May 6, 2010 

Beth Wiesemann

Okay, so it's not Summer and I didn't exactly have a vacation. Summer vacation is for children. When you're an adult, vacations are for doctor's appointments. Recently, I took a long weekend so I could take care of an extra appendage I was growing on my face. The dermatologist officially called it a cyst. However, when asked about it by casual bystanders, I liked to tell them it was a twin that I hadn't totally re-absorbed back in the womb. Laugh if you will, but it was strangely beginning to resemble an eyeball. When people sitting next to me keep complaining that I'm staring at them all day, it's time to call the surgeon.

Luckily, the operation was a success. Unfortunately, I was reminded once again that it takes me a long time to get numb. Apparently the anaesthesia manufacturer recommends about 30 seconds and my nerve endings would prefer three or four minutes. Why do I always neglect to mention to my doctors that I numb slowly? It always dawns on me after the first couple of incisions.

As current custom dictates, the first thing I did when I got home was post a pic of my heavily bandaged face on Facebook™. This prompted a few concerned reactions from friends (the real ones – not the kindergarten classmates you haven't seen in 20 years that you add to your Friends List just to pad your totals). Certainly these people have noticed the second head that's been growing from my jaw line. But just for kicks, I told everyone I was knifed in a bar fight. That makes my life sound so much more glamorous.

My life certainly can use some excitement. Despite five days of unseasonably warm weather, I spent my time off catching up on my reading. In my defense, my three weekly magazine subscriptions were creating a pile high enough to reach hoarder status. Not to mention how behind I was getting on world events. Did you know that Jay Leno is going to prime time? We're also looking good to get almost as many gold medals as the Russians at the winter Olympics.

Of course, the thought did occur to me that I could maybe sit outside and read. I even thought about setting my camera nearby, in case any cute wildlife scenes presented themselves.

Then again, do we really need any more pictures to reaffirm the squirrel's outstanding ability to balance on a power line? Ditto for rabbits and birds. They're so overdone. And the mailman gets a little freaked out when I jump out from behind the bushes to get those candid shots. It's just not a good idea to mess with government employees.

Mini vacations are also a good time for doing a little spring cleaning. Yeah...uh...hmmm. Reducing my pile of Newsweeks counts. Right? I even recycle. (Note to self: Make some time to dispose of the recycling piles.(

Now, there was actually one really fun thing I did while I was off. I rounded up my two nieces and spent the day with them. Our first stop was the department store for some summer clothes shopping. As it turns out, what they really wanted were a lot of dresses. I haven't owned a dress since the Reagan administration, so this was just perfect. I figured they would pick out whatever they liked. Tell me moms, is it hard to wash things with a lot of sequins? Leopard print leggings are in at the moment too, correct?

The one thing I really don't understand is why the fitting rooms are so far from the kids' clothing section. Don't store designers know seven-year-olds always want to push the cart? Don't they know that seven-year-olds can't turn corners or see over the cart well enough to avoid running into things?

Trying on the clothes was pointless really. The seven-year-old insisted that her favorite dress wasn't way too big, although it clearly was. No problem, I figured. I'll save the receipt and mom can return whatever doesn't fit. What I didn't figure on was that they would want to wear their new dresses to the movies later. This seemed like a darling idea until they got in line at the concession stand and asked for very colorful slushy drinks; slushy drinks in large cups that they would be handling in a dark room. Slowly, I began to figure out the odds of those dresses being returnable by the time I got them home to mom.

I underestimated the dexterity of my brilliant nieces though, because we made it safely out of the theater without any horribly noticeable stains. Then it was on to the Italian restaurant where the nine-year-old wanted spaghetti. Red sauce and long noodles. That couldn't be good. But once again, neither girl left looking like the lead in a horror movie. So you can imagine how comfortable I was feeling when we got to the ice cream place. While trapped in a very long line with no napkins in the near vicinity, the seven-year-old pointed out how interesting sequins look with white ice cream dripping all over them. In retrospect, I shouldn't have fed them so much junk food. But hey, no one's going to love their Aunt Beth if she feeds them steamed asparagus.

On the fifth and final day of my vacation, I had big plans and a lot to accomplish. Sadly, at some point during the night I must have been dreaming that I was representing the letter "S" on Sesame Street. When I woke up, it felt like someone had stuck a hot poker in my neck. Pain radiated down my back all day and left me popping pain killers and trying to remember which socket my heating pad was currently plugged into. If I'm going to have an injury, I want it to be from doing something worthy. I want it to be from a bungee cord mishap or at the very least, dropping the bar on myself while bench pressing. There's nothing impressive about posting my pain status on Facebook™ and attributing it to poor pillow positioning.

Oh well. At least it gave me a legitimate excuse to sit and read all day. Did you know Jay Leno is going back to 10:30?

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