What I'm not going to do? Drone on about politics when half of you feel one way, half feel the opposite. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
What I am going to do? Make you hear about m'trip home so far. No photos yet cause it's a pain in the ass to search my phone, select photos, email them to myself, get on my email up on mom's laptop, drag the photos onto mom's desktop, then upload them here.
[Whole room dearly wishes I'd talk about politics.]
First of all, I almost missed my damn flight. I stupidly scheduled to leave out of Raleigh, an hour away, fairly early in the day. I gave myself lots of time, but still got stuck in traffic and was 15 miles from the airport with less than an hour till my flight.
If I'd had a theme song right then, it'd have been Mission Impossible. It'd have been Under Pressure.
So I called Delta Dawn to ask that what that flower was they had on while I drove, and of course it was all, "Press one for blah de bloo," which was impossible because I was driving and what companies could do to make everyone happier is hire humans to answer the phone right away. And also to not tell me that I need to pay attention to all the prompts because "our menu has recently changed."
YOUR FUCKING MENU HAS NOT RECENTLY FUCKING CHANGED. HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE? YOU JUST WANT US TO GIVE UP AND NOT CALL YOU, DELTA STUPID AIRLINES. AND EVERYBODY ELSE.
Anyway, I kept screeching, "Representative," and finally that worked, and when I got a human I told her the story of how I've never missed a flight before, but I was stuck in traffic and now it's 50 minutes till my departure and I'm at a standstill three exits away.
"We recommend you get to the airport 90 minutes before your flight," she said, and that is when I shot her. But other than that she was helpful, and when I finally got there and drove 39439494 miles in a circle to park and schlepped my suitcase 70 miles and stood in line to check my bag and stood in line for the anal probe and got to the gate, the plane was boarding.
Then in Detroit I got off my plane and my next plane was in a different terminal
...and already boarding.
Mother of god.
Anyway, the good news was I left North Carolina at 9:38 and got to Saginaw at 1:30, ready to kill my own self.
"I brought you Quiznos," said my mother, who knew of my charming day so far. "I looked at the menu and ordered exactly the opposite of what I'd ever get." She handed me my steak and cheese.
She'd wanted me to go terrecktly to her book club with her right from the airport. My stepfather bought me the book they were reading; he was going to book club, too. I read the book (Let the Great World Spin--highly recommend. Don't get bored at first) but I was in no mood. No mood.
I went home and napped while they went to book club.
Then mom and all her hippie friends had an election night party, and you know how Mary Richards' parties always went? This doomed party was right up there with the time Lou Grant and his wife broke up at Mary's party. (The same party that Lars slept with SueAnn Nivens. Do you recall that? I hadn't. Guess who's been binging Mary Tyler Moore?)
I noted on Facebook that I was home, and I don't know why I do this, because 394858493 people from my past always do the, "Oh! You're in town! Why don't you drive 35 miles to my house and we'll catch up from that time we last saw each other in 1982!" thing.
I suppose I should be delighted that this happens, and that people don't say, "Oh my god, I hope June doesn't remember I live here," but it always puts me in this awkward position of, well, no. No, I really can't abandon my actual family and so on to hang out, seeing as I'm home about once a year and usually for around 72 hours and even then I probably won't see everyone who's blood. Because damn Catholics.
However, there was this woman I was good friends with in junior high who saw I was home. We worked the library together for fifth hour in 8th grade. Working in the library was an excellent way to get out of gym. Anyway, she saw I was home, and attending my mom's doomed pantsuit party, and could she come, and I was excited to see her so I said okay to the man.
That line is only funny to When Harry Met Sally fans.
She came? With Kurt Russell wine. "Kurt Russell is my Barry Gibb," she announced to the room at large, and right then they knew. She was my people.
I was unable to resist doing the pain-in-the-ass practice of uploading a photo of my junior high friend and her Kurt Russell wine for your viewing pleasure, so while I was up I got some more photos for you.
I mean, did you even know Kurt Russell made wine?
Aunt Kathy, mom and me at Mom's pantsuit party, before it took a turn. Before it became less a pantsuit and more a prick suit. Andy Sipowitz used to say that on NYPD Blue when he was being crabby. "Sorry, didn't mean to put on my prick suit." I try to work that into conversations as often as I can. It's not easy.
Okay, you seriously have no idea what a pain that is, so no more photos till I get home.
My mother's phone rings all the time. Her home phone. Does your phone ring anymore? I mean, I'm assuming you don't have a home phone; I don't. Your cell phone, though. The only person who calls me, ever, is Ned. Back when we were dating in Round 1, he called every night we didn't see each other and we'd recap our day, and he does so once again in Round 2. But other than that? I mean, my aunts will call maybe once a month. My mother calls. And then I call her back, adding to her ringing phone.
There are also many people bounding in and out of here all day. My mother is way more social than I am. If people wandered in and out at my house I'd be all, WHAT.
I'd love to italicize that "what" to fully emphasize my crabby, like you need that further emphasized, but I can't highlight it and scroll up and hit ital. I am hampered, y'all.
Anyway, I've talked too long as it is, so I will recap more for you tomorrow. This will give you something to look forward to, sort of like Christmas Eve.
Okay one more. Mom says we look like we're posing for a new Mt. Rushmore. Also, mom needs to give it up on the raised eyebrows look.
No human has eaten more than I did today. People have won pie-eating contests and they consumed fewer calories than me.
I am home, in Saginaw, for what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. We decided to celebrate it, and everybody came and it was a good time and also there was food.
I got in yesterday afternoon, around 5:00, and as we were nearing the airport, we flew right over a pumpkin patch. It was very exciting. I saw all the orange round things in the ground, and right then I knew.
I demanded that we head straight to the manicure place, because of course I hadn't known I was coming here till like Thursday or something, and I hadn't had time to get m'brows waxed, and I didn't want my whole extended family to be all, "When did we become related to Lloyd Bridges?"
My mother, who is apparently two feet tall, and I went to the manicure place, and I am not sure if I've told you about my mother's problem. When I lived in LA, I used to take her to the nail place in my neighborhood, and right next to it was a cute store that had things in it like clothes and jewelry and incense and soaps. You get my drift. I can no longer recall was it was called, and if anyone knows what that store used to be on Rowena, near Griffith Park, next to Nails Perfections--which I swear to god that's what the nail place was called--I'd be much obliged.
Anyway, we'd get our nails done and head to the store, and EVERY TIME, EVERY.TIME. my mother would smear her manicure because she looked at something. I'd say to her, "Don't fuck up your nails" and guess what she'd do.
Yesterday while she was STILL IN THE CHAIR, she fucked up her nails and had to have two fingers re-done. She is incapable of being still. I can be still. I am at one with the nail salon.
Anyway it was good to be here with decent nails and brows, and to see Gus, my mother's dog, who has managed to outlive Talulah, which is all he ever wanted anyway, as he attacked poor Talu when she was but a pup. And now Lu resides on my bookshelf, lookin' ashy, and all is right in Gus's world.
He was particularly enamored of my eyebrowns.
My mother and my Aunt Kathy live two houses away, and the festivities were at my aunt's house. I didn't really commence eating till I got there. I had a green apple at my mother's, and that was the last I saw of my healthy living. As soon as I got there I made coffee, and had a cinnamon roll my aunt had made, and then oh look! Cheese! And whaddaya know, guacamole! Ole!
Those are my cousins, above, who you will note are much thinner than I am. I was the chubby cousin, and I can't figure out why the stubborn pounds.
Oh, look. More thin cousins. There was spaghetti and manicotti, and who was I to not take both? Oh, and bread. There was plenty of crusty bread, plus, hey, we can't let the rest of the cinnamon rolls go to waste.
I took photos for y'all of all my Aunt Kathy's bathrooms, which when it's easier for me to upload photos I will do a whole Aunt Kathy's Bathrooms tour for you. It's number two on my list.
This is my Uncle John. He is my aunt and mom's older brother. He had his DNA done, as did my Aunt Kathy, and if anyone wonders what to get me for Christmas, I so want that Ancestry DNA test. Find out if I have a little black in me. #Goals.
Why don't I just go ahead and date a man of color already. There was one man of color who asked me out this past year, and he was way cute, but he's the one who didn't think "That's what SHE said" was funny "because I guess this academic just doesn't see the humor in that stuff."
So. Man of color who ISN'T a tool.
Best Aunt Kathy and me photo, ever. I think I'm glad because someone's pulling out more food.
Anyway, everyone stayed all afternoon, and we looked at old photos, and I got to hang with my OTHER cousin Katy, the non-lesbian one, who lives in Detroit.
We're the same age, and I used to go visit her at college, and no shenanigans were ever involved in those weekends. No, sir. Anyway even though years pass and we don't see each other, once we do we find out we have all the same neuroses and medical issues, no matter where we are in life. Hashtag, Pee When We Sneeze.
Finally, everyone had to get back to their regularly scheduled dwellings in Detroit, and I ate everything so no one would have to clean up food, and now I'm back at my mother's blogging to you. My plane leaves early tomorrow, so it was a whirlwind trip.
I leave you with photos of Aunt Kathy with Newbie and Uncle Bill with Roxie. I hope you hold on to your hat, but I loved those dogs.
Talk to you later.
XO, Joon and her food
P.S. I didn't even MENTION the deviled eggs.P.P.S. I swear to you, my mother just came in here to ask if I wanted something to eat.
The jig is up: I'm going to Michigan this weekend, and then again in November. Dear Person I Am Not Related To Who is in Michigan: No, probably not, re seeing you. When I DO get there, I get booked with family things pretty fast.
This coming weekend is what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday, so my family is having a celebration for her, and I really hope my cousins are reading this because I'm about to say that as gramma's favorite, I really wanted to be there.
But what my mother didn't know is I'd secretly planned to go to Michigan in November for my mother's 70th birthday, so I didn't think I could do both.
Oh, I was being stealthy about my mother's birthday. I was having clandestine talks with my stepfather, which is nearly impossible because land line, no Facebook, shared email account. How do either of them have affairs?
One time I was talking to my stepfather about my plans and in walked my mother. "Well, I hope you feel better," he said. He's a doctor. It would be not unlike me to be calling him for medical advice. "Oh, that was good, Harry!" I said.
Nevertheless, somehow she figured it out.
That still didn't solve the fact of two trips to Michigan in one month + June's income = sad. I told all this to Ned when I saw him at the old movie theater when I went to see Carrie the other night. Of course he was there. I figured he would be.
The next morning I got an email from him with an itinerary. "You're leaving for Michigan Saturday morning, returning Monday. Can you take Monday off?"
Ned. Not the worst ex-boyfriend anyone ever had.
So that's exciting. Now I'm laundering everything so that I don't have to wear a robe all weekend. I know I just said I had to launder everything the other day. Hashtag one load of the really popular stuff four days ago.
This whole time I've been talking to you, Iris has been in the window meowing at me for no reason. I mean, I'm certain she thinks she has a reason. But I assure you she does not.
Perhaps she's protesting this sitch in general.
Anyway, so I'm off. Tomorrow night I have a little cocktail party to attend and then Saturday morning I get on a plane and see my people. My cousin Aunt Katie the Lesbian won't be there--she has to work. She's a nurse. They work a lot.
I wonder if she can get a medical team together to take care of this nose? Oh, dear god, my nose. I hate it so.
I gotta go to work, as I am wont to do. I have negative $63 in checking, so I'm not at all excited about payday tomorrow. Payday? Eh. Take it or leave it. I've got my negative sixty-three dollars. (I keep forgetting I have savings. Oh, good! I'm not as destitute as you'd think.)
Okay, I'm off. What are you gonna do this weekend? Other than pester me because you're only 93 miles from Saginaw and we went to junior high together so wouldn't I have time to get in the car to meet up with you while I'm home for 48 hours.
I probably shouldn't be workout buddies with my ex-boyfriend, but so what. If you'll recall, from your Big Book of June Events, Ned was complaining of neck pain, and with my medical degree and minor in psychology, I determined he had all sorts of repressed feelings that were manifesting in physical sensations,
a thing I informed him of right before the call came that he had a broken neck. Okay, DR. JUNE.
His (actual) doctor told him that he shouldn't go to the gym, or ride his bike as if he's trying to win some race, and as a result Ned is depressed and feels fat. "Can you take walks?" I asked. So now, of course, being Ned, he walks at 10:00, he walks at 3:00, then comes over right after work to walk with Edsel and me, and what he does not know is without discussing it, our walks just got 2,000 times longer.
As soon as he pulls up now, Edsel gets twitterpated, because not only is it UNKKLE NED! O EDSUL GOD!, it also WALK TIMES! O EDSUL GOD!!
Yesterday we saw a downed tree--a whole tree!!--in the park. "Want to walk down there and look at it?" asked Ned. Edsel and I clutched our pearls. "Down that steep hill?"
Ned led Eds and me down that hill, Eds' dainty paws approaching cautiously down. Just as we were near the tree, Ned said, "Watch out for black snakes," and that's when the dog and I had to be revived.
In the meantime, I went back to the headache study place yesterday so they could check me out. Check it out now, funk soul brother. I weigh TWO POUNDS MORE, and why, god? Oh Edsul god. But my blood pressure is 14 over 12.
Here are some things that irk me about being in this study.
When I got to the migraine place yesterday on campus, I was ushered to a room where I sat right underneath a 2015 Liver Transplant Reunion calendar. The nurse bustled in, took my lack of blood pressure, asked me a few questions, but all I could think of was how bad I want a 2015 Liver Transplant Reunion calendar. I imagine in 2017 they will have covered the 2016 reunion, right? And they'll make another calendar, right?
I'm just saying, family. Christmas is right around the corner.
Finally, I admitted to the beleaguered nurse assigned to me for six months how enamored I was of the Liver Reunion calendar. "You know, I've never noticed that before," she said.
I told her about the grandmother I'm turning into having a Holocaust calendar every year. She clearly donated to some organization, and as a reward, they'd send her this cheery Holocaust calendar, a thing that kept arriving even after her death. She would have enjoyed getting a posthumous calendar. The uselessness of it would have tickled her.
And if you knew the grandmother I'm turning into, knowing that her cheery personality had an annual Holocaust calendar is even better. Also, if you knew her, it was highly likely she did not like you.
After my visit, I passed Chris and Lilly's store on the way home, and once again they were not there, leading me to now believe they do not really OWN a store and just made that up so I wouldn't feel sorry for them. I sent this image to Lilly, saying, "I just shoplifted all this from your store."
I got a mum, obvs, and some bird seed, as I have put the bird feeder on the other side of the window from the cat condo, in a flash of brilliance. Steely Dan likes to sit there with Iris and chitter at birds.
However, the other day I was trying to leave but I could not find SD. I looked in all his regular spots, till finally in desperation I headed to my closet and there he was, on the top shelf, sleeping on one of my purses. HOW DID HE GET UP THERE?
When I got home later I moved the purses and put a little blanket there.
Anyway, I also got a stick of duck jerky for Edsel which was gone so fast I couldn't even photograph him eating it, and finally some lavender rosemary lip balm which is to die for.
The woman at the checkout counter was ringing up someone else, and when he left he said, "I love you."
"I love you too," she said as he left.
"Wow, friendly place," I said, handing her my stuff.
She laughed. "That was my nephew."
I signed for my things and as I headed for the door, I called, "I love you!"
I didn't tell her I knew Chris and Lilly. I spared them that.
I have to go to work now, because gotta keep myself in duck jerky, but yesterday we were kibbitzing around on Facebook and got on the topic of your families and me. Do you tell your family and/or friends about this blog, and if so, are they sick to death of hearing about some woman they've never met?
Do tell. I find myself wanting to quote you guys sometimes and it's just easier to say, "A friend of mine..." "A friend of mine says you can't even get hookers and blow for $40,000 a year." That sort of thing.
See you at the 2016 Liver Reunion.
"Did you ever take an actual copyediting class?" my boss asked me, and not in a mean way. We were talking about what we studied in college, and did it have anything to do with what we did for a living. I studied English, and at my school there were three tracks you could go on, or were they tracts? I have no idea. Anyway, teaching, business and literature.
Guess which one I picked? Hey, sensible.
To this day, I can read the shit out of a book.
Anyway, my boss, featured above--and I realize I used to have a boy boss. I have a whole 'nother boss now. THE POINT IS, she got out her copyediting book from college, from those days of yore, and it was this sort of spiral-bound thing that still talked about picas and point sizes and laying out pages, literally. With your hands. Oh, it was charming.
"You can look at it if you want to!" my boss said, and who wouldn't want to go down pica lane? I spent from 1982 to the year 2000 worrying about picas and leading and kerning and points. Then I didn't. Computers worried about it for me.
She handed this book to me, this book she's kept and treasured all this time, a book that was as pristine as a newborn fawn, which technically would be covered in goop but stay with me.
And I got lipstick on it.
A big smear, which much have been on my hand, and hey, corporate ladder. Why so elusive?
Steely Dan Silverman (good idea, y'all) just ran off with the muffin paper from my blueberry flax muffin. I mean, have fun with that. Looks like a party in a paper.
In other news, I'VE GAINED WEIGHT and I have 42 dollars. Payday is tomorrow. I was worried sick when my aunt was here that I'd run out of money running hither and yon to stores and restaurants and the like, but look! Got it just in, at $42. And the headache place gives me a $25 gas card every time I go, and yesterday I was almost on E, used the card, and got three dollars back.
So technically I have 45 dollars.
"Why am I fat?" I emailed my coworker, Austin, who does cross fit like it's fun and also stands around eating raw pepper all day. I was so annoyed, because I've been following this damn headache diet pretty well, with the eating of fish every day and the no processed foods (except yesterday I was upset at a work thing and got Pop Tarts. It was my first really bad cheat. The five potato chips the day before was bad enough), and we decided I can't (a) eat salty snacks even though they're allowed and (2) drink like a sailor.
So last night I had no wine. I was wineless. It was weird.
I went seven years with no wine at all--I didn't drink. But then I took it back up again, because I'm no quitter, and you know I go back and forth on that. Should I drink? Shouldn't I? Should I stay or should I go, now? I haven't had any negative consequences from it, but I worry. I mostly worry because of my father.
A few weeks ago, I forget what post it was, but a commenter got on my blog late at night and left three really nasty comments in a row. They were about how Lottie was better off without me, and I remember the final one read, "Did you ever notice how everyone does better when they're away from June? That includes lovers."
Now, normally when I get a nasty comment, I roll my eyes, sometimes shoot off a reply that I later regret, but mostly it hurts my feelings for maybe half and hour and then I forget about it. I've been doing this almost 10 years. I'm used to mean people popping out sometimes.
But this one was late at night, and I was here doing nothing, so I got on Typepad to see who left it. If you suddenly decide you hate me, but you've left me comments before, even if you disguise your name and email I can see who you are. That's how, years ago, I figured out this WING NUT from my old job was leaving mean messages (not the ones above). Before the mean comments, she'd written me a really
long email (we'd worked together about four weeks total) about her life and what was happening and how her dog wasn't convenient anymore, and would I go on my blog and find a home for him?
But back to the nasty comments from a few weeks back about my pets and lovers. I got on there to see who'd left them, and it was my father.
Yeah. My father.
We haven't talked in years, because last time we did he also said mean things, and that was enough for me. But that night I was so angry that I wrote him.
He wrote back and said he was ashamed to have had anything to do with me, and that I should just kill myself.
I don't know what this behavior is. For most of my life, we were great friends. He was the person I called first when anything bad happened, as he always made me feel better in a way no one else could. Now he'd made me feel worse than anyone ever could. I'm his only child.
I blame this change of personality on substances, although I can't, of course, be sure. And I don't want to be addicted to anything and 70 and alone and telling my loved ones that they should kill themselves.
I have no idea how I went from lipstick on a copyediting book to all this, but there it is. I got deep, man. To top it off, I'm late for work.
This weekend, I saw the most beautiful man I've ever seen, surprised Marty Martin, entertained my Aunt Mary, and saw my friend Marianne. It was a very M weekend.
So, my aunt and uncle have been here since Wednesday, and before they got here I alerted them: Kayeeee had planned a surprise for Marty's 50th for some time, like before-summer some time, so I invited them to come along with me that night, because I was for sure going. They said they'd entertain themselves, and what I like are visitors who can, in fact, do just that rather than being all, But I'm HERE! I need you to dedicate all your seconds to ME! For days at a TIME! What do you mean the rest of your life is still happening in the meanwhile?
So right after work Friday, I screamed to the inconvenience store near me to get bad wine to take to the party. I am a delight.
This kid, and I mean, I can't tell if someone's 22 or 27 anymore, but no one I should be having indecent thoughts about, got out of a shitty car.
Oh my GOD.
He had longish-hair, and it was shiny and wavy and dark. It wasn't long so much as it was just sort of messy and sexy and, yeah, long-ish. He had piercing blue eyes, which met mine through the glass of the store. He was probably excited his grandma was there to buy for him.
When he walked in, I tried not to look, but fortunately he dropped his change all over the floor, so I turned around. He had the kind of muscles that were defined but not huge and gross.
His jawline was to die for. Oh my GOD, did I mention?
And then he struck up a converSAtion with me, because he probably worried he'd have to help me to my car, I'm so doddering, and the whole time I thought, "If I just get a photo of him to send to Marty, Marty would see it and totally understand why I'd said, 'Hey, sonny, let's take this nine-dollar bottle of wine back to my pad.' and never showed up at his party.
However, I didn't, because decent person other than lusting for men in their youth, a thing men do without apology all the time so fuck it. Maybe I should go back to the convenience store every day till I see him again, be his saccharine daddy. I don't have enough money to be anyone's "sugar" anything.
I didn't take photos at the party, but the best part was that one of his friends got him a flying fuck. It's a big thing that spells out FUCK with a propeller on top and you can literally fly it around the room. Best give ever. Someone gave a flying fuck.
The next morning as soon as I got up, we all went to the farmers market, and by "we all," I mean my relatives and me, not the young hot boy and Marty and me. Which would have been quite a combination.
Mary bought vegetables like they're a thing, and she came home and MADE pasta sauce, like that's just a thing you do, using the oil from my headache study, so I could have it. She also bought bread, which I could NOT have, and of course during dinner (DELICIOUS), everyone was all, "This bread is marvelous." "Isn't this bread something?" "This bread is better than that hot boy."
In general, I took Aunt Mary all over yonder all weekend. My Uncle Stuart occasionally sat some of our trips out, and watched sports at my house with Steely Dan, who took a big shine to Stuart and slept on his lap and so on. SD is fetching, I mean both as an adjective and as a verb. You throw his little mouse and he leaps across the floor and brings it back in his teefs.
We shopped, as Aunt Mary is wont to do. There's an old white vanity I'm dying for at this vintage shop I love--called Adelade's, if you're ever here--a steal at $185. Am mulling. It could go in the second bedroom. The blue bedroom. Oh, it's so pretty.
Way back yonder when Ned and I were dating, he'd always said he wanted to meet Aunt Mary. She was forever sending me gifts and so forth, and he was curious about her after all my stories. So he came along to the Reynolds mansion with us, and to dinner after.
I think they all liked each other. They started talking about world events and politics, so I stared at foliage and so on till they were done.
Oooo! A watermelon! And a white...something gourdy!
June. Gardens. BAH!
Eventually, we got up with Marianne, who was only allowed two grapes for dinner. It's what we do to be hilarious in my family.
Anyway, now today Aunt M and Uncle S are getting on a plane, and my life is back to normal, and by "back to normal" I mean Ima hang at the convenience store more than is necessary.
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."
I'm sitting here with my WATER, trying to drum up any personality with which to write you. Mostly, my personality is caffeine. Without it, you get this.
Today I drive to damn Chapel Hill, and insert some sort of joke about a church and a hill here IF I HAD COFFEE TO MAKE ME FUNNY, to get a blood draw with red crayon and to answer another shitload of questions and then to get my food for the beginnings of my headache study.
For the next five months, the study will be providing me with food, two snacks and two meals, every day. I get a whole ton of it today. Then as the months tick by, they will continue studying me. They should just put me in a car with holes on the lid, is what I say.
So today I am fasting, and my appointment's not till 11:00, and I am having NO COFFEE TILL AFTER 11:00, and that is not my friend. That is not my joint. I do not thrive under these conditions.
When they called yesterday, they told me they'd have muffins for me, which is all well and good, but I was all I WILL NEED COFFEE. They told me that right next to their building is the dental school, that inexplicably has a coffee shop in it. Maybe dental students stay up a lot. Thinkin' 'bout molars.
Anyway, yesterday my Aunt Mary and Uncle Stuart got here. I took yesterday off, which was stupid, did I already mention that? They landed and got zero bags (long story) and got to the hotel and really we didn't even see each other till after 6:00. Could have worked.
But then I couldn't have obsessed about my new car. Remember how Kaye had me get rid of Sirius, and when I tried to do that they talked me into getting it free for six months? My six months are over in October, but now that I've transferred to a different car, it's free till January. But I can't get the stations to work. I called Sirius and allegedly my subscription got transferred over to the new car, but all I hear is the preview channel, a doctor channel that is already starting to obsesses me, and some other channel that blows. Now I gotta drive to a medical appointment for an hour while listening to the doctor channel. This should go well.
I took them to Stameys--Mary and Stuart, not everyone at Sirius--which is a not-very-glamorous barbecue place, so they could try the vinegar-y barbecue here. Then we all got cobbler. Now I'm fasting, did I mention?
Also, Steely Dan. That's all.
Talk to you tomorrow, when I will be a normal person again, all hepped up on the caffeine.
It's Tuesday night, as opposed to TOOOOOOOSDAY AFTERNOOON. What is that song?
The songs of my childhood are sad. Why'd I have to grow up in the drug era? Couldn't I have grown up in the nice '20s, when everyone was drinking illegal hootch? Or how about the cheerful '30s, when there was no money so people drank dirt and old buttons or whatever?
Anyway, I'm writing you now because I have to leave early in the morning tomorrow and there JUST ISN'T TIME. I got got got got no time.
So, I didn't tell you about going to the headache clinic and being part of a migraine study, so now I can. I know! Exciting.
A few weeks ago, Jo sent me a link. She said for five long years, she thought I was her man. And she found out, I'm just a link in her chain. It was all very dramatic.
A link to a WEBSITE, see, about taking part in a migraine study. It pays, first of all, so yay, and the point of the study is they're going to give me a specific diet to see if it affects the level of my pain and the number of times I get migraine-y in a month. And they supply two meals and two snacks a day, for four months.
I KNOW, right? I think Ima have to cook, which, ??
So, today I left work early and headed to Chapel Hill, which contains no chapels that I saw and it wasn't that hilly. The whole time I was driving to the place, I was all, Why have I been here before, and then I remembered I had dinner with Marvin in Chapel Hill last year, and I'll bet you anything I made that hilarious joke then, too.
Finally I got to the campus of whatever the hell college is in Chapel Hill, and people around here act like you should just know all this, and there are a hundred million schools here and also hoooo care. So you'll ask someone where they went to school, and they'll be all, "In Boone" and you're all WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN, EVEN?
So I got to the campus and was at a red light, and when the light changed my car stalled. I mean, I took ONE SECOND to turn the car on again and this BUS behind me started BEEPING at me, and I was all giving him the finger and yelling at him when he drove by, fucking asshole bus driver fuckety headed fuck.
I have no idea why I get migraines.
Anyway, after a LABYRINTH of a parking garage sitch and a RIDICULOUS walk to try to find the place, and Dear Campuses: Why do you have to be so dickly about things? Why so hard to find stuff on a campus? HUNH?
I have no idea why I get migraines.
I found the place, and answered 394924923949320 questions about my head, and got my vitals (I have shrunk again, which does not please me seeing as I keep gaining weight, which means I'm turning into a Shrinky Dink) and so forth.
The doctor came in, and I liked him right away. He was one of those dry humor people, and he seemed to find me amusing. I answered 495939249 more questions about my migraines. "Are you sick of hearing about people's migraines?" I asked him.
He paused. "I've been doing this for decades, and no one's ever asked me that," he said. "I guess I'm just used to hearing about them."
He asked me things no one has ever asked me before, like why the light bulb in the grass? Okay, he didn't ask me that, that doesn't even make sense, why would he ask me that? Are you touched in the HEAD? God.
Speaking of which, he also made sure I wasn't touched in the head. He did all kinds of neurological things to me, and he also asked me if I had a significant other.
"I don't," I said. "Do you know anyone nice?"
"Do you think you might be depressed?" he asked me.
Do I think I might be depressed. Some stupid MAN, who I loved to BITS, turned out to be a huge disappointment, and that was only after my whole MARRIAGE failed, and now I'm old and fat and shrinky-dinky, and I own a house I can't afford to keep up, and apparently I have Rosemary's BABY for a puppy, and my beloved Tallulah fell over dead from nowhere and YES. I might be a bit DEPRESSED.
I have no idea why I get migraines.
So, be sure to ask me a million annoying detailed questions about the migraine trial, but in summation, I keep a diary, a headache diary, and then in a few weeks I get my new diet and then
MY LIFE WILL BE TRANSFIGURED
and all will be well.
Dear Headache Diary: I was throbbing to talk to you. It was a real pain I couldn't get to you till now. It made my ass burn.
On the drive home, once I made it through the LABYRINTH that is that campus of wherever the fuck I was, I called my mother to tell her about starting the headache study. "Oh, how'd it go?" asked mom, who didn't really care, but whatever.
"Oh, good. You know I enjoy medical attention," I said.
"Or, really, any attention," said mom. I have no idea why I'm depressed.
While we were talking, I noticed I was driving right past Chris and Lilly's store, which is on this cute two-lane highway that's pretty and all country-ish and way more fun than the highway. That highway only leads to the danger zone. I need to get over that joke.
Anyway, naturally I stopped in, and Chris was just leaving for the day, so we stood and kibitzed for awhile and he promised to fill my yard with mulch, seeing as I can't afford a dang new deck yet but I can at least afford damn mulch. So that's exciting. I can't wait to mulch that over with him. There will be mulch ado about something. I don't know mulch, but I know I love youuuuu.
So now I have to hope I get a migraine so my headache diary is exciting. This will be the first month since I was 20 years old that I will get zero migraines, just wait.
I guess that's all I have to say about that. Oh! But when I was talking to my mother, I told her how I was starving and wondered why there was no fast food on those country roads, and we got into a discussion about which fast food place we'd LEAST stop at, and which would be our first choice.
"I'm not crazy about any of them," my mother said.
"I'd go with Long John Silver's, first and foremost," I announced.
"I'm not crazy about any of them," my mother said.
"Zaxby's would be my last choice." I really mulched over my choices.
"I'm not crazy about any of them," my mother said.
So that's where we stand, and I'm still not clear on my mother's thoughts on fast food, but what about you? What are your first and last fast food choices on the road?
Mulch on over to the comments and tell me.