Traveling with Asians

If you didn’t know me super well, you might think I like to travel. Those of you who know me well already did the spit-take on that idea. Bernie and I are big old crabs on the zodiac and prefer the couch to any castle or cathedral. Air travel is disgusting, and the world is still a bit unprepared for the (gasp) interracial couple. I’m used to being waved away from my family with a chipper offer to extricate me from these Asians: “Ma’am, I’ll take you over here!” But this week, traveling home from a week abroad, a French couple actually inserted themselves between me and my children right there in the security queue.

TSA checks are such an enormous stress bummer. I’ve already written oodles of times how it’s additionally fraught for the cancer-ed as a pseudo-scanner reveals our fake bits to everyone on the other side of it. But no one enjoys being berated for forgetting to take out the laptop or being an idiot with liquids while exposing feet and midriffs to surly uniformed staff and impatient (French) travelers who sigh loudly because you have children or difficult buckles or a watch. I was diligently getting all of my things in order when this over-tall and stylish couple pushed my tray back a few feet and plopped their carry-ons right in front of mine.

“What sort of brazen assholery is this?” I asked with my entire face but, you know, not out loud. TSA was blasé. TSA was probably preoccupied with the single dad ahead whose boys packed every electronic they own to go to Europe. Honest to God, Teddy brought a full size keyboard and a gigantic microphone to Barcelona.

To be fair, I don’t look my children. But it takes only 12 seconds of observation to see that I might be associated with or employed by them. Also, while traveling, Teddy is unrelenting with rhetorical questions and observations that include an introductory so Mom? so Mom? Mom? Mom? followed by a dissertation about European urinals or stage whisper wondering if that guy totally just farted or inexhaustibly explaining why his bracket is winning. You know, the sort of charming chitchat you save for your mère. But even when they are exasperating, I still hug them tight and touch their perfect faces. It should be plain that they are mine mine mine.

In June we’re going to Taiwan and probably Japan and possibly Korea–with the kiddos and my in laws. I need matching travel clothes. In the bottom of drawers all of us have I LOVE TAIWAN t-shirts. (Of course we do.) It might be a bit like wearing the ears to Disney Land, but hey, maybe it’ll keep the French from cutting the line.

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Duh. They’re totally MINE.

 

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God’s Plan

Submitted a snippet of this for the Sully Award Competition over at:

https://mikeallegra.com/2017/03/21/sully-award-competition-now-open/

200 words and a bustling community of writing types sure to delight!

Blooms and Bubbles

Recently one of Bernie’s (favorite) patients was diagnosed with recurrent, metastatic breast cancer. He’s been at this job for nearly a decade but this news is always a punch in the stomach. And now, we can’t possibly distance ourselves with a we’ll-keep-her-in-our-prayers-and-now-there’s-laundry-to-fold way. Nancy described it like this:

“It must be surreal for the two of you to be pressed so close to the glass between what man can do and God’s plan.”

I keep returning to Hester Hill Schnipper’s* mantra for those diagnosed with disseminated Cancer: “it’s not curable, but it’s treatable.” While I focus on the hope of that statement—that medicines (poisons) can keep this vibrant, beautiful mom around for a long, long time—Bernie reviews the entire case for reassurances that The Team didn’t fail her. Did the surgeons, oncologists, and radiologists have the best plan? Is her cancer unusual, receptor negative, aggressive, (or in all ways unlike…

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Dumber than the thermostat

Conversations with the “smart” thermostat…

Britt:  I’m always cold. You should know this about me. I’ll grab a sweater for 70 degrees, but let’s just hang out at 72.

Smart Thermostat:   I can be programmed 539 ways! You can adjust me from your PHONE! You’ll save SO MUCH MONEY! I am SO SMART!

Britt:   Why is it 64 degrees in here?

ST:  Well, it’s morning. I turned it back last night. After you went to bed. I didn’t think you really meant 68.

Britt:   I did.

ST:   No biggie. You can always click “manual” and I’ll do whatever you want. YOU CAN DO THIS FROM YOUR PHONE!

Britt:  Great. Why isn’t it 72 degrees now?

ST:   I thought you were “away” and when you are “away” I get sad and return to 64 degrees because you always come running when it’s 64 degrees.

Britt:   That’s sweet, but I’m cold. And I clicked “manual,” so really, I got this.

ST:   Awesome. Did I mention I can be programmed 4,923 ways. FROM YOUR PHONE?

Britt:   Yes, I’ve been told. But it’s 68 degrees again.

ST:   I just can’t even with this 72 degrees, Britt. Go get a sweater.

Britt:   Please stop being “smart.” My fingers are numb.

ST:  OK. 72 degrees. FINE. I mean, the tool belt boys must be sweating, but whatever.

Britt:  OH MY GOD WHY IS IT 64 DEGREES AGAIN?

ST:   I’ll only “Hold until 6pm,” Britt. No one keeps the thermostat up that high for that long.

Britt:   I do.

ST:  (Not anymore)

Britt: I HEARD THAT.

*rips thermostat off of wall*

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My thermostat, that refuses to stay at this temperature.