#askawayfriday: a dish of daily life

I’ll admit it. I’ve never done anything like this before.

I am an #AskAwayFriday virgin.

Still, I’m willing to try anything once. JUST ASK MY HUSBAND! *ba dum chik*

No? Nothing? Eh, fine.

In all seriousness, #AskAwayFriday is a great way to get to know other bloggers and explore the deepest, most cobwebby corners of their minds. Today I will be swapping dirty little secrets with blog empress and fellow WAHM Michelle Nahom from A Dish of Daily Life. You can read my answers to her questions below, but also please swing by her blog and see what nasty lascivious things I managed to trick *her* into revealing!

Here we go!

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Michelle: I often wish I was a little bit funny, but I’m really not. I find your writing hilarious though. I also read your post on all the funny things your son has said…he’s pretty funny too. Do you think people are born funny? Or do they become that way growing up? Were your parents funny?

Sarah (est.1975): Honestly? Funny is a complicated animal. I think in some respects Funny is a natural talent like the knack for music, an aptitude for sports, or the ability to pick up and put down a cigarette without getting addicted (go me!) At the same time there’s definitely an element that’s learned, either from family/friends or through the active study of comedy. (Or both.)

However, I also think that Funny can be a coping mechanism. Feeling depressed but don’t want to bum everyone else out? Be Funny. Don’t quite fit in and aren’t sure how to lubricate your awkward entry into some uncomfortable social situation? Be Funny. Aren’t pretty/intelligent/sexy/effervescent/charming/educated/whatever enough to impress? Be Funny.

Yes, my parents have the Funny. My Dad’s Funny is dry and a bit more subdued than mine. My Mom’s Funny is almost accidental, like she’s tripping over it on her way into the kitchen to get some more coffee. And obviously they both have different boundaries than I do, being of an older generation. Everyone’s Funny is just different.

Michelle: I also read your post about The Mess of Manscaping and it made me think of pet peeves. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Sarah (est.1975): Besides my husband’s pubic hair all over the bathroom floor, I would say that my biggest pet peeve is the group of people I like to call The Entitled Ones. I’m pretty sure you know who I mean. The Entitled Ones don’t thank you for favors. They cut you off in traffic and don’t wave. They become irate when rules that apply to everyone else also apply to them. Their kids are more special-er than your kids. They just feel like they DESERVE things.

Michelle: It’s always interesting to hear about everyone’s worst job. What was yours?

Sarah (est.1975): Surprisingly, my worst job was not the lowest-paying job I ever had, nor the most run-of-the-mill, nor the most difficult.

My worst job was as an analyst on a trading floor. I was the tender age of 24, I had a body that I liked to show off, and I had absolutely no idea how to comport myself in a high-stress, highly-masculine environment. Consequently, I spent the entire time fending off propositions for sex (primarily from married men), being treated “like a dumb blonde” (if you’ll excuse the stereotype, particularly because I’m not even blonde), and sobbing into my cocktails (or if it was before 6 PM, Diet Coke.) It was awful.

Michelle: Share three random facts about yourself.

Sarah (est.1975): Let’s see. Well, I’ve been epileptic since I was about 15 years old. I may or may not have ADD, but I can’t do anything for ten minutes straight without taking a break. And I LOVE nail polish. I’ve got over 300 bottles. How ya like me now?

Yup. A vintage hospital cart filled with nerl polish.
Yup. A vintage hospital cart filled with nerl polish.

Michelle: I enjoyed your post “Mothers of Single Children: The One and Done Mom” over at BLUNTmoms, and I laughed because we all have our own situations that we get used to. There are many days I feel completely overwhelmed and the worst is when I see the “I have 6 and things are completely in control Mom” balancing it all. What’s your favorite thing about being a parent…and the least favorite?

Sarah (est.1975): My favorite thing about being a parent is the copious amount of snuggling. I love it so much that I actually feel an icy knot of stress and dread in my belly when I think about the moment it will all come to an end.

My least favorite thing about being a parent is my son’s constant stream of verbal diarrhea. I’m gonna be honest with you, I like silence. I like being alone. Not great characteristics for a blue-ribbon parent, I grant you, but there you are. I’ve adapted as best as I can, but when my son marches around the house narrating every single second of his life “color commentary style” I sometimes wish I could just put him on mute. You know? So that I don’t disturb his creative line of thought, but also so that I don’t have to listen to it.

Michelle: You mentioned to me that you are a sports mom too. What sport does your child play? Have you ever seen any crazy parent antics on the field, and if so, what was the funniest (or most obnoxious) thing you’ve ever seen?

Sarah (est.1975): My son is still in Kindergarten, so even though he’s been swimming and playing soccer, basketball, and tennis since a very young age, it’s mostly been in the context of practicing and developing fundamental skills. He has *just* started getting into competitive sports this year, so sadly I don’t have any stories of crazy parent antics yet. I’m assuming it’s just a matter of time, though. (I’m also a little worried that it will be my husband doing the antics.)

My son getting FABULOUS on the soccer field.
My son getting FABULOUS on the soccer field.

Michelle: What is one characteristic you see in your child that he got from you (besides being funny, of course)

Sarah (est.1975): He pooches out his lips when he cries. It is the most adorable thing. It’s not adorable when I do it, of course. I would say it’s more disturbing.

Michelle: On a typical day (or week), do you ever take time for yourself? When you do, what does that look like?

Sarah (est.1975): I *have* to take time for myself or my brain explodes. I am a high-maintenance, highly selfish person. If I don’t get quiet time, or “Me Time” as I call it, or “GET OUT OF MY FACE! Time” as I also call it, I get extremely ornery and tetchy. So usually I’ll take a little time when my son is at school and catch up on television, or chat online, or go for a coffee with friends, or read, or play video games. You know. No big.

Michelle: You seem to be a regular contributor to at least one other site that I can see. What advice would you give someone looking to expand their horizons and writing in other places?

Sarah (est.1975): My advice would be to really focus on social media. Your blog should showcase your best material, for sure, but you can also attract the attention of interested blog sites through active participation in (and the placement of additional material on) Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.

Another strategy is to scour the Internet for blog sites that accept submissions from the general public, and submit fresh work to those sites when you can. Just keep in mind that every site’s policies regarding intellectual property are different.

Michelle: We just “met” not too long ago. How long have you been blogging? Why did you start? Do you have an end game? Or are you just waiting to see where the ride takes you?

Sarah (est.1975): I’ve only been blogging since Christmas 2013, so just a little bit over 2 months. I started because a friend of mine, columnist and features writer Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune (like the plug I did there?), encouraged me to give it a shot and I trust her judgment completely. I’ve got no end game other than writing the Great American Novel, I guess. Honestly, I think I’m just waiting to see where the ride takes me, as you put it. It’s been a fun two months, that’s for sure!

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And that’s the end! Once again, don’t forget to check out Michelle Nahom at A Dish of Daily Life for her awesome answers to my nosy awesome questions.

A Dish of Daily Life

 

This #AskAwayFriday was hosted by:
The Real Housewife of Caroline County
Mrs. Tee – Love, Life & Laughter
Bold Fab Mom
This Momma’s Ramblings

Thanks, ladies!

The Real Housewife of Caroline County

NURSE!

[Author’s Note: I wrote this blog post yesterday morning while incarcerated in the hospital for a bad bladder infection and several kidney stones. I’ve since been released until surgery tomorrow, which is when they’ll remove the biggest stone. But worry not, loyal so-and-sos! I’m okay, and I’ve had this surgery before. Just read on and laugh.]

Hospitals are in many respects a necessary and benevolent evil. We all know this. The long walks, the interminable waits, the crowded elevators, the arrogant doctors who ask us the same questions a thousand times, the other patients who are always way sicker and grosser than we are… these facets of the hospital experience are well known to each and every one of us.

Yet every time we find ourselves within the confines of a hospital’s walls – those institutional but familiar “what is this, taupe?”-painted walls — we quickly devolve into a state of bitchy, offended surprise at the delays, inconveniences, and blasé attitudes of medical personnel who are often Completely Over It.

How is it possible that in this day and age we still get caught off guard by these things? They are the unavoidable truths of hospital life. Every washed-up hack comedian has written jokes about them. Every friend and family member has personal stories of them. We’ve experienced them ourselves, over and over again. WE SHOULD KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT BY NOW.

I’m no exception to this phenomenon. I’m typing this very post from a hospital bed, and in the 18 hours I’ve been here I’ve already racked up about a dozen stories of boredom and discomfort, bureaucracy and waste, clueless medical staff and irritating elderly roommates who may or may not be LOUDLY SMACKING THEIR LIPS AS WE SPEAK.

And I want to bitch about these things to everyone.

But we’ve all heard these stories, right? No one wants to hear more of this shit, do they?

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Yup. It’s a rage face. I’m not above it.

No?

WELL, TOUGH! IT’S MY BLOG.

Here we go.

Story #1: I went to the Emergency Room at 6:00 PM and was not admitted to an actual hospital room until 4:30 AM. When a very nice nurse with extremely poor timing came in at 5:00 AM and brightly asked me: “SO DID YOU GET ANY SLEEP?!” I wanted to punch her with my forehead.

Story #2:
Nurse: “Would you like a Percoset?”

Me: “Can I get a heating pad instead?”

Nurse: “I’m sorry, but I can’t get you a heating pad unless a doctor orders it for you.”

Me: “So you can get me Percoset, but not a heating pad?”

Nurse: “That’s right.”

Me: “…”

Nurse: *defeated sigh* “I know.”

Story #3: I am currently not allowed to drink any water. Not even one drop. The nurses have been extremely strict about it — so strict, in fact, that when they granted me permission to have a tiny little swallow with which to take my Percoset, there was much rejoicing.

Still. Fear not. What I *can* have instead of water is AS MANY ICE CHIPS AS I WANT.

Yep. Dead serious over here. About 2 hours ago I was given a humongous 28-ounce cup of ice chips, and I have already eaten over 8 ounces worth. Plus, as the ice melts, as ice is wont to do, it creates… well, you know. Water. Which I then drink.

Call me judgmental, but I think that somewhere in this hospital there *might* be some medical personnel who need refreshing on that whole “Water as Solid, Liquid, and Gas” lesson from elementary school.

Story #4:
My roommate (who I will now refer to as “Old Lip Smacks”):  ”NURSE!”

[Side note: Old Lip Smacks never presses the nurse call button. She just yells “NURSE!” out into the hallway until someone finally comes to shut her up.]

Nurse: “What is it?”

Old Lip Smacks: “I’M HONGRY.”

Nurse: “That’s good! It means you’ve got your appetite back!”

Old Lip Smacks: “IT AIN’T GOOD WHEN YOU DON’T GOT NOTHIN’ TO EAT!”

Nurse: *confused* “But there’s a whole tray of food right here next to you.”

Old Lip Smacks: “NO THERE AIN’T.”

[Side Note: Yes there was.]

Nurse: *pulls the food cart a little closer* “Look. It’s right here.”

Old Lip Smacks: *disgusted* “THAT? THAT AIN’T FOOD.”

[Side Note: Yes it was. Old Lip Smacks had been given PLENTY to eat. She just didn’t want any of it. The French toast was “too sweet.” The peanut butter “made her stomach hurt real bad.” The scrambled eggs were “I DON’T EAT NO EGG.”]

Story #5:
Hospitalist: “So I hear you talked to your urologist this morning.”

Me: “No, I didn’t.”

Hospitalist: *confused* “But it says here in the notes that he stopped by.”

Me: “He didn’t.”

Hospitalist: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Hospitalist: *blinks*

Me: “And I haven’t slept at all so I know I didn’t miss him.”

Hospitalist: *befuddled stare*

Me: “So maybe you could look into that.”

Hospitalist: “Yeah.” *looks at clipboard in vague disbelief* “Yeah, I think I will.”

[Side note: The urologist arrived 5 minutes later.]

Story #6: This morning I heard Old Lip Smacks shouting down a NURSE! for her bedpan. Now, I have an elderly father and elderly grandparents, so bedpans and diapers and whatnots don’t phase me in the least. (I’m mentioning this because I don’t want you guys to think I’m making fun or being agist — I’m merely setting the stage.)

Eventually the NURSE! arrived and Old Lip Smacks was dumped unceremoniously on top of the bedpan. Of course, I was behind a room-dividing curtain so I couldn’t actually see her — but believe me, I could *hear* her. Which is why I got to hear every second of the most DISGUSTING sounds of defecation I have ever encountered in my entire life. It sounded like someone was dragging a serrated knife through sheet after sheet of industrial-sized bubble wrap.

And the SMELL! I’ve never smelled anything like it and I would do just about anything to never have to smell it again. This is not an exaggeration — it smelled like someone had cut open Old Lip Smacks’ belly and found a dead raccoon inside. A dead raccoon who had eaten the worst-smelling shit in the whole world. And then shit it out. Inside her colon.

Lord, it was so bad I could almost TASTE it. In fact, I was chatting to my girl T when the whole thing went down, and I wrote to her: “OH MY GOD. IT’S IN MY MOUTH.” Then, completely coincidentally, my husband walked into the room, almost gagged, and whispered: “OH MY GOD. IT’S IN MY MOUTH.”

(Someone on my Twitter feed once tweeted something like: “I just farted and it was so bad that my dog started chewing the air.” This smell was like that. CHUNKY.)

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Anyway, all of that was funny. But the funniest part was much later, after the nurses had changed shifts:

Old Lip Smacks: “NURSE!”

Nurse: “Yes?”

Old Lip Smacks: “MY STOMACH HURTS REAL BAD.”

Nurse: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Have you had a bowel movement today?”

Old Lip Smacks: *in the sweetest most liar-ish voice that ever was* “OH NO, SWEETHEART. NO BOWEL MOVEMENT TODAY.

Me:

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As my girl T said: “The smell in the air says she’s a liar.”