By the Way

If ever you ask me what happened this week, I'm going to deny that the week so much as existed. It has been THAT kind of week. I'd rather erase it than try to find the joy because YOU GUYS.

Beware: Blood and gore ahead. If that sort of thing eeks you out, run. Run fast. Run faster if teeth and blood and gore eek you out as much as they do me. I wish I could run from it.

Still here? YOU WERE WARNED.

So. I went to Portland this week. It was a work trip for a Big Company conference and I didn't really want to go, but it's an honor to be invited blah, blah, blah. I packed up a little suitcase of professional clothes and jumped on a plane on Sunday. And then Monday came, and it all came crashing down.

I mean, I came crashing down.

The thing is, I can't stand sitting around all day. It makes me loopy and antsy and generally miserable, so whenever I spend a day sitting around, I recover by going for a walk. I have done it for as long as I can remember and it doesn't matter where I am. I do it in every city that I travel to in pretty much any circumstances. Portland was no exception and there really was no reason it should be. I was staying at a fancy hotel that happened to be across the street from a Taco Bell, Macy's, Chipotle, and Target. It was THAT kind of neighborhood. Definitely a neighborhood that you can walk in.

For the record, my phone was in my pocket. I was wearing perfectly sensible shoes. I was dressed in nice jeans and a blazer, so I can't blame the clothes. There was absolutely no reason that it should have happened, but at about 9:30 at night, I managed to trip on an uneven sidewalk. If there had been anyone around, they would have seen me go from a proper upright 90° to flat on my face like *that.* There was no stumbling or flailing or anything. I just went BAM. FACEPLANT.


I landed right smack on my face. On two teeth, in fact. Judging by the lack of scratches on my knees, I never stood a chance. My face took all of the blow.

I knew immediately it was a bad night. I spit out a few fragments of teeth, and then realized that another one was still in my mouth, but not where it belonged. It was pushed back a good 1/4" from its home. By the way, it turns out that not having a tooth is preferable to having a tooth where it doesn't belong.

So. I definitely had a problem. Nothing really hurt at that point, though, so I wasn't sure how bad the problem was. Thus, I walked back to the hotel and went into the restroom in the lobby to assess the damage. I looked in the mirror ... and immediately summoned a Lyft so I could go to the Emergency Room.

Hey. So. Did you know that faces bleed A LOT when you land on them? I DO NOW. I cleaned myself up a bit while I waited for the Lyft and then spent the entirety of the ride wondering if I was wasting everyone's time by going to the ER.

Apparently I wasn't because I did not sit in the waiting room long at all. There were other people there, but I guess I looked bad? Two hours later, I walked back out to another Lyft, at that point with a few pounds of Neosporin on various scratches, two missing teeth (I won't tell you what happened to the one that wasn't where it belonged other than to say that the ER doc who dealt with it clearly felt awful for me because he offered ALL of the good drugs), and an airline ticket back to Pittsburgh in a short four hours.

Fun fact: People on airplanes don't talk to you when you look like you got in a fight with a brick. If you're really desperate for some peace and quiet, go ahead and give it a try. While you're doing that, I'm going to count down the seconds until the dentist rebuilds things next Thursday.

It's going to be a very long week.


It Begins Early, Apparently

This past weekend, I took the girls to a pumpkin patch. It was not our usual pumpkin patch, a fact which dismayed and horrified the oldest of the girls because OMG CHANGE IS HARD. The youngest, however, was all sorts of cool with the change in venues, mostly because there was corn, pumpkins, and maze. That's the extent of her requirements for a fall outing, so WIN.


While the corn maze was the site of a whole lot of joy, it was also the site of ... well, I guess I should just tell the story.

Alexis is well past the age of caring about corn mazes, so upon entering, I instantly informed Mila that she was the boss. She was in charge of deciding which direction we should travel in. We would follow her, no matter what, because we had confidence in her ability to lead us. The moment that she fully realized that I had entrusted her with such an important task was one of those moments that will forever be etched in my brain. There was pure pride in those moments, even as that pride was weighted with responsibility and a desire to get it right. As we came to each intersection, Mila carefully weighed her options before making a suggestion and saying, "Let's go this way!"

She was SO confident. And happy.

And then he showed up.

A little boy, perhaps a year or two older than Mila, went running up to her and told her she was going the wrong way. With much confidence and assertiveness, he informed Mila that she should follow him because he knew the right way to go. At first Mila ignored him, but then it happened. I watched in real time as the fierce little girl began to question if she was as competent as her male counterpart. He followed her, shouting that she was wrong, and at one point grabbed her hand to try to drag her his way. She started to surrender and let him lead.

I stepped in, of course, because DON'T TOUCH MY KID, YOU CREEP. I perhaps stepped in a bit more harshly than I should have, but COME ON, WHITE MALES. KNOCK THAT CRAP OFF. Ahem. Let's just say it had already been a week filled with overconfident white guys telling me that I was wrong when clearly I was not. By that point I was completely out of patience for mansplaining. I was especially out of patience for a little kid mansplaining my kid at a time when she was learning how to be a leader and enjoying every second of it.

So, if that was your kid I told, "Go boss around your own family and leave us alone," I'm ... not sorry. I'm not sorry at all because please teach your kid that leadership is not walking around demanding that people follow you.

Mila ended up leading us all the way through the maze, by the way. She did just fine without some boy's help.



Pure Joy