Category Archives: Oversharing

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.

If loving Pitbull is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right

That is not me on the left.

I’m kind of in love with Pitbull. I think. I’m pretty sure.  Admittedly, I don’t know much about the guy since my infatuation is based almost completely on the single time I saw him perform, which was at the most recent MTV VMA show. The weird thing is, I felt this way in spite of the fact he was wearing a white blazer and red pants. Am I going into menopause or something?

I was able to totally get past his  pimp suit and bald head and his penchant for wearing sunglasses indoors and love him anyway.  Maybe I was listening to Ne-Yo’s sweet voice when they were showing him or something, so that swayed me,  but I was all, “Damn, Pitbull. I think I loooove you.” (The way little Michael Jackson says it in ‘ABC’) Really, Love? Really?

Really.

His voice is kind of low and gravelly and…I don’t know, this thirty-something, suburban working mom of three found herself oddly and mercilessly attracted to the guy.  For very good reasons, I try not to think about mojo because the world cannot afford to have me become a mother again, but as I watched the VMAs I thought I might consider having Pitbull’s love child.   I thought this was odd, and so I felt the logical next step was to inform my husband of my new attraction to this Pitbull character.

Now, you should be aware before we go further that a full 90% of the things I say to my husband on any given day get exactly the same response.  Statements like,  “I think I have a brain tumor”, “Our neighbor’s kid stole our ladder”, “For a second today I thought I had misplaced my Josh Groban Noel CD”, and “Do you think that brown thing in the kid’s shower is poop, or a candy bar?”  all garner the exact same, very quiet….noise.  It kind of sounds like “ugh” but without the negative emotion most of us say it with.  It’s a totally neutral response devoid of any emotion or judgment – just enough to acknowledge I said something, but not enough for me to gauge any sort of meaningful response to the statement.  I’d wager the other 9% of the stuff I say does not even warrant the noise –that is met with silence — and then the last 1% of my musings  may get a full sentence response, but he saves that for emergencies, mostly to tell me what he wants me to pick up for lunch or (I suppose) if one of our children suddenly began to seize.  I think my husband conserves words because I have such a high propensity of wasting them.  And we get along fabulously this way.

So I expected that when I announced to BD  one afternoon that  “I  really like that Pitbull guy” it would be met with the customary “ugh” or perhaps silence. I mean, like most things I tell him, there was a 99% chance I would get one of these two reactions, so no biggie.

It was not to be.

To my utter amazement, when I made the announcement my husband actually turned his eyes away from ESPN,  looked at me, and proceeded to freak out.  “Are you kidding me?! You’re kidding, right? Pitbull?!”  Whoa. WHOA. I haven’t seen an emotional outburst of such magnitude from him since 2005, the year he found out that I had thrown away the hair gel he bought in 1997 that was sitting in our shared medicine cabinet, untouched for 5 years.

“Um….yeah, I think.” I stammered, the shock and awe of his response only beginning to sink in. A millisecond later, when I noticed he did not turn back to ESPN, my fight or flight response was triggered. My senses became sharp and keenly aware.  Time slowed down. My husband had somehow just become emotionally invested in my statement about Pitbull and he was engaging me in a conversation about it.

My brain went into overdrive: “Wait? Whaaa? Is this really happening?  BD knows who Pitbull is? I didn’t even know who he was until I saw the VMAs a week ago.  Oh my god! Maybe my husband is the one with the brain tumor! Oh my god! He may have only weeks to live!”

“You do not like Pitbull.” he tried to say with certainty, trying to regain his composure. “What on earth could you possibly find attractive about that guy?”

“I don’t know. He’s just…cool. Maybe I’m suddenly interested in younger men who don’t appear to be very intelligent, may have an accent, dress like pimps, say “Hey Baby” a lot and surround themselves with scantily clad cokeheads.  What is so weird about that?”

“Who are you?” he demanded. I’m pretty sure he wanted to follow up with “and where have you taken my wife?” but he was a little flustered.  At that moment I realized that he was also in fight or flight mode and his brain was saying: “Oh my god. She actually does have that brain tumor she’s been talking about since our first date. Oh my god! And she is going to die and leave me with all of these damn kids.  This is the worst day of my life!”  Simultaneously, we were both thinking the other had gone all Charlie Sheen and that we’re about to lose each other forever.  All because of Pitbull’s irresistible sex appeal.

We probably should have hugged and kissed and been supportive of the other person’s brain tumor, but instead I said, “Whatever. You liked Christina Aguilera when she was at her skankiest! I married you in spite of that! That should count for something.”

“I was young then. That was years ago!”

Fortunately, before things got way out of control and my husband missed more than five minutes of the game, our seven year old son, aware for the first time in his life that his parents were engaging in an emotional conversation with each other that wasn’t about the true nutritional value of frozen pizza or the absurdity of this year’s college football uniforms, stepped in to end the madness.

“Pitbull sucks, Mom.”

And that was that.  BD nodded solemnly. I reminded our son that “sucks” is not an appropriate word to use in our house, and then I left the scene, devastated.

Not only because one or both of us clearly has a brain tumor, but now my chances of getting tickets to the Pitbull show for Christmas are pretty much nil.  Damn.

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?

When “spa treatment” actually means “octogenarian orgy”

I was recently in California for a best friend’s wedding.  She is the final woman in my college posse (a.k.a the WINOS), to stop having sex get married, and we thought it would be fitting for the five of us to have a girls day together, going to the spa and chilling out before the big day arrived.

A couple of weeks before the wedding I was on the spa’s website to check out which overpriced facial or massage I’d be signing up for, and I happened upon something in the brochure called the “Kuyam Experience”.  Anything that has a noun or verb followed by “experience” or “adventure” is usually something one should pay close attention to. I learned this the hard way years ago and yet.

I think to save space they were as vague in the description of Kuyam as they could possibly be. It said something about doing a Native American ritual and clay and steam and inhalation therapy were involved or something and you could do it alone or in a ‘private party’.  It was $75/person, which was about 50% less expensive than anything else they had to offer, so I mean, clearly the WINOS needed to consider this. It was the only thing we could all do together. Now, we aren’t very touchy-feely, kissy- huggy, or grab-each-other’s-boobs-and-asses kind of bunch.  We keep our hands to ourselves, our clothes on and we enjoy drinking a shit ton of wine together and laughing.  Sometimes we discuss the sex we aren’t having since we bore our litters, but mostly we debate important things we’ve read in trade journals such as “Us Weekly” and “O”. So something so new-agey was a laugh-fest just waiting to happen.  This experience would provide a host of future inside jokes and the timing couldn’t be better. Our friend was about to get knocked up married — this would get rid of any edge she might be feeling. It would be like therapy. Fun therapy.  I loved thinking about how great it would be.  Almost as great as dressing my 13 month old like this for Halloween. (Note to reader:  Halloween 2011 comes round only once. You can never get it back.  And Mr. T pities the fool who waits till 2012.)

So anyway, I book the thing and we all fly to California for the wedding weekend and the first day is the big spa day. Over breakfast, we had a long debate about whether or not we’re all supposed to wear bathing suits to this thing or not and then someone joked that we might all have to get naked and rub clay on one another.  Yeah, right. Like we’d spend the day before our friend gets married having a Native American orgy/porn sleep over party.   That is the last thing that the Kuyam Experience is about.  I mean, if that was what it was, wouldn’t consuming massive amounts of alcohol and peyote be part of it too?

I assured the group that was is not what Kuyam was, as if I had any idea what it actually was. A little voice in my gut screamed, “Shit – what if it is?!” If it were, which it is not, it would take our friendship to a level of excruciating awkwardness that we might never be able to overcome.  Like when Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie kissed that one time.  Ugh.  That just sent shivers up my spine. I am so sorry to have to have had to bring that into your consciousness, but I’m telling you, it’s a worthy comparison.

So, I love the WINOS with all of my heart, but I like them fully clothed. I’ll be damned if I’m paying $75 to feel relaxed as my naked best friends rub fucking mud all over my pasty naked muffin top.  I laughed then, because us all getting naked together in a room while we spread mud on ourselves is the most ridiculous thing that could happen to the WINOS.  I mean, probably the Kuyam was something where we’ll probably be in…robes…and the clay is probably for us to put on…our faces…or something.  I think we’re just supposed to sit there and meditate and listen to the Native American chanting.  None of this weird naked group rubbing shit.  That would be crazy.

So we check in to the spa and we didn’t need bathing suits – they give us those little wrappy things to put around yourself that cover your boobs and your ass. Which I take as a good sign.  Things are on track.  But a red flag shoots up when I notice that the other spa patrons in the locker room seem to be wandering around naked and carrying on their business like they weren’t. Here’s the thing: I like the spa as much as anyone, but I do not find it necessary to prance around the locker room completely naked, bending over to blow dry my hair as I start up a conversation with a random naked stranger vigorously rubbing her ass with lotion, and act as though we were both dressed and discussing the weather at the grocery store.  Apparently in Ojai California, that is exactly what people think the spa is for.  This is why I live in Chicago.  We don’t play that way.

But whatever. I’m not in Chicago. I am relaxing at a spa in California. I decided to spend as little time as possible in the nudist colony locker room and waited until they led the five of us up to our private Kuyam Experience.  Now, here is the thing: where I am from, “private” means that just the group you signed up with will be present. I thought this was a pretty universal interpretation, but I clearly know nothing about California.  Apparently, in California, a “private” Kuyam Experience means you, your friends and three other strange naked ladies you don’t know who appear to be close to million years old, and really creep you the fuck out.  That was a little “cultural difference” that would have been nice to know when I thought this was a good idea.

The room was really a big sauna, so it was super hot in there. I wasn’t sure if it was the heat that made me want to pass out, or the random old naked chicks. We took the other five seats that were left and they provided us all with a small, cold face towel. I noticed that most of the WINOS immediately covered their faces. Probably to cover up their shock, terror and tears. Maybe I’m projecting. That is exactly what I had to do.  I had unknowingly led our group to our first orgy and it was going to be with octogenarian strangers.  Thank God we didn’t bring the camera.

So the Kuyam Experience begins.  The spa lady tells us to relax and listen while she plays a recording of a Native American man talking so it seems all spiritual.  He starts off by saying that “Kuyam is best done while naked….” and I’m like, “Really pervert? Shit. We’re on some amateur porn site right now, aren’t we? This is why it was so cheap. Mother fucker.” So now there is all this pressure to take off our spa wraps and get naked and my worst fears are all coming true.

I’m sure the WINOS look awesome naked, but I like my friends best when their cooches are tucked away out of my direct line of sight.  So I began a silent prayer: “Dear God, please don’t make me look at my friends’ coochies. Amen.”

We’re then instructed to start rubbing the three colors of clay they gave us on every square inch of our naked selves.  But as I’ve said, I am not getting naked.  Even if I weren’t so immature about being naked with all my best friends, there were very practical reasons for my unwillingness to just throw off my wrap. I haven’t had a wax since before my first kid was born.  It’s like giving somebody 5 minutes notice that they are supposed to host a garden party on wild prairie land.  I hope that is all the explaining I need to do on this topic.  So I vow to leave my wrap thing on and  I’m trying to rub the shit all over like he is saying, but it’s hard to do with one hand trying to hold up my little wrappy thing so that my cooch is covered and no nip is hanging out.

While I’m struggling to maintain my dignity (and heterosexuality), one of the old ladies stands up and goes over to the other lady across from her who I then realize is not old. She is probably our age, but her hands and feet are all (congenitally?) deformed so this is not an easy task for her. I’m not going to lie, this also raises the weirdness factor. And then I realize this is a mother-daughter duo. SHUT. UP.  I am trying not to watch this, but the naked mother and daughter are now standing up, rubbing each other with the clay and one of them has her ass in my friend’s face.  And then she turns around and suddenly there are coochies at eye level. Somebody tipped them off about the Kuyam because they had fresh Brazilians. “Aww fuck. Seriously? Do I really have to watch these two baldies rub each other down?” No. I threw the towel over my face and tried to stay conscious so I wouldn’t drop my own wrap and scar my friends for life.

I closed my eyes and tried to focus on not hyperventilating.  Well, and getting the fucking clay on my ass where it was supposed to go without getting naked because I wasn’t completely sure the mother / daughter duo wasn’t going to ask for my damn help. I was grateful that the other WINOS decided to fight the good fight and keep their hands and vaginas to themselves.

I’m not really sure what happened next. Maybe I did actually lose consciousness. Or maybe I had a psychotic break and now instead of having just one alter ego, I have another.  I just don’t remember anything else until I heard the spa lady saying we could leave. But I had fucking dry clay all over my body, my wrap, my face towel.  They told us there were showers in the next room. I scurried to get up and out of there.  But they forgot to mention that you have to walk past a chamber where hoses come out of the walls and spray you the length of your body.  You sort of have to be naked for this part.  FUUUUUCK.

All of that work and it came down to this.  You know what? Fuck it. I dropped the wrap, ran through the hoses and found a shower stall. The water was heavenly warm. I got the shit off of me.  A robe was waiting for me outside. I snuggled into it, quickly left the shower room and tea and private balcony awaited.  Minutes later, all eight of us lounged in our robes in the warm California air talking about “US Weekly” and “O” as if we hadn’t just lost our faith in God.

Maybe one day the WINOS will talk about Kuyam together again, but I think for now we’ll just leave that for our therapists.

Shit My Psychic Says Too

(The prelude to this post is here).

There was probably not a person I came into contact with the week before my reading that I did not regale with the story about my weekend plans with my new psychic.   I was STOKED for this life experience. I mean, this woman claims to talk to dead people. Like that spooky white kid in the movie.  And John Edward on “Crossing Over”.  Best. Show. Ever.

Plus, in order to see The Rev (she is a reverend, apparently, though it is unclear for what sort of church), you have to be referred by somebody she has read before and you have to take an orientation class before you get there. So I feel like I’m kind of in this super special club.

But the ‘orientation’ was pretty ghetto: it’s a number you call and then you listen to this 30 minute voice mail which just sort of ends abruptly while she is mid-sentence.  Apparently she spared no expense for orientation.  But whatever – it went over what she does and how she does it so you don’t waste time asking her about it when you’re there. I’m all about efficiency, so sounded good to me. Here were the main points:

  • Dead people talk to her.  Dead people who know you. And watch you.
  • Dead people don’t give a fuck about time, so whatever they tell her could have happened already or maybe it’s happening now or maybe it will happen in the future (which comes in handy, doesn’t it?).
  • If the dead people tell her any details about your death or that you have cancer or something, she is going to keep that to herself.  She will not tell you anything that could be traumatizing.  In my case, she also will not tell me when/if Oprah is going to die – for obvious reasons.
  • The dead speak to her in a way she processes visually – so she doesn’t hear them, but they “show” her things.  When they are trying to say a name, they spell it, but they spell slowly, so she is going to take liberties and if they show her say, “M”, she is going to say “Michael”, “Matthew”, “Mark”….until either you say you know what she is talking about or the dead person spells the damn name.
  • They also show her pictures, so they could be metaphors for something or literally that thing. So sometimes she gets weird stuff and she’ll let you know because they may be an inside joke that you’d get but she wouldn’t. She says she often has to do some translating.
  • If she tells you about something and you don’t “acknowledge” it, by telling her you know what she is talking about, she can’t move on. The dead require your acknowledgment before they will continue playing Pictionary with her.
  • She says that whatever they are telling her are things that you can change, so if she warns you not to drunk dial your ex and you do, she totally called it and she wins. If you don’t because of her advice, she totally helped you avoid a bad situation and she wins.  You see how this works?
  • If you’re a minute late, fuck you – she starts the clock precisely when your appointment starts, whether your ass is there or not, and you’re paying for the whole thing.  She takes cash money. No pay pal. No plastic.

Okay, so those were the ground rules. Oh yeah, and something about not drinking within 24 hours of the reading because your energy will suck.  I conveniently forgot about that part because depriving my body of its nightly wine break is some crazy shit that I’m not going to dabble in, even if the psychic says.

The Rev lives in the middle of fucking nowhere, so it took what seemed like a million years to get there (so like, 90 minutes) and apparently the address she uses doesn’t show up on Google Maps right, so good luck finding the fucking place.  Needless to say, we were 4 minutes late and I was scheduled first. She wasn’t kidding. Clock was ticking when I walked in.

She does this is a shrink’s office who wasn’t working. It was a weird set up, where she just kind of tapes her name on the door when he isn’t around.  But I was a little relieved I wasn’t in her house because what are the odds she doesn’t own 54 cats? I’m allergic to those mean mother fuckers, and plus I was expecting the lady from Poltergeist to answer the door and tell me to go into the light in her bedroom closet and I probably would have and then I’d probably get molested by zombies and while I’m open to new experiences, zombie molestation does not top the list.

But whatever. So The Rev? She was probably in her late 40s, had hair from the 80s (feathered) and she was wearing a purple muu muu. She reminded me of my music teacher when I was in elementary school, in the 80s (go figure).  Also a cat person, no doubt.   And she was about to tell me everything I wanted to know about my future but was afraid to ask.  The dead people were going to help out too.  So the first thing that happens is that she gives me a flyer for a “healing” she was going to do next month and wanted to let me know about it.

The fuck? I’m not paying you to tell me about your upcoming jamboree and I’m four fucking minutes late, so I want to speak to my dead people NOW. Perhaps she picked up on my negative energy, or maybe she got the message when I crumpled the paper and my sweaty palms, but we moved on quickly from there.

She asked me to stand up and hold her hands.  I complied. She said the “Our Father” and invited me to join her.  I opted out  because I was pretty sure this is exactly how it all started with the priests for the poor bastards who had to be altar boys in the 1970s.  Nothankyouverymuch.

She finishes with some gobbledy gook about love and peace and energy and I took some deep breaths and my annoying Type A ass kind of chilled out for a minute.  She let go of my hands and we sat down and here is what she told me in a nutshell and in this order:

  • I’m going to do something to my left ankle or shin that hurts like a bitch. (Can’t wait!)
  • My beloved grandma was coming through (She is the only dead person I really give much thought to.  I named my daughter after her. I love that woman).
  • Apparently she was with my uncle, who is coming through as a “spirit baby”, meaning this uncle was miscarried or died as a child.  (Grams had four sons and miscarried her fifth child.  Goosebumps.)
  • She asked me who “B” was. I didn’t know.  She offered Bob and Bill.  Bill is my grandpa.  (While she was alive they were exactly like McAdams and Gosling in The Notebook.  I mean, they loved each other as much as Lady Gaga loves copying Madonna.) So Grams first wanted to acknowledge my Gramps, who still cries about her 7 years after we lost her.  Aww…
  • Apparently we went from that to talking about some sort of eye infection that a opthamologist will have to intervene in.  It was unclear whether this was about me or about him.
  • Then a bunch of other spirit babies showed up.  She insisted my mom lost a baby and my ‘sister’ was there.  I was like “Wha? No.” and then I remembered: Shit. My mom did lose a baby when she was preggers with my actual sister.  She tells me that my spirit sister plays with my children. Oh. Wait, what? Weird.
  • She says that there is another spirit baby who is my nephew.  He wants to be acknowledged. Who knew there were so many baby spirits that weren’t born? (At this point I’m like, do we really need to talk about every baby in my family that wasn’t born? This is depressing).
  • So then she says who is [my dog’s A name], [another A name], [my son’s A name]? She was doing the name thing where she just starts guessing names because she sees an “AN” (in this case). My son’s name was third. I acknowledged it. She told me he is a handful and a daredevil (he is) and that I need to keep him safe by ensuring he wears helmets and pads when he goes outside.  She says she sees Evel Kenevil – but then quickly tells me she isn’t call him “evil” – it’s the motorcycle guy.  Yes. I know. She advises me to try to wear him out because he’ll just get himself into danger.  WAIT. What? Is he in danger, I ask. No.  The dead people are just saying he is crazy is all. Um, okay?
  • Then she says who is [S Name], [S Name],[My other son’s name]? Whoa. She is pretty good. I acknowledged and she moved on.
  • She says I have another child. I acknowledge she is correct.  Okay, I’m getting [MA name], [MA name], [MA name that is the male version of my daughter’s name]. Are you shitting me? I acknowledge my daughter. She moves on.
  • She starts laughing and says “I don’t know why they’re showing me this…but you’ll be a grandmother to twins. I usually don’t get things that far out, but congratulations.” I said I hoped they were really far out.  She said oh yeah – 18 or 20 years. Okay…
  • Then she says, who is [initial of my husband & my mom]? I waited. She said [name], [BD’s name]…and it was like, holy shit. Seriously? I acknowleged my husband. She said his deceased grandfather was there and was showing her a fish which could mean they liked to fish, or it was Pisces or a cholesterol issue.  Really?
  • So I offer that BD sometimes has cholesterol readings that are high. She latches. Tells me that I have to intervene to save his heart and then she starts going through her purse and finally pulls out this massive pack of vitamins (I shit you not) and tells me all the vitamins (CoQ10, Garlic, Fish Oil, etc.) I should force my husband to take so he doesn’t make me a widow too early.  What? Then she starts talking about her own husband who eats too much fast food and how she threatened to leave him if he didn’t change his ways. Wait. Isn’t this reading about me? ME. Lets come back to ME and MY life.  But so then she tells me to write down a website where I can get really high quality vitamins for him.  WHAAAT? Does she own stock in a GNC on the side for Christ’s sake? And is BD okay? I mean, should I be worried? I’m feeling a little traumatized here.
  • She says “your heart is fine (and it is), but you need to get more fiber. Your issues are in your intestines and colon.  Eat 30/35g of fiber a day. I like to have yogurt with Fiber One on top each morning”. Again, TMI. I don’t give a fuck what you had for breakfast.
  • I’m usually not this bitchy, but I’m all wound up now.
  • She says time is up, but I can ask a question.  I ask about my career.  She correctly guesses I’m in sales and tells me my job is too stressful and doesn’t pay enough.  She tells me to update my resume and get out of dodge before I get a pink slip.  Problem is, I just got a new job. One I’m definitely enjoying. For once. I mean, hopefully with this whole “time doesn’t matter” thing, she meant my last job? Then she advises me not to take the first job that comes along because it will look really good to begin with, but they’ll make me a “work horse and slave”.  Fuck.  Did I really get the wrong damn job again?  She did say if I wait for the right thing, I’ll get a low stress, more money position.  But you know what? She was supposed to tell me to get the fuck out of corporate America because I have an awesome future doing stuff I love.  But she didn’t.  So it ended on a downer.

So there I am, left to figure out what the hell just happened for the last 26 minutes.  I felt a little lightheaded and creeped out.

I mean, she named my children! And she guessed the first name of my grandpa, and my husband. And it wasn’t like at other times she was naming names I didn’t know.  I mean, all of them she was right on with within three names.  How could she know their names? And all the miscarriages and baby spirits and stuff? That is fucked up.

So then all the stuff she said has me all worried about my son and his dare-devil behavior because I’ve always had the sense I had to worry about him since they laid him in my arms after birth, so that was kind of a sore spot for me.  And then whether my husband is going to have a heart attack or something.  The grandfather who allegedly came through died young of a massive heart attack. I mean, what did that all mean?

So the Rev got under my skin a little. All the fun and games of yesteryear suddenly weren’t so fun.  Even if she was guessing, she guessed right a lot about the things I can verify.  As for the things I cannot so far, time will tell.  I’m just waiting until I break my ankle and if/when that happens,  if you want to talk to dead people, I’ve got just the person for you…

I Dreamed A Dream: Shark Week Edition

There are three things in this world I love more than my children.  Oprah and red wine are the obvious first two.  The third is the Great White shark.  I’m not sure whether it’s because they sometimes eat humans by accident or that they can’t be kept in captivity or that they’ve been around since the dinosaurs, but any of those things  is reason enough.   I have honestly lived with my obsession for as long as I can remember, so naturally I underwent past life regression hypnosis to uncover that I was indeed a Great White shark in a past life, but it turns out that I was just a soldier that got himself eviscerated in medieval times.  Not exactly what one hopes for when they explore these types of things. But I did learn something albeit centuries too late: when you’re at battle axe camp you need to pay attention.

So I went to another source to figure out what it all means and explored animal totems.  I don’t know what the point of a totem is besides having a reason to tattoo yourself to seem super spiritual and weird. So I am considering it.  But what I’m trying to say is that it must mean something that me and Jaws are closer than Oprah and my arch-nemesis Gayle, so I looked up what it means to have the shark as a totem and it’s really as complicated and spiritual as you might imagine, but I’ll do my best to net it out in lay terms: having a shark as my totem means that I’m just about as awesome as awesome gets.  And that works for me.

So you might imagine my pure, fucking glee when Shark Week comes around every August. I’m convinced it’s the only reason why August exists anymore.  Shark Week. I mean, just typing the words send shivers up my spine.  There has never been a week of programming more beautiful than Discovery’s thoughtful and poignant programming during Shark Week, including such classics as “Air Jaws” and “When Fish Attack III”, “The Summer of the Shark” and “Top Five Eaten Alive” between commercials that are about conserving the shark population.  Yeah, I don’t really get it either, but I can’t look away. My Tivo smokes that week with all the action it gets for Shark Week.

And why?  Fun fact: Great White sharks can not be held in captivity. Nowhere in this world will you find a Great White in an aquarium or in a Disney World resort lagoon.  Not even Donald Trump has been able to capture a Great White, mount a laser beam on its head, and have them swim around the grounds of his magnificent estate waiting for the next Celebrity Apprentice to get fired.   So the only way I can appropriately feed my Great White obsession is to see Shark Night 3D on September 2 go see one in real life.

This is why the number one thing on my list of shit to do before I die of the inoperable brain tumor I’m sure is growing deep in my brain as we speak is to get my ass in one of those shark cages and act as bait so I can pet a Great White shark.

My goal however,  is fraught with a few challenges.  Like:  I hate being in the water unless I am in a shower.  I hate being in boats in the ocean that are not larger the island of Oahu unless Andy Samberg and T-Pain are involved.   Scuba diving seems impossible not only because it requires being submerged in water, but because my asthma is so bad that my lung capacity rivals that of a dying hamster who has tuberculosis and a collapsed lung.  Being caged is another problem for me.  Not a fan of confinement, much like my buddy, the Great White. (Or any gorilla I have ever seen at a zoo. You know they’d rip your head off if they ever got the chance. Those mother fuckers are angry. Right? I know.)

But, back to shit I hate: getting in one of those wetsuit things would only exacerbate the concavity of my little peanut boobs (which, by the way, have somehow found away to sink even further into my chest since the Great-guilty-3rd-child-breastfeeding-experiment-of-2010. Not recommended.) I also could do without sea sickness, chum and sailors.

Yeah. So, I might have some obstacles to overcome before seeing my shark in real life.  But I’m telling you, if I can get over them, seeing that huge, 20 foot long fucking fish swim by me a few times and then have it attack my cage try to eat me in two bites with that ginormous mouth full of hundreds of teeth? OMG. OMG! OMG! OMG!

Let’s all take a minute to honor the orgasm I just had.

Okay, we’re good.

Ultimately, I will be afraid to go in that cage because there is a good chance I will die.  But not because of the shark.  Because of the panic attack I’ll have as soon as I am submerged 2-3 feet under water. It wouldn’t be the first time.  Ask my 4-year-old to tell you about what happened at the neighborhood pool last week. I almost died. It was totally serious. I mean, they just let kids jump in the damn pool whenever and wherever the hell they want and the splash travels like 5 feet.  You’d freak out too if the splash got your face and hair wet. It’s fucking traumatic.

Anyway, I think it is time I get around to the point of my story.  Next fall, BD and I celebrate our 10th anniversary (assuming he doesn’t star in a Lifetime movie with LeAnn Rimes before then) and I turn 36 and we are taking a diving trip off Guadalupe Island in Mexico to see the most exquisite animal on this planet so I can die without regret and earn the right to a cool shark tattoo that is totally spiritual and meaningful.  I mean, I haven’t actually told him this yet, but saying it so matter of factly makes me feel like it’s totally going to happen. And you give power to what you focus on, so I’m going to forget about my aversion to boats, water, Scuba, cages, chum, sailors  and I’m going to focus on the orgasm I just had two paragraphs ago imagining being attacked by a Great White shark.

Love is on the way, Jaws.  Wait for me…

The time I took a fun-filled cruise to Haiti

Okay so this particular event has not occurred yet.

But it’s about to. Next week.

I know.

I KNOW.

I KNOW.

I swear to you this is true because I wouldn’t even make up something this perverse if it wasn’t. We’re going on a cruise to Jamaica and Haiti next week.  Haiti. Yeah, let it sink in —  Haiti.

But in my defense, I thought we were going to a luxurious “private island”, which is what they call it in the itinerary.  So the cruise line was trying to trick me and they totally did and then I bought the tickets and then my husband decided get all Christopher Columbus and wanted to know exactly where the “private island” was that we are sailing to. Yeah.  It’s Haiti.

But just so we’re all clear and I’m not throwing the esteemed cruise line under the bus, it isn’t the part of Haiti that is totally devastated.  It’s another part. The part where you’re apparently not supposed to think about death and destruction and destitution.  It’s the part where you can order lots of mai-tais and take pictures with parrots on your shoulder and have TONS o’ fun and fantasize about building a cute little compound right on the beach one day. And recommend it to all your family members. And the Internet.

Right.

Oh, I have so many jokes about how ridiculous this is, but I also have a heart and if I told them all I would feel bad about myself as a human being, perhaps even more than I do now for paying to go to Haiti next week on my one single romantic vacation with my man that we take away from our children every year.  And probably the last one we’ll ever taken given that three kids may get us officially kicked out of the grandparents babysitting club.

But anyway,  I wonder what excursions we’ll have to choose from? — STOP, Love. You promised.

Okay,  I said I wasn’t going to tell jokes. So I’m not. But you’re allowed to. But I mean, really?

Okay, so I’ll be gone for a while.  But I’ll write again when I get back from fucking Haiti.

Have a banner week!