Life in the 'Burbs

Month two of disability leave finds me in the suburbs for most of the time, as money is tight and the city is filled with shiny alcohol and cheap Forever21 frocks that I just have to buy.

I've been staying with Grandma for awhile, after my parents, in a fit of frustration over my lack of cleaning abilities and my tendency to scream downstairs for more water and Panera bread, suggested I go to Grandma's for a few days. (Typical joking conversation between my father and I: "How did you become so spoiled?" Me: "I AM WHAT YOU MADE ME!).

Life with my cousins at G's house has been nothing short of a vacation. It is a world on a whole other level. I love my parents, but the dinner discussion is more likely to be about grad school and colleges for my brother. At Grandma's, we spend 20 minutes discussing the price dry-cleaning one coat's might be at the dry cleaners. ($15, if you're curious.) Easy stuff. And G doesn't look over my shoulder, counting the amount of questions I got right on a GRE practice test. If I were at home with my mother, I'm sure she'd be quizzing me on what "temerity" means. And I would fail.

A few days vacation turned into a month, so here I stay, studying for the GREs and watching marathon episodes of "The Nanny". It's been productive: my score went up 200 points in each section and I can do a dead-on impression of both Fran Fine AND Mr. Sheffield. I hope to continue to do the Fran one all the time, at paid events and impersonator conferences.

I've also spent a lot of time trying to master the moves in Hanson's new video. I did a trial run of my very loose interpretation of the dance in Grandma's kitchen last night and Colleen laughed so hard she choked on her water.

At least I think she was laughing.

I've loved living with my two younger cousins. Last week, we decided to get a bottle of red wine at the local Browntown shopping center. (I have high blood pressure and WINE HELPS!) I got home with my purchase (ten bucks for 2 liters. CAN YOU BEAT THAT?) and was immediately disappointed to discover that we broke the corkscrew the last time we indulged in vino.

After Googling how to open wine without a corkscrew and trying to open ours with a shoe like some dude on YouTube, little cousin Colleen (also known as Jolly) decided to push the cork all the way down, into the bottle. My lack of knowledge regarding physics did not prepare me for what was about to occur.

Throwing caution to the wind, we took our place on the kitchen table, in the presence of two laptops and my beloved iPhone. Having lost my iPhone to a wine spillage before, I covered it with a napkin just in case. Jolly pushed the cork, as I held the bottle.  Colleen pushed and pushed on the cork until we heard a satisfying pop! of victory. I looked up just in time to get sprayed in the face with pungent cheap red wine.

Jolly lost two of her favorite shirts and my laptop is permanently stained red but we poured ourselves a glass and moved on.

The next morning, I was chatting with Grandma in the kitchen. She was making her usual cup of tea when I looked up at the ceiling and down at the walls. They were absolutely covered in specks of our cheap Yellow Tail wine. Horrified, I attempted to distract G from this sight.

Samantha and I spent the rest of the morning scrubbing our family history off the walls and ceiling.

It took a long time. But even though I was elbow deep in 409, I was immensely grateful for the position I am in. I have been afforded the opportunity to rest and be well.

I haven't been sick every day of this disability leave, but I have used every day to reflect upon the position I've found myself in. Without having to work full-time, I have been graciously allowed to be well and revel in it. It has been a long time since I've had such a stretch of good health. (And by stretch, I mean two weeks). So I have lived in these moments. They have been big and small and sad and happy but altogether, they have been meaningful.

This morning, I woke up with a mouthful of sores and a fever. Instead of wondering why this happened, I decided to just accept it. I am not better but that's okay.

I will accept it, be happy, and move on.

For now, at least- this is a reasonable goal.


  1. Glad you are enjoying your time off. Get well!

  2. I love that you call your Grandma "G" and that you're the older cousin the others look up to. It's okay that you're not better, and I'm glad you're finally realizng it's okay. xoxo

  3. I watch the Nanny eveyone night too! Drives my hubs nuts!

  4. Hilarious!! I don't know what is a funnier image, you scrubbing wine off the walls or dancing to the Hanson video. Either way, you sure are one entertaining lady.

  5. Sie sind das lustigste kbergzz

    -Fans aus Deutschland