That’s a line from an old kids radio show that Jesse and I used to listen to as kids, an episode about a Thanksgiving gone horribly wrong. It was also said a lot this past week and a half, as Buckman and I went through a series of insanely awful events. As in, the hospitalization was not even the low point.
I’m not kidding.
(Quick background info. Buckman hasn’t been able to find work here, and my company is floundering. Between the long overdue paychecks and the expensive vet bills, my saving account won’t can’t cover me anymore, and so I gave notice to my apartment and told Jesse to clear the spare bedroom. Buckman arranged to go back to DC. Moving day was scheduled for last Sunday, and Buckman flies out tomorrow.)
I’ll start this tale of woe with the Weds before Thanksgiving. I popped into my gyno’s office for what was supposed to be a painless procedure. I left an hour later, in tears, minus a bit of my ladybits that I’d been rather attached to, which was taken from me without so much as a warning much less any sort of painkiller, by a device that resembled the lovechild of a fruit picker and a hole punch. As a parting gift, I was also given a piece of paper which warned me to treat my vagina like a gift, as in Do Not Open Until Christmas.
Lovely. Thanks. You’re not my gyno anymore.
The next day, Thanksgiving, dawned bright and clear and Buckman puking his guts out. By two in the afternoon he was delirious and the question was no longer “should I take him to the hospital?” it was, “how on earth am I going to carry him down three flights of stairs to the car?”
At one point the doctors where prepping him for surgery to remove his appendix, but eventually it was determined that he was suffering from gastroenteritis, which is essentially the experience of food poisoning, just with more pain.
I ate Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital cafeteria, and I’ll admit it. I felt sorry for myself. If only I’d known what I know now, I’d have been laughing like Buckman on painkillers.
After a failed attempt at Thanksgiving dinner for Buckman, in the form of cranberry juice from the nurses, I took him home. He’d lost eight pounds that day.
Friday was a lovely bright spot in that week. I left my dying cat and recovering Buckman to look after each other and watched my sweet Samantha marry Mickey, on a boat, in a full day extravaganza of food and dancing and food and did I mention food? And more dancing.
Sometime in the night that night, Dulce yakked all over the bathroom rug. Which was a delightful little surprise to find at three AM, when I joined her. All of Sam’s carefully prepared goodies were seeking escape from my body, through any route possible.
Yes, it turns out gastroenteritis is contagious.
I crawled back to bed, only to find that Dulce was not going to be outdone in the sick department, and had thrown up there to. I piled all the laundry by the door and slid in under another blanket.
I spent the next three days not packing and moving as planned, but meditating through the pain of stomach cramps, trying to hold down popsicles, and maintaining a quarantine of the apartment against wonderful helpful friends.
Come Monday, I could stand for short stretches of time, and I used this newfound power to drive Mau to the vet’s office to say goodbye. I was too weak to dig his grave. Buckman, Jesse and Bethany had to do it for me.
Did I mention my therapist just went on three weeks vacation?
Tuesday, now days past my moving date, I managed to box my things, and my wonderful friends all pitched in to help me pack. In the middle of carrying down boxes, the fella I’ve been seeing, well …. he gave me reason to decide not to see him anymore.
We loaded up the car, and Angelica’s SUV. And then her battery died.
I finally cracked. I sobbed until Triple A showed up. Somehow I managed to get through the rest of that night, get everything moved, and clean the apartment. In hindsight I’m not even sure how.
Fast forward to today. I’m alive. The past few days have been a lot better because, well, they’d pretty much have to be. Plus I can eat full meals now. And I’m unpacked. Rudolf enjoys playtime in the backyard, and Dulce’s starting to recover from the stress of the move.
I guess what I’m saying is, I think I’ll live.
Buckman – “Headed back shortly. Just letting ya know.”
Valancy Jane – “Why is there a sock on your bedroom doorknob? I was proud but then I listened and it was too quiet.”
Buckman – “What? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t put it there.”
Valancy Jane – “No joke, there’s literally a sock on your doorknob.”
Buckman – “Hahahahaha! Did Jesse put it there? I did NOT do that, no joke.”
Valancy Jane – “I dunno, there’s nobody else home.”
Buckman – Hahahaha, omg leave it there, I gotta see this. I did do laundry but really didn’t do that. I’ve been gone since about 3.”
Valancy Jane – “Hmmmm, a mystery. I have this sudden vision of you and I as teenage sleuths.”
Buckman – “It probably fell out of my laundry and onto the floor, but what are the odds???”
Valancy Jane – “I think it was the old janitor, with the scar on his face.”
Buckman – “In the ballroom!”
Valancy Jane – “With a flashlight. Everyone knows suspicious old janitors carry flashlights to conk teenage sleuths unconscious. We’ll solve the case once we search the old carriage house and find a diary proving that he is the desendant of the illigitmate son of the house’s original owner.”
Buckman – “BAHAHAHAHA! Sounds like a case for homo and the brain.”
Valancy Jane – “Ok, but we need a better name.”
Buckman – “Lol, I’m busy, cut me some slack.”
Valancy Jane – “I’ll be in charge of the name, you round up some clean cut, sweater wearing boyfriends with alliterative names.”
Buckman – “Done and done.”
Valancy Jane – “Like Ted Thompson and Frank Fredricks.”
Buckman – “Steve Snodgrass, Ralph Rutgers and Joe Joehanssen are on board, that work?”
Valancy Jane – “Perfect. We’re now the Walter sisters, Joanie and Bonnie.”
For now we wait. I’m taking all my cues from Mau. When he can no longer eat, or breath comfortably, I’ll know it’s time. A few days? A week? I’m hoping for two. I’m cooking his food in salt and butter, and hey maybe lunch will have a splash of wine in it, it’s not like I have to worry about his liver anymore….
I know what I’m going to have to do, I just don’t know how I’m actually going to do it.
I wasn’t checking my email just now, or writing a text. I was taking your picture. You caught me, and there’s been plenty of times you haven’t.
I do it because you’re prettier than you think. I do it because I like all your different smiles, not just the one you save for the camera. And I do it because the older I get the faster time seems to go by and whenever I think to myself “where DID the year go?!” …….. it’s easy for me to remember the answer.
I spent it with you.
As some of you might know, my actual birthday falls on December 23rd, which is a ridiculous time of year to have a birthday. (You heard me, Jesus.) So I’ve done the sensible thing and rescheduled. This year it fell on Sept 25th. What day it falls on is subject entirely to my whim.
As you can see, I picked a good day.
I put wigs on my roommate.
After it corrected “Josh Buckman” to “Posh Bucksaw,” I realized that it was right. That IS his name, now.