Love notes

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Above: Notes for my husband. Below, notes for (a portion of) the rest of the world:

Attention, Persons Who Have Active Uteri and Also Have Plumbing (actual plumbing) Issues:

My apartment’s head maintenance gentleman, and father of three young ladies, has informed me that feminine hygiene products are the culprits of my toilet’s semi-regular insistence on regurgitating all over the place.

If you too have this problem, particularly if you live in an older abode, you might consider switching to the “wrap and toss” method of disposal during that time of the month.

This has been a public service announcement from the People Against Being Toilet-Vomited Upon.

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Kiefer Sutherland for President

Just saw a commercial for “Designated Survivor” that included the tagline (line breaks to indicate words shown on screen):

LET

THE POWER

GRAB

And then I had a horrific fear that the next screen would include the words “YOU BY THE…”.

 

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(The last word in the ad, just to reassure you, was BEGIN)

Mental healthcare — isn’t it ironic (don’t ya think)?

“Are you suicidal?”

 This is a question my doctor asked me during an appointment to get a referral to a psychiatrist for new medication. 

In the spirit of both eradicating stigma related to mental illness and avoiding bullshit, I have long carried diagnoses of anxiety disorder, major depression (as opposed to bipolar depression) and attention deficit disorder. So now you’re caught up. 

Trying to find the most effective way to treat/contend with my personal smorgasbord of crazy has been an ongoing project. And let it be known that the medical community does not make it easy. 

A goodly portion of mental health professionals don’t accept insurance, patients often have to see one doctor for therapy, another for drug consultations, another for prescriptions, you get the idea. Basically, people who are in medical need of less bullshit get a hit parade of overpriced bullshit dumped in their laps. Rain on your wedding day be damned, Alanis should have been singing about the mental health system in America.

So when my doctor asks “are you suicidal?” It roughly translates to “there’s not an actual rush to improve your course of treatment, right?” That is the standard: If you haven’t bought the gun, squirreled away the pills, sharpened the razor, written the note… You’re cool. 

To reassure any kind souls who might be concerned for my safety, no, I am not suicidal, nor do I self-harm. 

But the fact that that’s basically what determines whether someone is in actual need of help drives me to a different department of the nut college than the one I’m already attending. 

“Oh, you got slashed across the neck? Well, has your head actually fallen off? OK will if not you’re fine just put a Band-Aid on it.”
This is probably a poor comparison, because a deep enough blow to the neck with a sharp object could either result in the severing of a major artery or perhaps of ones spinal column, or something science-y like that. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. 

The point is the chronic and sometimes overwhelming exhaustion and pure bullshit, to use a scientific term, that accompanies things like depression are not only not helped but are often exacerbated by this lovely system that we call healthcare. 

And I’ll leave you to contemplate the irony of that particular title on your own.

kardashians, purity balls and cutting off hands, oh my

The following conversation just took place in my home:

A: Which cultures seem the most foreign to you?

B: Probably the ones in which punishment for petty theft is getting your hand cut off, or if a man is convicted of a crime, part of his sentence is the gang rape of his daughter, barbaric things like that…

A: Makes sense.

B: Then again, certain cultural practices in our own country are very foreign to me, like the idea of purity balls and pledging to ones parents to maintain virginity.

A: Or the Kardashians.

B: Yes, that too.

A: Did you hear about the Kardashian’s episode —

B: (disdainful stare)

A: Yes, not a good way to start a sentence… where the sisters smelled one another’s lady parts?

B: (even more disdainful stare)

A: Yes, exactly.

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my memory loss is making you suffer,and you don’t even know it yet

I am becoming increasingly convinced that there’s some sort of tiny rodent inside my brain that eats away pieces of it, because I am forgetting pieces of things all the time.

I don’t know if it’s anxiety or ADD or fibro fog or just plain getting old and senile, but my short-term memory is increasingly turning to Swiss cheese. Like I’ll unlock my phone to make a call, and in that seven seconds, I’ll forget who I wanted to call.

Or have you ever walked into a bathroom and started fussing with your hair in the mirror, and then you leave and a few minutes later you’re like,”I feel like I’m forgetting about something…” So you go through everything you’re supposed to be doing in your head, and you frantically check your calendar to make sure you’re not missing an appointment or something, and then you’ll realize, “SHIT! That’s it! I forgot to pee.”

Short Term Memory Loss Support Group: 'Good evening. You're probably all wondering why you just walked into this room.'

Like earlier, I had this great thought about a question that needed to be posed to the world:

What is creepier? Men who say ‘panties’ or women who…

AND I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT THE MOTHER FRICK-AND-FRACK IT WAS THAT CREEPY WOMEN DO!

I mean, there are plenty of things that creepy women do. I’m sure they also occasionally do non-creepy things as well, but this was a specific creepy thing that women do. Not all women, and I’m sure there are some women who do it who wouldn’t be generally qualified as creepy, but it’s common enough and creepy enough that it begs the question–

DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT?!?! WHAT IS THAT THING?!?!

See, this is what I mean. The little rodent in my brain chews holes in it, and then my thoughts or intentions slip through the holes, and then we’re all deprived of what I’m sure would be a fairly fascinating conversation.

Okay, help me out, y’all. What is some creepy shit that women do, comparative creepy level to men who say “panties”? I don’t think it was desperate-creepy, like asking about your credit score on the second date…

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I’m half-thinking maybe it was about women who insist on saying “vulva” in colloquial situations, because “it’s different from the vagina,” but that’s more pedantic than creepy, and that’s a post all on its own. So pretty sure it’s not about vulvas.

In fact, I’m about 58 percent sure it’s not something crotch-related at all. So that narrows it down for you.

You’re welcome.

 

#pitchmyvagina

There are a lot of things I like about freelance writing, mostly the flexible schedule and the ability to do it in my underwear, but there’s one thing I really, really, really hate:

Pitching.

Pitching is The Worst, in title case. It’s not just the fact that you have to have the right idea and the right style, it’s that you have to tell the right person all about your right idea and right style in the right way.

So you spend your time crafting the perfect pitch, and then nine times out of 10, IF an editor gets back to you at all, the response is “thanks, but I’ll pass on this one.” I get it. Tons of pitches come in. An editor doesn’t have time to reply to everyone in detail.

But you know who else isn’t mired in time? People who are pitching stories. Which brings us to the right etiquette: I’ve heard editors say they would never run a story or work with a writer who pitches multiple outlets at once.

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When I’ve applied for jobs, I don’t wait until one company rejects me before I send my resume to another. I’m in a long-term relationship, but when people are dating, or whatever people do in the Tinder/Match/rightswipe age, they don’t wait until one potential connection fails miserably before texting the next one, do they?

I don’t think I could take trying to date on top of everything else. It would be like trying to pitch my vagina.