Thursday, December 13, 2007

Giving Thanks...better late than never.

Today, I received an actual request from one of my two readers for more material. It’s been about a month since I’ve purged my brain here, and I know I'm due.

Let's first get a mental picture of my day today, which will give you an idea of how weirdly chaotic my life has been over the last month. Today, I wrote about a 62-year-old man's gangrenous colon while eating Reese's pieces. (Number 42 on my "to-do-before-I-die" list...check). I ate lunch with a friend of mine at work, who happens to be the wife of a doctor, very Catholic, and that sort of perfect suburbanite that you see in Good Housekeeping magazine. She only works part-time to be social, really, and most days, her perfectly arranged books about Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela on her cube shelves beg me to move them out of order - just to see if her hair will mess up as a result. Today, though, she spoke about a Euchre party she attended last night that was complete with cocktails and transvestites, transgenders, and transsexuals, and went on to discuss what the difference of the three are and how "its" boobs were absolutely stunning(number 67...check). Additionally, it was my first day in four days to actually be at work, as I've been working the last few out of my home office, while simultaneously taking care of fiance' after major spinal surgery. Today, I came home to a healthy man with an unhealthy mental perspective on how well he really is after having his neck sliced and vertebrae messed with by a neurosurgeon on Monday. I had him nicely drugged and numb for the three days I was around. And on day four, sans me and my constant flow of the happy juice, the "oh, I'm fine...where are my car keys?" turned quickly into "wow, I don't feel so good...I may puke" after peeling the nasty, three-day-old bandage from his neck. The actual hair that he does have left was shaved even further, thanks to Salon Neurosurgeon. I managed to be Miss Nursey Jane, cleaning the bandaged area like a champ and doing it all in 4-inch stiletto boots while keeping the wound dry and intact. Maybe I did go into the wrong profession, after all.

Following my forced medical internship, I then had to deliver a phone to a teenage boy. The soon-to-be-stepson needed a new phone desperately, as his old one died. And, we can't have him not talking to the four girls that happen to be in love with him since I took him to get his hair cut like Brad Pitt's. Because I'm the only one of the two parental units that lives at his Dad's house that can drive a car this week, I was appointed to assist in the handoff. And because his mother wants me to die a slow, painful, and more than likely embarrassing public-stoning-type death, I had to make the delivery in the driveway. Despite my faith for one day being like Rod Stewart's family of ex-wives and kids that spend Christmas together harmoniously, I realize that his mother is not likely to invite me to tea in this lifetime. Well, maybe if it was laced with cyanide, perhaps. So, I sit in the driveway, like a teenage phone-crack dealer and do the handoff. And, now I'm finally home, checking email, and realizing that this is so very, very normal for me. It's as if I was born to live in such chaos. Normalcy is the weird and the uncomfortable, it seems. The craziness is my life, in all its dysfunctional glory.

To add to the normalcy of my day, I received one of those "you have 7 new members in your Classmates community" emails from, and like an idiot, I clicked on it, only to learn that one, about 68 people have clicked to see what I'm doing these days, and two, my ex-husband and his Lawyer McStepfordhippie new wife delivered a baby girl in October. Now before you go thinking that I'm upset about his new spawn, I somehow feel as though my eggs are just balls of dust, and I'm hormonal or something, I do have a great epiphany to share here. So bear with me. Where he once had nothing, he now has vomited pictures of he and his new spawn and his wife kissing - much like the Tipper and Al Gore-type political, non-tongue like stuff - all over the site. A picture of their perfect Catholic wedding after the perfect annullment, despite my perfectly riddled-with-expletives-and-tales-of-penchants-for-Asian-porn rants to the archdiocese. The right amount of money can squelch a rant. I'm curious as to how much it cost to shut me up, though. If only Marie Claire paid that much for a lifestyle article. I always wondered what priest has that rant in his possession now, and where my picture is hanging with the caption of, "DON'T EVER LET THIS CRAZY BITCH INTO THE HALLOWED WALLS OF OUR CHURCH AGAIN." You'd think I'd be freaked out a little by the new baby thing. I was with the man for 13 years, after all, but when I looked at the pictures, I just felt, well, relieved. And, weirdly, I feel as though he's so much better off without me. I just wasn't right for the guy. Period. I was too pensive. I analyzed too much. I didn't have a lobotomy.

My initial reaction wasn't what someone would think it would be. I could actually smell the prison walls I once lived in, and the subsequent "mommy and me" group outings I would have to endure in suburbia if I had not escaped years ago. I was reminded of that feeling of having no control over my life. Honestly, there are days when I wonder what in the hell fiance is doing with ME. And then he'll look at me and tell me I'm beautiful and exclaim his wonder that I'm even standing 10 feet away from him. It's funny how love works that way, I guess. When it's the real, take-out-the-trash-together type of love, with all its weirdness and dyfunction, its a no-holds-barred kind of life. If you're smart and really look at things at face value, you shake your head in amazement that this person thinks you're gorgeous when you wake up in the morning with dragon breath and medusa hair...

I wasn't sad. I wasn't upset. I wasn't even a bit jealous of the whole baby thing, even if I have been experiencing periodic baby twangs every so often. I just felt grateful for the man who grabbed my hand the night before, looked deep into my eyes and said probably the most sincere "thank you, babe" for taking care of him this week. I felt grateful for the teenage kid that joked with me in the car, laughed at something I said and said, simply, "thank you" for the phone I brought him. I felt grateful for the teenage girl who said, "if I could afford the gas, I'd come live with you and's more fun at your place." (That really was a compliment, by the way). I felt grateful for the big, clumsy Great Dane and dangerously wagging boxer that knocked me over when I walked in the door today.

My Dad sent me that Dalai Lama good-karma email that seems to go around about every six months. I always forward it, because, well, it's the Lama, and he's my mofo. One of my favorite quotes in it is something like "not getting what you want may be exactly what you need." I don't have the house in the suburbs. I don't have a picture-perfect relationship and a Tipper and Al Gore-like presentation to my life. I don't have my perfect job, and I don't have it all figured out. Hell, I barely understand myself, let alone the male species or the teenage one, to boot. My life is so beautifully flawed at this point, and it's exactly where I know I'm supposed to be. I closed a door, another one opened, and the view is vast now. It just smells good.

And all it took was a stupid spam mail to remind me of that.

Because it came and went without a posting, I must sign off with my better-late-than-never tradition of providing my "What I'm Thankful For This Year" list. I've already stated some, but here are some additions on the tip of my brain, just to keep the love flowing...:

*Fresh Midwestern snow and not being able to determine where my driveway ends and the road begins.
*Friends that tell me, on a bad hair day no less, that I remind them of Ingrid Bergman. She was way cool, and that is way complimentary.
*A 5-month old puppy that eats 7 cups of food a day, and won’t cap out until he’s over a year old. I won't even talk about his poo.
*A 60” television during the SEC championships, even if the Vols choked like a high school team.
*An April honeymoon, to be preceded by an April par-tay, which will be preceded by an April wedding.
*Past students who write me to let me know that they are now attending grad school because of my encouragement to "keep on writing and reading..."
*A subscription to both Bitch magazine and Vogue - and especially when they arrive on the same day.
*Café breves. Full fat, please.
*My little Mazda hatchback that averages 26 mpg.
*Shunning turkey on Thanksgiving and starting my new “All Chicken Livers and Mashed Potatoes All Day” new tradition
*Channel 59 on XM – because the best metal is LED. Oh yes.
*Learning that I really am nurturing and somewhat maternal and surprising my significant other with that (as well as myself)...
*Matt Damon FINALLY making sexiest man of the year. It's about time, people. Ben WHO?
*Horses in my backyard that I don’t have to take care of (thanks, country neighbors).
*A brand new copy of Abbey Road – because my old one was just too worn out - and especially tracks 14, 15, and 16 (...and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make...).
*Having a fiancé progressive enough to not be freaked out if I choose to hyphenate my name (OK, he questioned that just a TAD), hire a female minister, and deem good acoustics, cheap vodka, and my choice of turquoise or red dress color as some major priorities for our day.
*Rawhide. Bags of it. I suppose it's like pacifiers for a tired canine mother.
*Youtube. It's just good brain candy.
*Deadlines met, and the notion of NO overtime over Christmas. Fingers crossed.

Long enough, reader number 2?