Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wedding Weekend

Anna's wedding weekend was not drama free, but it was free from any drama generated from my side of the family. Therefore: not much to write about. What a good and unusual problem to have! How about some pictures instead?

 Me and my little sister Meggie at the rehearsal dinner, which was at a pizzeria in Greenwich Village.
 
Meg, me, Cousin Liz: we shared a hotel room, along with our (totally crazy) Aunt Lynn. 

 
My family. My mom started crying soon after we got to the venue (Anna, the bride, is her dead sister's oldest daughter) but she settled down and settled in. The rest of the night went pretty well.

It would have been nice to realize that my dress gave me a little pooch before taking a zillion pictures. Oh well.

 
Grandma, Grandpa, the cousins. As far as I know, my grandma only cried once, too. (When Meg danced with Grandpa.) We all did okay.

 
Me and cousin Danielle. 

 
All of the girl cousins on my mom's side of the family. One of these girls is not like the other. (Mara will always hate that she's the only one of us who isn't a blonde.)


Everyone survived. Nobody got lost, arrested or quit the family. Special shout outs go to Uber, DryBar and the five bags of gummy bears that were consumed over the course of the weekend.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Speaking Up

I've had a couple of sessions of physical therapy and my knee is feeling pretty good.  This morning, I got the okay to try soccer next weekend. I'm already nervous and excited about it.

I'm seeing a physical therapist that works for the same place Meg does, just at a different location. Over the weekend, she was asking me what my new therapist was having me work on. I told her all about the exercises that I do, the stretch that he did that hurt more than any other stretch has ever hurt in the history of stretches (I am being completely serious) and how he used the ultrasound machine to help with the swelling.

"Well you can tell him to stop with that," Meg said. "Just tell him 'since research shows that that machine would be just as effective in reducing swelling as if you held it up to my knee with it off, I think I'll pass.'"

She said that her boss still uses ultrasound, too, but it's an old school technique.

I promised that I would bypass the ultrasound machine in the future, if that was her recommendation. Meg's good at her job. I trust Meg.

And then he plugged in the ultrasound machine this morning and I didn't say a word and let him ultrasound away for eight minutes of my life that I will never get back. Plus the $10 or so that I will be billed, since I have a 20% copay on my physical therapy visits.

I am so pathetic.

Requesting that change to my treatment was so little. So minor.

And it was also my health.

And I can't even stand up for myself in this situation.

It's really no wonder my life is as it is.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Detroit girls, New York wedding

Things that I packed for New York that mysteriously did not return home with me today:
1. My credit card. Which I hadn't used since buying breakfast on Friday morning and didn't have any additional charges on it so whatever.
2. One (1) black heel. A black heel, I should add, that I did not take off prior to arriving in our room. I'm not a dance-in-my-stockings wedding guest and still my shoe is gone.
3. My energy. Which may or may not be a sign that we did the weekend precisely right.

I promise to fill in with stories and pictures later.

In the meantime, here's a shot of my sister, me and our cousin Liz cheesing for the camera while waiting for our car to the wedding.

I can't quite decide if it's more reminiscent of a shampoo ad or a tampon commercial.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kick in the pants

Hi. I'm writing this en route to New York. I'll post it later. Promise.

So, here's the thing. I need help. With this eHarmonizing. I need help. I am failing.

Not only am I am awful offline dater (reasons unknown; all evidence points to this being absolutely true) but it turns out that I'm pretty bad at online dating, too.

I hate it. I hate logging in and reading profiles and answering stupid questions. Nor am I good at it. The guys, they must notice. Like: every other girl answers effortlessly and this chick clearly drafted and proofread her response, not to mention discussed it with multiple friends, and otherwise sucks.

I haven't even logged in this week.

Maybe you guys could tell me to do this? To suck it up for a other couple of months? To stop being so discouraged and apathetic? To give up on being convinced that this, too, won't work?

I just need a kick in the butt.

Or some confidence. Or some faith. Or some Xanax.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I'm crying about today

I have a few planter boxes just outside of the front door of my condo. They came filled with weeds and really awful lava rocks. I finally made time to clean out the rocks a few weeks ago. (It's amazing what a knee injury will do to free up your time.)

And I am pleased to announce that it is no longer the 1980s in my flower beds.*

When my grandma came over to see my condo, she promised that she would dig some plants out of her own garden for my flower beds. Then, she got excited (my grandmother loves gardening) and whipped out her plant catalogs and ordered bulbs to fill out my planter beds.

While I was at work yesterday, Grandma went to my condo and planted all sorts in my garden: the bulbs she ordered, ferns, hosta. All relatively low-maintenance, all 1,000% better than those damn lava rocks.

So much of it is right out of her garden, which I love. I love Grandma's gardens and I will love having a piece of them in my own.  

I stood outside this morning and admired her handiwork. How lucky I am, to have my grandma. How fortunate, that she's 80 and she can still garden.

It's enough to make a girl cry a few happy tears.

*Actually, it's still kind of the 1980s. There are two really awful association-issued shrubs that flank my front porch. I've submitted a request to have them removed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Family Wedding

My cousin Anna's wedding is this weekend.

My family is invading Manhattan. And I don't just mean my mom's side of the family (Anna is my mom's sister's daughter). Oh, no. Dad's family was invited, too.

Which equals a lot of family members.

It is either going to be a really fun weekend or a really awful weekend.

I want to be excited but I am mostly dreading it.

Isn't that awful of me? I should be giddy for this wedding. I am not.

I am dreading it and also nervous. About the potential for family drama. About how expensive this weekend is going to be. About what to pack. About my wedding gift. About being expected to be the damn cruise director. About my grandma being sad.  

About what it means that I am (still) so unenthusiastic about this wedding. That I am a bitter single woman? That I'm jealous? Selfish? Antisocial?

Normal?

Realistic?

I don't know.

I just want the weekend to pass quickly. And maybe to run into David Beckham at the airport, have our eyes meet from across the terminal and immediately fall madly in love and have eight babies.

If that isn't too much to ask.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Check this out

No, not the hideous carpet in my office.

Check out my knee, you guys. My knee that's just my knee and not a lumpy there's-a-brace-under-there fashion and comfort disaster.

Today's the first day in six weeks that I have shown up at work without a giant knee brace hiding beneath my pants and it feels great.

Actually, that's a lie. It doesn't feel great. It feels sore. It feels weird.

My knee is not entirely better.

The freaky looseness that came with the torn ligament is mostly gone, leaving me with pain when I bend and pain when I'm straightened but good enough, I guess, for my doctor to cut me loose. She wrote me a prescription for physical therapy and said that I could get back to soccer soon. I'm shooting for the Sunday after next, so I can get in a bit of PT and hopefully enough cardio that I don't just die on the field.

I hope my physical therapist is hot.

I hope I can settle into a routine again.

While I've been really committed to fitting in workouts for basically my entire adult life, the last six months have been challenging. Shopping for houses cut into gym time. Moving cut into gym time. My trip to Brazil cut into gym time. This knee injury more or less completely eliminated gym time. I'm out of the habit and I'm afraid that getting back into the habit is going to be harder than I realize.

But at least I'm finally at the point where I can actively work on getting back to where I want to be, rather than sitting around and wondering when and how I can get back to where I want to be.

I would much rather do than wait.    

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday adventure

I don't know what my deal is -- if I'm just tired or a little unmotivated or a touch depressed -- but I am not excited about anything lately. I'm not excited about going to work, about leaving work, about spending a day at a conference rather than work, about stopping at the mall on the way home from the conference, about good sleeping weather, about long showers, about UM football.

About anything other than the third season of Homeland (which I'm finally watching), really. Homeland is okay. But probably because it requires nothing of me other than holding head up and keeping my eyes open.

But Lucy's kids are always impossible to refuse. She invited me and our friend Lacey to join them at the apple orchard this morning and that wasn't an event that I wanted to miss.

Baby A is an apple picking maniac. I bought a half-bushel (which I was told holds about 60 apples) and he picked every single one of them.


Baby L wasn't so into picking apples but he did a great job taste-testing the selection. He dropped an apple every 10 minutes, so he sampled a healthy variety.


When we were done picking apples, we bought cider and donuts. As is the case at every cider mill, the place was teeming with bees. We abandoned our picnic table after a few minutes. 

"We've gotta get going to the car, buddy," Lucy told Baby A. 

Who panicked and shoved the half a donut that he had remaining straight into his mouth.



...or as much of it as he could fit into his mouth, anyway.

I don't blame him. Hot cider mill donuts make me do crazy things, too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Donations

I had a little bit of a strange feeling when I was packing up things to donate to the Salvation Army, because I've heard the suggestions that its belief structure doesn't align very well with mine, but I haven't done the research. It is unwise to discontinue donations based on rumor. (Almost as unwise as not doing the research in the first place.) Plus it's really close by.

Last night, I filled the back of my car with all of the random stuff I had to donate: a ton of Christmas decorations (left in my attic by a previous resident), a bunch of kitchen stuff, some rugs, a few pieces of clothes and some hideous jewelry that I wouldn't ever wear again.

Not nice jewelry. Random crap that I'd been given to wear as a bridesmaid, plus this gaudy cross that I also found in my attic sweep.

I went to the Salvation Army to drop everything off this morning. I pull up and the guys working were nice and mildly flirty. They always are, asking my name and telling me I have nice teeth. They're unloading things and I am filling out the receipt and I look up and I see one of the guys standing with his body turned away at a weird angle. The angle where it's really clear that he doesn't want you to see what he's doing.

So I look closer, obviously.

He was standing with the bag of jewelry I was donating in his hand. I had put it all in a plastic bag and dropped it inside of a larger shopping bag. But he found it, and there he was with one of the jewelry boxes in his hand, looking inside of it.

Seriously? You couldn't wait for me to leave to steal donated goods from your employer?

"There's nothing valuable in there," I said without thinking. He made a joke and I made a joke back but, seriously, I was sort of pissed. I'm still sort of pissed.

That's why I'm writing about it. So I can get over being sort of pissed.

Did you know that could happen? That you could donate and feel bad about it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too Compassionate

I have a complicated relationship with my friend Heather. I always have. But, she's been a friend since we were fifth graders and I know her past. I know her story. I know it hasn't been easy for her. She's made awful choices and hasn't always been the best friend to me, but maybe part of knowing someone for well over half of your life is knowing her limitations. Heather will never be as good of a friend to me as I am to her.

She called me a few weeks ago. To tell me that she, at four months pregnant with their second baby, was on the verge of leaving her husband. I've never liked her husband. He always reminded me too much of Heather's emotionally abusive father. Since she married him, and especially since he said a few filthy things to me, I've kept a safe distance. But I always considered her a friend.

And so when she called me to tell me the news and to tell me that she was looking for a house or a condo to rent nearby, I did what I could to help. We talked on the phone a handful of times in the next couple of days.

Then she said "Husband called me and he talked to me, like really talked to me and didn't yell and, if
we can have a normal conversation, than maybe we can work on things."

I didn't hear from her again. I texted a few days later, just to check in. Not to say "leave that rotten husband of yours!" not to judge. But I got nothing in return.

It pissed me off. Not because she wasn't leaving -- I get that it's a huge decision, especially with two kids involved -- but because I dropped everything to help her and she couldn't even text me back to say that she was okay.

I heard nothing from her for nearly a month. Until she called on Sunday. Her husband was "done trying to work things out" and she was making plans to move out. She wanted to know if she could still store furniture in my garage -- an offer that I had previously made. Before she didn't call back for a month. Before she pissed me off.

I got her voicemail just as I was leaving for my date. I didn't respond right away. I wanted to help Heather but I didn't want to feel used again. That's how I felt after last time, after I immediately responded for her request for help and then she just disappeared: used.

Later that night, I texted her. Sure, you can use my garage as storage. Let's just pick an end date so that we're on the same page.

Boundaries. That seemed fair. My best friend Lucy, a social worker and generally a good person to bounce things off of, agreed.

And then I called my mom to tell her. My mom knew the whole story. She knew Heather disappeared when she decided to stay with her husband and that I wasn't happy and I assumed that my mom would roll her eyes when I told her that I agreed to help her after all. I thought she would judge me for offering help to Heather. Again. But I was wrong.

"You shouldn't feel bad about helping her," Mom told me. "There is nothing wrong with helping someone who needs help."

She repeated the same to me yesterday morning, when we met for a yoga class.

It made me feel better.

Because, in a way, I'm setting myself up to be used again. I am. Heather's never going to be a person I turn to when I need help. I know better.

But I am going to help her anyway. If I can, I will.

Maybe I'm just setting myself up. But I would rather err on the side of being too compassionate.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So about that date

It was basically a bust.

But it was good practice. I was 90% less nervous than I was the week before despite this date being 90% trickier because we were lacking in the strong shared interest that the doctor and I had; we both really love watching soccer and when it doubt: talk soccer.

With this week's guy, it was more like: when it doubt, talk about the weather.

Yawn.    

He's a nice enough guy. We have nothing in common but our marital status and the fact that we both need oxygen to survive.

He had said he goes running frequently and so I assumed that he meant that he was, like, a runner runner. I asked him if he was training for anything assuming he was probably training for the half or full-marathon that's here next month.

No, he said, though one of my friends wants me to do the Color Run with him. I might do that next year.

The Color Run is an untimed 5k. 

Everyone has to start somewhere and a 5k is usually where you start. I know this. But my inner running snob was totally laughing at that attempt to impress me.

So I'm a brat.
 
A brat who kind of hopes to not get asked out again. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Maybe Good News

Electronic medical records are amazing!

I had my MRI at 7:30 am and, by the time I remembered that I could access my study results online, it had already been posted.

Technology, you guys.

I can barely work a band-aid so let's all take this breaking news with a grain of salt but I read through the report and then I texted it to my mom and my sister for their professional interpretation and I am fairly certain that it's good news.

Or, more accurately: that the news could be way worse.

The findings point to something (I would explain it except that I haven't WebMDd it yet) but, judging from Meg's (nonchalant, if one can react nonchalantly via text message) reaction to it, it's way less of a something than I had been afraid of.

Which is great news.

Except my still feels very off. And now I'm concerned that I am a complete wimp.

Sundays are for ...dating?

I may or may not have another first date on Sunday afternoon which, okay, is perfectly fine but also: ALREADY? I swear that I'm still exhausted from last Sunday's date and I swear that I'm not just being dramatic.

I haven't heard from last Sunday's doctor gentleman and I am not particularly worried about it. Which either means that I wasn't that into him or that I'm being, like, incredibly chill and otherwise like a Modern Single Woman Who Dates Many Men. Or maybe realistic. Maybe I'm just being realistic.

It honestly wasn't that I didn't like him but more that it was pretty obvious that he doesn't often see the outside of the hospital where he's finishing up his residency. I plan to give him a minute before I proclaim that he has truly awful taste, delete his number from my phone and burn the clothes* I wore on our date. But not many minutes.

What I won't do is give up on doctors entirely. When I went to the hospital for my MRI this morning looking like I had just rolled out of bed because I had just rolled out of bed, I had a front row seat for the parade of attractive men in scrubs and lab coats.

It's a good look.   


*I wore my favorite skinny jeans and those will be spared.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

All of the pain

I'm sitting here at my desk with a tennis ball shoved between my shoulder blade and the back of my chair and it hurts so bad and it hurts so good.

I got a massage on Saturday morning and I was in such bad shape that the massage therapist never got past my back. She strongly recommended that I see her again this week and, seeing as how I'm rolling out knots with a tennis ball at work, I think she might be on to something.

Because the knee injury isn't enough!

I really need to get back to taking yoga.

I really need to get back to normal.

Especially since, here I am: writing about my injuries again. At the risk of turning this into my personal injury blog. Is there such things as personal injury blogs? Are you as bored as I am? That's what I thought. I'm sorry. I'm only writing about my ibuprofen regimen because it's running my life.

But if we're looking for a bright side, the timing of my body essentially falling apart has been very convenient. I can't take more than a few miles on the treadmill and soccer and hockey are out of the question so I can place my focus on my newest sport: eHarmonizing. I get very behind as it is, so managing this online dating thing (I swear it's a huge time suck) is a good filler until I can do things I actually like.

No, one semi-decent date wasn't enough to turn my opinion on this whole thing. Not it all.

Although: tackling that date was the only pain (in the ass) that I've managed to overcome lately.

Monday, September 08, 2014

I survived

And it wasn't that bad. 

I feel like I don't have much to say about the whole thing. My hair looked really good. He seems like a genuinely kind person who has spent the last few years of his life completely invested in his residency. He also did not murder me or attempt to murder me. So: let's call it a success.

Thank you for the cheerleading, boys and girls. I don't think it's a stretch to say that I wouldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for all of you. It's really nice to have people in your corner. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

SOS

You guys.

I need your help.

How does one go about a date?

[Details for Kari and the curious. Where: TBD, for a drink or something of the like. I have "dinner plans," also known as an escape plan, a few hours later. When: 5ish. With: doctor, 35, soccer fan.]

Because I seem to have one on Sunday.

Friday, September 05, 2014

The saga continues

The groundhog saw his shadow. I repeat: the groundhog saw his shadow.

Translation: two more weeks in my knee brace.

And an MRI order and directions to ice my knee, like, all the time.

I am very much over this.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Happy Medium

I kicked and screamed my way into eHarmonizing. There is no denying that.

For the first week, I winced every time I got an email (far, far too many emails) and I held my breath every time I logged in. At some point, my fear and horror wore off enough that I could do the dance (and by dance I mean answering so many lame questions so many times over) without breaking into hives. It got easier. I came to terms with the fact that I gave these suckers three of membership money, so I might as well give it a try.

Earlier this week, I found myself wondering when I would hear back from any one of the random dudes who make their way to my inbox. Worrying if I replied too fast or at the wrong time of the day. Fretting about if I wouldn't hear from them. Worrying about saying the wrong thing. Caring.

Nonsense.

That's what I decided yesterday. (While listening to Taylor Swift, OBVIOUSLY) That this brief stint where I found myself actually caring was complete nonsense.

Fuck these dudes. I mean that in the nicest possible way. F 'em.

That isn't to say that they'll never be someone I give two shits about but, right here and right now: no. My postal carrier is more important to me and I don't even know my postal carrier's name or gender or what time he/she delivers my mail.

Here's what these random dudes and their actions or their lack of actions or general thoughts on me mean at this point: nothing.

If I can't make that my default mode of thinking, I can't do this. I like to be liked. I really, really do. But I cannot let myself care if a dude who is essentially a screen name thinks I'm cute/witty/adorable/meek/charming/interesting/fun/feminine/independent/blonde enough for him. If I do that, this game is going to eat me alive.

So that's where I'm at with this whole online dating experiment. I haven't progressed far enough that I'm meeting anyone. And I'm trying to figure out the happy medium between disinterest and caring too much.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A note from the knee department

"You walk like someone who has been walking around in a knee brace for three weeks," my mother told me over the weekend.

I am someone who has been walking around in a knee brace for three weeks.

And I am feeling it. All over.

If you've ever been injured, you probably know this feeling. You sprain your ankle and so you limp and because you limp your hip is tight and because your hip is tight you sit crooked at your desk and because you're sitting crooked at your desk, your shoulder is sore.

I tore a tendon in my knee and so I'm wearing a knee brace and because I'm wearing a knee brace my ribs all feel like they're broken and there are knots under my shoulder blade and my hair is really flat.

I'm sure that it's all related.

I am nervous about my follow-up appointment tomorrow. My knee? Maybe I'm being dramatic and/or overly cautious but I'm really convinced that nothing is really all that much better. When I'm out of my brace (and sometimes even when I'm wearing it) my knee feels as loose and as unstable as it did in the few weeks after I initially injured it.

I hope that I'm wrong. I hope my doctor does her assessment and pats me on my head and sends me off into the wide world of sports.

When I hurt myself, seven weeks ago tonight, I knew that I was injured. These last three weeks of healing and relative inactivity: totally expected it. But I didn't even consider that there would be anything beyond this.

I signed myself up for fall soccer. It starts on Sunday.

I signed myself up for winter hockey. We started last night.

It is what it is. Healing is going to take as long as it's going to take.

But if this injury is ongoing it's going to be a major inconvenience. And not just to me.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Facts About The Long Weekend

Fact #1: I dropped a freshly-baked pie in the driveway. The freshly-baked pie that I had rushed home to prepare to bring to Lucy's house for dessert. It was a berry pie with a streusel top and it was still warm. I will never not be incredibly pissed that it happened.

Fact #2: I finally found suitable rugs for the bottom and the top of my staircase. I am so pleased. I am so old.

Fact #3: I started reading The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and it is exquisite.

Fact #4: I came to the conclusion that, while I am nearly to the end of the three weeks of inactivity prescribed by my doctor, my knee feels exactly as it did before I had my last appointment and before hobbled around in a hideous brace for three straight weeks

Fact #5: My mom and I babysat Lucy's boys again on Friday and it was, again, the highlight of my week. They are so sweet

Fact #6: I did the minimum eHarmonizing but I'm finally (despite my commitment to procrastination) getting to the end of all of the prescribed hoops to jump through and I guess once you do that you're supposed to suck it up and meet some of these dudes and that's scary for me but you guys should be excited because this blog is going to turn into the biggest shit show the minute I go on a single date. Guaranteed.

Fact #7: I went to Starbucks.

Fact #8: My cousin Liz, my mom, my sister and I went shopping on Saturday morning. I bought my inner librarian a new cardigan, among a few other things.

Fact #9: I kept meaning to paint my nails and never did it.

Fact #10: The weekend was far more fun than I'm letting on.

Fact #11: I hope that your (long) weekend was, too.
 
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