When we left each other yesterday, slamming the door and saying, “IT’S OVER! I MEAN IT THIS TIME!”, I was going to try to come back here and write you at lunch.
That didn’t happen. Work. Tis busy.
So here’s a two-day update on everything that’s happening in my stupid world. I wish to tell you about Ned and Nancy, my broken toe (surprise!), stupid cosmetic things I did and also Steely Dan’s shenanigans. This is like when you go to a fancy event and they show you a little menu of what you’re getting.
Liverwurst finger sandwiches
No, I don’t know what kind of horrific imaginary fancy events I attend, either.
Ned & Nancy. An update.
I wanted to give you a visual, here, so I went to my pictures and searched, “cat,” and then my computer carried on with the guffawing. “Oh, THAT’S specific, June,” it said, as my computer is actually some kind of talking sarcastic animal like on The Flintstones.
Here. And lose the attitude, computer.
As you know–because for generations, your family will be gathering to tell my stories–Ned adopted Nancy, my foster cat. What with the losing her kittens and the going back to the shelter to get spayed and having a terrible time with her operation and possibly with being feral, she got to Ned’s and was not pooping in her box. Like, she was pooping all over yonder, including her food dish.
Ned did everything, seriously everything, so stop “Did he…”-ing me. The vet suggested he confine poor Nancy–which I just wrote as “poop Nancy”–to one small room, and leave her in there.
Guess what. It worked. It took several days, but for the past FOUR days, she has gone exclusively in her box. Ned is encouraged. “This weekend, I’ll move her up to the computer room,” said Ned. He gave Nancy a promotion.
Toe. An update.
As you know, because for generations your family will–oh, stop, June. M’toe is broken.
Yesterday, my doctor-recommended hard-soled shoes came. I worked from home yesterday, because I never thought about it much till it HURT, but it’s a long damn-ass walk from the parking lot to my actual desk, and it involves stairs, and ouch.
So I propped my foot yesterday, I was in the props department, and then when my shoes came, I hobbled to the door to receive them. It was like shoe communion.
There they were. All flowered and shit.
I can’t wear them. I can’t get my foot in that little hole. I mean, I forced myself into said shoe like a wicked stepsister, and then it hurt worse once it was in there. So this weekend, Ima have to hobble over to DSW and look for something clog-ish.
Also, the part where it was almost evening and I was putting on shoes sent Edsel into fits of WE GONNA WALK joy, and I had to crush his dreams rather testily, as I was in pain and he was IRKING me.
Also, this morning, I was drying off after showering
(I’ll give you a moment to stop being turned on.)
and as I was drying off, I half paid attention (my epitaph) and sort of told myself, Remember your big toe is broken when of course
IT’S THE LITTLE TOE MOTHER OF GOD OW.
So now it hurts even more.
June’s a grooming asshole. An update.
Recently, I noted that there are many cute local stores and boutiques near me that I never go into. I always breeze past them as I’m on my way to get something else, usually a sandwich. There’s one sandwich place that’s been there since 1977 and they’ve updated the decor not at all, and I’m deeply in love with the whole atmosphere. I feel like I should be in there with my rainbow jeans and my Bass 100s.
Anyway, a few Saturdays back I decided to spend the whole day just popping into all those shops I never go in, and that is how I discovered the grooming place.
They might as well rename themselves June Store.
They do Botox and microdermabrasion, facial peels and makeup. They do manicures and waxing, they do all the shit I blow all my money on. I was there, innocently getting Botox when I found myself signing up for eyelash extensions.
It takes more than an hour, as you lie there and talk to a woman who sounds precisely like my pal Alicia, who is painstakingly attaching eyelashes to your lid, one by one. It lasts about a month–you’re supposed to go back and get touchups.
But the thing is, they mostly all fell out. And I was all, Well, THAT was a bust, but in fact they texted me to ask how my lashes were working out. And that is the kind of person I am. I get texts asking, How are your lashes working out?
Anyway I told them and they’re redoing them all for free.
The interesting thing, and I may be alone in placing this under the category of “interesting,” is that you’re not allowed to wear mascara with these on, and as these are falling out I’m still not using mascara, because rule-follower.
The point is, I can see my real lashes now, and this is the longest I’ve ever gone without mascara since I’m 24 and went through a hippie phase. I mean, allegedly I take my mascara off, but those of you who groom know it’s never really off. There are always remenenenenants.
My friend’s grandmother could never say that word, so now I can’t NOT say “remenenenants” as well.
THE POINT IS, it’s really off. I mean, I have no mascara on these lashes. And what a set of namby-pamby Melanie Wilkes lashes these are. Holy cats. Why do I have to have seven pounds of hair and caterpillar brows and if I don’t shave my legs every morning I’m Zira from Planet of the Apes but my eyelashes?
NO! Fine and blonde, those are.
…Oh, right. Yes, I’d forgotten that. …Oh, that too? You’re still pissed about that? Geez.
I see I’ve run out of time to tell you about Steely Dan, but I think you and I both know it would go like this:
“I’m just calling to let you know the Russell Stover eggs are available,” I said to my mother, although in truth it was more: “Uh ussel oer eggs are aaailul.” As I was, of course, already eating mine as I pulled out the Rite Aid, there.
“I have four in my cupboard already,” said my mother, and it must be genetics that make those stubborn pounds stay on.
I’d gone to Rite Aid because I’m a glamor girl whose real-life adventures are not to be believed, but also because my coworker, Lottie Blanco, had brought me some soup that her wife, Lottie Blanco, had made, and
and I wanted to put something in the soup container when I returned it, to be a nice person. Yes, I did just feel that shift in the universe. Anyway, I thought candy would be sweet
so I went to the Rite Aid. Which takes fewer steps for the parking and the hobbling to the door, because in case you forgot, my toe is broken.
Oh, and speaking of which, speaking of my major injury, the doctor told me I had to wear hard-soled shoes, and this is where we left off yesterday, promising to write and leaving each other with framed photos of ourselves. “To Reader. Love always, June.”
The cute pottery-making-lesbian-folk-dancer shoes I’d planned to buy, that I showed you yesterday as you slipped your 8×10 colorized photo into a frame for me, were, in fact, not going to be available till MARCH FUCKING 8, and by then I will be over the novelty of my broken toe and onto something else.
So I got these Doc Martens instead. Aren’t they MAGNIFICENT? They will be here tomorrow. Oh my god, I will never be sad again.
…Good lord. Here I am, tryina have my morning and write to you about all the pressing news of the day, and I keep getting “Can you do this today?!?” emails from work. I worked last night, as well. What’s with the busy all of a sudden?
So I guess I’d better wrap this up early, so I can hobble to work, but I wanted to mention something that dawned on me: My grandmother–the nice one, not the one I turned into–was widowed when she was my age.
And she never dated again.
Maybe that’s me. Maybe I’m gramma. Maybe my days will be filled with having my grandchildren over, sewing and crocheting. Making big dinners that involve boiling potatoes.
…Oh. Well, crap. Hey, I can at least boil potatoes.
Anyway, it’s weird to think about, because at the time it never dawned on me that she’d want to get on a 1969 version of Match dot…well, there was no com. What the fuck does “com” mean, anyway? Communications? Commoner? Composed? Book of June dot commoner. No, I have NOT taken my Ritalin yet. Why?
The point is, maybe if there’d been online dating, she’d have been all over that.
“Five-two, brown hair that won’t go gray and why didn’t my granddaughter inherit THAT, loves Days of Our Lives, Cremora and covers for the Kleenex.”
But I don’t think so. I think she was pretty much over men. And maybe I’m following in her arthritic footsteps. See, I DID inherit her knee arthritis.
Speaking of which, my elbow hurts like a motherfucker all the time now. I know I have a trapped ulnar nerve. I mean, I say I know that because I am a medical professional, and by “medical professional” I mean I Googled it.
And I do the exercises I find online, but I don’t see much change. You’d think with all the solid scientifically proven medical attention I’ve paid to this injury that it would be improving. I guess I could phone my beleaguered doctor, who’s probably already worried sick about how many ToeGate phone calls he’s going to receive.
All right, I’m out of here. Off to copy edit something.
Say, June, weren’t you drying your hair LAST time we talked?
Yes. Yes, I was. Hygiene. It’s repetitive.
Anyway, we haven’t talked since Friday and we have a lot of topics to cover, so I thought today I’d use subheads, so you don’t end up with fucking whiplash while I bounce from topic to topic. We’re going to be organized today.
Okay, topic one.
Wee wee wee, or the F word I don’t want you to worry or anything. I don’t want a fuss.
Shut up shuttin’ up.
But I BROKE MY TOE. The little one. Last night, I was headed to bed, like a normal person, and BOOM, Lottie’s bone, this big giant lug of a bone–that Edsel unearthed recently–was in the middle of the room and I didn’t see it and
something was very wrong. I yelled so loudly that Edsel stood under the table. Which, by the way, we can still see you, Letter C.
But speaking of Edsel, it’s weird, because just yesterday afternoon I was walking that cur and we passed the yard where I sprained my ankle four years ago, and I thought about how as soon as I landed on that grass, that grassy knoll–what IS a knoll?–I knew I’d really hurt myself badly. I reflected on that the rest of the walk: What a brave faithful dog Edsel was that day, not leaving my side even though I’d dropped the leash. Tall Boy, who isn’t allowed to talk to me now that he’s married, driving down and lifting me into the car. Because he was staying with me at the time. PLATONICALLY.
Anyway, I worried last night that I wouldn’t be able to sleep, it hurt so fucking much, but I did because I’m Jabba the Hut. I can sleep through anything. I actually have no idea if Jabba the Hut sleeps, as I have not seen any of the Star Wars movies since the first one in 1977. But he strikes me as lazy.
So my plan is to hobble. And complain. That wraps up what Ima do for my broken toe. Doctors can’t do much for it, I already know this. And yes, I know it’s broken. I’ll spare you the details.
Trim Last week, I was reading some article or another and I found a site called Trim. And no, I did not just link you to a site involving lady bits. Trim can tell you all the stupid things you’re subscribed to, that you may have forgotten about, and they’ll also do things like contact AT&T and say, “Lower her bill.”
As of last week, I quit Stitch Fix (I’d already quit that the week earlier, technically), Weight Watchers, Netflix, Amazon Prime, some support group for other anxious attachers that I joined for $21 a month, HBO, Apple Music and other annoying things I was paying for automatically and not noticing.
It is likely I will lose my mind and rejoin some of those, but for now, nobody is automatically taking anything from my account each month except for my car insurance.
But speaking of money and trim, I came up with an idea yesterday that I presented on Facebook to mixed results.
I had an idea for how I could lose weight OR you would make money. We’d have to have someone hold all the money, maybe send it all to Faithful Reader Paula or something, and I like how I’ve roped her into this without asking, but here is my idea:
I tell you my current horrifying weight and my goal weight. Which believe it or not are not the same. And then I set a date for me to REACH that weight. All of you put $5 in, and if I reach the goal, I get your hard-earned $5.
But if I FAIL to reach it, I not only give you your $5 back, I pay you an additional $5.
Then I have two incentives: To get rich (okay, to get maybe $50) and to not lose money.
See? It’s a good idea! Some of you hated it, though. But those folks don’t have to play. Are you in?
Photos and so on I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to get this one Golden Girls gif onto my blog, and never could, and does anyone know how to get a gif on your blog? If you tell me to place the embedded code in my HTML I will break your little toe.
My point is, I’ve used up a lot of my morning, and now I hafta go, and I know I have to tell you about m’chakras (my crown chakra was blocked. Now it isn’t) and about Ned and Nancy, but I have run out of the time.
Also, I took many photos this weekend. So here are some of those, and I will fill you in on the rest tomorrow. TUNE IN tomorrow for JUNE’S RIVETING LIFE, part 3,271.
(See. That’s how I run out of time. Because I just had to save this draft, leave this page, go figure out how to discover how many posts I’ve written in this life, then come back and write “3,271” so I’d be accurate.)
After spending all yesterday morning tryina figure out how I’d lose weight and make you all get involved, I drove to the country and got ice cream. Those stubborn pounds.
It’s a real dairy, and they make the ice cream on site.
There used to be Border Collies there, but they got old and died. Welcome to my happy blog!
I also spent time with the demon cat.
He did the thing again, though. I pulled up to my house just as my “you have a text” ding dinged. Come for the ice cream. Stay for the strong writing.
Anyway, it was my friend Sandy, wanting to embrace the Curly Girl method, and I wrote her back from my car, and when I looked up again…
He lives to startle me. He’s my Uncle Jim, in cat form.
“You no, other cat liff here, too. We just so tire.”
I’ll talk to you tomorrow, if I live through this toe pain. If I don’t get hooked on the horse to get me through.
What are we on? Like, day 193 of this cold? That’s my estimate.
Yesterday at work, I minced over to one of the seven people who are actually working this week, and announced, “I have a cold.” I may’ve even brought m’Kleenex box over, for dramatic effect. Which should be the title of my book: For Dramatic Effect.
“I guess I do too,” said my coworker, his Kleenex box off in the distance.
He guesses. He guesses he does too. Oh, stop being so low key.
Before we get onto other topics, like delving further into my cold, and by the way, you need to get home and get some rest. There’s no point pacing the halls worrying about me. I’ll need your strength when I regain consciousness.
Anyway, before we create a poll titled, How sorry do you feel for June, let’s look at today’s lipstick.
Today’s OFFICIAL color is Whoppin’ Watermelon, and I had to get THIS CLOSE to even show that I HAD a color on. I’m like that guy at work. I guess I have lipstick on.
So, because that was so boring, we stampeded to Pudgy Peony, and also Edsel’s undying love for me. I think he senses the end is near for me.
I don’t want you to get excited or anything, but tomorrow is Plushest Punch. If I live that long.
I saw this yesterday at the gas station, and I was all, Really? Cause I’m doubting that.
Also happening tomorrow, besides my continued silent suffering with this cold and Plushest Punch, is The Return of the Foster Kitten. She will be done with her antibiotics tomorrow, and when I take her back, on a Saturday morning, she will be the only kitten currently available.
This bodes well for her future.
Say, June, is it gonna kill you to take her to a shelter and drive away? Why, yes. Yes, it do be.
Also, she photographs big. In all pictures, she looks almost like a catten, when in fact she’s just a teensy boop. Half the time I don’t know where she is, she’s so teensy.
So that should be devoid of tears, anyway, and I’m sure I’ll handle it as stoically as I do all colds.
Today is the last day before the New Year’s holiday, so I hope we get out early, because I feel magnificent. Ironically, I was invited to a happy hour, after all that fuss last week, and I’m too sick to go. Ned once told me I want to be asked to do things just so I can say no: Attend parties, happy hours, sex. Whatever with Ned.
The point of all this is two things: One: My new computer, which I can ill afford, is on its way to work today. I’m glad I had it sent there because someone on Next Door has one of those paranoid cameras on her front porch, and she shared video of some kid stealing her package, so to speak.
So I have all weekend to figure out how to transfer all my shit from one computer to another, and it’s good Jodie Foster is leaving, because no child needs to hear that many swears.
The other point is, yesterday I was sitting there with the seven other people who came to work, and I was all, “This is the seventh Christmas I’ve worked. There is only one copy editor who’s worked here longer than me. (The first is The Poet, who has worked there since 18 aught 9.) I’M SICK, and I have FIVE vacation days I did not take this year.
“WHY THE FUCK AM I AT WORK?”
So you know what I did? I went into our little system and requested December 26, 27 and 28 off for 2018.
Before I go, two things. Didn’t we just do a “two things”? Faithful Reader Deborah, look what’s on my table!
And deux, you know I adore my banner picture at the top of this not-a-blog. I love it so hard. But I thought for New Year’s, I’d throw in a different, seasonal shot. There were SO MANY I couldn’t choose! I thought I’d share them with the crowd. Also, can someone bring me more coffee? Jodie Foster is purring on my lap and I feel bad moving her.
Okay, here are the photos I loved. And I realize I’m the only freak who loves looking at old photos of people she doesn’t know, so you can probably just close your laptop now and check back tomorrow.
Oh my god, right? In all my friendships, I’m Pudgy Peony, up there.
And although I know this, I still secretly see myself looking like this every New Year’s Eve. Blowing into a flashlight.
Oh my god, take me to this party. I’ll give my cold to everyone. That woman on the right is looking at old pictures of people she doesn’t know.
Our problem is, we don’t get drunk enough anymore. My father once told me about a party he went to with younger people, and they kept turning DOWN the music. That’s when he knew. This next generation is zero fun.
Oh, THERE’S my soulmate. Also, LEOPARD PUMPS.
Okay. That’s it. My life is FUCKING COMPLETE. The last two pictures are my perfect How I see Myself/How I Actually Am, including the cankles.
I’d better get to work, as it is important that I martyr as much as possible before the year is through. I figured it out, and I made 28% more money this year, due to the freelancing.
I also had like zero free evenings, so. I had zero free evenings to learn phrases other than the tired Damn, Daniel.
I gotta go. Talk to you tomorrow, after I drop off Jodie Foster. Someone zip over to the animal shelter here and get her.
I hate to burst in and destroy your 2018, like Godzilla stomping through your city, but I have a cold.
My throat hurts, I’m all achy, my ears have that thing where they itch way on the inside and you can’t scratch them cause it’s really your brain that itches or whatever.
You’d think my cats would be holding an eternal vigil, but they are not.
You know, sitting here, the floor and the washer don’t LOOK dirty, but I take a photo and I’m all, wow, that washer needs to be, like, wiped down or whatever.
Plus, there’s a spot on that linoleum that’s just forever stained. See it, the second blue square in from Jodie Foster? It’s just permanently sort of brown. I blame Lottie.
Good lord, this house has hosted the animals.
Anyway, despite my raging cold, I schlepped into work yesterday and the first person I saw was the mailroom guy. “Oh, I have a package for you,” he said, and handed me a box. It’s this great clock from a faithful reader! Isn’t it magnificent?! It was on my wish list, my Amazon Wish List. Oooo, I should link to Amazon.
“I want a clock just like Hune’s! If I click on this green clock, I can be on Amazon and buy just anything, and Hune gets rich! Maybe if she gets rich enough, she’ll stop saying ‘Hune.'”
Do you know anyone worse at remembering she’s an Amazon Associate? Anyone?
Bueller? You know what that is? ‘Nother link.
Oh my god anyway, I love my clock, and I put it in the living room because I never ever know what time it is in there, like it’s Las Vegas.
Then at night, despite my killing-me throat and my general aches and pains of having a major cold, I —
Just now, Lily, whom I’ve already let out and back in again today, asked to go out again. I opened the main door, then stood at the screen while Lily pondered the meaning of going outside, and considered if she really meant it and so forth, when
Steely Dan burst past us, got on his hind legs and pushed the door open, and ran out, all in one smooth gesture.
Lily kind of waddled after him.
Anyway, because trouper, last night I drove to this restaurant I’d never been to to get up with Kit and Jo. Ko.
On the way there, my friend Beige called me. Her name isn’t actually Beige, but I’ve always called her that and that’s how she’s in my phone. “I’m right near this restaurant, but I can’t find it,” I told her. “I’ll call you later.”
As soon as I sat down, Faithful Reader Happy texted me with a video of that white cat she has, that Ned might like. Then after the video she sent two more texts. “Boop!” said my phone, then “boop!” followed by “boop!”
“At dinner, talk later,” I wrote hurriedly, as gifts were exchanged among us. Jo is a real gifty type.
Then my father called.
Then Miss Doxie texted.
Then Fay texted.
Not to mention my blog comments were blowing up last night.
Then TinaDoris answered my earlier text about how I was feeling ill and wasn’t going to Pure Barrrrre Thursday morning. She texted three times.
Then Ned called.
Then I got the World’s Longest Email from a new reader, which, Dear New Reader: I haven’t read yet.
Then I SWEAR TO YOU, someone I went to school with in fourth grade wrote me to say she had an old photo of us, and where should she send it.
Seriously, that all happened within the first 30 minutes I was there. It was like all of a sudden everyone I’d ever known wanted to speak with me between 7 and 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. I like how I said “30 minutes” then “7 and 8.” Maths.
Okay, this is the greatest thing ever. The “R” is for “Redeemer.” There’s religious June, gettin’ her Redeemer on. (I went to a Lutheran elementary school. Yes, I did.)
I am the top girl (I sure am) on the right, in the pigtails. I was able to name everyone else in this photo except I can’t remember the girl in the middle’s first name. Doreece? Dorrena? I know her last name was Hopeck. Her mom was our Brownie leader. Her name was…Mrs. Hopeck. You’re welcome.
Hell. Or, Redeemer. I wish I could recall that girl’s name.
Anyway, after my Hour of Popularity, and after Ko and I discussed everything from talking dirty to Dick Whitman’s mom–fortunately we did not combine those subjects–it was time for me to go. Jit, over there, the Kit and Jo combo, were gonna move on to a bar, but I was in need of an IV drip, so ill was I, and plus also it was 9:30 already, so.
As I drove home, I told my phone to call Beige back.
“Calling Beee-aaage,” said my phone, who can’t speak fucking English. If you’re gonna be in this country, man. English is our language, man. (I love people.)
My phone also tells me to take the exit toward the airport sometimes? But it pronounces it “Peedmont Inter-na-seeeee-on-all.” Kills me every time. Why doesn’t it know “international”?
I realize it’s, like, miraculous that I can take my phone with me and not have to drag the cord onto the stairway like I did circa 1982. I realize that the fact that my phone can TALK to me and CALL PEOPLE FOR ME is also, you know, exciting.
Still. Get it right. Beeee-age. Pfft.
Actually, while I’m thinking of it, you know that cool photo my old schoolmate wanted to send me? She’s not the first person to email me via the “Contact me” feature on my blog to wonder how to get in contact with me, so let me just say now that the contact me feature is just an email address, so anything you want to email me, that’s where to do it.
I think if you’re gonna attach a photo, you might have to write me once, then I write back, and THEN it becomes just a regular email between us and you can attach a photo.
I’d better go back to work and martyr through my day. Probably I should be certain to bring a giant box of Kleenex to really drive the point home. Perhaps I could even arrive in slippers, for added effect.
Here is our Clinique Chubby Stick of the day in Plumped-Up Pink. This will look good when I’m in my casket.
Careful readers will note that yesterday I had a mammogram. Or, really, slovenly readers will too, seeing as I just said it yesterday, there, genius.
I tried a new place this year because allegedly–according to their ads–they have same-day mammogram results, but of course only after I’d transferred my files, my D Files, did I learn they do NOT give same-day results in Greensboro.
Greensboro. The city that makes you wait. For results.
But it was really close to work, and very sunny and pretty in there, and once I got called in, each locker where you remove all waist-up clothes was named after a famous woman. I chose the Cher locker.
Two women were in gowns, waiting, as well. “I’m Cher! Who’re you all?”
“I’m Marilyn Monroe,” said a 90-year-old woman, who is probably younger than Marilyn Monroe would be now.
“I’m Elizabeth Taylor,” said another woman, not remotely draped in diamonds. Perhaps she was wearing her White Diamonds. By Coty.
Marilyn, Liz and I waited to be called while I tossed back my hair and showed my ass to servicemen.
The mammogram itself went without incident; I told the person performing it how anxious I am about the waiting thing, and she was very nice. Of course I searched her face for signs of pity when she took the photos.
“She was so young. -ish.”
On the way back to work, I heard from Ned. Goddammit.
He was crying so hard, I could barely understand him. “A vet is coming tonight to discuss putting [NedKitty] down. I found a place that will do it at home.”
I knew this day was coming, and I had plenty, plenty, of salty retorts about chippies and why doesn’t he call a chippie instead of me and also salty chips sound delicious right now. But once I was faced with the reality that NedKitty is finally giving up the fight, I was without salt. “If today’s the day, I’ll come over there,” I said.
I’m the only other person NedKitty loves. She pretty much looks grumpily out at everything in this world, a position in life I can get behind.
I was at work maybe an hour when my phone rang. See. This time between mammogram and letter/email saying all’s clear is my very worst time. The phone rings, I jump. Because the phone call is never good.
“This is Breast Buy calling, and we gave your test to the doctor right away because you’d said you were anxious, and he does see something and wants you to come back in.”
“Today,” I said. “Please get me in today. I’ll lose every moment of all my shit if I have to wait.” So they did, which is really nice, and all I had to do was wait TWO DAMN HOURS to go back and get an ultrasound.
I called Ned, who of course I’d already regaled the “I had a mammogram today” story to, because he knows how I get, and he knew I was trying out The New Place and so on. “Call me when you get the answer. I guess that’s one way to get your results today,” said Ned.
Then? I’m not fucking kidding you, everyone in the WORLD needed to speak with me. I had get-this-done-now work things pop up, and could people not DO THAT? You never know when someone is two hours from a horrifying test.
Then, I swear to you, I heard from a person I dated in Virginia, who’d had a job interview near here, and he wrote to tell me he didn’t get the job. I had to feign interest in anyone’s life but my own, which could be the title of my next book.
Plus also too, I heard from this place I freelance for, with a very detailed message needing to know very detailed info from me RIGHT NOW, and finally? Finally? I got a call from my gym–yes, I have a gym. I know, right? We’d had a dispute, because my membership was up. And even though I called THREE TIMES, offered to COME OVER THERE, to make sure when it officially expired that they’d stop charging me? And they’d said:
“Oh, no, we’re not charging you after October, ma’am. We mean it.” Finally, I got them to email me a document saying my last automatic withdrawal would be in October, and
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER?
So they picked then, that horrifying two-hour window, to get in touch to tell me I was right and they were refunding my money and in my head I’m all HOOO CARE EVERYONE LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE I’M TRYING TO PANIC OH MY GOD.
Finally I drove back to the place, and when I got back up to the lobby,
there was Ned. He was reading a book in that sunny waiting room, which was, in fact, less sunny cause it had been morning and now it was panicky afternoon.
“Ned,” said, finally tearing up.
We sat there silently for a minute, Ned holding my cold clammy hand.
“What are you reading?”
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
“For fucks’s sake tell me about your book or I will beat you with it.” So he did.
It’s a book about Buddhism written by a scientist, which is perfect for Ned because he’s incapable of being remotely spiritual, but science? You throw science at him, and he’s down with that.
“So far, it’s saying that we’re biologically wired to seek pleasure,” said Ned, who never does anything but seek pleasure. And eat salads. Which seems contradictory, but there you go. “And they’ve found that it’s the anticipation of pleasure that’s usually better than the pleasure itself. I don’t know what happens next. I just hope they tell us how to stop doing that,” said Ned, and oh, so many salty things unsaid. The sequel to my third book.
I wish, when I came up with a fake blog name 11 years ago and why the fuck am I still blogging, what’s WRONG with me, that I’d come up with a name you could also mispronounce, so you’d feel my pain. My name, my real name, is forever being mispronounced, and if you know my real name, it does not end in “field.” No, go look at it again. NOT FIELD.
It’s not Jerry Seinfield. It’s not the Zigfield Follies. It’s not Marty Fieldman.
NOT ALL NAMES ARE PRONOUNCED “FIELD,” GODDAMMIT.
“Good luck, sweetheart,” said Ned, and is it possible to want to feel grateful to someone while still wanting to punch them clean in the face? Is there a word for that? I mean other than “dysfunctional.”
I got back to the lockers, and this time I was Princess Diana, which I was hoping was a good sign. I didn’t chat up the other waiters this time, as we were in the diagnostic area, not the hey, it’s our everyday mammogram hoooo care area.
I did, however, have the wherewithal to snap this selfie, in case I lived till today to tell you this tale. I call this Portrait of Petrified. I was hair-i-fied.
Not that that was such a clever name, but do you know what annoys me? Artists who title their work Self Portrait. Wow. Thanks for the effort, there, Snappy.
While I was begowned, waiting, I checked my phone.
“Did you Facebook unfriend me?” my stupid-ass friend Mark wanted to know. He has no idea how close he came to making me stomp my phone to death. I wrote him back, explaining that I’d disabled my Facebook for now, and then he wanted to chat, and that is why I paid a hit man to snap the face right off my now-faceless friend Mark.
I was tense. Yesterday was tense. (Entire contents of my fourth book, actually just an index card, written by a man, because I wore myself out with words.)
Finally, they brought me into a room with an ultrasound, and then the ultrasounder said, “I’ll show this to the doctor and be right back.”
Here was my view, while I waited for the woman or, worse, the doctor, to walk in. I did not check my phone, because I could only imagine the inanity awaiting me on that thing. Instead, I just listened to my heart beating in my ears.
The door opened.
“I bring you nothing but good news,” she said.
Oh, Jesus Christ and all the pleasure-seeking Buddhas.
Seriously, she spoke for 10 seconds before I even caught up with the “good news” part. I was so determined to steel myself against the bad news that good news wasn’t even an option.
In summation, I have a cyst. And we all need to remove our Dust Mite Allergy Awareness pins and slap on a MAMMOGRAMS FUCKING SUCK BUT IT’S A CYST pins.
I stayed a little late at work to make up for the work I missed while I lay dying over at the Hootie and the Blowfish concert. Then I drove right over to Ned’s, where a pink-haired vet was assessing NedKitty.
“Well, her eyes are still bright, and she trotted down the stairs to see me,” said the vet. “Truthfully, I thought she’d be worse.”
Ned had on the coffee table the litany of pills and powders and ointments he uses each day to keep that cat alive. The vet laid out a plan to keep NedKitty comfortable, and a big part of that plan is that Ned is to no longer force as many pills down her cat neck, and she doesn’t have to have that goddamn IV three times a week. The point is for her to feel happy and not sick till she’s ready to go.
Of course, we all know my feelings on the topic. I’d have offed that cat back in February. But it’s not my cat, so I kept quiet, and meandered into the kitchen, where NedKitty was crouched, hoping for a treat.
I gave her about 472 treats. And girlfriend scarfed them. So.
I did not take pictures of her old, bony self last night. She wouldn’t want you all to see her this way. Let’s remember her as the fluffy white bitch she usually was–which incidentally is the title of my biography, to be handed out at my funeral. Which, according to the fine folks who saw way too much of m’boobs yesterday, isn’t going to be any time soon.
While Doctor Pink Hair and my ex-boyfriend discussed NedKitty’s exit plan, I picked up her old bones and held her. She won’t let anyone, not even Ned, pick her up and hold her, but she lets me. I kissed her smelly old head and stroked her cheeks.
She’s got a few weeks left, and they will be comfortable weeks. She still wears bags on her head and insists the tap be turned on so she can stick her head under the water like a lunatic. And when it’s finally time, I will be there with her, the one of two people she likes. Everyone else can fuck off. Which will be the engraving on my tombstone, where I will be buried with the ashes of my 79 dead pets.
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Ned wept, as the vet left. “Can I take you to dinner?”
“No, Ned,” I said. “All I want to do is get into my owl pajamas, and eat toast, and watch TV.” Truthfully, I was fekking exhausted. I was drained. I was spent.
I hadn’t been home all day, which for me is rare. I almost 100% of the time come home at lunch, even though Edsel almost never pees at lunch, Edsel is a camel, or…some kind of other animal that never has to pee. Do camels pee? I have no idea. I mean, of course they pee, but…
Oh hooo care. The point is, it had been 11 hours that I’d been gone, and I trudged in like Ashley after the war, and hey, June, trot that example out for a change, why don’t you. I kissed Edsel, and fed everyone, except…
Where the fuck was Steely Dan? “STEEEEEEEEEEELY DAN!” I called out the front door. Then the back door. Then back to the front door.
Oh, great. This was gonna be God’s deal. I get to be okay, but I have to lose Steely Dan.
I thought of all the possibilities. He’d been run over. A family finally decided this robust, shiny cat was a “stray” and dragged him inside and locked the door. (Dear Family: Good luck with that. Soon he’ll be outside looking in the window at you, and you’ll have no idea how.) A dog ate him. He left me.
“STEEEEEEEELY DAN!” I called again.
THIRTEEN HOURS that cat was gone, before I heard the telltale THUMP that he’d just left the roof and was back on the deck, waiting to come in. For all I know, he was on the roof for all 13 hours.
I may have overreacted to his return. I may have swooped him up, felt his robust, youthful cat self, kissed his cold ears, and hugged him hard and cried like an idiot.
Dear Steely Dan: I am sorry I took all the emotions of the day out on your bastard self. But mom has a cyst, and she was never so glad to have a cyst in the history of cysts.
Well, here it is. The day of my mammogram, which careful readers will note is one of my very very favorite days.
I’ve talked a lot about careful readers lately. You know what else you are? Annoyed readers.
Back in aught eight, when I was already 43 and shoulda been havin’ mammograms for three years, I finally went with a group from work, at my old job, to get mammograms together. I don’t mean we disrobed and smashed out in front of one another. But they sent limos to work and served us sparkling cider in the cars, and drove us to the local mammogram place, so it was kind of more fun.
That was a Wednesday, if I recall, the week before Thanksgiving. I remember this vague, “Where’s my post card?” feeling that weekend, as they’d said that’s what they’d do. They’d send a post card saying everything was okay.
I wasn’t worried, though, till I got a call on Monday. “This is Ma’am O’Gram,” said the operator, who did not call it that at all, but maybe that’s what they should do: Give these places funner names. “Are you getting yours at Yes, Ma’am’s or are you going to AppleSqueeze?”
“Oh, my family has always gone to Booby Tuesdays.”
I like how they all have to be bad chains. Because eventually they would be. Someone would have a local, boutique mammogram place that would get bought out by The Man.
“Back when HootieFlats was local, their gowns were artisan.”
When Boob Evans called me the following Monday, my first thought was, I musta left my coat there. Because denial. It’s what’s for dinner. And of course I hadn’t left my coat there; if I had I wouldn’t be telling you this endless story. What they said is they found something and could I return for another gander.
And see, I was fairly new to blogging then, so I rushed back here and told y’all, a thing I’d know not to do now, because oh, with the horror stories, and then one of you said, “You need to know every detail. You need to call them back and find out what they saw.”
See. That was terrible advice. And I took it.
“Say, receptionist at Bad MaamaJaama’s, what all did the doctor think he saw?” I asked. And she read my report, which indicated a spiculated density, except the brain scientist receptionist called it a “speculated density.” “Aw, that’s okay, he’s just speculating that there’s a density!” she said brightly.
So not only did I Google spiculated density and SCARE MYSELF TO DEATH, I also had the mammogram place call my terrible doctor, who called me that night to say, “This sounds bad. Prepare for the worst.”
And that is how I spent 72 hours shaking and crying. In a fetal position. Because I’m nothing if not all the way with my dramatic reactions.
Then I went to a new place with a better reputation, my old images in hand, and they did an ultrasound and said, “You’re fine, but come back in six months” and Marvin can tell you. Oh, how he can tell you. I SPENT SIX MONTHS OBSESSING. I mean, that’s all I did. Oh, I Googled and I checked chat rooms and I thought and I worried and I carried on, and why so divorced?
Then I was fine at that appointment, and hey, six months later, I went back for a regular mammogram and
They called me back again. This time for the other side. When they called me that second time, I burst into tears and asked, “How could you do this to me?”
Turns out that was normal, too, but if I could describe to you the depths of my terror when they call me back, you’d be sitting here reading this post. Is what you’d be doing.
I’ve had normal results since then, but then for the last couple years I just didn’t go, because I was sad about breaking up with Ned and I KNOW THAT’S RIDICULOUS, but I was all, I feel bad enough without adding this terror, so I didn’t go.
I KNOW SHUT UP.
At the beginning of this year, not only did I say I had to get my finances in order, but also I had to get a PAP smear (another thing I’d been putting off), get my colonoscopy (I was two years late for that) and finally, get the dreaded mammogram.
PAP, check. Colonoscopy, check.
And that brings us to today. I switched places because their radio ad said they gave you same-day results, had my records switched over and everything, so when I get there the Bay City Rollers will be on.
I’ll be here all week.
But when I made the actual appointment, they said they “don’t do same-day at the Greensboro office” and FUCK EVERYTHING. So now I know I have ice-cold terror to live through for maybe, you know, a week.
…I just heard a loud thump, which means Steely Dan is done being on the roof for now.
But I don’t see him. That was all jarring and annoying, but when I looked, there was nothing.
I just took my last prednisone that I was prescribed in order to try to break up my current cycle of migraines, and what’s more interesting than hearing about someone’s latest round of meds?
Anyway, maybe a month ago, the doctor also put me back on Topamax for migraine, June says, continuing her riveting diatribe on medication, and our goal was to slowly increase my dosage to a fairly high amount. But as of late, because of said increase in migraines, we upped it more rapidly than planned, and let me tell you. Ever since some point last week, I’ve been feeling what you might call a tad blue. Maybe a tinge under the weather.
I was not keeping my sunny side up.
To put it mildly. Good lord, I’ve been Sylvia Plath without the smooth hair.
Two years ago right at this time, Ned and I broke up, and I moved for six weeks into my friend Kayeeee’s place. She was in Connecticut, and very kindly offered me her house while she was gone. My idea was that I would take those six weeks to begin to sort of heal, to regroup, to figure out what went wrong. I decided I’d work out every day to get my endorphins going, and write in my journal, and never use “journal” as a verb the same way I’d never use “orgasm” as a verb, and do my best to get through those first six terrible weeks.
Of course, I spent those six weeks eating fish sticks and watching Eternal Sunshine till tears fell in my ears every night, and also got immediately on OK Cupid in the hopes that I’d meet someone else right away so I could stop Feeling Things.
You all know how that went. Hey, any relationship ever since.
But I DID meet someone. I met my friend Mark. He lives in Florida. In my extremely healthy attempts to not have to feel bad, I cast a wide net on OK Cupid. That site lets you tell it how many miles away you’d be willing to go to meet someone. I believe at that time I set my availability parameters to “anywhere.” Because, hey, dude in Rome. There’s real possibility here.
My friend Mark, and I’m using his real name and maybe I should change his name to protect the innocent.
…My friend Hamlet, and wow, Random Name Generator, was from Florida, which I’ve already said, and way to move the story along, June. “I know you’re in North Carolina, and we’ll never meet, but your profile is great,” he wrote. So I read his profile, and right then I knew. He was our people. He’s hilarious. You would love him.
And so a friendship was born. We talk on the phone old school, the way Romeo and Juliet did. We forward each other hopeless profiles of people who write us (Love2PutItInU wrote me and I STAMPEDED to text that nice gentlemanly message to Hamlet). I’ve heard about his romances he’s had there, I bothered him relentlessly during the hurricane (because who doesn’t want to get a link to Ridin’ the Storm Out by REO Speedwagon during a hurricane?), and he’s had to hear about my hair and also Edsel, and while I’ve had ZERO LEG via OK Cupid these last two years, I did get me a Hamlet, and I cannot complain about that.
The point of my story, here, is that he happened to call me Saturday. “Hey, how you doing?” he asked, and I burst into tears.
“I feel I may be in a lull,” I said.
“Be happy,” he told me. His daughter, when she was little, used to say that whenever things in life were terse. She thought it might just kind of cure everything, those words: lighten the mood, get her out of trouble, whatever. Be happy. It was so ridiculous that it did kind of make me laugh.
We talked awhile, and agreed I should leave the house, and of course that made me feel better, and then careful readers will recall that a hot young man of color made his move, and who wouldn’t feel better after that?
So, I’m glad I had a Hamlet intervention.
But then yesterday I got all dark tunnel again, and it finally dawned on me: It’s the goddamn Topamax. Any time I’ve taken it, I’m dark-cloud June.
The last time I took it was right after Marvin left. Oh, happy day.
And the time before that was in 2008, and it coincided with my first mammogram, when they called me to say, “We found something very suspicious, and it doesn’t look good, and prepare for the worst” and FOR THREE DAYS I SHOOK ON MY COUCH till my next appointment, when they said, Oh, this is likely nothing, but just in case, come back in six months.
Now, a normal person might, say, put that appointment out of her mind, perhaps, but what I did, because please see above–and by “above” I mean 10+ years of this not blog–and then you tell me if I strike you as a normal person. Because what I did was live under this DAMOCLES SWORD OF DOOM for six months, Googling and Web MD-ing until Marvin no longer allowed it, and then obsessing and so on, and in retrospect, I think part of my days of dark dark black dark doom, over there, were half attributable to the Topamax. I mean, that was a dark dark time of dark. Did I say that already? Have I expressed it was dark? Did I get the point across that it was a total eclipse of the dark?
So, I think I can’t take Topamax. I think it makes me sad. The end.
I’ve left a message for my doctor, she says, not The End-ing, and instead of taking two pills last night, I took one. Usually I take another in the morning, as well, and today I did not. I missed my doctor’s return call last night (he always calls me back during the Edsel walk, and I don’t know why I don’t remember to bring the phone, except I have that dog on two leashes now, plus poop bag, plus squirt bottle, and I’ve got a lot going on, man), so I hope I’m not going off this stuff too fast, but I think I am not wrong about this. Because I already feel slightly less Pit of Despair this morning.
Good gravy. Also, gravy sounds good, because prednisone.
Did I mention what’s more riveting than someone listing off her meds?