Friday, October 31, 2014

About my lack of amusement

I kind of half-assed that last post, writing out only part of the story. Making me out to be more of a lunatic than I actually am. Typical. Were you confused? Sorry. I am a bit confused myself.

Yes, it was nothing. Nothing really worth being offended, nothing worth a second thought. 

But I am currently super sensitive about all of things relating to guys/dating/weddings/relationships/couple Halloween costumes/tandem bicycles. So I hated it.

Here's why I hated it.

I hated that my mom was suggesting that particular guy. I won't get into the long list of reasons that wasn't ever going to work but I know a good deal about the dude. It wasn't ever going to work. And it isn't like my mom doesn't know his history. She does. And it felt like a suggestion that I finally just settle.

And I hated that it reminded me of a truth that sits just beneath the surface every damn day: which is that my mom has always wanted certain things for me (an education, a career, a husband, a baby or two) and I have always been good about accomplishing those things my mom wanted for me. Except for this. I suck at this.

I need to write more about why I suck at this. About the eHarmony experiment. About why I'm so hard on myself. About why this all just makes me cry. 

But I thought I should clear up that that last post first. I took a shortcut and blamed my mother when, really, the problem is me.

So, there. The background I should have given on Wednesday.

More about this later. Eventually. When I can drum up the energy. Don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Not amused

I generally stop by Mom and Dad's house on Tuesdays before I go to hockey. It's a nice little routine, which we started last year when I was living far away and killing time before I go to hockey. Now I live close and I am killing time before I go to hockey.

Yesterday, when I got to the house, my mom was on the phone talking shop with her good friend/coworker, Tess.

Mom was grinning like an idiot when she got off of the phone with Tess. "I had nothing to do with this," she said before launching into her story.

Earlier in the day, Tess's son randomly says to her, "I was thinking maybe I should date Meg."

Which is kind of funny because Meg and his sister, Catherine, are really good friends and essentially the same person. Same personality. Same strong personality. After years and years of marveling at how similar their youngest children were, Mom and Tess introduced Meg and Catherine and they became fast friends.

Tess must have thought that was a bad idea or that the sister similarity was a little too creepy because, instead, she told him "well, her sister Alyson is your age."

Which progressed into Tess's son creeping on me via (I assume) the Facebook. Then admitting to his mother (HIS MOTHER!) that he was creeping on me via the Facebook and telling his mother (HIS MOTHER) that I am "very beautiful" and then his mother (HIS MOTHER) telling this to my mother (MY MOTHER!) who enthusiastically relayed the whole story as though it was something that I wanted to hear.

It wasn't something I wanted to hear.


It was a story that I definitely could have done without hearing and, after I did, tempted me to crawl under the kitchen table and cry.

It was humiliating.

I'm extra sensitive about this right now, no doubt, but it just deflated me.

It was harmless.

It hurt.

With as single as I have been for, oh, basically forever, I always felt lucky that my mom was on my team. She was never a "where's my grandbabies?" mom or a "I want to set you up with the nice butcher at my grocery store" mom. She has never (outwardly) cared about weddings or grandchildren or boyfriends or engagements or timelines or anything, I thought, except my happiness.

I walk around with this open wound every day but at least my own mother doesn't poke at it, you know?

Until she does.

Which, it turns out, hurts double. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Things I'm Worrying About, a list

  • My mom.
  • The bottom line on the doctor/hospital/physical therapy bills for my knee.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • How much I love to sleep lately.
  • My friend Heather, who is apparently back with her husband.
  • Kentucky Derby tickets.
  • My weight.
  • Whether or not my scale works.
  • My coffee consumption.
  • Whether or not Colleen is going to call. 
  • How I'm going to act if Colleen does call.
  • Christmas.
  • My skin.
  • My hair.
  • My eyebrows.
  • Why I give so much thought to my skin, my hair and my eyebrows.
  • The hockey game I'm playing in tonight.
  • The hockey game I'm playing in on Saturday.
  • The hockey game I'm potentially playing in on Sunday.
  • Telling Alexander that I won't be attending his Halloween party. 
  • Coordinating my grandmother's Christmas present.
  • Whether or not my stand mixer is dead. 
  • Laundry and when I'm going to have time to do it.
  • The lack of the color green in my wardrobe. 
  • Why blogging is so damn difficult lately.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Behold...

...my fabulous(ly bad) Halloween costume.


Lucy's parents throw a Halloween party every year and I am always tempted to skip out on the costume but I always pull something together.

Usually something weird. Usually something that I drag Lucy in on. Because that's what best friends are for.


Can you tell what we are?

(Hint: Kentucky Derby.)

We're jockeys! A little duct tape. White leggings. Riding boots. Costume. Boom. Done.


Half of the attendees didn't even realize that we were in costume so, needless to say, we didn't win the costume contest. Again.


But so it goes.

I ate my weight in sweets, played a mean round of cakewalk (an annual tradition) and Baby A even let me take his cement mixer for a spin underneath the table.

Not a bad night.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Books, Lately

Here is an essential truth about me: I cannot be both a reader and a television viewer. I can do one or I can do another. I'm really not great about doing both simultaneously.

I really don't watch any shows weekly anymore, so when I'm watching television I'm feasting on an entire season and I can't balance that with a book. Can't, won't, don't.

I guess I'm like that with a lot of things. All in or not at all.

Now that I'm all settled in at home, I'm chewing up books and spittin' 'em out like it's my job.

Actually, it sort of is my job. The romanticized version of my job where I sit around and read all day in a cardigan and a bun. But not really.

(I never get to read at work.)

I feel like I have read some good ones lately. Plus: books are a topic other than my knee injury and the subsequent physical therapy that I've been boring you all (and myself) to death with, so I thought I would share.
 
All The Light We Cannot See: is the best novel I've read in a few years. Not everyone I know who has read it has fallen quite so hard for it but something about that book makes me want to read it 11 times over and keep a copy in my purse and force it on all of my friends.

Not That Kind of Girl: I actually thought I would like a little more than I did. I enjoyed it and it did not change my life. Not every book can.

The Girl You Left Behind: I was on a big Jojo Moyes streak in the spring and into the summer. This was not Me Before You (which I loved) but it was relatively satisfying. Again, not a book that changed my life.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: I'm in the middle of right now and it's just adorable and charming and it's such a fast read. This might be one I buy for my mom or for my grandma so that it's adorableness and charmingness is spread throughout the family.

I spend my workdays surrounded by more books than I will ever have time to read but I do take suggestions, girls and boys. Anything I need to move to the top of my reading list?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lazy

I was going to go to the gym last night for a little run on the treadmill but then I got home and, well, I didn't. I didn't go to the gym for a little run on the treadmill or a little of anything else. I made pasta. I took a shower. I read.

I have been using physical therapy as an excuse, but my knee wasn't really that sore. I was just lazy.

Lazy is hard to break.

My knee injury came shortly after I moved into my condo and, before that, I had a long vacation and, before that, I dedicated far too many evenings to trudging through house after house with my real estate agent.

I can't even remember when I last had a good gym routine.

My gym membership was just bumped up from $TooMuch to $TooMuch + $5, so it's time to finish physical therapy (I'm thinking I will be done as of next week), find my inner yogi (I've taken a few classes), break out my running shoes for something more than a sluggish two miles and get back to it.

I need the routine. I need the exercise.

But what I need most is to start feeling like myself.

I haven't, lately.  

The lazy is just a fraction of the problem.

But it's somewhere to start.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Choices

Over the weekend, I finally had time to catch up with Lucy and get all of the gritty details on her meeting with Colleen.

Overall: it was about what Lucy expected, maybe a tiny bit better. 

I will admit that it was nice to hear about Colleen's life. She still struggles -- with her history of depression and anxiety, I think she will always struggle some -- but some things in her life seem like they're really okay. That makes me happy for her. I genuinely wish her well. 

One of the things Lucy and Colleen talked about was Colleen's reaction to Lucy becoming a mom. Colleen didn't know what to do/how to act/what to think about Lucy's impending motherhood, so she bailed (the friendship didn't really come to an end until Lucy called her out on it a few months later). Colleen couldn't make the transition. "I don't know how Aly did that," she told Lucy. 

That meaning, I guess, continuing to be Lucy's friend. Realizing that Lucy's life was changing in a big way and that I had a choice: accept the change, help her transition to her new reality, BE A TRUE FRIEND, have the absolute privilege of getting to know her two little guys or I could lose our friendship. 

It was a choice but it was never a choice. 

I never debated what I would do. 

It pisses me off a little bit that Colleen regards me as some sort of saint for being that friend to Lucy. It wasn't extraordinary. It wasn't unusual. I was being her friend. 

Because I know that if I had my leg amputated tomorrow, Lucy would learn how to use my wheelchair. And if I get pregnant next month, Lucy will be sitting in the waiting room when I am in labor. 

All I was being was decent. All I was doing was the same that Lucy would do for me. 

I don't have the burning desire to hash things out with Lucy but I wouldn't mind telling her that. I might enjoy pointing out the simplicity of maintaining a friendship. Because it was easy. And look at all of the ways in which I have been rewarded. The blessings, Colleen, are endless. And you threw them away. 

Lucy warned me that I might hear from Colleen next. Don't be surprised if you do, she told me. And don't be surprised if you don't. 

I'm not going to worry about it until it happens. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

This is now a PT blog

"The last patient who was in here," my physical therapist says to me quietly, as he starts laughing, "when you came in she said to me 'why isn't she in school?' and, she's a physician, then she said 'I can't believe somebody referred a patient who is so young.'"

I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING BAD I SAID ABOUT PHYSICAL THERAPY.

I love physical therapy.

I love that doctor/patient who thinks that I'm in high school. I am going to write her a thank you note.

PT 4EVA.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let's be friends

At physical therapy last week -- the same day of my failed attempt to break up with my therapist -- the clinic was empty but for one other patient.

The other patient was in PT for her shoulder. I would guess that she's in her early 60s. I've been seeing her since I started my therapy. She's always in a chipper mood, joking around with the therapist and otherwise pleasant to be around. She seems like a pretty cool lady.

I was minding my business and doing my exercises (and reciting my breakup speech in my head) and happened to catch the tail end of some self-deprecating joke. She was lamenting about the boring nature of her injury and subsequent rehab* while "you're over here training her for the Olympics."
She nodded in my direction.

I wasn't going to butt in the conversation (even though I was being discussed) so I just kept on with my workout.

But this is what I wanted to say: Olympics? I am 32 years old, lady. That ship sailed a long time ago. If anything, I'm just getting a head start on training for the Senior Olympics!

Yes, I was more than ready to match her self-deprecating humor with some of my own. But her comment basically made my morning. It was just nice to have someone imply that she thinks of me as an athlete. I haven't felt like much of one lately.


*Which is extra amusing because the physical therapist told me later that he finds shoulders much more interesting to work on than knees.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Colleen & Controlling

My best friend Lucy and I had a falling out with our third, Colleen, a few years ago. It was really weird when we first stopped being friends with her. We would talk about her all of the time. Wonder what she was doing. Contemplate when we would eventually hear from her.

Except we didn't hear from her. And then we saw pictures from her wedding on Facebook and it broke our hearts a little bit. Recognizing that we cared about Colleen but couldn't have a healthy friendship with her sucked, quite frankly. And we went through much the same emotions when we found out she was pregnant.

Lucy heard from Colleen's mom -- looking for Lucy to essentially bail her out -- when Colleen had her daughter back in March. Then, Colleen sent Lucy a text message on her birthday. She wished Lucy a happy birthday, said that she had been thinking about her a lot and had things to apologize for.

Lucy sent her a very generic "thanks, hope you're well" sort of a text message and let it go.
Then Colleen sent her a text message last week. She wanted to get together with Lucy at the suggestion of her therapist. Lucy was conflicted, claiming that refusing to do so would make her feel "hypocritical." Lucy's a therapist.

Truly, honestly, genuinely: I thought Lucy should ignore her. And, if she couldn't ignore her, suggest that they meet at Colleen's therapist's office.

I did not and would not say as much.

I made a few suggestions on how she should approach it and, in the end, Lucy and Colleen made plans for today. For this morning.

It makes me a little bit sick.

Lucy is more forgiving than I am and Lucy and Colleen have been friends much longer. Lucy is a big girl with a good heart and motherhood has made her much better at making and maintaining boundaries. She won't let Colleen do this to her again. To be such a shitty, one-sided friend.


Lucy initially indicated that their meeting would be more for closure than for the purposes of reopening their friendship. I don't know if that's true. I don't know that it's my business. I'm not really interested in being Colleen's friend again but I know that I can't make that decision for Lucy.

But it doesn't stop me from wanting to.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Goodbye, Old Friend

My dad bought me an iPhone 6 for my birthday. It arrived towards the middle of last week and I've been avoiding it ever since.

I claim that the reason I'm dragging my feet is because the case I ordered has yet to arrive but, really, I just haven't quite managed to psych myself up for the change. The good ol' iPhone 4 and I have been together for 3 years, 8 months. That's a long time. We've been through a lot together.

I'm mostly kidding but a little bit not.

Sometimes I think that I'm good at change and then I am totally neurotic about something as inconsequential as this and I realize that I am not quite as well adjusted as I pretend to be.

But I will be taking the plunge and making the changeover today and the transition will be seamless and my fears unfounded and then I must tackle the issue of a phone case.  A phone case that will last just short of forever. 

The case that I ordered is a temporary/backup case until I find something that I'm totally in love with. You see, I also don't ever swap phone cases. Because: change.

In the past, I was a loyal Kate Spade phone case girl but I haven't heard good things about the protective abilities of the resin cases and that's all that Ms. Spade is currently offering. Plus, all two of the Kate Spade silicone cases that I utilized with my last phone (don't worry: changing phone cases also causes me moderate amounts of mental distress) were the slightest bit too big and my phone would slide around just enough to annoy me/mess up pictures.

So, I'm likely moving on from Kate Spade. I am strongly considering embracing my true Detroit girl and going with this leather number from Shinola:


But if you have a phone case that you're obsessed with and it seems like it would be suitable for someone who is a little (a lot) bit crazy such as me, I wouldn't mind hearing all about it.     

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another Thing About Physical Therapy

When I was bitching to Meg about all of the reason that I should quit physical therapy, it went a little like this:
  • I'm going to have a huge bill
  • I haven't gotten any better after I got a little better
  • It's too early
  • I don't wanna
  • I'm frustrated
  • I can't even articulate where and how my knee hurts anyway
  • I'm sick of scooting around on a rolling stool
  • I hate everything
  • AND I DON'T WANT TO SHAVE MY LEGS THREE TIMES A WEEK.
Meg's response to all of this was as follows: "oh, definitely don't shave your legs. We really don't notice. At all. Seriously."

Who knew?!
 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

About Physical Therapy

I was going to quit PT today.

I talked to my sister (she's a physical therapist) about it, told her my plan to get discharged. I'm better to a point, but there's still nagging pain that hasn't improved. My insurance sucks and I don't want to spend all of my money on physical therapy. I'm sick of going. It will probably improve on its own anyway. I am definitely quitting.

She didn't tell me that I was a total idiot for wanting to quit, so I went to therapy this morning for what I thought was the last time.

Here's how I got to that point: I played hockey on Tuesday for the first time since I injured my knee in July. It didn't go anywhere near as well as I had expected it to go. (I played soccer for the first time on Sunday and that, actually, was okay.) I left the rink entirely pissed off about the whole situation. Really angry. And I decided to quit PT. Which might not seem entirely logical but if I'm putting in the time and I'm not getting better and it's costing me a shit ton of money? Fuck it. I'll deal with what still hurts and spend the money on clothes and headbands and other goods to make me feel better about having a bum knee. Logical.

Upon breaking the news to my physical therapist, he was like: um, no. Because this is how it starts, Alyson, and then eventually you quit hockey because it hurts your knee and your skip out on stuff because it bothers your knee and then all of a sudden you're sedentary and unfit.

I think he's underestimating my willingness to play through pain.

I suggested that maybe he didn't want to discharge me because I am a reliable patient who never skips appointments and does everything asked of me and also happens to be exceptionally fun. Nope. Not the case. He didn't even confirm that I was fun! Go somewhere else if you want, he said. Just don't quit.

So contrary to my plan, I am apparently staying in physical therapy and continuing to amass an enormous bill.

Awesome.

Also I am such a sucker that after my appointment, where he told me a sob story about spilling his entire Starbucks coffee the minute he got to the clinic this morning, I dropped him off a new one.

Stockholm syndrome, boys and girls.

Empathy for my captor's caffeine addiction.

And I'll probably get billed for going back to the clinic. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Currently

  • Campaigning Lucy to get Baby A into soccer class.
  • Drinking mango tea.
  • Five days into a flat iron strike.
  • Frustrated about my knee situation.
  • Sporting a lot of sketchy bruises.
  • Not looking forward to the medical bills that will soon be clogging my mailbox.
  • Extra motivated at work.
  • Better than last week.
  • Eating a brownie. 
  • Sleepy.
  • Totally over being a physical therapy patient.
  • Looking forward to taking a yoga class tonight.
  • On the verge of embarking on phase two of my gallery wall.
  • Unable to get enough sleep.
  • Eying Lena Dunham's book for my next conquest.
  • Making plans.
  • Making wishes. 
  • Embarrassed by the current state of UM football.
  • Still without a dining room table. 
  • Relatively patient.
  • Worrying about my sister.
  • Craving sharp cheddar cheese.
  • In need of a new pair of black everyday ballet flats.
  • Irritated with one of my employees.
  • Getting better.
  • Planning out my Christmas decorations in my head.
  • Clueless about what I should get my dad for his birthday.
  • Wondering what you guys are up to today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Turning Ahead

Every so often, I will have someone come into the 'brary and confess that she always flips ahead and reads the end of the book.

"I can't stand not knowing!" She tells me.

I have never once skipped ahead in a book. But still I understand.

I completely understand.

There is nothing more that I would like to have than the ability to turn to my last chapter and see how it all ends. Do I live a long life? Am I happy? Are there kids? Do I stay in this career? Is Lucy always my very best friend? Do I get another tattoo? Do I still drink mango tea every afternoon?

Knowing would eliminate so much anxiety.

I wouldn't need every detail. I wouldn't want every detail. I still want to live it. I still want the experience, the surprise, the living. But, if I could, I would flip ahead. To the end. To that neat little summation of my life. One paragraph. This is who I loved, this is what I did, this is what I valued, this how I lived my life. 

Because I feel like maybe I could stop and appreciate my life for what it is right now if I knew that I wasn't the single girl forever.

Maybe I would take longer showers.

Maybe I would buy more shoes. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Reset

Whatever my problem was on Friday, it kicked my ass well into Saturday. 

After work, I went to the grocery store to pick up ingredients to make my contributions to dinner after Yom Kippur, and then I went home and almost immediately went to bed. Why continue to struggle? I watched a few episodes of New Girl, my latest television project, and went to bed. I was done.

Until about 2:00 am when I woke up with an achy knee. This is what I have been reduced to: someone who wakes up with a weather-related achy knee. Awesome. Three hours and an episode of New Girl later, I got back to sleep.

As a result, I slept ridiculously late. Then I spent the rest of my Saturday trying to be easy on myself.

Being easy on myself meant spending the day mostly alone. After stopping by Lucy's house for an hour, I made a batch of applesauce and prepped for dinner and cleaned up at home and let myself feel as blah as I felt like feeling.

I felt very blah.

But maybe there's something to just going with it. Instead of struggling against it and beating myself up for feeling so out of sorts in a week where so many had been so kind, I just gave in and, by the time the sun was setting on Saturday, I felt like I had reset my panic button. I felt better.

Not great. I still don't feel great. But I feel human, which is more that I can say for Friday and half of Saturday, where I was less human and more a mound of flesh on the verge of tears. (That sounds so dramatic. I promise I'm not on the edge of a nervous breakdown.)

I spent Saturday night, where I felt tender but no longer bruised, with Lucy and her family. We broke the Yom Kippur fast. After dinner and getting the boys in bed, Lucy and I went out for a late movie: Gone Girl. It was unexpectedly good. I loved it nearly as much as I loved escaping real life for 2 hours and 20 minutes. 

With the blessing of my physical therapist, I made my return to soccer on Sunday morning. It went okay. My knee mostly cooperated. I had lunch with my mom. I saw Lucy and the boys again. We took them to see the fire trucks at a nearby station's open house. I had dinner at their house. I considered blogging but, in preparation for blogging, I started analyzing the last week and it wasn't doing anything for my state of mind. I went to bed early instead.

I'm just riding this out.

Sleeping helps. 

Friday, October 03, 2014

32

Now I am 32.

I had a birthday filled with kind wishes and thoughtful gestures. Text messages so sweet that I was inspired to take a screen shot. Flowers and chocolate from my grandparents. Phone calls. Cards. A visit at work from Lucy and her boys. Pumpkin crème brûlée. New earrings. A teapot. Sunshine.

Now I am 32. And sad. I've never been sad about a birthday before. This one just isn't sitting right.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Gratitude: August and September

At the beginning of the year, I decided to focus on being more grateful. Despite neglecting to post at the beginning of last month (how did that happen?), I'm still at it. I'm still feeling grateful.

  • Biting the bullet.
  • My cousins. Always my cousins.
  • For the possibility that comes with going on a date, even though I admittedly hate the process.
  • Finding yoga once again.
  • Every minute I spend with Lucy's kids.
  • Health insurance. Mine isn't the best. But I have it.
  • The hard, nervous beat of my heart that comes when I am surprised, nervous or scared and reminds me that I'm alive. 
  • To have a doctor who I have seen, adored and trusted since I was 15.
  • Drybar. 
  • That Drybar does not have a Detroit location.
  • For the truth, however it comes out.
  • That I was wrong to dread Anna's wedding weekend.
  • Friends who know they can count on me.
  • Voting rights.
  • Good news.
  • Good books.
  • Good coffee.
  • Good MRI results.
  • Gummy worms.
  • Patience.
 
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