I Like Not Seeing Bloody Body Parts

When I was 17 I watched a colonoscopy and what I assume was some sort of heart surgery. I stood over a man and watched as a doctor used a shiny metal contraption to spread a total stranger’s ribs open until all I could see was a pumping heart and lots of bright red body tissue. The rest is a blur because I probably passed out or threw up or got so light headed that I had to crawl out of the operating room on my hands and knees. Apparently this was before HIPAA regulations, because who in the fuck would authorize a high school student to hang out during a butt hole exam? At the time, I was participating in a job training program through my school which allowed me to miss two classes every day and engulf myself in the intriguing world of nursing at our local hospital. And by local hospital, I mean a small town hospital with no regulations and doctors who were only hired because they had lost their licence or were being sued by disgruntled patients. It’s the kind of hell hole you warn your family to keep you away from unless you are ready to die a slow and painful death under the care of hacko whackos. After years of ‘serving’ our community, that old hospital was recently converted to a haunted house. Sounds about right.

Pretty close to what our local hospital/haunted house looks like.

Pretty close to what our local hospital/haunted house looks like.

Until I had the experience of watching a human heart pump blood, or a long tube crawling up a human asshole, I thought I wanted to be a nurse. That didn’t last long. Every day spent at the hospital made me lightheaded and I could usually be found hunched in a chair in the lobby with my head between my knees or wandering aimlessly, trying not to vomit on myself. After one semester of that, I decided I would not be pursuing my nursing degree, but would instead wander the planet with no career strategy at all. Nailed that one like a champ.

I’m not sure how nurses do what they do. While at the hospital yesterday for my husband’s surgery it became clear that I would have been the absolute worst nurse on the planet. Think Nurse Ratchet. While my husband was in the recovery room, doped up on whatever miracle pain medication they had given him, he began complaining incessantly about his blood pressure cuff. “Can’t you just take this off? It’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it.” I tried to shush him but he wouldn’t have it. The nurse kindly told him (900 times) that they needed to watch his blood pressure until he was ready to get up and get dressed. “But I just want it off now and then you can put it on later.” He was slurring his words and threatening to take the cuff off on his own and all I could think was ‘If I was this nurse I would be using a pair of dirty gym socks to tie this man’s hands to the bed and then I would make that cuff ten times tighter.’ Not really nurse-like behavior.

Could have been me. If I wasn't a fucking pansy about everything.

Could have been me. If I wasn’t a fucking pansy about everything.

Once we arrived home with two prescriptions, a novel-sized folder filled with post-op instructions, and my groggy patient I realized that I was in charge of this shit show; I WAS THE NURSE. I did my best…for about 25 minutes. Between fresh water cups, doling out meds, grabbing blankets, and heating up soup, I became angsty and found myself sitting on the toilet well past the time I had finished peeing. Then I heard my ‘patient’ snoring, so I bolted out the front door to enjoy an adult beverage and check FB. When my daughter showed up on the porch after school, I handed over the reigns of care to her because she’s 13 and she needs to learn how to dispense pain medication and fill up ice packs. I’m doing her a favor. Maybe one day she will become a nurse and she can thank me for her early training. At the very least, I was off the hook for having to throw away another bloody tissue and becoming so light headed that I fell down the stairs and ended up in the hospital with massive doses of pain meds coursing through my veins. Wait. I’m back on duty.

An Ode To You On Your 40th Year

Fact: I dread getting old. My husband, on the other hand, is thrilled beyond belief to be ancient and unable to control his bowels. He waxes on and on about the possibility that science will reveal a way for him to live well past the century mark. In my mind, that sounds worse than being dipped in hot lava while Celine Dion wails in the background. This difference in opinion exemplifies our marriage and why we have made it work for so long. He seems to have been born with what you would call ‘a zest for life’. I was born wondering why the hell this life thing was so difficult and painfully long. He sees the best in every person he meets, even when they have been complete dicks to him. I hate everyone. He looks at a challenge as something to tackle with passion and a giant grin on his face. I just stay inside and hope no one calls my phone or knocks on the door. We are opposites in so many ways and on the brink of my husband’s 40th birthday, I offer a list of reasons he amazes and perplexes me on a daily basis. An ode to the man who somehow still believes he hit the jackpot when he married me.

Marriage Tip: Marry someone who makes you laugh. You can thank me later.

Marriage Tip: Marry someone who makes you laugh. You can thank me later.

You are a lucky bastard and you know it.

My husband wins random shit all the time. The surprising thing to me is that he actually believes he can win. I don’t have that problem. Our first date was to a concert that he had won tickets to the week before. He told me “I folded my ticket in a special way so that it would feel different when they went to pull the paper out.” That shit actually worked. He wins raffles, drawings, and even Keno. We have a photo of his 1,500 dollar keno win on a one dollar bet. Who does that? My husband…that’s who. I’m over here angrily forcing nickles into a slot machine with the knowledge that I will mortgage my house and sell my children before I ever win a jackpot.

You believe that people are good and will argue that point ad nauseam.

My husband has been screwed over in business upside down and sideways more times than I can count. At one point he was working for a company that straight up lied to his face about the fact that they were selling out and wouldn’t keep his position. Yet, he still showed up and worked his ass off up until the moment they said “We want you to take a commission only position or take a severance.” I wanted to burn that fucking building to ground and drown the owners in green jello, yet he came home and said “It’s no big deal. I’ll find something.” And he did. But not before I raged for hours about how they had screwed him. It’s a trait I admire so much, the ability to not want to kill everyone. He can take a piece of poop and shine it up to the point where everyone thinks it’s just a gorgeous piece of art. I just think it’s a piece of shit.

My favorite people.

My favorite people.

You are a spunky morning person. WITHOUT COFFEE.

I know. I read that sentence and I’m like “Fuck that noise. No one is happy in the morning, especially without coffee.” But it’s true. My husband will roll over to face me in the morning and use his pointer finger to lightly touch my nose and say “Boop. Good morning.” And he does it in a really sing-songy voice that makes me understand why some people keep a large Rubbermaid container and vats of acid in their basement. When I groan and elbow him in the chest his response is “You just need your coffee, princess.” I celebrate your spunk in the morning, dear. Just know that I will never, ever, times a million coffee beans be that person. Even after three cups of coffee.

You believe in me. I still don’t know why.

Living with another person is awful, especially if you live with me. I get angsty when my husband leaves twelve cups and three stinky bowls in his office or when he spends an entire Saturday decorating the inside of our garden shed with Christmas lights. But when all is said and done, that guy is a cheerleader like no other. I’ve tried my hand at everything from a kid’s arts and crafts business (fail) to going to college with two young kids at home (fail) to proclaiming myself a writer who would eventually publish a book and put us on easy street (fail-a-roony). Yet when I come up with another hair brained idea he is the first person to stand in my corner and scream “You can do this!” I’ve never had someone in my life who is more excited or invested in my shenanigans. I’ll take the dirty dishes any day to have that guy in my corner of the ring.

You are a good person. The kind everyone strives to be.

The term ‘good person’ means different things to different people, but I know my husband is a good person because I’ve met my fair share of not good persons. (9 out of 10 people I meet on a daily basis are people I don’t trust or like on any level) He cuddled our babies as newborns and held me tight while I cried about being a huge heifer with leaky boobs. He donates his time and money to people constantly without needing validation. He says please and thank you and then rips a giant, guacamole fart at the dinner table. Which I can look past because he always compliments my cooking. I’m convinced his heart is the size of a Hummer, but I can’t confirm nor deny this as I can’t see through his skin.

That perv stache though!

That perv stache though!

Happy Birthday, Mr. 40! I hope you live to be 150 if that’s what you want. But I will warn you that I won’t make it past 80’ish. I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding another sassy lady to annoy in the morning or fart with at the dinner table while you enjoy your rest home.

Welcome To Club Awkward

Miss 13 has a boy crush and he’s apparently crushing on her, too. This is all I can say about this situation because I have signed a ‘Right of Privacy’ agreement wherein my sweet daughter will cease all communication with me if I spill all the beans about her life on this blog. That being the case, all you need to know is that she is entering what I like to call Club Awkward…also known as dating. Perhaps it wasn’t awkward for you, but it was for me and I’m almost positive it will be for her because DNA is a motherfucker.

My first boyfriend was a lad I knew in 5th grade who we will call Ryan…because that was his real name. He was cute and popular and everything the movies told me a boyfriend should be. So I asked him via note to my friend, to his friend, to him, if he liked me. And he said yes. That was also the year I was a volunteer at the school library, but instead of checking in books on the day I found out I had a real boyfriend, I jumped on the tables and hopped from one to the other in sheer joy that someone from the male species noticed me. Someone saw me and told Ryan. We broke up that afternoon. My awkwardness would continue to be a thorn in my side for years to come.

Just imagine me jumping on all of those tables.

Just imagine me jumping on all of those tables.

In my younger years, I was out with some girlfriends at a bar and we had some gentlemen offer to buy us drinks, then begin pulling up chairs to our already crowded table. My friends giggled and flipped their hair, completely overcome with the thought of free drinks. I looked at the most attractive male of the bunch and said “No thanks. I brought my own money.” Everyone laughed uncomfortably and I specifically requested my own check at the end of the night. My mom had told me years before that nothing comes for free and that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The following year I met up with some out-of-town friends who were in Vegas on Spring Break while I was living there for a year. One of the male companions, a single guy my friend had told me about, was sauntering ahead of us up Las Vegas Boulevard while we followed behind. He had on cargo shorts that looked to be stuffed with either dead babies or room temperature beer. He was oblivious to me and tall and extremely funny, so I put on my awkward panties and decided to make my move.

“Can I have one of those pocket beers?” I eagerly awaited his response while staring at his pants like a hooker in heat.

Do you have beer in that pocket? Please.

Do you have beer in that pocket? Please.

The rest of that story is awkward girl history. That guy married me and did every male on the planet a huge favor by getting me the hell out of the dating market. I damn near invented awkward dating and it would be a fucking shame if I ever had to tackle that beast again. But what if I did?

Last month I found out that I’m on Tinder. You probably are, too. Apparently, if you have a FB page you are linked to Tinder in a social media clusterfuck that I don’t understand. It goes like this…someone you are friends with in real life and on FB is on Tinder. They come across someone they are interested in on Tinder and pull up their Tinder profile. If both of these people are friends with you on FB, then your face will show up on Tinder as “Friends You Have In Common”. So basically you are on Tinder. I contemplated what my Tinder profile would be like if I was actually on the market. I know…yikes.

“Divorced mother of two seeks male (or female) to assist with child rearing, bill paying, and yard maintenance. Must be employed and make more than I make at Starbucks. I’m not a breadwinner, okay? I like reading books, traveling, drinking coffee on my porch, and then drinking alcohol on my porch. Basically I like my porch. And alcohol. I need you to be available for one or two major cry sessions per week and I’m willing to have sex twice per week on scheduled days, but not the same days when I’m crying. Also, not two days in a row or on days when I work. I don’t iron clothes, kiss passionately in public, have elevator sex, watch scary movies, or eat treats from other people’s houses. Inquire by texting me because I don’t take phone calls and I will not send you a picture of my boobs. Trust me…you’ll thank me for that later.”

Me...with everything dating related.

Me…with everything dating related.

See? Absolutely no one would be interested in that scenario, minus my husband. The same man who seems convinced that since we have been married there have been men hitting on me, which doesn’t seem likely considering that they didn’t hit on me when I was single. But the issue is that I’m fucking oblivious and awkward. Case in point….

I was working the other day, making drinks at the Bux, and a handsome fellow in military garb looked over and said something that I didn’t understand because I was working and not listening. All I heard was “Mandy”. And I forgot I was wearing a name tag. So obviously I assumed he knew me.

In all my coolness, I pretended to know him and said “Hey you, how’s it going?”

He replied with “No. I was just saying that I liked your hair.”

“Thanks. I didn’t wash it today.” Because obviously he needed that information.

As I handed him his drink, I made some comment about it being very small and probably not enough coffee for the day. He smiled and then something happened with his eye. Like he had a eyelash in it or something and it closed at me and the first thing I thought was “Does he have an eyelash in his eyeball?” Then I told my husband about that weirdo and he’s like “I told you that you get hit on.” And I’m still convinced there was an eyelash involved. Cause the awkward club is never ending. Welcome, dear daughter. I hope you find a human with warm pocket beers who will save you from the hell of dating forever. The end.