No, This Is Not A Costume!

This has been one of those days when I have not felt good about myself. Have you ever had one of those days when you just did not feel like yourself or, worse, when you did not even look like yourself. Well, thinking that you look terrible is depressing enough but, it’s even worse when your own little personal peanut gallery confirms those fears through comments of their own.

So, I don’t know if it was hormones or what but, I just felt off this morning. It had been a long week and I hoped that this morning (Saturday), I would wake up feeling like a new person. Well, I woke up feeling like a new person, but not in a good way. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and cried? This morning, I wanted to cry. I stood in front of the mirror and took a good, long look at myself and had to sit down; my reflection was depressing.

True, it had been a tough few months. My son was home sick nearly nearly an entire month with chronic croup (and they now fear he also has asthma). At night he honestly struggled to breathe. Many nights I had to sleep in his room so, I had not slept well in weeks. My husband had been traveling and was basically been gone for the last two months. He gets home and the doctors are afraid that he has a blood clot. Now they are calling him in for x-rays and MRI’s. We finally found out that everything is OK.  It was a false alarm – Thanks Doc! So my husband is just fine, the daughter is fine, and my son is getting better. Now I should be feeling better, right? I had to wonder, could the stress of the past few weeks, well months, really make me look this bad?

I was trying to analyze myself in the mirror, but it wasn’t especially easy to do through my swollen eyes. I was quick to notice how puffy and swollen my face looked, but was surprised to discover that (even though my face was puffy) I woke up with new wrinkles that were not there yesterday. I mean these lines in my face were NOT there on Friday! Now, to make matters worse, my jeans do not seem to fit right this morning. Is it actually possible to gain weight while you sleep? I put on the rest of my clothes and then took a better look at the jeans I was wearing; I honestly did not remember them being this ugly when I bought them.

I tried to dry my hair, but it just seemed to be shellacked to the top of my head. I rubbed the top of my head and wondered if my hair become excessively oily overnight? I also found it confusing that my hair could be flat on the top, then stick out so wildly from my ears down!  Half way down my head, my hair was full of static, it looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. Luckily, I decided this was not a permanent condition because, I soon realized that I just forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I took one more look at myself and sighed – I was a serious mess!

My kids were now both awake so went to make breakfast. At this point, my daughter eluded to the fact that a monkey could make better scrambled eggs than the ones that I provided this morning. I tried to overlook her comment about the food. My child has very low blood sugar in the morning and can be a tad cranky! I knew that she was just hungry, but the thoughts were still running through my head – Is it possible (that while sleeping), I really may have gained weight, produced wrinkles, lost my fashion sense, and my ability to cook?

I was pretty sure that I could not feel any worse when my little boy asked me, “Are you a zebra today?” I asked him if I looked like a zebra and he said, “Yes! I really like your zebra shirt!” I looked down at my long sleeve black t-shirt with very thin white pinstripes. It did not scream “zebra” to me, but I also did not remember my jeans being this weird pale blue color either. I had already questioned my choice of jeans this morning, but not my shirt!

I then went to sit beside my son on the sofa, when he touched the top of my head. He looked at me and asked, “Mommy, why does your hair look like that today? Do you think a haircut could fix it? It is really sticking up behind the top!” I then said, “So you think my hair looks bad today?” He replied with, “Yes! It really does mom!” My daughter then said, “It is funny the way it is flat on the top, but sticks out on the sides! It is kind of like clown hair, or wings!” My son laughed as he flapped his arms, pointed at me, and yelled “Wings! Wings!”

Well, that is that. I was afraid that I looked bad today and now those fears have been confirmed. I wonder if I can be around other people and not offend them with my new wrinkles, water weight, ugly clothes, and static-filled hair. Do I hide in my house and hope that tomorrow brings a new day, new look, and new attitude? Or, do I go out and face the day? I figure that I could actually help to make women feel better about themselves. My guess is that many people will find comfort in the fact that they can look at me and say “Hey, at least I am having a better day than that poor lady! She looks awful!” So friends, I hope that I can raise your spirits today because (it has been confirmed that) I really do look terrible!

By the way, if you want to see how bad I look today, we will be at the neighborhood grocery store around 2:00 today. I will be there person who is dressed like a zebra – with wings on her head; it might be worth the trip!

Elmer Fudd, Attorney at Law

This is exactly why people hate insurance companies. It is bad enough when you get hurt or have an accident, but it is only made worse by the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through to please your insurance company and/or employer. I was not in the mood to jump through hoops last week, when the “Accident Inquiry” form arrived at our house. I am still wondering if I went too far while answering the questions, considering that the form could basically be considered a legal affidavit. My answers did push the limit but, ultimately, I told the truth. I almost lied when I considered putting down my lawyers name as Elmer Fudd (who works on Looney Tunes Lane) but, luckily, I was able to stop myself.

This all started because of my broken foot/ankle. To find out that it was broken I had to go to the doctor; this was not something that I determined myself. During the process I had to have x-rays and I chose the boot over a cast (due to the ridiculous amount of stairs in my house). Now, it appears that the insurance company is trying to find somebody else to pay for it. A form came in the mail asking questions about my “ACCIDENT”. The form asked how (and when) it occurred. Was the “accident” auto, or work, related and if it happened on someone else’s property. It also wanted the name of my attorney.

Unfortunately, this was the second time that I had received this form. The first “accident” occurred while my husband was working in Hong Kong. I was around 3 months pregnant (with my second child) and was struggling with really low blood pressure. Well, I fainted while taking a shower and woke up covered in both blood and shampoo; I had to drive myself to the emergency room. The first time that I had to fill out this form, it really annoyed me. I remember asking my husband why the company’s Human Resources department needed this information. My husband has also made a quick trip to the emergency room before, but he did not receive this form; I found this curious!

I’ve met the head of HR multiple times and I was not impressed. I knew that my husband wasn’t crazy about him, but I didn’t know why. When I asked what he didn’t like about the man, my husband would just mutter the word “Putz” and then mumble under his breath. The first time that I ever met the “putz”/Head of HR was at an office function. Mr. HR and his wife were there and, even though my husband did not care for him, I was still determined to keep an open mind. The man was fairly short and thin, while his wife was very tall with broad shoulders. I remember looking at them from the back, and she looked like his mom. On multiple occasions I watched as his wife would grab him by the hand and pull him around the room, like he was a child. She would also talk over him and tell him where to sit.

I still was not sure what my husband disliked about him. I knew it was not the fact that Mr. HR seemed to be married to a strong woman; I am pretty strong myself. In fact, my husband thinks it is important for women to be educated and independent. But, unlike these two, my husband and I barely even see each other at these parties. We walk in together and then my husband gets stuck talking business all night while I walk around pretending to remember the names and/or positions of people that I rarely see.

About two hours into that first meeting, I just thought that Mr. HR just had “mommy issues”. By the third hour, I realized that he may may a more serious scratch on the chip. I did not think that anything could make these office functions worse, but then the man started spending more time around me. I would catch him watching me and my skin would crawl. He would always show up when my husband (and his wife) were on the other side of the room. He would always offer to get me a drink, but he would stand too close and try to touch my shoulders and/or hands. I then wondered if this was why his wife tried to keep him busy at these parties; I wondered if he had a tendency to get too “touchy” when he drank.  By the end of the night, that man was setting off every “creepy alarm” in my body. I honestly did not have a good feeling about the guy. My husband evidently picked up on something as well, but never really knew what it was.

The first time that I got this “accident” form, I was irritated because I did not think that it was any of “Mr. Creepy’s” business. I hated that he knew I was pregnant, much less that I had a concussion. It also bothered me that he didn’t send my husband these forms!  So here I am, again, looking at the same stupid form and trying to determine exactly who will be reading this. The reply envelope said it was going elsewhere, but (last time) my husband said that it would definitely make it back to HR and, ultimately to, “Mr. Creepy”.  I sat looking at the form while I ate my lunch. The form was so ridiculous that I could not help myself; I grabbed my pen and started to fill out the form.

I filled out my personal information then quickly came to the first stupid question. The form asked me, “HOW DID THE ACCIDENT HAPPEN” and I wrote: “I was running with my kids. I did not see a hole in the ground. My foot slipped into the hole and snapped hard to the left. I yelled OW!”

I came to the second section. I was not able to check that it was auto or work related, so I had to answer the next question. The question asked, “DID SOMEONE ELSE CAUSE THE ACCIDENT” and I wrote: “It does appear that an animal vandalized our property. I have been searching the internet trying to determine if the hole in question was made by a bunny rabbit, a mole, or a groundhog – all of which we have seen lurking around the premises. My investigation has currently led me to believe (with 95% certainty) that the hole was made by a bunny rabbit. When I am absolutely positive which bunny rabbit is responsible for the damage to my property, which ultimately caused my injury, I can then determine if this animal has the resources/ability to cover all expenses which were incurred.”

The next section asked for “THE NAME OF YOUR LAWYER” and I held my pen on the line. I wanted so badly to write “Elmer Fudd – Attorney/ Professional Wabbit Chaser”. I somehow found a little restraint and I managed to leave the line blank. I was looking back over the form and wondered if I had gone too far. I am fully aware that I have a “unique” sense of humor that some people just don’t get. I was still perusing the document when my husband walked in the house. He asked what I was doing and I told him that I got another “accident form” about my broken foot. He shook his head and muttered something under his breath. I asked him, yet again, if this form would be getting back to his office. He said, “Yes. It will definitely get back to HR. Why?”

I thought about what I had written. My husband works at a large company but, due to his position, everyone knows him. I really don’t want to make any trouble for him; he works too hard just to have me go and cause trouble. I looked up at him sheepishly and said, “Well, maybe we should not mail this form in. I know that they will me send a new one.” He looked at me and asked, “What did you do?” I read him my answers about how I was searching for the rabbit who caused my injury and then reiterated how badly I wanted to write in Elmer Fudd as my attorney. I was even going to give them the address “Looney Tunes Lane”. I then said, “Look, I showed real restraint! This form is so stupid – ask a stupid question, and you get a stupid answer! Besides, I just think that they are being nosey! Why are they so interested in me and not in you? We have the exact same insurance, but they don’t send you these stupid forms! If he wants to know how I hurt my foot, he could just walk up to your office and ask!” My husband looked at me, laughed, and (to my surprise) said, “Send it in! I am actually curious to see if they say anything about it!” I signed the form and stuffed it in the envelope before he could change his mind.

I hope the people who end up with my “accident form” have a sense of humor and don’t get get all worked up over it. My husband did remind me “By signing that document, you are stating that you are telling the truth. AND, it will hold up in a court of law.” But I did not lie on the form, even though I really wanted to! My first inclination was to report that I injured my foot by pushing off some creep who kept rubbing his sweaty hands on me at parties; a man who set up seminars on having “a safe and effective office environment”. But, I managed to restrain myself and just give the facts. I did break my foot while running and I do think that a rabbit burrowed the infamous hole in my yard, so I don’t really think that they could do anything to me. I was very proud of my husband for letting me send in the document; especially knowing that it would end up in our “file” in the HR department. My husband said that the head of HR or “Mr. Creepy” does not have a great sense of humor, so we are both interested to see how this plays out. I hope this puts an end to all of the “accident forms”, because next time it will be much harder for me to show even this level of restraint.