Adventures in ADD

The plan to sleep in as late as I could was known by my husband, so maybe I should have been a bit more curious about his 6:15 a.m. wake-up call, beseeching me to run downstairs and turn off the pot of beans he left on the stove.  In an almost surreal state, I moseyed downstairs and saw a pot on the stove that looked fine.  I turned off the burner, peeked under the lid at the plump and (nauseating) lima beans as Kevin ran in through the kitchen door, dripping sweat, hyperventilating, wide-and wild-eyed and totally freaked out.

A little back story seems to be in order…

Our plan to eat everything in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry before going to the grocery store had led Kevin to an early morning discovery of a puddle of goo, next to a bag of lima beans in the bottom of the freezer.  After cleaning the goo, he decided to cook the lima beans and take them to work for lunch.  With the beans cooking, he started to unload the dishwasher.  With the door to the dishwasher still open, he threw away the lima bean bag and realized the garbage can was full.  He deserted the dishwasher and took the bag of garbage out to the shed.  Once back by the shed, he found a plant that needed to be staked up, so he tended to that, before heading over to our tiny pool and doing a little maintenance on it.  He’d worked up a bit of a sweat by this time and decided to take an early morning bike ride to cool off.  He rode down to the beach, where he moved a picnic table to a more favorable location, thinking that he’d come home and wake me gently with the romantic notion to have coffee on the beach at sunrise together.  He then continued his bike ride down the pier.  He was almost all the way to the end of it when he remembered the beans on the stove.  In a dead panic, he turned his bike around and made like Lance Armstrong toward home, simultaneously calling me on his cell.  Visions of the house in flames and a wife dead of smoke inhalation flew through his mind, so the sight of me standing sleepy-eyed and morning-rumpled in a perfectly safe and calm kitchen nearly brought the man to his knees.  I was greeted with one of the sweatiest and most grateful hugs I have ever received.

When he told me about his plans for us to have coffee on the beach at the table he’d moved, I canned my immediate plans to go back to bed.  I mean, how could I resist that?  His angst and self-flagellation were enough punishment for him, so I bit my bitchy tongue, filed the event away, never to be brought up again.

That is, of course, unless I need to.  ;o)

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The NotJoker

We were so looking forward to just sitting at the tiny, three stool bar at the restaurant attached to our hotel.  We needed to slum it, in the fashion we were most accustomed to.  From our balcony, we could see that there was only one person sitting at the bar, and I joked that I was sure I could chase him away in no time.  We meandered downstairs and grabbed the two empty stools at the bar, looking forward to some plain old beer and camaraderie with the bar staff.

Wrong.

The guy who was sitting at the other stool was the epitome of every annoying bar patron that we’d ever run across, and then some.  He was truly in a league of his own.  I’ve been know to tell the crude and the rude to just shut the fuck up and leave us alone in other establishments, but this guy wouldn’t quite cross the line between pathetic to disgusting.  He remained lonely and sad, and after five minutes, we certainly could see why.

The moment our butts hit the stools, he turned to us and said, “Did I ever tell you the one about…”  No, you couldn’t have, since we’ve never met you before.  He then proceeded to tell us some tired, old internet joke that we’d each heard at least thirty times.  We politely laughed, which was the wrong thing to do.  You can’t encourage this type.  He continued to tell us one joke after another, all of which we’d heard countless times before.  We both even began to mention that we’d heard that one, and even that one, but he continued to tell them all the way to the end, regardless.  This went on through four jokes.  Five jokes.  Seven jokes.  Finally, I did it.

I faked a phone call.

I pulled my cell from my pocket and started carrying on an animated conversation into which I dragged Kevin.  He quickly picked up the idea, and repeatedly told me things to tell the person on the other end.  In the meantime, NotJoker kept poking him in the back, needing to tell him another one.  I passed the phone to Kev so he could be more involved and possibly give this dude the idea to leave us alone.  After both of us kept telling the non-existent caller that we would certainly discuss this between ourselves as soon as we hung up, we finally decided we were safe enough to end the pretend call.

Wrong again.

The moment the phone was back in my pocket, NotJoker got up and stood between us so he could say, “And then there’s the one about…”  Surprise!  Another not funny joke from 1947!

I swear that if it wasn’t for the adorable little girl that looked like Gwyneth Paltrow who appeared at the counter to pick up an order for her family, he would have never given up.  With a new target to hold hostage, we were finally able to shake him.  Otherwise, we still might be sitting there, listening to his stale jokes and not wanting to hurt the feelings of an ugly, lonely little man.  We could still be sitting there with him, under the palm trees and blue skies, with dolphins jumping and manatees swimming nearby, and listening to his pathetic form of stand-up comedy,

The snow in Ohio really didn’t seem like such a bad trade-off, after all.

Read This or I’ll Slap You

I’m hormonal as hell.  Menopause sucks scissors.

I’m hot flashing and night sweating and crying and bitching and yelling and blaming and wanting to kill something.

I’m fat and bloated and hot and cold and horny and you better not touch me and then I’m happy and sorry and apologizing and crying and eating all the chocolate and drinking all the beer and wine and crying more.

I want your attention and you better give it to me but you better leave me the hell alone if you know what’s good for you after you give me more chocolate and wine and tell me that I don’t look fat and that’s an order.

I love you all.

General Admiral CEO Diva

He came to the nurse’s desk and demanded to know, “How many people have put their fingers on my clothes since I came to the hospital?!  Cops, doctors, nurses…I demand an answer!”

Disheveled and unkempt, hair cut in an unusual fashion and sporting a strong body odor, Bradley Coffey did his delusional best to get the attention of the nurses on Sunday morning.

“Brad, we’re washing your clothes for you.  They were soaked and growing mold.  We’ll give back whatever you can have after they’re dry,” I informed him.

“They’re my special uniform!” he bellowed.  He now had the attention of a combination of about eight other patients and staff members.  “The Legion demands that no one touch the uniform!!  They’re special to me!  I paid for them with money I actually earned!”

From the report we heard about him from his admission on the previous night shift, and the condition of his belongings, it was obvious that he’d been off of his meds and living on the streets for some time.  The clothes were all he could relate to that he knew were absolutely his, and gave him some small measure of control.  They helped to feed into his delusion of his own importance as a ranking official in some imaginary military.  He’d already approached us several times in the previous hour with requests regarding his clothes.  His behavior had escalated enough that the secretary knew to immediately call security and we locked the outside doors to the nurse’s station.  He wasn’t my patient, but his nurse wasn’t around when this started, so we did what we do up there when that happens; we take over in their absence.

I asked, “Brad, do you want some medicine to help you settle down?”  He was less than enthusiastic about my offer.  I then offered him a choice between taking pills or getting a shot.  His resounding F*BOMB!! echoed off of the walls and gave me, and the floors both above below us, the answer I needed.  I went into the med room to draw up the injections.  I opted to use two of them together, as I know deep psychosis when I see it, and this guy was a powder keg.  The more meds, the merrier.

Security arrived and tried to deescalate Brad, verbally.  I knew it wasn’t going to work, because he was so sick and focused on his tiny bit of control that they were going to set him off even worse by trying to reason with him.  Since I was his current target, due to the fact that I was holding two syringes, I kept telling the guards that his argument was over.  Take him to his room.  Go to 264.  Now.  They kept trying to talk him down and he started edging ever-closer to me around the nurse’s station. I kept backing a few more feet away, every twenty seconds or so.  I got firm with Security and directed them to do it now. I’m a veteran up there.  I knew this situation wasn’t going to get any prettier, but it had the potential to get even worse.

As they started moving him to his room, Brad pivoted around, saluted, clicked his heels, and in front of the entire nurse’s station and several patients, declared, “I am Major Benjamin Forthnicker and my serial number is 8736595!  You can only inject me if you outrank me!”  At this point, our secretary blurted out, “She’s a general.”  Bradley then spewed many epithets at me and my “generalness” as he turned and went to his room, followed by security, three other nurses and myself, armed with syringes and alcohol swabs.

He got the injections, but not without much spewing of venom, a bit of wrestling and more than a few threats on myself.  I gave him a time-out, (Yes, we actually use time-outs on adults up there.) but he remained challenging with security, long after I left the room.  They hung around until the meds started kicking in, then left.  He slept for the rest of the shift.  That always makes me happy, because I know that the meds are working and he’s getting some relief.  (Not to mention that I know I won’t get my ass kicked.)

The situation was deescalated before his nurse got back from dealing with her other patient.  I was given the name of “General” for a minute, until I informed them that I needed to be sure no one ever out-ranked me again on the unit, for safety’s sake.

I’m now known as the General Admiral CEO Diva of the psych unit.  The delusions of the mentally unstable ain’t got nothin’ on me!

Sunny Day Haiku

Sunshine bathes the world

Skyward reaching arms and smile

Bird poop on my face

Bite Me

Bite me.  Now, there’s a phrase for you.  A lot of people say it.  It’s usually said as a way to tell someone to “go to hell” or some such commentary.  I’m very fond of saying it, myself.  I’ve often wondered why I use it, because it seems I am obviously asking for harm to befall me.  Last night’s menopausically challenged sleep cycle left me with a few hours to contemplate my navel, the meaning of life and the phrase “bite me”.

I imagined myself to be the recipient of this offer, rather than the giver.  I pictured someone I potentially didn’t like telling me to do this.  I tried to imagine going up to said person and chomping down on their arm.  I couldn’t do it.  The thought of putting my mouth on any part of a person I hated wasn’t going to happen.  I then realized the phrase could be used as a challenge.

Next, I imagined the most innocuous biter I could think of: the mosquito.  I pictured a mosquito landing on my arm and dipping into the lusciousness of me and what would then happen to it.  Of course, I smashed the little bastard to death and flicked his flattened ass to the gutter.

But that wasn’t enough.  I let my imagination go to another level.  I pictured someone I didn’t like, say, my boss.  I imagined her doing any number of the things that she does to annoy me, and me giving her my standard response to “bite me”.  I then saw her lunge forward and sink her teeth into my arm.  That’s when I imagined punching the living hell out of the side of her head.  I’m pretty sure one punch would be all it would take to make her let go, too.  So, there we have the challenge, again.  Go ahead.  Bite me and give me a reason to finally knock you senseless, you ignorant bitch.

I then took the imaginary biting to the next level.  Let’s say I offered this challenge to a Doberman.  Of course, if I was dumb enough to offer myself to this dog to begin with, I would have a weapon nearby.  Since this is my imagination, I can have any weapon I want.  While there was some joy in picturing a .357 Magnum in my hand at the appropriate moment, I felt I would get more satisfaction out of a steel shovel.  So, the dog has angered me to the point where I offer the challenge.  “Bite me,” I encourage.  It goes for my leg and begins a vicious assault.  I grab my shovel and begin to beat it into oblivion.  When it has let go, I continue to beat it, just because it really pissed me off and I can.

So, what I have deduced is that when one tells someone to bite them, it’s like a double dog dare.  The phrase has taken on new meaning for me.  I’m going to enjoy using it even more.

So, come on.  Bite me.

(Disclaimer:  The above mentioned Doberman is an imaginary dog.  An imaginary and vicious dog.  Possibly rabid.  Definitely an ugly dog before I ever had anything to do with it.  It probably has cooties, too.  Please don’t call the ASPCA on me.  I really love dogs.  I have a dog.  Really.)

A Conundrum: Tampons and Senior Citizen Discounts

I made a quick (OK, maybe not so quick) stop at Kohl’s today.  I needed more fat girls’ clothes and a few decorative odds and ends.

I went to the check out, where the adorably cute little cashier asked me, “Are you eligible for today’s senior citizen special?”  I stopped cold and dead in my tracks.  No one has ever asked me that before.  In fact, before I gained this blasted weight, no one could ever believe I was as old as I am.  I asked her how old one had to be to qualify (hey…it’s a discount, right?), and she admitted she didn’t know.  I was fairly certain that fifty-three wouldn’t qualify and let it slide at that.

I fretted this fact on the twenty minute drive home.  It was like the first time someone addressed you as “ma’am”.  The first time you were the only one in your party to not get carded or when the neighborhood kids start calling you Mrs. T.  No, that was my mother, not me.

I pulled into the local drug store to pick up bottled water, toilet bowl cleaner and tampons.  Yes, tampons.  The Goddess of Menopause still taunts me with her teasing ways.  “Hey!  You’re over it!  No period in four months!  You know it’s gone!” Then she hits me with a two week bleed.  Then, it’s “I promise, no more monthlies!” And I get slammed again.  Granted, the slams these days are much less than the bleeds of younger years, yet they’re here and annoying as hell.

So, I bought my first box of tampons in the past year, and while I was standing in the check out line paying for what I fervently hoped would be my last purchase of tampons in my life, I thought of being offered my very first senior citizen special on the very same day.

Too young for the discount and not quite old enough to be rid of the plague.  Just shoot me