You just never know

So I swear, I’m minding my own business and waiting in line at the store and the clerk is laughing with two men in front of me. One of the guys was buying what appeared to be some beige foundation because apparently he had used his wife’s and she found out and made him replace the entire bottle. The clerk was an older woman and she teased the man that he won’t be so vain the next time to use his wife’s make up and he laughed and agreed. Then it was my turn and I put my stuff on the counter and she just starts chatting with me about men. How “some men are just like that” and how much her mother loved her father, “but he had to go cause he was a ho.” I looked up at her and I heard the word OH come out of my mouth.

She said, “yep, he was a ho until the day he died, I had a wonderful step mother too and she told me along with my own mother that he was a ho and now his son, my brother is a ho too, just love women way too much.” With that she handed me the bag of items I had purchased and I said, well, you just never know and walked away.

Speechless on several fronts…..

What was it that Michael Scott said, “then suddenly she ain’t your ho, no mo.”

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Lady Gaga, venetian blinds and the moon.

For whatever reason this is what is in my head today. I saw a photo of Lady Gaga, she was wearing glasses that could easily pass for venetian blinds. Well, that’s about all I know about that but they were very funky shades! When I was a kid we had venetian blinds hanging at some windows. They were heavy and intense horizontal slats that made you feel like they could slice you in half if you got stuck under them. At night I would stand at the dining room window and look up a hill to see the moon, hoping I didn’t become entrapped by the blinds. They seemed like they had a life of their own and could suddenly clank themselves alive………of course the first thing venetian blinds with a pulse would do would be to attack and strangle me. Yet despite my irrational fear of these metal menaces I always felt like they were worth climbing under to catch a glimpse of the moon.

I was watching the moon last night and it looked just as wonderful as ever. My favorite coffee mug says “I love you to the moon and back.” Once when I was going to be living far away from my Mom we talked about how we could stay in touch. She told me that I should just look at the moon and know she was looking back, she’d be watching the moon out that same window.

Really, name something cooler than the moon…….nope, it’s not Lady Gaga’s glasses.

TGIM

Yeah, TGIM, Thank God it’s Monday……last week was a bad week, a lost week, I’m happy to be starting a new one! Let’s hear it for Mondays, the start of the work week, a start over, last week is one to forget.

Some back story, I was born with a flawed spinal cord that basically has some non fixable issues, I’ve been told I need a new one. Yeah, really want to line up to be the first spinal cord recipient. Anyhoo, I have a neck that sits on top of a structurally damaged column so when it’s pulled in traction it’s not happy.

Enough of this filling in the blanks, my spine hurts, most of the time, sometimes a lot, but last week, yikes. Take a knife and poke me I think it would have been a nice diversion.

Point is, it’s MONDAY, a NEW day! Time to get on with it, pain is pain, you have to know it can change you, it really can, yet you fight it, sometimes you lose but you don’t give up. So TGIM!! I’m not saying next year at this time you’re going to be sipping margaritas and dipping your cheese sticks in marinara sauce on the patio at the corner TGIM’s, but come on, there’s worse names for stuff. I was standing in line at the pharmacy the other day and I saw a “Lance Your Boil Kit”……. so yeah, there are plenty far more offensive words and images out there. I mean the first time I heard my sciatic nerve was “damaged at the root” I was a little creeped out, but you deal, you move on and you learn that after a bad time you embrace and freakin celebrate the ordinary, therefore, Happy Monday……….TGIM!!

20 Minutes

It can be the worst 20 minutes or just 20 minutes. Every time I sit here I have a choice, I can make it more miserable than it sometimes feels or I can use my mind to psych myself up to push thru it. Today is hard, everything hurts more, my back, my neck, even my ear. I can’t seem to find a good rhythm to move the time. I usually have a routine, I initially sit here and just adjust to it, then I either pray or listen to music or read or just sit and think, hence……Thoughts in Traction……when I listen to music, I remember how long each song will last so I know how much time is left, some days the time passes faster, but today, right now 3:37 ticks away before my eyes and I want to scream but at the end I’ll hit replay and just hang on a bit longer.

Right now I’m reminded how much this sucks and how I wonder sometimes if I can keep doing traction. Then I realize I’m fooling myself to think I have a choice, yes, technically I have a choice but the results would be worse than the pain and discomfort of doing traction. I’m just feeling sorry for myself today, I just need to be able to hate this in this moment, it gives me a sense of control I really don’t have. I wish I never had to do this again but come two days from now, I’ll be back here again.

Was that a UFO in aisle 6?

Nope, just a little boy strapped into a cart hurling a bag of frozen peas at his brother, but when it comes to my grocery store you may wonder. It’s built on an old land fill and the surrounding property is swampy in a part of the world without many swamps. Yet, neither of those tidbits leads me to believe it’s inhibited by aliens, it’s just a unscientifically weird store. Yes, there’s a guy that no matter the season he’s singing a unique rendition of “Take me out to the ball game” as he bags the groceries. Yes, there’s an ever-changing flow of clerks leading you to believe they may be alien abductees. Yes, the fellow customers may make you wonder if they landed there departing a flying saucer AND yes, some of the folks smell like they’ve not been introduced to some earthly comforts. BUT, all in all it’s not any of those things in particular.

It’s just a goofy, quirky and at times, sad place. It’s a newer store but you’d never know it. It’s the kind of place that seems like the bread always falls off the truck. I’m not sure why I shop there except it is convenient but I easily have other options. I think I just have a fondness for it because it’s very real. There is no pretense in this place. You easily see various forms of authentic behavior exhibited in every aisle. It’s the furthest thing from alien, it’s a very human place.

Sometimes stores try to make the shopping experience something filled with escapism, like a fairy tale, that’s not happening here. Walking these aisles you’re not overcome by make-believe or lost in outer space in the freezer section. You see it all clearly here but you don’t need 3D glasses. I’m sure there are other grocery experiences like this in the world where people don’t have a lot of patience or luxuries. It’s just the kind of place that when you make that quick stop for milk and whatever you determine that day to be “essential” you often leave with much more, just not necessarily in your cart.

glacier, blizzard, antartica, snow cones, frozen tundra

…….I’m trying to cool off. Sitting here with this thing around my head. This “thing” is an in-home cervical traction device, my head is currently wrapped in it and feels like it is hanging. The harness like thing around my head is attached to a metal piece that looks like someone perfectly bent it, therefore enabling it be tied to a rope that runs thru two pulleys all hung from the door above my head! (by the way I’m the absolute worst at describing things as you’ve just experienced) This thing that I’ve described earlier as a cheap looking bra is around my head and under my chin, it’s tight, snug rather (as it has a plastic bag with ten pounds of water pulling it) today it feels like an uncomfortable wool scarf. Jeez it’s hot outside….so I’m trying not to complain so much lately, hard to tell I know…… anyway instead of rambling on about that I’m trying to think of words to freeze my brain but hopefully not to freezer burn status.

So word association or rather mindless rambling has me passing the time today. I tried the new wild berry smoothie at McDonald’s, it gave me an intense brain freeze because I wanted to drink it way too fast as it was so delicious.

So back to thinking about words associated with cooling weather conditions that hopefully will ultimately help to stop this sweat from dripping down my face. When I think about blizzards all I can think of is I want one with cookies ‘n cream or m&m’s…..even though I have a great fascination and devotion to the weather channel, pretty sure I’ve never heard them describe a nor’easter with chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so I’m trying to concentrate here, that’s what I’m calling it now, a bit more sophisticated than mindless rant. This thing around my head is the least glamorous thing I’ve seen the medical community come up with in a while, truly the middle ages kind of equipment. Any minute now a caveman will be coming around the corner yelling “DINNER!” carrying a wildebeest.

Maybe that’s what I need………. yeah, a celebrity to also need cervical traction and therefore bring attention to this ancient looking device and ultimately transform it into something chic! Next thing I know this little get up is on the cover of “Us Weekly”….ok…..see my mind is worthy of duplication it’s so full of fab ideas.

Wow, I can’t even get a decent mind association thing going to try to cool off. Pretty sad when you get startled out of your own stupidity trance trying to remember you were actually trying to concentrate on words like…..frozen layer of ice, Jim Cantore, salt, hail, rock salt, table salt, margarita’s, strawberries, winds whipped with cream, shaved lime ice, sleet, salt, chips and salsa, yeah, how many more minutes til I can take off this wool scarf??…..Oh holy caveman, I forgot to set the timer!!

Side of selfish, better yet, supersize it!

I’m thinking about what happened when I was in line at the drive thru. This person went to incredible lengths to cut me off, nearly hit my car, seriously nearly hit my car. I am always initially dumbfounded that someone isn’t teasing when they do something so strikingly rude. I think any second they are about to turn around and say, “oh, that was a joke on you, got you!” But nope, there was no joke. Then I found myself getting angry, feeling like the guy had just done the worst thing. Then revenge kicked in, I wanted to get back at him. So I sat there and I thought what could I do and then the clerk was asking him if there was anything to add to his order, before I knew it these words were coming out of my mouth, I’m suddenly yelling, BE SURE AND GET YOUR SIDE OF SELFISH, BETTER YET, SUPERSIZE IT!! I was so proud of myself, totally smug, thought it was the most clever thing ever said in the history of drive thru.

Then the man gave me the opportunity to wonder who was acting like the bigger fool. He didn’t flinch at my words, not a look, not a frown, nothing, complete normalcy. I mean he’s good, he must have experience at this, ticking people off and then when they react, even yell at him he just lets them, no shrugging, no apology, nothing, water rolling off a duck’s back. So basically at this point all that happened is I looked like a nut yelling out of her car window, pointing at the man in front of her.

I started to think about my Dad. He was a polite man. Back in the day when you had an attendant pump your gas, unimaginable to him to display rudeness or demand attention, rather he’d pose it as a question, “please, fill it up with regular?” and always ended with, “thank you very much.” So if the dude in front of me never had the privilege of that kind of example then what’s the big deal? Maybe that can explain bad manners if it needs an explanation, which apparently in my brain today it does. Although, I think it might be more than that, I think he could care less, and where does that come from and I don’t have a clue how you would begin to hold a mirror up to him. Even if someone ever does I’m not sure he’d even care…..just steer clear of him girls, he’s a real catch…………wow, I’m being so cynical, this guy really did hit a nerve……one I can actually feel!

When it was my turn at the window the person that waited on me looked about as thrilled as anyone standing there all day waiting on polite folks like the guy ahead of me could be. So when he handed me my bag I said, I bet it’s hard to wait on people all day that order a supersize of selfish AND stupidity. He looked at me like he was so puzzled by what I just said and then busted out laughing, responding, “yes, it is.”

I have no happy ending to my supersize story here, just distracting myself sitting here with my head strapped in, wondering why it made me so mad to feel like the guy was being such a “checker” in line. The “how dare you” feeling really kicked in….it brought out the third grader in me and I wanted to yell at him, wanted to kick him. When was the last time I kicked something or some one, yeah, that will get ’em….. kick ’em with my leg I can feel, probably fall over doing it……. ok, on second thought. Well Mister in the big red van, I know you are out there and so far you’re winning. STUPID HEAD.

OK, now I feel better.