Archives for January 2016

Let’s Talk About Warning Labels

For pretty much my whole life, I’ve ignored warning labels. I’m completely accident prone and have been known to injure myself in the most bizarre of ways, so it makes perfect sense that I should live in such a beautiful lala land and ignore warnings.

If you have any aversion to discussion of cuts on skin, consider this your warning label. The rest of you may find some humor in it. I sure did.

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A few nights ago, I was sitting on the couch in one of the few comfortable positions I have, when I reached back to scratch an itch. It was in this brief moment that I realized I had some grievous malady on my lower back that I didn’t recall before. I yelped in pain and when I pulled my hand back, I took a piece of skin with me.

At first, I thought it was just a weird scratch. Maybe I scratched a back zit or something.  And so I did what any normal person would do. I stood up and tried to take a picture of it so I could see what was going on.

I reached back, tenderly sliding my hand  along my lower back for fear that I would brush against the cut too hard. I quickly realized that this cut was not on my lower back, but instead on my upper left butt cheek.

How the fuck did I cut my butt?

So there I was with my pants around my knees and my underwear pulled down  under my ass, trying to take a picture of my butt cheek to see what was the matter, when Brian appeared at the top of the stairs. He had heard me yelp a few times and figured I was trying to do something I shouldn’t with my injured back.

Oh, perfect. I need your help.

After nearly five years together, he has long since stopped asking what weird thing I’m doing and instead asks what happened or how can he help.

I told him I was trying to take a picture, and as he came closer, he noted the red spot on my back…by touching it. The bloodcurdling scream might have been overkill, but holy crap was that painful as fuck.

He jumped back, unaware of what was going on. I handed him my phone and told him to take a picture.

It looks like nothing. Definitely not like something that would produce such a visceral reaction.

Well, it hurts like a motherfucker. I can’t believe you just touched it with your nail like that.

“That wasn’t my nail. It was just my finger.” He rebutted. And then added, “It looks like skin is peeled away–”

I know. I got a piece of skin when I scratched my ass.

Did you have a blister? Could it be all allergic reaction from your jeans?

I had already considered my metal allergy, and knew it wasn’t that, but a blister totally sounded right. I thought about what I had done in the last day or two that could create a blister. Had I pinched myself sitting in a chair? On the toilet? Did I walk into something and cut myself recently?  Probably. What was it?  I couldn’t think of anything else…

Until it hit me.

Brian, it’s a BURN!

How did you burn your butt–

Heating pad.

OH!

Remember what I said about warning labels?

Apparently,  the warning label on a heating pad ain’t lyin’. For decades, I never believed the protective cover on a heating pad was necessary. I also didn’t believe the part where it says you shouldn’t lay on the heating pad. Or the part where it says you shouldn’t leave it on for more than 30 minutes. And especially not the part where it says you shouldn’t fall asleep with the heating pad.

Besides, the warning label faded off the heating pad years ago.

So now, I have a burned ass and I can’t heat my lower back until it’s better. At least I can laugh about it, because how many people do you know that would burn their butts with a heating pad?

Have you ever burned yourself with a normal household item? Do you follow or ignore warning labels? 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

5 Things to Avoid When You’re PMSing

The other day, I was bawling like a toddler at the top of my lungs after watching a commercial. A commercial. I thought to myself, Why am I crying like a lunatic? What is wrong with me?

As the second question looped in my head, I knew what was wrong. My period was coming. I don’t care what anyone says, Aunt Flo is a real twisted sister. She barges into your life, disrupting your emotional health, your physical well-being and the poor suckers that have to put up with your shit every month.

When you're PMSing, you want to steer clear of anything that might send you on attack. Avoid these 5 things, and you'll be golden.

In order to make everyone’s lives a little less painful (and give my family fewer reasons to murder me in my sleep), there are a few things I’m going to avoid when I’m PMSing until I can get my emotions in check.

1. Watching television or going to the movies. No TV shows. No commercials. No movies. No movie previews. No YouTube. Not even a funny cat video. Because that cat is going to be wearing a dress that reminds me of that time my grandma … oh crap. I’m going to start crying again.

2. Having any kind of conversation with my mother. I love her dearly, but when I’m about to start riding the cotton pony, everything is fighting words. Her disdain for country music sets me ablaze, even though I don’t particularly care for the genre. Her opinions of my wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle are unwanted, especially when Aunt Flo is whispering in my ear, “Sic ’em!”

3. Asking for someone’s opinion. I know that I’m right, dammit. There is nothing anyone can do or say to change my mind, whether I’m asking about dressing for the weather, dinner options or what to watch on TV. Next month, I’m going to take charge and do what I want. All. Week. Long.

4. Consuming alcohol. Hear me out before you get your underoos in a knot. I love Margarita Mondays, Tipsy Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, etc. I’m all about the boozy fun, but during Shark Week, alcohol’s enjoyable traits (Dancing, Laughing, Singing) are replaced by their friends (Crying, Sleeping, Whining). Besides, I’d probably end up lying in bed, caressing a hot water bottle in the fetal position until the cramps subside.

5. Leaving the house. You know what? Might as well just give up before I start. When I feel as bloated as if I’ve eaten 15 hot dogs and three cupcakes and drunk a gallon of Coke, I know I don’t look too hot. I sure as hell don’t feel gorgeous. Why not spare everyone the trouble of telling me I look fine all four times I change my outfit before we go out? I’ll happily stay home with those hot dogs and cupcakes.

I guess that doesn’t leave a whole lot for me to do when I’m PMSing. I could spend that time cleaning, reading a laugh-out-loud book, or writing. But that sounds like too much productivity when I’m miserable. I suppose I’ll just have to use that time wisely … and spend it shopping with my tablet in bed.

What do you try to avoid when you’re PMSing or, for dudes, when your lady is PMSing?

©2015 Christine Wojdyla, as first published on Scary Mommy

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things I’m Learning About Twitter

Twitter is this magic beast; it’s quite the antithesis of Facebook, really. A lot of people shouting and pretending to listen, but no one’s really fighting (most of the time) because they’re caught up in their own jam.

Unless you’re following hashtags and that’s a whole ‘nother world. But if you’re not following hashtags, and you’re just following people, there’s a rabbit hole of awesome that you, too, can experience in the flesh.

When you're playing the Twitter game, these tips will help you make the most of this social space.

I’ve had a Twitter account for years, but I feel like a total noob, which obviously isn’t stopping me from telling you how to win at Twitter. This is what I’m learning.
1. Twitter likes you best when you’re hot, lazy, and love food. The number of people who followed me over the course of the year was completely correlated to the attractiveness of my profile picture (you know what a selfie whore I am) and the number of times I mentioned cheese. My best tweets all involve me not wanting to remove myself from bed, but desperately craving food or eating an embarrassing number of doughnuts. Whatever. Twitter, I get you. This is why we’re friends.

2. It’s all about go big or go home. The way to grow your Twitter followership? Actively immerse yourself in the Twitter. I mean, if you’re lazy and love food, you’ll love wasting your time on Twitter. I do. There are a lot of hilarious as fuck people out there. I think to myself, “can I keep you?” And then I follow them on Twitter. And I can keep them in my pocket. It’s like magic.

3. You can make friends all over the place when you’re weird. That go big thing about Twitter being a time suck? It’s because you’re supposed to socialize in the blue bird sandbox. Get crackin’ and find the people who get your humor/sentiments/anger/love/weirdness. They’ll welcome you with open retweets and faves. Unless you’re a dick. And even then, someone probably likes you. Again with the magic.

4. The pound sign is out. Remember when that was what we called the #? Hashtags are fun to make up but totally not required to make friends. Don’t worry you can still hash your heart out on Instagram. Or you can run with the Twitter pack that plays the hashtag game.

5. It’s all in the hips. Not really. I just wanted to say that. Honestly, I think it’s all about who you are. If you’re weird, like food a little too much and hate getting out of bed, you’ll probably enjoy being my Twitter friend, but if you’re the complete opposite,  I’m absolutely positive there are people who’ll get you too.

What do you like best about Twitter? Which is your favorite social network? Why?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Apparently, This Summer Wasn’t My First Back Pain Rodeo…Or Why I’m a Velociraptor

Guys, you’re not going to believe this (well…yes you will…), but I hurt my back again. And this time, it was much less exciting than showing off doing fancy yoga.

Yesterday morning, I was reaching down to pull on my underwear. An activity I participate in daily. When BAM! I felt the tightness pull, and I knew my back was done for. I’m trying to champ through it, but fuck, it hurts.

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This is my whiny face because it feels more comfortable to stand on the train than sit.


I was looking back at old blog posts on one of my other blogs, and I found a little gem that reminded me of a recent-ish back issue from a couple years back.

OK, so one morning a couple of years ago, I woke up with this excruciating back pain. It got progressively worse as the day went on. By that night, I was walking like a velociraptor.  I ended up lying on couches the whole day. I don’t think it helped the situation.

Apparently it feels more comfortable to sit in a V-like position with this horrible back pain…so when I get up I walked a bit like a velociraptor.

When we got home late one night, back when we lived in the apartment, I went straight to bed. But I could hear Brian crunching. And crunching. The TV was low, so I couldn’t hear that. but I heard crunching. And I knew that he was eating the queso. Obviously, I couldn’t let him eat all of the chips and queso…and my tummy kept growling at me, saying, “Hey dummy, he’s going to eat all of that queso…and you’re going to be lying here all in pain thinking I wish I had some queso…and it will be gone.” So I crawled out of bed, threw on a robe, and stalked out to the living room to join my boyfriend in a late night chips and queso snack. (Tostitos Lime and Medium Salsa con Queso make me happy. I wish I had some now. I would be way happier.)

The next morning, I had hoped the pain would be better…but alas, I was stuck in bed with no more queso.

While lying in bed that morning, I started thinking about all of my previous back injuries…

The time I thought that pillow sliding down the stairs head first on my back was a great idea.

The time I fell down the stairs at Second Thanksgiving and gave myself a hematoma on my ass…oh wait, that wasn’t a back injury…It was just really funny.

The time I toppled down the stairs and my head landed a half an inch from the wall, at midnight, and my mom thought I was drunk, but really, my socks just slipped on the carpet…and I could have broken my neck if I had fallen a half an inch farther. And then I got these giant kinks in my lower back that never really went away…

The time that I was cheering in high school and I was back spotting…and the girl in the air fell on me, and I fell back first on the gym floor…and my back hurt for months afterward.

Fuck. I fall down a lot. Maybe that’s why I hurt myself bending over to pull on underwear, now.

Have you ever hurt your back? What’s the craziest injury you’ve ever experienced? What would you give for a chips and queso snack right now?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Didn’t Want Him to Buy an Engagement Ring

After a certain point in your relationship, people start asking questions. They ask if wedding bells will be ringing in the near future. They start grabbing your hand every time they see you, hunting for a giant, sparkly rock. They address invitations, thank-you cards, and holiday greetings to “Mr. and Mrs. _____” in an attempt to get a rise out of your male counterpart.

For me, this started about three years ago. His family. My family. Our friends. Everyone kept asking, “When is he going to buy you a ring?” For a long time, I laughed it off, showed them my empty ring finger and shrugged nonchalantly. A few months ago, I started answering with the truth.

I didn’t want a ring.

I didn't want an engagement ring

This is not to say that I didn’t want to get married. I just didn’t want an engagement ring. I love pretty jewelry, but I rarely wear it. In the first couple years of dating, Brian bought me necklaces and earrings that fit my personality perfectly. When I’m wearing these beautiful accessories, I think, oh, this is so nice. Maybe I’ll start wearing jewelry more often. Maybe I’ll be the girl who always wears fine jewelry.

Here’s my actual MO: I’ll wear the jewelry for a few weeks until I forget to put it on in the morning. I leave it sitting on the coffee table when I paint my nails. It gets left in the bathroom after I shower. Eventually, the necklaces, accent rings and earrings retire to my jewelry box, where they sit, collecting dust and waiting for some TLC. When I remember them, I pull them out for special occasions – weddings, special date nights and fancy parties, but then they go back to the jewelry box for another couple of months.

After nearly five years in a relationship, Brian and I have built a life together. We purchased a house and established our own little family of two. We talk about the future, marriage and babies. As a proposal drew closer, I’d begun hinting at not wanting a ring, but I wasn’t convinced he believed me.

We finally had a conversation about engagement rings, and I told him I’ve never had strong feelings about my dream engagement ring. I’ve fantasized about the ceremony, cocktail-hour cheese display, reception, honeymoon, and marriage, but never about the ring. It just wasn’t important to me.

I asked him if it was important to him that he buys me a ring. He wasn’t entirely sure. You know what worried him most? What other people thought. He didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I told him that we were probably going to disappoint a lot of people when we started heading down that path of wedding and marriage bliss. Not everyone will agree with our decisions for the wedding, how we choose to raise babies and God only knows what else.

I realized that his concern was mostly with social conventions, and I started thinking about my heirloom jewelry collection of rings passed down from my parents. I told him, “Just steal my great-grandma’s ring from my jewelry box, and we’ll be cool.”

He didn’t look swayed. We locked eyes and I explained I have a beautiful heirloom ring that belonged to my great-grandmother. I would be honored to wear it and have my family be a part of our wedding.

We considered the financial implications of buying a ring. To fit the industry standard, he was supposed to spend about $4,000, and so we talked about the things we could do with that money. From remodeling the bathroom to finishing the basement, planning a big wedding with our family and friends or paying for the honeymoon of our dreams, it seemed to me that stretching $4K further than a size 8 ring would be a wiser investment. And let’s be honest. A four thousand dollar piece of jewelry that I may wear for a year at most? My soul cries for the amount of cheese I could buy with that kind of money.

Sure, he could buy me an inexpensive ring, but I’m perfectly content with an heirloom piece that represents tradition and family. How cool is that? After I made my case, Brian finally understood and was on board with the plan to use my great-grandmother’s ring to signify our engagement. To hell with what everyone else thinks about buying a fancy new diamond. The ring I wear for however many months we’re engaged will be super pretty. And won’t have cost either of us a dime.

A week before we got engaged, he asked me one more time, “Are you sure you don’t want me to buy you a ring?”

I responded with a very confident “yes.”

I wanted to shift the focus from showing off the ring to sharing the excitement about committing ourselves to each other. And so, when my best friend silently pilfered a ring from my dusty, rarely opened jewelry box and asked me to be his wife, I promised to try and wear that ring every day. But for better or worse, when I forget to put the ring back on after washing the dishes or taking a shower, it can live safely in my jewelry box (I hope) while that four grand remains untouched in our savings account.

How do you feel about engagement rings? Do you have one/want one/not want one? Am I just a weirdo?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Have the Laryngitis

I think.

I mean, I’m  a little bit of a hypochondriac,  but I’m pretty sure that my inability to speak like a normal Chrissy, let alone a normal human, puts my diagnosis in the not exaggerating box.

It’s as if someone said, “Chrissy, you have all these things to say and people to talk to, so fuck you. We’re putting your vocal chords in timeout.”

It’s not like I’m trying to plan a wedding here or anything.

Yesterday, Brian and I  had the following conversation while at work:

Brian: How are you feeling?

Me: It’s just my throat/chest/voice. Otherwise I’m okay.

Brian: Those are pretty important body parts.

Me: That’s just because chest = boobs

Brian: I would also prefer you breathing!

Brian, of course, thinks my new voice is rather adorable. Personally, I think he just likes that I am barely speaking. Unnecessary verbal conversation has ceased, but as Brian pointed out, he thinks I’m having fun with it.

It’s probably because I may or may not have attempted singing along to the Gilmore Girls theme song once…or twice…or okay fine. Five times. It wasn’t pretty. Think the worst bad karaoke you’ve ever heard. I’m worse.

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Every word comes out scratchy, and every 3rd word is pretty much inaudible. For someone who loves to talk, it’s a nightmare.

One of the things I like to do when I’m dying of some mystery illness, though, is to consider what crazy series of events led me to this slow and painful death sequence. I’m quite positive it has everything to do with cleaning. Brian and I went to his childhood home and cleaned out some of the drawers in his childhood bedroom. I found his grade school gym uniform! And a certificate for achievement in courtesy dated 4 days after my birth! It was magical and adorable. But I’m blaming the dust for my vocal chords going on strike.

Luckily, when I get home at night, I have everything a girl could possibly need: Gilmore Girls, a holiday puzzle on the coffee table, snacks, and Brian.

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He takes care of me when I’m sick. He’s the best.

Have you ever lost your voice? What is your favorite show to binge watch? How do you handle being sick?

This post was brought to you by Netflix who provides me with a monthly subscription and a device on which I can binge watch Gilmore Girls as part of the Stream Team. As usual this story is all mine and no one paid me for my opinions.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!