Alone but not Lonely.

*Archived from December 2016*

What you say and how you say it are imperative for communication, there’s a reason we have language. Often time’s people say things without even realizing that what they say has an impact on people’s thinking and actions. If you’re in the sales industry such as real estate then you know just how important your description words are for describing a small property as a “Cozy quaint cottage”.

In fact, there was the perfect little blurb in the Wall Street Journal talking about exchanging the phrase of “I don’t have time” with “It’s not a priority” and then used it in a few different examples and said “if these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point.”

As a former server how people worded their requests for ranch determined if I would charge them for a side or not. Someone who said it as a question usually didn’t get charged (Oh, could I get a side of ranch, please?) but someone who used a declarative sentence absolutely got charged because their language put me on the defense. (I need a side of ranch.)

So with that, I’ve been working on how I spent my holiday season post for the last 2 weeks and it’s so long and probably more information than is relevant to what I want to say. So, I have attempted to summarize the events and what I wanted to say.

Over the holiday weekends, I made the flying statement that I would be alone, but not lonely. That was mostly true until my X decided to side swipe me and invite me to his family Christmas (along with about 5 other invites from friends). I didn’t go to his but his lingering words, “I just can’t imagine the thought of you being alone on Christmas, why don’t you come spend it with people who love you.” made me realize I was actually lonely and wanted to spend it with someone.

I made a post last week for my NY resolutions swearing off my past (boyfriends, flings, etc) and I received a message from someone (Actually all of the guys from the last year and a half messaged me, except for X.) we’ll call him Carter, and I realized I wouldn’t be able to spend the holiday alone after all, even though I had multiple invites none of them really felt welcoming to me.

What I mean by that is the wording. People all heard what I was saying but not everyone knows what I meant when I say I’m lonely.   I’m not lonely for just anyone to fill the silence or space, I’m lonely for that raw connection with someone who knows me well, who has seen my broken soul, and chooses to stay anyways.

Although (mostly) all the invites came from good friends that I truly appreciate the offers from, they all lacked the wording in the invitation to make me feel welcomed.  I was searching for people similar to my own situation; someone single, lack of family (or closeness to them), no obligations (family traditions) etc. I wanted someone similar to me because I didn’t want to distract anyone from what they needed to get done and I didn’t want to compete for their attention over chores, kids, family, other friends, partner, TV, etc. It’s terrible to be in a room full of people and to still feel completely and utterly alone.

So, I messaged Carter the following day after his text and told him I would really like to see him for Christmas Eve and explained to him why.  He understood why and agreed to see me. While we were discussing the details of our hangout on Christmas Eve he said he was tired from work and that he was going to put me to work and listed off everything he had to do in preparation.

As I previously mentioned I didn’t want to burden anyone with my neediness and was starting to feel uncomfortable (read: guilty) having turned to my past so quickly after my resolution post so I saw my opportunity to cancel plans.  I attempted to cancel the plans by saying I didn’t want to be in the way or add to the stress, that I didn’t feel like doing anything and that I would just see him tomorrow after his family left like previously agreed upon, but he did something unexpected.

I knew Carter was the right person to see me because he did what no one else does, he fought to see me. What I mean by that is he didn’t accept my cop out answer and he attempted to persuade me with things like “I even lit a fire and everything” and explaining what he meant by stress and he didn’t care if I was a mess. The final message that finally convinced me to come over was, “Sigh…Ok”
“PS I didn’t want to be alone tonight either.”

He didn’t make it sound like I was inconveniencing him or that I was a pity invite, he made me feel like I was helping him as much as he was helping me. He took it from being “Oh you poor thing, Come to my Christmas because I asked what your plans were and you said you didn’t have any and couldn’t afford to fly home and now I feel awkward talking about this.” To “Zak, this time of year sucks. I get it. I get that you’re independent and don’t need anyone, but if you decide that you do, I’m here and could really use some company myself.”

I cannot express to him how much that truly meant to me not just the invite but the fact that he knew how to deal with me and my independence without making me feel more vulnerable than I already was. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a good start to 2017, mine was just what I needed.

My Night with a Naughty Nurse

I’m not sure how it happens to me but I always seem to get the very chatty weird doctors, nurses, therapists, masseuses, etc. Since some of you are probably new readers you probably missed my conversation with a doctor during a physical last year in which he kept me in the office for 45 minutes gushing about Montana (My home state). I posted it just before this one so you can read it if you want to.

Yesterday while I was at UPenn for the study I’m participating in I got this friendly nurse. I will refer to her as NC for Nurse Cougar from here on out. She’s probably about 40-45ish wearing a pencil skirt and flip flops she reminded me of Kirstie Alley 20 years ago (from the tooth fairy movie). NC hands me a pee cup and sends me on my way down to the bathroom. When I come back and drop my urine off on the counter I see she’s on her phone texting. No big deal. So I sit in the chair and wait for her to finish her message and then she puts her phone down shaking her head and, no lie, this was our conversation:

NC: “Ugh, young guys…young guys.” she says absent mindedly trailing off.
Me: “Right?” *in a confused tone because what the hell do you say to that?*
NC: “So I’m seeing this younger guy right? And he’s an engineer, uck like engineers are so weird” she says smirking looking up at the ceiling, “And he works all these crazy hours and he works like 10 hour days and he works through the night and I told him, Man how are you supposed to get laid with those kind of hours? Like I gotta be in bed by 11 because I gotta get up and go to work.”
Me: *Shocked with Jenna Marbles face inside my head because..you know she still had to stick needles in me still*
NC: “So I was like you should ask your boss how you’re supposed to get laid with hours like that and he was all ‘Yeah I’ll see what he says.’”
Me: *Still stunned* was this appropriate patient nurse conversation?
Me: “Heh heh Yeah, those hours suck,” I say dead pan like a bad actor.
NC: “Right? This is what I said to him,” she starts reading her text message to me and I drifted in and out of the message until I hear her saying, “And I’m gonna rip your clothes off and…” I force myself to blank out again…She finally puts her phone down looking pleased with herself.

We continue with the small talk and she asks if I have a roommate, yes…She asked if I liked living with them…yes…Then she opens up about her roommates and talking about how she’s renting out her house she owns and then renting this other house she doesn’t and has 2 roommates and that she didn’t save money like she should have while they’ve been living with her and how she’s been travelling all over (I’m guessing she’s a divorcee who’s living it up). I’m shocked at just how much I’m learning about this nurse who’s conducting a serious study in such a manner.

Finally, my IV drip is done and she tells me that I have to stick around for a half hour to make sure there are no adverse effects. I try to bargain with her,

Me: “How about 15 minutes because my parking runs out at 2:59.”
NC: *Mulling it over in her head* “I…I’m really not supposed to..”
Me: *Sitting there with a blank stare on my face while she keeps mumbling I’m not supposed to, debating if she could let me leave 15 minutes early.*
Me: “I just need to go put more time on my meter so I’m gonna have to go put more money in and then come back,” I say to make it easier for her so she doesn’t to say no.
NC: “I’ll escort you out to your vehicle,” she says with a sly smirk and side eyes as if to say ‘Almost got me!’ thinking I’m lying about coming back.

We’re walking out to my car and my stride is probably twice hers and she’s clopping right along in her flip flops trying to keep pace in a pencil skirt. I have a bright blue bandage wrapped around my arm because my IV connector was there (Because if there was a reaction then the paramedics would have to come and she had to have access to an IV line or something…) I pay for another half hour and we start walking back:

NC: “Woo, get me in the shade!” as she’s fanning her face.
Me: “Aww and you’re in all black too”
NC: “They’ll be calling me Johnny Cash, but I was feeling fat today.”
Me: *Internal Jenna Marbles Face* “Oh…”
NC: *Sigh* “I just got so behind on my summer body this year but I just love food too much.”
Me: “Oh yeah when I’m stressed I’m the opposite I can’t eat, I took 18 credits my last semester in college this year and I was so stressed I looked like I was a heroin addict.”
NC: “Oh and you’re already so tall and slender, I’m sure it was noticeable, you just need to eat more.”
Me: “Yeah that’s what people keep telling me but it’s hard because I’m not hungry when I’m stressed so I’m literally having to force feed myself.”
NC: “Maybe you just need some pot.”
Me: *Burst of laugher* “Yes, yes I do.”
NC: “Definitely, it helps people so much for different problems. Anxiety and hunger..” she trails off.
Me: “Yeah but I don’t think *Current state I’m living in* has anxiety as a recognizable symptom or ailment for their medical marijuana card. Is it? ”
NC: “I don’t know, you just need to get a prescription for anxiety, or get the *insert cannabis pill name here* that cancer patients use. Just tell them you know you’re gonna be stressed during this period and that you need to eat I don’t know if it would work but it’s worth trying.”
Me: *WTF* “Yeah, I guess I’ll have to look into that”
We finally get me back up in the room and I have to sit and wait 20 more minutes to make sure nothing bad would happen. She finally takes my IV connector out and puts a bandage over my arm and sends me on my way.

If you liked this story and didn’t read the doctor one read it now! Also, like my facebook page and follow it because it gives me a false sense of pride.

My Doctor Appointment

So I’ve been trying to think of a witty post about my Montana adventure and ways to talk about me cutting my foot, skinny dipping, and commemorating a friend who passed suddenly, but nothing I came up did justice to what I want to say and tell people so I suppose my vacation will just have to be an “in-person” story I tell because there is just so much and since I’m not entirely sure who reads this thing, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable admitting to strangers. PS I haven’t slept in 24 hours so me not talk to pretty right now.

So Instead, I figured it would be funny to tell you about my conversation with the doctor today for my physical. My Doctor looked like Will Sasso from Mad TV (Seen above). I had gone in for a routine physical and he was collecting family medical history and this is how it went, it’s jumpy I know, but this is honestly how the conversation went.

Doc: “So, how are you today?”

Me: “Well thanks, you?”

Doc: “I’m alright, Name?”

Me: “Zak”

Doc: “Your parents live in Delaware?”
Me: “No, they live in Montana.”

Doc: “Montana? Did you move here or did they move there?”
Me: “I moved here.”

Doc: “Were you there for the filming of the River Runs Through It?”

Me: “Uhh, I was born in 1990 so I’m not sure…Maybe? I don’t think I’ve seen that movie…”

Doc: “Oh Sheesh…Do you work?”

Me: “Yes full-time for an IT company.”
Doc: “Very nice, how long you been doing that?”

Me: “MM, like 6 months?

Doc: “Great, do you like it?”
Me: “Yeah I love it.”

Doc: “So you moved from Montana….to Delaware?”

Me: “Yes”

Doc: “Why Delaware?” *Skrunches up face like Da fuck?*
Me: “Love…Followed my heart here”

Doc: “Oh man that famous writer lives out there in….I wanna say, Livingston? Do you know who I’m talking about?”
Me: “Well contrary to popular belief, we Montanan’s don’t all know one another. I can guess an author, Gary something….Has a pet black bear?”
Doc: “Noo….”

Me: “Ben Michaelson? The author of the Hatchet or something?”
Doc: “No…Here…” *Pulls out iPhone and looks up Anthony Bourdain interview with Montana Author and proceeds to make me watch the video to see the author he’s talking about.
Me: “Oh…Cool.”

Doc: “Yeah, it’s been a buddy and I’s dream to go to Montana, we’d sit in our car loaded up to backpack in Nashville talking about driving out to Montana for a week in college. Never made it, though…”
Me: *Internal eye roll* “Well it’s definitely got some pretty landscapes I loved being there. I just got back from vacation there.”
Doc: “Any history  of diabetes? High blood pressure? High Cholesterol? That sort of thing?”
Me: “No…wait..depression?”
Doc: “Well you’re in Delaware and you’re from Montana…it makes sense..”

Me: *perplexed and amused*

Doc: “Height? Weight”

Me: “6’4 and as of last night 169.4”

Doc: “Good weight…So the person you moved for did things work out with him-uhhh-her- *ahem* them?”

Me: “Not exactly”

Doc: “Any history of diabetes? High blood pressure? High Cholesterol in your family?”

Me: “High blood pressure, high cholesterol and my dad had cancer.”
Doc:  “Siblings?”

Me: “Yeah a sister.”

Doc: “Cool, she still in Montana?”

Me: “Yeah…”

Doc: “What she do out there?”
Me: “Uhh, I’m not really sure, to be honest, I think she works at a methadone clinic or something..” *thinking why are we having a chit chat? Haven’t you other patients to see?

Doc: “What sorta cancer did your dad have?”
Me: “Lymphoma”

Doc: “So you moved here 6 months ago?”
Me: “No, a year and a half. I moved April 4th, 2015, we broke up April 16th, 2016.”
Doc: “So what did she-uhhh-he-they do around here?”

Me: “Barista, going to school now”

Doc: “They have a school for baristas now?”
Me: *Holding back a snort of laughter* “Uh no, that’s not what he’s going for..Something in music.”
Doc: “Oh my sister is a professionally trained opera singer and she’s unemployed and I mean if there isn’t anything for a professionally trained opera singer…I keep asking her when she’s going to join us in the real world”
Me: *internal eye roll again* “Yeah that’s not really what he’s going for so…”

More mindless babble…and decides he can open up to me more.

“So at our small Christian college in Nashville, Kyle, That’s my friend, and I saw a girl with Montana plates and we were fighting over who called dibs on her. In the end, it turns out he won and he was going back to Montana with her to visit family and see it and he calls me and is all like, I think Kyle always wanted to marry rich so he could do whatever-“

Me: “Well naturally, don’t we all?”

Doc: “Yeah, so Kyle calls me from the border of Montana and is all like ‘This dumb bitch…. Bro, I’m not going to Montana without you’ and I was all like, you went into Montana and turned around and he was all like ‘No man, we got to the border and we turned around’ it was like from the movie when Brad Pitts brother asks him to move to Chicago with him but Brad says “I’m not leaving Montana” and I just couldn’t believe he made it all the way to the border and didn’t go check it out.”
Me: *Literally stunned into silence making a Jenna Marbles face and eye twitching thinking are you actually a medically trained doctor or posing as one?!?*

Doc: “So What’s there to do in Montana? Is there the Blackfoot River there?”
me: “Yeah, there’s a brewery named after it…I mean there is like Glacier and Yellowstone National Park and they’re pretty cool I guess.”
Doc: “Oh yeah, like is it cold there?” (asking in an Alaska sorta way)
Me: “I mean there is snow year round on some of the mountains and like sometimes Highway to the Sun is closed until July or August because of the snow pack. There are lots of backpacking and there is this place called Hidden Lake and it’s really cool you pack in like 3 or 4 miles and there is this big….Hidden Lake (duh the name?) and sometimes there is snow in there in the middle of July and it’s really pretty and cool.”

Doc: “So like if I was to bring a couple of turbo powered Artic cat sleds up there could I like…..drive them on the streets? Or would the police be all over you?”
me: “Uhh, I mean if there is enough snow in town yeah for the most part as long as you don’t take them on the highways cops don’t really care, we have people doing it in my neighborhood”

Doc: *Stares mesmerized off into the distances*

Doc: “So let’s say I was to go visit Montana and take my family when would be the best time to go?”

Me: “Well I mean that depends on what you guys are into…Skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, winter activities….I’d say Like January?”
Doc: *Practically salivating* “Fly fishing. That’s what we’re into…fly fishing…”
Me: “Oh well there’s some great fly fishing in Montana, in that case, I would say like July-August-ish…Montana has an Indian summer a lot so it stays warmer in August through September. You could go on like the Missouri river it’s pretty awesome fly fishing or Flathead lake. It gets all the run off of the glaciers so you can see like 8 feet down below the water and it’ll look like it’s about a foot under the surface it’s so calm and peaceful and clear.

By this point, I’ve lost him again as he gazes off into the wall behind my head daydreaming of Montana.

Doc: “So you fly fish?”
Me: “I’m from Montana, I do it all. Hike, fish, hunt, backpack, ATV, boat, etc”

Doc: “So you were raised in Montana from when?”
Me: “I was born and lived there until I was 21 until I moved to New Zealand for a year.”

Which I was really trying to blow his mind because New Zealand usually does that to everyone and he goes nonchalantly “Oh I hear they have like the best healthcare in the world.”

Me: *Utterly dumbstruck by the comment…nothing about the Hobbit, the beautiful scenery, the amazing lush green rolling hills, driving on the opposite side of the road as us…No, instead he comments on their healthcare system.*

Also me: “Uhh, sure…I don’t really know, I never had to use their hospitals. I know you had to get a prescription for melatonin though which I thought was stupid but it’s whatever.”
Doc: “Yeah that is weird, say did you ever try that Bob Marley Tea?”
Me: *Dude, did you miss your ADHD meds today? Cuz Shit I haven’t taken mine for a week and I’m more focused right now than you are…*

Also me: “Uhh yeah I have actually, I thought it was weird cuz it totally made me mellow an—“

Doc: “Yeah me too, it put me right out! I was like whoa, this stuff just knocks you right out.”
Me: *Jenna Marbles Face again…*

Doc: “Yeah this patient came in drinking one and she was all like don’t even try to buy these, they don’t produce these anymore, so don’t even try” (In a mocking girlish tone) “I’ll give you mine, though.”

Me: “And it’s all like, where did she get hers then if they don’t produce them anymore? In some kind of mellow green tea underground black market?”
Doc: “I think people buy them by the cases or something..”

Doc: “Right, So why don’t you go ahead and take your shirt off and sit on the table over there.”
Me: *Uhh…You sure you ok to stand up cowboy? I don’t want you passing out on me*

He proceeds to complete the what should be a 10 minute physical in just under 40 minutes.

 

This has to literally be one of my weirdest doctor visits of all times and I’ve had one where the doctor was telling me how I wasn’t ADHD because I graduated high school. Please, if you have a weird doctor story do share in the comments, I’d love to hear someone else’s weirdness.