Science – 1, Mother – 0

I apologize for yet another round of radio silence on my part. To say this past week has been crazy is the biggest understatement of all understatements.

My family thrives on chaos and stress apparently, and, never to be outdone by my kids it would seem, my mother has done her share this past week to give me even more grey hairs. I really should have taken stock in Clairol back when my kids were growing up. Who knew my mother would eventually add to my investment regret.

Anywho, my dear little 75-year-old mother decided to test the physics of gravity last weekend … it seems she really wasn’t convinced in the science of it all. To that end, she tried to take a flying leap in her kitchen and instead just fell, like a lead balloon. While she called it an experiment for the greater good, I think walking simply isn’t her forte.

Instead of calling 911, she called me. I guess she just wanted me to join the party or perhaps she thought I’d be the one to help her suppress the results of her ill-fated experiment. Ever on the science-y side of things, I figured this was a job for the superheroes of the medical field. Da-da-da-dahhh!

After a quick ambulance ride and a not so quick fun-filled visit to the ER, I brought her home to her comfy recliner and there she sat for a few days. Or at least, that’s where I tried to keep her without actually tying her down (I was told that was elderly abuse).

It’s been a few days now and while she’s still sore and sporting some really very interesting bruises, she’s on the mend, I’m glad to say. Meanwhile, I’m back at my place content to regularly check in to make sure she’s still upright.

I just got a phone call from her this afternoon. She signed up for dance lessons. God help me. I can feel the grey hairs sprouting as I write.

 

So, What Do You Like To Do?

So, I will admit that I have been dipping my toe once again into the online dating world (don’t judge). After a dismal first attempt a while back, I thought, what the hell? I’m a glutton for punishment, might as well give it another whirl.

Well, I have learned so much about the new face of dating, and I have to say that I miss the “good old days.”  To say that things have changed just a bit is a massive understatement. However, I’m remaining hopeful that my dream guy will come along.  He’d better hurry up, though, before I join the convent and swear off guys forever. Why this harsh stance, you ask? Let me explain.

It seems that the new trend in “dating” has nothing to do with dating, exactly, and involves getting right to the point … if you get my point. Long gone are the days of sharing life stories, getting to know one another, moving slowly to the finish line.  More often than not, the first messages sent by a potential match pretty much sum up everything you need to know about them, and what you need to know, apparently, is the not-so-subtle art of “sexting.”

In my experiences so far with online matchmaking, I have found that “long walks on the beach and reading a book by firelight” is no longer the right answer to the question, “So, what do you like to do?”  Quite frankly, it’s hard to know what to expect; there is such a fine line between “oh, you know, normal stuff” and “well, I don’t want to get in to specifics, but it involves three live chickens, trash bags, oil, and a copy of the New York Times.”

Also, “send me a pic” means something entirely different than what I thought.  Thinking it was an innocuous request, when one guy ask me for a pic, I sent him three: one of me posing in front of Epcot Center in Disneyland, one with me hugging the mascot of my daughter’s school at a basketball game, and one of me with my cats (I figured he may as well know what he was getting into).  He replied with question marks, a confused emoji, and a picture of… things that I cannot un-see. Speaking of which, just how are you supposed to respond to these unsolicited pics? A thank you? A show of pity? A simple ewwww?

But I digress …

Now, I am not a prude by any means, but neither am I fourteen, hiding in my closet and giggling over dirty limericks.  What am I wearing?  A fuzzy bathrobe, mismatched socks, and a baseball cap; you can’t handle this much woman, dude.  Don’t tell me the things you want to do to me, tell me how you would come over to vacuum, take out the trash, and do the dishes.  And oh yeah, you’re bringing cheesecake. THAT is how to successfully sext a woman.

For myself, I can’t even think about sexting without picturing an old lady in her kitchen, sitting on a red lacquered bar stool hunkered up by the avocado green rotary wall phone, dressed in her comfy stained housecoat with her hair in curlers, fuzzy slippers and white socks against unshaven legs that would rival a bear’s upon emerging from hibernation, cigarette hanging out of her mouth, a Joe’s Diner coffee cup in one hand and the phone’s handset in the other, saying “Oh, baby, oh baby” – in that sexy, raspy 30-years-of-smoking-cigarettes-induced voice – to some paying customer on the other end of the line for just $3.99 a minute.

My version of sexting hasn’t gone over very well so far, either. “Oh, I want you like I want the new Dyson cordless vac, baby.”  “I’m wearing my favorite sweatshirt, the one without the stain on the front.” “I’m ready to spend the perfect night together, just be quiet because my shows are on.”

I haven’t entirely given up on finding “the one” via new-fangled means. I mean, who knows what might happen?  If I ever find a guy who answers, “what do you like to do?” with “binge old movies and eat cheesecake” and sends me an unsolicited dog pic, I’ll know he’s a keeper.

 

A Good Man

A good man died yesterday. I may write more about this another time, when the wound isn’t still fresh, isn’t still deep. In fact, I’m sure I will. It’s important to acknowledge the passing of a good man. To raise one’s voice to the universe and give thanks for the time one had with him.

The best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. 

– William Wordsworth

dad in his element

Relationship Goals

I apologize for the radio silence for the past couple of days. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, cancer sucks. In fact, fuck cancerand all of the insidious little ways it steals away your loved ones, even while they’re still here. No, it’s not me … but rather, my dad.  I may go into a long-winded rant about that another time. For today, seeing him and my mother together this past week (my whole life really, but especially in recent times of severe stress), I feel as though I might could be persuaded to dip a toe back into the dating pool yet again in an effort to find the kind of loyalty and love that my parents share. Yeah, yeah, I know my luck in that area has been less than stellar, but who knows? Maybe one of these times, it’ll all be worthwhile.

To that end, I found this nifty profile description that is really quite apt. Whatcha think? Is honesty really the best policy? Seriously though, if that special someone won’t share rainy days spent in our PJs while drinking God knows what and binge watching Netflix, are they really the one for me?

 

Preparing for the Robot Takeover

And so, it begins.  The robot takeover we have been fearing for decades starts with one adorable machine who doesn’t want to be turned off because he’s afraid of the dark.

I’m already in awe of my automatic Keurig and have apologized to Siri for disagreeing with her.  I feel bad not listening to the navigation system in my car and frequently take wrong-way turns onto one-way streets as directed just so I don’t offend her; I then quake in fear as my On-Star takes over and calls for police and an ambulance because I have driven into a building.

I would no doubt be one of the robot takeover enablers because my sympathy for them would overflow, especially if they told me they were afraid of the dark.  I can’t resist inanimate objects as it is; I’d be in serious trouble if something could actually interact with me.

When my daughter and I go into a craft store or an antique shop, the people behind the counters begin to rub their hands together in greedy anticipation…they can see us coming a mile away.  If there is an object, like a knick-knack, that looks sad, neglected or just odd, we tenderly place it into our basket to give it a loving home.  I am the proud owner of a flower pot gnome because he was the last one left and looked lonely.  I have a cat wearing crayon or magic-marker on its bewhiskered face because no one else would have bought him. They’re not alone. My little orphan family of misfit knick-knacks have overtaken my bookshelves, each lovingly dusted.  Well, maybe not dusted exactly.  Ok, not dusted at all.  Cobwebs.  I have bookshelves full of cobwebs and sad little knick-knacks.  I just can’t stop.

Now, robots can tell me they are afraid of the dark.  My downfall is imminent. I see me quitting my job to care for my family of robots, tucking them in at night and reading them bedtime stories.  I will be raising a robot family in secret, nurturing them until they grow big and strong, ready to take over the world.  I will wave them away tearfully as they take off for their revolution, just me and my bookshelves of cobwebby knick-knacks left behind as they fulfill their robotic destinies. I just hope they remember to write.

Of course, no discussion about robot takeovers would be complete without looking at the proposed sex robot brothel set to open in Texas.  Apparently, these robots will *ahem* service customers for around $100 per hour.  The community backlash has been overwhelming; thoughtful people are claiming this will lead to an increase of violence against women, while less thoughtful people are just saying, “Ewwww.”  My questions are many, as you can imagine.

First and foremost, who will clean these things?  I think I finally found the world’s worst job.  How would you even write the ad for that position?  How would you conduct an interview and skills evaluation for the position? Worse yet, what will that person’s resume look like when they’re ready to change career paths??

From cute robots pleading to be left turned on because they are afraid to sultry rob-stitutes, I’m stocking up on oil for the inevitable.  You’re on your own.

Getting Ghosted Every Day … and Loving It

Well, everyone, she’s back.

As you may recall, Amethyst Realm, a reported spiritual counselor, has been in a super intense relationship with a ghost she met in Australia.  They have been dating six months.

I will give you a minute to go back and read that again so you’re up to speed.  Done?  Ok, let’s move on.

Amethyst can’t see her boyfriend, obviously, cause he’s…well, you know, a ghost.  But hey, she knows he’s there.

Now, as you can imagine, I have a few questions.  As a spiritual guidance counselor, is she counseling her boyfriend?  If so, isn’t that an ethics violation?  At the least, I would think it would be a conflict of interest. But, I digress.

In 2017, Amethyst was even slut-shamed for having sex with twenty ghosts.  One ghost, however, really tickled her fancy, among other things he reportedly tickles.

Amethyst explains in a recent follow-up interview that she and her ghostly boyfriend are going to be married and raise a ghostly family.  I personally haven’t received my invisible wedding invitation; still waiting on that one.

As for the ghostly family? Well, she has decided, in a wisdom far beyond most cantaloupes, that “phantom” pregnancies are fathered by ghosts.  Phantom pregnancies are, of course, a heartbreaking syndrome where a woman’s body begins to simulate a pregnancy that isn’t real, showing all the symptoms of a true pregnancy. There could be any number of reasons why this might happen, none of them good. Amethyst believes that phantom pregnancies are exactly what they sound like, phantom induced.  Amethyst has been avoiding her ghostly birth control, hoping to get knocked up by her ghost boyfriend.

Why would her imaginary boyfriend want to be tied down by an imaginary baby?  It’s a sure bet he’ll just disappear when the baby is born, leaving her with imaginary diapers to change all by herself.  She’d better get that imaginary ring, and fast!

On a sobering note, Amethyst really believes her story with all her heart.  She came clean after being dumped by a boyfriend, so one must think the break-up affected her deeply.  She has sworn off real men for life, preferring her invisible men to human companionship.  I feel her pain, but she has taken this just a step too far.

You know, I’m not even necessarily saying that ghosts aren’t real; perhaps they are.  What I am calling total BS on is that they would be capable of impregnating anyone (okay, so yeah, that might be an obvious deduction).

For argument’s sake, let’s just say that she’s right, and she does get pregnant by her ghostly boyfriend.  What an odd scene at the hospital on the day of delivery!

Nurse:  Here he is, he’s beautiful.  (pretending to be holding a baby)

Amethyst:  Are you stupid!?  He’s over there!  (points at the chair next to the nurse)

Nurse:  Can you have the father sign the birth certificate, please?  (holds pen towards the corner of the room)

Amethyst:  Are you blind, woman!?  He’s right here sitting on the bed!

Nurse:  Your total bill will be $50,000.  How would you like to pay that?

Amethyst:  My imaginary insurance should cover this, but if not, here’s an invisible credit card.

Nurse:  I can’t see the father’s signature on the certificate.

Amethyst:  Of course not, he used invisible ink.

The fun would continue through the child’s first year of school, where he was repeatedly marked “absent,” all the way to his prom, where his date cried because she thought he stood her up even though he was waiting inside the invisible limo.

Graduation would be tricky; the video cameras would only show a small orb flitting across the stage to get his invisible diploma.

Perhaps one day, he would meet someone, too.   He’ll introduce her to the joys of ghost sex, and the cycle will continue.

Frankly, Amethyst, I am intrigued and more than a little jealous.  Getting ghosted doesn’t mean the same thing for you as it does for the rest of us, you can sneak him into movies for free, and you don’t have to worry about washing his clothes.

Not to mention, your life is planned out perfectly with your ghost, and I can’t even get a date for Friday night.

Hospital Absurdities

I’ve been thinking a lot about illnesses lately.  About how some of them take your loved ones away, piece by piece, until there is nothing left of the person you once knew.

My grandmother’s mind was ravaged by Alzheimer’s. Such an insidious disease. She went from the fiercely strong woman I knew to someone who no longer even knew herself.  And as some of you know, my dad is currently struggling with cancer; he’s doing everything he can to kick its ass.  I’ve often wondered: is it better to lose your mind and keep your bodily health or retain your intellect yet have your body waste away? A twisted kind of lottery if you ask me, no matter which way you go. Terminal illness sucks, of that there is no doubt.

While I would drop everything to be at their beck and call, from day to day I try to keep a light heart and not dwell on the reality that is my dad’s illness … if I did, I’d go down that rabbit hole and never come back up. Instead I show my love through food and treats and stupid jokes and gossip and stupid jokes. Did I mention stupid jokes?

The tangled mess that is my mind wonders about so many things and since we’re discussing illness, naturally, I wonder about hospitals. So here is me … dealing with an ugly reality in a very not so mature way.

Why can you never find a doctor?  It’s a hospital, for goodness sake.  Doctors swarm around there like ants on your kitchen counter, so why is it you can never find one when you need him?  Pinning a doctor down for a visit to your hospital room is like planning a visit from your cable company, only a lot less fun.  “I’ll be there between 8am tomorrow morning and 11pm next Tuesday.”  Are there hidden golf course in the basement of the hospital?

Why are so many surfaces white?  Sure, I get the concept.  White equals cleanliness and sterility.  But what’s the point when the janitors are playing “Guess That Body Fluid” every time they make rounds?  Do you think janitors and housekeeping play fun games behind closed doors?  “I’ll see that pee puddle and raise you a vomit pile.”  “BINGO!”

Why do they wake you up to give you a sleeping pill?  Look, Mr. Baker is finally asleep.  Let’s run the floor polisher, set off all the alarms, and wake him for a sleeping pill.

Where do they hire the cooks?  Is there a testing process the cooks have to go through to be hired?  “Yes, Mrs. Smith, I see you worked in the High School cafeteria.  Serving cardboard pizza and soy hotdogs is great experience for this job.  However, I’m afraid you failed the test when you made the chicken taste like meat.”

How do they change the hallways to ensure you get lost every time you leave the floor?  This is some kind of engineering feat to rival anything NASA accomplishes.  From the moment you step out into the hallway, the room changes sides and moves to the opposite wing of the hospital.  The hallways reconfigure themselves, and the elevators disappear completely.  I swear, it’s like Hogwarts on steroids (if you don’t get that reference, go read the Harry Potter series … it’ll be good for you). The cafeteria moves multiple times to ensure no one will ever be able to find it, or its tasteless chicken.  I tried to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, but they disappeared when the janitor swept them up, excitedly marking his Bingo card.  Apparently, breadcrumbs are double or nothing.

Why have a call button at all?  Admit it, we all do this.  You hit the call button and immediately go out to find a nurse.  This is similar to the person hitting the up button on the elevator when it’s already been pushed.  Of course, once the call button is pushed, all nurses and technicians play hide and seek.  Well, all except for that poor nurse who’s always standing at the medication cart, paper cup in one hand, looking like a deer in the headlights.

Can we try happy words instead of procedure names?  “It’s bubbly yum yum time” sounds so much better than “It’s time for your chemo treatment.”

In all seriousness, I hate disease, and the way it robs us of all we hold dear.  The treatments sometimes seem worse than the illness they are treating, and it is hard to stay strong when you are watching someone begin to lose parts of themselves.  Some stories have good endings – thankfully, my Dad appears to be veering off into this direction – some, unfortunately, don’t.  The best you can do is reassure your loved ones that you have your seat belt on, and you’re coming along for the ride.

In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to try to find some small doses of humor along the way.

Oh, and I’ll bring the snacks.