Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's Not to Love About a Hospital Stay

My mom is in hospital, has been for over a week now. It has all been worrying and stressful and surreal. Watching everything going on, I have begun to think that the nurses have to go through cashier training of some kind. Everything is bar-coded now. Scan the pain meds. Scan her. Scan the IV drip. Scan her. Scan the bedpan. Scan her. You get the picture. I know that it is designed to help the hospital staff keep better track of what the patient has been given. I also know that the care she has received here has been wonderful. Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep picturing the receipt tape getting longer and longer. Any moment I expect someone to ask us how we will be paying or if we want paper or plastic. I wonder if they have double coupon days.
She is doing better and making us laugh.
I seriously wouldn’t be surprised to see a bulletin posted for the ICU staff.
Attention: No More Male Nurses for Room 12
I’ll explain. During her stay here, mom has only had a couple of female nurses. One evening, dad, my sister, and I are sitting around her when she informs us that she has spoken to her nurse about Sister being single. Mind you, she starts this conversation just prior to her pain med / sleep aid cocktail. This leaves us going stir crazy wondering what on earth she said. The next time we are alone, and she is lucid enough to talk, Sister quizzes her. Apparently he asked if he could do anything else for her and she said he could marry her daughter. Sister is, understandably, embarrassed and I can’t help but laugh my tail off.
During the course of subsequent conversations she tells us that one of her physical therapists has a single son. “He’s a commercial airline pilot.” How that conversation got stated we’ll never know. Then, when another nurse is in the room, she proceeds to ask him if he is married and his age. Once he leaves, she tells us that she will have the talk with him tonight. “What talk?” Sister asks. “The one I had with Nurse One,” she says. Sister refused to let us leave until after shift change that night. She is under the misapprehension that mom won’t say anything if we are here. I don’t know why, it hasn’t stopped her before.
Mother is a very firm believer that there is a purpose for everything that happens. We believe she has decided that her purpose for being sick and in hospital is to find Sister a husband. At least she has good taste, all the nurses she has asked have been handsome. And conveniently single.
Sister just informed me that she is going to let mom get better… and then she is going to kill her.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Registering: Part Two

Prince Charming and I did make it to one of our two pre-selected registration locations. It was a smaller location, but I still thought he might kill me by the time it was over. I was under the impression that if I could just get him there, we would boop-boop our way thorough. Yeah, that wasn’t the case. See, what I didn’t know is that there are several phases to the registering process.
Phase One: Interest / Excitement. This one has two parts. The first I mentioned previously. It developed and died quite quickly. The second happens when you enter the store. I think that men do like to shop on their own terms. I think that they like the idea of having a say in what will be the things in your married existence. This interest fizzles when you have to stop at the registration desk. I pre-registered, you see, thinking that it would save some time. It did, but it still took FOREVER. I honestly believe the registration consultant (or whatever his title) took as long as he possibly could getting us the scanner. So any interest/excitement that Prince Charming had upon entering the store, waned away as the ten, fifteen, twenty minutes ticked by. Honestly, how long does it take to hand us a clipboard and gun?
Phase Two: Possession Of The Scanner. I read somewhere that to help men through the process, you should let them hold the scanning gun - back to that illusion of control. I fully intended to do that, but once it was in my hand, I didn’t want to give it up. I offered him the clipboard, but he rolled his eyes and flatly declined. He did commandeer the weapon from me when I had trouble scanning a muffin tin. I understood that my turn was over when he wouldn’t give it back to me. This led us smoothly into our next phase.
Phase Three: Questioning, Discussing Colors, Compromise, and my favorite, Goofing Off. Prince Charming enjoyed scanning, and though he didn’t fully understand the need for multiples of anything, he got a kick out of trying to scan things when I wasn’t looking. At this point, I realize I don’t know how to remove the items from our registry. I spent a lot of time saying “that’s okay, I’ll just remove it online.” As predicted, black and red were frequent selections. He did, however, tell me that he wouldn’t mind black and green. I happen to like black kitchenware so that was a go for me. I loved it when I pulled out a gorgeous comforter and he liked it too. “Perfect,” I said, “we can do the bedroom in brown and sage. Green.“ I clarified. I guess he thought it was black. Oh well. Good thing he already scanned in.
Phase Four: Tired / Irritated. Just over half way through the store, he had had enough. Well, maybe half way is too generous. A third of the way through he quit being interested at all and scanned what ever I pointed at. Not a bad phase all in all. Phase four pretty much continues through the next phase. Phase Five: Disappearing Act. We had just made it through bathroom accessories when he discovered a chair display. While I spent the last fifteen minutes of our two hour excursion selecting towels and bath rugs, Prince Charming leaned back in a massage chair and listened to waves crashing, wind chimes, and birds singing. Must have been good stuff, he bought himself a CD and me lunch. I registered for the chair.
Phase Six: Making Changes. The title is pretty self explanatory. I won’t go into detail lest we revert back to Phase three.
Phase Seven: Bonus Phase. Prince Charming said I can go ahead and register at the other place without him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Registering: Part One

So this registering for gifts thing is quite tricky. If done right, it is a win-win situation: the bride and groom get to select the items that they would actually love to own and the guests, who generally have no idea what to get, have a resource. Thing is, there is this little hiccup in the system. It is considered lacking in etiquette to tell anyone where you’ve registered. Unless they ask. That’s right. No little cards in the invitations. No mention of it on your website. No announcing it in fast and testimony meeting. For example, if I mention here that I’ve registered at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Target, I’d be breaking the rules. Forget I ever said anything... because we've not registered there... yet.
Getting to the store to register isn’t a piece of cake either. You have to get your future other half excited about the prospect - because we know how much most men like to shop. Especially with women. At first, Prince Charming made noises that he was a little bit excited about the process. Of course, once I said that we would need to do it first thing in the morning, he seemed to lose interest. I can’t even promise him a little hanky-panky in return for suffering through the ordeal. Well, I could, but an “if you’re good at the store today, in November I’ll let you.. mumble, mumble…” just doesn’t have the same motivational effect.
It also occurred to me that you’re selecting colors of towels, sheets, etc. for a place that you’re probably not going to live in for long. I mean, most newlyweds rent for a little while before purchasing a house. Five, ten years down the road are you really still going to want a lemon yellow bathroom? Not only that, but Prince Charming has very strong opinions when it comes to color. How do you convince a man that, while black and red are a striking color combination, not every room needs to be the same color.
To Be Continued...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is A Happy Ending Too Much To Ask For?

Isn’t it strange and wonderful how a book can suck you in? I love reading a good book. The type of book that leaves you pondering it after you’ve put it down, if you can put it down at all. One that makes you laugh, out loud, no matter where you are. The kind that makes you sneak one more page of reading in when your boss isn’t looking. Or stay up into the wee hours of the morning. You know you’ll suffer the next day, but you just can’t stop yourself. I think that no one can deny the addiction reading can become. And if you do deny it, you’re neither fooling, nor kidding anyone but yourself. I can say this with such conviction because I’m currently a member of LAA (Literary Addicts Anonymous). Remember kids, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. But I didn’t gather my thoughts together today to talk about that.
I am, in no way, some fantastic literary genius. I’m simply a simple person who enjoys reading. However, there is one itty, bitty, tiny little thing that gets under my skin. I just hate it when an author goes against my wishes. I mean, who do they think they are when they take my perfect happiness and crush it with written acts of death, destruction, and disappointments. Okay, fine, call me a romantic. Is that so wrong? Am I the only one who likes to read to escape the awful, sad things of the real world? While I have read some really wonderful, heart-wrenching books, I still prefer action-packed, humorous, Sci-Fi, scary, fantasy, mystery fictions. With just a touch of romance thrown in. And while I may be a romantic, I am not a sugary-sweet paperback romance person either. So I ask again, is it so wrong?
Specifically, my beef is with a book series I’ve been reading. Good books so far. A little too much cursing going on maybe, but I can over look that, filter it out so to speak, because the story is intriguing enough. I think you’ll agree:
Books 1-3 Girl is in danger for unknown reasons. Yea! Finds lost love in process of escape. Yea! Girl dies. Crap. Sort of. Huh? So Girl loses new-found lost love. Crap. Girl finds a way around this problem. Yea! Only to discover he isn’t the person he used to be. Crap. Oh, and catches him in the act of cheating. In public. With her nemesis. That stupid piece of crap. It is okay though, she has a new love interest. Yea! The flirting is there. The good tension is there. Yea! He is someone who understands the danger she is in. Yea! A guy who is strong, smart, GOOD. Double yea! Things don’t work out. She still loves Cheater. Girl hurts and alienates Good Guy. Crap. Relationship with Cheater is considered, by boss, to be distracting her from her work. Her destiny. Duh. Cheater’s memories of her after her “death” will be removed. Huh, that works. Now Girl has neither Good Guy, nor Cheater. She is alone. Double crap.
Pretty good stuff. The next book in the series was patiently awaited for. I was lucky to have just met my future fiancé, so the time until the release date flew by. In fact, the book was already out when I thought about it again and immediately secured my copy from the library. Now here is where things get a little hairy:
Book 4 Danger is still very high. Yea! Things are tense. I bet. Good Guy and Girl still have to work together. Exciting! Then, Girl realizes that she misses, needs, loves Good Guy. Very exciting! Tells Good Guy that she was wrong. Apologizes. Loving this! Good Guy hesitates. Crap. He has been hurt. Oh crap. Needs time. Crap. Crap. Crap. Decides he wants to work it out. Yes! Is probably in love with her. Oh yes! Girl and Good Guy are together. Yes! Yes! Yes! Good Guy betrays Girl. Wait. What? Good Guy is married. Hold on a minute. He is actually a murder. What the…? Girl helps Good Guy escape death. Enter another world. To be with his wife. No! Girl’s boss thinks Good Guy is distracting her from her work. Her destiny. Good grief! Boss locks the portal so that Girl can neither enter the other world, nor can Good Guy get back. #@%* Girl dies. Again. Ugh! Sort of. **Sigh**
Thus ends book four. I tell myself that I will not read the next book. And there will be a next book. I think it is designed to be a 12 book series. Which, under other circumstances, I might be happy about. Just think of all the ways she could bring Girl and Good Guy together again! No. Get a hold of yourself. Repeat after me: I will not count the days until release. I will not stalk the author’s website to see what progress has been made. I will not send hate email, because I really, REALLY liked Good Guy. I will not.
Good thing I have the LAA hotline on speed dial

What's Up With Getting Married?

You would think a 34 year old would have a better hold on things when planning her wedding. Not so. Years and years and, yes, years of looking through bridal magazines, sighing at weddings, and seriously considering becoming a wedding planner did not prepare me for the utter discombobulation that takes place when Prince Charming asks you the one question you’ve been longing to hear.
It is as if a bubble bursts and releases toxins that mess with your mind. Messes with time. You don’t even realize it at first. Everything is hunky-dory and you carry on in your relationship as if nothing has changed. Well, other than the fact that you’ve decided to be together forever. At least, that is the goal. Our goal.
Messing With Your Mind. It is funny. Everyone wants you to have the wedding you’ve always wanted. They go out of their way to let you know that you are the one calling the shots, making the decisions. They are there for you to direct and assign. Yes my Captain. No my Captain. All eager to make suggestions, to lend a helping hand. I too have offered my services to friends that were getting married. “Anything to help,” I would say. No one, save my Oldest, Dearest, and Darling (ODD) friend has ever taken me up on my offer (the eve of her wedding, we baked and frosted umbrella shaped sugar cookies).
I do understand why brides don’t recruit every living, breathing person in sight. I believe, and bear in mind, this could just be me, brides become OCD. And while my sweet cousin Roo would argue that I’ve always been OCD, the theory makes sense. We do want to have the wedding we’ve always wanted. We do want things to go on without a hitch. And we, I mean I, I don’t want to come off as the beastliest, brat of a bride in history. Your mind, you see, plays tricks on you, working along side her old buddy time.
Messing With Time. Time, that creepy old guy that keeps showing up at New Year’s Eve parties. He is a tricky one. Slippery too. Initially you think you’ve all the time in the world. Hey, I’ve got 9 months ahead of me. Plenty of time. I’ll be organized, you think. I can set a plan in motion that will leave me the most relaxed bride in the history of the world. No worries. No last minute, oops I forgot this or that. Everything will be perfect.
Okay, so jump ahead seven months to find me looking about wide eyed wondering what the H-E-double toothpicks happened. It is Father Time, that wile old coot, he has sifted the days and months so smoothly that I‘ve not noticed their passing. I begin a list of the items still left to do. Wait, there are too many. I start another list that contains the things that are already done. Not enough. (See what I mean by OCD?) Think, think, think. What would the ramifications be if we postponed the wedding, oh, I don’t know, another six months? But I’ve always wanted to get married in November and the honeymoon is booked. Do you think Prince Charming would be up to waiting…? Nope, didn‘t think so.
What to do? Carry on, I guess, and pray, pray, pray things fall into place. Oh, and hope that no more toxic bubbles spring a leak.