Thursday, June 19, 2008

These shoes were made for graduating

Bubba is steadily improving--I'm touched by your interest in him. And seriously thankful for health insurance, because look:

So besides spending the night in the hospital, guess what else I did? I turned 35! And guess what else I did? I graduated!

I had a great seat, up front in the insecure over-educated section. Our speaker, Quincy Jones, with my very own camera:

But the funnest part, besides walking across the stage and talking with the woman next to me who did her dissertation on prostitutes in Russian literature, was take pictures of shoes. The university lets all, every last one, of its many thousands of undergraduates walk across the stage. Quincy and Russian prostitute experts can only amuse one for so much of that looooong procession, especially since Jeff was not getting my "Does it look like it's almost over yet?" text messages because everyone else was clogging up the airwaves with theirs.

So--here's some shoe photos. And I'm so not a shoe person. I even famously (in certain circles) once said, to much ridicule, that I wish that I only needed one pair of shoes. But this was interesting--and almost makes me understand shoe people. Maybe I'll go back to school and write a dissertation on the sociology of shoes.

Those last ones? The most like mine.
Back next week!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy crap

It's okay, baby, we just have to go to the doctor to get a note saying that little rash is nothing and you can go straight back to school. Maybe we'll even make it back by after lunch. Wait, that bruise shouldn't be there. What's that sore in your mouth?

What? Go straight to the children's hospital emergency room? Don't stop home first, and take care not to let go of him because his brain could bleed if he fell?

It's okay, baby, they are sure it's this thing that is serious but will be over soon. Let's just wait for the doctor. Here, a sticker with a loader on it! You are so lucky! A LOADER! On your SHIRT!

What? You suspect it's this thing that will be over soon but you will check for cancer just the same? Okay. I'll sit here alone and think about that for a few hours and entertain my baby. I don't have any food for him, or diapers or toys, can you help? Some string cheese and apple juice, that's great. OK, I'll take care that he doesn't fall down.

It's okay, baby. I know you just fell asleep but they need to get some of your blood. It will be over soon. A B C D E F G.... The wheels on the bus go round and round...Look! It's a doctor! Where is her nose? There it is!

What? The first blood you took wasn't enough so you need some more?

It's okay, baby. They need to stick your other hand. It will be yucky but it will be over soon. I'll hold you the whole time. I'll be strong so you can cry. Tell the nice lady how we saw a garbage truck, and the guy waved to you and said bye bye? Wasn't that fun?

What? No cancer? Great. But 100,000 is considered low and his is less than 5,000, the lowest your test can detect? And you need to keep him overnight and give him an infusion while he sleeps? That's okay, I know you can't give me Tylenol for my splitting headache because I'm not the patient. Maybe we can go to the gift shop and buy some while we wait for the doctor? Yes, I'll take care not to let him fall.

Look, baby! Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa are here! They love you so much! Show them your red bandage! I don't have a red bandage. Daddy doesn't have a red bandage. Only YOU have a red bandage! Yippee!

What? I should keep him awake a little longer because you're not ready to start yet? OK. We'll read some more stories. Can you hurry? It's 11pm. Wow, that's a lot of wires you're hooking up to him. He's supposed to sleep like that?

It's okay, baby. Say goodnight to Daddy! Say goodnight to Grandma and Grandpa! Bye bye! Look, they brought us a big bed so we can snuggle. They'll check you every 15 minutes for a few hours but maybe you'll sleep through most of it. I'll be here. Night night, my love. Twinkle twinkle little star...

He is home safe tonight, and they expect a full recovery. His doctors and nurses all have bubbas of their own at home and were away from them so they could take care of mine.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sleep is for the weak

I know that people are supposed to know a lot about each other before they marry. What are our spending and saving goals? How ambitious are we both? Is he nice to waitresses? Did he have to do chores as a child? Et cetera.

But nobody told me to ask if you have complementary sleeping habits. Take me, for instance. My sainted father just, sort of, doesn't. He was awake when I got up, awake when I went to sleep, and even if he looked asleep he would talk to you. I myself have a touch of The Insomnia during times of stress. I'm refreshed after seven hours and enjoy a nice afternoon nap every couple weeks, and can go for a long time on less and be reasonably high functioning. No big deal. Not just that, but if I did sleep 9 hours a night I really think I wouldn't feel well.

So imagine my surprise at finding myself married to a serious sleeper. I have met people like this before, old roommates and such, who need 9 or 10 hours a night. And for all of them I shrug it off and just chalk it up to It Takes All Kinds. They must just need sleep, right?

But in my own husband? Ha. There have been stages on my way to acceptance. First, the panic--how would I deal with the loneliness of the sleep widow? How would he protect and provide for me if he was sleeping NINE hours a night? How, I ask you? HOW?????? Surely if he reeeeeally loved me as much as my father does he would sleep as much as my father does, right? (See the math there? I'm very smart.)

Then there was the Changing Him phase--see, all he was missing all these years was someone to WAKE HIM UP. Guess how that went? And don't you wish you were married to me?

Then there was Changing Him, Deluxe Passive Aggressive Version--if I stomp around and vacuum and turn up the music really loud he will see what he is missing in all these hours spent sleeping, wake up, and do the vacuuming himself and then lovingly kiss my forehead and wonder what he had done without me. No dice. Off to another nap (seriously! another one!) he would trundle.

Then there was Acceptance, 1.0--I no longer saw him as a freak of nature whose need for sleep (and I finally did see it as a need) does not make him a bad husband, nor me a poor wretch with a sleeping albatross around my neck for LIFE.

Most recently, Acceptance, 2.0--I slowly started to see that if he gets the sleep he needs then life is better for both of us. And--are you ready?-- he might actually be the one to know how much sleep he needs. And all in all I probably sleep a little more myself just from the good influence, surely not a bad thing. So what if I'm the one to hear the bumps in the night? I know karate. And I often have some nice Nora time in the evenings.

I calmly and meditatively, with open heart, await Acceptance 3.0, also known as Acceptance 2.0 with Patch For Acceptance of Hibernation Sleep Levels During The Common Cold. The upgrade has also, I hear, removed the Get Over It It's a Darn Cold For Heaven's Sake and Do You Really Have To Swallow So Loud bugs. When I'm there, I'll be all, you need three naps a day and to sleep all night? Of course you do, my dearest, dearest love of my life! May I offer you some chicken soup? A fresh trash bag for your gorgeously damp and creatively balled up tissues? A cookie? No, you're right, this is the worst cold EVER. Ever. No one, not even you during your last cold, which was really bad, has ever had it like this.

And I'll mean it, right down to my toenails. Ohm.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Barista, chapter 3

So I go to the coffee bar today, and he says, would you watch your own surgery? And I'm all, no WAY, are you crazy? And he's all, I've been asking people all morning and most women are like, yeah sure, or, what the heck, or I've done it. And most men are like, NO WAY, are you crazy?

And then he's all, I've concluded from my experiment here and from watching my mom raise four boys, that women are tougher than men. And I'm all, bite your tongue Nora, don't say anything reverse-sexist like well it took you long enough or tell me something I don't know. And the woman behind me in line says something along these lines with her out-loud voice. And he's all (to her) would YOU watch your own surgery? She's all, maybe, sure, why not. And he's all (to her) I can tell you are a mom.


Do all mothers like to watch their own surgeries? Did I not get the newsletter?
Am I not a card-carrying mother because I want to swoon just thinking about surgery?
And what's the deal with surgery, anyway? There's some veiled assumptions about c-sections in there, I suspect, that I'm not bright enough to grasp.