Tag Archives: insanity

What I Did On My Spring Vacation

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After the drugs kicked in...

Any of you who have read my previous posts where I tell you about my fun and relaxing vacations are obviously reading the wrong blog…because I have never had a fun and relaxing vacation. Ever. My vacations are filled with stress, anger, fear and vomit. That’s MY idea of a good time! This year, despite my recognized and accepted fear of flying, I decided to fly the kids and myself to Florida to visit the Mecca For The Modern American Family, Disney World.

This isn’t our first time. I went as a kid and have been back twice more with my own children. I like Disney. It isn’t an obsession or anything. I appreciate it for what it is, the iconic nature of the place that was built for families. But my idea of a great vacation would be to rent a house in Martha’s Vineyard and shop and eat in small, exclusive, upscale places and read on the beach. But I have kids, so I felt the pull…Disney it is. But, I am a single mother and I just can’t see driving from New York to Florida with a 13 year old and a 9 year old.

I tried the train, which would have taken about 24 hours and doesn’t leave the ground, but it was booked. I thought about the bus as I had taken the bus to and from Texas and Philadelphia and Chicago when I was a wild and crazy teen. The bus would have taken about 28 hours and I remembered how the smelly, weird, drooling guy ALWAYS sought me out, sat next to me and then fell asleep on my shoulder. Not only do I have NO patience for the smelly, weird, drooling guy anymore, but I didn’t want to subject my kids to him either. Because in my experience there is a smelly, weird, drooling guy on every bus. So, no to the bus. I tried to talk my neighbor into driving with me but that was a no go also….which leaves me with the last resort: flying. Shit.

The last time we went to Disney we flew and it was the first time I was aware that I was terrified of flying. Prior to that trip, I knew I wasn’t a huge fan of flying but I would take a Dramamine and usually sleep. That last time I flew I had a panic attack for the 2 and a half hours we were in the air. I took about 10 Dramamine while in flight, which did nothing for me, until we landed and I basically passed out on the ride home. This time I knew I needed to be better prepared with stronger medication. I called my doctor.

She prescribed me 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills which sent me into a panic attack. Because it was only 6. I know how my vacations go. I was anticipating a week-long panic attack and 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills weren’t going to cover it. So, I wrung my hands and creased my forehead for 3 days and then called and exposed my crazy to my doctor and asked for at least 6 more. She listened to my logic and called in 6 more. Honestly, if my doctor could live inside my body for just one day she would burn thru her prescription pad writing out all sorts of meds I have no doubt.

And so the day came  to take myself and my two kids to the airport. I have read thru all the new rules and regulations, I have reaquainted myself with all my meditation techniques to relax, I was concentrating on the fun we would have once we got there. I know how to do this stuff but it is a Don Quixote sitch in my brain. The Don Quixote where he is going full tilt at the windmill but with a toothbrush…? Anyway, we are there waiting for the required 15 hours before the flight takes off. Ya know, 15 hours to sit and get nice and worked up with fear and anxiety. I took my calmthehelldownyouspaz pill  an hour before we were to take off. And it did nothing. Not. A. Thing. My panic was escalating by the second. The kids were doing their best to act as if all was right in the world, playing with their Nintendo, listening to their iPod, giving me sideways glances to see if my head would actually explode. I decided to kill some time and distract myself with a potty break. Good idea.

Except that being in the bathroom made me think of throwing up. I didn’t want to throw up. So I got the hell out of the bathroom. But the seed was planted and I began to notice that I felt sick to my stomach. Dramamine! My old friend! I popped two Dramamine and waited. Half hour later we had to do another potty run. That damn bathroom…despite the calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and the Dramamine, I totally puked. Now I KNOW it’s a vacation!

We go back to the boarding area to wait some more and then we board the damn plane. I immediately check for barf bags. None. WHAT??? I flag the flight attendant and ask for one. I also give her a heads up that I am probably going to be her “annoying” passenger on this flight because I am not a good flyer. To her credit, she smiled, brought me a handful of barf bags, some plastic bags and a ginger ale with a smile. Just before we started taxi-ing I turned to my kids and said “I don’t think I can do this.” and they, being 9 and 13 said ” I think you can mom!” And just as I was about to stand up and run off the plane we started moving and I knew it was too late. I popped another calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and 2 more Dramamine, said a prayer, and tried to find something to watch on the tv while I ignored the safety instructions about what to do if we were about to die…I mean crash (same thing).

All of the sudden, I felt numb. Like mentally. Like it didn’t really matter that we were in a plane, flying above the clouds. It was totally fine and if we crashed then oh well. My 13 yr old, on the other hand, came to a very sudden realization that she didn’t like flying! thru her tears she downed a couple of Dramamine while I held her hand and tried to get my “whatever” state of mind to rub off on her. What would a vacation be if it didn’t involve crying and panic and vomit? Well, it would be not MY vacation that’s for sure!!!

Come to find out the 9 yr old has a problem with landing. She didn’t cry but she squeezed my hand so hard and tried to make everyone around us be quiet and still. We really are a fun family huh? But we made it. I casually mention to the kids that we could always take the bus home…

After that beginning you would think that things could only get better right? Except that this is me we are talking about. Ofcourse I am on an antibiotic that says right on the bottle “avoid direct prolonged sun exposure” and ofcourse I am in Florida in April and the weather is completely perfect, sunny, 80’s beautiful. Now, I didn’t notice the STAY OUT OF THE SUN warning on the bottle of pills. I was just amazed that we were lucking out with the weather. Because this was my vacation, I just assumed it would be the first record snowfall in Florida in April ever and packed accordingly. We had jeans and long sleeve tee shirts. We all had 2 pairs of shorts and 2 tee shirts. So, we did some shopping. Hey… the weather is nice, we get to shop for new clothes…this has GOT to be someone else’s vacation…

Day One...survived the plane ride, the weather is perfect...who's vacation is this???

Day One we shopped. Day Two we did The Magic Kingdom. It was awesome! The sun was shining, the lines weren’t very long, the sun was shining. I got a bit of a burn but nothing bad. Day Three dawns just as sunny and warm and we head off to Animal Kingdom. I wasn’t feeling great and the places where the sun had burned my skin were feeling very prickly. Like needles under my skin but itchy also. I stopped taking the antibiotic that day after I read the sun warning and I grabbed some Benadryl from the gift shop just incase. I have taken enough vacations to know that if it is gonna happen, it’s gonna be bad. Later that day we went to Hollywood Studios. By that time I had purchased a black umbrella (because that is all they had) and was walking around like I was Michael Jackson, trying to stay covered. My mood was deteriorating rapidly although I was trying so hard to stay happy in the happiest place on earth for the sake of the kids. We went back to the resort and once night fell I started feeling a bit better. The kids joined a Wii competition,we swam and I took some Benadryl. All the other parents were having a drink and here I was pounding the Benadryl, praying that I didn’t wake up with hives. I didn’t wake up with hives. I woke up with my entire body tingling like it was on fire from the inside out. But what do I do? take some more Benadryl and head off to Epcot as it is our last day…and I love Epcot.

We got thru 3 rides and my lips started to swell. And as hip as swollen lips are, I knew it was a bad sign. So I get the kids, we go back to the resort and I call the front desk to try to figure out how I get help before the swelling travels to my throat. The front desk lady helpfully called me a cab to take me to Celebration ER. The kids and I pile into the cab and I feel like I want to die except I can’t cause I have a zillion needles under my skin trying to poke their way out and I have the kids who would be so bummed if I died at Disney World.

We walked into a hospital the likes of which I have never encountered. It was nicer than our resort. I said allergic reaction and I was immediately whisked away to  triage. I was put into a room that had doors and tv and a private bathroom. The last time I went to the ER in NY where I live, I was stuck on a cot in the hallway and the only entertainment was a drunk, crazy guy who was spitting on the cops and hitting on me. Celebration ER is paradise! They dose me up with steroids and pepcid and fluids and the Doctor tells me I do have hives but they are internal and on every nerve ending in my body. Leave it to me to have a unique allergic reaction while on vacation! Don’t be jealous.

The nurses were so nice and after 3 hours asked if I felt ready to leave, that I could stay as long as I wanted…what??? But I knew my kids were getting bored, ya know, after the excitement of having their mother almost drop dead and all…and I opted to go back to the resort and let the kids swim. The Doctor gave me strict orders to stay out of the sun, a prescription for more steroids and 2 epi pens because now I am apparently going to be allergic to bees also. Good to know.

We went back and the kids swam while I slept and then packed.

Oh crap. we have to FLY home?!?

Day Five we went to Downtown Disney and shopped like the girls we are. Had a lovely lunch and grabbed the resort bus to the airport. Oh damn it. We had to fly home!!! In all of the excitement of almost dying, I totally forgot that all three of us had serious issues with the whole plane thing. Great. Three calmthehelldownyouspaz pills for me, Dramamine for the kids and we are off! The flight went well except that it was packed and my 13 yr old wound up sitting with two young girls who tried in vain to comfort her as we took off. But all in all, it was an incredible vacation! I mean obviously right?

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My New Reality

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It's not MY fault I don't have a toy....

Wake Up: 5am to Leo screaming in his crate. Fall out of bed because I am being attacked by Cecelia, who was sleeping at my feet and is cranky if she is awoken. Ever.

5:02am: Trip down the stairs, kicking in the adrenaline rush, Leo still screaming in crate. Try to organize my thoughts….do I put on my coat and boots first…do I get Leo first….where did I leave his leash….why am I always broke….what day is it….who’s life is this….LEO!

5:02 and a half am: I open Leo’s crate door and he bolts out only to run right back into me only to crash his little body into the gate only to run around the coffee table. Me? I am standing there crying.

5:03am: Still crying, I try to attach his leash.

5:15am: Success I have attached his leash. We head for the door. At this point, I have to figure out if I have my boots and coat on or if I need to put them on. If I have to put them on I cry some more because Leo is not yet allowed to roam free in the house. Especially as he has to pee and poop. I strangle myself trying to get my coat on and wipe my nose on my sleeve. I don’t care.

5:16am: Leo poops while walking in a circle. I wonder if that is some sort of instinctual thing…like standing inside of his poop circle will keep him safe from the spirits…? I wait a few more minutes to see if he will pee also, knowing darn well that he peed in his crate, under his bed. Yes, UNDER his bed.

5:17am: Back in the house, I fall over trying to get off my boots. I wouldn’t necessarily take off my boots at this point, but after cleaning up the gobs of dog poop that I unknowingly tracked through the house a few weeks back on more than one occasion, I decide to make the extra effort.

5:18am: I hook Leo’s leash to the gate, fill his bowls with food and water. Spencer is rhythmically barking and Emma is whining. I start crying again. I go get Spencer and Emma. I have to lift Spencer to his feet from his laying down position as he can no longer get up on is own. Once up, he is pretty shaky and falls often. Mostly into the dog poop outside.

5:20am: Spencer, Emma and I walk by Leo. Leo decides we are very mean and starts screaming at us for leaving him alone in the house.

5:21am – 5:32am: Spencer alternately pees, poops and falls down. Emma pees, poops while walking (good trick Emma…no way to pick that up!). I alternately cry, swear and pick Spencer up. We come in.

5:33am: Leo immediately shuts up when we walk through the door and tries to pretend he wasn’t screaming like a B movie star. Spencer heads right for Leo’s food, and falls. Damn it.

5:34am: I pick up Spencer and herd Emma into the kitchen where I feed both of them while Leo is in the other room, watching us and crying quietly so that Spencer won’t make fun of him.

5:35am: I take Leo out for his second walk. He pees a little just to make me feel better.

5:36am: I put Leo into his room, where he immediately starts screaming again because I have to go fetch Em and Spence and put them back in their room. On the way, I give Spencer his old man medications which include a thyroid, an antibiotic and benefiber…he’s fixed so he doesn’t need Viagra….Leo still screaming, somehow louder than before.

5:37am: I go back to Leo, clean up his crate, toss his bed into the other room for washing when the sun comes up, and force him to lay on the couch with me where he proceeds to try to chew the blanket, me and the couch. I get up once again and get him a toy cursing myself for not thinking ahead and making a mental note to always keep a toy of his on the couch there by avoiding the inconvenience of getting up after I had lain down. My next thought is ‘what was the thought I just had?’

6:00am: Leo snuggles down and stops wiggling and chewing and starts snoring.

6:01am: I stop crying and try to dooze off again just for 45 minutes before I have to get up to get the kids ready for school.

6:02am: Spencer decides he needs to poop and have some water. I decide he doesn’t. Ignore.

6:03am: Spencer wins (sometimes…othertimes I think I win, but then Spencer poops on the carpet and that is at least 20 minutes of cleaning…he has had a really hard time training me…I am a very slow learner)

6:04am: Leo screaming. Spencer let out. Leo screaming. Spencer comes in. Leo screaming. Spencer takes an extraordinarily long time getting a drink. Leo screaming. Spencer pauses to contemplate me and my tears, goes back to drinking.

6:15am: Spencer is back in his room. Leo is again on the couch trying to chew the blanket, me and the couch. I get up to get his toy and make a mental note to always keep one of his toys on the couch. I promptly forget my mental note.

6:30am: Leo is snoring. I am laying with him, wide awake, remembering the good old days of no pets, trying to remember all the good things about having these dogs.

6:31am: Cecelia decides she wants to come in and attaches her entire body to the window that is right near my head. Spead eagle. At the same time, Eddie starts yelling at me because I let Cece out and not him so he stands on the other side of the gate and yells until Leo wakes up and jumps down to go throw his body against the gate which makes a lovely crashing noise.

6:32am: I hate my life.

6:33am: I lay down, waiting for the alarm which will signal the start of my day, in total denial that my day started at 5am with dog poop and pee. Leo is trying to chew the furniture and I am rationalizing that with the fact that I don’t like my furniture. I do, but at 6:33am, I don’t really care.

6:45am: Alarm. Leo screaming. Kids up.

Jealous right?

They are cute when they want to be....

 

Flying the friendly skies

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what would Steven do?

So, by now we have all heard about flight attendant Steve who lost his mind and told off a passenger and then made a grande exit via the blow up emergency slide with two beers in his hand. It has been hotly debated whether or not poor Steve was in the right with his actions or in the wrong. Which ever you believe can’t you at least agree with the fact that what he did was hysterical? I mean, I suppose it wasn’t if you were the asshole he was telling off….but for the rest of us…HYSTERICAL!!!

Poor Steve is just plain lucky that he waited to have his tantrum until the Bush adminstration was out of office. I mean, can you imagine if he had pulled a stunt like that just 3 short years ago? He would have been labeled a terrorist and all air traffic would have been stopped until he was interrogated as to the origin of his ying yang tattoo. And even when Steve would have told them that the pictures they had of him dressed as a jeanie at the company Halloween party was really just a costume rental and that he did not in fact have any ties to Al Qaeda, they would have tortured him and labeled him an axis of evil. All because he lost his cool while on an air plane. I think Obama just giggled.

We have all lost our shit when provoked. Even Ghandi lost it every so often. Just the other day I was sitting with my kid in a family restaurant, trying to have a peaceful dinner when the lady next to us was so incredibly loud there was no ignoring her. Not drunk, not yelling, just one of those naturally LOUD people. And our tables were almost on top of each other. Now, if she was a loud interesting person, that may  have been tolerable. But she was loud and ignorant. What a waste of a voice that carries. Although, I was later to find out that she was the lead in many theater productions including Agnes of God…..amen. Then she went on and on and on about her kids. How her son loves her and her daughter not so much…suprising, really. Then came the state of the economy and her take on housing prices which of course led to the ever productive  Upstate New Yorker Has Opinion About Illegal Immigration conversation. Round them all up and ship them back to where they came from. And if they don’t go quietly shoot them. And make them take their thousands of babies with them cause those babies are the reason we don’t have jobs.

Ok, so far, all I can do is giggle slightly cause I mean really…seriously? Next, she moves onto healthcare. This one apparently really gets her going. Now, sure, I have friends who feel the same way she does which was “I don’t wanna pay for some fat ass person who is going to die of obesity anyway to get healthcare. It’s their fault they got that fat! I mean, look at me…I am middle-aged, I am fit, workout and sure I have great genetics on my side but so what! I watch what I eat and I eat healthy. I do not want to pay for the beer guzzling idiot up the street who can’t be bothered to go to the gym or eat a carrot!”

On a good day I am extremely tolerant of assholishness behavior. I really am. I can generally just nod and smile and make the imbecile believe that I am agreeing with them or at the very least they are changing my mind. The phrase “you might be right” has worked wonders for me in the past few years. When it comes to the level of stupidity that I was sitting next to, this monster who was sucking down a regular coke, eating her 3rd slice of pizza and visually 30 pounds overweight for someone her height, well, it had been a helluva day for me too and this bitch screaming in my ear about healthcare was not helping. So, I snapped. I pulled a Steve.

I turned to her and said with a smile “Ya know, I totally agree with you!! Although, I wouldn’t mind paying for an obese person who wanted to lose weight, who wanted to save their own life. It’s the recreational runner who goes running every day for hours who blows out his knee….hell NO I don’t want that on MY bill!!! I mean, he was running for fun, for excercise, he should have KNOWN when to stop…as in before he needed a total knee replacement at age 40. I have NO sympathy for THAT idiot.” Her smile slowly faded as she took in my point. My smile didn’t budge. I said ” If we are going to have to use our hard earned tax dollars for universal healthcare there should be some sort of regulations on who gets to live and who gets to die, dontcha think? You and I would probably make a great team to decide on the worth of a life!! Now, if you don’t mind could you please keep your voice down, I don’t want you infecting the next generation with your backward ideas.”

She shut up for about 5 minutes and then carried on in her loud ass voice about black people and the free ride they get to college. I left that up to the african american man sitting two tables away to handle. I paid my bill, left an extra large tip for the poor waiter who also had to suffer indirectly, her rant on gays in the military, took my 7 year old and left. I swear this woman was a female Michael Savage. But Michael Savage is never just sitting next to me at Pizzeria Uno’s. I suppose if he was he’d get an earful also. 

We have all lost it. All of us. Maybe not with great style or with humor but we have. Sometimes we ARE the asshole. I was driving thru a mostly deserted parking lot to drop off a few bags of clothes to the salvation army drop box. I was not speeding, but I was not fully stopping for all of the fake stop signs in the parking lot. I was looking to make sure that I was clear, but not fully stopping. When I got out to donate my bags of clothes a lady approached me. She was smiling and she said “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure” I reply thinking she was going to ask the hours of the drop box or how to get a receipt for what was being donated. I was so wrong. She went OFF on me about running every single stop sign in the parking lot. She raised her voice and really shamed me. By the time she was done I felt like the worst person in the entire world and she got into her BMW and left, running the stop sign at the end of the parking lot. I thought to myself that maybe she had lost a loved one to a driver who had failed to stop at a parking lot stop sign, and I vowed to change my disorderly stopping habits right then and there. See? I was th asshole in that situation, and I made an effort to change my assholishness behavior.

I could have told her off with just as much righteous indignation as I was also going thru an extremely rough period in MY life and then hurled a garbage bag full of clothes and shoes at her, mooned her, then drove around the parking lot running every single stop sign until she either called the police or lost her mind. But I didn’t.

Steve had a point. People are assholes and sometimes we lose our shit when trying to deal with them. And instead of blowing up the plane, or stalking the asshole and killing him, or taking it out on his loved ones, he said what needed to be said, then he made a grande exit. Imagine if we all had emergency blow up slides for just such moments, the world could be a better place.