Tag Archive | friends

Sexting With Grandma

Every once in a while, a blog idea comes to me while I’m commenting on another person’s blog.  The inspiration behind Sexting With Grandma is compliments of the incomparable Madame Weebles who wrote a blog post about some of the twisted thoughts that run through her head sometimes.  After reading her post, I told her that I sometimes think about sending my friends and family members wildly inappropriate text messages just to see how they would react; something along the lines of….

“You were incredible last night, Rafael! I never knew it could be like that!  I love how adventurous you are… and that goes double for your dog, Sir Humps-a-lot.  What do you say I ditch my husband again tonight and find out if we can come up with any more uses for that vibrating chicken of yours?”

I loved the idea too much to let it end with Madame Weebles comment section, so I decided to actually send this exact message out to several people I know.  I was both eager and anxious to find out what their reactions were going to be. I was pretty sure they would all take it in good fun, but since I had never really tested the kinky boundaries of my friends and family members before (because… EWWW), I wasn’t positive that they wouldn’t disown me afterwards.  But if Rafael can be adventurous, then so can I!!

Initially, I really wanted to send the text out to my mom.  But my mom’s innocence was protected by the fact that her cellphone doesn’t receive text messages… I know, right?!  But she’s firmly planted on the “people should pick up the phone and TALK” side of the communication debate, so there’s no convincing her of all the merits of texting – like being able to send texts involving vibrating chickens, for instance.

The next victim on my texting hit list was my sister.  So, I sent it out and waited…. as it turned out, I didn’t have to wait long for her reaction.  A couple of minutes after sending her the text, my home phone rang.  I tried to answer with an innocent sounding “Hello?”, but couldn’t quite pull it off because I was giggling too much.  She said something along the lines of, “I just got a pretty interesting text from you….”  I couldn’t keep a straight face, so my ruse was quickly ruined.  Didn’t she know that when she gets a sext from her sister, she’s supposed to sext back?  Seemed like common sense to me.

I toyed around with sending the text to my older brother, but for some reason the idea grossed me out more than sending it to my mom.  So, it was on to victimizing my friends.  I sent the text to six of them, and then pretended that it had been a mistake that they got the message from me.   I will share with you my top three favorite responses.   [*Side note: All of my responses are in blue, and my friends are all in grey].

The Twisted Countdown Begins……

Number Three came from my friend, Jenn…. who apparently takes me WAY too seriously, and also thinks that me having an affair with a guy, his dog, and his chicken is a totally plausible idea:


Then I waited about twenty minutes for another reaction out of her, but when nothing came, I started to get nervous that she was taking me seriously.  So, I texted her back, and filled her in on the gag:




Number Two came from my friend, Buck.  I’ve known him since college but apparently, he doesn’t think enough of our friendship to put me into his contact list, so when he got this text message, my name didn’t come up with it.  He thought he was getting this crazy text from a complete stranger:


Again, nothing but radio silence for a solid twenty minutes, which got my paranoia working overtime again.  At that point, I didn’t know that he wasn’t aware the text was from me.  So, I texted him back to make sure he knew it was just a joke:



Then much to my surprise, Buck’s wife, Colleen decided she wanted to jump in on the act.  I thought her attempt to shield her husband from a sex-crazed poultry slut and her lover was kind of sweet.  Who says chivalry is dead?:


Number One came to me from one of my oldest friends, Moe.  I’ve known her since high school, and her response is the perfect example of why we have stayed friends for the last twenty-five years.  I love you, my twisted sister:




Have any of you ever pulled a texting prank on someone you know?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.  And if not, what are you waiting for?  It’s a fun way to pass the time while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or during those annoying commercial breaks on TV.  If you have the guts to send out this text or something like it, and tell me the reaction you get, I’ll pledge my undying love and loyalty to you.  I might even throw in a vibrating chicken.

[*Disclaimer:  Get Write Down To It takes no responsibility or liability for any divorce, disownment or involuntary psychiatric commitments that may result while performing this texting prank with your friends and family members…. mostly because I’m too broke to afford a lawyer.  So, proceed at your own risk.]

Look What 40 Made Me Do: Part One

Who doesn’t love a birthday party?  It’s a day when we get to eat cake, open presents that we pray come with a receipt, and find out just how tone deaf all our relatives are when it comes time to serenade the birthday boy/girl.  Okay, so most birthday parties suck.  But there’s CAKE and that’s enough incentive for me to show up and act like I give a shit.

Lucky for me, no one in my family tries to get too inventive about the cake.  It’s usually round, covered in chocolate, and straight out of a box – just the way I like it.  I don’t want to hear the phrase, “I thought I’d try a new recipe” before the cake is served.  Keep your creativity in your own kitchen where it belongs.  I waited a whole freakin’ year for my birthday, and I don’t want to have to be a lab rat for your raspberry cake with pistachio frosting experiment.  Yellow cake, chocolate frosting – just the way God and Betty Crocker intended.

I bet that homemade cake of yours  doesn’t earn box tops for education, does it?  Didn’t think so.

I bet that homemade cake of yours
doesn’t earn box tops for education, does it?
Didn’t think so.

But I thought I’d shake things up a bit this year…. no, not with the cake – weren’t you listening to me?  I wanted to do something memorable that I could look back on in twenty or thirty years and say, “Oh yeah, I remember turning 40!  That’s the year I (insert crazy and/or possibly life threatening activity here).  That was AWESOME!!”

I figured there were two potential outcomes to this plan: I could fail miserably, and suffer gruesome bodily injuries that would freak out my future grandkids; or I could walk away victorious, with both hands raised up like Rocky Balboa while Survivor sang “Eye of the Tiger” off in the distance somewhere.  Either way, it would make for a cool story to tell around the campfire.

Except I would avoid the fashion faux pas of tucking my sweatshirt into my ridiculously high-waisted sweatpants.

Except I would avoid the fashion faux pas of tucking my sweatshirt
into my ridiculously high-waisted sweatpants.

The hard part was deciding what to do.  Skydiving, learning the trapeze, and rock climbing were right out because of my crippling fear of heights – they also relied a bit too heavily on my non-existent athletic ability for survival.  I was in the mood to be adventurous, not suicidal.  I also wasn’t interested in lion taming, swimming with sharks, or anything else that involved animals with sharp pointy teeth and a healthy appetite because I’m not an idiot with a God complex.  I’ve also seen enough episodes of Fatal Attractions to know how that story ends. Besides, it’s only a good story if you’re still around to tell it – otherwise it’s a eulogy.

As it turned out, I didn’t have to rack my brains for long.  My friends ended up placing two ideas right in my lap.  And like most harebrained plans, these involved peer pressure and copious amounts of alcohol – both of which deluded me into thinking that I was capable of accomplishing both feats in less than two weeks.

The first was a 35-mile walk to help raise money for breast cancer.  Walk?  Hell, I can walk!  I do it all the time on my way to the fridge.  And I can beg my friends and family for money – those people have been freeloading long enough.  They’ve had the pleasure of my company for the last 40 years; the way I saw it, it was time to pay up because this kind of awesomeness doesn’t come cheap.

Save second base!!!

Save second base!!!

Here’s how the LI2Day walk works:  you walk 20 miles the first day, sleep in a two-man tent at a campground overnight, and then walk 15 miles the second day.  What I didn’t fully realize was that even walking, when done long enough (in this case, for two days), takes some stamina and athletic ability – two things I was sorely lacking.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find that out until after the first 15 miles were completed and I had developed blisters the size of quarters on both heels.

I think the bandages make my pedicure look extra sexy.

I think the bandages make my pedicure look extra sexy.

It was while I was having my blisters lanced by a volunteer podiatrist (who, in my opinion, was a little too scalpel happy) that I realized two things:  First, it probably would’ve been a good idea to attempt walking more than 3 miles in the months that led up to the walk.  Second, I wasn’t even halfway done.  Shit.

I sustained myself on water, trail mix and the glorious dream of lying sedentary on my couch at home.  Every time my foot met the pavement, my brain screamed, “STOP DOING THAT, YOU IDIOT!! IT FUCKING HURTS!!”  I told my brain to shut the hell up, couldn’t it see that I was on a mission?  I had miles to cover and boobs to save.

At times like that, when the flesh is weak, you have to dig deep and find out what you’re really made of.  As it turns out, I’m made of something roughly resembling baby oatmeal.  But the sense of humor of my friends and their ability to smuggle alcohol into the campground got me through the rough patches.

Even our wine was fighting for the cause!

Even our wine was fighting for the cause!

Despite the fact that I felt like I was walking on thumbtacks, I had a smile on my face as I crossed the finish line at the end of the second day…. okay, maybe it was more of a grimace, but I was smiling on the inside.  I had rediscovered something about myself that I had long since forgotten – when my soft baby oatmeal center is pushed past the boiling point, it turns into one pretty tough cookie.

I’m proud of my team and myself.  We accomplished something amazing and we helped raise over $25,000 for a really good cause.  Would I do it again?  Ask me again in a few months, after I’ve had the chance to put on my rosy-colored glasses….

Here’s my incredible team - thanks for the mammories, guys!!

Here’s my incredible team – thanks for the mammories, guys!!

Tune in next time for Look What 40 Made Me Do:  Part Two, where you’ll find out what other crazy shit I did to help celebrate my 40th birthday.

(To be continued….)

Some Lessons Death Taught Me About Life

My father passed away two weeks ago.  Since then, I feel like I’ve been thrown off my axis – like my world has stopped spinning, but everyone else’s has just kept right on going as if nothing’s happened. It makes me feel slow and lost – like I’m always racing to catch-up to everyone else, but can’t. My brain has totally shut down and can’t seem to process anything concrete – all I can do is grapple with my emotions.

I know exactly how you feel, Kid.

But life is a stubborn bitch, and refuses to be ignored for long.  When you least expect it, life barges in and demands that you pay attention because it has a lesson or two it wants to teach you.  Even though I felt like my brain would explode from the effort, I tried to pay close attention.  I figured that if I looked attentive enough, maybe life would leave me alone long enough to catch an afternoon nap.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far….

Go Acquire Some Funeral AttireI’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, so when it comes to dressy attire, I usually have to scrounge around in the back of my closet to find anything appropriate (and then pray that it still fits).  You can plan a shopping trip for something to wear to a wedding, but it’s difficult to do for a funeral.  You should have at least one black suit or dress on hand at all times.  Otherwise you may find yourself tearfully begging a sales lady for help in finding a piece of black clothing that’s as comfortable as the pajamas you wish you were wearing.

God, please let there be a pair of black pants in here somewhere….

Starve a Cold, Feed a GrieverI’ve sent flowers and fruit baskets to people for all sorts of reasons – birthdays, anniversaries, and various holidays.  But I’ve never sent them to someone who was grieving; I usually pick up the phone instead.  But what I recently learned is that sometimes, the person in mourning doesn’t have the energy or desire to talk to anyone, but they still want to know people are thinking about them – that’s where heart shaped pineapples and chocolate dipped strawberries come in handy!  Although, cookies, muffins, or assorted goodies would work too because they all say the same thing, “This basket of stuff is ridiculously expensive, but I love you and don’t mind having to eat Ramen noodles for the rest of the week in order to pay for it.”

It’s hard to be depressed when you’re stuffing your face with chocolate covered yumminess.

It’s hard to be depressed when you’re stuffing your face with chocolate covered yumminess.

Hugging 101When we are kids, we hug with our whole body, clinging to the target of our affection like little, balding monkeys.  Then as we get older, propriety steps in and our hugs lose a little bit of their fervor, sometimes feeling no warmer than a handshake.  But being wrapped up in a heartfelt hug can be more effective than a handful of Xanax at easing depression – because when you feel like your world is shattering into a million pieces, sometimes all it takes to keep it together is someone else’s arms.

I tried doing this with my cats,but they don't seem to share my appreciation for hugging.

I tried doing this with my cats,
but they don’t seem to share my appreciation for hugging.

United We Stand, Divided We Bawl:  Get yourself an arsenal of good friends because they are like the biological weapons in the war against grief.  I found comfort and support among family because we were all mourning the same loss.  But I turned to my friends for an escape from the insanity.  My friends sympathized with me, but more importantly, they gave me a reason to laugh again.  After crying hard enough to make my eyes burn and my head pound, laughter was the best gift they could’ve given me.  Well, that and the awesome fruit basket.

Our love for each other remains as big as our hair was back in the 90's.

Our love for each other remains as big as our hair was back in the 90’s.

Regret Sucks More Than the First Twilight Movie:  How often do you get the urge to call, text, or visit someone just to say hello or I love you?  Now how often do you ACT on those urges?  Too often we shelve those impulses because we allow other things to get in the way.  Work, kids, food shopping, or cutting our toenails become the priority because we assume we can make that call or visit tomorrow.  It isn’t until tomorrow is abruptly taken away that we begin to mentally tally up all those missed opportunities, and then the crappy feeling of regret sets in.  We can’t do much about the regrets of the past – whether you blew off calling Mom, or made the mistake of sitting through another one of Kristen Stewart’s movies, try to learn from those regrets and work towards avoiding them in the future.


Eat Your Goddamn Vegetables:  I’ll admit that if all the vegetables on Earth were destroyed in some sort of veggie apocalypse, it would probably take me a year to notice.  And don’t even get me started on exercising or my loathe/hate relationship with my treadmill.  Clearly, I wasn’t born with whatever healthy-living-genes Jillian Michaels seems to have in abundance (don’t get me started on her either).

But when I hit my thirties I got a serious wake-up call that implored me to take better care of myself – a front row seat to my father’s triple bypass surgery, and my best friend’s battle with lung disease.  When you see a prolonged illness suck the will to live right out of someone you love, you find out that there is a lot of truth behind the phrase, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”  If you’re like me, you hate to hear preachy clichés like that– especially when you’ve got a donut in your hand.  But I’m saying it anyway.  So do yourself a favor and eat a freakin’ string bean once in a while.  Okay?

Except during girl's night out.

Except during girl’s night out.

Don’t Sweat the Small StuffGood grief Linda, how many clichés are you going to throw at us in one blog entry?!  Sorry, I know this slogan has been stamped on a million different coffee mugs, t-shirts and bumper stickers – but again, it’s true.  Let your grudges and petty annoyances go – the guy who cut you off in traffic or the co-worker who drank the last of the coffee isn’t going to spend a single second thinking about you.  So, why should you waste hours of precious time imagining all the different ways you could kill them and avoid trace evidence?  Especially when Google can do it for you in seconds….


I Double Dog Dare You:  Accomplishing something we didn’t think we were capable of is exhilarating.  Which is why I’m urging you to push aside all the imaginary roadblocks you’ve created for yourself (lack of time, money, ability, etc.), and take on a task that you find challenging.

I will be facing two challenges this summer.  Initially, both of them scared the crap out of me because there’s movement involved – a lot of movement; and I’m pretty sure I can’t bring my couch and TV remote along with me.  But after a little bit of thought (and a lot of alcohol), I decided to push past my fears and see if I’m still capable of surprising myself.

Here are the two upcoming events:

The 5K Foam Fest – I’m going to need a chiropractor and a few drinks when this race is over.  And I’m sure I’ll be spending the better part of a week cleaning mud out of places that should NEVER get muddy. But it looks like a hell of a lot of fun…..

The Long Island walk to help fight breast cancer – 2 days, 35 miles, and probably a boatload of blisters.  If you would like to help me raise money for this great cause (without the nasty blisters), all you have to do is click the link below and pull out your credit card. Personally, I think you’ve got the better end of this deal…..


If everyone who reads this donates just FIVE dollars, I can reach my fund raising goal of $1,000!!

BRING.  IT.  ON!!!!


Sandy’s Wake: The Hysterical and Heroic

Monday October 29th 2012:  it was a dark and stormy night…. no really, it was.  Never before had an overly plagiarized line felt so apropos as I stared out my window with an odd mix of terror and fascination.  Hurricane Sandy demanded my undivided attention like one of those bratty Toddlers & Tiaras kids in the throes of a full-blown temper tantrum.  As much as I wanted to ignore her, I couldn’t silence the pandemonium by changing the channel because she was everywhere.  My thoughts rarely strayed far from the tempest that surrounded me, but when they did all it took was a 90-mile an hour, house rattling, bitchslap from Sandy to remind me of my imminent doom….

I’m hungry, I think I’ll go make myself a sandwich.


Oh, that’s right I’ll probably be dead by morning.

I blame the media for my hysteria – why not?  Everyone else does.  They didn’t technically force me to watch two solid days of media coverage the weekend before Sandy’s tumultuous arrival, but they knew no one would have the ability to look away from the meteorological wreckage.  After 48-hours of being told just how completely screwed everyone was in the northeast, I was in a panic before the first gust of wind hit Long Island.

Like the good sheep I am, I followed the herd to the grocery store and bought what remained of the bottled water and cans of soup.  My house might flood or be blown away in a hurricane, but at least I would be well hydrated.  Then I sent my husband out on a scavenger hunt for D-batteries and flashlights – he would’ve had an easier time getting laid in a convent.  He wandered for hours, in and out of half a dozen stores before he found the only D-batteries left in New York.  He called me as victoriously as he had several Christmases ago when he secured the last remaining Tickle Me Elmo doll in the toy store.

With my inner boy scout satiated with storm supplies, I was ready to face what lay ahead.  When hurricane Sandy finally arrived, there was nothing left to do but hunker down inside our house, watch more terrifying news on TV, and wait to see what the fates had in store for us….

This was me…. minus the flag, gun and psychotic expression.

Would our house be swept out to sea like so many others had been along the eastern seaboard?  Or would we be spared the ocean’s wrath and merely flooded with several feet of rainwater and sewage?  Would the 100-foot tall pine tree in our backyard succumb to the punishing winds and crush our house the way so many other trees had done on Long Island?  Would we lose power and freeze to death in the temperatures that threatened to plummet during the course of following week?  I felt like we were playing the weather channel’s version of Russian roulette.

As it turned out, there was another option I hadn’t considered – we would win the hurricane lottery and escape the storm entirely unscathed.  Sure, I could complain about all the twigs and leaves scattered around my yard, but that seems a bit petty.

I was awash in feelings of gratitude and relief.  But when I took a step outside my mile-wide protective bubble, I realized that the people around me had fallen victim to all my worst fears.  Almost 1 million Long Islanders were without electricity, many of whom also had severe property damage and flooding to complete the hellish trifecta.  My original feeling of gratitude over not being effected by the storm quickly morphed into survivor’s guilt when the horror stories started to flood the media – first panic, now guilt.  Thanks, you multi-media bastards.

The guilt multiplied whenever I spotted my storm supplies piled up in the corner of my kitchen, now unnecessary and unopened.  They had to go.  My husband and I decided to load up our minivan with all the supplies and donate them to the American Red Cross.  But rather than feeling like I had helped the victims of hurricane Sandy, I felt more like I had tried to mend a mortal flesh wound with a Hello Kitty band-aid.

Can I get you a piece of gauze and some Neosporin?

I turned to Facebook and offered up my house to anyone who needed to recharge their batteries, both figurative and literal.  I begged friends who had been hit by the storm to allow me to help with their clean-up efforts because I needed something to do, other than pick my cuticles bloody and torture myself with the nightly news.  No takers.

In hindsight I should have told my friends that I didn’t care whether or not they wanted my help, they were going to get it.  I should have showed up on their doorstep with a garbage bag in one hand and a bottle of tequila in the other – I thought Cuervo Gold would be particularly good at numbing the pain.  Always worked for me.

But I didn’t do any of that…. and I guess I’ll have to live with that regret now.

Lucky for me, there was plenty of time to contemplate my inadequacies while waiting on hour-long gas lines, and during my search for a gallon of milk that hadn’t spoiled during the power outages.  As twisted as it sounds, these petty annoyances actually made me feel better.  Maybe because I felt like I deserved it – you can take the Catholic girl out of the church, but you can’t take the guilt out of the Catholic girl.  Or maybe because I knew I’d have a really cool story to bore my grandkids with forty years from now.  Although when I retell the story, the gas lines will be two-hours long and I’ll be walking uphill through a snowstorm for my gallon of spoiled milk.

No matter how many inconveniences I encountered, I never quite purged all of my survivor’s guilt. The loss of those who suffered through the worst of the hurricane’s wrath became the barometer by which all other hardships were measured.  I didn’t allow for any complaints from anyone in my household  in the weeks that followed.  When I found myself curled up in the fetal position on my couch, suffering from a particularly unforgiving bout of cramps, I silently said a word of thanks that I still had a couch to curl up on…. though I might have waited until the Advil kicked in first.  When my kids complained about what I served up for dinner, I was quick to point out all the people who would go without dinner that night because of the storm.  My kids might not have been as grateful about their broccoli as I was about my couch, but at least they stopped bitching about it.

You don’t want to eat your vegetables?
How about a hot, steamy plate of perspective instead?

Thankfully for the victims of hurricane Sandy, there were many other people who did more than sit on their ass being grateful for what they still had.  Amidst the dismal scenes of destruction on the news, came stories about amazing heroes.  There weren’t any capes flying or muscle-clad men leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but these heroes were no less awe-inspiring.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of real people put their lives on the line to save others – and some of those being saved weren’t even human.  A 26-year old man named Spencer Service walked almost two miles during hurricane Sandy in order to save a litter of kittens.  Check out this kitty hero!  I love kittens as much as the next guy… well, maybe not as much as Spencer…. but I don’t know if I’d be willing to risk my life to save one.

Here are the cats who owe Spencer at least one of their nine lives.

Another one of my favorite hero stories was about a group of runners who got together and decided to help the victims of hurricane Sandy.  Over 1,000 athletes who were scheduled to compete in this year’s NYC marathon (before it was cancelled) found a way to put all their hard work and training to good use.  Instead of running in the race, they strapped on backpacks and ran food and supplies into devastated areas on Staten Island.  Read about the race to help so you can feel amazed… and maybe a little lazy .

Awesome, right?  I can barely jog twenty minutes on my treadmill without needing defibrillator paddles, and these people not only ran for miles through flooded, storm-ravaged streets, they did it with a backpack full of stuff.  Makes complaining about carrying grocery bags from my car to my house seem a bit silly now.

I’m proud to say I know one of these powerhouses personally – my good friend, Desi.  She’s the pint-sized dynamo wearing red in the middle of this picture….


In true heroic style, she made me promise that if I told her story, I would also include a link that my readers could click on to help those who were affected by the storm.  Promise fulfilled – RunnersForRelief.  I know you’re jealous that I have such an incredible friend, but you can’t have her because I need someone around that I can live vicariously through.  Get your own hero.

These stories and the dozens of others just like it have given me hope that New York, through the sheer determination and resilience of its everyday heroes, will manage to rise up from the ashes once again.  If I’ve learned anything about my hometown in the last decade it’s this –  what New York lacks in affordable housing, good manners and sensible drivers, we more than make up for in heart.

Goodbye You Useless Sack of Stones

I don’t remember much about the hours I spent in the hospital the day I had my gallbladder removed – probably because they were handing out narcotics like Halloween candy.  But I vaguely recall being asked to strip naked and put on a hideous hospital gown that did little to protect my ass or my dignity.  It seemed no matter how much I fussed with the ties, some R-rated body part was always exposed.

But after the operation I felt like my guts were on fire, and I no longer cared if my ass was hanging out the back of my gown.  I only cared whether or not the onlookers had any painkillers.  I felt I was entitled to a little pharmaceutical relief since people had been stabbing me with sharp, metal objects for the last hour.  So, when a nurse offered me pain medication, I made it clear to her that I was more than willing to swallow, inject, snort, or smoke any drug she was willing to throw at me.  In fact, I would have opted for a week-long drug coma rather than going home that day to face what would surely be an unpleasant recovery process.

As I would soon find out, unpleasant wouldn’t come close to describing the week that followed.  I was led to believe by several people who had gone through the surgery, that it was no big deal.  They assured me I would be back up and running after a couple of days.

Lies.  ALL LIES.

As I laid there in agony, I felt like I had been duped – sort of like when I wanted to start a family, and all the parents I knew told me how great it was to have a baby.  Then I had one of my own, and realized they just wanted me to be as miserable as they were.  But I’m going to give it to you straight, readers.  This way, if you have to have your gallbladder removed, you’ll know exactly what to expect during your first week of recovery.

Spoiler alert – it ain’t all rainbows and kittens people….

Day One – Please kill me now:  I have about as much chance of making it upstairs to my bedroom as I do of climbing Mt. Everest, so I set up camp on the couch.  I quickly discover that my bladder is public enemy number one because it’s the only thing that forces me to move off my makeshift bed.  During the painful, excruciatingly slow shuffle to the bathroom, I debate the pros and cons of adult diapers.  I decide against them because I don’t think I can convince my husband to change a diaper filled with pee that (for some mysterious reason) smells like a revolting mixture of asparagus and nursing homes.

I spend most of my time alternating between writhing in pain, sleeping fitfully, and eating saltine crackers.  I try eating chicken soup (I hear it’s good for the surgical patient’s soul), but after the first bite, my stomach is quick to remind me that I just had one of my organs yanked out through my belly button today – looks like nothing more than saltines and flat ginger ale will be tolerated.  In the meantime, my living room clock and I are in a stubborn battle of wills – it bets me that I can’t last the whole four hours between my doses of percocet.  Bastard wins every time.

Day Two – I think the cats want to eat meMy husband returns to work, and my kids go off to school.  I’m left home alone with my two cats.  They appear concerned for my well being, standing like two furry sentries on the couch.  But in my weakened condition, I sense that their primal feline instincts are starting to kick in – they know an easy kill when they see one.  If my husband doesn’t get home soon, I fear they will take me down like the wounded impala of the herd.  I wonder if my life insurance policy covers being eaten by house cats.

Day Three – So NOT back up and running:  Screw running, I can’t even put on my own socks without my husband’s help.  The pain is slightly more bearable, but I’m still taking pain medication at fairly regular intervals because they’re the only thing that prevents me from screaming and cursing whenever I want to venture off the couch.  I keep waiting for the “percocet vacation” everyone told me I’d enjoy, because right now all the percocets are doing are making me constipated.  How long can a person go without pooping before they go into septic shock?  I take Milk of Magnesia because I’d rather not find out – pretty shitty “vacation”, if you ask me.

Day Four – This isn’t what I meant by running:  The good news is that the Milk of Magnesia worked.  The bad news is that it worked a little too well.  After the fourth or fifth trip to the bathroom in less than an hour, I start to feel nostalgic about being constipated.  I realize that my doctor (who recommended the M.O.M.) is a sadistic asshole for giving me diarrhea when I can barely walk.  I take some Imodium A-D in the hopes that it will counteract the Milk of Magnesia.  But if my experiment doesn’t succeed in tipping the intestinal scales in the other direction, I’ve decided to let my cats eat me.

Day Five – Weapons of mass affection:  You know that instinct you have to comfort your kids when they get sick?  As it turns out, kids have the same instinct – we just don’t get to see it that often because they’re usually too busy annoying the hell out of us.  But as I lay helpless on the couch for four straight days, I watched my kids’ nurturing side emerge.

As sweet as it is for them to want to comfort me, having them within a 10-foot radius terrifies me – especially my 8-year old son, Aidan.  He’s usually about as gentle as a bulldozer, and I know that even an uncharacteristically cautious hug will produce more pain than my percocets can handle.  So, he discovered a comforting compromise – the head hug.  It has all the heartfelt affection of a regular hug, coupled with the asphyxiating effects of a sleeper hold.  I’m pretty sure this is where the phrase, “I love you to death” originated.

Day Six – Jesus hates me, this I know for Bruce Springsteen told me soWe bought tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert before my surgery was scheduled, but we decided to keep the tickets afterwards because I thought I’d be back up and running in a couple of days – remember the lies?  I think I can cope with the pain because all I have to do is get to my concert seat, sit down, and enjoy the music.  Wrong.  There’s a rain delay (outdoor stadium), and because there’s a threat of lightning, they won’t let us wait in our seats.  So, I decide to find a patch of concrete somewhere in the sheltered recesses of Metlife Stadium, and sit down to sulk.

I’m fairly claustrophobic, so I’m less than thrilled about being crammed into a concrete box with thousands of other people.  After surveying my options, I’m happy to find a spot slightly separated from the soggy masses – at least until a total stranger decides to join me.  If it isn’t bad enough that this guy is playing a disturbing game of personal space invaders, I’m also pretty sure he has leprosy.  At first glance, I thought he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, but upon closer inspection (which I couldn’t help since the guy is sitting right next to me) I see the stuff covering his arms aren’t sleeves.

I know I should feel bad for the guy, but it’s difficult to be compassionate when I’m wet, in pain, and now getting flaked on every time he scratches his scaly arm.  I don’t buy into religion much, but it’s hard not to feel like God is testing me a bit:  TWO HOURS of pouring rain with no rescue ark in sight, and now there are lepers.  What’s next, a plague of locusts?  It’s official, Jesus hates me.

Jesus: Linda, you’re supposed to love all God’s children.
Me: Yeah, but you make it hard when you flake on me like that.
Jesus: Duh, that’s why it’s called a TEST.
Me: Couldn’t you have come back as Ryan Gosling instead?

Day Seven – Sign, sealed, delivered, I’m curedJesus may hate me but there are plenty of people around who still love me, despite my inability to tolerate people with gross diseases.  During the course of my recovery, there was an outpouring of support and concern from my friends and family:  emails, texts, cards, and phone calls came in daily to check on my progress.  It’s impossible to thank everyone individually – mostly because I was too drugged up this week to remember what happened.  So, I’ll throw out a blanket, “I LOVE YOU!!” to all of you who cared enough to check in on me and make sure I wasn’t dead.  I’ll also make a few honorable mentions….

1.  Moe, one of my best friends since the 10th grade sent me flowers with a card that read:

Here is the text I sent in reply:

“Bitch, don’t you know it’s mean to make someone laugh after they’ve had a holes cut into their guts?  Thanks for the flowers though.  Love ya!”

2.  My mother and father in-law sent me cupcakes in the mail.  CUPCAKES!!!   Despite my mother in-law’s mistrust and confusion surrounding the internet, she managed to successfully secure and ship me a dozen of these tasty treats.  Had I known there was the possibility of cupcakes being involved, I would have had my gallbladder out years ago!!  Maybe I’ll go for my appendix next year.

Their card read simply, “Gallbladder out…. cupcakes in.  Love, Mom & Dad.”

3.  Last, but certainly not least, is my wonderful husband, Kevin.  This week, he was Florence Nightingale and Mr. Mom all rolled into one.  Had he not been there to help me sit-up, take showers, and put on clean clothes, I would probably still be lying on the couch in a pile of my own stink.

With a Little Help From My Friends

Get Write Down To It has gotten its first blog makeover!  And I owe it all to my friend, Jeff – Buck, to those that know him best.  He’s a very talented graphic design artist and photographer.  Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself… go on… I dare ya….http://www.jdmcreative.com/index.htm

I met Buck my sophomore year of college, twenty years ago.  His easy-going nature and comical sense of humor drew me in immediately, and after only a few minutes, I felt like I had known him for years.  My major (at the time) was Marine Biology, and his was graphic design – which meant that while I was trying to memorize two-hundred different species of algae, he was making really cool looking dragons out of wire hangers.  Which, if you ask me, was monumentally unfair.  But I guess I shouldn’t complain because he also did stuff like this….

Much like the classical conditioning of Pavlov’s dogs,
Buck still gets severe hand cramps whenever he sees my face.

That’s not computer generated, folks.  He made that beautifulportrait of me completely by hand (just for perspective – it’s about 27 x 22), and gave it to me as a present for my 20th birthday – to this day, it’s one of the best gifts I ever got.  It now hangs in my living room for all to see… and think I’m a total narcissist.

Fast-forward twenty years…  (Marriages, mortgages, kids, careers, blah, blah, blah…)

When I started this blog, nearly four months ago, I immediately thought of Buck.  I ran to him, and pled my case of artistic ineptitude and techno-tardiness (What?  It’s totally a word).  And like the Superman of the art world that he is, he swooped in and saved a damsel in distress.

Buck said that he would play around with some designs for me, which I really appreciated because I knew he was already busy working long hours running his own business (http://www.jdmcreative.com/index.htm …. another shameless plug.  You’ll probably be getting another one of those in just a minute).  I didn’t give him much to work with – when he asked me what I was looking for, I said I wanted the design to have something to do with writing.  Could I be any more vague?  Probably not.

I only knew I wanted something that represented a writer’s blog better than the pretty blue flowers that were already up there (the “bouquet” theme on wordpress has pink, blue, or orange flowers that come preset).  Flowers don’t really have anything to do with writing, but when I set up my blog I knew I liked the color blue, and I liked flowers – see why I needed his help?

I think he did an amazing job!  The header is a glimpse into what I look like during my editing phase – have I mentioned I’m a compulsive editor?  I chew on my blog a thousand times before I spit it out to the masses.  If there are still typos in it when I’m done, it’s only because my eyes were too glazed over to see them.

Anyway…. back to the artsy stuff…

So, if there is anyone out there who needs help advertising their business (or blog!), Jeff does website design, brochures, videos, pictures and a whole slew of other artsy/ technical stuff that I don’t know anything about.  He’s also an awesome photographer.  He has the ability to make everyone that sits down in front of his lens appear photogenic.  I’m not sure how he does it…. I’m assuming he must have sold his soul in exchange for some sort of magical photography powers.  It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

If you visit his website and tell him Linda sent you, he’ll give you a free baby kangaroo!  I don’t know where he gets them… I try not to ask too many questions.


Click here for your free baby kangaroo