Give yourself an out

I am all about keeping a commitment, but every now and then I throw in an escape clause:

“I will meet you for lunch unless any of the following circumstances occur: fire, flood, alien takeover, bad hair day, tornado, tsunami, flat tire, pouring rain with sporadic thunder and lightning, recurring wedgie, dehydration, illness, loss of appetite or any other life-changing event (as classified by me) including, but not limited to, the death of a member of the New Kids on the Block.”

It has taken me a long time to learn that it’s OK to be protective of me. Create your own escape clause. Give yourself an out. You deserve it.


Foot flushing

I don’t understand foot flushers. I’m sure you’ve seen people do this. They use their foot to flush the toilet. Why do they flush with their foot? Is the handle so far out of arm’s reach that it requires a leg?

Perhaps foot flushing is for sanitary reasons. As in, my hands are so dirty I can’t stand to add any more bacteria before I get to the sink. That would be too much scrubbing. There’s no time for extra scrubbing. I’m very busy.

Or, perhaps the foot flushers get a rush out of the power of flushing with a foot. Like when you prop your foot on a rock after climbing a mountain. I have conquered the toilet! Flush!

There must be a piece to this foot flushing puzzle that I’m missing. What is it? I’m perplexed.

Jeremy Jacob

The hubs and I went to Pensacola, Fla., last week with our friends, Brad and Christine. We were there celebrating wedding anniversaries and Brad’s birthday. Happy birthday, Brad! The beach was beautiful. Fine, white sand and clear, blue water. When we weren’t soaking up the beach, we were enjoying the charms that Pensacola’s locals had to offer.

Among our stops was Seville Quarter, which has five bars that are adjacent to one another. We spent some time with dueling pianos before going to the karaoke bar. The first performer we saw was a man who resembled a gnome. Like a real gnome! And what do gnomes sing? This one sang “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

I couldn’t fully enjoy the experience though, because a young girl who had her wrists bound together with a zip tie plopped herself down next to me. I tried to help free her but I really needed scissors and I wasn’t packing scissors that night. I don’t know why or how she ended up bound with a zip tie. And she didn’t explain herself.

While I was trying to figure her out, I enjoyed Flavor Flav’s look-alike sing a Led Zeppelin tune. And…he rocked it! But he was out performed by a guy named Bam-Bam who sang “Me and Mrs. Jones” better than Billy Paul could ever imagine singing it. He was amazing.

These locals couldn’t hold a flame to my favorite Pensacola 30-year-old named Jacob. Jacob was a character. His story never quite added up, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Jacob said he was from St. Louis, and that he moved to San Diego to work at Sea World. His job at Sea World was to shave the dolphins. You see, when dolphins are in captivity, they grow fine hair all over their bodies. So, he shaved them. He then left San Diego and moved to Pensacola to be a doctor in the Navy. Of course, Navy doctors only work a few days a week so he had a lot of time on his hands.

I don’t know Jacob’s real story, but he let me go through his wallet and I discovered that he is Jeremy Jacob from Nevada who is, indeed, in the Navy. I can’t confirm the dolphin shaving or the medical background, but cheers to you, Jeremy Jacob! And thanks for the flourescent pink hat that says “I don’t get drunk, I get awesome.” I will remember you always.

Geography lesson

St. Louis is a state.

I don’t know when St. Louis became a state, but it did…

Me: Hi, I can’t seem to get my spreadsheet to upload. I selected USA as the country and Missouri as the state, but the drop down box doesn’t list St. Louis in the next group of options.
Customer service: Thank you for your email. Please select St. Louis as the state. If that does not work, let me know.

I’m thinking, Surely something was lost in translation. St. Louis isn’t a state.

I log back in, click here, click there, select USA as the country, scroll through the state list — past Missouri — and there it was:

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Southern Virginia
St. Louis

So now you know. Also, congratulations to Southern Virginia! High fives all around.

Still my favorite IM screen shot

Background: A guy’s little cousin posted his new cell number on Facebook and said he was bored. Then this happened.

Cat Facts was originally submitted on Reddit by frackyou.

We need a surgeon. Page Yang.

I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor because my blood pressure was on the high side. As you know, when you make an appointment you are asked what’s wrong: “The doctor can see you today at 1:15 p.m. What will he be seeing you for?”

Each time I answer this question, I assume they write down my self diagnosis to help the doctor get a handle on his or her day. But I’ve never had a nurse or doctor start an appointment acting like they know why I am there. In fact, at this visit in particular, it took the doctor a long time to come around. Here’s the story…

The young, male nurse fetched me from the lobby. I stepped on the scale, he took my temp and we headed to Room 3. “So, tell me what’s bothering you,” he said.

“My blood pressure has been high so I thought I should see the doctor.”

“I see. Let’s check it out.” He puts the cuff on me and squeezes. “Hmmm. OK, let’s try the other arm. (wrap, squeeze, uncomfortable silence) Yes. This arm reads high, too. Are you under a lot of stress?”

“Not more than any other day.”

“Are you stressed at work?”


“Does your husband stress you out?”

“Every day.”

“Well, my wife says that about me, too, so I’d say that’s normal. You are exercising regularly; you’re not overweight. You are not a typical high blood pressure candidate. I’ll be back with the doctor.”

A few minutes later the doctor entered. “What seems to be the problem?”

“My blood pressure is high.”

He looks at my chart. “Yes, Rick’s readings show high numbers. Let me try. (wrap, squeeze, uncomfortable silence) Now the other arm. (wrap, squeeze, uncomfortable silence) Are you doing anything unusual? Taking ephedrine? Loading up on energy drinks? Cocaine?”

I laughed. “No.”

“I’m going to check again.” He cuffs each arm, one at a time. He paces. “These are high numbers. If you were 50 lbs heavier I would say we need to work on this, but you’re young and fit, it just doesn’t make sense.” Then he walks toward me and puts his face so close that our noses were just a few inches apart. “Do I make you nervous?”

I leaned in one more inch, looked him straight in the eye and said, “No.”

“Hmm…let’s try this one more time.” He cuffs my left arm. “Concentrate really hard on a low number. (wrap, squeeze, uncomfortable silence) Nope, still high. Let’s try the opposite. I’ll check your right arm, and this time concentrate on a high number. (wrap, squeeze, uncomfortable silence) That didn’t work either. Well, you have high blood pressure.”

“I know.”

“Ninety-five percent of the time we never know why people have high blood pressure, but we’ll give it a go anyway. Let’s do blood work and an EKG before you leave, and then I’ll send you over for a chest x-ray.”

“Ok…” EKG and chest x-ray?!

“Rick will be back in to do the EKG. Is it OK if Rick does it?”

“Um, sure?” Why not? I’ve seen this on T.V. It’s just a couple of white circles taped right below the collar-bone. No biggie.

“Ok, you will need to get undressed from the waist up, with the gown opening to the front.”

Oh. Oh! Oh no.

Rick and a female nurse enter with the EKG machine. They stick several wires in several places.

“I actually specialize in cardiology,” Rick said. “I brought a nurse along from pediatrics so I can teach her how to do an EKG.” He flips a switch and studies the monitor. “Your readings look good, except your pulse is pretty fast. Are you nervous?”

“I guess I’m a little nervous to find out what’s wrong.”  And I am having a conversation with you while topless!

“Well, I’m not detecting anything. I”ll show the results to the doctor. He’ll be right back. You can get dressed.”

“So, we didn’t find any answers,” the doctor said as he walked in. “If your lab work and chest x-ray turn out OK, I’ll prescribe a tiny sliver of a pill to help you control your blood pressure and we’ll continue to monitor you. You may eventually balance out and no longer need medication.”

I left the doctor’s office feeling even more uneasy. These are serious heart tests. Maybe I’m taking this too lightly. Something could really be wrong. I needed to talk to the hubs. He’s my rock. I sent him a text: “I went to the doc about my blood pressure. He asked if I did cocaine, then he drew blood, gave me an EKG and now I’m on my way to get a chest x-ray! It’s like I’m in a real life episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.'”

I hit send and hoped he would say something comforting.

His reply: “You have had quite the afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed that they don’t page Dr. Yang.”

So now he’s the funny one. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Hey, short stuff

I am short. Like ridiculously short. So short that people have to talk about it when we meet. Sometimes strangers provide me with a personal public service announcement, just in case I’m not aware: “Hi. Nice to meet you. You are short.” Other times they are concerned about how global warming might be effecting me: “How’s the weather down there?” And then there are those who get down right National Geographic on me…

He said: How tall are you?
Me: 4’10” on a good day.
Him: How tall is your husband?
Me: 6’1″.
Him: Do you kiss?
Me: Ha! Yes, we kiss.
Him: But how?
Me: I climb him like a tree. When I get to the top, we kiss.

That’s not really how it works, but it broke the ice and made him laugh. In my world, laughing is required.


That moment when you find yourself in a conversation with someone you don’t know well, and the conversation takes a sudden detour leaving you stranded in a field of awkwardness:

(At the sink in the women’s restroom.)

She said: How was your weekend?
Me: It was good. My parents were in town so that was fun. How was yours?
Her: It was really fun. We did a marathon.
Me: A marathon?
Her: A show marathon. You probably wouldn’t like the show. You see, people don’t know the real me. Most people think I’m someone I’m not.

Big pause. Do I ask? I don’t think I want to know. But if I don’t ask, that’s rude. I can’t think of an easy way out. I’ll ask, and I’ll probably regret it.

Me: Oh, what show is that?
Her: “Sons of Anarchy.” Have you seen it?
Me: I haven’t. I’ll have to check it out.

Sigh of relief. That wasn’t so bad. It could have been worse. So far my list of people to avoid only includes one person who I nicknamed Nipple-popped Mary. Mary cornered me in the kitchen during my first week at a new job. She thought we could bond over babies. At the time I had an infant. She asked me if I was breastfeeding. I said yes. And then she began telling me how she nursed all of her babies, and how one in particular liked to pop her nipple. Pop! (She included sound effects.)

Jazz hands

Sometimes a girl needs someone to talk to about things like pencil skirts and sitting shoes. I need that someone. I need a gay male best friend. The closest I’ve come to filling this role was a fleeting moment in a bar last month. It began in the women’s restroom.

I walked into the bathroom and noticed eight feet in the stall next to me. One of the voices belonged to a guy. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I heard a girl say, “This is the American way!” And then someone yelled, “I have pee running down my leg!” Anyway, it sounded kinky.

I was washing my hands when the guy ran out. The three girls headed to the sink saying versions of, “OMG I have to wash my hands!”

When I left, I found the guy waiting outside the bathroom door. I said to him, “You should probably wash your hands, too.” He said, “Yeah, but…”

“It’s fine,” I said. “Just go back in.” He smiled and slipped back through the half-open door.

I found my friends at a table and told them about the foursome in the bathroom. A little while later, I saw the four from the bathroom dancing and pointed them out. The guy was kind of nerdy and the three girls were beautiful platinum blondes. My friends agreed he must be filthy rich. I decided that I had to find out what his secret was.

I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder while he was worshipping one of the blondes. I said, “How did you land three women?”

He said, “I’m gay!”

I laughed. “You are?! I’ve been looking for a gay best friend.”

“Every girl needs one,” he agreed.

“So I didn’t just witness my first foursome in the bathroom?”

“Ha! No, that wasn’t what that was.”

While we were chatting, one of the blondes gave me the ice princess death stare. I said, “I think she’s mad at me.”

“Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on there.”

“It’s alright. I should go. Have fun!” I turned and walked away.

“Wait!!” he squealed. He ran over, flashing his jazz hands in a plea for me to stop. Confused, I stayed put. He grabbed my shoulders and leaned in, “MMwah!” He planted a big kiss on my cheek and said, “You’re fabulous!”

And so I had my gay best friend fix. Jazz hands, fabulosity and all.

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