The Cats Have Now Gone And Thrown It All Away

, , , , , , | Related | July 28, 2019

(I’m driving my five-year-old daughter to daycare, and on the way, we’re listening to a very popular rock radio morning show. Today, the hosts are comparing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Rocketman.” As I pull up to the daycare and I’m walking her inside, she says:)

Daughter: “Mommy! I didn’t know our Freddie Mercury was famous enough to be talked about on the radio!”

Me: “[Daughter], they weren’t talking about our cat. They were talking about the singer he was named after.”

Daughter: “But I like cats better…”

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Regular Race Issues

, , , , , | Right | May 15, 2019

(In between my semesters at college, I work at the local fabric and craft store. During my years working, we come to know this one regular that most of the staff hates seeing. She will be in the store for several hours shopping, and when she finally comes to the cutting counter, she is very particular about who cuts her material and how they cut it — in other words, a huge pain. She is also known for being a pain at the checkout and each visit always involves her calling corporate with a complaint that, when investigated, proves she is making things up. Eventually, corporate starts ignoring her calls. In one of my last encounters with her, she wished that another customer would get into a car accident after she let them cut in line and they didn’t thank her. I’ve returned for a summer and I’m working closing when I realize that I have not seen this regular yet, so I ask my coworker about her.)

Me: “So, [Coworker], I haven’t seen [Regular] in some time. Has she been in here?”

Coworker: “You didn’t know? She got banned.”

Me: “Banned?! But how?”

Coworker: “It started when she tried to use one 40% coupon on every single item she had, claiming that because she was such a valued customer buying so much stuff, we should do that for her. [Manager] explained that our policy was one coupon per item and that we cannot change it. So, [Regular] then started calling [Manager] the N-word.”

(For context, [Manager] is a six-foot-tall black woman.)

Me: “I knew [Regular] was bad, but I didn’t know she was racist!”

Coworker: “It gets better. [Regular] then hung around telling every customer in the store about the terrible N-word woman and how she was going to shoot her in the parking lot later! [Manager] had enough and, once she got word of this, called the police.”

Me: “Did [Regular] get arrested?”

Coworker: “No, she was long gone before they came. But they got her information and recommend that [Manager] never let [Regular] into the store again, and that they were going to her house to let her know that she’s not allowed at the store anymore.”

(Sure enough, it’s been years and that regular has never once returned to store.)

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Needs A Diagnosis That’s A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 6, 2019

(I’ve always had asthma, but I usually only have issues when exercising and breathing very cold air. However, I have an event where I can’t identify a trigger and the breathing problems last for a long time. I go to the emergency room, I am told it was a panic attack and I am sent home. When things don’t clear up, I go to the school clinic where they say it’s my asthma – not a spasm like I am used to, but inflammation – and give me medication. Things clear up. Then, less than a month later, I take an overseas trip. On the flight back I catch a fever and start having stomach issues. A few days later I have to switch out with my father when driving because I don’t feel like I can both drive and focus on breathing. Because it is only a little after New Year’s, my mom doesn’t think our GP can fit us in quickly enough, so we head to an emergency clinic. Our new insurance only allows us to go to one chain in the area, and it’s thirty minutes away. There isn’t a doctor available, so we confirm we are fine with seeing the head nurse. I’m used to journaling some aspects of my health due to things like adult-onset allergies, and have written specifics of the start and stop of the symptoms in a notebook, along with details from the other attack. Sometimes I also have difficulty speaking because I’m focusing on my breathing.)

Mom: “She’s been having trouble breathing. We were here a couple of days ago because she had a stomach bug.”

Nurse: “Can you describe when this started?”

Me: “Um, I noticed I had to focus to breathe. I was really aware of my breathing. It started last night, I guess? Um… I wrote it down, if it’s easier.”

(I hand her the notebook. She looks through it, but she looks skeptical.)

Nurse: “Okay, I know what’s going on here. Honey, you’re having a panic attack.”

Me: “I don’t think it’s a panic attack! It happened before around a month ago. I have asthma—“

Nurse: “The emergency guys thought that was a panic attack, too. Listen, I know you don’t want to hear this, but this is in your brain.”

(This sets me off for multiple reasons, one of which being that I DO have anxiety, but it is controlled and not the kind that results in panic attacks. Another reason is that I’ve been misdiagnosed with “stress pains” by my father’s urologist – checking for kidney stones – when we later found out I had some muscle issues in that area that were easily taken care of with physical therapy. I should also note my mother has been making some comments, but I can’t exactly remember them. She’s mostly worried.)

Me: “But the other doctor said it was asthma! I’ve had people dismiss things like this before. But when it was checked out by someone else they found something. I have anxiety, but I don’t get those! I don’t have this problem!”

Nurse: “So, you just keep going to doctors until they say what you want to hear. But I’m telling you, this is a panic attack. You said in your notes that talking is difficult, but you’re talking fine now. You seem fine. You just need to accept this. Maybe call your therapist or psychiatrist.”

(She ends the appointment. I am pretty hysterical once we return home. I have been well functioning for years and even though I don’t believe the nurse, she put the idea in my head that I wasn’t as well off as I thought. I should also note that my mom is of the generation that often writes things off as stress, and she seems to be taking the nurse’s side, or at least playing devil’s advocate, adding to my stress. I blubber to my mom and eventually my psychiatrist’s hotline. [Psychiatrist] quickly writes a prescription for anxiety, but is very firm in telling me that most of her patients don’t end up using it and that often having it in their possession helps. She also says that if I feel I need it to only take half and assess how I feel. Honestly, I don’t feel any different. Later, my mom apologizes that she helped upset me and calls our GP.)

Mom: “[Doctor] made an opening for you tomorrow… Guess what she said, though, when I told her everything that happened.”

Me: “What?”

Mom: “In her experience, asthmatics usually have panic attacks because they can’t f****** breathe.”

(My GP gave me a steroid inhaler and I started breathing better in a few days. I later went to my asthma and allergy doctor and found out that I have a new severe allergy to dust mites, something that aggravates asthma. F*** you, nurse.)

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Six-Six-Sixth Graders

, , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2019

(While observing students in study hall, I am also trying to reply to some emails. One of my sixth-grade students come up to me with a cross necklace in her hand. She then takes the necklace and places it on my hand as I’m trying to type.)

Me: “Yes, what can I do for you?”

Student: “I’m blessing you so you won’t die old and alone.”

Me: “Umm… Thank you?”

(She smiled at me and returned to her seat, leaving me dumbfounded.)

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The Title Writer Had To Go Calm Down After Reading This One

, , , , , , | Related | April 17, 2019

(My sister and her husband live in Houston. The only way for us or her in-laws to get there in a reasonable amount of time is by taking the interstate. This interstate is mostly two lanes each way and has a speed limit of 75 mph, though etiquette is to go 80 to 85. Even the small-town cops generally won’t pull people over for going less than 10 over. It’s also considered rude to drive in the left lane if you’re not passing someone or at least going fairly fast, and there are signs everywhere saying, “Left lane for passing only.” Pretty much everyone who’s driven on that road more than once knows this, especially life-long residents like my family and my sister’s in-laws. At one point, we are all hanging out and the topic of the drive there comes up, and my sister’s mother-in-law drops this gem:)

Sister’s MIL: “With all the people entering and exiting the highway, I just go 60 and drive in the left lane.”

(I almost called her out on it but didn’t want to start drama when she obviously didn’t care about how her behavior was affecting other drivers. She isn’t even some little old, “Driving Miss Daisy” type; she’s only in her 50s.)

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