Don’t Freak Out. I Am Okay.

So I had a heart test last week. I’m leading with that in case any of you were planning to give me a hard time about being gone for so long.  Making you feel guilty right out of the gate is a neat deflector when I don’t have a good explanation for my absence other than “lazy” and “in a highly committed relationship with my sofa.”

I had stress echocardiogram to be exact, which is usually prescribed when someone is having chest pains and the like. I wasn’t having chest pains or shortness of breath but I could feel my heart inside my chest.  When I can feel my ovaries inside my abdomen, I know the pain is coming and that there’s no amount of Advil or chocolate or heating pads that will make that pain stop, so when I became suddenly aware of a new sensation in my heart, I assumed it would be the same.  Like all rational people, when the sensation hit at 2:00 am, I self-diagnosed “impending heart attack” and took an aspirin and then toyed with the idea of writing a living will in case I kicked off in the middle of the night.  Note that I did not drive myself to the ER or make a doctor’s appointment, nor did I write a living will.

Perhaps I will do that now in case I ever do kick off in the middle of the night.

Jimmie’s Living Will:

Do not put me on a machine to live.

Give away every organ you can.

Incinerate the remainder of me or donate the remainder of me to science.

Martie is to sell my house and pocket the equity, give my car to whichever kid is next in line to get one, and use my retirement money for somebody’s college education.

Woney gets my Tiffany bow necklace, Daisy can have back the earrings she lent me, Phranke gets Seamus (because Murphy will expire from a broken heart when I do), and Martie gets all the rest.

There. Done.

After self-diagnosing “impending heart attack” three or four times, I did make an appointment with my doctor who scheduled my stress echo, and clearly I am okay because I told you in the title that I was. Here’s the good part, though, the part you have been waiting for ever since I started this post.  I had to take my clothes off for this test.  And because I had to take my clothes off, I handled this doctor’s appointment with as much aplomb and finesse as all my other doctors’ appointments wherein my clothing has to be removed.   Here’s the breakdown of that visit:

Pro:

  • Nothing is wrong with my heart.

Cons:

  • I waited 52 minutes for my test. I asked and was told twice that there was no back up and that my appointment would happen right on time but I waited 52 minutes and had to listen to not only Rachael Ray’s talk show but also The Price is Right.
  • I had to wear a gown.
  • The schedulers told me three times I could keep my clothes on but I had to wear a gown.
  • The gown was too small.
  • Steven, a student, was invited to observe my test for which I had to wear a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear before we all agreed that having Steven the student join us was a bad idea. My throat hurt.
  • No matter how much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear that I did, I still had to hoof it 12 minutes on a treadmill with no bra and in a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear for one of the technicians to finally say to her co-workers, “You know, we should probably try to remember what this is like on both sides of the table, shouldn’t we?”
  • My eyes looked like two peas in the snow for 48 hours from all the crying.

Pro:

  • The gown wasn’t paper.

With excellent test results, I’m still left with the question of what’s causing my new occasional heart sensation. A few months ago I began a new eating plan in an effort to rid myself of all of these pesky hips and stomachs I have collected.  I cut out all grains, all diet sodas, and most sugar.  My only treats are unsweetened tea, delicious, and 90% cacao chocolate, which on the first pass tastes like scorched coffee grounds with a hint of cocoa but on the third or fourth pass tastes like divinity made by God, Himself.  I’ve lost a small hunk of weight due to this eating plan – not enough that you will be clamoring for me to sun myself at your beach parties so that you may behold the beauty of my body, but enough that my pants are too big.  It also seems that this new eating plan has done something to the sensitivity of my insides because caffeine, found in both of my meager and sad treats, causes me heart sensations that I do not enjoy.  There’s nothing wrong with me that cutting out my two pitiful and pathetic treats won’t fix.

I mean, I’m guessing. We have no answer for my heart feelings, but as we all have learned, I’m the master at self-diagnosing.  I’m so, so good at it, so good in fact that I get to pay an enormous chunk of my medical deductible off early in the year for a test that told me absolutely nothing was wrong and that I am free to be sick as a dog for the whole rest of the year without monetary penalty from my insurance company.  I have no delicious treats with which to console myself but spending $2200 to discover that when I feel my heart in my chest, the pain of losing my favorite creature comforts is coming and there really is no amount of chocolate, Advil, or heating pad that can fix it.

Sigh . . . no more chocolate.

I missed you all, btw.

Love,

Jimmie, M.D.

How To Win Over and Influence Your Owner. A Guest Post by Seamus.

Hai.

Person has the treats. Did you know this? I learned it when Person bought me.  I thought they appeared on my scratcher after I finished my nap under the bed.  One day I got behind the refrigerator and got stuck (must lose weight) and she sat on the floor looking at me for an hour and she had treats in her hand!  I wouldn’t dare eat them from her hand because then she would know I knew they came from her, plus I was wedged in there pretty tight.  Some guy with a furry face had to move the refrigerator before I could get out but after that when I found treats on my scratcher, I knew they came from her.

This complicates things. I thought there was a treat fairy but it’s Person.  I’m not sure I like her, really.  How do I get more treats from Person?

After thinking about this for a few years, I have devised a plan to get more treats. You can use this too with great success.

  1. Wind your body around her legs. You don’t have to get close or actually touch her, because horrors! But, if you kind of twist your way in a figure eight near her, she will see this as a sign of affection and give more treats!
  2. Groom her. This usually involves stuffing your face into her hair but horrors! It is so close! You can trick her by separating with your claw two or three hairs from the wad on the pillow and then lick those with great fervor. She will see this as a sign of affection and give more treats!
  3. Greet her at the door when she comes in from Outside. Meow firmly. Do not back down. When she makes noise at you with her mouth, this is a sign that she hears you and is going to give treats! In case she forgets, run from the door to the scratcher and meow firmly the whole way. She sees this as affection and gives more treats! Note: sometimes the couch gets in the way. Pay attention to it! It hurts your head when you hit it and makes you forget to meow.
  4. When she wakes up in the morning is the best time to remind her you have had no treats in a really long time. Also when she goes to the bathroom. Also when she comes in from Outside. Also when she climbs into the bed. By the way, did you know that on the bed is better than under the bed? It’s so nice up there and I don’t get stuck!
  5. The last trick is the hardest one. Use it as a last resort when she’s being very stingy with the treats. Climb onto the bed when she is there. Sit next to her and stare. You would think that she would see that as affection and give more treats! It doesn’t work but it’s a good start. What you have to do next is reach out with your paw and tap her arm. Murphy does it all the time and she whaps him on the head a lot when he does it which he says is affection, but lame. No treats there. Anyway, after she whaps your head a lot, crawl in between her body and her arm and purr. She sees this as affection and gives more treats!! BE VERY CAREFUL! You can be lulled into a false sense of security while lying there and go to sleep. Do not put your head down under any circumstances or you will wake yourself up by snoring too loud after a long time of sleeping. Humiliating. I was drooling. Horrors!

This will work for you. Try these plans.  The end.

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Editor’s Note: These do not work.  Seamus gets no more treats now than he ever did although it is pretty cute to watch him try so hard for them.  Also, he likes me!  He really likes me!

Tropical Cruise Part Five: Pissonia

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Today I’m wrapping up the final words about my cruise and truthfully, I’m a little melancholy. Spring is here finally, so yay sunshine, but the people I vacationed with are not. I’m going to miss the half marathon in May so I’m not sure when I will see My Girls again, although if I know us, it won’t be long. Spring makes travel feel so hopeful.

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Even though I feel so connected to My Girls, we still have a lot to learn about each other. We did so much talking on the ship. Every night at dinner we would pose philosophical questions and take turns asking each other stuff. One night the four of us were lounging in the restaurant in our sweet sundresses and red sunburns, discussing our marriages. Rather, Woney and I were discussing our divorces, neither of which was pretty. Divorce is never pretty but sometimes marriages aren’t either and unfortunately, Woney and I had some rough times with our respective spouses. We were discussing our horror stories and Squash and Nurse Bananahammock were “mmm hmmm”-ing and patting our arms when I realized that the couple sitting next to us, a young man and woman wearing wedding bands, had slowly stopped talking to each other and were just going through the mechanisms of dinner.

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Y’all, I felt terrible! Here Woney and I were monopolizing the whole conversation with ugly stories about being married and this poor couple had no choice but to listen to us only a chair’s width away. I’m not known for being particularly quiet. Needless to say I introduced myself and then explained that as newlyweds they were not to listen to us but listen instead to Squash and Nurse Bananahammock, both of whom have lovely marriages. And then I told them about Kevin and how I was now betrothed and invited them to our wedding. I rounded that out with nosy questions of my own about their engagement and marriage and with all that, we found new friends. (You will ignore the fact that I browbeat them into that friendship and rest assured that they were thrilled to meet us.) Jonathan and Jennifer are the loveliest people and very happily married (I was wrong about their being newlyweds – they’ve been married 13 years) so I feel good that I was not a part of another wrecked marriage.

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Another surprising couple we met, and these two are my favorites, have been married for some ridiculous amount of time – maybe 60 years. Grant and Astaar. We met them in the crowded bar that served the fruit in the drinks, and because there were not enough tables for everyone, we invited them to sit with us. Oh, I loved them! Grant was tooling around in his wheelchair, twinkling at everyone and Astaar was very calm and serene about all of it. We ran into them often throughout the week – you know how it is. You see one person one time and then it’s like you see them everywhere.

One night we were chatting with our new friends and Woney asked, “Could I take your picture?”

“Heavens, no,” said Grant. “I’ve got a bounty on my head. A picture would get me into trouble.”

“How much is the bounty?” Woney asked.

“$1.29.” Then he twinkled at us and took a swig of his drink.

Do you see? Do you see why I love them?

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While I’m having a love affair with people, I’ll tell you that I loved Dennis, too, our valet for our room. I liked the cruise director and the comedy team and all the strangers I met. We had a great wait staff, too. I meant to tell you this yesterday and forgot but one night at dinner, Woney replied “nothing” to the question “ma’am, what would you like for dessert?”

This is what she got.

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I always say this, but my favorite part of any trip or any adventure is the people. Traveling with My Girls is just easy as pie and meeting new people, for me anyway, comes naturally. I’m ever so thankful we took this trip. I’d take another, any time. Someone want to plan a trip? I’m in!

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Final round of our game!

Tell me what pissonia is:

A. A non-poisonous snake found in the wilds of Australia
B. A mixer commonly used in cocktails in Australia
C. A small bush found in Australia

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Don’t worry . . . . about a thing . . . . every little thing . . . . is gonna be alright . . . .

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Tropical Cruise Part Four: Crapulence

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Is anyone still here? Did I go away for too long? I’m sorry but I had to go on vacation to recover from my vacation so I spent some time at my Daddy-O’s house, lounging on the beach. I still don’t have a tan. I have no idea what is wrong with me.

Today we are going to talk about food, but before I begin with cruise food, I’d like to tell you about Daddy-O’s food. Daddy-O makes, hands down, the best stir fry I have ever eaten. Have I told you this before? Doesn’t matter, I’m telling you again. Every time I start planning a visit to his house, Daddy-O will ask me if I’d like anything special for dinner as he is just minutes away from a fish market and his love language is cooking for others. I will respond with silence, and then he will respond with, “Right. I meant to say instead, what night are we having stir fry?” Oh, it is delicious! For those of you who would like to visit Daddy-O and JiJi with me, understand that stir fry will be on the menu. If you are adverse to Asian food, well I’m sorry, but you don’t get a vote. Also, we will lounge on the beach and I will not get a tan. Apparently I don’t get a vote in that.

And now speaking of delicious food and not getting a tan, let’s get back to my cruise. Every self-respecting American understands that food on a cruise ship is probably the most important part of every cruise. Ports? Screw that! Excursions? Screw those! Performances? Who cares! What are they serving for dinner? Seriously, you are allowed to eat every fifteen minutes if you like. You can have 14 desserts a day if that cranks your tractor. Your kids eat only macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs? No problem! That is served at every meal. It is ridiculous.

Chocolate Margarita

Chocolate Margarita

You know, typing all that up makes it sound like that’s just a recipe for disaster. Somehow it wasn’t for me. I lost two pounds on that trip. How I do not know, but perhaps it is because, looking back, very little of the food was memorable. Who’d a thunk it? Here are the things I do remember, though:

Pineapple – It. Was. Perfect.

Pretzel rolls – small and chewy and covered in salt – I ate about fifteen of those

Mahi mahi – this from the person who would generally rather skip all meals than eat something that comes out of the water. It was amazing!

Bacardi Raz with diet Sprite – Squash ordered this one night and it came with a swizzle stick of blackberries and raspberries. It was gorgeous and I was jealous. I had to have one. Every bar we went to on the ship, every time I ordered a drink, that was the drink I ordered and do you know I almost never got the swizzle stick with fruit on it? Oh, I was disgusted. Might as well have thrown that drink in the trash as it was useless to me. No fruit, no tip. That’ll learn ‘em.

With fruit!

With fruit!

Chocolate Extravaganza – I can just hear all of you over there sighing, saying “Yep. Sounds like Jimmie.” However, I will have you know that I DID NOT ENJOY the Chocolate Extravaganza. Sure, I waited in line and took pictures of all the fancy creations. I filled up a plate with things to try. I wanted very much to love the guts out of that chocolate but after a few small, uninspiring bites, I decided I was over it and Woney and I threw full plates of dessert away. How?! How was that easy yet I cannot leave a bowlful of M&Ms alone?

Fancy chocolate thingamasomething

Fancy chocolate thingamasomething

Banana donut – That banana donut was my absolute favorite food from the whole trip, and you’ll be surprised to know it did not come from the Norwegian Dawn. Instead, it came from a man walking down the beach in Honduras carrying a huge Rubbermaid container hollering about “Banana donut! Three for five dollars!”

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not really one for eating homemade food out of a Rubbermaid container in a country where I don’t speak the language. Also, I’m not particularly a fan of the donut. But this woman, who was also on the beach on Honduras, was splashing herself in the water when the man walked by hollering “Banana donut!” She looked at me and asked, “Did he just say banana donut?” There was a tremble in her voice, and it sounded like excitement.

“I think so,” I said, and kind of laughed. As if. Donut from a Rubbermaid container? No.

Y’all, nothing surprised me more than when that woman, delicate and thin and definitely a swankier class of person than I, hauled her butt so fast out of that water you’d have thought she saw Jaws coming for her. She was splashing and flailing and yelling, “Banana donut! I had one last year and it was the best thing I ever ate! Ever!” And off she sailed to get her purse and corner the salesman.

Well. I never.

In short order, the Rubbermaid container man was surrounded by people holding up dollars who then tenderly wrapped those purchased donuts in paper towels. Naturally, I was curious. I stuck my hand in my pocket and found two dollars and offered that to him. “Can I get one for two dollars?” He grinned at me with his gappy teeth, took my money, and handed me a paper towel. I selected a donut and as I picked it up, I realized that this was the heftiest donut I have ever hefted in my life. That thing was heavy. I carefully walked that donut over to My Girls to offer each of them a quarter of it but only Woney was under the palm tree, so she and I split it. Once I took a bite, I was never more thankful in all my life that I only had to give up half a donut instead of three quarters of it. If I had to live the rest of my life and eat only two things until I croaked, I would pick that donut and Daddy-O’s stir fry. I’m so, so sorry that donut is gone.

Now that I’ve made you all hungry, and now that probably Nurse Bananahammock and Squash are mad at me for not sharing (that’ll learn you to go the bathroom when the banana donut man walks by), let’s resume our game.

Define crapulence:

A. A sickness from too much food and drink
B. A state of frenzy arising from over-excitement when sighting a celebrity
C. A period of mild depression lasting long periods of time

Winner gets a donut!

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Every little thing . . . . is gonna be alright . . . . .

My Word, I’m Boring

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!  Did you have a good one?  I did, and I wasn’t even celebrating it.  The amount of loot I got was astonishing.  Over the last couple of weeks everyone has been so dang nice to me.  I told you about the chocolates and the lip goo.  I told you about some of the phone calls.  I didn’t tell you about the tote bag that somebody made for me, nor the cards I got, nor the lunch and dinner dates.  Two people offered to watch Magic Mike with me and I’m here to tell you, I’m going to take both of them up on the offer.  Rowr!  If ever I was in any doubt, my heart squish has proven to me that I am loved.  I’m planning on getting dumped every other month or so because I’ve never felt so special in all my life.  Also, I won a book in a contest.  I’m charmed, I tell you.

I’m still on my Whole 30 “Cleanse” and that’s what I wanted to tell you about today.  In my head I planned to say that this here “cleanse” is going to be the death of me because hahahahahahaaaa, but that would be untruthful.  I feel pretty good, honestly.  I’m on day 12, so not quite halfway through, and I still like the food I’m eating.  I’m still experimental with it, and I don’t yet hate broccoli so for a least another week or two, I’m alright.

The chocolates that I got as gift continue to sit on my table in their pretty box, and I’m not even tempted to open it.  I barely think about them.  Isn’t that amazing?  It helps that I accidentally had some sugar one night, I think it was in a marinade, and the sugar headache nearly did me in.  That right there was enough to keep me from wanting any sugar.  Oh, can you imagine the barfs I would get if I ate a whole passel of sugar right now?  Oh, hurk.

So I bypassed the Sugar Headache that was to be Phase One on this here “cleanse.”   I didn’t want to Kill Anything, Phase Two.  Phase Three hit me like a ton of bricks, though.  That was the I Want A Nap Phase, and boy did I ever.  Napping is usually something you’d like to shoot for in the middle of the afternoon but personally, I aimed to nap at about 5:00 a.m., just as the alarm was going off.  I’d have gone to bed at 9:00 the night before, slept like a hibernating bear, and then 5:00 would roll around and I would use every ounce of effort I had to lift my arm from the under the duvet and tap my phone to set the snooze on my alarm.  I did this multiple times every morning.  The cats even stopped freaking out, it happened so often.  If Daisy hadn’t texted me early I never would have gotten out of bed.  Once at work I was fine.  I think that phase has passed, thank goodness, and having skipped right over My Pants are Too Tight (something about a bloat as your gut heals itself?) and The Hardest Days (I didn’t find that to be true), I’m now ready for Phase Six – Boundless Energy.  I hear its coming, and boy am I excited about it.  This house needs a deep cleaning.  There is dust everywhere.  Once that energy train rides in, I’m all over it.

I’ve learned some valuable information during this here “cleanse.”

  1. I don’t like butternut squash.  What a pretentious vegetable yet it is so overwhelmingly unsatisfying.  It tastes like squash.  As much as we hype this mind-blowing super food, you’d think it would taste better than squash.  Blergh.
  2. I really don’t need sugar.  I haven’t craved it yet.  Nor have I craved carbs.  The things I haven’t had I don’t miss.  I don’t even think about them.
  3. I suck at making sweet potato fries.  So not worth the effort it takes to cut each sweet potato into evenly shaped French fry-like shapes.  Nearly lost a finger in that debacle.
  4. I have a serious emotional attachment to food.  No, I’m not craving anything right now but a part of me is mourning the loss of the food I used to eat.  I’m mourning the preparation of it and the anticipation of it.  I’ve used food as an emotional meter for so long.  I want it when I’m happy, sad, excited, hurt, motivated.  I’ve used it to show love or gratitude.  I’ve used it as a comfort or to ease a wound when I’m hurting.  It isn’t normal.
  5. Nashville is home to some very snooty grocery stores.  I feel like this here “cleanse” requires me to be snooty in some of the choices I make, and I don’t like it.  The minute I get haughty and start yapping about how “Whole Foods is really the only market worth my time and money,” and “I eat Paleo,” and “Really, that butter you ingest is soooo passé.  Here, try my ghee* . . . .” y’all shoot me in the big toe.  I’m serious.  One trip to Whole Foods on a Saturday morning has cured me of any airs I might have had or ever hope to have about grocery shopping.  Bunch of men wearing skinny jeans and organic garlic sold for $6.00 a bunch. Posers.
  6. I’m not going to be able to eat this way for any extended period of time.  I didn’t go into it thinking that I would.  I really just wanted to get back to foods as natural as I could get them and also hoped to kick a few bad habits.  Perhaps drop a few pounds before my next big vacation and not feel hideous in my super-cute swimmy clothes.  I’m going to miss brown rice, though.  I can feel that coming.
  7. After this shindig is over, I will not eat another egg for at least one year.  Do not offer me quiche.  Do not offer me crème brulee.  Do not offer me custard of any kind.  If you try to serve me a frittata and disguise the egg under a bunch of cheese and/or tomatoes, I will barf on your shoes.  That’s a promise right there.

I guess I’m telling you all this to tell you I’m still fighting over here.  I’m still kicking and all is well.  This here “cleanse” is the only item of note in my life right now, so this is what you get.  Yee-haw!  Let’s all pray for something exciting to happen to me, yes?

* Ghee is a super snooty, pretentious butter.  It’s clarified within an inch of its life and it is ridiculously expensive.  I better love the heck out of it because there is no way, no how any of that is going in the trash.  I’d shoot my own self in the big toe before I do that.

I’m A Tough Cookie

In my lifetime I’ve seen my mother cry only a handful of times.  When you talk about a tough broad, you think of my mother.  At least I do.  In times like this, with the car and the boy and the new job where I’m still learning my way, I want to be like my mom.  I want to take the bull by the horns and wrestle it down and stand on it and shout about how I did it.  I’ve done a lot of fighting lately and I’ve got to say, I don’t like it, but I think I’d rather be the bull fighter than the delicate, simpering flower.

Right after the break up where I got my heart smashed four years ago, before I really began the healing process, I went home for a visit with my mom.  Actually, what happened was she called me in the middle of one of my crying jags and as I gurgled to her about my horrid, horrid life, Madre realized I was Not Okay.  She instructed me to come home immediately which I gratefully did and while I was there, we went shopping.  During this shopping excursion we ran across a woman whose husband made deer stands.  That woman wanted to talk to my mom about those deer stands and I wanted nothing to do with deer stands because the douchecanoe ex-boyfriend was an avid hunter and used those deer stands more than once.  I kept yanking on Madre’s arm, trying to quietly explain to her that talking about deer stands made me Not Okay, that there was a panic rising inside me I could not control and that I needed to leave immediately.  That woman kept droning on, and Madre kept saying, “Yes, okay, see you later,” and finally I’d had enough.  To the surprise of everyone, including me, I screeched at the woman, “You need to shut your fat f@%*-ing mouth!” and sure enough she did, with an audible snap.  Matter of fact, everyone in the Dollar General did, and my mother, her eyes as big as dinner plates, ushered me out of there so fast you’d have missed it if you blinked.  That’s how bad that break up was.

This break up is not that bad.  Sure, I was down for the count and there will be times where I still suffer from feelings of “All hope is lost and I’m a worthless cow”, but overall, this is not bad.  It helps tremendously that everyone has been very supportive of me.  My brother called.  My friends bought me chocolates and lip gloss.  Dammit Todd had lunch with me.  One friend or another checks on me every day and several have offered to do bodily harm to Slim’s person.  (I’m secretly tickled that people feel so strongly for me but I understand that those lovely gestures must be declined.)  What I’m saying is, you are very sweet to worry about me, but I’m not going to be screeching obscenities to anyone at the Dollar General this go round.  I’m alright.   I’m tougher than I was four years ago.

You know what else is alright? My car.  It only took every penny I had and a three and a half months for it to be alright but my car runs right all the time now, and I got a new BFF out of it.  Kwame, of the Hyundai dealership, has walked me through every step of this repair process even though I really didn’t want him to, and in doing so has given me knowledge I never wanted.  He called me every day that he had my car to tell me what they looked at and what didn’t work.  After his first three minute monologue I said, “Kwame, I have no idea what you just said.  I’ve been in my happy place for the last two minutes and 45 seconds.  What I did hear is that you have no idea what is wrong with my car, correct?”

“Correct,” he said, and then launched off into another monologue about my car’s engine.

This went on for over a week.  Every day.  I finally resigned myself to the fact that Kwame was going to tell me everything he could about my car, and at the first ring from the dealership, I’d drape my elbow over the back of my chair, kick my feet out under my desk and lay there like a wet noodle until he got done with the lesson.  I know more about actuators and starters and batteries and bolts and catalytic convertors than you do, I bet.  Overall, though, this has not been that bad.  Pee-tah let me use his car whilst he went on a luxury vacation and after that, one of my lovely new co-workers whom I shall call Serena lent me her spare car.  Also, because Kwame and I are so close, he knocked a whole chunk off my bill when I asked questions about it.  See, not bad?

I’ve got one more fight in me right now, and I’m hoping it goes the same way as the others.  I’ve started a new eating program.  For those of you in the know, it’s called Whole 30 and for those of you not in the know, I’ve cut out all processed foods, all dairy, all legumes, all grains and all sugar for 30 days.  I figured that while everything still tastes like sawdust and while I’m still carrying injured feelings, I can do some good for myself with regards to what I eat.  Plus, the jeans I bought after the last break up don’t fit quite right and since this is the only thing I can fully control, I’d like to get back in those jeans.

I’m on day five of this cleanse (that’s what I’m calling it – a cleanse, not a diet), and so far I’ve done well.  If you can count the fact that I was victorious with myself after a 16-hour fight over whether or not White Castle would be consumed, that is.  This is how bad my thinking is, you guys.  Seriously?  White Castle?  That’s the arm pit of all food and that is where I focus my craving?  I’m in bad shape.  I have never wanted White Castle in my whole life and I internally war for 16 hours over it?  Bad, I tell you.

There’s a timeline for this 30 days, and in it is the explanation of how I should feel during each phase.  Currently I’m in the “I Want to Kill All Things” phase.  Since I skated through the “Sugar Hangover” phase with relative ease, I’m hopeful that I don’t actively fantasize about mowing down anyone with my fully functioning vehicle.  I haven’t wanted to yet and after the 16-Hour White Castle War, I feel like I can accomplish anything.  (For the record, next up is the “I Want A Nap” phase and I’m here to tell you that that phase is one I’d be willing to embrace.)

I look at all this glorious mess in my life and I see myself becoming my mother.  I see myself toughening up and taking all this on and winning, even if by the tiniest of margins.  I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying I enjoy it.  I’m only saying that if I’m going to have to fight this hard for anything, a car, a boy, a badass pair of jeans, I damn well better win.  My momma did.  She won her fights.  I know I can too.

And Then It Wasn’t

Ashley, Dammit Todd’s girlfriend and winner of my giveaway (the prize is coming!  Really, really!), asked for an update on Slim.  She is adorable.  I don’t usually take requests but I’m going to venture to say that’s because no one ever makes any.  This is all so unprecedented.

Because Ashley asked, and because I have a story to tell, I’m complying with her request and giving you an update.  You know how girls are.  We want to moon over all the new stuff we discover about our person and because I’m mouthy and a wide open book, you know I was just looking for any excuse to share it with you.

I love the feeling of a new relationship.  It’s so hopeful and fresh.  You spend so much time getting to know each other, and although Slim and I were friends first, we still have a lot to discover about each other.  I never asked all my girlie questions of him, like “what’s your favorite color” and “why are you so cute” and “tell me again when things changed for you” because we were just friends and that would have been weird.  I couldn’t hold his hand unless I was about to fall down but in a new relationship, you hold hands all the time.  You spend a lot of time thinking about Slim and he about you and you text each other schmoopy stuff on the reg.  It makes one giddy and we laugh a lot.  My happy knows no bounds.

I also spend a lot of time flirting with Slim and because he is hopeless at flirting, he spends a lot of time being practical with me.  He began buying paper towels for me by the 6 pack instead of the single pack (paper towels are his thing), and I am now fully stocked in batteries and super glue.  He calls me every time he goes to the store to ask if I need anything.

“Just you,” is my standard reply and then we both grin like idiots.

There’s other stuff that we say to each other but I know boys read this blog as well as girls so I will spare you those details.  As time passes, I realize I was right to wait for this.  This is something worth waiting for.

It was anyway.

As it turns out, Slim and I are no longer a couple.  He is no longer my person, and this was not my choice.  The man who told me good night every single night without fail has now stopped all communication and virtually disappeared from my life.  Had I been notified this was coming, I’d have been better prepared.  Instead, I was blindsided and left with a million questions, the foremost being “Why?!”  Lest you worry, he’s fine.  Everyone tells me he’s fine.  Everyone except Slim, that is.

As a whole, I believe I’m authentic here.  I’ve not been afraid to lay it all on the line in an effort to get something off my chest or share my life with you, whether good, bad, or barfy (Murphy!).  The thing is, I’m not sure how raw I want to be here now.  I’m not sure that if I get this all out I’ll be able to reel it back in when I’m better and less beat up.  Truthfully, I feel like I owe you an apology.  Everyone likes to read about new love, the happy story, and I really thought I had a story to tell.  I waited so long for it and I was so sure.  Turns out, I don’t have anything happy to say at all.

Right now I feel . . . . . gray . . . .  Bland.  Flavorless.   For the second time in my life, I have no appetite.  I eat because I’m supposed to and I laugh because it is expected and I do the daily grind because it makes the end of the day come faster.  Someone once said that things were more fun when I was around and asked me to attend some function so I could bring “me”.  I get that.  I try to have fun, to be joyous, to make others feel welcome and appreciated.  I understand that my personality is big and bold yet the thought of being “on” right now makes me tired.  I’m tired.  I don’t want to be on.  I want to . . . . . I don’t even know.  I’m not happy in my house.  I’m not happy out of my house.  I’m uncomfortable everywhere.  I’m not gutted, but I do have a constant rock in the pit of my stomach and it feels awful.

I’m trying very hard not to make this about me, how I’m less and not good enough and undateable and old and never thin enough and mouthy.  Rejected.  Hopeless.  I’m trying to understand that this transition was hard on Slim, a man who gives his servant’s heart to everyone and takes nothing in return.  I’m doing my best to realize that he is likely hurting, too, that he feels depleted by the demands made of him and that perhaps there is nothing left in the coffers to give.  I’m trying, but I’ve taken a hit and don’t feel like coming up swinging.  I guess I just want to lie down and sleep and ask that my brain be wiped clean.  No memories.  No hope.  No nothing.  Just sleep, and I’m sad to say that I can’t even do that.

I’m sorry for those of you looking for a happy update.  I’d give anything to be able to accommodate you.  I wish I could have ended this on a disgustingly sappy note, the kind that makes you want to stick your finger down your throat but also the kind that makes you longingly remember what your relationship was like when it was new.  I can’t, though, and that’s that.

If you see Slim and you want to yell, please don’t.  Don’t be too hard on him.  He’s living without me now.  It can’t be easy.  Right?  Somebody tell me it can’t be easy.

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