Back in the Hi Life Again

hi-chewI don’t know if I have discussed how I am a food hoarder in this blog. Even if I have, it’s been a while, so let’s go there again. I hoard food. I have no idea why I do this. I didn’t have siblings, so I never had to fight over the last piece of chicken or extra dessert. I had enough food to eat at all times, and my family was financially stable so there was never any fear of me not being able to have food.

And yet, I hide food, particularly candy, so others won’t take it from me. Maybe it does have to do with being an only child. I don’t like to share. So, there we go. Self-diagnosed. One issue down, a million to go!

So I recently came upon Hi-Chew at Five Below. I was shopping for some stuff for my kids’ goddamn Elf on the Shelf, aptly named Cookie, to “bring” to them. Don’t get me started on the Elf. I hate it with a passion and I hate whoever invented it and I hate parents who don’t hate it. Upon seeing the cases of Hi-Chew, it took all I had within me to not buy out the entire stock. I purchased six packs of it, intending to keep two for myself and give four to the boys.

Not familiar with Hi-Chew? I wasn’t either, until about two years ago when my kids bought it from the concession stand at a baseball tournament. I thought it was gum, at first. Its consistency can be described as somewhere between gum and taffy, or maybe a really chewy Starburst. But it’s really the flavor that makes the candy so wonderful. It legit tastes exactly like whatever flavor it’s supposed to taste like. For instance, the grape flavor takes exactly like grape juice. The mango flavor, exactly like mango. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries. It doesn’t taste like that generic candy fruit flavor that every other kind of fruity candy has.

I read up on Hi-Chew on its Wikipedia page, and there’s a few things about it that I wish I hadn’t read, particularly with regard to its ingredients. But good news – it’s gluten free!

Anyway, my Hi-Chew is now safely stashed in my usual hiding spot and I will be DEVASTATED if it is discovered. I have a grape and a mango. Soon, my kids will also have these flavors, as bestowed upon them by Cookie. Or …. since they aren’t expecting them … Cookie may gift them to me!

My big night out … in the ER

I have this big problem now that I’m 40. Well, it probably started a few years ago, but now more so than ever.

Every time I have any symptom outside of a cold, I automatically assume I’m dying. And you know what? I’m going to be right one of these times.

I have a few health issues that make me more sensitive to changes in my body than the average person, so that’s part of it. But the other part is just that I’m completely insane.

Last night I was having these extreme coughing jags where I was almost making myself throw up. All that hacking also gave me some severe chest pain. My husband convinced me that it wasn’t a heart attack, but I thought maybe I was having an asthma attack or something like that (I’ve never been diagnosed with asthma). The coughing stopped for about an hour and then came back with a vengeance, and it felt like someone was stabbing me. After WebMD told me I was likely already dead, and additional googling of symptoms basically foretold my doom, I decided it was time to hop in the car and drive to my local emergency room.

I’m no stranger to this place. They practically know me there. It’s not something I’m proud of, but them’s the facts.

When they were acting more concerned with my cough than my chest pain, I relaxed a little bit. They decided they wanted to give me a breathing treatment, do xrays and bloodwork as more of a precaution. I fired up some Netflix on my iPad and enjoyed being a room to myself without kids asking me to get up and get them a glass of milk, or some spicy Cheez-It’s. Actually, it was starting to feel like I had booked myself into a weirdly-themed spa.

Then the (nurse? murse? intern?) knocked on my curtained-off room, saying he was there to take me to get my xray. The curtain parted and it was fucking Joe Manganiello in a pair of scrubs. I got off the hospital bed and he seemed shocked that I was going to walk myself to the room. As he was not equipped with a wheelchair or anything, I’m not sure what his plan was to transport me there. Maybe he would have carried me? I should have pretended to faint or something. I was hoping he’d reprise his routine from Magic Mike, but no dice. He did, however, basically look at my boobs because he did the chest xray. Granted, he was standing in the other room, but I hope he liked what he saw.

He took me back to my room and left, which is a shame, because I’m sure I could have come up with other body parts we could have x rayed. Anyway, I again just settled in for some quality Netflix time on the bed that was perfectly angled for optimum comfort.

And quite some time went by where nothing happened. I think I got through an episode of “Once Upon a Time” without anyone checking on me.

Then I had to pee.

I should also mention that by this point, I was hooked up to an IV and they had a bag of saline going. And I was rocking a hospital gown, open in the back, and my jeans.

I hit the call button and they had to rig my IV pole thing and I had to take that with me. So I was looking good strolling down the hall of the ER to the restoom. They informed me that someone was in there, so I stood outside, waiting.

And the scariest person in the world came out. I don’t want to discriminate but this person definitely looked like an addict of some sort. He looked high AF. His eyes wouldn’t even focus, and he dropped off a pee sample at the nurse’s desk. I’m not trying to judge, but I can’t think of many other reasons a guy this young would have been an ER patient. So THAT’s who used the toilet right before me. I have to tell you, it was almost enough to make me hold it til I got home. I reallllllllly had to go though.

Finally, my results came back and thankfully there was nothing seriously wrong with me. Other than my lungs were spasming from all the coughing, so much so that I needed an inhaler. They let me go home, and at this point I was ready for bed anyway. I had enough Netflix time. But when I got to the parking lot, I started coughing so hard, I thought my lung was going to come out on the pavement. I guess I should have gone back in to see if Joe Manganiello was still there to help me out.

You had me (creeped out) at hello

Made a quick run to Target this afternoon to pick up school supplies my kid has run out of. Pencils was one of them. How do you run out of pencils? You’re telling me every single one of the 24 pencils I sent him with in September has worn down to a nub? This is like the third time I’ve replenished them, too. No matter.

I could have gone anywhere to get these few items, but I decided to go to Target. Because Starbucks.

So I’m waiting for my grande mocha frappuccino, absently surfing Facebook on my phone when I hear a male adult voice say hello. It was close enough to me that I looked up. Sure enough, there’s a dude standing there. Could have been as young as 25 or as old as 45. I don’t know. “Hi,” I said, and looked back down at my phone. “How are you?” he continued. Now I’m like, ok mo’fo’, what do you want? Because I’ve clearly never met you before, you’re approaching me like an old friend, so what is this? Religious pamphlet? Are you going to try to rob me? Rape me? “I’m fine, how are you?” I say, but every alarm in my body is going off. Like, I am legitimately nervous by this approach. “Nice weather we’re having today,” he says. I am so uncomfortable I want to scream. I nod in agreement. Then without warning, he walks away, into the women’s clothing of Target.

WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

Is it sad that when a stranger tried to make conversation with me, my immediate reaction was fright? It was just really odd. Like, maybe something was socially “off” with him. It wasn’t a bar scene. I wasn’t trying to be “picked up.” I was just standing by the Starbucks counter waiting for my drink, looking at my phone. What signal was I giving off that I wanted to be approached? And then he had zero game. Hello, how are you, nice weather, that was it. I don’t know. I can’t decide if it’s just me being an uptight bitch for feeling that way, or that there was legitimately something about this person that gave me a bad vibe and triggered my fight-or-flight response. (Seriously. I got my drink and bolted out of Target like the place was on fire, even though creepy dude was probably accosting someone else. Although if Target was on fire, I might have tried to loot the place on my way out.)

I think this type of interaction is just so rare anymore that we don’t know how to handle it when it happens. Which is kind of sad. Or, like I said, I’m just that much of an asshole that I can’t just accept friendliness when it slaps me in the face.

Although, come to think of it, he was wearing jorts. Yeah. Something was definitely off about him.

Please … pray for my family

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the easiest person to live with. And that’s on a good day. I’m moody, I fatigue easily, and when I’m home, I usually just want to be left alone. Not usually an achievable goal with two kids and four animals and a husband hanging around all the time.

When you start layering on other circumstances, the situation becomes more dire.

Right now, I’m completely down for the count with a cold. Two nights ago I took cold medicine and the stupid-ass stuff kept me up all night. Like, zero sleep. Then I went to the drugstore and got other cold medicine. Tried to go to bed at 10, and was still up and wired at 1. I did finally settle down and slept like a rock after that, but I was facing the prospect of being up all night two nights in a row. I shudder to think what would have happened then.

Layer on top of that, the fact that I went to the dentist earlier in the week and got some temporary crowns put in. I had no idea until I set foot in the dentist’s office that I was getting temporaries. This is my first crown experience so I just assumed they did the whole thing. Nope – temporaries – and they’re in the front. So I can’t bite anything with my front teeth for two weeks until I get the real ones. It’s one whole piece, so if the temporary crown comes out, I will be looking like I just walked out of the Avery salvage yard up in Manitowoc County (that’s a Making a Murderer reference for you who aren’t in the know).

This wouldn’t be a big deal except I’m diabetic so my food choices are already limited.

Layer on top of that, I just hurt my foot when I clumsily walked into the kitchen cabinet coming around the corner. I think my little toe might be broken.

Honestly, I could not be more of a train wreck right now if I tried. So I ask you to please keep my family in your prayers over the next few days. They will need all the good thoughts they can get.

A few words about my yoga class

I know I’ve written about yoga before, about hating the Ohm. I stand by that.

This morning I attended a yoga workshop and noticed a few things, good and bad, that I wanted to share. Keep in mind that if you are a yoga person, some of this might offend you. Let it go.

First, a bit of the good. I take quite a bit of personal satisfaction when I am able to do moves that the younger yogis in my class cannot. Today’s exhibit: holding a plank for a long fucking time. Boom. I saw you go down on your knees, little twentysomething. Although it was NYE last night and you probably had a few drinks so you’re not at your best right now. Still. My planking is superior to your planking!

Also, I’m ok with the inverse of this. When there’s an older woman who just totally schools me in class. It gives me hope that I will be spry in my older age.

Now, a bit of the bad. People who grunt in class. I want to throat punch them SO HARD. This one woman, she was older, probably a hippie back in her glory days, grunted and make pleasure sounds for almost EVERY MOVE that we did in class. How am I supposed to find inner peace if you’re over there having an orgasm every 30 seconds?

Yoga pants that are basically see-through. Not that I’m looking, but if I can see your panties through your yoga pants, you need either a longer shirt, or you need thicker yoga pants.

People who show off. It’s great that you can do a full headstand or whatever, or crow that moves into a headstand, but if we’re not doing that pose, then there’s no need for you to be doing whatever show-offy thing you’re doing. Happy for you that you’re advanced in your yoga practice, but the rest of us are struggling and we all hate you.

People who invade your personal space. Yes, I know sometimes there’s not much room to maneuver in those classrooms. But if you’re flailing your arms around then please try to contain it to your mat. If you’re constantly knocking into me I’m going to probably turn around and clock you in the face. Namaste.

People with less-than-perfect hygiene. Someone near me smelled like what I can only describe nicely as “ass.” It was more of a “feminine odor” if you catch my drift. It was so bad that at one point, when hunkered down in child’s pose, I tried to sniff out the situation to make sure it wasn’t me. Yeah, just enjoy that visual for a minute. It happened. It wasn’t me, but the scent was distracting enough that it kept me wondering.

I know yoga is supposed to be a time of quiet reflection, where you try to free your mind and find peace. But these kind of things distract the hell out of me and make me cranky. I’m trying to be a better person and it just brings all the nasty in me right to the forefront.

I know I’m not the only one. I caught the eye of a woman across the room who was glaring at the orgasm lady. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, SISTER, is what I tried to convey with my eyes.

Do you find these same kinds of distractions in your yoga practice? How do you overcome them? Obviously I need a way to rise above, because it ain’t workin’ so far.

 

He sees me rollin’.

I see you, Hot Dad Picking Up Your Kid From PSR in the Church Parking Lot.

I saw that smile you gave me. Kind of an amused smile. I’m sure you’re just astounded by how attractive I am. I know. It’s ok. You’re not so bad yourself.

I know I shouldn’t be having these thoughts right now. I’m in a church parking lot, for Christ’s sakes. Shit. I probably shouldn’t have said “for Christ’s sakes.” Or “shit.” Dammit. See, I can’t stop myself.

This will be our moment, our little secret, Hot Dad Picking Up Your Kid from PSR in the Church Parking Lot. In a few seconds, our children will be running to our cars, happy to be done with their religious studies for the evening. But this … this is our time.

You don’t need to know that I’m rocking out to Usher in my car. You don’t even need to know that I’m singing along to it. The windows are closed, so there’s no way you can hear my musical choi-

DAMMIT.

My dog is in the backseat, happily sniffing the air through my open back window.

So you CAN hear the Usher, the singing, all of it.

I’m just going to casually turn the music down and look away from you now. I’m sorry it has to end this way.

Picture Day

As the sole woman in my household, I’m often outnumbered when it comes to decisions. Watch the game or Scandal? The game. (Fine, I’ll watch Scandal by myself, the way I LIKE IT.) What’s for dinner? Pizza or Chinese takeout? OK, call Papa John.

But the one realm where I assert total authority – what I say, goes – is school picture day. This is MY THING. I do the ordering and the dressing and everyone can just shut the hell up, smile nice for the camera, and go on with their lives.

So picture day is today. But let me back up and tell you what happened this weekend before I tell you what happened today. Saturday morning, I’m cleaning up dishes from breakfast, and my husband is at the kitchen table, which also doubles for the place where kids’ papers go to die. There’s a pile on the table, and if the paper is more than five deep, it may as well be in a black hole, because it’s never seeing the light of day again.

Anyway, both the kids’ picture forms are at the top of the pile, and my husband, thinking he is being helpful, says, “I’m just going to fill these out now so we’re not doing it Thursday morning at the last minute.” Thoughtful, right? It shows some insight and forethought that is usually absent in the male mind. I was ok with this plan, as long as he ordered the picture packages I wanted. He fills out the kids’ names, their teachers’ names, etc., and then he looks at all the packages. “I’m just going to get the cheapest one,” he says because we’ve established that he is a cheap bastard, and then when I turned white as a sheet, he told me he was joking and just said it to get a rise out of me. Very funny. But then, a few minutes later, he said, “I’m just going to order magnets, because everybody likes those, right?”

I waited for the punchline.

There wasn’t one.

“So, you mean, like, INSTEAD of getting photos, just … getting … the magnets?” I was struggling to understand this. And to breathe.

“Yeah,” he said.

I paused here, giving him ample opportunity to back down. When he didn’t, I said, “You know what? I will fill out the forms.”

He got kind of pissed and threw the pen down on the table in disgust. I don’t see why he was mad – he knows I’m anal, and honestly, ordering school pictures is total chick territory. He had no business venturing into lady land in the first place.

So I got the picture forms under control, wrote the checks, got that shit squared away. I also planned the outfits for the boys and made sure they were clean. That’s right, I #nailedit on preparation.

Cue this morning. Older child puts on his designated outfit without question or complaint. This is shocking because his everyday attire usually consists of an Under Armour t-shirt/hoodie and athletic shorts/pants with some kind of outrageously-colored socks (this is a whole other post – boys’ socks). Anyway, he’s good to go. The younger one, however, is NOT HAVING IT with the shirt OR the shorts I set out for him. He wants “the shirt I wore to Papa’s house.” Papa is his great-grandfather, and we haven’t been to his house in almost a year. I can’t remember what shirt he wore yesterday, let alone which one he wore to Papa’s. He starts tearing shirts out of his dresser drawer and I am trying to not go completely psychotic over the chaos.

He didn’t find whatever shirt it was … chances are, he outgrew it because it was so long ago. He did, however, find a plaid button-down long-sleeve shirt, which he wore in our holiday photos, but whatever. Not going to argue with him at this point because I’m now late for work. He wore that, plus some long pants on this 80-degree day, as opposed to the nice kelly green polo and khaki shorts I had planned for him. His loss.

Deep Thoughts … about Chipotle

  • Why, at 8:00 at night, is the goddamn Chipotle line still out the door? My blood sugar is probably about 70 right now and there’s a pretty good chance I might not survive the wait. But, if I get back in the car and go somewhere else, I’m also probably going to die. Eff it, I’ll just tough it out. 20 people have walked in behind me so if I bail now and decide to un-bail, that’s 20 more people in front of me.
  • At least 3/4 of the people on the food line have spacers in their ears. This grosses me out. I “dated” a guy who had huge spacers in his earlobes and it somewhat repulsed me. I still “dated” him. The one time. And then I broke it off because he was a crazy straight edge and he also said he was in love with me after one day. And the spacers didn’t help his case.
  • My husband hates Chipotle because he thinks that hipsters like it. Yes, that is his entire reason that he hates Chipotle. Don’t ask me.
  • People who call it “Chipolte” (pronounced Chi POLE tay)
  • People who think they’re being funny when they pronounce it like “Chi POT ul”
  • The a-hole who orders six burritos. I hate that guy.
  • That onion, though.
  • Your last bite of meat is almost always skeevy.
  • Guac is extra, in case you didn’t know! But $2 extra for a big thwack! of guac just doesn’t seem right. That only looks like about 75 cents worth.
  • Seriously. It’s tomorrow and the onion is still with me. Every time I burp, I taste it. Despite the gum, Altoids and basically any food I can think of to try to cover the taste of onion, it prevails. The onion has won. “So, don’t order onion,” you say. HOW? I ask. It’s in the corn salsa. Little flecks of purple rancid onion. It cannot be avoided. Because listen, I am not giving up the corn salsa. The corn salsa is everything.

Only Child Residual Issues

One surprising little factoid about me: I am an only child. Most people are shocked when they learn this, and usually make a remark like, “You don’t act like an only child.” What I take that to mean is that I don’t act like a selfish, spoiled brat, which is the stereotypical only child M.O. I take that as a compliment, because I assume that’s how they mean it.

It’s true, I didn’t pick up many of the traits one would associate with only children. But, I didn’t walk away unscathed from my lack of siblings. The older I get, the more I notice that I have extreme hoarder tendencies. One of the biggest categories of my hoardage is food. I think it all centers around the fact that I never had to share when I was growing up, and dammit, if I buy dark chocolate Almond Bark from Trader Joe’s, my kids better keep their grubby little hands off it.

I have stashes of “my” food all over the kitchen. It’s not in super secret places. It’s mainly in the back of the fridge, behind other stuff. So it just takes a little bit of effort to uncover my stuff. Usually, however, no one bothers to go that far. At work, I have drawers full of snacks, probably enough to last for a couple months. I recently moved desks and I found two separate large bags of raw almonds from the bulk food store that I didn’t know I had. I have more Crystal Light flavor packets than I will ever drink.

And I honestly think this all stems back to the fact that I had no competition as a child when it came to snacks. If a bag of Doritos entered the house, I was fairly certain that I could leave the house, go to school, come back, and no one would have eaten all the Doritos while I was gone. Anymore, I don’t have that same assurance. And my love for snacks has not diminished over the years; if anything, it has increased.

So yeah, I might not have become a navel-gazing, self-absorbed brat, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t four boxes of Bottle Cap candy in the kitchen cabinets that are off-limits to my kids.

Ways to Immediately Gross Me Out

I don’t know why any of you would want to do such a thing, but if you are looking for the fast track to grossing me out, here are a few that will do the trick in a jiffy.

Describe the cause of a paper cut

Nothing gives me the heebie jeebies faster than hearing about someone getting a paper cut. I can feel the paper slicing through my own skin, every time. Bonus points: show me the paper cut.

Even more bonus points: show me a surgery scar and attempt to describe the surgical process for as long as you can until I either run away or faint.

Peel away a bandage

On a similar note, I don’t need to see what’s underneath your cast. Or even your Band-Aid.

Ranch it up

Waft an open bottle of Ranch dressing under my nose. I will commence dry heaving immediately. Can’t stand the stuff. My kids love it. When they have Ranch on their salad – or veggies – I basically handle the dishes with an extreme amount of caution. If a drop of ranch so much as touches me, I will basically attempt to amputate the body part affected with the heinous creamy glop.

In case you’re wondering: no, I do not like Cool Ranch Doritos. Gag.

Have Bad Breath and be a Close Talker

It’s messed up that we can’t smell our own breath most of the time, because most of us would be horrified at the smell we were giving off. If you smoke, drink alcohol, drink coffee or eat garlic/onions, or a salad with a hearty helping of Ranch, don’t fucking breathe on me at any time. Especially if you are a close talker. Back ‘er on down. Personal space: it’s for everyone.

Throw Up

Something about seeing/hearing/smelling vomit makes me want to vomit. I don’t feel like I really need to justify myself here. I’m usually ok if I see it on TV because I know it’s not real and I can’t smell it. It’s when multiple senses are engaged that evokes my gag reflex.

And??

I’m sure I could come up with more, but those are good for starters.