Category Archives: wtf?

When to Opt-Out of Thanksgiving

It’s relatively well known that I got engaged a week after my parents split up. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to plan a wedding OR had your family break apart, but I would advise against experiencing both in tandem.** My job was also at an all-time low. We are talking peak stress five days a week.

For the first six months of this strange new world, my brain seemed to shut down. I had a hard time remembering things. There are dinners I went to with people whose names and faces I can’t recall. There were meetings I forgot I attended within 24 hours of attending them. When I wasn’t forgetting things, I was fretting that I had some sort of early on-set Alzheimer’s. I may not have appeared to be a hot mess, but a hot mess I was.

Which is probably why I’ve never told this awesome story from the first Thanksgiving without both of my parents.

My parents separated in July 2009, and by November, they were still living in our house together. A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, my dad had had it.

“I just want to let you know that I’m moving out,” my dad said to me over the phone. “I am still trying to figure some things out with your mother, but I’ve just come to the conclusion that I can’t live like this.”

We’re either together, or we’re not is what I heard, and I didn’t blame him. He had an apartment and would be moving into it two weeks before Thanksgiving.

When I asked my mom what our holiday plans were, she quipped that they’d be the same as always — my aunt, uncle, cousins, their kids and my aging grandparents all staying at our house. My brother, my dad and I were disheartened. I think were hoping to find a way to work through the first Thanksgiving apart, together.

But on we trudged. And we were low on drama until the day after Thanksgiving. I walked into our house after dinner with D’s family to nobody talking to each other.

“Uh, hi. What’s up?”

My mom topped off her wine glass and led me out of the kitchen and into the home office. She looked like she’d just done battle.

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A Day of Firsts, or, FML, LOL

Today I:

  • Cried Sobbed over work. To add insult to injury, I had started the whole gasping-for-air bit just as our amazing* cleaners walked in, with what appeared to be one of their tween daughters.
  • Received a piece of mail addressed to my dead brother.

So, I pretty much have to go kill myself, right?

*Not being sarcastic. This investment is one of the best we have ever made.

A Yelp Review

“Does this hurt?”

“No.”

“Does this hurt?”

“Uh, no.”

“How about this?”

I was lying on my stomach on an exam table while the doctor pushed on various parts of my spine. I was facing the one accent wall, which was painted bright red. It was far too aggressive for the tiny, windowless room. Size and flickering lights aside, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out what was so unsettling about it: There was no sink. In its place was a giant bottle of hand sanitizer.

I hate hand sanitizer. What was wrong with good old-fashioned soap and water? How could this be an exam room without a sink?

I questioned the cleanliness of the doctor’s hands as he continued to push along my back.

“How about there?” he said.

He was somewhere between my tail bone and my lower back, but not underneath the navy surgical shorts I was asked to put on in spite of having brought my own as instructed on the website. I am nothing if not thorough about matters involving my health.

“YES. That’s it. That hurts.”

“OK. So you’re pretty active.”

“Yeah, extremely. And I’d like to get back at that point again.”

This is what I’d come for. I’d researched ortho docs with a specialty in sports medicine and I was eager for him to drop some wisdom.

“What kind of workout where you doing when started having more serious symptoms?”

“Um, my workout that day had deadlifts in it, and–”

“Deadlifts?”

I felt my face fall. Mr. Fancy Sports Medicine didn’t know one of the most basic weight training exercises in the history of weight training. I was doomed.

“Well, nothing seems seriously awry from the exam, so I think we ought to get some x-rays if that’s OK.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“I’ll get Randy.”

Randy, as it turns out, was their lone lab tech — and the creepy guy in a red polo who had stood in the doorway of my exam room eavesdropping on my medical history when the nurse was reviewing my symptoms. I’d thought he was a wandering and potentially mentally unfit patient.

Now he was walking me down the hall and into an x-ray room that hadn’t been updated in 30 years and saying, “We’re going to get through this together.”

Kill me.

I’ve had a lot of x-rays in my life, and none of the rooms had looked like places women go to die. This one had mastered the Princess Bride Torture Chamber / Civil Rights-Era Back-Alley Abortion Room motif.

I lifted myself onto the x-ray table and stared at the thick hazmat-approved rubber gloves propped up on a side table. What could those possibly be used for?

Randy explained that he needed me to sign a waiver for the x-rays. I nodded and took the clipboard, which had two yes or no questions on it. The third and final question inquired about the date of my last period. Randy was about the sixth motherf*cking person with whom I’d shared this information today.

I handed it back to him and he stared at it for an uncomfortably long time.

Finally he said, “June 15th, huh?”

“Yep.”

He was standing about four inches from my knees, which were hanging over the table.

“So… you’re not like, trying for one.”

“Excuse me?”

“You know… are you TRYING for one.”

His intonation didn’t include anything resembling a question, which made this more uncomfortable.

“No,” I said flatly. “I’m not.”

Randy instructed me to lie down on the table the way Buffalo Bill first told Catherine Martin to put the lotion on her skin — calm but menacing. He flipped on a light above me and zeroed the antiquated machine over my stomach. Then he smoothed my t-shirt over my stomach.

This seemed like a good time to mention that my husband was a lawyer. A malpractice lawyer. Actually, if we’re going to talk about the law, let’s make him an SVU detective. You know, f*ck it. My husband is Leon Panetta and he will have the CIA come to your house while you’re looking at kid porn and you’ll never been seen again.

“OK. Now hold your breath. Hold your breath! Please.” Randy shuttled back to his picture taking room.

He came back out and attempted to help me roll onto my left side.

“I got it,” I quickly said.

“Now, put your hands together up by your face as if you were sleeping. Yes. Together like you were sleeping.”

Oh, I get it. This is how he poses all the dead corpses in his basement for their photos before he ditches them in a a rural Maryland swamp.

He smoothed my t-shirt again and told me not to breathe. Or what? The hose again? How was this happening?

Because I’m a hypochondriac and wanted to rule out a spinal tumor, I told myself to hang in for one more photo. He took the picture and I bolted out of the room and back to the sh*tty exam room.

I sat there fuming, staring at the red wall, trying to pry the sticker off of my surgical shorts and wondering what it was going to feel like to call my husband and tell him I had back cancer AND that I wanted to sue everyone who worked here.

The doctor came in after a few minutes and pulled up my films on the monitor crammed next to the hand sanitizer.

“Well, Megan. These look perfect. I don’t know what to tell you. I think you may have irritated some of the soft tissues in your back and probably need some physical therapy.”

“Interesting. Nothing there at all that would suggest pain when I so much as sneeze or bend over and tie my shoes?”

“No, everything looks perfectly healthy.”

Right. Because by all accounts, you people know what you’re doing in here.

Things That Annoy Me When I’m Premenstrual*

  • Sneezing more than twice in a row. Get ahold of yourself.
  • Hiccups. Are you drunk?
  • Loud eating. Actually, this one bugs me all the time.
  • The sound of dripping water on our chrome toothbrush holder. What the f*ck is your problem?
  • Anything messy. Not that I feel like cleaning it up.
  • My hair. Get out of my face before I break another brush by chucking it at the wall.**
  • Salad. Is there no clean way to eat this? THERE IS VINAIGRETTE ON MY FACE. (See: Anything Messy)
  • My stomach. Water weight, I will f*ck you up.
  • My skin. WHY, GOD, WHY.
  • Colleagues. Annoying most days anyway, but hang on. Did you just ask me a question before I got through a cup of coffee? Now I’ll have to kill you.

*And that my better half has to suffer through.
**I only did this once. It was in high school and even I was freaked out by the burst of rage.

Don’t Touch My Sh*t

This afternoon I was standing in our office kitchen talking to a colleague when another colleague — whom I barely know aside from his name and position — crept up behind me and scared the shit out of me. When he did so, he put both of his hands between my waist and hips and squeezed.

I flipped out on him.*

Here’s the thing. What makes one gal comfortable might be uncomfortable for the next gal. For me, this was not only immature and unprofessional, it was inappropriate.

This video, (NSFW because it uses the word “sh*t” a lot) directed by our friend (if you were at our wedding, he was the emcee), made me feel better.

Of course, in my case, “my sh*t” is my bod.

Feels good to laugh again.

*I told him never to do that again. He laughed. I said, “I’m serious, never do that to me ever the eff again,” and walked away. Then asked HR to document it. Later in the day I overheard him make an offensive joke about Asians… to our new Asian colleague. Ugh.

F*ck Facebook

F*ck Facebook.

This afternoon, Facebook notified me of a new friend request. I stared at the name. I didn’t recognize it.

Just as I was deleting it, I saw the requester had typed a message: “Remember me?”

I stared at the name again. Then clicked on the profile. Then to a profile photo. What. The. F*ck.


When I was growing up, there were a half dozen kids in our neighborhood. We were, at most, four years apart. One summer, a new family moved into a small, gray rental home down the street. They had a daughter who was a couple of years older than me; I was about nine years old at the time. And eventually, we met.

We’ll call her Mary.

Mary lived with her mom and her sister and always seemed to have too much saliva in her mouth. Mary and her sister looked a lot alike: same round face, same stringy hair, same two long front teeth. And they were big. Tall and hefty.

My mom seemed sort of annoyed whenever Mary would come to our door and ask if I was home. It could have been the age difference. Or maybe she judged her home life. Whatever the case, my mom would flatly say something like: “Megan… Mary is here. Dinner is going to be ready in about an hour, so stay close.”

The fact of the matter was she wasn’t my favorite neighborhood friend, either, but I had a heavy guilt complex back then and would usually go out and play with her whenever she asked.

Mary wasn’t into playing sports at night like the rest of us were, so our playtime was usually one-on-one. We would play pretend in my backyard or explore the prairie preserve across the street when she felt up to it.

Mary told me a lot of stories about things that happened at school with her friends. Mary went to a public school, and while I had no bias (and still do not have bias) against public schools, the kinds of things Mary told me about were definitely not happening between my classmates.

“After school yesterday, my friend Jane said she and this guy Rob had sex at her house.”

“Huh?”

“You know, when a girl and a guy get naked and he lays on top of her? They did that yesterday.”

“Oh.”

“At recess last week, Katherine and Casey kissed with their tongues. ”

I felt stunned and confused by most of the stories. I hadn’t had sex education yet, so I wasn’t totally confident about the laying on top of people stuff, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t appropriate to be naked with other people.

One afternoon, it seemed like a Saturday, Mary and I were sitting on my front porch. It was Spring by then, which I remember by the ridiculous jacket I wore at the time: white with neon color blocks on the sleeves. My cousin had given it to me, and he was in junior high, which I thought was cool, making the jacket cool by proxy.

Anyway, Mary started telling me this story about a guy. About a crazed pedophile.

“You haven’t heard about this?” Mary was incredulous.

“No…”

“Well,” she said, “He kidnaps little kids and babies and takes them down to his basement.” She told me about some other stuff this guy did to kids in his basement that I didn’t totally comprehend, although it sounded horrifying.

I did, however, understand how it ended: “He always chops off the little boys penises and puts them in jars on his shelf so he can look at them all the time.”

I had a three-year-old brother at the time, and another one who had just made an unexpected return to our Maker. I was reading books too advanced for my age wherein rare and horrible diseases seized protagonists and covered all who knew them in a wave of grief. And I was pretty sure that this couple from the grocery store was going to kidnap my brother and me in our sleep because about a week ago, they creepily took photos of us when my mom was around the corner in the bread aisle.

I suppose all of this was too much for my imagination and I lost my sh*t. I felt sick to my stomach and ran inside to my room. My mom was soon to follow. I laid on my bed with my face buried in the pillow. Eventually, she pried the story out of me. I just remember stammering something about boy parts in jars. And my mom being LIVID.

She told me that Mary was just making up stories to scare me and that it was totally inappropriate for her to do so. At that point, I was upset AND embarrassed, and it was all this girl’s fault.

The next time Mary came to our door, my mom wasted no time telling her that she was pathetic for making up such horrifying stories to tell younger kids, and to never, ever come back to our house again.

And even though we never played together again, the idea of baby genitals in jars was with me for months.


So f*ck Facebook. Because now Mary found me and is all, “Remember me? Let’s be Facebook friends.”

The worst part of all of this is that, in spite of not seeing her for twenty years, according to Facebook, Mary and I have one mutual friend.

That person is my husband.

What. The. F*ck.

Dan Who?

Scene:

Megan skips Thursday softball to meet friends for a birthday dinner. As she dines in a noisy restaurant, she is surprised to see her fiance’s colleague walking toward her. He’s wearing khaki shorts and a blue button up shirt. They exchange hugs and kisses.

Larry: This is great, it’s good to see you! I’ll go get Dan.

Megan: Dan who?

Music played to create ambiance screeches to halt.

In my defense, Larry doesn’t usually attend softball games and wasn’t wearing his uniform. I thought he was just coming in to eat with a possible new boyfriend. However, the ridicule (rightly) continues this morning with emails and Facebook messages. Worst Beyonce ever.