Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is That Your Medical Expertise, Doctor?

I apologize for the abandonment of this blog. It has been a while since my last post, but I just have to say that... I'm back and more peeved than ever!

Before I get into the wonderful doctors that have helped me this year (-insert sarcastic tone here-), I would like to explain to everyone the disease I was
finally diagnosed with.

For a few years now, I haven't been feeling like myself. It started with extreme fatigue, which is a general symptom for most diseases, including mental disturbances such as: stress and anxiety...understandable. However, throughought the years, other symptoms kept on popping up, and I refused to label those symptoms as stress -or- anxiety related. I know my body, and I know when something is wrong. Something wasn't right. Yet, my primary doctor kept insisting that it was "just stress."

About a year ago, my first symptom besides fatigue began to surface. I remember that I was in my Sidney Circle class, taking in the text of Astrophil and Stella, when all of a sudden, the words in my book seemed to fuse together and shift from side to side. I was experiencing double vision. This new symptom was unbearable. Not only did I struggle to read the words in my book, but I was getting a massive headache from trying to focus of the words. I closed my book and just decided to listen to the lecture. From that moment on, my double vision would come and go.

My next symptom began in the year 2010. Admittedly, I would say 2010 was a stressful year. I was finishing up my BA in English and at the same time, I was crossing along that familiar college graduate road "what now? avenue." All of a sudden, I realized that my speech was somewhat impaired. I would be talking with friends, when I realized I was slurring my words. It was understandable because I would force myself to pronounce the words, but it still was a struggle for me to speak. It wasn't until one night when I was at an outing with my friends, that I just burst into tears because I couldn't pronounce certain words at all. Some words that I remember struggling with were: "tooth brush", "better", "thank." For the rest of the night, I didn't say a word to anyone. At that time, I hadn't told anyone. I just thought maybe it was my primary doctor's diagnosis of "stress". However, I couldn't hold in my frustrations any longer. I drove home and told my parents about my slurring. Because I had been at an outing with my friends, they assumed that I was just drunk and hysterical. When I explained I didn't even touch a drop of alcohol, they didn't believe it because I did not go to them before (which I regret now).

It wasn't until my birthday in July 2010, when things started getting serious. The slurring of the speech went away for a month or so, but then came back in July, and with a vengeance! My friend Christina and I were going to Orlando on July 17th, and on that specific day, I noticed my throat felt very sore and swollen, and I couldn't communicate verbally AT ALL. I had to get my dad to tell Christina what was going on on our way to the airport.

Things just got worse as the day progressed. My throat felt worse and worse, and it got to the point where I couldn't swallow anything, both liquids and solids. I would come close to choking on them. It wasn't until we went to City Walk at night when things got really bad. Christina and I sat down at a karaoke bar. We weren't even there for five minutes when I started choking on a cherry. I kept slapping the table and turning red. Since we were at a karaoke bar, Christina had mistaken my flailing limbs and gasping breath as fits of laughter due to the dorky man getting "down and jiggy with it" to the song of Sweet Child of Mine on the stage. Suddenly, she realized... "Holy crap Jade, are you choking?!"

To make a long story short, the waitress got the paramedics and I would have been in better hands, or should I say "paws", with a German Shepherd. Again, since we were out at night, the paramedics made the assumption that I was "drunk" because of the way I was talking. When I tried to communicate with the main paramedic, with tears rolling down my face, I took out my cell phone and I was going to write down the situation (because he couldn't understand me when I spoke). When my determined fingers hit the keys to my phone, he took the phone out of my hands and started screaming at me!"This is no time for texting! I need you to speak to me!" My friend looked at him with an arched brow and a comment: "I THINK she was trying to write it down on her phone. She can't talk." The paramedic simply replied: "I can understand her just fine when she talks. NOW TALK!" I forced myself to speak as clearly as I possibly could, but I spoke with the diction of Rain Man and a clam, to where I received the intelligent response of, "huh?!"

The paramedic wanted to know if we wanted to be escorted to the hospital. I said, "No thanks, we'll take a cab." I couldn't stand being near that guy. I thought that finally I would have some answers to what was going on. Unfortunately, the hospital wasn't a better experience. The doctor that saw me, treated me the same way the paramedic did, just as if I was a crazy woman sitting on the hospital bed. He asked me very little questions and "diagnosed" me by that. I told him my symptoms, starting from the fatigue, the double vision, a droopy right eye, trouble swallowing and chewing, and slurring my speech. When I told him my speech was "slurred", he argued with me that the way I was talking was not "slurred". My friend that was in the room with me laughed and asked him: "what would you call her form of speech," where he responded: "um...nasaly." I kid you not, the man said "um, nasaly" and left the room with no other comments but that. Before he left however, I noticed how his interest wasn't in my well-being, but at my friend's chest! That was the creepiest doctor vistit ever! With his best judgment and his years of schooling, he diagnosed me as being "stressed" and having a sore throat and handed me a prescription for penicilin.

I took the penicilin, and to my ASTONISHMENT, it didn't work. The swallowing was a little bit better, but it still wasn't back to normal. I went to my primary again after that and told her the events that had happened prior to this visit, and she still insisted that it was stress and to continue with the penicilin to see if I saw any changes. I refused to believe that this was "just stress." So... I saw my Mother's doctor, Dr. Eric Smith, and thank GOD I did. Till this day, I owe this man my life. Without his diagnosis, things could have gotten a lot worse.

Without any hesitation he took his time to ask me a wide array of questions, and within minutes he told me "I'm going to be honest. I can't tell you as of now what you have, but with the proper testing I'll be able to. I think you may have this autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis. But we need to get the proper blood tests, and we need to get you situated with a neurologist." I know what you're thinking..."myawhat?" To sum up myasthenia gravis in a nutshell, basically, it works as any other autoimmune disease... The body is overactive and attacks itself. Other autoimmune diseases that you may be familiar with are: type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, the list goes on.... In normal people, certain viruses and foreign forms are attacked, keeping the body healthy, but in autoimmune diseases, it not only attacks foreign forms, but healty tissue in the body. In my case, it attacks the communication that goes on between nerves and certain muscle contractions, which explains the droopy eyelid (which Dr. Smith informed me was a DEAD giveaway to myasthenia gravis), the slurred speech, and the trouble chewing.

If I hadn't been diagnosed by Dr. Smith, I don't know what would have happened. One thing is for certain, if I continued on the way I was, without the proper treatment, there is no doubt in my mind that the condition and symptoms would have gotten worse. It could have went from trouble swallowing, to trouble walking. Another thing that was discovered and recently taken care of in December of 2010, was an invasive thymoma (a tumor on the thymus gland that was spreading). Thankfully the tumor was benign, and the wonderful thoracic surgeons at Jackson Memorial Hospital were able to remove both the thymus and tumor.

Through this experience I've grown as a person. Even though I went undiagnosed for years, I don't hold a grudge against the doctors that have treated me in the past. They've just made me realize that no one knows their own body better than themselves. If doctors are just going to call you crazy and prescribe penicilin, then it's up to you to seek additional advice. Because I refused to believe that I was just "stressed", I ended up finding wonderful doctors that gave me my life back.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's Not What I Saw On TV, Damn It!

We’ve all been victims of this new television trend. We see these new products pop up everywhere, and somehow they’re remarkable. You know the ones, the backwards robe that supposedly can do what a sweatshirt can’t do, a sponge towel that cleans up messes that, god forbid, a towel can’t pick up, and magic glue that is stickier than normal glue. Welcome to the wonderful world of infomercials, a world that kicks our every day products that we take for granted to the curb, and replaces our prized possessions into crap. Seriously, the Snuggie? For forty bucks, I think I’d rather pay more money for a coat at Burlington that I could actually wear out in public without getting beat up. If it still doesn’t have that “Snuggie feel”, I could just put it on backwards when I’m prancing around the house. There, problem solved!

Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I too have been blinded by the light of the deceptive infomercial. No, we didn’t pay for forty dollar Snuggies (we were tempted to though… ) Nonetheless, the products we bought were similar in the way that they were pointless, a waste of money, and could have been replaced with less hassle by normal products laying around the house.


This seems like a gift sent by God himself. Wow, are you telling me that the strange two-year old stain on my favorite shirt will go away with a little help from this stuff? Geez, let me at it! With this new army of OxiClean, ketchup, grass, and wine stains don’t stand a chance (so the commercial had us believe).

I’m not exactly the cleanest eater or drinker. If I eat a pizza by the couch, there’s bound to be crumbs everywhere. As much as I try to hide the evidence, my Mr. Magoo vision misses a heap, if not all of the crumbs. Well, one night my boyfriend and I were laying on the couch together and he noticed tiny drops of wine stains on his blue rug. Automatically, I was the prime suspect of this crime (I still think I should have a lawyer present). Anyway, the drops were really small, probably the size of half a pea. As we were laying there, we see the OxiClean commercial! It was settled, the next day we would try the stuff out.

Excited of his new purchase, my boyfriend read the instructions on the OxiClean container, and automatically went to work trying to eliminate the stains. The two of us waited in suspense, crouched on the floor like a pair of cave people discovering fire for the first time. To our dismay, we notice the wine stains disappearing, but instead of a maroon color, it started turning a light brown. We waited for a little bit to see if the brown would fade lighter, but all of a sudden, a huge brown ring the size of a tennis ball started to form around the drops of wine. In horror I gasped: “Take it off! Take it off!” But it was too late.

My boyfriend washed the remaining OxiClean off with water, attempted to dry it with a hair dryer, vacuumed the rug, all in hopes of diminishing the huge brown patches. Nothing worked. We looked at the aftermath of the OxiClean trial. His once perfect blue rug with tiny drops of wine stains, now looked as if a drunken frat boy had barged into his apartment and vomited all over the rug. We were standing in a battle ground of faded brown patches. In the end, at least I could say: “Well, at least I didn’t do that!”

Smooth Away

One day I gave my boyfriend a simple kiss on the cheek and he kept giggling, nonstop. A brief giggle is normal, but a continuous giggle, I knew something was on his mind. “What?” I asked him. He looked at me and couldn’t keep a straight face. “Don’t take this the wrong way… But you have little pricklies.” Being self- conscious about the way I look, I automatically cupped my hands around my face and stared at him wide-eyed. “What do you mean pricklies? Is there something on my face? A beard? What?!” He started laughing and responded with: “It’s nothing! It’s just your upper lip… You have little hairs. But every girl has that! It’s no big deal.

I’m glad that he found my little Chaplin moustache amusing, but I wasn’t having it. I admit it, I wasn’t thinking at the time, and I made a drastic decision to… shave… a little. Maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea? When I told my boyfriend what I did, he scolded me for days about shaving my little friend. He kept telling me that it would grow back thicker; I kept telling him it was an old wives tale, and this went back and forth for days.

Anyway, I wasn’t paying 20 bucks to have a little fuzz on my lips removed by waxing. I tried plucking it out and that was a painful process, so then I discovered this box of Smooth Away in my house. I’ve seen the commercial of this product several times on TV and it seemed like a miracle! Wow, a scrubber that scrubs away hair without the fuss of shaving and nicking yourself with a razor… Brilliant!

I set up the product, and automatically started circling the area of mild fuzz clockwise, just like the instructions said. Now, keep in mind, I have thin hair and maybe three or four hairs sticking out of my upper lip. I kept on circling… Nothing. Two minutes later and my lip started getting red. Five minutes into the process, and voila! The hairs were gone. It took me five minutes to remove five hairs from my lip and rub my face raw in the process. Thanks but no thanks, I’ll just have to be Chaplin’s twin for a little longer until I can afford laser hair removal to remove the pesky pricklies for life.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Are You Too Cool For Mother's Day?

Alright, so you heard about my little "Mother's Day crisis" last night. Well, today the whole Mother's Day plot thickens! *cue doomed music* So, when I left off with the lady on the phone yesterday, she told me yada, yada, yada, they can't get in touch with the florist, yada, yada, yada, but there would be a guaranteed flower delivery for my grandmother tomorrow (today) morning. 11 o'clock rolled by and I didn't get a call from my grandmother saying she received her flowers. I was beyond pissed. Once again, I called Florist Express/ ProFlowers, and waited for an hour to speak to a representative. When I finally had the opportunity to talk to an actual human being, the conversation went something like this:

Jade: Yeah, I paid $70 for an orchid arrangement that was supposed to be delivered by Mother's Day. It's officially a day after Mother's Day, and she still hasn't gotten anything.

Representative: I'm so sorry about the delay ma'am, what's your name and order number?

Jade: *repeats order number* I'm Jade.

Representative: Ok. I'm sorry ma'am but we tried getting in contact with the florist yesterday with the idea that they would have the orchid arrangement.

Jade: And they don't have the arrangement?

Representative: No they don't, but--

Jade: And you guys were planning on telling me this when??

Representative: Once again ma'am we're sorry for the inconvenience. What we can do is upgrade your order free of charge with an apology letter along with your Mother's Day card. Would you like that?

Jade: But what exactly is going to show up? Is it going to be the same orchid display that I saw online or something different?

Representative: It's going to be a little different, since the flowers are coming from another company in your area. Since you live in Miami, there shouldn't be any problems finding an orchid display, but just in case they don't have anything, would you want another arrangement of some fabulous roses and lilies?

Jade: *sighs* whatever...

Representative: We're on it now ma'am. Your flowers will be delivered by today. Once again, we offer our sincere apologies for this mishap and hope we will do business with you again.

Jade: Today huh? Sounds fabulous.

Representative: Yes today, we're working on it now.

Jade: Alright thanks.

Sounds pretty sweet and simple right? Well, after all that happened with this company, I wasn't any bit assured. So I went to class with a bucket of anxiety in my stomach. On one of my breaks, I got a text from my Mom saying that my grandma did indeed receive the flowers and they were orchids. When I called my mother back, I asked her what my grandmother's tone was like. Did she sound happy, disgusted, confused? Did she say the flowers were pretty?

My Mother's response? "She said they were interesting."

Ok... A two headed chipmunk is interesting. A chicken with eight legs is interesting. Watching a dog take a dump in the garden is interesting. Interesting isn't exactly the word I would use for $70 orchids.

"She wants you to come over and see them" my Mother said.

I had to mentally prepare myself to see the flowers... Mentally prepare myself for the $70 disaster.

When I finally arrived at my grandmother's house, I rushed in to see almost the same orchid piece I saw online. They weren't as bad as I thought... In fact, they were interesting, and the vase was pretty nifty. $70 worth? Not really, but I could deal with that. At least it wasn't a total disaster.

My grandmother gave me a kiss on the head and thanked me for my present, and I slumped down into the couch with relief, until my eyes caught a glance of the scribbled mess of a "Mother's Day" card on the table. I was expecting a cute image of a teddy bear hugging a heart with my neatly printed message inside the flap, but instead I got a damn post-it with chicken scratch scribbled on the surface. That's not even the best part. The best part was the message that read something like this:

To the best grandma in the Happy Mother's Day
Love, Baba

By the way Baba isn't my name... Baba is what we call my grandmother. And apparently she's the best grandma in the Happy Mother's Day...

After the whole flower fiasco, I couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous this Mother's Day was, this Mother's Day which spread to a span of two days. At least Baba found it amusing. She said she'd have the card framed.

In order to vent out my frustrations and amusement, I contacted my boyfriend. This call was a venting party for the both of us, because apparently, he had a Mother's Day mishap with his Mother's present too.

Pretty much the same thing happened with him. His mother didn't receive her Vermont teddy bear for Mother's Day either, but his call went something like this:

Boyfriend: Yeah, I placed an order to be delivered by Mother's Day. It never got to my Mother's house.

Representative: Hmm... According to my records, someone signed for them.

Boyfriend: WHAT? That's impossible she said she never got the gift.

Representative: Well it says here that a Juan Martinez signed for it.

Boyfriend: WHO?!

Representative: A Juan Martinez signed for it sir.

Boyfriend: Look, there isn't a Juan Martinez living in that house.

Representative: A house? Are you sure it's a house sir and not an apartment?

Boyfriend: I think I would remember where my Mom live-- wait a minute. Do you mind telling me the address to the place you sent it?

Representative: *gives him the address*

Boyfriend: Oh my God... You sent the bear to my apartment.

Representative: Oh no... Are you serious?

Boyfriend: Yes.

Representative: Well, if you'd like, you can ship the bear back to us and we can send it to the proper address!

Boyfriend: No thanks. I'll just ship it to her myself.

Representative: I'm sorry for the inconvenience sir!

There you have it... A list of Mother's Day "inconveniences". As crappy as these stories seem, I'm not going to hold a grudge. In the case of the Mothers in our lives, this will at least be an unforgetable Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Is A Time For Ulcers

Mother's Day... We see it every year on television. We see a mother praising her husband for her "every kiss begins with K" jewelry, a mother jumping with joy at a lame card that says "Mom, you rock!" on it, and a mother cherishing her four year old child's fruit loop art piece of a random donkey. In reality, does Mother's Day have that perfect ending? Not exactly. In reality, the angry wife raises a brow at her husband's attempt of appreciation with his swap shop jewelry and replies with "that's it? I pushed out YOUR child, and this is the thanks I get? A paper clip on rope?" The Mother whose teenage son/daughter gave her a "you rock!" card never seems to find the card anywhere in the house, and when approaching the mother with the topic of the mystery disappearance is answered with the classic "Oh! it's in my files somewhere (funny thing is... There doesn't seem to be a single file in the house. The day Mother's Day is mentioned, mothers worldwide turn into file clerks). And that fruit loop art piece? It ends up making a nice Mother's Day present for a family of roaches and ants.

I thought this Mother's Day was going to be different. I wanted to get my mother and my grandmother something nice for Mother's Day, rather than the typical card and chocolates. After all, my mother and my grandmother spent a fortune on me this winter on clothing for my New York trip.

The Day was supposed to go something like this:

- Eat brunch with boyfriend and his mother.

- Go to grandmother's and wait for $70 orchid set up and make it all pretty before she gets home (she went to the Keys with my Uncle and his wife).

- Have Mom praise me for the $200 necklace that arrived today and then go out to a movie of her choice.

Did that happen?

Of course not.

This is the story that the television doesn't tell.

The plans were already getting out of place when my boyfriend's mother contacted him saying that she couldn't come down to Florida this week. Well, he had already made reservations to eat at Acqua at the Four Seasons. Cancelling it at the last second, he would have had to pay a fee. So we just said "screw it" and decided to go on our own for brunch. The whole morning, we were trying to get in contact with our mothers and had no such luck. My mom was in bed sleeping, and his was busy. The two of us were quite the random pair. While tables were full of generations of mothers and their children, there sat the table for two. It's ok though. That part of Mother's Day was actually the fun part. Even though we felt a tad bit awkward being in the family oriented environment, we didn't have to worry about screaming children at our table. The only children we had at our table were six of them. All of them going by the name of Mimosa and Bloody Mary. Unlike everyone else's children, ours made us relax!

After the entertaining brunch, it was my turn to spend quality time with my Mother (who was sleeping all day). When I asked if her Mother's Day present had come yet, she said no, mind you... It was already past one. When I asked her if she'd like to go to the movies with me, she replied with: "no not really." (No present and a rejection from my Mom... MAN! I felt good.) When I arrived at my grandma's, hoping to be greeted by a box of flowers by the door, I was greeted by an ugly gecko in the place where the box should have been waiting.

I wasn't too worried. I've received packages around 4 sometimes (but typically they come in early afternoon). Four o'clock rolls by... No knock... six o'clock rolls by... No knock. By seven o'clock my grandmother already came back home... So when asked what I was doing there, the surprise was ruined. I called Florist Express/ ProFlowers (Express/ Pro my ass), and at first, I was greeted with a recording that said this:

"We're sorry, but due to the busy holiday, calls cannot be completed at this time. To make an order go to our website, to talk to someone, please send our customer service representatives an e-mail."

WHAT? Oh boy... I sent them an e-mail. I sent them a five paragraph e-mail chewing the company out, telling them how unprofessional it is to have a recording talk to dissatisfied customers, and how they were eager to take my money the day I ordered the flowers rather than having a customer as their top priority. Ironically enough, when I called thirty minutes later, I didn't talk to a recording but an actual person.

I explained to the woman that my gift for my grandmother didn't arrive the day I wanted it to (I paid an extra 13 bucks to have it delivered on Mother's Day). She assured me that it would be delivered by tomorrow morning. I demanded for a refund and at first she refused to give me a refund for the thirteen dollars! I explained to her that it wasn't fair that I paid thirteen dollars to have it delivered on Mother's Day, and now it's getting there a day late. The response I got? "But it's getting there tomorrow..." Look, my grandmother is old. By the time tomorrow rolls by she's going to forget that Mother's Day was the day before. It just doesn't have the same feeling! Eventually, justice pulled through and I got my refund.

As for my Mother's gift? That's another call I have to make tomorrow.

Sorry Mom and Baba, but for next Mother's Day, it's back to the "you rock" cards and chocolates.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jeepers, Who Lied To You?

A few years ago I wanted a change. I've had my hair long for the majority of my life, so I thought to myself, Hmm... I'd like to spice up my appearance a little bit and put a little "edge" in my hairdo. Naturally, I was terrified. I didn't know how I would cope with my lost locks, but I figured I'd suck it up and cope with it afterwards, no regrets. I remember I changed my hair the day after New Years. I randomly made an appointment with my hairdresser, walked in her mini salon, and told her "chop it off... I want my hair short, bright red, razored, and edgy." Naturally, Titi (my hairdresser) and my friend were shocked. No one was expecting this request. But, being true to my orders, Titi pulled through.

I was going for the cute pixie look. Unfortunately, I realized that not everyone could pull off the Alice Cullen look. At first, when I looked in the mirror, I was about ready to cry. It wasn't "horrible", but it just wasn't me. Suddenly having my hair stripped away and dyed an intense red after having plain brown long hair for more than fifteen years was a huge shock for me. Titi, of course, was marveling at her work, telling me that I could be a supermodel with that hair! Obviously that increased my self-esteem a smidge, but the deciding factor would be from the best friend. I turned to my friend at the time and asked her opinion. Of course, she was jumping with joy and said it was great!

Seeing the great response I was getting from people, I managed to look at myself in the mirror and appreaciate the "artwork". It was what I wanted... Spunky, edgy, and most of all, different.

A year went by, and my hair finally grew back. As different as my hair was the previous year, I couldn't help but compare myself to a familiar, plastic, red-headed, horror villain. All I would have to wear to complete the wardrobe would be a long sleeved rainbow shirt and faded blue overalls. Yikes! So, I went for another look. I would keep the long hair and dye it black. Again, it was quite a dramatic transformation.

As soon as I had the new look, everyone who supposedly loved my pixie hair suddenly decided to change their minds and tell me: "Yeah, I like this look so much better. The last hair experiment was a disaster." I couldn't believe my ears. My reply was simple: "So you let me walk around a year looking like a freak without telling me? No wonder I was single for so long!" Thank you for allowing me to prance around looking like an overgrown Chucky doll. I greatly appreciate it.

Again, I changed my hair a couple of years later. I thought the black was a little dramatic with my appearance... Black hair, light skin, green eyes. Although it might work with some people, I didn't think it quite worked with me. So, I went to Ugo di Roma to fix the disaster of hair that the black left in (black is a really hard color to get out), where it took thirteen hours to fix. Ok, chances are... If they take thirteen hours to FIX your hair, your hair most likely was a war zone. This time I loved my hair. It was a natural auburn color, long, and slightly layered. I finally looked in the mirror for the first time and said: "This is me. This is what I was looking for."

When I went home to show off the new look, I got the same gasps and Oooo's from the previous hair experiments, not to mention the same responses: "Wow, this is great! Don't change your hair, this looks so much better than the last time!"

What the hell?! Ok, if I look like crap, admit that I look like crap, especially if it's something as simple as hair. On the other hand, if I'm naturally hideous, keep it to yourself, because that's something I just can't fix. But something as simple as hair? Tell me when I look like a serial killer, damn it!

It doesn't stop with hair, it has happened with makeup, wardrobe, and assignments. Don't tell me a paper is "amazing" and then I get it back with a dreaded B or worse on it. If I look like a parrot before walking out, let me know, "Hey Jungle Island called, they want their macaw back."

Now, that doesn't mean being rude and pinpointing every flaw. If I have a zit the size of Alaska on my face, I don't expect someone to point it out and say "Hey! That looks horrible!" I know it looks horrible, but obviously that is something that can't be helped. I didn't put the zit there as a fashion statement... -or- the classic "Man, you're tall! Why the hell are you wearing heels? You don't need heels!" Gee, the next time I decide to wear a dress, I'll consider wearing sneakers and try to be pseudo-short. Thanks assholes.

But I do appreciate an honest statement for something that can be helped. For example, my boyfriend and I were going to Sandbar in Coconut Grove a few months ago to watch a football game. Well, I wanted to "try" wearing a risky top... It was a blue, open back, tunic, that was slightly baggy around the arms and chest. It looked cute at the store, but somehow, it didn't appeal to me the more I looked at it in the mirror. I walked out to show my boyfriend, did my little turn, raised an eyebrow and asked: "This looks like shit, doesn't it?" At first he didn't respond, and I noticed him holding his mouth with his cheeks puffed out, trying to hold in the laughter. All of a sudden he responded with: "You're wearing an evil casters tunic!" Naturally, I turned red from the response, but that comment was so hilarious, I couldn't help but laugh. Not only did he save me from humiliating myself, but now we have an inside joke that'll live on in our memories.

My advice? It's normal to want to try new things. It's also normal to get it wrong when trying these new experiments. Chances are, if you're not happy with what you're wearing, other people won't be happy with it. Don't ever doubt your gut instinct. If that new outfit you picked out seems to be sending you waves of doubt, throw it aside or give it to the friend that insisted you looked good in it. If you feel confident in what you're wearing, rock it and don't give a second thought what people think.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Frosted Flakes... They're Not So Great

I'm very picky when it comes to choosing my friends. In the past, I've done the whole Sex and the City cliques, and it didn't work out so well. What I've noticed when there's a whole group of female friends, something always taints the group. If two members of the group start fighting, the two girls will try and influence the other group members to turn against the other girl, which causes all kinds of back-stabbing, secrets, and hidden cattiness. Needless to say, I don't do well with drama. I don't like choosing sides, and I don't appreciate "gossiping" about other people, even if the gossip isn't about me. Because chances are, if someone's willing to talk behind other people's backs and not confront the person to their face, there's a chance that something has probably been said about you in the past.

When I choose friends, I like a buffet line. I don't want to hang out with only one group of people, I hang out with different people. Unfortunately, when you meet one friend, chances are you're going to befriend other members of the group which causes another social "clique". And that's when problems start.

I've been friends with this one girl for seven years, referred to as Matrix in my previous blogs. And I'm sorry to say, but I've been involved in several "cliques" with her. And all of these social friendships ended in some form of deceit and cattiness. The two main cliques were Matrix, myself, and another girl I'll refer to as Chuck Wagon (What can I say? She liked Chuck Wagon!)And then there was a clique between the two of us again, and another girl I'll refer to her as Skinny.

Well, both Chuck Wagon and Skinny are interesting characters. They're both fun girls, but can be tolerated in small doses. While Matrix and I are more "loners" and appreciate space every now and then, Chuck Wagon and Skinny love being around people all the time. Here's the difference between Matrix and I. Although I get annoyed sometimes by these characters, I deal with them to the best of my ability and still keep them as friends. Matrix on the other hand has the tendency of pushing herself away from these characters that don't really suit her needs.

In the first clique, Chuck Wagon, Matrix, and I were extremely close. Matrix on the other hand got tired of Chuck Wagon after a while, and just decided to ignore her completely. So I started hanging out with the two of them separately. Of course the persuasion began. Chuck Wagon told me about times Matrix said I was annoying, and then Matrix was trying to persuade me not to see Chuck Wagon. UGH! And these are my friends? Needless to say, I kept Chuck Wagon as my friend either way.

The second clique with Skinny was very brief. Skinny has a very persistent character which I admit, can be overwhelming at times. Matrix basically cut her off completely, until she saw that I started a serious relationship with my boyfriend.

Here's the thing, when someone's in a serious relationship, obviously they can't do the same things they've done when they were single (although some people don't let their relationship status stop them). All my friends have had boyfriends/husbands, so I know the whole bonding process. And yes, it does stink and feels cheesy watching the puppy love develop, but I respect it because I know the feeling.

To make a long story short, Matrix started ignoring me when things started getting serious with my boyfriend and I. To make matters worse, she randomly decided to pick up and move to Colorado, had a farewell party with Skinny, and didn't even bother telling me what day she was leaving. What ticks me off even more is that another friend of mine spotted them at this place, told me the exact day they went, and while Matrix completely ignored me, the other one had the audacity to lie to me and say she hasn't heard from Matrix.

Months have passed by and I got a lame Merry Christmas text and a "sorry I haven't responded. I've been busy with the big move" from Matrix and nothing more. I've learned my lesson and choose not to make the same mistakes with friend choices again.

Honestly, I respect those "bitchy" girls a lot more than the flakes. At least they'll say what's on their mind when they're thinking it, rather than gossip about it behind my back. So for Tony the Tiger that says those flakes are great, he can just shove it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Operation House Patrol

We all know about my pesky neighbor problem. To escape from my dysfunctional town, I tend to retreat to my grandmother's abode. Picture this, just coming out of the ninth gate of hell and escaping to this serene, quiet, oasis. This is a place where all the devil dogs are saints, and all the neighbors keep pretty much to themselves... Well, most neighbors.

After class, I go to my grandmother's. Not only is she an amazing woman and easy to talk to, but her house comes complete with things to spoil me. A beautiful view of a lake in the backyard (for my entertainment), a treadmill to run on like a hamster (for my health), and piles of junk food in the fridge and cabinets (to completely ruin my health!)

Although her neighbors aren't half as bad as mine, there are a few crazy characters. While my neighbors are on the annoying side, her neighbors are more.... mental? There's a woman we like to call "The Crazy Lady" who walks her dog every afternoon in a baby carriage making conversation with it, as she strolls on by in her bath robe and bedroom slippers. And then there's "Leatherface" (I'll just call her that because her whole family reminds me of something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Leatherface is actually a nice character, despite the movie. However, there's several things that bother me about her.

A) She's a pathological liar. She'll make up crazy stories about everyone in the neighborhood, just to keep the gossip flowing.

B) She patrols the neighborhood. God forbid you pick a wedgie... This lady sees ALL and tells ALL.

C) She talks bad about the rest of the neighbors. How can you talk to someone like that? If she talks bad about everyone else, gee... Chances are, you're a topic in The Leatherface Times.

My grandmother is out of town this whole week, and who do you think she gave her spare keys to? Yes... The legend herself. Well, I refuse to give up my routine. I don't care if Leatherface shows up or not, I'm still going to escape to my oasis damn it!

I was actually dreading going to my grandmother's house all week. What if I happened to be there and Leatherface walked in? I would have to talk to her for hours about things that may or may not have happened. What if I scratched my nose? Would she run around telling people I was digging for gold in her presence? Monday went by... Tuesday... Wednesday... Thursday. Today I just couldn't take it anymore. With Scruffy barking, and Pee Wee's playhouse blocking any hope of relaxation, I needed to get away.

At first my routine started off regularly, I did 50 minutes of cardio, jamming along to my music. Surprisingly, no Leatherface. I finished up my readings for class, no Leatherface. Finally, a couple of hours roll by and I'm watching television, and I see Leatherface strolling on by in my grandmother's backyard. While I was looking at her with this confused face, she was acting as if no one was looking at her, probably trying to avoid the embarrassment. So what does she do instead? She just scratches her head and looks up at the roof and the sides of the house. Seeing that no one ran off with the roof, she went back home. After the brief Leatherface sighting, I was in my happy zone for another hour or so, until I heard the hose outside. Leatherface was "watering" my grandmother's flowers in the front of the house at nine o'clock at night... For a good twenty minutes... Only five flowers... Come on! She must've been so concerned that a burglar had neatly opened my grandmother's door with a key, done some cardio in her house, ate a snack, and then sat down in the bean bag chair watching Hell's Kitchen.

When Leatherface's gardening attempts were over, I just left. I couldn't take it anymore. At this point, I'd rather snuggle up to Scruffy the devil dog.