Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things have been a bit crazy lately.

Adjusting to being out of "real world" work, trying to whip together something that resembles a home office and bracing for the kids' return to school (and a few of you know THAT ordeal...) has left me feeling beaten. Perhaps even left for dead. My adventure to the unemployment office alone left me with the impression I was about one tattoo and a skipped shower away from being declared "white trash."

Yesterday I experienced yet another lesson in swallowing one's pride. I discovered that with my recent lay-off, we are technically eligible for the free/reduced lunch program. You never really know how much you pass judgement on things like that until you are face to face with the application. Hopefully, I will land a job out of the seemingly million apps and resumes I've got out in limbo. BUT... for the time being, every little bit-o-help is ..., well, a great help.

I gave myself the pep talk during the drive to the school administration office. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Nothing wrong with accepting a little help when it's available. But then I remember not too long ago, certain people I encountered had a very different opinion of the free/reduced lunch program. From where they were sitting on a couple of extremely high horses, they looked down upon it as a tell-tale sign of worthlessness and disgust. As in, if you use this program, you might just as well throw in the towel because anything you have to offer the world isn't good enough. And you bring down everyone else -- drag them down and keep them from achieving all they can.

Well. That is not entirely true.

Of course, taking half a step into the administration office and being greeted BY NAME by an old acquaintance didn't help matters any, but you know what? This situation? It is what it is. And we are not some bunch of deadbeats who are trying to ride "the system" and get freebies because it's easier than actually working. Jeff and I work hard to provide for our family. And if the current economy stinks and we're experiencing a small hiccup in the scheme of things, well then... so be it. We're definitely not alone. And, as our entourage of family and close friends keep reminding us, things will get better.

Things. Will. Get. Better.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why I love age 7...

Driving in the car:

Sam: Mom?

Me: Yes, Sam?

Sam: Can Bobby chew on my ear?

Me: ??? Umm... no.

Sam: Oh. OK.

Me: Any particular reason, or were you just checking?

Sam: Just checking.

She wore what...?!

There's an urban legend circulating of a woman who was embarrassed beyond belief at an OB/GYN appointment because the washcloth she used to "freshen up" was the secret hiding place for her daughter's glitter. And I remember hearing of another woman who was in the same situation, but grabbed a tissue from her purse to "freshen," only to have the doctor discover a postage stamp stuck to her nether-regions.

My story involves neither glitter, nor postage stamps, but it was mortifying all the same.

*NOTE: If you are a reader who considers knowing what type of underwear I wear as Too Much Information (TMI), come back tomorrow. This may include but is not limited to anyone under the age of 18, my parents or any other family member whose name isn't "Jeff."

So, I had an appointment at the dermatologist last Friday to have a once-over done on all my freckles. A non-sunscreen using tanner in my youth, I'm just positive there's something unpleasant lurking just below one of those innocent-looking brown patches. Since a number of them are on my back, and I can't always get a good read on how they look, much less how much they've changed, I have made a point of seeing the doctor once a year for a check up. I was escorted to the exam room and given the mandatory paper two-piece suit: the vest to open in the back and large sheet to wrap around my middle. I was told to leave my undergarments on. Fine.

The doctor came in (first time seeing this particular gentleman) and after initial chit-chat, he started the exam. Face. Neck. Ears. Right arm. Right leg. Left arm. Left leg. Upper chest. Abdomen.

"OK, flip over and we'll have a look at the back of your legs and your back," he says.

I turned over on the exam table, careful to keep the large, paper sheet wrapped around my middle. He examined my back first. Then. My. Heart. Stopped. Because as he examined various freckles and such on my legs, I felt the back of the paper sheet tug and he proceeded to examine the back of my upper thigh. This might be a good time to mention that I had forgotten about this particular part of the exam from last time. The part where the doctor will UNWRAP THE PAPER SHEET from my midsection, thus exposing my behind. My behind that was barely covered thanks to the thong underwear I had put on that morning. And not just a thong -- but a lace thong. Now, before you judge... let me explain that many years ago, I had heard of a particular brand of thong underwear that women swore were the most comfortable pair of underwear they'd ever worn. I tried one pair and was sold. They are, indeed, THE most comfortable underwear I've ever worn. Now they're basically all I wear. No elastic pinch. No bunching into your butt -- despite, yes, it being an actual thong.

So, there I was, with my very out-of-shape butt exposed, yet delicately framed with lace. And a doctor who was undoubtedly stifling laughter. And my face turning bright red, as I tried to pretend no one noticed. I glanced up at the nurse standing at the desk, taking notes in my file as the doctor commented on different areas. I could swear I saw her biting her lip so as not to smile. Or laugh. And I'm sure somewhere in my file she wrote, "OH MY GOD, SHE WORE A THONG!" I have never wished so hard for a huge, gaping hole to open in the planet right beneath me -- falling head-first into a rocky abyss would've been a piece of cake compared to rolling back over and finishing up the conversation with the doctor. Nervous laughter (mine, not his) was rampant.

And, undoubtedly, after I left the office (which I couldn't do fast enough!) I'm sure I was referred to as "Thong Lady," in sentences which began, "You won't believe what just happened..."

My diagnosis? No dangerous, pre-cancerous looking freckles or moles. Just a major case of embarrassment. Next on the calendar is my yearly GYN appointment. Humility and embarrassment be damned... Bring. It. On.