Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Making Do

During the times of World War II, my grandma Dorothy would paint her legs black with shoe polish every Sunday for church to mimic the look of hose. She'd even draw a line up the backs of her legs for the seam. The generation that lived through that time made do with what they had, and even though my own generation is spoiled in comparison, I am always pleasantly surprised at the creative things people will do to get by with what they've got. Once my brother Jimmy and his family visited us in Portland, and both of his adorable sons were impressively in a good mood after the 3 hour drive from Seattle. As I helped unload the car I noted a portable DVD player, duct taped backwards to the front seat console to allow the boys to watch cartoons.

As a teenager, I once rode with Jimmy in the "farm pickup" to irrigate the fields. As I shut the passenger side door it swung back open immediately. Jimmy reached over and hooked a bungie cord from his door to mine to keep them closed. It worked well for the job at hand.

Financial strain is an obvious reason for making do. I see this frequently when doing physical exams on my patients in clinic. I've seen newborns wearing clothes for a 6 month old, frayed bras held together with safety pins, suspenders holding up pants that are 4 sizes too big.

Laziness is another common culprit. I've been wearing my last pair of 2 week disposable contacts for the past 3 months, simply because the thought of finding a new optometrist, scheduling an appointment at a convenient time, etc. etc. takes too much energy.

Recently Leonard's cell phone malfunctioned for a few days. He was able to hear me but I couldn't hear him. Luckily, I could hear the beeping sound made when he would push a button on the keypad.

Our conversations went something like this:

Me: Hi sweetheart, are you on your way to pick me up? Press a button once for yes and twice for no.

Him: Beep.

Me: Oh, that's nice. I had a pretty good day today, I'm almost done with my charts. I was thinking about Cuban Mojito chicken for dinner, what do you think? Press a button once if you think this sounds good.

Him: Beep.

Me: Great! Are you very far away? Press a button once if you are more than 5 minutes away, twice if you're closer than that.

Him: Beep, Beep.

Me: Oh, I didn't realize that! Are you in the parking lot right now waiting for me? Press a button once for yes.

Him: Beep.

Me: Oh, o.k. I love you. Press a button if you love me too.

Him: Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Me (laughing): Aw, shucks. I'll be right out. Press a button once for goodbye.

Him: Beep.

Me: Goodbye.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I work at one of those clinics

The kind of clinic where:

I have to sternly tell a 21 year old patient with a mohawk: "Hey, don't punch our walls!" as his temper flares as I'm trying to remove a foreign body from his eye.

I go to the local homeless shelter after work to hand deliver appointment information to my patient with recently diagnosed lung cancer, because there is no other way to get a hold of him.

I walk into a room and think "hmmm...KFC and wet dog" when greeting my new patient. The latter is confirmed as I notice copious dog hair on the back of her shirt.

The building is old and rickety, I don't stretch my legs too far under my desk for fear of spider webs.

And I love it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yesterday Two Birthdays Were Celebrated

Birthday #1 - The Relief Society of the LDS Church

Though technically founded on March 17, yesterday our Relief Society met for a 167th birthday bash. I've always been so impressed with the way a group of women from the Relief Society can get things done efficiently, such as pulling off a post-funeral luncheon with only a short day's notice or sewing a hundred quilts for families in a war ravaged nation in a month's time.

I had signed up to decorate a birthday table, mostly to force myself to get to know other ladies. The theme could be whatever I wanted. I considered cool themes like 1970s disco party or Space Invaders. When my mom informed me that she was making spring cupcakes for her ward's birthday bash, I decided to tag along and turn my table into a Spring Themed Birthday.

The cupcakes were fun to make. I especially liked the chocolate butterflies.

Birthday #2 - Chuck Norris

I had no idea it was Chuck's birthday yesterday until Leonard informed me in a serious tone, almost as though he expected me to feel guilty that I hadn't yet called him and it was getting late. I've never been into Chuck Norris movies, but Leonard thinks they're cool and celebrated by telling me "Chuck Norris is Tough" jokes.

Here are a few of my favorites:
-There is no such thing as evolution, just a list of species that Chuck Norris has allowed to survive.
-They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Unless Chuck Norris is on the other side, in which case the grass is soaked with blood and tears.
-Chuck Norris counted to infinity....twice.
-Little kids wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
-Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. It's descendants were known as giraffes.

Yeah, Chuck Norris is pretty tough and it makes you wonder if there's ever an opponent that could beat him. I wonder, though, how he'd fare against a few seasoned Relief Society sisters.