Saturday, May 15, 2021

In honor of Eric Slick’s birthday




 



Today is May 15, 2021, which means it’s Eric Slick’s 34th birthday.  

Holy hell, how is that possible?

So in honor of that event, as is my tradition every year, I will tell the story of his birth.  

May 15, 1987

I'd just entered my ninth month and was still working full-time, at the stage of my pregnancy where I was scheduled to see the obstetrician every week for a status check. I went to work that morning and had a lunchtime appointment with the doctor, whose office was five blocks away.

By now I was an old friend at the doctor's office, having just given birth to Julie the January before -- it seemed like I lived there for almost two years -- so I hopped up on the examining table, cracking jokes, while the doctor snapped on those dreaded rubber gloves and began his probe. I'll never forget the expression on his face -- a shadow passed over it -- he looked really alarmed, and said, "I'll be right back. Don't move."

Err...both of my feet were in the stirrups and moving wasn't an option.  I freaked  after seeing his expression and hearing the anxiety in his voice. Oh my god, what was it? Did he not hear a heartbeat? I searched around the room frantically, hoping he'd left his stethoscope behind so I could listen for myself...like I knew how the hell to do that.

But it was moot because he returned seconds later with his partner, who quickly slid into a pair of gloves and did a probe of his own. The two of them exchanged glances and I would have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to realize something major was going on.

"What is it?" I gasped, terrified.

"Robin? Are you in any pain right now?" asked doctor #2.

"No!" I said probably a little too vehemently. But it was true. I wasn't. Terrified, yes, in pain, no.

"No pain at all?" My doctor appeared to be in a state of total disbelief.

"What's wrong? Why won't you tell me what's wrong?" I could feel myself getting hysterical. (Who me? Get hysterical? Impossible!)

"Robin. Listen to us. Nothing is wrong. It's just...it's just..." Doctor #2 looked at my doctor, as if it were his call to make.

"You are over seven centimeters dilated, Rob," my doctor said.

"Huh?"

"You are in active labor right now. You don't even feel a contraction? No cramping? Nothing?"

"No! Wait...are you telling me I'm giving birth now? In your office?"

I was incredulous but not really scared. Hell, I was in no pain whatsoever. If I could have a Hollywood style, contraction free birth right there in the doctors' office within the next few minutes, how lucky would I be?

There was a great sushi restaurant in the lobby.

Wait. There are reasons babies need to be born in hospitals. Arghhh...within seconds fear set in bigtime...and so did the sudden spasms of pain.

My doctor spoke to me in calm, even tones, knowing that I was about to go off the deep end.

"Robin. Listen to me. I need you to get dressed right now, take a cab to the hospital, and I will meet you there. Go in through the emergency room. Give me your husband's telephone number -- I will have my nurse call him so he can leave work now and meet us there as well. Just stay calm, make sure you take a cab -- I know the hospital is only a six blocks away but I don't want you walking. Okay?"

"Okay," I gasped, in a state of shock.

I got dressed, practically doubling over every time a contraction hit, which was like every two minutes, and headed to the lobby to hail a cab.

Except for one problem.

Fuck!  I realized I didn't have any money. In 1987, I didn't have a debit card, I had to get my money the old fashioned way, by cashing a check at the bank. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Oh well. The bank was right down the street. It would only take a minute or two and then I could get in a cab and head to the hospital.

Except there was a line in the bank. A long line.

I hopped from foot to foot. Finally I couldn't take it any more.  

"I'm in labor, I'm in labor," I babbled to the people ahead of me. "I need to cash a check so I can take a cab and go to the hospital." People turned around and stared at me but I was in that desperate mode where I didn't really give a damn...oh dear lord, I did not want to give birth to Eric James Marshall Slick in a bank. Yeah, we'd already picked out his name...my boy is named for both Clapton and James Marshall Hendrix...our favorite guitar players other than Adrian Belew har har...and how insane that he did in fact turn out to be a musician though I guess we should have named him "Keith" or “Ginger.”

Anyway, I made it to the front of the line, managed to cash a check and even made small talk with the teller "Yeah, I'm in labor right now. Ever have a baby born in your bank? Ha ha - isn't this hilarious. Ow...ow...ow..."

This was also before cell phones so I wasn't able to call Gary and even check to see where he was, which I would later learn was running every red light in Philadelphia as he raced to the hospital a good half hour away even if he didn't hit traffic.

Unfortunately, I did. Hit traffic, that is. I hailed a cab and luckily one stopped right away -- a very kind gentleman wearing a turban.

"Jefferson Hospital," I shrieked.

"Jefferson...?"

Oh my god. A rookie driver.

"llth and Walnut. Just take Locust Street five blocks to 11th, make a left up 11th and we'll be right there." Oh shit. That's where the emergency room entrance was, wasn't it? Or was that 10th Street? Never mind, we'd find it.

But as I said, no sooner did I get in that cab when we hit gridlock. I mean, we didn't move. We were in the downtown Philly traffic jam from hell.

"Oh god, we have to get off this street," I moaned. "I'm having a baby..."

The driver turned around and stared as if seeing me for the first time and realizing the enormity of both my belly and the situation.

"A baby? Oh no thank you very much, no baby, no baby," the driver stuttered.  

"Yeah. I need to get to the hospital."

So he turned up 16th Street, which was the worst move he could have made, because there are no right turns until Market Street, which was two blocks above the hospital and took us right into another jam at City Hall, where the traffic patterns are always skewed and messy.

We inched down the street, hitting every fucking red light.

"Oh my god," I moaned as another contraction hit.

The driver turned around again.

"No thank you very much, no thank you very much, no baby, no baby, no baby in the cab."

No shit.

And he kept repeating it. No thank you very much, no baby, no baby. 

I was starting to agree with him.

I looked at my watch and almost had a heart attack. It was now thirty minutes since I left the doctor's office with strict instructions to get into a cab to go to a hospital six blocks away.

"I have to get out," I told the driver. "I'll walk the rest of the way. I'll never make it otherwise."

What was I thinking? All I knew was, I was not giving birth in that cab, and that the doctor was going to be mad at me, and poor Gary was probably having a stroke.

I jumped out land literally ran four blocks to the hospital. I arrived at the emergency room dripping sweat (it was a very hot May 15 in 1987) and barely coherent.

Both my husband and doctor were already there.

I remember the doctor freaking out "Where were you?" and me mumbling something back about having to go to the bank and both the doctor and Gary staring at me like I'd completely lost my mind...anyway...they immediately got me prepped and I swear to God, Eric came into the world an hour later, sweetly and with no difficulty whatsoever...I didn't ask for heroin or a gun like I did when I was in labor with Julie...he just popped right out without even a whimper from me...and that's basically how Eric has been his entire life...the sweetest, nicest, most problem free son a mom could ever want.

So Happy Birthday to Eric!  I would do anything to be able to hug him today though nothing could top the look on his face when he was gifted his first drum set because WE KNEW.












Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Adventures in Post Pandemic Life


 

So yesterday was my first trip alone downtown since the pandemic and it wasn’t pretty.

Oh my fucking god, I forget how to do everything.

Well, in all fairness to myself, I wasn’t in the best head.  I’ve been having weird blurry vision occasionally in my left eye, but I’m a raging hypochondriac and life with Gary is very...smoky. So who knows?  Maybe it was my imagination.

But yeah, okay, my mother died of a brain tumor and I know it’s one of the symptoms and Web MD told me if I had one, my eye doctor would see it immediately and tell me.

So when my doctor spent way more time on my left eye than right and had me do stuff with that eye she didn’t ask with the other and then pulled up her chair to talk with me in the middle of the exam I heard white noise and broke out into a sweat I haven’t had since menopause.

I seriously almost threw up all over her office.

“Robin, you have the start of a cataract in your left eye,” she started to say.

“Oh thank you!” I shouted.

“You’re thanking me for a cataract?” Was it my imagination or did she back another six feet away?

I’m not going to torture myself by rehashing how socially inept I am now, and what idiotic things I babbled to my eye doctor, who probably thinks I am a total freak and not the good kind.

And then...

And then I ordered an Uber for the first time since March 2020 and I completely forgot how.  I mean, I know I was a mess from the eye doctor, but I was so disoriented, I pulled up the app and couldn’t remember how to use it.

Because the fuckers changed it during the pandemic.

Whose brilliant idea was that?


My driver was arriving in a silver Prius.  I had eyedrops in from my exam, I am blind as a bat, and every other fucking car was silver.

Anyway, by the time I got home, I was an anxiety ridden mess.

But hey hey, I did it, and now I know I can.

But wow, it was weird.

I really did stay in the house for over a year and the few times I did go out, it was with Gary.  

Gary and I have literally been together 24/7 since March 2020 so even just walking down Walnut Street alone felt surreal.

I didn’t like it.

Oh well, I’m sure it will get easier, if not, I’ll find a good therapist 😎

For now, it’s upstairs to work.

I’m off to answer 90 Interrogatories courtesy of some sadistic dickhead defense attorney.

Two can play at that game, asshole, I’ve got twelve more days.

Not that I’m counting.

Love,
Robin Slick, Paralegal 
(for twelve more days)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Monday

 



So in 50 years of working, one thing has never changed, no matter where I’ve ever been employed.


I don’t enjoy Sundays, I’m a bundle of nerves Sunday night, and I never wake up feeling well on Monday mornings.

As I sit here queasily sipping my coffee, thinking of all the work I have to knock out today, I suddenly realized this is it, this is my last Monday feeling like this.

Next Monday and Tuesday our office is closed for the Jewish holiday.

The following Monday, May 24, is my last week working in this lifetime.  If I wake up worried and nauseous that day, there’s no hope for me to ever relax, huh.  😂

On Friday I worked a ten hour day.

WHO DOES THAT AT MY AGE AFTER GIVING SIX WEEKS NOTICE?

A crazy person, that’s who.

And other than my boss, no one even cares or will acknowledge it.

Oh well.  That’s life.

I’m also nutz today because I finally have an eye doctor appointment after literally being blind all year after my prescription expired and I ran out of disposable contacts during the pandemic. Because I am me, I can never schedule an appointment with any doctor without first thinking they’re going to find something fatal.

Naturally I think my blurry vision is something ominous other than the Mr. Magoo nearsighted eyesight I’ve had since age 11.

You know, because I’m retiring and about to enjoy myself?

Gah!

In case anyone is wondering, I’m still a nervous wreck about this country, too.  Holy fuck people here are mean and stupid.  

Really stupid.

As in Trump and Trump supporter stupid.

Anyway...

Don’t be like me today, be normal.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.


Sunday, May 09, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day

 


Yeah, that’s right, that’s my mom, and now you know where Julie, Eric and I get our star power.  Happy Mother’s Day 😎

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Slowly returning to normal...

 ...whatever that is.

Eric came for a visit, and we went to the beach.  And it was excellent.











Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Good morning

 My husband baked fresh blueberry almond biscuits this morning and I have already had six. 


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Today...

 ...was the best day ever.  Official retirement isn’t until May 28 but I am feeling the joy.  ❤️



Friday, April 16, 2021

Shy and retiring 😎

 


Friday afternoon news drop.

I did it.

I told my boss I’m retiring.

My last day is May 28.

I’m not gonna say “It’s the summer of Robin” because we all know how well that worked for George Costanza, but still.

The first week of June I’m on a plane to Nashville for a few days and then onward to Seattle for an epic hang with Julie til whenever.

Inspired by this year’s Top Chef, we’re gonna Amtrak it to Portland for a few days and do some massive eating.

I see you, Portland friends. I’ll be hitting you up 😎

So yeah, retiring.  I actually retired twice before, but this time it’s legit, with money saved and social security just like a real adult.

Feh.  Adulthood.  The pandemic really brought that...and death...to my forefront.

I’m so fucking over both.

LET’S PARTY.

I couldn’t sleep last night because I knew I was calling my boss at 8:00so I signed on to work at 5:00 a.m. and now I’m collapsed on the sofa, wasted.

I’m euphoric but I’m also kind of sad.  I loved the writing aspect of my job and I really like my boss and my coworkers. It’s not going to be easy walking away this time.

But hell yeah I’m walking.

Gary and I have all kinds of plans.

Or, we may just hang out here and watch birds and listen to John Lee Hooker The Healer and eat raspberries like we’re doing now.

Oh, did I mention Eric is coming for a visit next week?

YESSSSSSSS.

Have an awesome weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Day whatever, quarantine

 We’re still quarantined though fully vaxxed.  In the meantime, this goes on in our yard every day and yesterday Gary was able to capture it.


Sunday, April 04, 2021