Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Winning Ensemble

(Ed.: This post was started a few years ago and I just promoted it from a draft. I feel our teenager would want it spelled out that she has not needed a babysitter in some time.)

We've hired a babysitter for our daughter on a couple of recent occasions. As her usual babysitter was not available, we solicited suggestions from neighbors and found a great high school student nearby who accepted the job.

The first time she babysat, we were dressed in all white, heading to Vienna's Diner en Blanc:

This reminds me of sorority initiation. Only with fewer animal sacrifices. And spankings.

Then, a few weeks later, (the second time she was in our home), we were headed to an Oktoberfest party:
You know what's fun? Running into the wine store dressed like
this on the way to the party because you forgot to get a hostess
gift earlier in the week.
And I was just thinking about how funny that must seem to her...it's not Halloween, we're adults, and we're not into any kind of weird fetishes. It just so happens that this is one of those random times that the social events to which we were invited included dressing in costume, which really does not happen that often...

...well, unless you count Halloween a few years ago...

...or the time we went to a "dress as your favorite celebrity" party...
(Yes, I went as Judy Garland. No, I'm not a gay man.)

...or the time we went to see the Legwarmers with the Dilettantes...

...or the time our friends had a roaring '20s murder mystery party...

...or when we attended a holiday party the month after the Salahis
famously crashed a state dinner and we determined the Salahis should
also crash their holiday party...
...or the time our neighbors had a pirate-themed party...

...or the time we went to see Richard Cheese at the 9:30 Club...
Looking back on all of these dress-up events reminded me of a dress-up experience a friend of ours shared. For his birthday one year, his wife had thrown him a pirate-looks-at-40 themed birthday party and had tossed leftover acoutrements (hats, eye patches, hook hands) on the bed in the spare room after the party. This happened to coincide with them recording traffic patterns for the local government with a video camera pointed out that same spare bedroom window, facing the highway on-ramp near their house. It also (fatefully) coincided with a visit from an electrician they had hired to install a ceiling fan in that room.

Which our friend didn't even think about as he turned the camera toward the interior of the room earlier that day to remove the videotape, which left it facing the bed. A bed that was scattered with assorted pirate costume accessories. And while the electrician didn't say anything about our friend's predilection toward costumery and videotaping in their guest bedroom, he did seem to work extra-fast to get the fan installed and get the hell out of there.

It's always the quiet ones,

Totally Forking With Her

A neighbor friend and I walk often, using the time to both exercise and discuss how to navigate raising kids in the hypercompetitive, Type A environment that is the Washington metro area. She is, importantly, a sanity check and bonus-ly, hilariously funny. We often walk more than six miles before even realizing it, as we are so engrossed in working through things and laughing. (See? I had to mention the mileage - I swear, it's a requirement for living here.)

This tweet (which I recently sent her) pretty much encapsulates it:

We also discuss other things, of course, including some health issues we’ve dealt with. Not long ago, she had some pretty severe abdominal pain and bloating.This had been bothering her for a while, so her doctor scheduled a test to determine the cause.

A very specific test, it turns out.

She was required to allot about five hours at the doctor's office and bring the following at the appointed time:

  • A hard-boiled egg
  • Buttered toast
  • Orange juice
  • A plate and knife and fork with which to eat the egg

The test was structured in such a way that she would eat one of the food items she brought, wait, and then the medical team would scan her abdomen to see how the item was being digested. Then, rinse and repeat. For FIVE HOURS.

(Please note: a bit of internet research shows this test is called a 'gastric emptying scan' and includes the following explanation: 'Before the scan, you'll eat something solid, something liquid, and a small amount of tasteless radioactive material.')

While all writing benefits from a certain level of detail, I hardly think the flavor profile is the most concerning part of that sentence for most patients.

Anyway, being the naturally inquisitive type, I had several questions:
  • Would she digest this differently if she was simply eating the egg without first plating it and delivering it to her mouth with a fork?
  • Is it important the egg was hard-boiled and not prepared some other way? Does this harken back to the 'scrambled egg/false positive' lore that forever haunts every medical resident?
  • Would it have altered the results had she brought buttered bread instead of toast? Or, quelle horreur, an English muffin?
  • If the appointment was scheduled later in the day, would the menu have been adjusted to feature a club sandwich and chips or perhaps a nice Cobb salad? 

     And possibly most importantly:
  • How many doctors were standing on the other side of the two-way mirror enjoying how obligingly she participated in this ‘test’ without even questioning it?

Tasteless indeed,