Sometimes I Think About Lighting my Hair on Fire

I picture a lot of crazy thoughts during the course of my day. These thought cause some serious anxiety. But I figure,  maybe if I put them out into the world, they definitely won’t come true.

I’d like to point out, though, that this isn’t my hypochondria thinking. Instead, it’s the S part of my Myer’s-Briggs results. The part that pictures every possible outcome of a day’s events or even just a fleeting moment.

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So yes, sometimes I do picture lighting my hair on fire. Not like…on purpose or anything. Just in a freak accident involving cooking, candles, bonfires, or lighters. No big deal.

I’ve also imagined a hundred ways I’ll die in a possibly firey car crash. Usually it’s when I’m driving, but sometimes when Brian is driving and I’m eating snacks. I’ve envisioned cars slamming into my car from the front, back, and sides. Falling into a body of water off a bridge (this is why my car has a life hammer).

Some mornings, I see myself tripping and falling onto the train tracks. I try to stand far enough away that the worst injury to ever come from the train platform is a drunken sprained ankle (remind me to tell you THAT story).

When I shower, I just know I’m going to slip and fall one of these days. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened yet. I always think about what would happen afterwards. And then I think to myself, maybe I should only shower when Brian’s home. Which, honestly, isn’t a big deal because Brian’s home like 95% of the time I’m home. And I’m sure the loud thud of my body going down in the tub wouldn’t be mistaken as anything normal.

Now that I think about it, guys…maybe those thoughts are kind of morbid. Maybe I should tell you about other disasters I think about. Like the chance of my phone flying into the toilet after…well…pooping. I’m terrified of losing my Internet limb down there and never wanting it back. Years ago, when flip phones were a thing, I dropped a couple in the bathroom, but the toilets were clean.

Or the flooding basement.  I mean, my car has already been flooded. Our basement has kind of flooded. But I picture a giant pool of water rising up from the sump pump well and pouring in through the windows. This does not help me sleep at night.

And really,  sometimes, I just picture myself grabbing a pair of scissors and chopping off my hair. It’s getting so fucking long, but I’m trying to keep it that way for the wedding. We’ll see how that goes.

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What crazy things do you picture happening to you? What are you most afraid of?

PSA: If you’re in Illinois, go vote already.

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How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

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 Got Bullied by the Intern

OK, so my plan has always been to keep my workplace shenanegins off the blog. You know, separate church and state.

Except that I just can’t keep the humor of the best job I’ve ever had away from you guys. Because you’re missing out and only getting the scraps of my life. And that’s not fair to you. Especially to those of you who braved two rounds of unemployment with me over the last year and a half.

Because my co-workers say things like: “I can’t get to hotlegsusa.com. What kind of workplace is this? I just want to look up pantyhose!”

Without further ado, welcome to my workplace.

I work at a pretty huge company. In one of their boutique satellite offices in the city. I am a part of a small, but growing team and this summer we have the pleasure of hosting an adorable intern. It’s like in college when you hosted a scooter (wow, never wrote about that…give me time friends. A scooter is a high school senior that spends a weekend in the dorms and you “scoot” them around and get them to do fun things) only with less peer pressure. Well sort of.

Although I think it’s supposed to be the other way around. You see, this morning, I purchased a pair of these:

wheelie sneaks

Shoes. For grown ups. With wheels. (Source: 6PM)

And it’s ALL BECAUSE OF THE INTERN.

We were talking about shoes with lights and wheelie sneaks and I found these shoes on sale. And the intern was all, “Monday morning. You better be rolling in on those babies.” And I told her, “It’s going to hurt…” And she said, “I feel like this is going to be some high quality entertainment. Mostly because you’re probably going to fall…and I want to be there…to catch you, of course.”

And with that logic, I couldn’t say no. Because you guys love a good falling story, you sick little sadists, you.

Brian’s response (he doesn’t know I have already bought them yet…): “That just… seems like a bad idea for you…”

So…Blog Friends. I’m taking bets. What do you think will happen when I roll through the city on my new wheelie kicks?

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!

Monday Memories: I Injure Myself More Than Anyone I Know

Obviously. If you’ve been here more than once, you’ve probably read one of my tales in which I’ve fallen down. Maybe it was that one time I went skiing, or the motherfucking strawberry, or the time I climbed a mountain, or when I wanted to be JUST. LIKE. Kerri Strug, or the hematoma death stairs, or how many times I hurt myself on vacation a few weeks ago, or even a collection of my favorite injury stories…you get the idea. I’m kind of a walking disaster.

That being said, today is the wonderful day in which we talk about memories! Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. I’ve teamed up with the ladies of It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad to bring you some of our favorite memories. Today’s topic is INJURIES.

My First Big Injury AKA Why I’m Afraid of Monkey Bars

I was about 7 or 8 years old, and one of the biggest pains in the ass in the history of ever. One of mom’s friends was babysitting us, while she worked a relatively short shift at the bar (4 hours or so). We went to a park nearby, and 4 of us kids were having a great time. I was fearless. Crossing the monkey bars, like a boss.

Until I fell.

Like a boss.

APPARENTLY, even though those wood chip playgrounds LOOK safe enough, underneath a half inch of wood chips was fucking concrete. My arm went down rather unnaturally, and I screamed bloody murder. I could have sworn it was broken.

Of course, being 7 or 8, and having always wanted crutches or a cast (I know, the irony right?), I was hoping for a hot pink cast that all of my friends could sign. It would have been…cool. So we went back to the house and waited for mom. She picked my brother and I up, and we went straight to the doctor.

My pediatrician was seriously fucking old. She was old when she was MY MOM’S pediatrician…so those were some cold freakin’ hands. I thought she was lying when she said it wasn’t broken. I could feel the hot searing pain under those freezing hands. I knew what was going on.

Nope, just a sprain. We were told to get a sling, and I would have to wear that while my arm healed.

And Now the Part in Which I Was an Asshole

I know, I bragged last week about how my parents worked extra hard so that we weren’t little assholes. But hey, nobody’s perfect and that includes me. I had my moments. This was one of them.

After accepting the fact that I would not be sporting an awesome hot pink cast on my arm, I accepted (sort of) the fact that I would be wearing a sling. I envisioned a blue one, like everyone else who hurt their arms had. It wasn’t a cast, but it was the next best thing.

But Kmart only had GRAY slings. Ugly. Boring. Medical grade. GRAY. Being the fashion genius that I was, I refused to wear it.

90's fashion victim

Yep, stretch pants and my mom’s sweater. I was SO cool. NOT.

Mom used her mad artist skills to paint flowers on it, to make it pretty. And still, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was setting myself up for a world of disappointment when it came to injuries. While I would OFTEN find myself becoming a pro at crutches (remembering with disdain, the days we would play with the other kids crutches and wish for them ourselves), I never did get a sweet cast that my friends could sign. And I’m pretty sure that because I was a little asshole and didn’t rest my shit when it was hurt, I now have arthritis and carpal tunnel in my wrist.

injury prone

And BTW, this shit hurts like a bitch today.

Go visit my memory writing friends today!

Monday Memories

If you want to participate in Monday Memories to Make You Laugh, send an e-mail to QuirkyChrissy@gmail.com. Next week’s topic is going to be love.

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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!

Monday Memories: Vacation? Or Hell? But James Van Der Beek was there!

Everyone’s got at least one “vacation” that wasn’t a vacation at all. I, of course, have several. My mom probably thinks that I’m going to write about the worst vacation ever, which is also known by me as the worst Thanksgiving ever…but I’ll save that gem for another time. (Love you mom!)

This is one that we all look back on and think. Wow. Just freakin’ wow.

I was 15. A sophomore in high school. It was Spring Break, and we were going on vacation! We had gone to Florida the previous Spring Break (my 3rd visit of now 8 trips to the Sunshine State). That was the magical trip in which we named our dog, Buck, where we ventured through Disney World, traveled to the west coast and spent half our vacation beach side. My sophomore year, though, no Disney  World or beachy ocean view for us. There’d be lots of sand…but no beach.

I heard they called it The Desert.

We were off to Arizona, land of the sun. No rain. No snow. No oceany watery goodness. Just sand. Lots and lots of sand. Mom’s best friend had moved out there with her family, so we were going to visit them. Even at the airport, Brian (my brother), Dad and I stared longingly at the Florida departure gates.

Mom had heard about the beauty of Arizona, and was the only one who was really excited about the trip.

Here are the highlights:

  • I had given up pizza for lent. On the Friday night we were there, my family decided that it was a brilliant idea to order pizza for dinner at the hotel. I walked to the Cracker Barrel next door so I could pick up food that I could eat.  The smell of pizza made me wish I wasn’t Catholic.
  • When Mom and I went to breakfast one morning, James Van Der Beek, or his damn well doppelganger was sitting a few tables away from us…I kept staring, and he even smiled at me. (This was at the very beginning of Dawson’s Creek, when all of my peers were obsessed with the teen heartthrob).
  • That same day, some of my parents’ friends from Chicago were also on vacation in Arizona, and came to our hotel to spend the afternoon poolside with us. Imagine my surprise when James Van Der Beek was someone’s son! I was this awkward 15 year old, talking to this beautiful older boy. I’m almost sure I made an ass of myself.
  • After getting a raging sunburn during the aforementioned super hot poolside afternoon, it rained. And then it snowed. IN FUCKING ARIZONA. Where it never rains. Let alone snows. Especially when one is sunburned.
  • I climbed a mountain. Yes. Me. Klutzy. Crazy. Falls down like a boss. Me. I got all the way to the top of Camelback Mountain. I was a proud Chrissy. I rocked. Even though I only had sandals…and had to wear socks with them. And looked ridiculously stupid. I climbed a flippin’ mountain. And then I got all the way down the mountain. And there were stairs for the last leg of the journey. And at the very bottom stair…I sprained my fucking ankle. Like a boss.
arizona camelback mountain

Note the sandals with socks. I brought an entire suitcase full of shoes and not one pair of gym shoes…

What about you, Bloggie Friends? Any vacay memories that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear them!

Join in the fun! Blog your memories and grab the button!

This week’s participants are

Monday Memories

 

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!

Monday Memories: Embarrassing Moments

I’ve decided to start making the Monday Memories topical, so that anyone who participates with me has some direction for their posts. The goal, remember, is to make people laugh. So let’s err on the side of caution and leave out sad memories for these posts.

Embarrassing Moments

I’m certainly no stranger to embarrassing moments…I mean you’ve read about my bald spot…and the most embarrassing glamour shots ever…and then there was the incident with the strawberry…and my poop story…so when I tell you that I’ve got more, you really shouldn’t be surprised…

Now, I happen to have another poop story, but I’ll save that for another day. Hair mishaps? Thousands. But not today…And as far as fabulously embarrassing pictures go? Here’s one just for fun.

Embarrassing Photos

Note the dirty socks, the bad hair, the huge forehead, and the old school phone.

That being said, I’m going to tell you the tale of one of my many embarrassing moments…

That One Time (Of Many) That I Fell Down

So last summer, after a painstakingly long stint of unemployment, I was able to revisit a summer job I had teaching reading comprehension to students with learning disabilities, autism, and others who had difficulty with reading, spelling, and comprehension (a truly rewarding position…)

I was training in downtown Oak Park, which is a cute almost-city suburb just west of the city. I had previously taken the train down, but as I was no longer living near that line, it was easier for me to drive in. I had worn my brand new dress pants (which were SUPER cute AND comfortable, which is almost unheard of with fancy pants) and flats. Yes. Flat shoes. Because that’s what perpetual klutzes wear. Flats. So they don’t injure themselves.

Of course, I made it through my second first day with flying colors. It was a short day, so I thought I’d wander the downtown Oak Park area (Read: go to cute fancy cheese shop and buy cheese). I was heading back toward my car, struttin’ along, thinking that I was on top of the world, when all of a sudden, I was falling. And then I was on the ground. And people around me (and there were a lot of them) were staring. And staring. And asked if I was okay. And asked to help me up. And I just sat there. And sat there. And told them that I was fine. And I would be okay. I just needed a minute. Or a protective bubble. Or somewhere to hide.  One of those. Or all of those.

There was a searing pain in my knee, to go along with the throbbing pain in my ankle. I had rolled it. Into one of those sidewalk tree squares.

Sidewalk trees

Image borrowed from Streetsblog.org

I looked down at my knee…Not only was there a nasty cut covered in dirt and blood…I could SEE said nasty cut…through the hole in my brand new pants.

People walked by, stared at me, but moved on… After what seemed like hours, I finally got up. With a new batch of onlookers, I stumbled to my feet and tried to put pressure on the ankle. Nope. Bad idea. So I limped my way to my car slowly, while people watched me with bemused glances. Both the knee and the ankle were screaming at me for the pain I was inflicting on them. It looked like I had another high heel free summer ahead of me. (I know what you’re thinking. This girl has NO business wearing high heels. Ever. But I like cute shoes just as much as the next girl.)

What about you, Blog Friends? Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?

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!

Hematoma, My Ass

I had intended to tell you about Second Thanksgiving, you know…on Thanksgiving…but then I got really mad at the stores that were opening up too flippin’ early, and I wrote about Black Thanksgiving instead, which turned out to be awesome, because then it made perfect sense when I ended up in the Chicago Tribune sounding all smart and boycott-y.

But Second Thanksgiving has a place near and dear to my heart, so I have to at least mention it. My college friends and I consider ourselves a family. We were mostly brothers in a fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega). Yes, I said brothers. Yes, I said fraternity. Co-ed service fraternity, in which we were do-gooders who became leaders and drank a lot together.

Second Thanksgiving

The first turkey I ever cooked. And for the record…I don’t even like turkey!

A year after we graduated from college, I decided (much like in college) that I was going to throw a party at Mark’s apartment. He had recently moved to my hometown and I lived with my parents. So I said that we were going to have “Second Thanksgiving” and history began that day.

My friend, Kevin told me, “We should do this every year. It’s better than real Thanksgiving. There’s no bitching families or whining or anything.”

I told him it was because we were the family that we chose…not the family we were born into. And it worked. 6 years later, we’re still going strong. Everyone brings a piece of the feast, so it’s a really fun tradition. (Although we’re sounding more like a real family now…Oh man HE’S here again? Uncle Albert always grabs my ass!etc etc…)

Two years ago, though, something happened at Second Thanksgiving. Something that I think you will find…amusing.

My physical therapist friend (who is now a physical therapist and not just a PT major), Barb, had just bought a house in the city, so we trekked in and had Second Thanksgiving there. It was a cute ranch house in one of those city neighborhoods with hardwood floors and a full basement. Perfect size for our Second Thanksgiving group.

Food was served upstairs, but the TV and football were downstairs. Obviously, you know where this is going…

So I had a full plate of food in one hand, a beer in the other, and socks on. If you didn’t know where this was going before, I’ll bet you do now…

I make it down the first step before my foot slips and bam! I’m on my ass covered in Thanksgiving dinner with a beer in my hand, crying.

A flurry of activity ensued.

“Are you okay?!”

“How’s your knee?”

“How’re your ankles?”

“Did you sprain something again?”

“Did you break something?”

“Of course, she spills food everywhere, but the beer is still in her hand…”

“It’s my ass!!!” Through painful sobs, I explained that I had landed on my right butt cheek and it hurt a whole lot. Like throbbing, burning, horrible pain. But the rest of me was fine.

Someone brought me a new plate of food. My beer was still in tact. And Barb brought me an ice pack and made me sit on it. It was fricking-freezing-Mr.-Bigglesworth cold. But I sat on it.

When I got home that night, I dropped trou and checked out my ass. Shades of purple, blue, green, yellow, grey, red, and pink painted my left cheek. The whole. Damn. Thing. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the art on my ass.

For weeks, this colorful array of sunshine on my behind graced me with pain whenever I sat down. Slowly, it faded. Slowly, the pale white Irish/Polish skin tone returned to my cheek. But for some reason the pain stayed. For a year. At the last Second Thanksgiving, my butt was still hurting. The hematoma was still there. I haven’t felt it in a while, so it has finally dissipated. But damn that shit hurt.

I really feel like the beer saved my ass. Literally. If I hadn’t been holding and protecting the beer, I may have fallen smack on my tailbone, instead of on my one cheek. The main area of pain was just centimeters away from my tailbone.

So thank you, Beer. Thank you kindly.

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!