In the pharmacy drive-thru line…
“Um, I was just wondering. What do I press if I don’t approve of the amount?”
“Do you mean that you don’t want to pay all of it with your debit card?”
“No, I’m going to pay all of it. But your little machine isn’t asking me that. It’s asking me to ‘approve the amount.’ I don’t approve of the amount that is being charged. I think $60 is far too much for 28 pills – 4 of which are actually made from sugar.”
“Ma’am, are you going to buy the pills or not?”
“Well, I kind of have to. I just feel it’s a little presumptuous to ask me to assume that if I agree to pay the amount that I am also giving it some sort of high review. There needs to be a button that says, ‘I am paying this under protest.’ Or, if they really want specific feedback, then give me some kind of rating system or something.”
“Ma’am, you just need to authorize your debit card company to take this money out of your account. Please. There are people behind you.”
“Fine. But I just want it on the record that I do not in any way endorse this ridiculous charge… Ok, now, it’s asking me if I want money back. Well, of course I want money back. I want the whole $60 back! Now we’re talking! Why didn’t you tell me I could just get it back?”
“Ma’am – ”
“Don’t worry. I’m almost done here. No, I do not want to donate a dollar to charity. Yes, this is my final offer. No, I do not want to complete a survey. Yes, I am ready to pay now. No, I – oh, crap.”
“You pressed, ” ‘No, I want to start all over,’ didn’t you?”
“I tell you what. Why don’t you just keep the $60, and give me the pills, and we’ll call it even?”
“I tell you what. Why don’t you just go find an ATM machine, and come back here when you have the cash?”
“Oh, I have the cash. But this is the wrong line. It said, “Debit and credit cards ONLY.”
“Just give me the cash.”
“Okay. Are you going to give me the pills?”
“YES, JUST PUT THE CASH IN THE DRAWER!”
“Fine. You don’t have to get all snotty about it. I was just trying to follow the rules. If you’re going to take cash, you should put that on the sign. Yeesh.”
These things wouldn’t happen if everyone just said what they meant, for crying out loud.
Some people take Valium before they speak in front of thousands of people or before they board a plane. I like to save my supply for the really anxiety-inducing occasions in my life – like going to the car wash or La Madeleine.
I get my car washed about once a year. Notice I said, “get.” There are other, infrequent times, that I actually wash it myself. But every once in awhile, I feel entitled to give someone else the opportunity to try to scrape the bird poop off my roof.
My anxiety begins at the “Entrance” that is never quite clearly defined. If I make it onto the property unscathed, I am suddenly faced with 5 different choices of lines to head toward. I have been known to make a line decision that gets abruptly waved off by someone who appears to be absolutely appalled that I made such a terrible decision, and how could I not know that was the line I was NOT supposed to pull into?
Then I sit in the line and look at the choices for “packages” on the billboard above, noting that the least expensive package, which was listed online, appears nowhere on the billboard. And does that mean they don’t really offer it, or just that they don’t really advertise it, and do I really want to have this conversation with the guy who writes the code on my car, and where the heck is that guy anyway?
Everyone else has a code on their car except me. As I pull closer to the vacuuming area, I begin to panic. How will anyone know what I want done to my car if I DON”T HAVE A CODE ON MY CAR?
I am waved up to the vacuum and I try to focus on not running the vacuuming guy down because that would make for an embarrassing newspaper headline, while I prepare my speech about the package that I want that isn’t on the billboard and dig in my purse for my black Sharpie so I can write my own code on the window.
I can’t find the Sharpie, and they are telling me to get out of the car.
Code Guy magically appears and asks me what I want.
I mumble, “The Manager’s Special,” which was not the lowest package, but it offers an air freshener, and I figure that’s worth the extra $100.
Then I have to leave. The arrow to the waiting area does not point me to the waiting area, so I wander around stupidly while everyone in the car line watches the poor mentally challenged lady who probably should not be driving a car in the first place. I finally stumble into the building.
From previous experience, I recall that I must pay for my car wash at this point. I am not distracted by the many delightful objects being offered in the car wash “boutique” because I must pay before I can pick up my car. And even though there are at least 30 cars ahead of mine, I am compelled to get in the line of three people because it would be a disaster if my car was done before I finished my transaction.
Then I face the next challenge. If I sit inside, I will be told when my car is finished. Someone will yell out the make and model of my car, and I will march outside and hand over my ticket which I did not lose inside my purse this time.
But there is no room in the waiting area. So, I must sit outside, and then I must watch like a hawk for the special secret hand gesture that will be made when they are finished drying my car.
As usual, I misinterpret the hand gesture and try to Collect my Car Prematurely. They have finished drying my car, but now someone is supposed to inspect my car. And I feel like an idiot once again as I stand there for another 5 minutes because it’s too late for me to go back to the waiting section.
And the $5 bill I am holding in my hand gets all sweaty, especially as I realize that there are 3 people in charge of this last phase of the cleansing of my car, and I only have one $5 bill with which to tip them.
I finally thrust my money upon a surprised young woman who walks past me (it’s possible she wasn’t even an employee), assure the Inspector that my car is perfect, and get into my car to drive off out the Entrance as fast as I can get away from this traumatizing experience.
And then I realize there is no. air freshener. in my car.
My anxiety-inducing questions at La Madeleine are exactly the same – which line do I stand in? (oh, that’s for baked goods only?) what can I order? (you have 3 different menus and you don’t carry the item I’ve been ordering for 6 months any more?) how do I know when my food is done? (well, sometimes we give it to you while you are in line, and sometimes we bring it to your table) who do I tip? and WHY DOES MY CAR STILL SMELL LIKE WET DOG?
To be fair, I don’t really think anyone can answer that last question.
It all comes from deciding not to go to the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair.
I don’t know what got into me. I read the blurb for this amazing event in the Sunday newspaper, and thought, “That has got to be the coolest name for anything. Ever.” And I mean, anything. Like the name of the new band I’m going to start with Jon Stewart. Or the bookstore I’m going to open in my garage. If David Sedaris can explore diabetes with owls, I don’t see why I can’t spend an afternoon embroidering a lamp shade with a goat while eating some juicy ribs.
I have to admit, though, that I was a bit confused about the goat’s part in all of this. Is the goat doing the barbecuing and the crafting? Or are the goats being barbecued? If so, is that before or after they make a craft? And, most importantly, how do you train a goat to make the Alamo out of Popsicle sticks without the goat actually consuming it?
I could have discovered the answers to all of these riveting questions if I had chosen to make an actual appearance at the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair. But, as tempting as it sounded, I couldn’t convince myself that anything was better than hanging around the house morbidly depressed. Even the “cow patty plop” didn’t persuade me. Though it did bring up more questions…
So, instead, I stayed home. My daughter, who was bored, got herself invited to a friend’s neighborhood pool. The friend’s mom decided not to make an appearance at the pool, so I waited for her with our bulldog, Wonderbutt, in tow. Not surprisingly, Wonderbutt fell in the pool and almost drowned because, stupidly, I had not brought his life jacket along on what I assumed to be a Drop-Off-And-Drive-Away situation.
Now, if you would have asked me who would be more resentful about this whole experience, I would have laid odds on the daughter, who got yanked back home when her friend’s mother took too long to return to three unchaperoned girls at an unlifeguarded pool. Instead, it’s Wonderbutt who isn’t speaking to me.
Being spurned by an obese bulldog is even more depressing than the thought of eating barbecued goat.
This was the chain of events I began to relate to my doctor the next day as evidence that he probably needed to change my medication – again.
He stopped me at “cow patty.”
It’s kind of scary how little convincing was needed to persuade him to write out a new prescription.
So, first of all, yes, I am in the process of switching medications. I know my last post caused
one person people in many countries to be concerned for my well-being. My doctor says that I can wait a whole month before I see him again, but made me repeat to him twice the proper dosage I should be self-administering. Which made me question his confidence in me. Which made me question my confidence in him.
It seems that, when my depression starts taking over, I begin to obsess about how horrible life is – and small obstacles suddenly become monumental examples of why I shouldn’t bother trying to even live.
I finally opened my iPhone. Then I was afraid to do anything with it because I was worried that I would ruin it. I made my husband take me to the store the very next day so I could get all kinds of bullet-proof equipment to protect it from my clumsy self.
I bought one of those “shields” that you put on the screen to keep it from getting scratched or fingerprinted.
If any of you have tried to put one of those darn films on a phone or tablet, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have to be a friggin’ engineer with a medical degree to correctly affix it.
And, surprisingly, I am neither.
After 4 efforts, I finally arranged it so that there is only one air bubble under the film.
One air bubble that I have fixated on for the last 24 hours.
One air bubble that is seriously challenging my will to live.
Because, if I can’t do this right, what’s the point? What’s the point in trying to have nice things? Remember that new car I got – and the scratch I put on it the very next day? Remember the new concrete floors I got, and the scratch they got a couple of weeks later?
Okay, that was my husband’s fault.
Remember that new husband I got (12 years ago), and the way he got me a bulldog named Wonderbutt, and the way this bulldozing wonder of a dog completely re-decorated my house in a way that would not be considered acceptable by any of the hosts of an HGTV show?
Remember when seeing all of those new houses on HGTV totally caused the housing bubble?
ARGGGGGHHHH! Remember that BUBBLE ON MY IPHONE THAT WILL NEVER, EVER GO AWAY?!!!!!!!!!!!
…Remember that new medication I started, and the way it helped me blow everything way, way, way, out of proportion?
P.S. If you want to know how to install a Zagg Shield without having to resort to medicating yourself, John Chow’s video might help you. As long as you aren’t worried about dowsing your device with fluid…
My favorite way to start the day is to coat my hand with slimy mucus and remnants of couch cushion foam as I shove it down my bulldog’s throat. At least two times. If not three. I get to end my day that way, too. I know. You’re jealous.
Wonderbutt has developed some kind of canine version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which has resulted in a weirdly symmetrical loss of hair on both flanks. The frosting to that diagnostic vet bill cupcake (which was inconclusive) was that he developed a staph infection because of his dysfunctional follicles. Hence the medication and my twice-daily mucus baths.
I mentioned to the vet, as he was prescribing some antibiotics, that Wonderbutt had gotten a bit funny about taking his monthly heart worm prevention. I wasn’t too confident about getting two pills twice a day down his throat. The vet recommended coating it in peanut butter. It worked! For two days. Then the darn dog began to suck all of the peanut butter off and spit the pills on the floor.
I’ve always been pretty good at getting pills down animal throats. But Wonderbutt is a challenge. He is all tongue and teeth, making it extra difficult to get the medicine past the point of no return. I’m still trying to decide if he is attempting to compromise or to make a fool out of me by not completely clamping his mouth closed in the first place.
Meanwhile, in my Parenting Parallel Universe, my daughter, Dimples, had an allergic reaction two days ago, probably due to the extra pollen in the air. I pulled out the trusty Benadryl, and offered her a pill.
Dimples is 9. She has never taken a pill that could not be chewed. One look at that pill, and her gag reflex took over.
“Are you serious?” I said. “You’ve swallowed Tic Tac’s bigger than this.”
(“No I haven’t,” she says, as she fact-checks today’s post. “I chew them.”)
I had heard tales from other parents regarding this Pill Panic Phenomenon, but I never imagined my own child would join the ranks.
In case you are wondering, the reports that logic does not work in these situations are absolutely correct.
Cap’n Firepants took pity on our darling Drama Queen and divided the pill into fourths. I still don’t know how he accomplished this miraculous task. I tried to compromise and cut it in half today, and I’m convinced that only a laser could cut the minuscule thing without reducing it to crumbs.
I offered to coat it in peanut butter, and she glared at me. She was not very receptive to my hand-down-the-throat suggestion either.
So, I wished the problem away. Because I could think of no solution other than surrendering and running to the store to buy liquid Benadryl. And, although I do not share this disproportionate reaction to pills to which Dimples and Wonderbutt stubbornly cling, I do share one trait with them – obstinance.
Lo and behold, my wishing worked, and Dimples’ allergic reaction has abated. Wonderbutt, of course, spit his pills out twice today, resulting in double the usual fun – so I really haven’t won.