Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two Random Comments and An Apology

Apology first: Captain Awesome I am SO sorry for accidentally kicking you in your bad knee this morning while I groggily searched for the snooze button. I think I mumbled some apologies but I really do feel bad about it. I wanted to put it out on the World Wide Web to prove how sorry I am.

Random #1: Kind of a rant but also an interesting comment on the workings of a person's mind. I am in a customer service position so I talk on the phone and see people all day. On any given day I talk to 20-25 people on the phone and an additional 10-15 in person. Please, please, please do not begin any phone conversation with "Remember I talked to you last week?" People, I love you but no, I do not remember the 30 second conversation we had where you did not even give me your name. I also don't remember what you ordered last month. If you're patient I will happily find the information for you but I don't have the kind of Rain Man mind that recalls all details throughout time. Why is it so important to these people (mostly men) that I remember their little requests? If you order thousands of dollars of merchandise or we talk on the phone every day then I may remember you. Otherwise, just give me your order without the trip down memory lane.

Random #2: So you know how we're supposed to drink around 8 glasses of water a day? I'm not even a little close. For example yesterday, I brought a large 12oz cup of juice to work. When I got in my car at the end of my 9 hour day (including lunch) I poured 1/3 down the drain. Because I'm all science-y I've been experimenting with different drinks but it hasn't made any difference. I really think some of it is the freezing temperature in my office but I should be drinking more than that right? I try to avoid coffee but I think I may have to start making it in the a.m. just to trick my body into drinking more liquids. I don't ever really feel thirsty but I've noticed my skin is drier than normal and I'm shallow enough that the only reason I may make a healthy change to my life is when it affects my outward appearance. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stylist with Scissors

I absolutely love getting my hair cut. The whole experience feels very luxurious whether I'm in a chain in a strip mall being washed out by florescent lights or sipping herbal tea in a leather chair. I am a penny-pinching miser so I usually go to the cheaper places for trims but I splurge if I'm making any major changes. No matter what, I always get my hair washed partly because I think the idea of cutting dirty hair is gross but also because I love the feeling and smells of new products and a head massage.

Friday I was past the raggedy kind-of-pulling-it-off stage and into the obvious split ends territory so I drove to the chain I have found in Wilmington. My favorite stylist wasn't there and I was just getting a trim so I just put my name down for anyone. The first thing I noticed when she called my name was her long acryllic nails. Granted I've never had them myself but it just doesn't seem that clean to me. She started washing my hair and the water was freezing. I live in the land of air conditioning on high all the time, so it was already chilly. I asked her to warm the water up and she sighed and said she would but she doesn't like the water too hot. !!!! I should have taken it as a sign and just left but I had driven all this way and I was getting a hair cut dammit!

After my lukewarm washing she set me up in the chair. Except for the water temperature exchange we hadn't said anything and she started combing and parting my hair without asking me (still) what I wanted her to do. If I'm getting a trim I honestly don't really care what a stylist does and I appreciate suggestions but I think it's a good idea to get SOME idea of what we're doing to my hair. Finally I just volunteered I wanted a trim with my bangs evened up and the longer layers trimmed. She acted like I asked for some crazy new hairstyle and there was about 5 minutes of her questioning exactly what I wanted her to do. Maybe she was new or unexperienced but really? was it that difficult.

Still in absolute silence she started cutting ONE HAIR AT A TIME. It was the slowest trim I've ever gotten. At one point she piped up and asked if I had highlights. I said no and her response was "Hmm". That it, just hmm. So for the rest of the intermidable time I sat there trying to figure out this cryptic comment. Did I need highlights? Is my hair damaged like I color it? Am I going gray?

Finally she was done drying my hair and I basically ran for the door. And I don't even really like the cut. So no more random women at the cheap places. I'll stick with the people I know who ask about my hair, chat during the 15 minute trim and allow me more than a trickle of hot water. Lesson learned.

Monday, August 11, 2008


So I've gone and let a whole week pass between posts again. But it's not for lack of trying. Actually I was saving you, my dear readers, from the mess that has been me. I actually posted this warning on the 5th or 6th draft of the post:

Warning. Self-Indulgent Whiny Post Ahead, Procede with Caution.

Every day since last Thursday I come to this entry and try to put something down on paper that conveys my feelings but doesn't make anyone feel like slitting their wrists. Some samples of my super dramatic attempts....

From Thursday-"My parents are coming tomorrow and although I can't wait to see them I just want to hide in bed. I actually worry I may run the car and beg them to take me to Raleigh with them to get me out of here."

From Sunday-"Is numb better than nothing? When the Captain asks what's wrong and I say "nothing" it drives him crazy because he thinks I'm being stubborn but the problem actually is the nothingness."

From Monday-"I'm angry all the time, about everything. It's taken over my life and left a black scummy cloud over everything I think, feel and do. My response is to get weepy and sullen like my 13 year-old-self has re-inhabited my body and is forcing me to revert to the silent treatment and sarcasm punctuated by crying bouts with yelling. "

I guess Monday it all came to a head with my sobbing in the bathroom at work, then going home and sobbing in the shower (while guests sat in the living room) and then sobbing on the bed with the Captain. You know how usually you can cry for a little bit and then feel better. I just kept waiting for the feeling better stage and instead got more and more sad.

The most frustrating part for me was the massive disconnect between my emotions and my mind. Logically I wanted to stop crying and the things setting me off were not worth hours of tears. But I just couldn't get out. I don't think I've had to deal with real depression before but this past week gave me an idea of what people deal with.

After weeks of stewing and being angry and sneaking into the bathroom at night to cry I broke down and let the Captain into my crazy. And shocker! It actually helped to have someone else to lean on. He sat with me while I cried and we actually talked about what was going on with us. We also set up a night to go over money stuff so I could stop feeling the ulcers gnawing their way through my stomach. I also had great conversations with my dad and sister who are money geniuses about ideas on how to get us back on track. And the most helpful thing they both told me? That everyone has times when the money gets low and the debts get high.

I've been feeling ashamed about how bad our money situation is and how we fell into every trap they warn you about. I couldn't talk about it because I felt like we were the only ones drowning. And yes, I read the news stories about people losing their homes or getting cars repossed but I didn't associate "them" with "us". And then to combat the lack of control over money I started quietly obsessing about making everything else perfect in my life. The house not being clean made me physically sick, piles of laundry were over-whelming, being "just a receptionist" was unacceptable. But guess what? Nothing is perfect. The harder I tried and "failed" the worse it got. The Captain tried to reassure me that everything was fine but all I heard in those words was either that he assumed I would fail because I always do or that he was just in denial and I was the only one who could save us. Adding more stress I couldn't handle.

I think I'm gaining a little perspective. I still feel the stress but I've actually felt ok the last couple of days. I had a great time at book club on Wednesday where I had drinks and we made plans for the weekend. The other nights the Captain and I have just relaxed around the house making dinner and enjoying each others company. Tonight is our big "money talk" but instead of dreading it I'm looking forward to an open discussion and coming up with a plan. So I guess I've taken my first steps away from the blackness and towards something better.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mainly to Get the Last Post Off the Top

My days are pretty routine. Get up, go to work, leave work, run errands, straighten parts of the house/do chores, cook dinner, clean up from dinner, zone out in front of TV, go to bed. Woo hoo! Exciting, no? Since the Captain's surgery we can't really do much that involves walking around and we have no money so that pretty much limits us to free stuff with lots of sitting. As you can imagine, that does not make for lots of exciting nights and weekends (or blog posts).

I'm sure everyone is like this but I have yet to find the happy medium between routine and mind-numbing boredom. I love to be scheduled and have a plan but I couldn't be happy in a life where everything was the same, every day, until I die. On the other side of the coin I love traveling and trying new things but I would be curled up in a corner if I had no idea what was coming from minute to minute. Maybe I have a "grass is always greener" attitude. Or a "want what you can't have" problem.

***Random Change of Subject***

My parents are coming to see the house for the first time this weekend. They can't stay with us because my dad is allergic to our cats but it will be really nice to visit with them. My parents have never really come to "visit" before. We used to live in the same town so we got together for the day or evening but not for a weekend. And they only came to OH once on their way to visit some relatives and only stayed one evening.

I've been planning meals and cleaning so the house will be perfect. I'm trying to figure out how to sell our not-yet-conceived first born so I can get the patio furniture I want before the weekend. And I've been painting the paneling in our TV room so it doen't look like a cave. All of which they will not care about. They want to do projects so I've made some mental lists of stuff they can help with including hanging pictures and replacing my dryer hose (?). Apparently they are not supposed to be riddled with holes and tears. Who knew?

All I really want out of the visit is to have good food and good conversation. If nothing else, it will be different from my usual routine.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Captain Awesom

The Captain has been my rock for as long as I've known him. The last two months have just been awful and we got sucker punched with surprise bills and money/savings got to a scary low number. Since my way of dealing with money problems is lots of hyperventilating and/or pretending the bills don't exist, the Captain has taken on more than his share of worries. But he still makes me laugh and feel loved every day.

I mentioned in my last post that the Captain had knee surgery. He has been dealing with tons of pain along with boredom and insomnia from laying around all day long. He hasn't really complained and has tried to be as helpful as he can on crutches. Pain fills his face and sweat pops out on his forehead when he hobbles around but he still set the table for dinner last night. He cracks jokes and forces me to relax when he can tell I've reached my breaking point.

Although he did everything right, he has to be on crutches another month. He is frustrated and exhausted and in pain. I don't really have a point to this post except I'm sad for him.

Tonight we make his first rehab appointment and he's talking to HR about taking more time off. I'll drag out the hand weights so he can get some activity while sitting. We'll rent some TV seasons so he has something to break up the monotony.

I'm very happy it's just knee surgery and not cancer or some other life threatening disease. But I'm so sorry he has to go through this.

Friday, August 1, 2008

So Sleepy....Zzzzzzzz

Damn, I was really trying to post more than once a week but the planets aligned to keep me away from the keyboard. (I accidentally typed "the plants aligned" which cracked me up, see? tired). ANYWAY, The Captain had knee surgery on Wednesday after a month of pain and limping around. He has an amazing doctor who helped convince him to get it done even though no one was 100% sure what was wrong. The surgery went well and they found a tear which was repaired so yay. The downside is that since Wednesday at 5am I have been nursing my dear sweet husband who cannot walk and is in serious pain.

He has been great and not at all abused this but it still takes a toll. He's not sleeping well so I am listening for his movements all night. I am scared I'm going to kick him in the bad knee so I try to lie super still. Also, if he falls while on crutches I'm not sure I could get him back up so I follow him around while he tries to go to the bathroom (PS, he hates this). Long story (kind of) short, neither one of us is sleeping. Awesome!

While he's sick he likes us to hang out together which is so sweet and I love it when he wants to spend time with me. But before I can sit down I have to get him drinks, settle his pillows, get myself food/drinks, do a quick load of laundry/load dishwasher/make bed/insert other boring household chore, etc. So it's less relaxing for me. But C? Why are you worring about the house? Well internets, in order to help me out and let me do little things like getting perscriptions filled and going to work, my in-laws have been coming over and sitting with the Captain. I truely, truely appreciate their help but I can't leave the house a disaster. (yes, I probably could but a tiny part of me still wants to impress them and convince them that yes, I'm worthy of your beautiful baby boy).

Do you like how I made his painful surgery about me? It's a gift really.

Add on to that, our house in Cincinnati is closing on Monday and although we took care of most of it before the surgery a few things have come up that I have to take care of. Boo.

The bright spot in my day is that it's the 1st. That means Calendar Flipping Day! There's something about tearing off a page covered in notes, dates, names, etc to reveal a fresh clean white page that's super satisfying to the anal retentive person in me. And in my office I get to flip 5 calendars! Plus the one at home and the white board. So except for the crippled husband, money crap and exhaustion it's a pretty good day.