Monday, July 12, 2010

Let's Recap, Shall We?

A week ago Saturday, the whole Crazy Old Bitch shoplifting episode.

Tuesday, was the fun trip to the Emergency Room.

Thursday was a trip to a new doctor was a regularly scheduled checkup. A doctor who runs her office on island time. When I made the appointment, I was told that she doesn't go by appointment times, but the sign in sheet since some people may need her longer than planned. I was not told that this would translate into a 2 hour wait to see the doctor.

Who discovered I had an infection I didn't know about and prescribed a single pill to take care of it.

A pill that gave me nausea and abdominal pain.

For 3 days.

But I had to leave the house on Friday to follow up with my internist about the leg thingy that sent me to the ER in the first place.

But there was Mr. Softee truck near the doctor's office when I went in, so I'd be able to get some well-needed protein and stomach-coating ice cream.

But I was running late, so I'd see Mr. Softee after my appointment.

Except that Mr. Softee didn't know that we had a date and left by the time I was finished. Because right outside Central Park on a hot day isn't a good place to sell ice cream. Or something.

Saturday--leg still hurts, stomach still troublesome, I wake up with a migraine and.......PINK EYE!

Any bets on what will go wrong with my body next? Since I'm feeling like Job, I'm guessing boils.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


So I went to the Emergency Room on Tuesday. Here's how it went down:
  1. Hey, my thigh looks kinda weird.
  2. Poke, poke.
  3. Hmm...painful swelling in that one spot. I didn't hurt myself there, so WTF?
  4. Hmm...could be a dangerous and potentially fatal blood clot. I should look that up online. Maybe I'm wrong.
  5. I should call my doctor after breakfast.
  6. Make breakfast.
  7. Begin to eat breakfast.
  8. OK, so the internet agrees about the clot, but also says it could be a varicose vein about to happen (oh, joy) or a rare disease only found in the elderly. Or a bunch of other stuff that it isn't.
  9. Yeah, I'd better call my doctor for an emergency appointment just to confirm that I'm not going to drop dead today.
  10. Take a vitamin, take another vitamin.
  11. Shooting, crushing pain up to my jaw and down my left arm.
  12. OK, now you're just having a panic attack. Cut that the fuck out.
  13. Apparently, I don't have that kind of power over my body.
  14. My arm is shaking and looks kinda scary. I think I'll just put these vitamins down and call my parents for a ride to the hospital.
  15. Because I am totally in a condition to be calming my mom the fuck down right now. I'll call an ambulance.
  16. After I get ready. There's a lot of waiting time in an emergency room.
  17. And drink my tea. I'll get a migraine if I don't and the pain's gone, so no need to rush.
  18. Start to gather things and plug in cell phone because of course it's almost out of juice.
  19. Call HA, yelling about where did he put my water bottle because I need it for the Emergency Room.
  20. Gather things, including a book to pass the time. Decide that contact lenses can wait until after I call 911 and put them in my purse.
  21. Call 911, unlock door as per dispatcher's instructions (in case I collapse and can't let them in.)
  22. Get dressed and wait for ambulance.
  23. Read blogs to keep calm.
  24. Resist urge to stop by my Farmtown farm to harvest the cows and hens since that would be fucked up.
And so forth. The heart monitor on the ambulance confirmed that I hadn't had a heart attack, so that was nice. That part was a panic attack after all. The hospital ran some tests including an ultrasound of my leg veins, since I was right about that whole needing to rule out blood clots.

So no clots or anything else to freak out over, but I was given stern advice to follow up with the regular doctor, which I'm totally gonna do because it still hurts and I don't know what the fuck it is.

HA joined me in the ER and when they let me go (and not a nanosecond before), we called my parents for a ride home.

Now, let me make it clear. It's not that I don't want to see my Mom, but I didn't want to freak her out unnecessarily. My Mom isn't usually a hysterical lunatic, but when it comes to her kids, it's a whole different ball game. It's much better for everyone that I didn't call her saying that I was just heading over to the ER to make sure I wasn't going to suddenly drop dead. Just trust me on this. Or take my brother's word for it. I called him that evening so he'd hear about it all from me.

Me: I didn't call Mom until it was time to go home.
My Brother: Right on. Good call.

I come by my high-strungness honestly, is what I'm saying.

While we were waiting for the doctor to come and talk to us about the test results, HA told that I'd be getting ice cream. I said wha? and he explained that's what the song says.

He then brought up the Hospital from the Fat Albert record, which he had on his iPhone, placed his headphones on my head and played it. It does, indeed, promise ice cream.

I was issued hazelnut gelato when we got home. But I still think I'm going to need some Carvel or Mister Softee. The song is stuck in my head, and every time I hear it in my brain, I want more ice cream.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Got Caught Stealing

I like the Jane's Addiction song as much as anyone else, but it's not like I watch the video for helpful hints.

So I went to Duane Reade to buy some eye cream. As you may be aware, Olay has 3 or 4 lines of lotions and I can never remember whether I use the Age Defying or Total Effects or whatever, so I take the empty jar with me.

I found the aisle where they keep that stuff since this is my first time buying eye cream in my new neighborhood (those little jars last a long time, which is why they cost so freaking much). I then began the eye cream purchasing process.
  1. Take out old, empty jar.
  2. Look at old jar.
  3. Look at products on shelf.
  4. Look at jar.
  5. Look at shelf.
  6. Jar.
  7. Shelf.
  8. Resolve myself to the absence of my particular eye cream on the shelf.
  9. Put old jar back in my bag.
At this point, an old blonde woman who looks like she brushes her hair only slightly more often than the average bag lady gives me a dirty look and puts herself and her shopping cart between me and the shelf, making a big show of finding the lotion that matches her coupon. Instead of fighting with the crazy lady, I start examining my eye cream options on an adjacent shelf. I compare the two Loreal eye creams and put one back. The Crazy Old Bitch, henceforth to be referred to as the COB for short, finally goes away and I settle on the ROC eye cream, which is on sale and is the only one they have that I haven't tried before.

Any suggestions on an eye cream that will actually do something about the dark circles under my eyes instead of just claiming it will? That would rock.

I wondered what this woman's problem was and assumed she thought I was shoplifting with a COB 5 inches away from me. Because dishonest people are stupid.

WTF did I care? I didn't steal anything and only had my Envirosax bag with my wallet and a few other things tossed in it, so I could prove my innocence quickly if it came to that. It's not like I never thought I'd have to explain the old jar in the years I've been doing this. White privilege probably kept things easy for me. Someone browner and younger than I am might be watched more closely and with less trust. Which sucks, but I'm the last person to say that the world doesn't suck.

I get on line and discover COB standing next to the registers since rude people don't need to stand on line. She starts talking to herself about batteries, walks over to the batteries, takes a package of AAAs, says "These look short," and asks the guy in front of me what kind you use for remote controls. The guy mumbles and I and the guy behind me both say, "It depends." COB says, "I was talking to him," as me and the guy behind me ignore her and keep explaining batteries.

COB goes back to her cart and starts unloading her stuff when the person who was at the register finishes. No one objects because who the fuck is going to bother fighting with a COB over cutting the line when there are two cashiers and things are moving quickly. Some things are just not worth it.

The other cashier frees up and COB leans over and says something to him. He starts ringing up my products and picks up the phone and asks "Did you finish that thing?" or something like that. This is clearly Duane Reade code for Code Red because another guy came up and my cashier asked him to finish ringing me up. Also, a manager (a thin, authoritative woman) was standing by the exit. I checked my receipt to make sure I got the discounts I should've gotten from the rewards card because I bought HA 2 deodorants to get the discounted price and I'm not going to smell a different brand on him for that long without a discount.

I stepped away from the counter and the manager asked me to come to the back. I said, "Sure," in an emphatic, I've got nothing to hide, you're just doing your job way. In the back room, which contains a table, a couple of chairs and small lockers for the employees (I cringe to think this is where they have to take their break--no wonder Duane Reade employees are known for being grouchy and unhelpful. Though this is the magic Duane Reade where the employees are consistently nice, so credit where credit is due.), I go to the table and start emptying my bag. When I get to the old, empty jar, I show it to the manager, tell her why I have it, explain that the COB saw me putting it in my bag and complained about COB getting in my way when I was trying to shop.

For the non-eye cream consumers in the audience, the jars come in boxes and are usually see-through enough so that it's obvious when they're full or empty. I've been bringing the old jar with me for years without trouble because it's so obviously an old jar.

I'd suspected that it would come to this, but I was still shaking in anger and embarrassment. I'm 39 for fuck's sake. Plus, the last time I shopped in that Duane Reade, my credit card didn't go through because someone had stolen the number and tried to spend $996 in India, which the credit card company flagged as suspect. So I'd had enough issues in this one location for one week.

The manager apologized and explained that they have to act when someone makes an accusation (even when they're COBs) and I left.

I kept my eye out for COB because I'm from Brooklyn and do not take it lightly when someone fucks with me.

She was hanging out outside the store, waiting for the cops to haul me away, I guess. I'm assuming her line jumping was also so she could rat me out.

I walked up to her, staying out of hitting distance, because COBs are not necessarily beyond violence. I said (and I admit that this isn't my classiest moment), "I didn't steal shit." You know, because I'm from Brooklyn and that's how we talk when we're pissed off.

She accused me of getting scared and putting it back and I told her to go fuck herself. Again, not my best moment, but I suffer fools less gladly than most people. Of course, I didn't expect her to apologize. I was mad and I was letting it out. On the street. With people turning around to look. To my credit, I didn't take out the empty jar and throw it at her.

I don't lose my temper with HA because of his patented mellowness, so it made a nice change to yell.

She told me I should go fuck myself because I would know about that because no one would fuck me. Because astoundingly stupid criminals never get laid, I assume.

I walked away because I had gotten what I wanted out of the interaction and should've been at the laundromat helping HA fold the laundry. She shouted that she used to work for the cops. Not that she was a cop, but that she worked for them. Perhaps as an informant when her crack dealer boyfriend pissed her off enough for her to turn him in. Or maybe she was a file clerk who picked up super undercover skills while putting papers into folders.

As I walked across the street, she shouted, "What's in your underwear?" which I assumed convinced the onlookers which one of us was the COB. Also? I was wearing a maxi dress with a t-shirt underneath. Neither of my undergarments is exactly accessible in that ensemble for the purposes of stashing ill gotten booty, or for any other purposes, really.

Fortunately, I have a blog because after I ranted the whole story to HA, I had more ranting to do and the man can only be expected to put up with so much.

He says I should've offered the COB my sympathies for her being such an asshole. I wish I'd refused to go to the back and had the manager look in my bag in front of everyone, COB included.

So now what? Everyone who works in the magic Duane Reade will recognize me as the lady who may be shoplifter? Then again, both cashiers made sure to scan my rewards card and even gave me the $5 off I'd earned with my rewards points. You know, right before they escorted me to the back to see if they needed to call the cops.

Any more I shoulda saids?

Now, excuse me while I do something about these dark circles under my eyes.