Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bigger Issues than just Grout

As you all know from reading my blog regularly, my husband and I are in business together. I
 am in the office and he is the man doing the heavy lifting.

I talk to people all day, answering the same questions and saying the same things.
I am never ceased to be amazed at the things people will ask or share with me.

Here are a couple of things this week that have been amusing to me.
  • There is large illegal immigrant population and day laborers here and over the last couple of years it has become a hot topic that has lead to bad feelings on both sides of this fence.
  • There are very few blue collar workers who speak English here.
No, His Name is Not Ricardo......
On a daily basis, I am asked if the men coming to their home will speak English. Normally this is done is a lower tone, almost a whisper. Like they know it’s politically incorrect but they must ask but just not loudly. Back in the day my mom would say, “Oh Mary, she has (whisper tone) cancer.”

A woman this week did not even bother with the whispering or the beating around the bush so to speak – she just came right out and asked me questions. I admired her forthrightness even if misplaced. She asked me what this man’s name was that would be coming to her home. This day it was going to be Rick's so I said “Rick” and she asked if his name was really Ricardo. I had to laugh because I mean really, how can you not? I said, “No, in fact, his name is Richard or Rick.”

Then she asked for his last name, now I imagine she was thinking it would be Vasquez.
When I spelled his last name for her she then asked me if he spoke English. That also made me chuckle because did she honestly think I just made up a name for him for heaven’s sake? I said he did speak English. She went on to ask if you could understand him. I was fighting back laughter.  I told her that he spoke as well as she & I did if that meant anything to her.  She asked if I knew where my boss was born.  I told her I did and it was Pennsylvania.  She still insisted that he come to her home for an estimate even though one was not necessary.  I imagined it was because she wanted to see for herself that he was indeed a 6’2” Irish fella from Pennsylvania. When I told Rick this he said he was going to ring her doorbell and when she came to the door say, ¡Hola!  ¿Como esta usted?
Now that would have been funny just to see her face if he had had the cogliones to do that don't you think?
He did not do that. 

Putting the Sex Toys Away when the Company is Coming 
Rick went to a young woman’s home to give her an estimate a few weeks ago for the remodel of her bathroom and the reglazing. He noticed she did not have a bathroom window and told her that he would need one to extract the fumes and he could use the one closest to the bathroom with the 50ft extension. She showed him her bedroom and they determined this would work fine.

He goes to her home this week and when it’s time to go to her bedroom he went into the room she was in and asked if he could get into her bedroom now. She said, “sure” and proceeded to get up and walk him into her room. (He did not want to just enter her room without asking)  Next to the window was a nightstand. On said nightstand were her sex toys – visible for the world to see.  He saw her look at them and then she leaves the room.  He thought that odd but proceeded to do the job that he was there to do. When he finished (3 hrs later) he again told her that he had to go into her room again and she shouted, “go ahead”  He went into her room and did what he had to do and again being the man he is, he looked at her sex toys again on her night stand and he was stumped by one of them.

Fast forward to when he gets home and he can’t stop talking about this.
He asks me If you knew people were going to be in your bedroom wouldn’t you put those away? If you just forgot wouldn’t you shove them in the nightstand drawer after I left the bedroom the first time? And Margaret what the hell was this other thing?”
(There were 2 brightly colored vibrators, a few other toys along with this “other thing” that we have no idea what it is)

 Now my answer to Rick's questions is yes I would put them away and yes if I forgot I sure would have after you left my room! I have no idea what the “other thing” was, but it was cracking me up that he was so concerned about it. For 2 days, he kept drawing me pictures and asking me, "what the hell would one do with this thing?"  Oh, how the laughter ensued after all of our guesses of its use let me tell you.  He should have just asked her, I mean she didn’t seem to care that he saw them she may not have cared that he asked her.  But the fact that he is still talking about this makes me laugh.  Mr. Cool realizes he ain’t so hip and cool anymore.

You have bigger issues than reglazing Lady!  
This woman emailed me and said she couldn’t call from work, but she needed an estimate and information. She wrote and told me that she needed to have her bathtub reglazed and did we regrout tile floors? She then proceeded to tell me that she has a very small bathroom, but the whole floor has blood that has soaked into the tile’s grout. She wanted to know if we cleaned grout or replaced grout because the tile was just fine. I say if it’s just a small area has she tried bleach?  She writes and says, “oh, it’s not small it’s the entire bathroom floor and that is why I need it regrouted. The same with the tub, the blood stains have soaked through and have left discoloration." Okay, I’m reading her email and I’m thinking, where’s the body?  I’m also thinking there are much bigger issues at hand here than just grout - know what I mean? This one scared me. 
She told me she was in another state right now (ah, I'm thinkin' state penitentiary perhaps?) so she couldn’t call me but would upon her return in early August. (she’s being released in August I’m guessing here)
I am not sure I want to pick up the phone when this call comes in.

That’s how my week’s going, how ‘bout yours?

Update - the sex toy that was unidentifiable to Rick wasn't a sex toy at all!  Silly boy.
He saw these in a magazine and he showed then to me. He said  that this was the item on the gal's nightstand  that had him so confused about how to use it.  He assumed they were used like the other items on her nightstand.  Numbnuts!  That drove him crazy for weeks.  I find that hysterical.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks

You know you go along with your life knowing that you are aging and changing.
It sucks, you move on. But over the holiday weekend it hit me like a ton of bricks....and it hurt like hell.

It happens slowly and then BAM - it actually hits you all at once.

You hit 40 and you realize to put the “girls” in the bra you have to lift them a bit. Your husband makes jokes and you think to yourself, “Well it can’t get any worse than this.”
Ah, such a naïve young person.

Your eyes aren’t what they used to be and while putting on makeup you realize that you can’t see your eyes without your bifocals. Then you can’t get to your eyes with bifocals on and then you take them off and poke yourself in the eye and it becomes a viscous ugly painful cycle.

Damn it to hell you need that mirror you just used in a hotel room. C’mon, you know the one. The one where on the business trip everyone on your sales team came down at breakfast and remarked how horrifying that mirror was and no one should look into that thing....who actually would use such a thing they scream? Oh yeah, that same mirror that you just used that morning while murmuring to yourself, “hello honey I’m taking you home with me.” The one that made you feel euphoric that you could see to put on your makeup again. If you could get this off the wall and not get in trouble it’d be in your suitcase so fast that your eyelashes would curl who the hell you kidding? This wonderful new mirror you have discovered is the only thing that will now help you to put on your makeup and insure you don’t end up looking like Tammy Faye Baker. So you go out and buy yourself that 10x magnifying mirror and have your hubby mount it to the bathroom wall while he laughs and makes fun of his old wife. You just wait you bifocal-less ass, it’ll be your turn soon and we’ll see how you like it.

But after the euphoria over the new mirror settles in you find that you can not only now see your eyes well enough to put on your makeup without bifocals, but you can see EVERYTHING. It’s not pretty....what has time done to me? Your husband tells you he thinks you’re adorable and pretty. Dumb ass. I know he’s a year older than me what the hell can he see anyways?

It happened overnight. Those friggin' age fairys that replaced the tooth fairy find you. You find you have to lift your eye lid to get that shadow on and you suddenly realize that dear Lord your eyes have fallen since yesterday. Is there nothing that won’t fall? OMG how I hate Sir Isaac Newton. Okay I have to admit it could be worse - I just saw a woman at Target who had tanned leather saggy knees, I thank God I don’t have those.....that’s gross.....well not yet anyways.

You walk by a mirror one day and do a double take because you wonder who the hell is that in the mirror? It literally shocks you. Not an exaggeration but a true, Who the fuck is that staring back at me and what the fuck did they do to my face? It’s like a terrible accident. You want to stare but you look away because you don’t like it one bit. I heard about this one from my step mom....I laughed at her because she didn’t look that different to me. I am not laughing now, oh no anything but laughing. (sob, sob, wail, moan, weep, scream.)

People tell you all the time that you don’t look your age and it feeds your ego. You idiot you believed them. Liars, liars, pants on fire! All of them. Don’t they know I have mirrors? Mirrors that magnify you 10x? My husband repeats his mantra to me to try “growing old gracefully.” Until a hot chick called him Sir....Now that was funny to me until........

We are sitting in a very nice bar over the 4th of July down at the lake. We are having a hoot with the very friendly and witty “Fergie” the bartender. She and I are sharing stories about cocktail recipes and I tell her I actually have a section in my recipe box called FAVORITES. I store all my drink recipes there...of course doesn’t everybody? The kid next to me leans over and says, “Yeah, when her grandkids come over Grandma makes them Bahama Mama’s instead of chocolate chip cookies.” Laughter ensues at the bar....but all I heard was GRANDMA. OUCH! OH. MY. GOD.!!!!

I spent the next 2 days hearing that over and over again in my head. Here I am 5 days later still stinging from it. I don’t have children. I don’t have grandkids but yet I could be a mom and a grandmother I suppose. So why does this sting so?

Saggy boobies, droopy eyelids, failing vision and slower energy levels didn’t hit me like this. This was a ton of bricks. Like it all happened at once. The bandaid was ripped off. No more delusions. No more lies. No more believing all those people who say you only look (insert favorite number) The wind is out of my sails now.

July 4th, 2008 I became a grandma without ever having children. I may have to take to my bed for a few weeks....with gin. Or maybe I should be buying some sensible shoes, baking cookies and smelling like menthol pain rub. Ha, my luck that scent will become a new aphrodisiac for my hubby. Oh I have to go have a good cry now.
OH. MY. GOD. I. AM. OLD.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where is Dr. Oz when you need him?

I have 3 doctors whom I love that have all decided to not take any insurance at all. Nada,nothing, not one, not just mine - but ALL insurances period.
I understand they don't get paid much anymore. My surgeon told me for every 3 surgeries, 1 is free because of what they get paid from the insurance companies. He also stated that they are now being governed by insurance and not able to give the treatment they feel is necessary because insurance companies will not pay them for such treatments they deem unnecessary. Those are the 2 reasons they are leaving insurance companies behind. I get it all sadly. But where does that leave me? I am a self employed person who pays a helluva lot of money each and every month for insurance and now no one is accepting it. I think it would be easier to take if it were just my insurance they didn't take. But they have dropped ALL insurance.

***My spine doctor who is important to me since I have had my back operated on 4 times in 3 states. When I found this man I swore I would never leave him. He has given me options that no other has suggested and he has been a blessing. Now I must leave his group.

***My thyroid doctor who was the only person to figure out that I wasn't crazy but was hypothyroid. Do you even begin to understand what a gift she has been to me? Someone who thinks outside the box and really LISTENS.

***My gyno who doesn't do OB so you aren't waiting in her office for hours while she is delivering a baby. Her specialty is bio-identical hormones and menopause which eventually I'll need some day. And I would prefer someone who thinks like her when the time comes.

All 3 doctors I need to see on a regular basis. Lovely huh?
Now I have to find new doctors and I hate that. I loved all 3 of them because they thought outside the box. They didn't look at you as a list of symptoms on a piece of paper. So now what is a poor girl to do?

I have to use the doctors in my network of Blue Cross. They are not the best of the doctors nor are they the thinkers. No Dr. Oz in the bunch.
I pay $750.00 a month for insurance that basically sucks. And if I am not a poster child for health care reform then what middle age woman is?

Today I had to have lab work done by the thyroid doctor. You see I have been continuing to go to her and forking over the $200 a visit. But now they will no longer allow me to have my blood work done at a lab outside their office. I was in the past able to go to a lab in my network and they would send the results to my dr.'s office. Now I can not do that. But it's a 2 hr drive with traffic to get to my dr.'s new office so she gave me a break and said I could go to my lab. (she is a bit of a rebel because I know for a fact that she is fighting this with the "Owners" of the practice she works in) She also knows that paying for this is crazy but her hands are tied unfortunately.

Anyway I fast and I walk in to the lab this morning with a throbbing headache because I could not have coffee or food this morning before the tests. I give them the blood work papers and they tell me that the dr. did not sign these lab papers she sent me via mail. So I call my doctor's office and the office staff is their usual self....snippy. I say that "Dr. Kate gave me outside lab papers and she did not sign them. I am standing here at the lab and they will not do the blood work with out a signature. Would it be possible for her to fax me one with her signature?" They snap at me with, "She is not allowed to do that so NO." I state that, "She gave me permission because I live 2 hrs away and that she also told me I would have to pay a premium to have it done at an outside lab and I had agreed to pay you that premium."Miss Snippy said, "well she isn't in the office today." I asked if another Dr. could do this for me since I was standing here and had fasted. Her response was a curt and definite, "NO"

Finding a new GOOD doctor is like finding a needle in a haystack. This should prove interesting, frustrating and costly to say the least. If they are great I am willing to have them not carry my insurance. But some things that are covered 100% like pap exams, mammograms, and blood work I just shouldn't have to pay for twice....or am I nuts?