Chief Complaint: Stabby Pain

My dear, sweet husband has been asking to take me to the ER all day because he’s convinced I have an ulcer. I’m convinced that after his recent finger+hedge trimmer incident we need to avoid ridiculous ER bills for a while and I should try to get in with my GP tomorrow instead. Also, “I’m not dead yet!” and I can sit up and type this, so I’m clearly not ready for the ER, right? RIGHT.

Continue reading “Chief Complaint: Stabby Pain”

Servants’ Quarters

After being sick and stuck on the sofa all week–I was sick; he was stuck on the sofa with me, or anyway, he was kind enough to hang around and pretend to be interested in my sofa adventures–we decided to venture out into the world today. Cue drumroll, ’cause it was epic. I actually masked my under eye circles and put on earrings! And clothes!

Our favorite draft house hangout was sold out for the afternoon except for the VERY front rows of the theaters, so we decided on another of our favorite weekend pastimes, open housing. (Front row seats in the latter activity involve less neck pain and eyestrain, you see.) We spent the afternoon touring open houses in our area, contemplating real estate prices, decorating and remodeling options, and the move we keep talking about maybe possibly making sometime in the yet-to-be decided future.

We wandered through some pretty neighborhoods and into one particularly gorgeous house, and upon asking the real estate agent for the list price, we both giggled when she announced the price tag. I may break some rules of social etiquette, but I do know it’s rude to talk about money so I’ve edited that out here and you’re welcome. Anyway, I think it’s not going to offend anyone here when I say the price tag was just a tad outside our price range, by, well, just a smidge. (She quoted it and B said “Yeah, that’s about double what we’re looking for.” Only, he was lying because the price tag was about three times what we’d be in for at this stage of our lives, or the next or the one after that.)

The real estate agent giggled with us–fortunately, not at us, bless her for that–when I asked if there was a servant’s door through which we should quietly excuse ourselves after we heard the price tag. Continue reading “Servants’ Quarters”

Game Time

C: Hubby just texted me to say, “It’s time to play everyone’s favorite game.” I waited for a followup message but received none, so I decided to answer, “Pin the party hat on the naked fireman?” Turns out the real answer is, “Where is my hotel?” and he was not amused.

E:  That is NOT as fun as pin the party hat on the naked fireman. That is not as fun as ANYTHING you do with a naked fireman.

C: How about, “Where is my hotel where I left my naked fireman?”

E: Could be fun. Could be incredibly frustrating.

Happy Nine Years, Dude.

Most years I just lie to my mom now when she asks if I’ve had my flu shot, but I happened to be at the doctor’s office for a routine appointment when they were administering quadrivalent flu shots this year, so I got one. (Quadrivalent, for those of you who don’t know what it means, translates loosely to “bad mamma jamma.” Bad mamma jamma, in turn, can lead to some fun Web searches if you don’t know what it means.) Afterward, I promptly called my mom to tell her how responsible I’d been, in hopes that it might buy me a year or two during which she won’t nag me about flu shots. That theory was scrapped today when she found out I’m sick and she started a new chant that I’m certain is sponsored by whoever produces Tamiflu.

Anyway, flu shot. Did it. And now after comparing symptoms with my sister who was tested for the flu and diagnosed with one of the A types, it turns out that this mini-plague I’m suffering now may actually be the flu. Except I’m handling it far better than unvaccinated folks would, so contrary to all the whining I’m doing to my husband, it won’t in fact be the end of me.

Continue reading “Happy Nine Years, Dude.”


In 2002 I was a junior in high school. I arrived home after a date and found both my parents waiting up for me wearing grim expressions. They handed me a letter that had come in the mail that day, from the representative of my childhood best friend’s family. The letter stated that I was being contacted because I was a friend to the family, and it launched into a short and painful tale. Lindsay had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer only weeks before, and one afternoon she complained of chest pains and collapsed. She had passed quickly and unexpectedly, so a family representative was appointed to contact loved ones and notify them of the funeral arrangements. I received the letter the day before the funeral.

Lindsay and I met in the first grade, where we discovered our mutual love of hanging upside down on the monkey bars by our knees, locking our hands together, and swinging back and forth until we couldn’t hold on to the bars any longer and we fell to the ground in a heap, giggling. Our mothers grew exasperated–mine sure did, anyway–at the fact that we snuck our matching shorts out of the laundry basket so we could wear them every day of the week, since they were the best for climbing jungle gyms. We spent weekends together, riding bicycles through the neighborhood pretending we were being chased, crying together whenever one of us fell down and got scraped up, and marveling at the grown-up things her much older siblings did.

Lindsay moved away while we were still in elementary school, but her parents visited often so they would let us spend the afternoons together when they visited on weekends. When we weren’t together we mailed friendship bracelets back and forth and we “snuck” long-distance phone calls. We both had other friends in our own cities, but we saved secrets for one another. As we grew older, whispered conversations about boys and cars began to creep into our phone calls. I listened in awe when Lindsay told me about her first kiss, and we made plans for when we would both soon have drivers licenses so we could travel back and forth to visit on weekends to share our stories.

Lindsay got her license and a shiny new car for her birthday, which was a month before mine. The story the pastor told at her funeral was one which happened not long before her death, when she’d been cruising along in her new car and she’d hit a rabbit. In tears, she pulled her car over to the side of the road and sat with the rabbit as it lay dying. This was the young adult version of the same kind-hearted little girl I’d shared tears with as a child.

Continue reading “Lindsay”

The Amelia Earhart Fairytale

Wife: Did you hear? Explorers found what they think is a piece of Amelia Earhart’s plane.

Husband: Huh?

Wife: A piece of Amelia Earhart’s plane was found on an island where explorers already think she crashed. So she didn’t perish in the ocean. Instead, she and her navigator lived out their lives on this island.

Husband: Oh yeah, I’ve heard that. So they probably lived another year there.

Wife: No way, they lived out the rest of their lives!

Husband: They weren’t young when they made the trip.

Wife: They were 40 or something when they went missing.

Husband: Yeah, so they maybe lived to 41.

Wife: (wrinkling nose) I do NOT like your version of this story.

Husband: (laughing) It’s okay. You can keep your version.

(insert a five-minute pause during which we turned to our respective laptop screens)

Husband: Poor Amelia.

Wife: Exactly! I know she’s dead, but I always feel sad when I read about this.

Husband: Yep, she’s definitely dead now.

Wife: Of course. She’d be 100 now. No, 117 years old.

Husband: Definitely less believable now. Definitely dead.

Wife: Amelia Earhart, definitely dead.


From a phone conversation with my dad, about my two-and-a-half-year-old niece, A.

Dad: “We went to Cabela’s to pick up some dove decoys before our hunting trip, and A decided to name the two dove decoys. They’re now Charlie and George, so I labeled them on the underside so we’ll know which is which. And they get tucked in at night, too. She also has an owl decoy, her favorite. And that’s not to mention her collection of stuffed animals, including Peppa Pig of course. And let’s see what else she has… there’s a… well, hell, all I can reckon is that this one’s a chupacabra or something. So along with all the stuffed animals, Barbies, and decoys, she also has a chupacabra. She loves all the animals.”

A: (interrupting the conversation) “I like to clean!”

Dad: (laughing) “Yeah, you keep saying that for about the next 40-50 years, okay?”