Luckily for me

I feel emotionally ready to have a dog but would like someone else to do all the work for me, the searching and finding and procuring and what have you. The planning and et cetera. I just want to be a person who has a dog, not a person who has to go about all the business of getting the dog. Maybe the dog could just show up?

I’m tired of being the person who has to do it all, frankly. I’m ready to farm some of it out. I had this same thought on Saturday (not about the dog) when I realized in the middle of making pulled pork for tacos for a party of five that I hadn’t even considered what to serve as a side. I hadn’t even thought about tacos needing help. I feel like somebody with help would have at least had the presence of mind to think, Huh. Maybe I oughta give these tacos a hand. Luckily I had some rice in the cupboard.

Anyway, let’s get out there and find me a dog. Girl or boy, I’m naming it Millie. Or Marion (Lady Bird’s mother). Or Alan Quartermaine.

Here are some dogs I’ve enjoyed lately on the various social mediums:

In summation, we need more dogs in the world. Whenever people (“people”) start moaning about low birth rates and global warming and so forth I always think oh, who cares. Give it up. Humanity had billions of years to get something right and we came up with Twitter and venereal disease. Just let the dogs take over.

Do not reply

What’s one of your least favorite things? Mine is mammograms (i.e., two breasts = plural grams). Jesus Christ.

It rained all day but I had seasonal errands to run—Xmas gifts and the like—and eyeglasses to pick up and a level to buy, so I struck out early into the wild and managed to miss lunch. I thought I’d have time to scarf down some McDonald’s before my appointment but boy was I wrong. So I left my cheeseburger and small fry in the car while I went in to get squeezed.

I don’t know. Some people (women) don’t seem to mind this procedure but it makes me tense up and panic slightly, which only elongates the process since you are instructed to both relax your shoulders and hold your breath. For some reason I don’t take instruction well under duress, either, so the technician had to spend a lot of time placing my arms and chin in the right places while I passive-aggressively ignored her. Plus she had to go in four times on one side today because, and I quote, “Your breast tissue kind of recedes right there.” I didn’t know what that meant and I honestly didn’t care. I just can’t believe there’s no better system in place for this. It’s 2016, dummies! Wait, that’s not right. But still: figure it out already.

After the mammos I sat in my car in the rain in the empty parking lot of this suburban women’s health center and ate a cold cheeseburger and cold french fries, and then I went to get groceries. When I got home I installed a stupid shelf above the TV, to the tune of Holiday Traditions, sweat, and swearing, and then I sat on the sofa and cried for a while out of exhaustion and a little good old fashioned self-pity.

It’s been a day, man, I’m not gonna lie. Pretty happy about this shelf though.

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With everything else going on in the world

Imagine after writing this stupid blog post me not wanting to blog anymore. Eh. Almost 15 years is a long time to talk to yourself. It’s okay to get bored. Sometimes I forget that this is [myspace] and I can do whatever I want with it. I’m a pleaser, is the problem. It’s a terrible way to live.

I was crabby about having to decorate a tree yesterday and then I did it anyway and it made me so happy. I always forget. My mom had saved all the boxes of ornaments I left with her 12 years ago when I moved to New York, so opening those boxes was an unexpected gift from my past self to a future I didn’t know I’d be living. A past self with terrible taste, let’s be honest. Big and heavy and silver, very matchy-matchy. Very “Restoration Hardware garanimals.” I used to care a lot about impressing other people and I can see myself buying some of those ornaments with that in mind. I can’t imagine anyone actually being impressed, but I know that’s what I was thinking. Thank god those days are over.

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It’s been dark all day, and raining, and later it will snow. Snow! What a world.

It is unique to you

I’ve attended three medical appointments in the past four days, because I’m a responsible adult who crams all her healthcare into the last two months of the year and schedules whatever she can outside of work hours (i.e., observed holidays, Saturdays, 5pm).

First: I was warned by the dentist about enamel erosion. Turns out there are a million things that can cause good enamel to go bad, and I’m consuming most of them (except for soda). I was lucky to leave with a prescription for a high-fluoride toothpaste and purple Listerine (Total Care), and all my teeth.

Second: I had blood work done at the behest of my new GP, who had no memory of telling me to schedule the appointment and no idea what I was doing in his office only a month after my previous checkup. He seemed so confused, and a little irritated, as if I had purposely wasted his time in order to have somebody stab me in the arm at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday.

Third: an update from my uterus! I had my annual GYNO exam yesterday, plus an endometrial biopsy, which was less fun than it sounds (i.e., a long thin plastic rod is inserted in the uterus to suction out tissue for testing). If anyone* ever offers you this procedure, be aware that it causes “immediate cramping.” You’ll be advised of this in advance but you won’t believe it. How could such a thing be possible? But it’s true. It’s not childbirth or anything but let me grab one of your kidneys from the inside and squeeze and see how much you like it.

*By anyone I mean a trusted licensed professional, not some yahoo in a bowling alley.

Thank you & good night. Please floss.

Tell me on a Sunday please

I woke up early this morning and sat on the sofa and dialed up WQXR while I read the paper, and halfway through this article on Terrence McNally and his art collection, I suddenly missed New York very palpably. I could feel it in my bones. I moved at the worst time of year, during the ugly season, and I went back twice over the summer, which plucked at no heartstrings, but I always knew autumn would be hard. There’s a reason people write songs. So this morning I closed my eyes and for a few minutes I let myself miss the streets and the sidewalks and the Saturday brunches and SarahB and Sally and Potato Killer and walking home through the park and running down to the coffee shop and riding the bus up Central Park West at twilight, the hush and the quiet and the great gorgeous romantic brilliant grownup beauty of it.

I read once that a certain strain of Capricorn is bound to be dissatisfied with their lives no matter what and thus run the risk of growing sad and angry and bitter, and I wonder sometimes if I’m that kind of Capricorn. If I’m that kind of person (it can’t only be Capricorns). But what kind of person doesn’t long for things? What would life be without yearning? Every time I say I miss New York a friend will ask “Are you going to move back?” and the answer is no, I will never move back, but my heart will never leave it.

What you can do about it

I walked to my polling place (a church) before work. In Manhattan I voted at a public school down the block; now I vote at a church across the street, both approximately the same distance from my apartment. You never get as far away from yourself in life as you think you will. I’m constantly surprised by this. Turn any corner and there’s your dumb old self, following you around.

There were more poll workers than voters, but it was also 7:30 in the morning. I couldn’t gauge the vibe: it was me and a lot of elderly, which was also the scene in NY. Apparently most people vote early these days, by mail, but I missed that memo. I like the chore of showing up, the faces, the snatches of conversation. People striking this minor chord for the future before getting on with their day. The lady who helped shove the ballot into the machine was waylaid by a chatty customer in front of me, and we both waited patiently for this woman to say her piece and move on. She wanted to have a conversation. She was out to be heard.

Anyway, no sign of the apocalypse in the outer suburbs of Chicago on this windy, rainy morning. We perform this one American duty and then we sit and wait.

How it's going so far, pt II

Six months later and here we are. Still kicking, as it were. A midwesterner reborn.

The ants did not return. I still sleep with a fan on in my bedroom to mask the quiet. If someone breaks in to murder me, I guess I’d rather not know about it. Why ruin the surprise. I don’t worry about home invasions much, or bodily harm, although I have a wildly overactive imagination and refuse to watch scary movies. I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe suburb and I am as careful as I know how to be. I don’t go around looking for trouble but I also don’t look for new idiot things to worry about. New York City taught me that.

Additional things I refuse to worry about include tornadoes, terrorists, migrant caravans, and spiders. It’s a spidery environment here and I let them be; maybe I have them to thank for the ant extraction. I try not to run down the stairs. I try not to trip in the bathtub or choke on embarrassing foodstuffs that would get me written up in the local paper. I focus my fears on small, relatively manageable foes and thus far have emerged victorious. Pick the fights you can win, etc. Take naps. Drink beer. Go to the dentist. Go to the gynecologist. Take another nap.

My apartment finally feels like home. I hate the sink in the kitchen, and the stupid glass stovetop. What a miserable invention. It’s impossible to clean and easy to scratch. I love my kitchen and the view from my kitchen and I love my enormous TVs. I love my sofas. I love my washer and dryer. I read a blog post on accepting who you are (FYI a homebody), and another one on valuing goods over experiences, and I felt understood in a profound way. I’m old enough to admit it: my home means more to me than travel or adventure. I have no intention of withdrawing from the world but sometimes I think yes, this is fine, right here. Just seal me in. (To be clear, I value the people I love over things. I’m not a psychopath.)

I switched the DVR from Hart to Hart to Designing Women and Coach, and I’m still tunneling through old YouTube clips of General Hospital. General Hospital held me up during these months, I’ll admit that, too; do not underestimate the power of things that remind you who you were and who in some ways you will always be. Who you were is not as bad as you think, unless you were an asshole. Or a psychopath. In which case you’ve got some other problems.

I don’t talk much about work on this blog, but the job is okay. The trouble there is that I was very comfortable where I was, and this is not that, not yet. Maybe someday. But it matters less than it used to, which is probably for the best. I’m adjusting to a different pace and a different landscape. I have my routines and my routes and my shortcuts, my grocery stores and movie theaters and my library. My friends and my family. I know what matters to me, and I like where I am.

So. Here I am.