Don't Lie

Archive for the ‘life transitions’ Category

Friends in Chicken, Forever

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Around each new year, I think about something I want to continue into the next twelve months. 2018 was a year of pain and transition – some of it graceful but mostly serious and strained. In 2019, I want to return to the goofy, crazy woman I was in graduate school. Renew my belief in myself. And the easiest way to do that is with the backing of friends.

This is what I mean:

In the middle of graduate school, my then-husband ran off with a younger woman. Not such an unusual event except I was barely twenty-seven and she was barely legal. For six months, I lived on my friend’s couch in a dorm at NCSU. The couch unfolded into a horrible bed with two bars placed in the exact intervals to cause me the most pain. Also, the mattress sagged to such a degree that if I didn’t wedge my feet against a bar, I slid down the middle of the mattress and onto the floor. Which happened a few times until I got the wedging perfect. But it didn’t matter.

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My friend and I had a blast rampaging through the dorms that summer. All the residents had taken off. Slime coated the building’s walls – that didn’t stop us. We moved the furniture into the middle of the room. We took turns going to 8 am classes. The other person slept in. When we had the money, we ate chicken wings at eleven o’clock at night – the joint across the street delivered. We grilled on a hibachi on the front steps of a century-old building.  I sported an Annie Lennox flat-top, and people kept asking about my sexual orientation, including one professor – yick. My friend tried for the wild child award – she got close.

We had each other’s back. We brought out the strength in each other. Like the time we heard a noise late at night. Really late on a July night when the university had closed up for the summer. The whole Quad was dark. Trees and buildings blended in the inky dark. Not another person within yelling distance. All 97 pounds of my friend took up the only weapon, a bat, gave it a good swing, and handed me a tennis racket with broken strings. She told me to lob the intruder down the hall and she’d bash the person into submission. This was pre-cell phone days, and we had forgotten to pay the BellSouth bill. We checked each room, always stalking into the hall to check on each other. We never found where the noise came from, but we checked it out – bat and racket in hand. Two brave and slightly foolish young women cracking jokes in the dark. After the adrenaline wore off, we ordered some chicken wings. It was a stellar night.

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I want that woman back. She’s still in me somewhere. I want the chutzpah, the adventurous life that’s messy but feeds my heart and soul. That’s my goal for 2019.

To every woman in 2019, may you unearth the glorious and slightly dangerous woman inside you! For everyone else, be friends with the creative, foolish, brave, and messy women in your life. They’ll have your back. You’ll laugh together.

Time for chicken wings.

(Images by pexels.com and morguefile.com)

 

I clot you not!

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Today the coffee machine got the better of me. It’s a Keurig and I’ve been able to avoid the creation for a while – I’m a French press kind of gal. But needing some respite from stairs, I’m living at my partner’s sister’s house for the first little bit after leaving the hospital. I cried – for many things.

I had my right hip replaced. Let me tell you what that entails – they strap you onto a table. Never been high on my list of things to do – sounds too much like a bad BDSM novel. Luckily I was out because I was probably naked when this happened. Back to the BDSM novel – “50 Shades of Titanium.” And surrounded by doctors, nurses, aides, electricians, plumbers, and probably an IT person or three. Geez, now I’m blushing.

The doctor makes an incision, supposed to be 2-3 inches long around the front of my thigh. I have big “ugly veins” there so my incision is along my hip and runs closer to six inches. This means everything rubs against it, chafes it, irritates it, and I cry a lot about the deep purple bruise running from my knee to my groin.

The doctor, from Mike’s Mufflers and Hips, whacked off the top of my leg bone, tore out the knob from my pelvic joint capsule and hammered a deep spike into my leg bone with the new joint. Hopefully my bone will grow around it. He sewed it back together, and I have a lovely Bride of Frankenstein scar in time for Halloween.

I must have been on lots and lots of painkillers because the next day, I could walk around my hospital room. Then things started to knit together which is good and hurts like shit. But I didn’t feel it in the hospital. When the social worker discharged me on Thursday, I had to buy a walker, my insurance would not cover it, and come up with another blood thinning regimen, again my insurance would not cover it. Never buy or support Molina – the armpit of insurance companies. I guess they haven’t figured out that I’m a mean little clotter and will sue the ever-living shit out of them if I throw a clot (and survive). Molina Insurance, be afraid, be very afraid.

The staff gave me lots of drugs in the hospital, the painkiller kind, along with Colace and MiraLAX. They should have given me more, Colace and MiraLAX that is. There is no worse feeling than going five days without pooping. I will never take my GI track for granted again.

I guess until things are further along in the healing process, then the little things will continue to throw me for a loop. I hope my new hip doesn’t come with as many directions as the coffee maker. I thought I had things under control but if a coffee maker can reduce me to tears, I guess not …

(image used by permission – morguefile.com)

Times, They are a Changing

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Usually, after Yom Kippur, which finished at sundown last night, I feel encouraged to go out in the world and do good deeds, fight the good fight, and so on.

This year, I want to go back to bed, eat chocolate, binge on Netflix and cry. I’m in a shitty transition time – it’s not fun, and I’m not fun to be around … I’ve become a bit of a grump.

I don’t think it’s age. I think this is just a shitty time – waiting for a hip replacement, knowing it knocks out long-held dreams and dreading the months of recovery.

So last night, I cooked. I broke all the Jewish dietary laws in one swoop. I made pasta with bacon, onions, peppers, and shrimp, covered in cheese. It was good, even great. Exactly what I needed. I had two helpings and waited for divine retribution. Nothing happened, not even indigestion.

This unholy culinary twitch was triggered by a supposedly innocuous statement by a dental assistant. After balancing a series of pointy sticks on my chest, she asked about the hip replacement. I was trying hard not to cry. Then she started with “God never gives you more than you can handle,” and continued with the equally moronic statement, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

What a crock of shit.

Tell that to the people whose homes have been flooded.

To a couple who lost a baby.

To a person who has been mugged, assaulted, beaten.

Yeah, go ahead and try smothering them with platitudes. See what happens.

These well-wishers dismiss the pain, the existential despair, and suffering of being human and thoughtful. Being a person is difficult – thinking, empathy, feeling, navigating your world and the world of others takes energy and kindness.

So for the new year, I am going to work on kindness – giving more into the world by acknowledging when people, myself included, are in shitty places. I’m not going to deny people their pain. Maybe I’ll make them some pasta.

 

 

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