Monday, October 26, 2009

another milestone of the kidney kind

Around the time that M- dropped the L-word for the first time, and I was feeling a little weird about it, someone suggested going through an 'emergency room' scenario, a mental exercise to clarify my own feelings.

We have exchanged L-words (I just can't say it, can I?) but this weekend sort of cemented things. In other words, you know you love someone when you rush from your cozy apt on a cold rainy night to go to the ER all the way on the north side because a nurse called and said 'Your boyfriend needs you.'

He had called from his house earlier:
M-: So babe. What are the symptoms of a kidney stone? (groan)
D : Sharp pain, hurts to pee, and blood in your urine. (my old lady television viewing habits come in handy, sometimes.)
M-: I might have a kidney stone. I have to pee all the time. No blood, though.
D: Wow. Are you sure? Sharp pain in your lower back?
M-: Yeah, but I'm ok. Maybe it'll go away. (groan)
D: Kidney stones don't go away unless they leave your penis. I think you should go to the ER.
M-: Maybe I'll take a tylenol and then come over for our date when the pain passes.
D : Whatever. Our date is off. You need to go to the ER.
D: You need to be at the doctor; tell me where to meet you.
M-: (GROAN MOAN) Uh, I gotta go, babe. I just tried to pee and almost passed out.

He called from the hospital parking lot (yes, despite fetal position-inducing pain, he *drove* himself): 'I'm about to check in (groan) so I'll call you later. I'm at Swedish Covenant.'

Really trying not to fret I watched tv, looked up kidney stones on the web, ate a sandwich and checked my Blackberry. When an unknown 773 number popped up, I grabbed it.

'Your boyfriend needs you.'
'Tell him I'm coming and I'll be there as soon as I can.'

I texted my friends ('M- is in the ER with kidney stones! I'm out!'), dressed, grabbed keys, blew out candles, flagged a cab, grabbed cash, and rushed to the hospital, where I overtipped the cabbie.

It was a novel feeling to rush in and breathlessly say 'My boyfriend was just admitted and I'm here to see him.' Even more novel was the feeling that I *really* did not want anything to happen to this guy. This was beyond the 'gee, I hope things are ok' feeling; this was 'oh, god, it's only kidney stones but if something happens this will wreck me.'

Weird, huh?

Things fall immediately into place when you face what you really feel. The class bullshit I was still holding onto ('we don't match, he's not like anyone I've gone out with before, I graduated from college and he didn't, I don't know if he fits my circle...'), I dropped.

Priorities realign pretty quickly when you see your guy wearing a sad little hospital gown, hooked up to monitors, drugged out of his head, smiling woozily up at you in front of the nurse, and slurring, 'Gimme some sugar.'

Not once did I think 'Let me examine the gender, class and race implications of my brown self being here while these doctors and nurses look at me hold his lily white hand.'

Maybe that's why I didn't mind spending the whole weekend at his place, getting to recognize what it sounds like when he's feeling a 5 mm stone squeeze its way down his ureter. Or feeling gently sympathetic standing in the 45-min line at the high school haunted house, watching him go to the restroom every 10 min or so. Or watching how his gait changes when he's in pain or listening intently at the bathroom door for a tell-tale thump to make sure he didn't faint.

We hid out, reading comic books, watching classic horror movies, eating ice cream and making jokes about the sexiness of peeing into a filter. Silently, I counted to myself how many glasses of water he drank, if he was taking his pills on time, and in a rare moment of domesticity, I even made breakfast. (Who cares if it took me 2 freaking hours and I made enough pancakes for a whole football team?)

When I got back to my place last night, I even had a little bit of a cry, for some reason.

It's frakking brutal, this falling in love thing.

[And if you need a more timely political frame for this post, because you don't want to read pointless, girly, journal entries from Ding, shouldn't *everyone* have this same right to rush into an ER and say to the admitting nurse 'My partner is in there and I need to see him/her!'? Civil rights for all is really just that simple. How the world works for me, as a member of the dominant group, is how it should work for everyone.]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

cinderfella has nothing on me

my to-do list:

1. Prepare for Halloween (buy pumpkin; choose template; get lights and drill; buy little pots of grass and little plastic jack o lanterns; decide on Flapper vs. Every Female Judge on Law & Order for costume party)

2. Buy crack/hole filler to stop millipedes from entering my abode.

3. Pick up myterious gift at dry cleaners. (wha-huh?)

4. Revise resume so I can apply for that statewide organizer thingy.

5. Frolic with M- before I forget how. (it's been two weeks! TWO!)

6. Sympathy card for dead cousin.

7. Buy ticket to LAX while I can still afford it.

8. Clean house.

9. Negotiate contract with bar owner for New Year's Eve party.

10. Buy train ticket to Springfield next week. (grrrrrr)

11. Meet friend's husband for drink while he's in town for a conference.

i think i need a freaking vacation.

Monday, October 19, 2009

a week's worth of posts could be written about Black Dynamite (even though it made me laugh) but i'm having another one of those weeks.
on the good news front, my weird allergy is clearing up! yay, antibiotics! (boo, antibiotic-imposed celibacy.)
in M- news, he has found my father's website and hasn't run screaming into the night!

carry on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

doubled conversations: or, this is not about hair

i love my Girls. i really do. we are like family.
but sometimes ...we have conversations that misfire.

we're talking about Chris Rock's movie about hair, the anger some older black women had about it making them look bad in front of white people and somehow we're talking about if white people think about black people's hair. my XRoomie said white people don't think about black people's hair at all.

i snorted. 'they may not think about it consciously but they sure do want to touch it a lot.'

XRoomie said 'what are you talking about?'

i said, 'i cannot go a week without someone wanting to touch it, compliment it or comment on it. it's fucking fascinating to them.'

XRoomie said, 'when does that happen?'

our friend T- said, 'when i worked at the Center [on the south side] all the girls wanted to touch my hair.'

i said, 'that's totally different. the context is different.'

XRoomie said, 'i've never seen that happen. i've never heard of that.' and she mentions some women of color she's worked with who never mentioned things like that happening.

'they wore wigs and weaves all the time,' she said. 'they thought it was hilarious watching their senior partners get confused when their hair changed.'

'i'm sure this has happened to them. almost every woman of color i know can tell stories about white people wanting to touch their hair - with or without permission. that's fucking problematic,' i said.

'well,' she said. 'that's your baggage.'

'that's not my baggage, that's our history. and i'm sure that if they weren't talking about how annoying this shit is in front of you, they are talking about it with their black friends.'

we went back and forth about baggage and history for a bit but this is where something interesting happened: XRoomie insisted that the conversations she'd have with these women would be the SAME as the ones they have with their friends of color.

that's when i stopped. i shrugged and said, 'ok.'

leaving unsaid, of course, was the admission that there are conversations i only have with my friends of color that i would never have with my white friends. (or my white boyfriend, for that matter.)

also left on the ground was whether this habit of splitting conversations was particularly fair. fuck it. i'll think about fairness later.

so we went back to watching a show about a white south african family held hostage by a taiwanese rapist.

[noted because of this and this.]

Monday, October 12, 2009

work just about made me pee my pants so there's not much to share today, buttons.

other than M- gave me a key this weekend. not THE key, but A key.

baby steps.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Random 5

1. So I found 2 lumps under my right armpit. Just TWO frakking weeks after my 40th birthday!! This wouldn't freak me out so much if my 40th hadn't just happened; if my boss wasn't diagnosed with breast cancer in March and is walking all over the office wearing a baseball cap because she's going through chemo; and if a colleague wasn't also diagnosed last year and is about to undergo intense radiation. Signs, you know?

What I really hate? The fact that I'm so vain, all I can think about is losing my boobs. I really really like my boobs. They're two of my favorite features.

(And then all this thinking on how 40 really represents how your body rebels against you is making me wonder if I'm going to go nuts like my mom because she became menopausal in her 40s....the loop of crazy-thinking is endless, I tell you. All because of TWO freaking lumps.)

So, yeah. Get those tests. It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

2. One night we're at Nilda's and M- says, 'You know, I'm always talking about my job and my office but I want you to know that I think about your work, too.'
'Really?' No guy has ever indicated that he's ever thought about my work at all. B- thought it was an annoying barrier to his getting it on.
'Yeah. You're meeting all these important people, talking about things that matter to women and you're really doing something important for Chicago.'
'Really??' I couldn't tell if my skepticism was about him telling he thought this or that he actually thought it.
'Yeah. And I haven't said that to you and I wanted to. Your work is important to you and I'm really proud of what you do. I'm proud you're my girlfriend.'

How lame that I actually teared up because my boyfriend said he thinks my work is important and he's proud of me?

Swear to god, if I discover this is all some complicated psycho-mind-job, I will kill him.

3. When my sister was dating her husband in high school, I would make fun of the little bedroom shrine she had created with all of the things he'd given her. There were cards, notes, little toys, figurines, movie tickets, bits of ribbon, a dried flower or two, or random Spanish words that no one else could figure out. (Like, 'verde.' I know it's 'green' but what the hell does that mean??) The other morning, I was getting ready to leave his place and while I was slipping on my shoes, I looked over at the window sill by the couch and saw a card.

It was a card that I’d had for a while (waiting for the right person to give it to, I guess.) It said something snarky on the front like, ‘What if I call you up and ask you out and unleash upon you a volcano of lust?’ or something like that. Seeing it there was kind of a surprise. Because I leave so freaking early while he’s still in bed, I usually leave him a note under his keys or cigarettes. Do guys keep these things in a special box to rummage through later?

4. Yesterday, my CEO ran a resume past me of someone she’d like to recruit to a com’tee we’re putting together. It was an awesome resume – very academic and policy-oriented - and I gave it a hearty thumbs up. Then she BCC’ed me on an email to the owner of this resume inviting her to a coffee, as well as to run a job opportunity past her for external communications and relations. Instantly, my mood changes. My knee-jerk Competitive Queen Bee reaction kicked in. I know it’s totally irrational and petty. But it’s what I felt. I felt that someone was coming onto MY PATCH. This is what I DO. Why do we need her?? And HELL NO will I report to her!! Again, irrational. There’s more than enough work to go around and not enough people to do it.

So, to feel better, I went to get my whole face waxed. Laying there while a tiny lady spread hot wax on my hairy bits and ripped them off was cathartic. With each pinprick of pain, my crabbiness drained from my body and I went to the office feeling loads better.

5. Halloween is coming up and I’m thinking of dressing as Every Black Female Judge on Law & Order. M- might be Green Man. But then he sent me a pic of him last year as a glam rocker – fur coat, tall boots, long wig, spandex pants, belly shirt - and it made me flush with naughtiness.

We might have to save that for a special occasion.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

calling all M- fans: ding is clueless

so, i need to plan more, and i'm really bad at planning.

for almost the entirety of our dating history (all whopping 5-6 months), M- has been the main Date Planner. he's way more into logistics than i am and i'm bad at it. (and, frankly, i'm really lazy.)

but i don't want to burn M- out, so give me your date ideas, Fans of M-.
i'm desperate.

Monday, October 05, 2009

taking a break

Warren G. Harding had a black family??

(I was almost going to give this some thought - hey, whose family doesn't have someone in to who 'passed'? - then it just seemd kinda paranoid...)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

This American Life: or, Dammit, Why Didn’t She Teach Us Tagalog?

Ding: hey, V-.
JP: hey
Ding: gotta question
how do i research my mom's names?

JP: the answer is "no"
Ding: you suck.

JP: what are your mom's names?
what do you want to know?
Ding: gurindola and monblanco
like, what they mean. i know 'white mountain'

JP: wow
Ding: i misspelled one:
JP: I’ve never heard names like that before
Ding: i KNOW!
i've been on these stoopid Filipino surname sites and i can't find them!

JP: you want to know what they mean and stuff?
Ding: yeah. i want to redo my tattoo and i think i want to do a great big shout out to my moms.
JP: what did Google tell you?
Ding: i found these really neat Filipino tribal tattoos but that's not me
Google gave me shit
and Bing gave me even less
i think my mom had made up names!
my mom's a mystery.*

JP: see if there's a facebook group for people named 'guirindola'
Ding: ooooh
JP: or monblanco
Ding: good idea
where is your family from?
JP: the one with V- has the Spanish crest and everything
Ding: niice
JP: their hometown is Sto Tomás, La Unión.

Ding: remember when you snapped on your landlady and said your name was the product of 300 years of Spanish colonialism?
that was funny.
JP: they always talk about being Ilocano
actually only one of my grandparents is from La Union
and my roommate said ¨that would do it.¨

Ding: i can't remember if my mom was from Romblon or Leyte
JP: she was Visaya, right?
Ding: i guess so (yes, I’m a bad daughter)
so what does Visaya mean?
is that a region?
and yes, you are my pathway to my Filipino origins

JP: yes,
it´s the main region
Ding: shit. so where do i start?
JP: it’s like saying 'she s from the west'
without saying ‘she’s from so cal’
sorry, Spanish keyboard
Ding: so would Leyte or Romblon be in that region?
Leyte is this teeny island in the middle of nowhere.
it's in the middle of the whole Philippines cluster
JP: that middle cluster is called 'visayas'

Ding: ohhhh
I’m going to have to write my titas.
I kinda wish she came from a neato mountain family.
that would be awesome.
JP: they are both in the Visayas region
you are a goofball
Ding: like the song
do you remember singing the song?

JP: did i teach you that song
Ding: my mom would sing it then you sang it and it freaked me out!
JP: oh god.
listen, did you try asking Google for your mom's names plus either one of those islands?
Ding: no. i asked Bing and it was useless
JP: did you hear what my mama said after she taught that song?
Ding: i forgot but i bet it was funny
JP: she said, "sometimes those Filipinos discriminate [against] those negritos, too. why don't they leave them alone?"

Ding: bwah!
i remember!
JP: lunch time
gotta go
Ding: my dad would sing this song!**

*being the daughter of a closed-mouth immigrant is a pain in the ass - especially now that she's dead and i can't confirm any of these blasted details.
**why this is interesting: if my mom taught him this song, I think my mom had a real bitchy sense of humor.