I think I'd rather live chat with myself and that sounds kinda dirty

I am currently live chatting with a customer service rep. This isn't exactly hell on earth, but goddamit, it's pretty close. According to the timer, I have now been waiting for 13.08 minutes. that's like an eternity, especially when you drank a bunch of tea and now your bladder wants to explode and your brain is doing it damndest to keep everything under control, but it's a losing battle.

Huzzah! Someone names Martin is now chatting with me. It takes Martin another 2.48 minutes to actually type something. My dogs can type faster than this. I'm assuming. 

Martin: How are you today, Rhana?

Really? That's what took you almost three minutes to type? What are you doing on your end? Images of someone on a computer in their house, drinking margaritas and ironing while live chatting assault my brain.

Me: I am fine, Martin. How are you?

I figure I should hide all traces of assholeness and be really nice to this person because they have the ability to make or break my day.

1.18 minutes later. . . 

Martin: How can I help you today?

I wonder if he just burned his finger on the iron while trying to kill the last of his margarita.

I'm tempted to ask if he can come over and help me clean my car.  Instead. . . 

Me: Well, this is the third time I've had to type this, but I need to return something.

Martin: I apologize for the inconvenience. Now what do you need help with?

Gawd. I want to bang the keyboard against my head until I forget this experience, but I'm a wimp so I resort to glaring and swearing at the computer screen.

Martin and I go back and forth for another few minutes and in the end, I still have no idea what the point of this live chat is for except to make me more irritated and rue the day technology came into my life. 

Me: Well?

Martin: Why don't you call us and we can help you over the phone.

Like fuck you can. I get on the phone and call for pizza instead because that usually solves a lot of my problems. 

 

Playgrounds are breeding grounds for judgement and suspicion

I'm at the playground with the toddler.  

That's how my day is going. 

All I want do is go to sleep, but apparently I have to watch the toddler play and socialize with other little people we don't know because it's in the parenting handbook. Also, there are typos in my handbook and I'm pretty sure whole chapters are missing.

It's humid and this canvas top over the playground is doing nothing to cool this old body down. I wonder: if I pass out, would the toddler leave me there snoring and go home with a different family, happy to be with normal people? 

There are a shit ton of moms here that I don't know. They cluster into their cliques and I want no part of it, unless they have food. Then my tune will change quickly. 

There are the rich moms who roll up in their Mercedes SUV's, hoping everyone at the playground sees them as they park their European rides. Their kids bound down to the slides while their moms yell at them, 'don't get dirty because I just had your outfit dry cleaned,' making sure everyone hears it.

I roll my eyes in disgust as I realize a two-year-old is wearing the same sandals I am wearing. The mom giggles as she makes the same observation and tells her friends, 'isn't that cute? That mom bought children's shoes.' Emphasis on 'that' like I'm a monster or something. Don't get your kids near that thing!

No, asshole, your toddler shouldn't be wearing shoes meant for adults. 

There's the mom group who are what can only be described as aging cheerleaders who do cross fit in the hopes that they'll shimmy back into their high school cheerleading outfit. They also think yoga pants are an acceptable form of evening wear.

There are the outliers.  The woman with mad tattoos and looks like she could do some damage at the bar if you look at her the wrong way. The college-aged nanny who should be watching her charge, but is instead texting with her boyfriend who probably looks really douchey and has the latest Bieber hairstyle. The one young dad who brings his daughters and looks highly uncomfortable while all the moms flock to and flirt with him.

Then there's me, the narcoleptic, who would rather be anywhere but here.

Requiem for a life

I'm feeling listless and melancholy. Like I need to go run outside and feel the grass get crushed under the weight of my toes. And have that bright sun radiate heat through my skin and into my lungs. 

But my body feels old, tired, unable to move towards something, anything. It looks odd and distant; this is my body and yet I don't want to own it. Wishing for just a moment that I could molt and spiral into a new being. 

This brain is foggy and out of step. Trying to catch tendrils of memories of breaths past is getting more difficult by the minute and my frustration echoes through me.

I inhale and exhale and know the oxygen is caught somewhere in my veins, a pile-up of sorts and I accept this stagnation a little to quickly. 

It's not even noon and my mood is sliding quickly into the hollow of a tree where it will cower and tremble for more hours than I'm comfortable with. 

So I'll sit out here for a little while longer, in hopes that I can find solace in the quiet that is all around me.  And maybe eat this chocolate chip cookie that I've been staring at for too long. 

Elastic hearts are meant to break

Before I grew into this human I am now, I was someone else. Someone lost and flailing in a sea of other lost souls, reaching out for a life line - surviving, but barely alive.

I reached for everything, anything that would make me feel like I was alive. Love was the closest thing I could get a grip on.

Falling in love is ethereal: you float above dark clouds and dive into ecstasy. Your mind is lost to wondrous ideas of the future and the synapses in your brain are going off so fast, all you can do is laugh and smile.

So I fell in love with a man. We were both desperate for love and, unknowingly, we carried our emotional baggage like a ball and chain swinging above our heads, waiting for gravity to take hold. 

The surface was smooth and had a blinding sheen to it: we held hands as we watched movies, ate at restaurants and went on hikes with his dog because in Los Angeles, if you're not seen on a hiking trail with your dog and your loved one, you're no one. 

Underneath the elation and intoxication, there was something bitter and cruel that was thriving from our ignorance and the decay was going to consume us slowly.

What was it that we would fight for?

I wanted comfort and stability, some place I could come home to and not care whose toothbrush I used. I wanted someone who would bring brilliance into my cavern of darkness.

He wanted strength instead of vulnerability, refinement instead of my rough edges that cut him deeply. 

We realized too late that love was only a mirage.

I'd take credit for excuses and whole bunch of other stuff if I could

I didn't get shit done this week because kids. They will eat you alive if you let them. 

On Monday I spent a total of five hours in the minivan. Can you guys say bedsores?

Tuesday basically disappeared in a blink of an eye - I don't know what happened that day, except I woke up and the next thing I know I'm doing laundry at 1 am because kids with no socks at school get their asses sent home.

Wednesday? Blur. Thursday? School activities that took all day and kept me away from my precious food. Friday? I meant to get my drink on, but instead found myself basking in the comforting, warm light of my new vacuum cleaner. Friday night delight. 

And here I am, Sunday. All I want to do is go back to sleep, but I have to journey through this Grand Canyon of laundry.

Fuck.

The interwebs is an infinite and mysterious place:

There was more, but my stomach is growling and yelling at me. Better go satisfy the beast.

I love spending my Thursday mornings with strangers and their hacking coughs

I'm at the car dealership so I can have my trusty minivan serviced, the minivan I have a love/hate relationship with.

A service agent tells me I should have come in 9,000 miles ago. He stares at me like he's one of those people giving a lie detector test. I shrug my shoulders meekly and tell him I had no idea and that I've been busy.

He nods his head. I have failed his test. 

For my indiscretions, he tells me I have to wait at least an hour and a half. 

But I have an appointment, I proclaim. 

Doesn't matter, he says. We're really backed up. 

I stand on tiptoes to look behind him in the garage. It's completely empty, save for one vehicle that looks like it's just there for show.

He and I have a five second stare down. I end up losing because a woman with lustrous long brown hair walks by and I'm stunned by her perfectly blown-out locks. I catch a glimpse of my own hair in the window. No one will be doing a double-take today. No one.

Apparently, I'm not the only one looking at this fine hair specimen. All the men have stopped mid-sentence to stare as well. 

Suddenly my dislike for people in their twenties rears its ugly head. Who needs perfect hair anyway? Phbbbbbttttttt.

I trudge over to the waiting room, which looks like that scene in Beetlejuice where Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin find themselves in the afterlife waiting room.

There are no seats left and does no one care that I need to put this ridiculously heavy purse down somewhere before it tears my rotator cuff?

Chivalry is so dead. 

Everyone is coughing and they should really hand out face masks at these places. The guy next to me clears his throat of phlegm. I glare at him. He looks back at me unaware of the sheer madness his coughing is putting me through. Oh geez, now he's sneezing into his hands.

I have to get out of here, but it's only been ten minutes and I am stuck here, alone and hungry. 

Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice! 

 

I knew my phone would drive me to insanity and still I carried on with our lovely affair

I lost my cell phone.

For three hours, I was:

  • anxiety-ridden
  • panicked
  • bewildered
  • exhausted
  • irritated I couldn't check my email because sitting an actual computer is too difficult
  • mad I couldn't text random shit to Carl - yes, he must know that I still don't know what to cook for dinner
  • frustrated I couldn't read the news - what if something happened and I didn't know about it and the emergency alert system failed?

I could barely function and it was starting to affect my usually cheery personality. FIne, my less than cheery personality. I can't stand the word cheery and yet, here I've already used three times.

I looked everywhere and tried to do my best Columbo impersonation. Too bad I don't have a rumpled old trench coat. I traced my steps from the very moment I woke up. 

Nothing. 

A dread overcame me and I started feeling sick. The same kind of feeling I get every time I walk onto a plane and see all the people stuffed into seats that are really more for children than full-sized adults.

Desperation made me look in not-so likely places: under dog beds, in the tub, out in the yard, utensil drawer, spice cabinet, tool box. . . 

I plopped down in the middle of the kitchen and was about to cry when the phone rang. Carl. 

I lost my phone. I don't what else to do. Maybe I left it at the store and now some asshole is using it to buy a million things form Amazon!?!?!

There was a long pause on the other end and then, If you lost your phone, than what the fuck are you talking on?

Clearly, I need to go back to sleep.

I'd take credit for being the old person in the neighborhood that everyone is scared of or laughs at. Either way old.

We don't have a fence around our house, so it's easy for randoms to just walk through our yard and peek into our daily lives, like stalkers, but with a permit to be looky-loos.

Some kids, not my kids, were in our backyard yesterday hollering and whooping it up and playing some strange amalgam of football and dodgeball. The strangeness of their ballet dance enthralled me for a second.

Until Prince saw them. Then it was just five agonizing minutes of telling (yelling at) him to stop your barking already! Please? and getting him to chew on a toy he just stares at and has always despised.

I'm a smart pet owner that way.

I went back to washing the dishes, looking out the window and making faces that included eye rolls (my specialty), smirking, grimacing and narrowing my eyes into a focused glare.

The dish brush rattled against the sink as I threw it down when the football came crashing violently into our sliding door, the boys kept taunting the dog and Prince lost his fool mind. 

Walking with strides of one part determination, two parts pissed-offedness (it's a word, Encyclopedia Britannica), I went to the sliding down and did my mom stare at the kids. 

What are you doing? I yelled at the kids through the glass.

They all shrugged their slim shoulders and looked at one another, probably thinking what is wrong with this woman? And then they continued to shake their heads meekly at me and say, nothing.

I walked away one more time because I could feel my heart racing and suddenly my lungs forgot how to fill with air and I needed my inhaler.

When I came back from my minutes long, harried journey into the hearts of darkness that is my purse, I found the kids taunting Prince again.

That's it!

I stepped up to the sliding door again and with all my energy yelled, GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU KIDS and I mumbled some random mutterings under my breath about youth.

As the boys stood there, not sure what type of Twilight Zone they just walked into, I contemplated when it was I turned into an ogre.

This week I learned that forty has not been kind to me and I expect forty-one to truly make minced meat of me and:

The interwebs is an infinite and mysterious place:

  • there are betting odds for what royal baby number two will be named
  • THIS was the first in-flight movie
  • 10 original reviews of classic works of lit - it ain't pretty
  • Are women the only people that make cupcakes? Fuck no. There are kids, men, boys, girls, maybe aliens. I don't know, but the title of this post makes me bristle. And I realize there are books and other posts with this same issue, but I'm not going to list them here, because that would take me like forever to list and remember? I'm lazy.

 

Parenting comes so easily to me - I need to start coaching people

I suggested to the kids they have a fine snack of apples when they got home from school.

I've never heard such laughter as the laughter that came out of their mouths as they completely disregarded my suggestion and stormed the fridge and pantry and chose stuff like chips, popsicles and pudding. 

After two minutes of stuffing their mouths, they quickly dispersed to different corners of the house and I was left standing in their dust in the kitchen.

Half an hour later, they came back still hungry. 

You cannot eat anymore! We're about to eat dinner! I scolded.

They rolled their eyes like the professionals they are and marched upstairs like heavy-footed soldiers. 

I, on the other hand, hadn't eaten since noon and had an aggravating five minute walk to the mailbox and back where a cat hissed at me. Therefore, I deserved a snack of chips and dip. 

Ahhhhh, the luxuries of being a parent.

My parents didn't need a magic eight ball to tell them the smart gene avoided my brain altogether

I've been in constant pain for the past few months. 

Fucked up migraines. Horror movie like rashes that mottle my skin. Bloating to the point that I think my spirit animal is in fact a whale. Grimace inducing stomach pains that force me to crawl towards the sofa and just lie there while I moan. Cramping and pain through my body that forces me to walk like a senior citizen and I realize I am the Asian Abe Vigoda. 

I was diagnosed with celiac disease about five years ago. It came up in some blood work a neurologist had me do since I was suffering from vertigo at the time and my migraines were getting worse. 

Neurologist: Here's a sheet that lists trigger foods for migraines and here's another sheet about celiac disease. 

Me: What is this cecilia disease you speak of?

Neuro: It's celiac.  You'll want to lay off foods with gluten in it.

Me [horrified]: Like bread?

Neuro: Yes. 

Me [in my best Mel Gibson, William Wallace voice]: Never!

Neuro [shrugs shoulders]: Well, you're never going to feel good. 

But last year, I had enough. The migraines and the supposedly inexplicable stomach issues I had for so long had beaten me down to an icky, gooey pulp. Finally following the doctor's advice - it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, right? - I went gluten-free.

Holy shit I felt great. The migraines subsided, my stomach felt normal. I could do the entire Gene Kelly scene from Singing in the Rain. If I wanted.

Here's the but. . . a few months ago I just had to try some regular bread because gluten-free bread isusually heavy and bland and could be used to make a wall in an Edgar Allen Poe story. 

And then I couldn't stop. Carl raised his eyebrows when I'd pop a cracker or twenty-five into my mouth, but I reassured him, "It's just this once. I can stop right now."

That's what addicts say, right?

Well, I haven't been able to fucking stop poisoning my body and it feels like it's dying from the inside out.

Today was the day I was supposed to stop, but asshole me made biscuits for the kids which is really just making it for me and. . .well, the story ends with me curled up on the sofa again. 

Tomorrow. I'll start tomorrow.