Yesterday, I drove to--oh holy shit what the hell is this?
Why. Why did the strike-thru key get depressed before I even got here? It's got the world by the tail! What's to be depressed about?
So, I'm sitting here eating a flax/blueberry muffin, which was provided to me as part of my headache study food, and I have to tell you it's absurdly delicious. They make them there on site, at the study place, in their kitchen.
Turns out this headache study is a pretty big deal.
First of all, I drove there yesterday, to UNC, which is in Chapel Hill, which is an hour away, on zero caffeine or even food, and no one has driven more out of it than I did yesterday. Plus, I have no idea how to get the intermittent wipers to work on my car, so that was a pain in my ass. And I did listen to that doctor show on Sirius radio, because I'm not getting any other channels and I've had no time to call them to make it work.
Anyway, I got to the FUCKING CLUSTER that is UNC's campus, and the FUCKING CLUSTER that is the parking structure near the hospital, and OH MY GOD if you didn't need the hospital before, you'd check yourself in with nervous exhaustion after that parking lot.
Only celebrities get nervous exhaustion, as well as dehydration.
They were ready for me right away, and they took all my blood, seriously, a lot lot lot. I tried not to think about it and grow squeamish, and then after the nurse offered to walk me over to the dental school next door to go to their coffee shop. We walked out of her office and I turned the wrong way to leave. Then we got to the coffee shop and when we left with THE WORLD'S MOST LARGE COFFEE OH MY GOD, I turned the wrong way to get back to the headache study offices.
"You seem...disoriented," the nurse said. "You've turned the wrong way both times. Are you okay?"
I assured her it wasn't the lack of food at 11:30 in the morning, or even the dearth of coffee. "This is how I am with directions."
I will always turn the wrong way. Always.
After they caffeinated me and gave me some of their flax blueberry muffins--PREPOSTEROUSLY GOOD--they had me fill out a questionnaire online and then we discussed what I do and don't eat. Then I was told what the study involved, food-wise, and what they're looking at to see if their theory is true, and I feel like this is a huge, millions-of-dollars study and I don't want to fuck it up with giving you each detail.
Suffice it to say I have to give up certain things that they think make you feel pain more than you might need to, and I have to give them up for awhile for my body to be all, Oh. Okay.
I don't have to reduce my calories, thank god, or lose weight or anything, which is good because I am dangerously close to underweight as it is.
I selected what food I wanted, from a big list, and then I had to drive over through THE CLUSTER to get to this kitchen, where they rolled out a huge cooler of stuff for me for the next few weeks. I was also given a very specific list, based on the grocery store I go to, of things I can buy that are safe.
Now, as for dining out, I'm kind of screwed. I can go out, order a salad using the salad dressing they gave me, and if I get fish (I can only get fish), I have to find out how it's been prepared to see if I can even order it. So now I'm that asshole.
I picked a fine time to be entertaining out-of-town guests. Who, by the way, I called as soon as I was back in town, and it was already 3:30 by then. I felt bad they'd had the whole day with no, you know, person they were visiting, but it turns out they went to the Civil Rights Museum, had lunch downtown, and so on. They were fine.
"I want to try that outdoor shopping center," said my aunt, and why did this not surprise me. So I screamed home, put all my new food away, realized all I'd eaten was two muffins all day, slammed some tuna (allowed) and screamed out the door.
We met at the cosmetic counter at Belk. I wonder how I thought to do that.
Good GOD. Is nothing sacred?
I've lived one mile from that outdoor shopping area for eight years now (minus one year abroad), and my Aunt Mary took me to all stores I'd never been to, even once, in that shopping center. Mainly those kinds of stores that sell lots of decorative pillows and smell like potpourri that makes my throat close up. But also really really cute kitchen stores with fabulous tea kettles and all sorts of doo-dads you convince yourself you need. "Oh, a CORN silker! I so need a corn silker!"
My uncle went to the outdoor store and the bookstore. If you're married to my aunt, you learn how to deal with shopping trips.
I bought a Day of the Dead calendar for 2017, and my aunt bought everything else on the planet.
When we came back, the Needy Committee got up with my uncle, and then after we walked Edsel I asked if they wanted to go have dinner. "I can watch you, or eat a salad," I offered. I suck. But they were still full from lunch, so when it got dark, they headed home, and as they were still in my driveway leaving, my friend Marianne called.
"I see your Aunt Mary is here! When can we meet up? How about 8:00 Sunday morning?"
She was serious.
Marianne was my friend in Seattle, and when my aunt visited me there, they spent a day together when I worked. They also sat at the same table at my rehearsal dinner, and it totally looked like they were having the fun table, over there.
Anyway, later. We're meeting later Sunday. 8:00 Sunday morning. Oh my GOD.
So as soon as we hung up I screamed to the store, where I bought a microwave for 40 bucks and the allowed foods on my shopping list. I threw out my microwave years ago, because it scared Tallulah and it wasn't worth it to see her shake every time that thing was on. It dawned on me just a few days ago that I could get one now. And with this new plan, a microwave will be most handy.
I gotta go to work, but I will talk at you this weekend. We're going to the farmers market tomorrow morning. I hope my aunt doesn't think by "morning," I mean "8:00."