Monthly Archives: July 2008

Nebraska: Boredom ensues

You know, a trip to Nebraska isn’t as ripe for blogging as it once was. Today, I started the day out with a little Full House and then spent four hours watching back to back episodes of One Tree Hill and The O.C. on Soap Net. Obviously, I really miss cable.

So, in lieu of fun Nebraska drama, I’m going to blog about two things that came along pre-Nebraska and cable TV overload.

Item 1: My snazzy new cell phone!

On the day my contract was up, I went to two Verizon stores (the first one was closed, but I persevered) and found myself a non-ghetto-fabulous-piece-of-trash-phone. Funny thing though, my piece of trash phone was the first generation LG Chocolate. I swore I would never (NEVER!) buy a chocolate again. I would not be swayed by another trendy phone and would simply get a lovely flip phone that wouldn’t call random people.

Fashion before function, I say. I walked out an hour later with the LG Chocolate 3.0:

At least it’s a flip phone. I agonized over the decision, but it was the same price as the other non-Chocolate flip phone I was looking at — and this one is wayyy prettier. So far, my testing proves that it is highly unlikely to call people at random and inopportune times, so perhaps they finally worked all the kinks out of the Chocolate label and I invested in a quality phone.

Item 2: The Big L

So, we said it. The I Love You conversation finally happened. It wasn’t so much a conversation as a phrase spoken by a tired DD following a lovely party we’d attended where we’d mixed and mingled.

I didn’t say it right back to him — I waited another 15 minutes or so, when we were drifting off to sleep. Finally, after over a decade, a man told me he loves me and I feel the same way. I thought there would be fireworks and romance, but there wasn’t. And that’s OK. It felt very normal and every day. Like we’ve felt this way about each other for some time, but just found the words that express it. 

I was talking about love with my cousin who’s getting married on Friday. She went through a lot of the same emotions with her fiancee that I’m having — starting out the relationship with googley eyes, and then struggling to understand as those go away and are replaced with something less romantic but more real. She offered me a good insight. A while back, she had been in church and her pastor had given a sermon on love. He commented that love is a choice you make. I don’t remember the rest of it, but it has something to do with the fact that love isn’t some mushy expression — it’s a choice. A choice to care for someone and go through life with him or her, in the good times and bad times.

I like the comparison. It shows that love is work. It’s not romance all the time, it’s a choice you make to work hard alongside someone else to create a life you want. That’s not a characterization of love that I’m familiar with, but I think it’s a more realistic one. And it’s a choice I believe I want to make with DD.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under DD (aka My Man), family values, glass half full, relationships, travel

Nebraska: An Intro

Today, I’m in transit to Nebraska for my cousin’s wedding. I’m going to attempt to blog all the good stuff, but thought I’d give an intro to one of the many places I call home. Also, stealing wireless Internet is difficult in the corn fields sometimes, so the blogging may turn out to be pretty sporadic.

Both of my parents are from Nebraska. While I’ve never lived there, my entire extended family does with the exception of an aunt and a couple cousins. So, when I visit, it really is a bit like going home.

This time, as I mentioned, it’s for a wedding. This is actually the first family wedding I’ll attend (the others that have happened in my lifetime have conflicted with work or school). It’s also the first family wedding of my generation.

I won’t lie, it might be a bit weird for me at times. My cousin’s younger than me, and my only female cousin on my mother’s side. While she’s been dating her fiancee a good long time and I couldn’t be happier that they’re getting married, it’s still weird, ya know? It’ll be a different dynamic for our relationship and for our family, and I’m sure it will take a little getting used to.

Nebraska is always a good time. My grandfather spends the majority of his time in his recliner, watching old westerns or the History Channel, with the volume on high while my grandmother yells at him from the kitchen to TURN. IT. DOWN. There are almost always long lunches with mom, grandma, my aunt and cousin. This time we’ve already booked pedicures.

It’s usually on these occasions that I prove myself to be one of the black sheep in our family. Last visit, for example, us girls were out to lunch and religion came up. During the conversation, Adam and Eve somehow came up and I simply stated that they aren’t real. That they’re most likely a parable about creation. Duh, doesn’t everyone know that? Honestly, I don’t even know if I believe that, being the uncertain, but faithful (if that’s possible) Catholic that I am. My grandmother, being the good Lutheran she is, looked at me with horror in her eyes and proceeded to engage in an hour-long debate about the reality of Adam and Eve. There was another occasion where I got into it with her about the merits of blue and white collar men that basically left me looking like a gold-digging bitch.  

Part of me just enjoys the rabble rousing. Actually, most of me enjoys it. But my poor grandmother, I don’t know how much more she can take. If you think my mom’s old fashioned, you have not met her mother.

It should be fun, no?

1 Comment

Filed under family values, travel, Uncategorized

The one where mom revoked the wedding

Gah! I feel so un-hip to the blogosphere these days. I’ve had several ideas come along for posts (most of which I no longer remember…) but, I just haven’t been around the past couple days. And I’m leaving for the corn fields of Nebraska for a week, so don’t expect the MIA trend to go away just yet. I promise I’ll be around more soon. For now, I leave you with…

The story of how my mom took away the wedding fund.

There it was — Wednesday. I went to my parents’ house to do laundry to a) avoid paying for it and b) avoid my apartment building’s creepy laundry room. I thought it would also be a good opportunity to spend some QT with my mom, so I brought stuff to stay the night.

About that QT? Boy, was I off.

It all started out well enough. We were eating dinner, chatting away. My mother and I are really quite close, probably because I’m turning into her more and more every day. On the other hand, my mom is an uptight crazy worrier, so sometimes, well, we butt heads.

During our convo, I mentioned the possibility of DD heading to Europe to work for 6 months. Without even thinking twice, I continued down the path and explained how he had asked me to come with him if it happend and that while that was pretty impractical, I was thinking about spending some extended time over there. At that comment, the conversation went a bit like this:

Mom: Well, but then you’d have to live with him.
Me: (Sensing where she was going) Well, yes, I would. 
Mom: Well, if you do that, don’t think I’m going to be paying for your wedding.
Me: ……….. (birds chirping….)

Seriously. It took me a minute to recover before I launched into the Why’s and How’s and How Could You’s, etc. She simply explained that if I were to live with a guy — any guy — before getting married, I could say good bye to any financial help when it came to the wedding. Now, it’s not like they’ve been saving for my wedding or anything, but they make decent money and I always assumed they’d be there to help if needed. I guess you know what happens when you assume.

I tried to get her back with a sly: So it’s OK if we elope in Vegas because that’s all we can afford? She said that it was my choice and if that was what I chose to do, she couldn’t stop me. Because she wasn’t paying.

Guess she’s serious.

She’s pulled this once before with me. In college, there was a month one summer where I would be between living arrangements and needed a place to stay at school. A guy friend offered to have me rent his second bedroom for the month. Granted, I did like the guy, but we were not dating. Yet. (Or ever, but that’s another post…)

Anyway, when she found out I was contemplating the offer, we fought about it for weeks. Finally, she said Listen, if you want to go live with this guy for a month, fine, but if you do, you’re cut off financially.

My parents paid for all of my college — tuition, room and board, living expenses, everything. I got off scot free and I am more than thankful for that. So, you best believe I wasn’t about to turn my back on that gift horse. Conversation over. I found new living arrangements that did not include members of the opposite gender. All because the idea of living with a guy was too “living in sin” for her to accept. Regardless of any romantic involvement or lack thereof.

Back to the present situation, the rational me gets her point of view. It’s her money and she can spend it how she wants. And I’m not entitled to a wedding. But the little girl in me is like “What! But it’s tradition!” And the cheapskate in me says “Dammit! I can’t afford the wedding I want to have!” 

I guess I’m also frustrated at the underlying issue that causes this head-butting in the first place. Obviously, my mom is very old fashioned and enstilled in me a high moral compass. A compass I like to hope I’ve kept relatively due north on. I’ve never done drugs, I didn’t really drink until I was old enough, and even now I don’t get into any sort of trouble. Shit, I’ve never even picked up a cigarette. So, I’ve drifted off of due north by choosing to engage in pre-marital sex (which also happened at an older age than most), and I would entertain the idea of living with a man before marrying him. Does this now make me a heathen and therefore not worthy of any financial help when marrying the man of my dreams? She keeps saying that she must not have raised as moral of a person as she thought —  yet, as I mentioned above, I consider myself pretty damn moral. Especially by today’s standards. So, I just wish she’d accept that I’m pretty damn good, and ignore the few immoral things I may engage in.

Ah well. It’s not like I’m getting married tomorrow — or even moving in with anyone. The funny thing about this whole conversation is that what prompted it is a completely hypothetical proposition and one that has a 99.9999% chance of not becoming a reality. But still, lately I’ve thought more and more that I’d like to live with DD and I always knew my parents wouldn’t be a fan of that, but that over time they’d get over it and be OK. And now, I’m just not sure. I’d hate to cause a horrible rift in my family. They’re all I’ve got. And when you think about it, it’s such a petty thing. I don’t have to live with someone before I marry them. All of my mom’s points against it are more than valid.

I just hate feeling the pressure of her beliefs on me. Especially when I moved out and away from them long ago.

7 Comments

Filed under DD (aka My Man), family values, rambling nature, Uncategorized

I’m too nice for softball

My company’s softball season wrapped up for me today. The team has one more game next week, but I will be in Nebraska for my cousin’s wedding. As the game ended tonight, I couldn’t help but think that I was more than thankful I was done.

I’ve never played softball before, but I signed up to play so I could get to know some of my coworkers better and get some exercise while enjoying the lovely Michigan summers. Our season started with a lot of support from the company — just not in the form of players. So the first game or two we had trouble fielding a team.

But now, 12 weeks later, we’ve got so many random people that not everyone gets to play. Which would be fine if the people were somehow related to the company. At first, it was spouses, siblings, and friends. Which is great — it helps you get to know your coworkers and the people closest to them. But, the past few weeks have been friends twice removed, and to the point tonight that a couple of the people were friends of friends of friends of coworkers. In fact, I’d wager there are more non-employees than employees on the team. And it seems like those people are always the ones that are uber-competitive and critical of the other players.

I’m not saying we didn’t need players. We did. Badly. But there’s a way to be a part of a team and a way to be a pain in the ass. Especially when you don’t know the majority of the team and the majority of the team is largely uncompetitive.

I work for a nonprofit — we’re all happy people who just want to have fun and not step on any toes. Sure, we’re competitive, but we’re not about to tell our fellow coworkers how to play better. We may make gentle suggestions, but we all know we’re not perfect and it is just a game.

But it’s frustrating to then have the randoms come in, with all their competitive gusto, and tell the other players how to play or scream when one of our plays goes wrong. I know that’s all part of softball, and I can take it if it’s from my friends and coworkers because I know them. But, I don’t take instructions and criticism well from strangers. All I can think is WHO are you?! Sure, these people are usually pretty good, and they do help out our sorry-ass team. But like I said, there’s a way to be competitive and a way to be a pain in the ass.

Then again, maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m too nice for competitive sports. I like playing, but not with people I really don’t know trying to tell me how to improve. If I am going to play, I’m going to play with a solid team filled with people I know so when they give me pointers I don’t wonder who they are and where they’ve come from.

No more transient softball for me.

1 Comment

Filed under rants, S is for sports

I’m thinking about…

  1. Switching gyms. I realized last night that I drive 24 miles roundtrip to the gym. That’s insane. There’s a fabulous new Y right by my office for weekday workouts, and another ghetto-fab but sufficient Y by my apartment for weekend workouts. And it would be cheaper each month, I’d just have to fork over that initial initiation fee. But switching gyms takes so much effort and research, and I’m not what you’d call motivated. And I love the yoga teacher at my current gym. But going from 24 miles to 2? That’s tempting.
  2. New gym clothes. I’ve known for awhile now that I need new clothes as my sports bras are getting a bit worn. But it’s become increasingly apparent in recent days.
  3. Bikini Waxes. I’ve never had one, and to be honest I’m not so good with the maintaining of that particular area. Not that I don’t do it, I just think it’s one of those things probably better left to a professional. But I’m scared. What about the pain?! And what about all the cash it costs to maintain that shit? It’s kind of like that Pringles saying goes…once you pop, you just can’t stop. I fear my monthly budget will go into overdrive with waxing upkeep. I’m also unsure of where to go. Right now I go to an Aveda school near my apartment. But I just came home from getting my eyebrows done and I’m a tad unhappy with them. Should I really trust an unknown student with the V zone?
  4. A new phone. My contract is up (finally!) and I can get a new phone for free-ish at the end of this month. I don’t want to switch providers, but I do want to give them back my LG Chocolate and tell them to shove it up their ass while picking out a pretty new flip phone that will be less likely to dial random people like my mom at inopportune moments when I’m complaining about my ass and groin.
  5. The next big idea. I had my performance review with my boss today (this is the 4th and most likely final one. Thank God.) Anyway, one of the things I need to work on is the whole creativity thing. Getting out of my “that’s the way we always do things” rut and coming up with new ideas. Which I like doing, but it’s hard.
  6. The psychic. My work friends and I decided today that we’re going to head to the psychic on Friday after work. There’s always time for questions and I never know what to ask, outside of the usual “how’s my love life?” and “how’s my career?”. Have any ideas?

I think that’s about it. What trivial items are on your mind these days?

4 Comments

Filed under list mania, rambling nature

Overcoming the crazy-crazy

This weekend was another slew of crazy-crazy Supergirl moments. With DD out of town and a promised date tonight newly unpromised as of Friday due to his travel schedule, I started the weekend in a funk. Which got worse as I attended a various events. My crazy-crazy wanted to come out and party, and my mood was the poor wretch who got dragged along for the gruesome ride.

I had a whole rambling blog written that detailed my crazy-crazy moments, but then I decided there was just no good way to write it without it sounding like gobbledy-gook. And, I decided not to cross my boundaries again. The intimate details of my relationship will stay out of the blogosphere tonight.

But, I will say that my relative crankiness and descent into crazy-crazy Supergirl finally came to a head this afternoon when DD called to check in. I wanted to rationally discuss what was wrong with me, but crazy reared it’s ugly head before I could stop it and I went all passive aggressive comparison shopping on him. I was snide and snippy until he threatened to end the phone call…and then I brought out one of my flaws that he hates…the good ole comparing-to-other-relationships-card.

Yeah, obviously not what I was planning. A light fight ensued. Remarks were bandied, tears were shed. Once we got past our frustrations and to the heart of the issue, we were fine. We both know we’re not blaming the other — the situation that caused my Sad Sally face is just a situation that comes up from time to time. And when it does, it’s not a matter of me being mad at him, it’s a matter of just needing to vent. He’s not a venter, so when it comes up for him, he pushes it back down. Me, I gotta talk it out.

We ended the call on good terms and I went back about my day. But then I got to thinking: the whole scenario had really taken a lot out of my weekend. I wasted so much mental energy on being cranky, on comparing my relationship to other ones, and on wallowing. And I regret it all just a tad.

I really wish I was better about not comparing myself to others. It’s not a good mental health practice for my self-esteem to be engaging in. I’ve gotten better about it, I know the grass isn’t greener on the other side. So this weekend I tried to put the comparisons out of my head, but they were in my face and I allowed myself to succumb to it. And then forced DD to be privy to it.

So I guess my question is…does anyone out there in the great internet void have the same crazy-crazy trait? Perhaps we could form a support group or something. Work through our comparison shopping issues together. Or maybe, if you’re a survivor, you have some tips for how overcoming it.

5 Comments

Filed under crazy crazy, DD (aka My Man), glass half empty, relationships

I like to talk about kidneys

Today I did my good deed and spoke to a group of potential kidney transplant recipients about my experiences with transplantation. I do it every other month and I always enjoy it but I also feel a little weird because I’m just not the average transplant recipient and I don’t want to lead them on with a false sense of ease.

I had my surgery 4 1/2 years ago, a month after graduating college. I never experienced dialysis. I had a living donor, so I was able to schedule my surgery around the other major milestones in my life (it also helped my kidney function wasn’t declining uber-fast, so I had some flexibility in timing). Also, being as young and generally healthy as I was, I had a relatively snafu-free surgery, recovery, and am completely back to perfect health — minus the whole extra kidney thing. Yeah, it takes some work to maintain, but for the most part I don’t even feel like I ever had a transplant. My life isn’t hindered in any way.

Most of the patients I see have a different story. Most are older and seem to have other health issues that make their stories a bit more complicated than mine. Or, at the very least, they’ve been on dialysis so their story is different. I didn’t have to deal with nearly the amount of pain, frustration, or declining health and side effects of dialysis that they did.

I often worry they can’t relate to me. I see my case as problem-free. Snap and it was over. I know it’s not that simple, but as time passes, I’m starting to forget all the minutae and remember it with easier thoughts. I make sure to reiterate that every case is different. And I hope that even if they can’t directly relate to me, hearing my story makes them slightly less fearful of getting a transplant.

To be honest, it took me a long time to get to a point where I could do this. Directly after my surgery, a lot came down on me. I’d been in a deep state of denial all the way up until the moment I woke up from the anesthesia. When I woke up, reality set in and I finally got how serious it all was. That I wasn’t just going to go in one day, get a new kidney, and come out a couple weeks later ready to continue going about the business of being a new college grad — moving out of the ‘rents house and getting my first job.

I went through a bit of depression, which wasn’t helped by all that time pent up in the house recovering, and it took me awhile to get motivated to get a job. After being so focused on my degree, and then taking that big of a pause, I began to feel like I’d lost all my newly acquired skills. I began to forget what my hopes and plans were.

Reality also set in each time I would go to the doctor. While waiting, us transplant recipients tend to talk. And everybody loves a good story. In the waiting room, yarns are spun about hernias, rejection episodes, multiple surgeries, and all kinds of ugly health problems that scare a young woman like me who’s just struggling with accepting this life and is now afraid every ugly health problem is going to befall her. My social worker continually invited me to participate in activities with other recipients, and to speak to potential recipients like I do now. I kept declining her invitiations and throwing away the support group flyers I got in the mail. I didn’t want to have those conversations about health issues because then it all got too worrisome for me.

As time passed, I got more comfortable with my health, and the realities that faced me right after the surgery were replaced by the new reality of a life back to normal. So I opened up more, and finally took my social worker up on her offer to speak to potential recipients. I still don’t do all the support group functions, but I do help out with their annual spaghetti dinner. I guess I’ve found a way to be involved, but not too involved since I still don’t like to hear about all the other potential pitfalls. Denial really is a beautiful thing.

When I left today, I felt particularly good about the experience. People had lots of questions, and I think they were all pro-transplant and were able to glean some information from my story. That doesn’t always happen. And oddly enough, I felt a renewed sense of love for DD. I know it sounds random, but after all that thinking I’ve been doing the past couple days, it all finally let up and I felt for once. I remembered how supportive DD is of my transplant and my health. As our relationship moves forward, it’s going to directly effect him and I’m more than confident he can handle it. And I love him for that. Obviously my last post proves why I have a blog category entitled “crazy crazy” because that’s what I am from time to time. Luckily, it passes.

2 Comments

Filed under DD (aka My Man), transplant