Saturday, April 02, 2005

Women's Khakis to Fit a Man Named "Stacy"

I loathe shopping. Whenever I have the knowledge that I "need" something, I immediately go online. There are a number of reasons for this, which I will share with you now:

--- Nobody EVER has my size.

Apparently I'm "special" because very few men wear 29W/32I pants. And when I finally do find my size, I feel as though I'm an 1840's gold miner and I've just hit pay dirt. I do enjoy Banana Republic simply because they teach their salespeople to offer the best customer service or die trying. This lovely long-haired blonde tried to find some khaki's that would suit me.

Unfortunately, they're all made "loose" or "relaxed".

I don't wear these sizes because I'm neither of these things. I want my old "classic fit", as the lexicon of fashion refers to it.

The most entertaining part was when she whispered to me that, "Maybe you should try wearing women's khaki's."

Sure. No problem. I have a women's name, wearing their khaki's will just add to this lovely ensemble called me.

I did agree to take a look, but they didn't look quite right for a guy like me.

You know, a guy trying to hold on to as much masculinity as possible considering he was give a feminine name.

I was also named after a shoe, but that's another blog for another time.

I love Eddie Bauer, but the clothes are a little pricey. Any time I see that a dress shirt is labled as "Small", I have to ask whomever is working if they could look up that adjective and see how it compares in men's numerical sizes.

I wear the smallest dress shirt they make: 14 1/2 /32-33. Neck size/sleeve length.

And as luck would have it, they were fully stocked with those sizes. But they wanted $50 a dress shirt. I really enjoy looking nice, but I just don't have the funds to buy more than one or two shirts right now.

Sigh.

--- Customer service has deteriorated to an embarrassing level in this country.

I dropped by Sunglasses Hut simply because I had a question.

I didn't realize I was interrupting the young woman's homework.

I stood at the counter for a good 15 seconds before she noticed I needed help.

She closed the book as though I had interrupted her bible study. I would guess she was eighteen or nineteen years old. She had beautiful brown eyes and the most inappropriate low cut blouse I had seen all day.

It took all my will not to allow my gaze to drift down to her perfectly shaped breasts. I'm an all-American, breast loving guy, but I also try to be tactful.

I managed to keep firm eye contact, allowing my peripherel vision to enjoy the show.

Then my peripherel vision realized, "Hey, I'm nearly old enough to be her father if I gave birth to her when I was 15. I should probably cut this out."

I smiled gently and asked her if I brought in my eye prescription, would they use them in a sunglass frame of my choice.

She took a big sigh like I had asked her to do my taxes. For the next decade.

Her lack of enthusiasm for her position was also daunting.

"We don't do that here, but Lens Crafters does. We're owned by the same company."

I was going to look through the overpriced frames, but I was afraid my eyes would insult her, so I made a hasty exit.

Whew.

--- People don't know how to "travel" when they're shopping.

When I say "travel", I'm referring to people's lack of their surroundings when they're walking through malls and shops.

Maybe this is my fault. I rarely browse while shopping. But when I do my mind fiercely seeks out lanes in which to travel. I want in and out and I don't wish to enjoy your lack of hygeine.

Most people shuffle when they're shopping, sluggishly moving from store to store.

It's frickin' annoying.

I wish we could have horns on our wrists when we shop. Then we could just blast our way through like a semi late for a delivery.

"Hey fat ass with jeans two sizes too small...BBBBEEEEEEEPPPPPP!!!!"

Sorry. But that was fun.

One glorious fact I do enjoy about the mall is people watching. So many characters in which to steal for that next Pulitzer Prize winning novel:

--- The whining child who wants everything and wants it now.
--- The tween girl who changed her outfit moments after she left home so she could appear older.
--- The pale white boy rapper wannabe.
--- The slovenly middle aged woman who uses a scooter, not because she's disabled, but because she's too obese and lazy to walk.
--- The security guy who holds his nose up high because he thinks his uniform is sexy.


And, yes, I must admit, there is another reason to love the mall. Whenever I enter Banana Republic or coast through the perfume and jewelry section of Macy's, beautiful women sprout everywhere. Most of them are far too young, and missing far too much clothing, but God bless them anyway.

Did I mention I love shopping?

Never mind.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Dateless Boy Wonder

She had deep brown hair that cascaded far enough along her neck to just tickle her shoulders. She had these amazing deep brown eyes that sparkled when she laughed. Mix that with tactless honesty and pulsating sarcasm and I was hooked.

I had always been attracted to her, but had never mustered up the nerve to ask her out. We had been working together for about 45 minutes every weekday morning for the last four weeks as I trained her to put together some production for our station's morning show.

She's really bright and smart, so I thought she would catch on quickly. After about the third week she still wasn't getting the idea of a morning promo. I assumed maybe she enjoyed spending time with me.

Here are the signs which I mistook for mutual admiration:

1) After we were completed with the promo, we would always take 15, 20, 35 minutes to just talk.
2) It seemed like it was taking a little longer than it should to get her trained.
3) She always dressed very attractively every single morning.
4) We shared the same sense of humor and laughed a lot in that studio.

So when she appeared as though she was going to vomit when I asked her out, it came as quite a shock.

To both of us apparently.

Her beautiful eyes suddenly glazed over. Her smiling lips mutated into a frown. You could almost here the cranks turning as she struggled to come up with an excuse as to why we were not going to be spending a glorious first date together.

And this is my favorite part of the whole miserable experience...

"Um, I, uh..."

At this point I can feel my heart begin to sink into a big pool of self-loathing.

"...well, but, we..."

My pool of dislike is rising in temperature.

"...I'll have to get back to you on that..."

Fully immersed in boiling repulsion, my heart slowly breaks apart. If you were to glance at the cracks forming, you would see light burgeoning from inside. But as the pieces fall away, the light fades.

What a fool! What a hopeless, romantic fool!

You should really pity me right about now, but I won't let you.

I'm barely five foot seven inches. I tip the scales at 123 when I'm fully loaded with fluid. I have a three foot catheter in my belly. And on dialysis days, before my treatment, I resemble the Pillsbury dough boy.

I know what my true problem is though.

When women peer into my eyes, two words, and only two words, enter their mind.

"Damaged goods."

And they would be right.

Who wants to spend time with a guy whose health meter is always running on empty? Who wants to listen to stories of blood and suffering? Who wants to visit their boyfriend in the antaseptic dialysis center?

The answer?

Less than none.

In fact, that's what I am. Less...than...none.

So why do I fight and struggle and suffer week after week? What's the point this late in the game?

Deep down, in the bowels of my soul, where light fears to tread, there's a tiny space filled to the rim with...

Hope.

All-American, family bred, weakened and bloodied hope.

I sometimes wonder, if you took all my past experiences, poured them into a bowl and served them into the past of another soul...how many would survive?

That's right.

Less than none.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Catheter Chronicles VI: Die Another Day

Why won't doctors ever listen to their patients?

Let me repeat that, just for those of you who rarely visit with the doctor and find yourselves with the occasional cold or flu...

Why won't doctors ever listen to their patients?

Sorry for yelling. There I was, my pitiful form lying motionless on the papered examintation table. The flourescent lighting peered down, mocking me relentlessly. Dr. S. means well. He always enters with a cordial smile and an antiseptic handshake.

Dr. S. concentrated on my paperwork, scowling the entire time. He finally spoke, but regardless of what he was going to say, I knew it was going to be bad news.

"Your catheter has moved into a mass of fat in your abdomen."

Keep in mind young blogger reader, that I'm 115-120lbs. when soaking wet, so the odds of this happenning were minimal.

Also keep in mind, since I' m named Stacy, my luck is neither good or bad. I just have "Stacy Luck", unexplainable to most members of the human race.

"I've only seen this happen in one other patient, but he's not with us anymore."

At first, I though Dr. S. just had a sick sense of humor.

Turns out, he wasn't kidding.

He reached up into one of the cuboards above his head and pulled out a syringe and began connecting it to a small tube of fluid.

"Excuse me, but my PD (peritoneal dialysis) nurse already tried pushing fluid and heparin into my abdomen and it was EXTREMELY painful."

"I realize that Stacy, but I think I can clear the blockage."

I should have buttoned up my khakis, jumped up and just walked out. It would have been simple, painless and totally understandable.

But I just laid there. Pitiful, frightened and overwhelmed with emotion. He attached the heparin syringe and pushed the plunger slowly.

This wasn't regular run-of-the-mill all-American pain. This was more of a low, building, novel pain that wanted my body all to itself.

Fortunately Dr. S. had enough brains to stop torchering me.

Next Thursday, or the following Thursday I will have a laproscopic procedure done to move the catheter. This involves sticking a 5mm wide device through the length of the catheter to rearrange the placement.

More anaestesia. More scalpel's. More time away from work. More loss of income. More problems with my insurance.

More than I can handle. More than I deserve.

More of my soul slipping away.

If I were allowed to utter only two words the remainder of my life, they would simply be...
...no more.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Recipe for Stacy Without an E

What follows is the only known recipe for Stacy Without an E:
  • 8 cups of the geekiest stalk of dork you can find.
  • 4 cups of saturated creative genius.
  • 2 cups of self-loathing.
  • 2 more cups of self-loathing.
  • 1 heaping cup of thick, syrupy sarcasm.
  • 1 strained cup of sense of humor.
  • 1 spilled cup of adoration for women.
  • 2 quick tablespoons of loneliness.
  • 2 packed tablespoons of regret.
  • 1 nauseating tablespoon of sour hospital memories.
  • 2 liberal teaspoons of loyalty.

Toss ingredients into one damaged bowl of life. Mix well with blender, but do so inconsistently. Serve lukewarm, and only occasionally.

Leftovers should be frozen and used as window caulking.