Saturday, November 24, 2012

She's Back!

I ventured out with my new bandage today.  Not quite three days post-surgery, I was feeling no pain so I felt it was time.  First stop: Starbucks (though I did recently do the math and determine that I could join a nearby tennis club for about my monthly iced coffee/Chai tea latte bill). 

Oh, well.  I'll quit tomorrow.  I told myself.

What can I say?  Old habits die hard. 

My favorite barista was chatting with someone near the door as I walked in but I was on the phone with my girlfriend Heidi so we didn't exchange our usual hellos.  I gave my order to a less favorable cashier who then passed it on to an even less favorable barista (he sings incessantly in the morning as he makes drinks.  Like nobody is there.  And it isn't before 9 a.m.).  Anyway, I was fairly deep in conversation the whole time so I didn't get to assess any reaction to my bandage, if it even existed. 

My next stop was the liquor store to buy some rye whiskey.  Not for me.  For Jeff.  I don't drink whiskey and I can't even have a glass of wine until five days post-op.  Such bull shit.  Even though my father is certain that the no drinking rule is really meant for raging alcoholics instead of mild alcoholics like me, I have decided it's best to abide by the rules.  It would be one thing if it was a limb or my back that was hacked up but this is my face we're talking about.  It may not be my money-maker but it's still my calling card.
I had to ask one of the store staff for help finding the whiskey.  The nice young man maintained epic levels of eye contact as he scoured the shelf for Rittenhouse then went to check the store's inventory.

"We're completely out of Rittenhouse," he said as he walked back down the aisle toward me.

"Can you recommend something similar?"

I left with Bulleit after the feisty silver-haired gal at the register glared at me for answering my phone in the middle of the transaction.  She had to ask for my driver's license twice. 

Jesus how about a little sympathy?  I thought to myself as I walked out the door, iced-coffee in one hand and the other clenching the neck of a bottle of whiskey dressed in a brown paper bag.

Now I REALLY hope I don't run into anyone I know.  

My next stop was a nursery to pick up a few plants to continue to fill in my ongoing front yard project.  The first man I asked for help looked to be about the age of most of the men and women I sat in the waiting room with (and the cashier at the liquor store), waiting for test results then finally reconstructive surgery on the day of my procedure.  Also like them, he was white.  Needless to say, he was less than impressed with what I was bringing to the table.  Bandage-Shmandage!, his eyes seemed to say as he pointed to the five-gallon, red flax plant I was looking for that I had walked right by before I stepped into his office (read: cashier's desk tucked inside a shed lined with bags of manure).  He broke for lunch immediately following our conversation leaving me in the hands of two younger men who were equally unimpressed as they answered more of my inane questions and were sent on wild goose chases for agave plants that were not currently in stock.
My big adventure was cut short when a big gust of wind blew and I swore dirt got inside my bandage.  I began to imagine all manner of infections, flaming red flesh and buckets of pus oozing out of my face.

Skip Whole Foods.  Go straight home.

I told myself as the young men at the nursery helped load my car. 

But it's just one more stop.  

I thought of the to-do list I had solidified in my mind before I left the house.

At least stop at home and have Jeff check your bandage.

I finally convinced myself.

I walked into the house to a puking Nick (apparently his Thanksgiving-eve stomach flu had not completely run its course), a cranky husband ("Why can't they entertain themselves?  Normal kids just go outside and play!"), and a needy Vince ("Mommy, I'm bored!").

I ran to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and smiled at my bandaged up reflection.

Yup, you're still there.  Right where you were when I left the house - smack in the middle of my face!  And the best news of all is nobody gives a shit!

Almost 60 bucks/month, not including when my extremely
compassionate family adds to the order...such a freakin' waste.