Monday, March 21, 2011

The Pill

I see a lot of pregnant women. Working at an OBGYN office means I hear about all of the mood swings, the weight gain, the water retention, aches and pains, food cravings, morning sickness, lethargy and general discomfort of buns in the oven on a regular basis. I've always known these were the expected downsides to pregnancy, and as far as I was concerned they were just added reason for sane people to hold off on knocking up.

I was once a huge proponent of birth control. In fact I was pro- oral contraceptives for any and every newly sexually active couple, mostly because of the vast level of incompetence to rear children exhibited by the general public, but either way - I pushed "the pill" on plenty of patients. 

Few of them liked it. 

The way women complain about the side effects of "the pill" you'd think they were the pregnant patients. The list of complaints is nearly identical. They tell me how crazy they went on the hormones, how they gained fifteen pounds in the first month, how they suddenly regressed to their zit infested high school complexion, how they had "that time of the month" ALL month. 

I figured they were all Pansies. 
I had the same standard answers for them all:

Most birth controls have no clinical indication of weight gain. 

You may experience slight mood swings, but on the new lower doses you shouldn't notice a huge difference. 

You may be slightly irregular for the first few months but afterwards you will experience much more mild and regulated cycles. 

Oral contraceptives are the most cost effective way to prevent any unplanned pregnancies. 

I have recently changed my view on all of these standard answers. 

I started "the pill".

"The Pill" has quotations around it so you know to read it with an ominous cadence. 
(*for ginger - ominous cadence is a more specific way of saying evil accent) 

Don't get any ideas, I'm not getting married anytime soon, I haven't sprouted promiscuous curiosities and I'm not working the corner on fifth and ninth - I started "the pill" for other unnamed reasons. 

This is what I've discovered. "The pill" does more than prevent little monsters - it turns women into big hormonal monsters. 

Even the littlest things set me off. Sudden anger for no apparent reason is not uncommon on "the pill" 

I unearthed a new sensitive side I never knew I had. 
Songs I've heard a million times now make me cry. 

I no longer listen to Carrie Underwood's "Just a dream". 

Especially not on campus

I used to concentrate on important things. 

I was 10 lbs lighter then. 

I used to be capable of rational thought, without jumping to crazy conclusions or perceiving everything as a personal attack. 

Not anymore. 

In short, I have developed bipolar disorder in under a month. 
You never know which Whitney you're going to get, it's like russian roulette except instead of bullets I'm firing estrogen injected emotion. For those around me it's a nightmare. 

This is the emotional range gone through in a typical hour on "the pill" 

I still can't believe that something so small can have such a big effect.

For the sake of my figure and the sanity of my loved ones, I am no longer taking the pill as of yesterday.

I see the averse effects of oral contraceptives as a sign that science has ceded this battle to christianity. Humans must be destined to populate and replenish the earth, otherwise we totally would have discovered a more humane way to keep from reproducing. 

If I was mean to you during my pill experiment - I apologize
If I started crying in your presence while taking the pill - I regret that. 
If I freaked out at or around you in the last month - please forgive me. 
If you're taking "the pill" - I'm sorry. 
If you're significant other is taking "the pill" - I'm VERY sorry, I'd suggest getting out if you still can. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

House Sitting

Last week my family planned a six day ski trip to Big Sky Montana. All of my brothers got to take off school, ditch their sports teams and spend the week knee deep in powder at one of my absolute favorite resorts. I did not get to go. I had to stay home because I go to college and have to be responsible. Since I was not participating in the family fun, I was nominated to take care of their house. 

For the past 3 years since I moved out of my parent's house, "home" has been this magical place where I could drop off bags of dirty laundry and they'd magically wash and fold themselves; where the fridge is always stocked with left overs, baked goods are ever present and there's an endless supply of resources stored away in the basement. This was not the fairy tale my six days of house sitting turned out to be. These six days were, in fact, the opposite of that fairy tale. 

My family has cows. 

Don't ask me why we have cows, my father is a physician, my mom went to nursing school. They grew up in California and neither of them have any ties to agriculture whatsoever. But for some reason we have cows. And chickens. And dogs. And by no proactive means - about 12 barn cats. 

I used to tolerate animals. They have no practical purpose for me and I think they smell bad, but I've never held any REAL animosity towards them. 
I now intensely dislike animals after last week's adventures. 

In fact, I now HATE animals. 

Here's why.
I had my instructions - to feed the cows 1/2 bale of hay once in the morning - around 8, and once at night - around 6. Feed the dogs one heaping bowl each per day and make sure there was water and food in the chicken feeders at all times. The cats are on their own. 
That sounded easy enough, so I skipped the day before orientation my dad offered and opted to wing the feeding schedule once I "moved in" for the week. 
To tell you the truth I was somewhat looking forward to four stories and five acres all to myself. I shouldn't have. 

The first day of feeding went like this: 

I prepped by putting on my warm and fuzzy black ugh boots since I couldn't find the rubber ones my dad suggested. I trudged through the snow, across the field and into the barn. I found the hay. I found the Cows. I found the fence that separated the hay from the cows. Self explanatory right?


I couldn't figure out how to get the pitch fork over the fence to drop the hay in, which is when I remembered all of those Hollywood movies that depict ripped shirtless men launching Hay over fences to feed their many herds of cattle. That was the solution. I would launch the hay like the washboard cowboys from Dusty Britches. 

Problem: Hay is quite heavy. Heaving it over the fence took a little bit of staggering and quite a chunk of my ego. 

But I eventually managed to fling it over the fence.

Problem: it didn't land in the bucket... 

And they just stared at it. 

I decided they must need some coercion, so I climbed over the fence to coerce the cows to eat their dinner. 

Bad idea. Cows do not like coercion. 

In fact, cows don't even like you in their pen. They especially don't like you in their pen, touching their food and trying to force feed them. 
A vision of these rank creatures trampling me into the fence and stomping me to death suddenly flashed into my mind. I did NOT want to die in a manure pit. 
Luckily, the pitch fork was within reach. 

I barely escaped with my life. 

At this point, any person of normal valor would have clambored back over that green fence and let the cows starve to death staring at their dinner. 
Not me. I am extra courageous. 
I marched myself, wielding my weapon of course, back to the discarded hay. They were going to eat that bale if it was the last thing I made them do. 

I moved the hay exactly 4 inches to the left and into the bucket. Suddenly the cows were entirely disinterested in the fact that I was in their smelly habitat, all they cared about was the food in front of them. 

Apparently eating Hay off the ground is beneath cows. 
I got great satisfaction from the fact that I'm pretty sure I stabbed some cow excrement along with the hay, and since it went in the bucket.... 
I'm pretty sure they ate it. 

The next day I learned that cows are incapable of change. I didn't feed them until 8 at night, after the sun had set, and instead of being grateful and eating their dinner just a little late they decided to moo hungrily. 
All Night Long. 
Apparently cows cannot eat in the dark. 
Most people have to worry about their dogs barking into the night. I had to worry about the cows keeping the entire street awake - which they did, until the sun came back up and they decided to eat. 
Cows are the stupidest animals alive. 

Unfortunately, the cows were not the only problem animals last week. 
The dogs presented a whole new issue. 

My little brother recently got a new puppy - Maggie. Maggie is still too young to sleep outside in the frigid Logan winters, but my mom is adamant about her outside dog only policy. This means Maggie and Duke (the Lab I saved from the Walmart parking lot 5 years ago) get to sleep on doggie beds in the house, but only in the front hallway. 

Problem - Maggie drives Duke crazy. 

While Duke will stay on his pillow and nicely go to sleep or gnaw on his bone, Maggie never wants to stop playing. We have to hook her to door to keep her from wandering around the house, but really it just chains her within bugging distance of Duke. 
11:30 hit and I turned out the lights to head upstairs. Duke readied himself for sleep, and Maggie geared up to play with him. 

1:00 AM - I'm woken up by loud wimpering wafting up the stairs. After many attempts to yell at them from the comforts of my bed I ventured downstairs to find out what was causing the raukus. 
Duke had dragged both beds into the middle of the floor and left Maggie chained to the door. 
I can't say I blamed him. 

Nonetheless, I dragged Duke and the Puppy Pillows back to their "spot" and firmly told Maggie it was time for bed. 

I don't think she understood me... 

Translation: Duke, play with me! 

An hour later I came downstairs to more wimpering. 

I dragged the pillows back, this time separating the two just enough so that Maggie's chain ended right before Duke's bed started. 
Problem solved. Dogs mastered. 
At three A.M. I fell asleep for the final time. 
I didn't wake up until 8 the next morning, when I had to trudge out to feed the cows again, but when I got downstairs Maggie had a whole new surprise for me. 

She had thrown up, on her bed, in the middle of the night. 
Apparently a mouse, two dimes, a red shoelace and a Quarter didn't sit well with her stomach. 
Cleaning it up took two pair of rubber gloves, 14 plastic garbage sacks, half a bottle of lysol and a trip to the neighbor's trash can since I didn't want her digging it back out of ours. 
This is why I now hate animals. 
And why I'll never ever EVER house sit for my parents again. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Chub

Valentines Day is here yet again. February 14th, the day of the year that PDA runs rampant, Chocolate sales sky rocket, restaurants fill with love struck couples and Walmart sells millions of roses that die in under 12 hours.

Valentines Day and I have a long history together. In the 20 years that I've been around it has yet to impress me. In fact I'm pretty sure February 14th hates me.
Valentines day brings only jiggle for my belly and extra pudgey pounds.

I'll start at the beginning. 

First Grade; Littleton Academy Charter School
 Sheldon was the cutest boy in my class and the entire female population of the first grade had a crush on him. He had adorable blonde hair, was always picked first in P.E., towered over even third graders and (here's the best part) sat right next to me. 
I loved him.

 I had picked SkyDancer valentines that year, my brother picked Batman. (which I thought was stupid because batman has nothing to do with love and that's what V-day is all about) While I was addressing my cards and choosing just the right saying for all of my first grade peers I had a brilliant idea; I would confess my undying love for Sheldon via Valentine. First, I attached two boxes of nerds to Sheldon's skydancer valentine. I thought about it some more and decided that just wasn't enough of a manifestation. No, my love needed a real expression of sentiment yet needed to remain anonymous - that's when my plot became even more genius.
In order to execute my plan I would need a Valentine that couldn't be traced back to me, I planned to make my own giant heart with all my extra candy taped to it. Unfortunately I couldn't find any giant sheets of construction paper and I wasn't allowed to use scissors without supervision, so I improvised and stole a batman valentine from my brother. In my neatest handwriting I wrote
"I Love You, Please Kiss Me"
right next to his name and signed it "your secret admirer".
The next day in class I snuck the special valentine into Sheldon's Valentine box when no one was looking. 
After we had distributed cards I waited patiently as everyone dumped out their valentines, keeping my eye on Sheldon, just waiting for him to find my confession. 

He found it. Unfortunately so did the rest of class. 
A manhunt immediately ensued for whoever had the batman valentines.  I smirked as the class ransacked their valentines looking for a batman cards, I knew I was safe since all of the cards with my name on them were Sky Dancer, not Batman.
Then the class found Batman cards and it all went downhill from there. Shannon, the class tomboy who had actually taken off her shirt at recess in an attempt to be a boy, was also Batman's biggest fan. As a result of peer pressure and the free-loving atmosphere in Miss Collin's classroom, Sheldon decided to grant my Valentines wish. 

Only he thought it was Shannon's wish, so she got my v-day kiss and I got to spend my valentines recess eating all of my V-day Candy in the slide.
She didn't even like it.

Second Grade- 1998

After my heart was shattered in '97 I had forsaken love. Sheldon had moved away at the end of the school year and I had convinced myself I was never getting married. Boys had cooties. Luckily most of the 8 year old boys shared my aversion to the opposite sex.

Not Wade.

Wade was the red-headed weirdo that still ate mud and had worms for friends. He always got behind me when we lined up for recess. I did not love Wade.

On Valentines Day Wade was behind me in line once again. He tapped me on the shoulder. 

I ignored him. 
So he tapped me again.  

\He didn't answer so I turned around and BAM! He snuck a smooch right on my cheek. 

What happened next was all his own fault. 

I punched Wade in the face. 
He got a black eye and got to call his mom to come get him, I got sent to the Principal's office and indoor recess for two weeks. 
I ate all of the candies in the candy Jar while I watched the other kids play. 
Every day. 

For the next four years I kept a low profile as Valentines Day came and went, I guess Cupid thought I was traumatized enough, but when I hit the sixth grade he changed his mind.
 I decided to be a great friend that year and, while I had sworn off love after my scarring experiences, I could celebrate Valentines with my girls. Since my best friend Dana and I didn't have "boyfriends" to buy us cheesy gifts like all of our other friends did, I decided I'd provide the cheesy gift. I bought a bear that said "hug me" on a heart for my BF Dana, because i'm a sweetheart like that.

Problem, she saw me putting it in my locker that Valentines morning. 

Did I mention that I had a crush on Adam? I had a crush on Adam in the sixth grade. Logically it made sense that the bear was for him, and apparently it made sense to Dana too because when she found the bear in my locker at lunch still she decided to help my love life along. She put the bear in Adam's locker. 
Adam now had the bear. 

And all of our friends knew I had "given" Adam the Valentines Bear. 
Adam told me that he just "wanted to be friends" and didn't think "going out" was a good idea until we were older. He did this with a horde of preteen boys behind him and in front of 15 of my closest girl friends. 

I avoided Adam for the next month and my ego never recovered. Especially not after my mom made rocky road brownies to cheer me up and I ate 3/4 of the pan in twenty minutes.

Eighth grade:
I had an older boyfriend. He was in ninth grade. We held hands in the halls and hugged every day before getting on our respective buses. 

Valentines Day he decorated my room with rose petals and Hershies kisses. 

He gave me a heart bracelet and a teddy bear and I gave him a t-shirt and some chocolates. At last I had my perfect Valentines Day. It stayed perfect for a total of thirty minutes until I called him to tell him thank you and another girl, one of my friends, answered the phone. 

Chelsea also got a heart bracelet that year. Mine ended up inthe field behind my house February 15th. The two bags of kisses he scattered all over my floor, however, ended up in my belly.
I eat my feelings. 

Ninth Grade 

Boy gave me a hamburger and a milkshake. That he picked up on his way to my house at 11:45 P.M. 
He also wrote a poem: It goes like this - 
"What is a BIG MAC like you doing SHAKING with a SMALL FRY like me?" 
Naturally I ate them and my sadness. 

Tenth grade: I'm 80% sure I was single. My friends were not. 

Solution: Ice cream

Eleventh grade:

Solution: Even more Ice Cream

Senior Year:

I had a great boy, a thoughtful and specific gift wrapped and ready for him to open and high hopes of the perfect Valentines Day, and an even better night. (wink wink) 

I didn't see him at school that day, but kept my phone close by just waiting for the happy V-day text message. 
When he didn't make contact by 4:00 I texted him. 
He didn't respond. 

The perfect boy had forgotten all about Valentines day and went up to a cabin without service for three days. 

Heart = Broken
Stomach = Fully Functional ad Filling up. 

I ate LOTS of Ice Cream that year. 

2009 - Freshman year of college

The boy from the year before left on a sabbatical to Canada and I was so anti-male that I would purposely be mean to them in class. Nonetheless, my friend needed a wingman for V-day with a new boy and I, being the self sacrificing saint that I am, agreed to tag along.
My date had the longest bowl cut hair I've ever seen. It looked horrid. 

They made us dinner, which consisted of overcooked spaghetti smothered in four cans of ragu and some pre-sliced french bread from Walmart. 

they told us "they" were dessert.

They then forced me to watch a movie. 
They chose a scary movie, on Valentines day. Most likely this was a ploy to facilitate close seating arrangement and frightened clinging. 
It certainly worked, I clung to the edge of the love seat they made me share with hippy hair and he vehemently tried to pull me onto his lap. 

My friend owed me big time for tackling this grenade. (not that I tackled him, in fact I stayed as far away as the Loveseat permitted) 
She paid up in the form of her famously fattening cookies. That I stole from her house. 
I devoured 15 cookies just on the way home. 
And we stopped for Cadbury eggs. Because I love those. 
I doubt I would have fit on the Loveseat post-date. 

The suggested caloric intake for someone my height and weight is somehwere around 1700 calories per day. On Valentines day I unfailingly quadruple that suggestion and then sneak a few hundred more. 
Valentines day hates me. 

After lots and lots of days at the gym the V-day Weight will slowly unhinge itselft from my love-handles, but it always returns the following year with a vengeance. 

Since then I've barricaded myself in my house every February 14th, where I happen to be now, and I've decided to permanently re-name Valentines Day. 

I now refer to February 14th as the National Acquisition of Chub day. Because that's what we do, we acquire Chub. 

 No matter how your Valentines Day ends up, you'll be packing on at least a few extra pounds this year. You may not be guzzling four cartons of ice cream, which I may or may not have done last year.... but you're sampling those chocolates he gave you or trying to get your money's worth out of the $50 dinner he just paid for. 

So if my pants look a little tighter tomorrow, my curves are extra curvy or my cheeks look even more bloated than usual.... you know why.

Valentines Day hates me.  
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