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1:17 p.m. - 2010-11-17
See Me. Hear You.

My goodness, when I do get off my rump I seem to get a hella lot accomplished in a short amount of time.

Yesterday I dropped Princess off at the groomer. I was more nervous than she was. Mostly I was worried about her trauma, but I didn't need to be. Seems her couple of years with us have done the trick. The cringing, nervous vomiting, abused pup who flinched and wept at loud noises, strangers, and being taken anywhere in the car has bloomed into a happy confident doggie. In fact when I brought her out to the car to go to the groomer, I was spreading the blanket over the backseat and Princess took it upon herself to hop into the front and settled down in the driver's seat and grinned at me. "I'll drive, Mom! Let's go!"

I'd have let her too, but it was raining. (I kid. Princess has a dog license, not a driver's license.)

With the dog safely ensconced at the salon I set off through Malltown. The ATM at the bank first. I'm a cash-n-carry kind of girl. I am sometimes too spendy if I'm whipping out the debit card, having a set amount of cash makes it easier for me to resist the impulse purchases. As I get older I'm finding I'm less about fixing my flaws than I am about being honest about them and working around them. I don't need to be perfect, just self-aware.

The Dollar Store was next. Do you know there was not ONE piece of Thanksgiving themed décor or table linen in the joint? It was all Christmas. Jeeze. I'd hoped I could find a pretty harvest themed table runner or some autumn colored placemats. Wrong! I did, however, remember to get a huge foil roasting pan for the bird. I like those disposable foil pans. One less thing to wrestle with at clean-up time. Something I'm sure the chief dishwasher, Mick, appreciates muchly. Also in my basket were a couple of shiny serving pieces. Two slotted spoons and a cake server. My darling MIL heard my complaints about not having any decent serving pieces a few years ago and gifted me with a lovely set of stainless steel spoons and ladles and such in a cool chrome storage sleeve. Unfortunately what she'd given me was cooking utensils. Humongus ones. Giant industrial strength ones. Handy if I was running a soup kitchen or dishing up a holiday dinner for the troops, but far too big and utilitarian for serving at our little gatherings. Not ever wanting to be an ingrate or make her feel bad, I've been making much about how handy the utensils are while I'm at the stove and quietly sloping off to pick up human-sized forks and spoons at garage sales and dollar stores to use at the table.

On to Sam's where I needed to exchange some jeans we'd gotten for Mick the other day. With no dressing room when buying clothing at Sam's you make your best guess at size and hope you did okay. No such luck with the jeans. A much narrower cut than his usual comfy carpenter's pants, the jeans were far too small. Fortunately Sam's had bigger ones and the exchange went down smoothly. Another great thing about Mick, his tidiness means he's careful with receipts and hadn't heedlessly ripped all the tags off before trying them on when we got home. While at Sam's I stopped by the pharmacy to check on the monthly refills for everybody's meds and to say hello. A cashier I've known for years stopped to say hello also and show off her beautiful 3-week old daughter. Everyone came piling out from behind the pharmacy counter and we gathered around the baby cooing and congratulating. The baby was a real cutie, but even if she'd been a scary wrinkled troll baby I'd have said nice things. I remember how touchy and shaky I was as a new mother and how much it helped calm me when people fussed over my kid and told me I did good. Besides, who could be such a cretin as to be mean about a brand new baby? "Whoa! That kid looks like E.T.! How 'bout I crochet a bonnet that covers her nasty face?"

Next to the mall, somewhere I avoid as much as possible, but my eye doctor has her office there. I went to her office and made an appointment for tomorrow and then sidled into the nearby LensCrafters to look at frames. It's a given I'll be needing a new prescription, my current glasses are off just enough to bother me. Plus I'm not thrilled with my current frames. They were fun for a while, but I've never been totally happy with rectangular frames on me. You'd think they'd be a good contrast to my round basketball face, but I actually look better in round glasses. The rectangles are a bit ageing and make me look like a hacked-off English teacher suffering with a bad case of hemorrhoids. The gods smiled upon me and I found not one, but TWO decently sized round frames. In the clearance section, no less! It's been nearly imposs to find anything but sharply angled squares and rectangles for years now, tiny ones at that. With my huge face the current bitty teeny-weeny lenses buried in herky thick frames look absurd. What with the drooping chipmunk cheeks, the dowager lines around my mouth and the ever expanding jowls, my eyes are about the only thing I still have going for me. Hiding them behind some horrible plastic gun slits pisses me right the hell off. I'm still vain enough to hope that occasionally I might hear, "Ooo! Pretty eyes!" and not just remarks about how grumpy I look today or at best that my glasses are sort of cool.

The nice clerk put the frames aside for me and I'll probably be buying them and my new lenses tomorrow after my exam. We're running up against the 'use it or lose it' deadline for my glasses coverage this year. Unlike vacation days, you can't stockpile the amount of money the insurance allots you every year for glasses and eye exams. Be cool if I could though. Save up two or three years and then go on a big spree and get any old frames and lens combo my little heart desired. Swank prescription sunglasses. All the fancy extras like anti-glare and UV protection. As it is I probably will get both pair. One with Transition lenses, it's a pain to have to keep switching between my regular glasses and my shades. I luuuuurve my sunglasses, but the 'script is seriously out of date. I can still drive okay, but it's beyond time to get new ones. It'll be a treat enough to get TWO new pairs of glasses and have the freedom to match my specs to my outfit and mood.

Next up on my quest to catch up from not having health insurance for 14 years is a visit to the otologist to have my lousy hearing assessed. Hopefully there will be an aid that will help me. If I just needed all-over amplification it'd be easy, but I have severe loss of some tones (mostly in the mid-range) and still hear stuff like electronic shrills and beeping just fine. I know my pal, Chai, will be an invaluable resource as I sift and sort through the options that might (oh, please, yes!) get me out of my partially deaf hell of "Huh?" "What?" "Pardon?" "Sorry, I missed that." As well as alleviating poor Mick from having to deal with me having the bedroom TV volume up to rock concert decibels so I don't miss any of the dialog on NCIS. (The bedroom TV doesn't have closed captioning, darn it all.)

Whoo! And won't I be the babe with my nifty new tri-focals and my hearing aids? Throw in my cane and some neato lace-up orthopedic oxfords and I'll be the smoking-est crone on the block.

Yeah, getting older sucks. But it beats the alternative! ~LA

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