That’s One Sick Ride

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2018

(My wife is 33 weeks pregnant and has woken up in the middle of the night with severe stomach pain and bloody vomiting. We rush to the hospital, and when we arrive I fire off a few texts to family and work, letting them know what’s going on and that she and I may be unavailable the next day. As we’re waiting to be seen, I get a call from one of my coworkers who is working the night shift.)

Coworker: “Hey, can you give me a ride home from work tonight?”

Me: “Uh, no, sorry. [Wife] and I are dealing with some stuff right now and—”

Coworker: “Yeah, [Manager] just told us she’s really sick and you can’t work tomorrow. So, I figure that means you’re awake right now, anyway, right?”

Me: “…” *hangs up*

(The doctors took great care of my wife; she was released a few hours later and she and the baby are both doing great now at 36 weeks pregnant. My coworker called me five more times while we were at the hospital, and left several messages about how selfish and lazy I am. I did not give him a ride home.)

Their Knowledge Is A Bit Patchy

, , , , , | Right | November 7, 2018

(I am selling a customer nicotine patches to help them quit smoking.)

Customer: “So, can I still smoke when I’m wearing the patches? Someone said I can.”

Me: *head-desks internally*

Breaking News: Fast Food Can Make You Fat

, , , , , , | Related | November 5, 2018

When I am fourteen, our family moves from Israel to the USA. I am a pretty skinny, petite teenage girl who is used to eating the normal, very reasonably-portioned, healthy diet of home-cooked food that was traditional in Israel.

As soon as we move, my mother takes advantage of the abundance of pre-made and fast food here to nearly completely replace our diet. She brings home things like store-cooked, super-fatty chickens for dinner, and encourages me to eat large portions. She frequently takes me out for fast food burger meals, and pulls out high-calorie ice creams from the freezer to shove them in my face and insist I eat them with her, usually multiple times a day. Instead of sending me to school with an actual lunch, all I get is a thin pita with some chocolate smear for breakfast and money to buy lunch at school, and the only food sold at school is high-calorie, high-carb stuff like bagels and pizza.

At that age, and with my cultural background, I know absolutely nothing about nutrition, and so don’t realize I shouldn’t be eating most of this stuff. Unsurprisingly, within just a few months I gain over twenty-five pounds. Along with the extra weight, I get a lot of very bright, red stretch marks in multiple places, including many places on my legs.

I am finally truly sick of my mom nagging me because I don’t want to go to the pool, due to not wanting to show myself in a swimsuit. I finally pull up my pant legs and show her the red stretch marks on my calves and the insides of my knees. I assumed she would immediately understand, as she herself is a rather large woman, and I have seen her body enough to know that she also has many white scars from old stretch-marks on the legs and hips. Instead, however, she makes a surprised and horrified face at me, and with a tone that sounds like she thinks I have some terrible contagious disease like leprosy, she says:

“Oh, God! What the h*** is that? What’s that horrible stuff on your legs? What’s happened to you?”

When I carefully explain the little I know about weight gain and stretch marks, she looks at me skeptically and acts as if she’s never heard of such a concept before in her life – in any language — and continues to look at me funny for the rest of the day.

Despite this, she continues to feed me the exact same terrible diet, so despite daily gym classes at school and then a gym membership, none of the weight ever comes off.

A few years later, when we’re in a store trying on dresses for me to wear to my high school graduation, I find one I like and try it on. While I’m standing there, looking at myself in the mirror, my mom says, “Oh, this is such a nice dress. You know, you’d look so pretty in it if only you weighed twenty pounds less. Yeah… It’s a shame you’re so chunky, isn’t it?”

Thanks, Mom. You’ve done ever so much for me, and been such an inspiring, helpful, and uplifting person in my life, especially during the always difficult teenage years.

A Baby Might Consider The Uterus A Cell, Of Sorts

, , , , , , | Learning | November 4, 2018

(I am volunteering at a science festival, doing science activities with children. We have an activity where it is relevant to mention that a baby is made from an egg and a sperm. The activity is specifically designed so that we never have to mention how these two get together in the first place, but we do name the two cells. I am supervising a girl of around nine, and a few other kids.)

Me: “The baby is made from two special cells from the mum and the dad. Does anyone know what the special cell from the mum is called?”

Nine-Year-Old: *raises hand excitedly, then calls out at the top of her voice* “Vagina!”

(I carefully avoid making eye contact with any of the other adults at the stand, knowing that I will not be able to contain myself if I do.)

Me: *very calmly* “You’re very close. That’s actually where the baby comes out of the mum.”

She’s At That Sticky Age

, , , , , , | Related | November 3, 2018

(At home, with my four-year-old daughter:)

Daughter: *sniffing* “I’ve got a tickle in my nose!”

Me: “You need a kleenex?”

Daughter: *desperate sniffing* “I’VE GOT A TICKLE IN MY NOSE!”

Me: “So, you’ve got a tickle in your nose?”

Daughter: *distraught sniffing* “NO! I’VE GOT A STICKER IN MY NOSE!”

(My daughter had somehow managed to jam a tiny sticker from a sticker book up her nose. I spent the next several minutes with a flashlight in my mouth, tweezers in one hand, and the head of a wiggly four-year-old in the other, trying to fish a sticker out of her nose. Got it on the second try!)

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