"Mom, Scott's moving in this week."
That's right, I still haven't told my parents that I'm living with Scott and there really is no excuse. I knew if I didn't force the words out, they'd never come. In addition to being judged and feeling regulated, I don't want to tell my mother things because I simply don't trust her.
After revealing to her my medical problems, my mother immediately called my father. "I haven't spoken to Sarah in two days," she told him. "The last thing she told me is that she has a strange lump in her throat that was impeding her breathing and she's not answering the phone and I'm afraid she's dead." Which in turn caused my father to dial non-stop, and then my mother sent my brother over to my apartment to make sure I was alive and kicking. And when I didn't answer the building call-box, my mother called the police.
I just didn't feel like talking on the phone.
More recently, my brother called to see how my UTI was coming along. Then my step-sister did.
And this is normal for other families, I get that. But my family, we don't talk about anything. If we're offended by one family member, we tell all the others, but we never tell the offender. Thanksgivings and Christmases are masked in polite niceties, but not any real joy. We smile for the pictures, but the following day is plagued with phone calls about who said what, and who ruined the day. My sister-in-law ruined last Christmas, but not without my help.
There was silence at the other end of the phone. There. I finally said it, even though it was still a lie. Scott isn't moving in; he's already here.
My mother sighed. "Sarah, it's about time you settled down." What? Wha? In the midst of my fear of living in sin, of not being perfect and living by the book, I completely forgot about the part where my mother was aghast at the fact I am 26 and unmarried. That all five of my brothers and sisters were married off long before my current age. That for years, I've never even mentioned a date to her. Scott has stuck around long enough and I am finally settling down. My mother was happy.
"Scott just has to settle his debts and you two can get married. Then you buy a house and finally get all of your stuff out of my basement," my mother chirped. "Wait, how much stuff does he have?"
I can't fucking believe this.
"I mean, I can't tell you I approve," she continued. "Because I come from the old school and you aren't married. But this is great for you business-wise. You can finally afford a new car with the $500 a month you're saving. However, I will tell you I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth." She used the southern idiom to express that she doesn't mean what she just said about not approving.
I could hear her rustling on the other end. It turned out she was digging a pen out of a drawer and clicked it open. "So what's Scott's last name?"
I really must not tell her anything if she didn't know his last name, but I had a feeling she was doodling our names together by the end of the phone call.
~Monday, February 25, 2008
"Mom, Scott's moving in this week."
~Thursday, February 21, 2008
So I've been sick. I have been sick for quite awhile actually. I started feeling ill last Tuesday or Wednesday, but made it until Thursday afternoon before I allowed myself to leave work. The flower delivery had just come for Valentine's Day and I wasn't on the list. I didn't think I would be—it's too expensive a gesture for our budget—but when the rounds had come and I had nothing else to hold out for, I went home with a fever.
We never talked about our expectations for Valentine's Day. I had never had a real one before, so I didn't really know what to expect. The one I had in college, Valentine's Day came within a week of our six-month anniversary, so we decided to beat the crowds and just celebrate our anniversary instead. The one I had after college, I was in a long-distance relationship, so we celebrated the weekend before. This was my first honest-to-god, I love you and will see you on the actual day, Valentine's Day.
Scott woke me up in the bedroom at 6:30 pm. "You're hot."
"Ugh, no I'm not."
"No, I mean, you're hot. As in feverish."
Scott left the bedroom and headed to the kitchen, "Do you want your gifts?"
I didn't. Because if I get them now, then it's over; nothing else to look forward to. I yawned and stretched. Getting up from naps is pretty easy for me, but my eyelids felt... bloated.
Scott returned with a glass of ice water and handed it to me. He sat down on the edge of the bed. "I didn't know where you wanted to go to dinner, so I called and made reservations at three different places. One is at 8, another is at 8:30, and the last one is at 9:30. Your choice."
"Aww." All week he had been complaining about Valentine's Day and its conspiracy, blah, blah, fueled by women for women, blah. But in the end, he came through.
I got up to take a shower, hoping the hot steam of the bath would relieve some of the pressure I felt on my face and chest. I kept standing under the stream of water waiting to feel better, but instead I felt tired and sweaty with bloated eyelids. I eventually gave up and got dressed and ready for dinner.
By this point Scott had dozed off on the couch and there were still a few minutes before I had to wake him. I clicked around on the TV while tugging at my turtleneck until I felt claustrophobic and smothered in my own clothing and I ran to the closet with a wimper, exchanging my deviled turtleneck for the fat pajamas. You know the ones. Then I crawled back into bed without waking him up.
We missed all the reservations except for the 9:30 one at our regular place. But when Scott hovered above me on the bed again, talking about dinner again, I began to cry. I was sick. I finally had to admit it. And hell if I want to put on clothes that don't have a drawstring and and do things like sit up. So instead of a Valentine's dinner with candles, I sent Scott down to our other regular place—the Chinese take-out downstairs—and had him pick up some wonton soup for me.
He also brought me a bottle of wine, a single red rose, and a small box of chocolates. Only my boyfriend has alcohol issues, so he drank the wine. And my lovely dog snatched the box of chocolates off the coffee table while I was napping and tore off the cardboard heart top with precision and ate my chocolates.
I've just now replaced my chocolates in the seasonal 75%-off aisle of Walgreens while picking up my prescriptions (all $250 worth. Ouch.) after missing a week of work. In addition to bronchitis, it seems I have an unknown thyroid problem which I have to get screened for cancer (Yea!) and possible surgery (Woo.) And who knows how much all of this is going to cost because I have the worst health care plan in the United States. No lie. It's like I don't even have insurance. Actually, it is so bad that I just tell doctors I don't have insurance. It only covers me for catastrophic events like car accidents and cancer. Well then, it looks like I am covered.
So that was my Valentine's Day.
~Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Thursday my intercom buzzed. "Sarah, Scott's on the phone for you." shrilled the receptionist.
I picked up the receiver to a broken boyfriend. Apparently he didn't go to work again. He said he was having gastrointestinal problems and he's been throwing up all day. "I need you to take me to see your doctor friend," he whimpered.
My doctor friend is actually the father of a boy I went to high school with who happened to befriend my mother. And because he was alone on Christmas Eve, my mother had him over to eat and go to church with us. He was so grateful that he said I can go see him anytime despite the fact I don't have health insurance.
I checked my watch: 3:00 pm. My boss doesn't let people leave early, but then I thought back to the beginning of the year when I got so sick that I left work without telling anyone. I stumbled in the apartment door crying and found Scott, who was home on his lunch break. He immediately called out to both our jobs and took me to cash in my favor with my doctor friend. He did it for me without hesitation.
I grabbed my purse and coat and told my boss the situation and promised her I'd make up the hours and bring her a doctor's note and left. Scott was sitting on the couch, weepy. "I tried to drink a beer and threw it up," he teared. That's Scott's gauge for being sick--whether or not he can have his beer.
I packed him a nice little vomit bucket and accompanying rag and took him to the doctor. The doctor took Scott's word on his diagnosis and wrote him four prescriptions. And when Scott came home, he drank some more, which upset his stomach some more.
Scott was panicky and I've never really had to take care of someone before. He didn't want to put the beer down; he didn't want my offerings of Pepto and ginger ale and saltines. He's difficult to work with because he fights for control even when he's incapacitated. Finally I picked up his cell phone and thrusted it towards him. "Call your mother," I instructed, "Moms always know what to do."
Only his mother was less than helpful. "He shouldn't be drinking, you know," she lectured me, as if his drinking was my fault. "You shouldn't let him drink. It's probably ripping a hole in his stomach lining which is making him so sick."
"You know how he is," I retorted. "You try telling Scott what to do." Luckily for me she laughed in understanding instead of breathing fire at my insolence.
I met Scott back in the bedroom where he was sprawled across the mattress. "Your mother said to not put anything else in your system, not even water, because you'll just puke it up. Just go to sleep so you won't have to be in pain anymore."
"I need to go to the hospital!" he moaned. I rolled my eyes.
And when Scott got up after napping, he drank two more beers. And he woke up again in the middle of the night to throw them back up.
~Monday, February 11, 2008
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good porn collection, will never give it up. It is also universally acknowledged that in my house the VCR is for porn and the DVD player is for movies.
I don't mind. Scott's a guy. Guys like their porn.
Last night we decided to watch a movie and I fired up the ol' DVD/VCR combo, and instead of the DVD player powering on, I heard the distinctive whir of the cassette wheels.
"Oooh! You were watching porn before I got home!" I teased.
"So?" he played it off.
"How many times?"
"Once," he shrugged.
And the great thing about my VCR is the timer tells you how long the tape had been running.
I collapsed into the couch, laughing in hysterics, "21 SECONDS?!?! REALLY?!?!"
~Sunday, February 10, 2008
One of the reasons I am so open on my blog is that I feel like I can admit anything and have someone else chime in "Me too!" Admitting my sexy plan didn't go so sexily and Vi announces that hey, that's happened to her as well. The general consensus agreed that that's a part of Real Life. The fact is bloggers help me the most with my Real Life. We may not meet or even see our fellow bloggers, but we feel we know them. For many of us it's an important part of feeling connected, almost like having another support system.
Peach has taken this thought a step further. She's recruited me, Ariel from From Fuck Up To Fab, Ms R from Woman of Experience and Vi from Village Secrets to put together a book for charity, written by bloggers. Here's where you come in: we would like you to submit (to email@example.com) a written piece about something you've been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness, or your regrets, etc. We've called it You're Not The Only One to reflect the camaraderie of blogging.
Proceeds will go to War Child, and blatantly following in the same fashion as Shaggy Blog Stories, we will be publishing it through lulu.com. This is a no upfront fee Internet publishing site that will take $9.15 per book sold if we make it no longer than 200 pages. We're pricing the book at $17.50 so $8.37 will go to straight to the charity. Because the cost lulu.com takes increases according to how many pages we want published, we do have to stick to the 200 page limit so we can't guarantee you'll get your submission in for sure. The absolute maximum length for submission is 1500 words (but we’d rather not have too many at that length. In fact you may stand more chance if your piece is on the less wordy side).
We’re really excited about this and think, if we get the quality we know is out there, we stand a good chance of getting some great PR.
A small note, we'd prefer it if you submit stories you've not published outside the blogworld. A piece from your own site is great, but not from a previously published hard copy book—lulu or otherwise. That makes this exclusive.
- You must be a blogger with a live blog
- It must be about something you've been through, amusing or serious or any style you like.
- You can submit in your blogname and remain anonymous, or not, up to you.
- It can't be something previously published outside the blogworld, but anything from your blog, or something entirely new, is fine.
- Try to keep below 1500 words.
- You must pimp the book on your site and buy it if you make a submission to be in it!
- Please LINK BACK TO THIS POST to spread the word!
- DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 29th, 2008 for submissions.
- Send your submissions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If it's hugely submitted to, we'll do another one later in the year... so get writing!
P.S. Does anyone fancy designing the cover for us? Get in touch (email@example.com)!
~Friday, February 08, 2008
How to tell if you have bad breath
You can't really tell anything by blowing in your cupped hand and inhaling. Instead, lick the inside of your wrist and let it dry—the heat of this pulse point will amplify the scent. Once it dries, smell. When I did this after lunch, the odor of what could have been the inside of a toilet bowl almost sent me to the floor. I promptly spent the next half hour looking for a mint.
If finding a mint is unsuccessful, scrape your tongue with a spoon. I haven't tried that, but it says that's where all your bad breath particles thrive.
P.S. Don't forget to wash the inside of your wrist in the near future.
Love, Sarah at 3:13 PM|
~Wednesday, February 06, 2008
While commuting home from work, get restless. Decide to send your man a racy text, which is really out of character for you since you don't really text since you got dumped via one a few years ago. "I'm wanna sex you up," you type out, laughing at your Color Me Badd reference, and take pause to wonder what is it with your complete and utter love of terrible music. Your man texts back something equally as racy and you press the gas pedal to get home that much quicker.
Once in your apartment, pour yourself a glass of red wine. Wander into the bedroom to straighten the covers on the bed and light some candles. Shed your winter clothes for a see-through black lace babydoll he's never seen before. Strike a pose at the end of the hallway so when he opens the front door, he gets a full view of you.
When he opens the door, he gasps at your boldness. He drops his keys and rushes to you and immediately grabs you and kisses you. Like a dance, he moves forward and you move backwards towards the bedroom. His arms are wrapped around you and you never stop kissing, even when your back hits the bed. Wild and passionate lovemaking ensues.
While commuting home from work, get restless. Decide to send your man a racy text, which is really out of character for you since you don't really text since you got dumped via one a few years ago. "I'm wanna sex you up, you type out," laughing at your Color Me Badd reference, and take pause to wonder what is it with your complete and utter love of terrible music. Wait for his response.
"Fo real? I dont believe u," he responds. Groan at the fact you're with someone who uses text lingo. Gag a little bit.
Once in your apartment, pour yourself a glass of red wine. Wander into the bedroom to straighten the covers on the bed and light some candles. Shed your winter clothes for a see-through black lace babydoll he's never seen before. Realize it's still winter, and put a robe on over your goosefleshed skin. Shiver another minute.
Check the clock to see the time, and wonder where he is. Finish the glass of wine and look helplessly around the apartment. Finally sit down on the couch and pick up your knitting.
After he knocks on the door (because you so cleverly locked it—he can't come home and see you in a terrycloth robe and knitting or he'll run 10 miles in the other direction), race to the door and unlock it while tossing both the robe and the knitting. Breathlessly strike your pose at the end of the hallway.
When he opens the door, he gasps at your boldness. And then he stifles back a laugh. You shrug it off and walk towards him, planting him a soft and seductive kiss while pushing his leather jacket off his shoulders.
"I'm sorry, but I really have to vent about work first. I'm so mad!" he says.
Remember it's still winter and feel a gust of chill from when he came inside. Retrieve both your robe and your knitting and slink back onto the couch. Listen to him vent about issues that seriously could have waited until after the wild and passionate lovemaking.
When he realizes you're not exactly paying attention, he stops talking and looks at you in your robe. He gently grabs the belt and loosens it and peels back the front layer to peek inside. It's like he sees you for the first time today. Pick up where your fantasy left off.
~Tuesday, February 05, 2008
(While watching The History Channel)
"Baby, that 10 billion trillion trillion carat diamond is yours. Any time you want to wear it, just lift your hand to the sky."
~Monday, February 04, 2008
There is a new tag for posts called Al-Anon. Obviously these posts are about Scott's alcoholism and its effects. Al-Anon posts will have the comments turned off entirely. They are not written for the reader; instead they serve as therapy for the writer: an attempt to collect and expel thoughts and emotions while dealing with the disease of a loved one. It is for my well-being, and not your entertainment.
With that said, I can always be contacted through e-mail. Threats and judgments will not be read.
The official Al-Anon website is located here.