Our Chick Trip 2013 turned out to be even more wonderful than I had hoped for. There only just 3 women this time. (last year were 5 of us) It turned out to be a magic number and a good personality mix. Every day we slept late, snacked around until the noonish hour and then hit the beach.
One gal made her fabulous signature peach Jello shots and we hauled those down to the beach with us. I also brought along a small personal cooler for my stash of elixir of life, also know as beer. We parked our chairs right at the water’s edge so we could cool our feet in the ocean.
We gossiped, baked in the sun, and sad awful catty things about the people who wandered by. The usual parade of ginormous bellies and banana hammocks were on display, of course. It really reminded me of the obesity epidemic in America. I am old enough to remember when large persons where the exception at the beach, rather than the rule. But everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so it’s all good.
The variety of tattoos we viewed was rather amazing. And not all of them were even remotely attractive. We spent the better part of an hour at the pool one day going back and forth between Jello shots and speculating as to what the large tattoo was on the calf of one woman. We couldn’t decide if it was supposed to be Jerry Garcia or Charles Manson. We didn’t have the nerve to ask.
Last year we all brought one piece bathing suits because we did not want to inflict our middle-aged bodies on fellow sun worshipers. It only took one afternoon of staring at beached whales to make us decide if that if they could get away with it then so could we. We went shopping, bought 2 pieces and flopped in the sand in all our glory. At the tender age of 58 I have a bit of cellulite here and there. So what? I tanned it anyway!
In the evening we sat out on the balcony and watched the beautiful sunset over the water. It’s so peaceful, you forget that there was ever anything to be stressed about.
Had my follow visit with the gastroenterologist yesterday. This was the visit where he tells me the results of the endoscopy (AKA – alien tentacle probe) and biopsy of my stomach lining. It occurred to me around noon that he might tell me something I don’t want to hear, and I started to get scared.
By the time I got to the office I was on the verge of a heart attack. The nurse did the usual measure my vitals stuff. She commented that my heart rate was 125 beats per minute. I asked “uh, is that bad?” She laughed and said no, you just have white coat tachycardia? What is that? It’s caused by getting scared to death at the sight of a doctor in a white coat.
And why not? Doctors are scary – they hold your life in their hands. And if they can’t figure out what is wrong with you, then you get labeled a hypochondriac. After all, it did take these doctors 57 years to figure out that I had bipolar disorder rather than just a severe case of being a cantankerous crone. Not a lot of trust going on here.
Before I go any farther I’ll say that I’m going to live, nothing serious. I have helicobacter pylori gastritis. It’s a form of extreme belly ache caused by the H. pylori bacterium. About 20 years ago researchers figured out that bacteria rather than stress causes ulcers and gastric cancer and can be cured rather than just managed by a bland diet and lots of antacids.
He asked me if I’ve been out of the country recently and I had to laugh. The answer is no, not recently. But I’ve traveled all over the world. The only continents I haven’t visited are Antarctica and Australia. The Doc said that this infection is usually from bad water and is common in Mexico and Jamaica, both places I’ve been to on more than one occasion.
I could have had this thing going on for years or even decades. That’s explains a lot. I’ve always passed it off as “I just have a weak stomach” because I’ve had episodes of debilitating stomach distress for as long as I can remember.
I’ve always had a morbid fascination with that show “Mystery Diagnosis.” It’s a show about people who suffer for years or decades with some malady that the doctors can’t figure out. The thing that brings me hope is that these people never give up. They keep searching the internet and go to doctor after doctor looking for an answer. And they are relieved when some doctor finally figures out what is wrong with them, even if it’s serious.
Well, I’m hugely relieved and I don’t even have something all that serious. All I have is some designer belly bug that is totally treatable. So today is a happy day for me. I can get rid of my recurring stomach ache and get on with it. Yiipeee!
I ran across a joke website a few years ago and it cracked me up laughing. It was a blank page with 2 lines that read “You Have Reached the End of the Internet! It’s time to go outside and get on with your life. I guess there is a limit to things you can find or do on the internet. I’ve researched everything I could possibly imagine 8 ways from Sunday.
So I’m standing at the crossroads again. It’s time to crawl back out of my temporary shell and get on with my life. Oh, if it were that simple. I’m leaving Saturday for a week-long beach trip with 2 girlfriends. Looking forward to the vacation itself, but not looking forward to packing or the airport. And I’m really, really not looking forward to doing the spread eagle in that body scanner machine. It’s just yucky, there’s no other word for it.
I wish that I could just wiggle my nose and magically be on the beach with an ice-cold mojito in my hand. But I have to pack and hate that. I’m afraid that if I start packing too early my cat will get in a snit and pee in my suitcase. Have you ever had the feeling that you have to hide the fact that you’re leaving from your pets? Like you’re doing something wrong and you have to be all furtive about it. But you can’t hide – they know you’re up to something. They’re little furry 4 legged mind readers.
I snuck a load of laundry in today and tried to keep a straight, innocent face. Like “hey, I do laundry all the time – nothing going on here.” Mr. Kitty will bust me though when I start sorting my toiletries and stacking clothes on the bed trying to decide what to bring with me. There’s no fooling him. I wish I could just sit him down and explain “Kitty, it’s true I am leaving town, but the big furry beast, the Hubman, is staying here. You won’t be left alone, God forbid, or packed up in a crate and shipped off to the cat hotel.
Animals are so real. They act on their emotions, no bull about it. “You have offended me oh great one, therefore I shat upon your bath mat!”
But, I’m going anyway; I’m not going to let a cat run my life.
Nobody is really sure when it happened. People just stopped what they were doing, put down their arms, or their reports, schedules, phones, parked their car, or walked away. It started as a gentle stirring of the breeze, or the caress of the master’s hand on the piano keys, a soft slow peaceful melody coming to life.
The event wasn’t on the news, people didn’t panic. There was no run on the stock market or the bank. No looting or rioting. People still went about their business to some extent. Children played, school happened, dinner got cooked, the laundry got washed. The necessary things happened. It happened so gradually that it almost went on unnoticed for quite some time.
It may have gone unnoticed for a while longer if it hadn’t started in the late fall, before the Christmas rush. What did come to the attention of those who track such things was that there was no Christmas rush. There was a small uptick in sales, but what was missing was the frenzy. No one maxed out their credit cards, took out usurious payday loans or careened around town in a mad lemming’s rush to purchase, purchase, purchase.
At first, as usual, businesses stayed open late nights or even all night in anticipation of the shopping rush that didn’t come. What little shopping people did happened in the afternoon or evening and then people went home. After a week of this the employees gave up and for lack of customers went home also. Left with no customers or employees for these longer hours, stores closed earlier, no more late night, 24/7 frenzy.
The December holidays found people off the street, dining with family and friends. Restaurants and bars, usually jammed with lonely people escaping the holiday madness found themselves bereft of customers. By the last week before Christmas small shops and eateries threw in the towel, declared a holiday and sent employees home to their families.
December came and went. In January the talking heads started to panic. Since very little shopping went on in December there was no rush to return or exchange gifts. People weren’t in the store so the January “slashed prices everything must go” sales never quite got off the ground. The nation failed to meet its quota of consumerism.
By February, the talking heads came to a startling realization. No one was listening to them except other talking heads. You can’t con a con; the heads were starting to figure this out too. How you use shock and awe…and fear to sell the news when no one was buying, no one is watching their “news?”
No one heard or cared about their sage instructions saying “now is the time to buy” that new car, buy that spring wardrobe, and buy a better house, although the house lived in now is fine and dandy and holds many happy memories.
March came and a new trend developed. Driving around any neighborhood and it was obvious. Instead of buying things people where giving away. Something more profound than the usual spring cleaning was going on. Garages, storage sheds, and packed quest rooms emptied out. Piles of items, furniture, clothing, knick knacks and gadgets, grew on the curb and overflowed the charity bins at the local grocery store. Thrifts shops were inundated with donations.
By April, manufacturers were in a panic. How are we going to sell all this stuff if no one is buying, what will our stockholders say? Production, sales, prices must always go up, must always improve. That is the way of business. If sales and prices go down then we are in a recession and must buy our way out it at all costs. They calmed down somewhat when they realized that with all the improvements and “just in time” manufacturing and inventory policies, there really was not as much of the huge mounds of unsold inventory as they initially feared.
In May the trend watchers heaved a premature sigh of relief. Ah, it’s vacation time, people will buy clothes, and summer gadgets, and gas, and plane tickets, and on and on. People will begin to consume again in a “normal” manner. Everything will be fine; the stockholders will clap their hands and count their beans, except it didn’t happen. Families decided to have family time at home instead of hauling the family and half their possessions elsewhere, only to ignore each other at their destination.
June came and it was just the summer lull. The economist decided to stop freaking out about it for a month. July came and went without much fanfare.
By August it was becoming painfully obvious that something, only who knows what had happened. It all happened so gradually that the average Joe and Jane didn’t really notice it. They were too busy living their lives.
Wouldn’t it be nice?
It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me. Ellen Glasgow
I tend to wax nostalgic on my birthday. I’ve been on this earth for 58 years now. Most of the time spent in awe and wonder, interspersed with occasional times of inevitable sadness.
My son’s father sent me a picture that drew my mind back into the past. In the picture I’m standing on the beach in Macau with my 2 children, looking across the bay at mainland china.
This moment in time happened about 35 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. The feel of the sand on my toes, the warm sea air caressing my skin, my son’s sweaty little sumo wrestler body clinging to me like a baby monkey, my daughter asking a thousand questions, delighting in every sea shell – every grain of sand. It was a peaceful day that’s been lingering in the back of my brain for decades.
I think living a long wonderful life takes a bit of mental effort. If you let your brain sit back and randomly spew memories, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. A deliberate choice to remember happy times takes some mental gyrations, but the rewards are plentiful.