Due to Extenuating Circumstances

Adventures in Unplanned Parenthood

Archive for the tag “#the cane”

Oh yeah, let’s get RACIAL.

One of Mac’s favorite stories of his youth involves a soccer game where many of the players were not white. One player made a racist comment, and then Mac’s teammate looked up in total disbelief, saw all of the different people on the field, and in laughing, sneering disbelief said “Oh yeah, let’s get racial.” The moment was quickly diffused in a smattering of “OK, that was stupid.”

I want to look around America tonight and say, on November 8th, 2016, “Oh yeah, let’s get political.” Because it ALL is. The Trump votes, the Hillary votes, the Johnson/3rd Party/write in/Mickey Mouse… all of them are statements about us running around trying to protect ourselves and those we love. Except tonight, I feel a fear I have never known before. I thought I knew fear. But not like this. This is different.

Many times I don’t agree with some of the things Republican candidates say, but I’m also grateful they are there, because if people like me run the system you’re going to have a government where every person in America has 87 social programs, there will be entitlements for dogs and cats, and comprehensive life-care for every living being goldfish-sized and up. This is not practical. The GOP NEEDS to rein me in. However, in this election, I didn’t hear policy discussions, I heard more about The Wall, foreigners have to be the “right kind,” putting Muslims on a registration list, the inferiority of the Mexican people crossing our borders, and that it’s okay to make fun of the disabled.

My husband is from another country, I walk with a cane, and our son is named Eduardo.

A Trump administration is not going to go well for us.

I mean, what do I tell my kid if he hears that Mexicans are generally inferior people? I can tell him, all I want, that it doesn’t mean him, he was born here…but why do I need to split hairs? Oh, well, your bio-parents weren’t born here, but you were, so the magical healing properties of Iowan tap water have cleansed you of the sins of your people? Oh, some brown people are bad because they came here, but you were already here so pin a note on your shirt and the kids won’t make fun of you? No. It’s no good.

So that’s why I’m scared now. I’m scared for him. It’s not as though tomorrow everything will be different. He’ll throw his breakfast on the floor, go to daycare, come home and throw dinner on the floor, mommy will cry in the bathroom because two year olds don’t eat and subsist off of whatever food they find while they’re on the floor. It will be slow. Gradual, I suppose. How many years do we have, though? Two? Three? Seven (she wrote, fearfully)?  Will I have a nine year old who gets taunted because somebody figured out “Eddie” isn’t short for “Edwin?”

If you happened to vote for Trump, and feel my concerns are not merited, please leave a comment below. I’m serious. I need to know who among the majority were voting on the record of his policy decisions, or because they liked his hair, he’s anti-establishment, whatever. I want friends if the revolution comes. I left a pretty good track record of my liberal leanings and make no apology for that. But if I’m going to be first against that damn wall when the revolution comes, please, please take care of Eddie.

He really didn’t do anything wrong. Not even being Mexican. Oh yeah. I got racial.

 

Love Story: the real sequel

Oh, readers. You’ll love this. I mean it; you’ll love this, because by now you think you’ve copped on. “Sarah can’t possibly have this many physical problems, she’s a head case who exaggerates minor physical discomforts for the sake of the story,” you’re saying to yourself in my voice at this very minute. I do mean this minute. I wait until each and every one of you is reading, then I say it along with you. (Hi, Don & Suzie, congrats on the move!).

Hollywood, I have the ultimate pitch to you. I want to pitch my movie about the sequel to Love Story, only this is very real and the coveted age 40-65 movie target audience will come for this one. They truly will.

We start with the wife, and this IS based on a true story, somewhere out there some superheroes disguised as EMTs and firefighters will corroborate… taken to the ER with what we now know was an extremely sudden attack of benign positional vertigo. The entire world was spinning, I could NOT stop puking, I was lethargic and confused, and wasn’t ambulatory. Simply put, it was like being drunk on a Tilt-a-Whirl after you’ve eaten Thanksgiving dinner then stepped into an anti-gravity chamber. Hm. I need to work on “simply put.” Anyhow, the vertigo is expected to last six weeks or so, and I frequently get so dizzy I have to stop everything and sit on the floor, or I’ll get there one second later but land on my face.

We meet the protagonist, Mac. He’s NOT George Clooney, he’s had to live a real life, so go find an actor that has DONE that, thank you. Mac is now married to a person who cannot pick up their beautiful adopted baby from off the ground, lift the baby or carry him for more than a minute, put him in a carseat, or, for that matter, drive. (I still get so damned dizzy that I get carsick while I’m driving. One or two things my cop father said are rattling around somewhere in my brain, thus I respect a car is a deadly weapon in the wrong hands. I have taken myself off the road before I get myself or someone else killed).

Mac’s school year is all but done, he’s mostly researching and writing. Don’t let that fool you; that’s still a 40 hour work week, when done by serious professors who give a damn and are good at their jobs. Sitting on your butt and writing (for real) is WORK. His day is simple: get baby up, feed him, dress him, drop him at Learning Center (daycare), go to work, get baby, come home, amuse baby til dinner, make dinner, TV, bed. He has made it clear my character is welcome to join in, but if I don’t feel well enough, by all means he’ll get’r done.

Obviously I try to do what I can. Mac can nap while Baby and I watch Sesame Street and count our toes, or I give him an amazing new toy and he can hit other things with it. Today it was a spoon. Yesterday it was empty husk of a highlighter, the innards long-since sent to the Staples in the sky. I helped change the bed after Baby pooped in it and the clumpy, yogurty mess went all down Baby’s pant leg. That mess, by the way, was a grim reminder that Mac should double check he put a diaper on the kid before putting him in the crib.

That’s how tired this man is. He forgot the diaper entirely. Then thanked me for getting a clean mattress pad on the bed. Thanked me.

Think about that for a second.

Hollywood, take note: I am now writing the secret to the greatest screenplay of the last century, and giving it away for free, so at the VERY least give it some thought and then cast an actress who is 40 to play me, not a 22 year old who has a flat stomach and a $300 haircut.

Mac did Love Story, the original. His first wife died very young, of a cancer so vicious it couldn’t even have the mercy to end her days quickly. There was no Ali McGraw, no beautiful soundtrack, no Academy award nominations. It sucked Mac dry then left him for dead, except he was still here.

Now here he is, in a sequel that, like so many others, is a fainter shade of the real deal and nobody’s heard of the actress. A whole decade younger…should have been a safe bet, huh? Nope. Still calling 911, still getting huge medical bills, still seeing doctors shake their head and say “I’ve never heard of this before. Sorry.” And in the middle of all of this…he found enough love in his heart to dream of a son, and then Baby finally comes. Mac is now under studio contract to keep making this work no matter how much the actress is wandering off and on the set, taking weird pills, sitting for no discernible reason in the middle of the floor, making the whole house into an instant parody of the world’s shittiest ashram. The baby screams because he wants Cheerios, the soundtrack to the Wiggles is on permanent loop for the rest of our lives, and after cleaning up the poop, putting everything in the clothes washer, drying it, bringing it upstairs, feeding our kid and spending time with me…

HE thanked ME for putting the mattress pad on Baby’s crib.

Hollywood, I know you’re blowing me off, but believe me when I tell you every couple who has been in love through these times will see this movie. Anybody can fall in love. Hell, it’s so easy the Kardashians, David Hasselhoff, Voldemort and Donald Trump all did it, and remember Hasselhoff was quoted as saying “I’ve got taste. It’s inbred in me.”

The sequel is the better, braver movie here. It’s the choice to be a good man, a good father, a good husband, a good provider, a good son, and, with the time he was allowed, a good brother. THAT’S the angle, Hollywood. Show the choices people make when one has to be at 100% day and night, trusting the other will be there when the time comes.

She is here. No, hon, look down. On the floor. But I am here, and I’m grateful that “romantic movie” gives way to scary EMTs, poopy sheets and the grace to thank me when I do what I can as well as I can.

I love you Mac, as I can and from wherever I am. Yep. Down here again, kitchen floor. Thanks for making the sequel.

 

An ode to the airport wheelchair drivers

I’d like to take a moment to sing the praises of somebody many of you will never have met: the people who wheelchair you through airports. Or, more precisely, you may not have truly seen them. Let me explain. I have gotten to know a few of them pretty well. I even know one guy’s name, but I won’t give it here because I didn’t ask permission.

One of my close friends, let’s call her Kit, was born with a serious spinal condition. She is, in the true meaning of the word, a genius. I can’t tell you what her government job is, but when she sees the Oval Office on TV shows like Scandal she can tell you exactly how many things they got wrong. She texted me awhile back saying she felt very embarrassed to use the wheelchair drivers at the airport. If anyone should be embarrassed, it’s Charles Darwin. To put one of the most brilliant minds our country has to offer in a casing that can’t walk 100 feet was REALLY DUMB. We want this brain to be mobile. We WANT this brain able to do its thing anytime, anywhere. Having this brain in such a fragile casing is like creating an egg only instead of a yolk there’s a nuclear weapon inside. We shouldn’t have to worry one wrong move costs our nation untold misery.

But I digress. I fucking love the wheelchair people. Believe it or not, by the time I’ve ridden in the car, gone through ticketing and checked my carryon (I do NOT do luggage. Nothing. Nada. A purse is almost my limit) there’s no way I’m taking off my shoes and coat, giving up my cane, walking through the silly machine, finding my gate, using the bathroom then boarding. Sweet baby Buddha. This sequence of events would be performed without a wheelchair if you threatened to take away my lifetime’s supply of chocolate but not for anything less. So, I ask for a wheelchair.

Airlines may suck at a lot of things but let me tell you, I haven’t ever been let down by a wheelchair driver. They meets me at the airport door, stop for anything I want (bathroom? Of course. ATM? No problem. Pretzel because all other food makes me want to puke? One Auntie Anne’s coming right up). I don’t think I could take Baby alone, so when Mac has Baby, we all get to load up in the little golf cart and whiz through O’Hare or National.

My favorite guy at O’Hare is a man with an obvious intellectual disability. Doing this job right takes his full concentration and he’s very careful to do it right. Somehow there’s a weird cloak of invisibility (sorry, J.K. Rowling) that can envelop people with disabilities. In my temporary status as a person with mobility issues I see it now. I’m pretty sure the perfect murder involves looking disabled. Nobody sees you. Their eyes glide right on by.

I’m thankful for the airport wheelchair drivers of the world. Next time you see one, really see one. Trust me, for the people who need them we really, really need them.

And Kit– don’t be embarrassed. They’re putting food on the table in an honest job and you KNOW you can’t walk that far. Besides, honey…nobody sees us. You know they don’t.

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