Category Archives: Oops. Fell off the positivity wagon.

My doctor wouldn’t know a brain tumor if it was growing right out of my skull

Luckily I don’t have a lot of time. Because if I did, I would probably spend a good 4-5 days a week at the doctor’s office because God knows that I am a very sick person who just doesn’t have proof of it yet.  My company gave us a week off between Christmas and New Year’s so I seized the opportunity to make an appointment with my doctor.

I told them I wanted to come in so that the doctor would give me something for my skin so that I wouldn’t have zits all the time.  I think it’s a cruel, cruel world when a 35 year old woman has to endure big ass zits on her chin and jaw line all the time even while on the Pill that is supposed to help acne.  I’ve already written about all my major issues around this before, but it bears repeating that my hormones are fucked up and because of it my face is a hot mess.  And I’m SO done with it.  So I’m willing to try whatever it is he can give me to make this all stop. And stop now. And soon.

But between the time that I made that appointment and the time it actually took place, I have had multiple reasons to believe that I have a brain tumor in its earliest form.  Here is the evidence, and you tell me if this doesn’t SCREAM brain tumor:

1) I love Pitbull.

2) I was on a plane and all of a sudden my vision got all blurry and sparkly and I couldn’t read my Kindle because my eyes couldn’t focus right. After about 20 minutes it went away, but isn’t that totally, “WTF?” material?

3) When I exercise (I know! I have begun exercising for the first time since 2002 because I paid mas dinero for a Disney cruise in February and I will be forced to spend significant time in a bathing suit) my left ear feels all stuffed up and it feels like there is water in there. I hear buzzing and beeping in there too.

4) Sometimes I wake up with a headache. It usually goes away after a few minutes, but I’m not a headache type of person even if I did polish off 3 or 4 glasses of wine the night before, so it seems unusual.

5) I have started to spell things wrong. I’m just typing emails and I’ll spell words completely wrong that I would never do otherwise. So I mean, Whoa! That sucker must be getting large  if it is enough to impair my generally impeccable spelling. (Although I will admit I never spell knowlege right – I forget the damn ‘d’ in there all the time.)

So as you can see, when taken all together, those symptoms show irrefutable evidence of a stage IV brain tumor.

I decided that if I actually came out and told the doctor I wanted a brain MRI, he would probably resist me,  so I thought I would give him the incontrovertible evidence of the brain tumor that I have carefully cataloged above and it would be so obvious that the next step was to do a brain MRI just for the physical evidence of the tumor.  You know, people like ideas better when they think it is their idea, so I figured I could easily get him to this conclusion on his own.  I mean, it’s quite obvious to me and I don’t even have medical training.

So the day arrives and I have carefully rehearsed my whole list of symptoms so that the doctor will see the gravity of my current health situation.  This is how it went:

Doctor: So you’re here about your acne?

Love: Yes. Well, originally, I was and we need to discuss that, but I have other concerns now that I think I should talk to you about.

Doctor: Like?

Love: Well, I have begun to work out and when I do jumping jacks, my left ear feels like its all plugged up…

Doctore: Well, let’s have a look-see… *comes at me quickly with that light-up teepee instrument and puts it my ear* Everything looks clear.  Are you having trouble hearing?

Love: Well, sometimes my kids say stuff when we’re in the car and I can’t really hear them over the music I’m singing along to.  I just nod and pretend I do. But I have no idea what they’re saying.  I just hope I’m not agreeing to be a room parent or something scary like that.

Doctor: Hmm. Well, I can give you a referral to an audiologist if you would like. He can give you a hearing test.

Love: Well, there is some other stuff.

Doctor: Like?

Love: Well, I was on a plane the other day and my vision got blurry and when I closed my eyes it was all sparkly instead of black.

Doctor: Hmm. How long did that last?

Love: Like, 15 or 20 minutes. But it made me very uneasy and I couldn’t really read my Kindle during that time, so it was very weird.

Doctor: And have you had anything like that since?

Love: Well, no….but that was two weeks ago. It could happen again any time.

Doctor: Hmm. Well, maybe go see your ophthalmologist about that.

Love: Well, and I’m not spelling as great as I used to.

Doctor: What?

Love: Well, I tried spelling ‘disintegrate’ the other day and I just totally fucked it up.

*doctor’s eyebrow goes up*. FINALLY! He is starting to grasp the gravity of the situation.

Doctor: You feel you aren’t spelling well?

Love: Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying.

Doctor: Hmm.  So about this acne? Your face looks a little dry. But I can see some of the cysts.

Love: I’m sure I’m hormonally imbalanced. I don’t want to be on the Pill but if I get off of it my face will erupt in the angriest *air quotes* cysts *end air quotes* you’ve ever seen.  It is crappy.

Doctor: Well, sometimes that happens. Nothing topical can really help the hormone induced acne, but I could give you some topical antibiotics and a referral to a dermatologist.

(Does this fuck know anything? He has mentioned every kind of specialist except the one I need, which is the McDreamy neurosurgeon.  I’m starting to lose patience).

Love: Okay, but maybe we should do blood tests or — I don’t know — maybe some sort of procedure just to be safe about what might be happening.

Doctor: Hmm. *he types furiously on his computer* So I’m going to write you a script for the antibiotics and some Flonase for the ear thing.  I’ll also give you the number for an audiologist, dermatologist, gynecologist for the hormones and I’m sure you have an ophthalmologist?

Love: Well, don’t all of these things I’m telling you…you know, when taken together…suggest something? I mean, I’m no doctor but they all seem like maybe something in my brain could be wrong?

*Doctor chuckles condescendingly*

Doctor: I don’t think what you’ve told me suggests that at all.  Your ear is plugged, you have acne, once your vision was blurry and sometimes you spell a word wrong.

Love: *desperation is setting in* WAIT! I forgot to tell you I have headaches some mornings. And I never have headaches.

Doctor: Some mornings? How often? How long do they last?

Love: I don’t know. Maybe three times a week? They last about 10 minutes.

Doctor: What is your pain level and where is the pain?

Love: Well, its kind of hurty. And its in my head, like I said.

Doctor: Do you take Advil for it?

Love: No, because it usually goes away before I have time to take one.

Doctor: Hmm. My nurse will be in to give you your scripts.  See those specialists and we’ll work through these issues.  Have a great New Year!

Love: Wait! But wait! I mean, you don’t seem concerned that I may have a…..a…..BRAIN TUMOR.  (It was time to spell it out for this ass clown.)

*doctor LOLs and backs away toward the door*

Doctor: You’re funny. Have a nice day.  See you in six months? Hope the antibiotics work on the acne…

Love: (mutters under my breath) Dude, I may not be alive in six months. Thanks for nothing.

Maybe I should’ve told him about Pitbull too. Maybe that is where this all went wrong but I just couldn’t trust that he would understand the significance of that data.

So here I am. MRI-less. With a brain tumor (probably) and all I can do is write this blog and then when my brain collapses in a couple of months I’ll have this entry to show everyone “I told you so!”. But then I’ll die and I won’t really have time to tell my doctor about how terrible he is for missing such obvious signs.  I bet if Oprah was his patient he wouldn’t have taken this so lightly.

But I do have a Plan B.  I’m going back to my psychic in February and although it is her policy not to tell you that you have cancer if you do, I think I can get it out of her if the dead people are corroborating my suspicions.  Dead ancestors don’t lie.

And by the way, my zits are still here and my ear is still plugged. So much for modern medicine.

Three’s Company

**I am a regular contributor to the It Builds Character parenting site. (Yeah, I know – they let me write about parenting! Whaa?)  Anyway, this was one of mine originally published there in March 2011.  I thought it might be worthy of share on (Love) Notes because I feel too lazy to write something new today . **

When I had my first baby 6 years ago, everything, including the baby, was perfect. I got pregnant about six seconds after going off birth control, and the baby held off entering this world until I could graduate from business school the day earlier. He slept a lot and ate a lot. I sat around my house watching Oprah and Dr. Phil and everything else on daytime TV wondering, “What is everyone complaining about? Babies are easy!” When he was awake, my kid was always smiling and he was cute too. He didn’t have any health issues, allergy issues, sleep issues – nothing. My husband I brought him out to dinner with friends, baseball games, the grocery store, and he just sat there content the whole time. He was so good, there was an uneasy part of me that thought maybe he was the second coming of Christ, which would mean my husband wasn’t his biological father, and that could make things awkward if anyone ever found out. I eventually decided that since no wise men came to the hospital when he was born, I probably wasn’t the mother of God, but then again, maybe they just got lost – that place was really confusing.

The point is, having a baby didn’t really change our lives at all. We were well rested and had no reason to fight because our baby was perfect and so were our lives.

So when my son was 18 months old, I was all about having Number Two because kids were so easy and all those other parents were kind of whiners. Maybe they just weren’t doing everything right like I was – even though what I was doing I just made up everyday and my kid turned out totally perfect and above-average, which kind of proved that I just have a really natural penchant for child-rearing and really great genes. Man, was my son lucky I was so full of Awesome.

But when it was time for Number Two, things didn’t go exactly like Number One. Getting pregnant? Not so easy this time. And I don’t tolerate failure well, so I was naturally a joy to live with from the time I didn’t get pregnant immediately to the almost year later it took to conceive. I am kind of surprised my husband ever consented to sex after that again, because I regularly screeched things like, “We need to have sex precisely between 8:03pm and 8:11pm today or else I won’t get pregnant for yet another month!” and “I hope you have been following Section 3.1.2 of the Conception Rule Book I authored which states no alcohol, loose underwear and no masturbation. Be showered, shaved and ready to perform when I beckon. Failure is not an option.” So, needless to say, our sex life was truly awe-inspiring – not in a good way.

Eventually he finally did it right and I finally got pregnant with Number Two, who would surely turn out to be as perfect as Number One. Because after all, past performance is the best predictor of future performance, right? Number Two was born two days after Number One’s third birthday. I didn’t really prepare all that much because babies were easy and he could wear all his brother’s old clothes and he would like all the same stuff as Number One and this would be even simpler than Number One, so what was the point? My in-laws came into town a couple of weeks after the baby was born and we decided now would be a great time for my father-in-law and husband to renovate the family room by themselves. Because kids were easy, so I wouldn’t really need much help and who needs a family room in tact anyway?

Weeell, so Number Two wasn’t a clone of Number One. He cried a little more. He was gassy. After a few weeks, he began to projectile vomit. And then suddenly Perfect Number One was whiny and withdrawn and seemed to want constant attention as if that was what he was used to before this baby was born. Oh wait….right. And then on top of that, I was the lucky winner of a little bout of postpartum depression, so one of my favorite activities was sitting in my room crying for no reason. Nice. Within no time at all our perfect family of three became a sad, dysfunctional family of four. It turned out Number Two had a rare condition that required surgery to fix and without going into all the gory details, Year One of having two kids sucked. Really sucked hard.

And, I had to deal with the realization that I actually wasn’t the best parent ever, because Number One and Number Two were hard to deal with individually, and collectively. They drove my husband and I insane more than a few times and Wally and the Beav never did that to June and Ward. Perhaps we all weren’t as perfect as I had imagined. We had all we could handle with two kids and two full-time jobs and keeping our marriage out of the Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger range, so we decided we were all finished with kids. After surviving that first year, it looked like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Our sons were healthy and happy and we were sleeping again. We were done. Thank God.

That was until about 15 months ago when I miraculously got pregnant again. Maybe I was to be the virgin mother of God after all. I mean, the odds of me getting pregnant were about equal to the odds of Oprah and Gayle breaking up – which has miracle written all over it. I’m still confused how you can try for a year and have no luck and then when you are doing your best not to, you get pregnant. I guess stuff happens. Well, to us at least.

I wasn’t thrilled. I was scared. We just barely made it through two – how on earth was I going to make it through another? This time my depression started immediately upon the discovery of pregnancy of Number Three. We had to move from the city to the suburbs. We had to get rid of the sedan and find a car that could fit three car seats. We had to become just like “real” parents and real adults that shuttle a bunch of kids around all weekend long. We had to change everything. And I wasn’t happy about it. I had gone from The Best Mother of All Time just six short years before to The Worst Mother of All Time Because I’m Really Super Not Excited About Another Baby.

And then we found out Number Three was a girl. Everyone delighted in exclaiming “You got your girl!” like I was going to keep having kids until I had a girl. I knew boys. I like boys. What on earth was I going to do with a girl? I spent most of the pregnancy disturbed and in denial as we sold our house, moved to the suburbs and turned into the nuclear family cliché. I thought I outsmarted the suburban gods by saying no to the minivan, but then I realized my gas guzzling, insanely huge SUV I had to buy to fit my entire litter was about as original as any Nickelback song you can think of. I would have saved some face buying the minivan.

But then a funny thing happened. Number Three was born and the world didn’t crumble. My life didn’t end. In fact, it got richer. I was in love with my daughter the second I held her. I can’t believe I spent so much time pissed off I was pregnant when I look at those three kids playing together. Having three kids is actually better than having two. Number One and Number Two keep each other busy and they are turning out to be insanely great big brothers and Number Three is not only the cutest kid in the universe, but she started sleeping through the night at three weeks. It makes me think – “Hey, this is easy!! What is everyone complaining about? Maybe we should have a couple more!?”

I think I just heard my husband smash his head into the counter and then chug his glass of wine.

Is that a no?

Seriously, I hate you.

I first noticed the bane of my existence, Franny and Milhouse (names invented since I don’t actually know their real names) about a year ago when I moved to the damn suburbs and had to start taking the train into work.  The express train I take is about 35 minutes to downtown.  The first time I saw them, they had walked up to the front of the car near the doors of the train about 15 minutes before we got into the station.  Franny had a worried, sad expression just like Droopy Dog.  Her husband was by her side with a look of concern and deep, deep, deep, deep enduring love on his face as they stood there, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes.  On a train.  At 7:15 in the morning.  And as they stood there staring at each other, at times he would softly kiss her forehead and sometimes they would hug, and then they would always go back to looking into each other’s eyes and always with the same expressions  — she looking forlorn and somewhat constipated and him staring at her like she is an orphan about to die of starvation.  All this, standing there in the middle of the aisle on the damn train in front of about 50 people.

So the first time I see this, I think “God! Was she just diagnosed with terminal cancer or something?”  These two are fucking intense.  I wonder if it bothers them at all to stand in front of all of the sleepy, seated commuters on a train for 15 minutes and make slow, sad love to one another with their eyes? But maybe something absolutely horrible has happened to them and they don’t even care because they are so traumatized.  It’s kind of embarrassing for them, and me, but I’ll let it go.  I hope she gets cured.  I hope they stay together.  They are so obviously in love.

And then the next day came and there they were again doing all the same shit. And then the next day, and the next.  And after a few days of this, I’ve had enough. It was all I could do not to stand up and scream “Get a fucking room you silly stupid ass wipes! What the hell is the matter with you?”

Nobody could convince me that Franny has ever smiled with her eyes in her entire lifetime. Ever. Franny must be the most depressed, victimized, Eeyore-like person in the universe.  She better have a fucking crazy tough life carrying around that constant pained expression and sucking any positive energy out of the entire train car, leaving a vacuum of desolation and depression.  I think that Milhouse is under the impression that only his dutiful hugs and kisses  keep her from committing suicide every morning and I find myself praying that one day he would stop and let her get it over with so I could enjoy one single fucking day on the train.

If I had to spend more than 4 minutes with Franny I would probably eviscerate myself with a fork  just to get out of her path of misery.  There were times when I felt bad for Milhouse because he has to tend to the needs of the most high maintenance, soul sucking individual on the planet. But then it dawned on me that he doesn’t have to. He LOVES this. This drama played out every morning. He is addicted to this woman’s dysfunction.  I mean, he is as jacked as she is if he has the stomach to be replaying this scene over and over every. single. fucking day in front of an entire train car of people who want them both dead. (I haven’t taken a poll, but how could my fellow commuters not be as infuriated by this shit as I am?)

So I switched train cars to get away from them.  Their shenanigans made me feel homicidal thoughts for the first time in my life and I was worried for their safety. I started day dreaming about punching her in face until I couldn’t see it any more and I’ve never had thoughts like that in my life.  I was scared and surprised about my own visceral reaction to these two. I mean, why do I hate them so thoroughly with my whole being? What about them loving each other sick is so abhorrent to me?

Well, I had to make this stop, so I switched train cars to avoid them.  And that worked! For a day.  But on the second day in my new car where I could feel calm, peace and love?  Oh shit. Franny and fucking Milhouse apparently decide to move a car up, like they are stalking me, and once again in front of an entire train and hold each other and kiss each other and look intensely at one another in the eyes.  Sometimes she would whisper something and then his concern would grow and he’d rub her back and brush the hair from her forehead. Or he would cup both of his hands around her little face and whisper something back. I’ve never heard a single word of what these two are saying, but I imagine in a Mystery Science Theater sort of way that she’s like, “My little toe hurts again. I’m not sure if I can make it.” and then he says, “Darling, if I could take your pain away I would. But instead I’ll just treat you like a sick infant, and I’ll be concerned for your life 100% of this train ride. I love you, Schmoopie.”  and then she looks down sadly because Milhouse should have said something else like, “Darling, I will get down on my hands and knees and suck on your little toe if that will make it feel better.” But he didn’t, and so she must mope some more, all alone in this world and so very sad that her husband isn’t taking her pain away.

So now what? I could not shake these two, but I finally felt grateful I had gotten myself knocked up with kid #3 and finally I could go on maternity leave and Franny and Milhouse and all of their infinite problems they are solving with their intense, infinite love on the train each morning would disappear.  After a week or two, their specter no longer haunted me and truthfully, I forgot all about them. I was sort of busy.

Seven weeks later,  I go back to work and I have to drop my baby girl off at daycare and I’m a mess and as I’m walking to the train station, some guy runs past me like he is trying to beat the world record in the 100 meters. And lo and behold – I recognize him. It is fucking Milhouse.  Seriously, God? Today? These two? Fuck me.

So where the hell is Franny? I thought she and Milhouse were Siamese married people.  How does he expect her to survive without having his face within 6 inches of hers?  “Maybe they divorced!? Maybe she is finally dead!” I thought hopefully.  Well, that would not explain why he was running so fast with his messenger bag flopping all over the place.  He must have dropped our Franny off at the station and went to park the car and though the train wouldn’t be arriving for another 12 minutes, he was running like it was leaving the station.

Yup. Franny was standing there waiting for him with an expression on her face as if he accidentally poured cyanide instead salt into the soup and she was really serious today about jumping in front of the train because of his inadequacy. Very disappointed in him. He didn’t run fast enough I guess. Or perhaps he had screwed up everything already that morning, putting her in a fragile state that only staring into his pleading eyes would ever remedy.  UGH. Kill me now.

But then they did something I could not believe!  They separated for a few minutes! Each lined up on the platform so that they were each on one side of the throng of people waiting so they could hedge their bets so when the train pulled in one of them would be close to the door and could snag a seat where they could sit together.  So clever. I think they were probably texting the whole time just to ensure that Franny was okay as she stood waiting for the train 12 feet and 12 bodies away from her husband.

I realized then I had only seen them in that last half of the ride but apparently, they have to sit together on the train (of course) and if they can’t find a suitable seat where they can sit together, she sits down next to a random stranger and he stands there in the aisle, holding her hand, rather than finding another seat himself. I mean AREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?! These two have no shame. That guy has no balls. It makes my stomach turn.

So now you know about Milhouse and Franny. I’m sorry to tell you that there is no happy ending to this story.  They still ride the train with me every morning. I have switched cars to be even farther away from them, so my mornings have been filled with peace, optimism and calm for the most part because they haven’t found me yet.

But, the story has taken a sad twist.  Franny appears to be pregnant.  I pray for that unborn child everyday.  I cannot imagine the hell on earth that awaits that child when she meets her mother.  I don’t think there is any way in hell that this is going to turn out well for that kid, because her mother’s needs are so vast, I’m sure the baby’s need for food and nurturing and love pale in comparison.  And watch out Milhouse! You spend more than 3 minutes with that child and enjoy it, Franny will have your ass on a platter. You will wish you were never born.

But the good news for me is that this baby might just mean that Franny and Milhouse will no longer ride the train together because she will be institutionalized and he’ll have to stay home with the baby and I can finally get on with being my loving, kind self again. I love happy endings.

Wine snob

I started a new job in June. When you’re thinking about taking a new job, you think about the actual work involved and what they are going to pay you and if there is free food, but all that goes out the window on your first day when you realize you’re the new kid and you have no friends at this place.  So I was pretty pumped to get an invitation  from one of my new co-workers regarding a wine party at her house.  She said all we had to do is bring our favorite bottle of red.  I felt like that was a sign from God that I had finally arrived in the right place because red wine and I are closer than Jada and Marc Anthony were last week. Red wine is my fucking specialty.

This party would give me a chance to introduce BD to all my new co-workers and in turn, I would get to meet their spouses.  I always hate when you know someone at work forever and you’ve never met their spouse.  Because really, there is nothing more interesting and shocking to me on God’s green earth than meeting your co-workers’ spouses. Well, and that Charlie Sheen continues to find crazies to have his children.

I always create this detailed idea in my mind about what my coworkers’ spouses look like.  Dudes that I would have dated when I was single I imagine with really hot, cool wives.  Dudes that I are d-bags? They have super ugly, dumpy wives.  And the cool women I work with have hot hubbies and the bitchy ones have gay husbands.  Unfortunately, my track record on guessing what someone’s spouse is like is about as good as Kirstie Allie’s on staying away from ice cream.  Suffice to say there are a lot of clown couples in this world. But these type of parties generally have me sitting back and marveling to myself (before two glasses of wine) about how on earth some total zero landed his wife and then after two glasses I marvel to my colleagues about it. Needless to say, I have had my fair share of CLMs (career limiting moves) at parties such as these.

But I’m pretty pumped for this party because BD and I will have to go into the city for this one, which is like a bona fide, full-on real date like the kind we had before we produced our litter.  I mean, the babysitter is going to have to stay until after 10pm. After 10 pm!  I’m going to miss the beginning of Saturday Night Live! Aww, yeah. Big pimpin’ baby.

I need to take this seriously. The wine choice is paramount. The instructions were to “bring your favorite bottle of red”.  I felt some pressure. I mean, I drink a half bottle of red wine every damn night. And that is kind of an expensive and time consuming habit, because I’m kind of particular about the alcohol I imbibe. I have spent hours in agonizing over wine choices at the liquor store – finding good ones under $15 is an art. An art! (which, fortunately, I have mastered).

While we’re on that subject: let me just tell the 12 of you who read this whole Internet that those $9.99 bottles with the Kangaroo on them? Are shit. You already know that, right? When people bring that to my house as a hostess gift I want to just smash it on the doorstep the second I see it.  Not out of anger, but just because I could kill two birds with one stone: my dehydrated hydrangeas would finally be watered and I could quickly and safely dispose of that toxic waste before my children were exposed.   The issue is that you can’t even re-gift the shit, because as a wine snob, I sure as hell am not going to give that to someone I actually like and/or respect.  So really, the only thing that kind of wine is good for is donating to the crazy homeless alcoholics who hang out at the local food pantry along with my expired garbanzo beans to find someone who can really appreciate that shit together, or smashing it on my doorstep as soon as it is presented by people who clearly hate me.  Or don’t know me at all. Cue the Weepies.

But back to the momentous situation at hand: my wine selection. I’m terrified if everybody brings their favorite bottle, that might mean that we drink them in some sort of order and if I actually bring my favorite I’ll become pretty surly if it’s like the bottle people drink after they are already smashed and they don’t know what the hell they are doing.  On the other hand, if I just bring my everyday go-to $13.99 bottle, I might look like I’m unsophisticated and don’t really know the difference between the wine you get drunk on every night versus the wine you get drunk on on your anniversary.

So I discussed with BD and he suggested the bottle of wine we always ordered at our favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago (word up, Via Veneto).  It cost $65 there, but its only about $25 in real life at the liquor store.  I liked his idea.  The wine had some sentimental cache for us, plus if we would routinely pay $65 for it, it had to be insanely great, right?  The decision was made and I was okay with it.  It’s an awesome wine, but not too expensive so if it gets opened last, I’m not going to shed tears all over the place. Not like I would if I had brought my true fave and people didn’t bow down and worship it like Bobby loves Whitney. So we went with it – the David Bruce Petite Sirah — the very wine I happen to be guzzling sipping as I write this.

The big night arrives. I dress up our wine. Well, as much as I’m capable of dressing up anything. It had a paper bag on it. It was a sparkly purple one with some bling that I felt was a nice nod to Martha Stewart and Jay-Z together. I found it in a drawer somewhere and wondered if perhaps the Artist Formerly known as Prince had once presented me with a hostess gift? Not sure.  Anyway, that is about as crafty as I get,  so it was kind of a big deal for me.  We show up and I’m still a tad nervous because I’ve only worked with these people a month and I don’t know what they’re really like.  They seem pretty cool at work. Maybe a little too intense for my taste,  but good people nonetheless.

So we get there a half hour “late”, but we were the first people there, so right off the bat? Dorks.  So much for being fashionable.  Then the hostess tells us to write our name on the bottle and then to wrap it in a plain paper bag. Well, maybe this is for the best because I’m starting to really regret my sparkly purple bag. The sooner it disappears, the better.  I’m totally back in junior high with a fucking Timex and Lee mom jeans when everyone else has Guess and Swatch.

I’m shaken from my insecurity by the news that at this party, we’re having a blind tasting where everyone submits their wine and they all look the same in the paper bags and then we rate each bottle.  PLUS, we put $5 in a pot and then whoever wins for best wine wins the pot.  And I can’t stand to lose. I don’t care what the competition is (well, except if it involves running, swimming, biking or all three) — I’m going to fucking win.  You know, this was almost unfair.  I mean, I am the queen of wine and even though I didn’t bring my favorite, we brought a fucking contender. Surely some ass clown will bring the stupid $9.99 wine referenced above, and even those who don’t will likely bring a terrible bottle because nobody has the sophisticated taste for red wine that I have so carefully honed the last 15 years.

So an hour later, the place is packed and for once in my life, everybody’s spouse matches. They all turn out to be kind of awesome and beautiful and there are no clown couples to be found.  Because OMG, now I work with normal people.  Wait. *Love has an a-ha moment* If they aren’t clowns, could this mean that they too might know something about wine? Something more than I do with my infinite wine wisdom? I start to feel a twinge of anxiety. I will not be beat at my own game!  But I make the best of it. Maybe I’ll discover an even better bottle than the one I brought.

Yeah, right.  Mine will win.

The wine tasting begins.  There are eight bottles to judge.  I immediately try to figure out which bottle is mine, so I can rate it the highest. But I can’t figure it out just by looking at them. The bottles are too dressed up. Damn. Cheating is not going to work.

I don’t know if you’ve actually done this before, but tasting eight different reds in the span of a half hour is highly int(r)oxicating. I consider myself kind of a heavy weight given my daily wine consumption, but at the end of that exercise I was loaded. I could barely see the rating sheet, let alone figure out on a scale from 1 to 5 what my rating was.  So I decided the best route was to cheat off BD’s paper.  Our tastes on wine are the same, so that is a no brainer.  He would recognize our wine and give it a 5.  And I would copy him since I was too drunk to figure out what the hell I was doing.  And we would win.

So I glanced over there after about my 3rd or 4th wine rating and something was awry.  Every wine I gave a high rating, he gave a low rating. I mean, WTF? We share a bottle of wine every night. Surely we should agree on the quality of the wine before us? Right?  Maybe BD’s ‘2’ was actually a ‘5’ he wrote backwards because he is drunk too. Or maybe that was me.

So I couldn’t cheat off that bastard because he wasn’t keeping it real like me.  So I had to do my best to drink each wine, figure out which one was mine, and judge all the others poorly which is really a lot to ask after three or four glasses, I promise you.

So everybody finishes and we turn our sheets in and I’m pretty damn confident that although I’m drunker than I should be, the wine will stand on its own.   At the very least I’m not going to embarrass myself.  So the hostess starts by naming the 6 bottles of wine that did not win…or lose.  Of course, we weren’t in that category because our wine was the winner and I was going to win the coveted Wine God crown. Wait? Was there a crown up for grabs, because in my state of mind at the time, I really felt that wearing a crown for the rest of the party would be an appropriate reward.

Finally they get through all the yada yada yada bullshit and the glory that was all mine was about to be announced. The only problem? The two wines left – the winner and the loser — I rated a 3.  But that didn’t really make sense because I rated the wine I brought a 5.  And so did BD, I’m sure. Or didn’t we? Something had gone wrong. Very wrong.

This wasn’t adding up, even in my embarrassing drunkeness. What could have happened here? How could we both handicap our own superior wine?  Surely a bottle I rated a shitty 3 in my infinite wine wisdom isn’t the winner….or the loser. I gave out 1’s pretty freely too.  What is happening here? Am I this sloppy drunk? Why is everybody talking slow? I wonder why Oprah named her dog Sadie? Oooh. That guy’s wife has shiny earrings….

Well, this much was clear: when we were crowned the winners, it would be sort of a hollow victory,  given that the most either of us could muster for our favorite wine was a stupid 3.  This wine we paid $65 for on a pretty regular basis. I mean, what wine did I give a 5 to then?

The winner was announced. That guy’s wife still had shiny earrings.  And as expected, we were…not the winner.  Wait – what? We were the losers? Indeed. THE. LOSERS.  I mean, out of eight red wines, we LOST. And you know why? Because we both gave our favorite fucking bottle of red wine a ‘meh’ rating of 3.

The world hasn’t really been the same since then.  It’s like how you remember where you were when the Challenger blew up.  And when the Twin Towers fell.  I’ll never forget this moment when my wine was voted WORST WINE EVER AT THIS PARTICULAR PARTY WHERE  I WAS TRYING TO IMPRESS MY NEW COWORKERS AND THEIR GOOD LOOKING SPOUSES WITH MY WINE PROWESS AND EXPERTISE BECAUSE I’M A WINE SNOB, DAMMIT.  The fall out has been kind of horrific, as you might imagine.

I’ve learned a couple of things: first, I realize that my husband and I have completely different tastes in red wine. I don’t even think he likes red wine.  Our entire relationship has been built on lies and deceit. So there is that. Second, fuck you David Bruce Petit Sirah.  Third, shiny earrings can be super distracting at a serious wine tasting fiesta. Fourth, I lost. No money. Just shame and heartache. And PTSD if you must know.  I can’t look at a bottle of red wine any more and not question whether I can tell whether or not it sucks or rocks.

Even though I don’t deserve it, I don’t know how not to be a wine snob.  I still say affirmations each morning to myself about how awesome I am at identifying the best red wines in the land, but I kind of know deep down I’m just a self-righteous asshole who knows just about nothing about anything I pretend to know something about, giving me and Rick Perry more in common than I’m comfortable with.

No more fucking wine parties for me.

Dude. I’m back, but my life is in critical condition.

OMG. I know. I’m back. But only for a post. How the hell have you all been?

So here is the thing – I started the new job and got knocked up with kid #3 at the same time.  Then I sold my house in the city and now I’m moving to the suburbs, where everybody is white and Republican, I think. Which means that I might die. I mean, I have nothing against white people, since I am one and if I were a bigger person I would claim I have nothing against Fox-watching, Glenn Beck-loving Republicans, but then I would be lying.

My husband, 2.5 kids, dog and I are moving in with my parents in 4 days because we can’t find a house we like and then I have to buy a minivan and did I tell you I’m having a GIRL? I know. I don’t know shit about girls, except that when they are in junior high they suck.  My mom gave me a pink baby dress and it came with tights that had ruffles on the butt. Really? It just seems kind of superfluous. I would never wear tights with ruffles on the butt. Why would I make her wear them? Oh God. What if she loves them?

And during all of this change and hardship, I have not been able to drink a half bottle of wine whenever the mood strikes and its Oprah’s last season and it has totally sucked ass so far.  So I guess what I’m saying is that my life has been crazy and not in a good way. It continues to get weirder.

But  on the bright side,  my gays and I had a heart to heart today, they made me realize that these experiences will make my blog a million times better when I come back to it again, because I will be living in hell very shortly and I’ll be forced to blog everyday to keep myself from crying. They are taking me to SATC II with them tomorrow night because they feel so bad for me. It will be my last hurrah before the apocalypse of my life.  I love you D & J.

So I don’t know when I’ll be regular again, but thanks for keeping the faith and sending words of encouragement. I’m about to enter the realm of soccer moms and people who think our president is somehow like Hitler and drive minivans for fun and think the city is just a place to get their purses stolen.  I just hope I make it out alive.

I’ll check back in soon. I hope. Unless I’m busy dousing the burning crosses I might find in my parents lawn because of the Obama sticker I have on my car. Wish me luck. And be well. I have really missed you guys!

The gods must be crazy…

Okay. So I’m back. Hopefully for good, but you know I’ve found out that god has a sense of humor recently, so you never know.

So where have I been? What have I been doing?

Remember all my posts that detail what a good mother I am? Like the one about how I didn’t breastfeed and the one about how I feed my kids McDonalds once a week and how my two year old feels me up in Target?

And then remember how I had that really mind bending post entitled, “Hellz Yaz” about whether its better to have huge puss-filled zits all over my chin or have a sex drive? And everyone voted that I remain a sex kitten with zits? And my big-boobed sister warned me that natural family planning was a very bad idea?

And then remember when I told you the story about when I had to tell Professor Bourbon I was pregnant after they let me into the PhD program?

Do you see where this is going? Yeah. Surprise!! I’m preggers. Not really what I was planning for 2010, or 2011 – 2050.  And my angel didn’t even have the balls to warn me this time. The news hit right after New Years Day (same day I got my new job offer, so my new boss got to be the second to know) and I don’t think I’ve been quite the same since. I can’t figure out whether the nausea is from the pregnancy hormones or the idea that the gods thought it would be a good idea to put another human on this earth who has me for its mother. When I found out, BD was so worried about my mental state (probably because he’d never seen anybody catatonic before) he promised to stay sober with me this whole pregnancy, which is awesome. The other two times I was the designated driver and it was not awesome. It actually does make me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who will be suffering the next nine months, which I think is what makes BD love me so much.

So I won’t lie – the change of plans has had me in a tail spin for the last two months, which I probably could have recovered from in a week if wine could have been involved, but without alcohol, and with nausea and a new job and exhaustion, I could sum up my life perfectly in one non-word: “meh”. Which is why you haven’t heard from me. The juice has been gone.

However…the good news is that I’m over it now. I’m going to be a mother yet again, and red wine no longer calls to me during my long, sleepless nights and now I have a third chance to make a first impression. Maybe I’ll try breastfeeding this time. Or maybe I’ll freak out and change my mind a month before like I did the last time. No promises there.

And maybe this kid will be the one who winds up changing my diapers when I’m 92 and I’ll be like “Oh, now I get it, God. You’re the best!” And lets not forget about the nightly “happiness” I have to look forward to in the coming months. This time I will make buying porn a part of the getting ready for baby checklist, just so we don’t have to go through the histrionics of yesteryear.

So I’m psyched. I didn’t think we’d have any more kids but now that it has been determined that we will indeed, I’m stoked. And I haven’t seen an episode of Oprah in two months, and its given me a strength I didn’t know I had. I think I might be okay when she stops the show now. I think I might survive. And that goes for everything – the pregnancy, the delivery, the new job, the new house we’ll have to buy and even the…GULP…minivan? (okay, that last one was really hard for me to say)

It’s a new world order.

Welcome back to my life. I’ve missed you guys.

While You Were Out

Worst Blogger Ever. That is the prize I’m going for.  I’m also putting myself up for Most Popular at Lunch Time in my new office, but if I’m being honest, I’m a shoe-in for the first and a dark horse at best for the latter.

When I have time I’ve told myself my blog doesn’t suck. But lots o’ things happened in early January that leave me without an ounce of time or energy for anything fun. In fact, I have 9 unwatched episodes of Oprah on Tivo at this point. NINE.  That has never happened in the all of the history of all of the world, so I hope you can understand the gravity of what it is I am dealing with.

Forgive me Oprah, for I have sinned.

So I’m kind of in a funk and a crazy place in life.  I’m trying to pull myself out of it and find some time to do what I love (worshipping Oprah and writing this blog) but sometimes life gets in the way.  Just keep me on your reader and hopefully soon my inspiration will return and we can resume our little fireside chats.  I have no idea when it will hit, but I hope it comes back soon.

In the meantime, for those of you who blog or write or create, this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of “Eat, Pray, Love”) might be meaningful to you and helpful when contemplating a funk like the one I find myself in.  Enjoy!