Archive for November, 2005
We survived Thanksgiving. I self-medicated with my friend Tanqueray.
Unfortunately for everyone, the highlight of the holiday was when both dogs (of Paris Hilton-esque toy variety, belonging to various family members) decided to pee on my feet in succession during the feast. First the shih-tzu (wearing a lace ruffled collar with sequin menorahs, I hasten to add) relieved herself on my toes. As it was near room-temperature and I was significantly impaired by the Tanqueray, I didn’t fully notice until I caught the miniature dachsund marking her territory (my feet) to cover up the scent of the other dog’s pee. Mildly impaired and covered in dog pee, I shuffled off to the liquor cabinet for another round.
Also, in a slightly impaired fit of totally embarrassing and ridiculous emotion, I cornered my mother-in-law, professing how incredibly lucky I was to have her and father-in-law. You know the feeling. You’ve done it. Is a family holiday the place? I’m not sure, but there I was a blubbering emotional mess droning on and on about how much I love my mother-in-law. And I do, I suppose. And the Tanqueray told me just how much.
The real festivities began, however, when we flew back home and drove – tired and hung over – to Fort Lauderdale to see my parents off on their ten-day cruise to the eastern Carribean, followed by a night in South Beach, Miami (more on South Beach another day, but suffice it to say DO THOSE PEOPLE EVER WEAR CLOTHING?!). I’ve always prided myself on being raised in a highly tolerant household, despite growing up in an area where the KKK had a tremendously strong foothold – a few nights each year, you could see, if you looked very hard, the burning crosses from my dad’s house in Pennsylvania, where the Klan would hold their semi-annual rituals. The only prejudices my parents hold tend to be generational and without malintent. My mother tends to take this to an entirely different level, and makes a concerted effort to ensure her friends are multi cultural. I don’t think she realizes it, but she has created her own rule of Affirmative Action. Whatever her slightly token-esque manifestations, I genuinely have always believed that her intentions are pure, and that I could bring home a man or woman of any race, religion or station in life and he or she would be welcomed.
During Friday night’s pre-cruise dinner, she commented on her eleventy-millionth attractive man. Eleventy millionth attractive black man, a fact that I hadn’t noticed until she busted out with,
“Wow. I just noticed that I only find African American men attractive.” She turned to my stepfather, “So what the hell am I doing with you? I have JUNGLE FEVER, for God’s sake.”
Of course this was said loudly. At dinner. Heaven help us. I can only hope it’s a remote sign of, erm, a misguided attempt at hipness? Was she thinking of Spike Lee? My mother has completely lost her mind.
November 28th, 2005
Halloween was an interesting exercise ’round these parts. First of all, it was EIGHTY DEGREES outside. It was limp, not crisp. I wore shorts. Halloween is not meant for shorts.
It’s also the night I met Boob Neighbor’s daughter. Since all of the doors in our neighborhood are set far back from the street, trick or treat was set up in the driveway. Chairs plunked down, I noticed a rather rotund woman in a folding chair in Les’s driveway. Assuming she was his wife Rosemary, I perkily called out, “Hello! Haven’t seen you for a while!”
“We’ve never met, but I’ve seen you lots of times outside. You work from home for a technology company. You wear a green T-shirt to get the mail a lot.”
Um, okay. Cindy is Lou’s daughter and is rather hefty, with beady little eyes, gigantic glasses and a penchant for oversize turquoise t-shirts with images of airbrushed cats that have been Bedazzled into blinding white sparkles that radiate even in Halloween darkness. She’s 36, has never lived away from home and has not had a job since Clinton was in office. She covers her Pontiac Grand Am with a gigantic tarp every night, even though she keeps it in the garage, like Cameron’s dad in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Except it’s a Pontiac.
Originally from Rochester, while we were chatting, she recounted her family’s difficulty adjusting to living here. Not the brightest bulb, she lamented how dark it gets here in the evenings. As if daylight savings time is only in this state. Her real issue, however, was the lack of availability of the Italian sausages she knew and loved so well.
“The foods here. They’re multicultural, but there is far too much…MEXICAN. In fact, if you ask me, there are far too many Mexicans. In general. Everywhere. Hispanic this, taco that. TACOS. EVERYWHERE THERE IS A TACO STAND.”
And then, the crowning jewel, when she finally picked up on my stunned silence,
“OH MY GOD. You have brown eyes. YOU ARE MEXICAN, AREN’T YOU? I’m so sorry. I mean, no offense. It’s dark outside and I couldn’t see your nationality. Mexicans aren’t that bad. Just most of them. I’m sure you’re very nice.”
I didn’t correct her.
November 10th, 2005
First of all, thank you for all of your emails, notes and comments. I’m touched beyond words, and you’ve all made a HEYOOGE difference. Thank you.
Secondly, I went to the therapist. It was pretty much one gigantic relief to hear her say, “You don’t have to live like this. You’re making yourself sick and it WILL get better.”
Ahh, the ever-elusive validation.
And can I also mention that I quit my job? Yes, November 11th, I will be a free woman. They are extraordinarily upset and trying to make me feel guilty, but honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement, for it was the right thing to do for me. I slept THROUGH THE NIGHT last night for the first time since I moved here. Awoke to the alarm in a heavy, deep dream with drool on my pillow after a full eight – EIGHT! – hours. I don’t deserve such joy!
At any rate, one thing that pushed us over the edge for me to quit was the absolutely pathetic medical coverage the job offered. It was fine in Boston, but down here, I’m covered by a total of two doctors within a 50-mile radius. And not for lack of doctors here. So it was pretty sad that I couldn’t get coverage, and that for some reason, the insurance company thought it was okay that the only endocrinologist I could go to was 70 miles away and didn’t speak English, despite a pressing medical need. And what’s worse, I couldn’t get on Adam’s until I was no longer employed (something about open-enrollment timing bullshit).
Anyway, a while back I’d made an appointment for the gynecologist (whee!) for today, with someone in my PPO network. As I was driving to the appointment, I didn’t really think much of the somewhat-seedy neighborhood whizzing by the windows, as the area is undergoing gentrification (read: get rid of the poor people to make room for McMansions. Argh) of sorts that means you could be in the ‘hood one moment, passing by mansions the next. However, my apathy came to a grinding halt when I pulled up to the in-network gynecologist, which was situated snugly between a pawn shop, its “CASH FOR GOLD” sign blaring in all of its neon grandeur at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, and a Western Union station that boasted, “CHECKS CASHED TODAY. PAY UTILITY BILLS HERE!”
When I peeked into the “gynecologist,” I noticed that the interior resembled the bus station in Syracuse. Plastic chairs bolted to the ground (you know, in case patients want to steal them), screaming children and sickly looking mothers with tear-stained faces and clothes that hadn’t been washed since January. A man with fingernails longer than I’ve ever seen was trimming his cuticles with a penknife, with a look in his eye that told me that penknife had seen some action.
I fled. I just…RAN, visions of an ether-soaked cloth being pulled over my nostrils so my ovaries could be pawned for cash, urging me to pull away frantically, tires squealing. Thank God I’ll be on Blue Cross Blue Shield in a few weeks, instead of Bob’s Tackle Shop and Health Insurance.
It’s going to be okay.
*Today’s blog/song title brought to you by David Gray, also covered by Bonnie Raitt.
November 1st, 2005