Consider the following!: Epilepsy sucks.

I don’t know why I keep thinking about it so early, but June 26 is coming up pretty soon.  It’s not an anniversary, or a birthday, but rather the anniversary of my last seizure–that is, my last tonic-clonic/grand-mal/what most people think of when you say the word “seizure” (the jerking, the unconsciousness, all of that great stuff).  My last grand-mal seizure was on June 26, 2008, while I was at The Children’s Place at HUMC and stacking up cots.  I remember feeling weird, jumpy kind of, and then next thing I knew I was waking up in an ambulance on the way to Trinity Hospital’s emergency room for the third time that year.

It will be three years since my last seizure on June 26 of this year, and I can technically try going without seizure medication (2-5 years without a seizure is considered “safe” to try and go without medicine).  But why would I?  Why would you go off a medication that keeps your body from losing all control, regardless of where you are, whether you’re driving or sleeping or on the toilet, just to see if your body will keep itself together?  Sounds pretty stupid to me, but hey, what do I know?  I’m not a neurologist.  I do know that after my three seizures in those a-little-under-6-months, my four in my lifetime (first ever was May 24, 2003), I don’t trust my body to do anything anymore.

The year I had all my post-high school seizures was the worst year of my life.  Not only had I lost my father in late 2007 and my grandmother in April, I’d had a seizure in January – on the fourth – and then on May 27 and then again on June 26.  I was gaining weight because of medicine and just being sick, I could drive then I couldn’t drive when I’d JUST gotten my car back in December of 2007, so I felt like a burden to my mother and Joseph who had to drive me everywhere, and at one point in time I was on more medications than an 18-going-on-19-year-old should have been on.  From my Livejournal on July 6, 2008:

I am simply up to my neck in prescription medications. Twelve pills a day – four in the morning, eight at night – 1,740 milligrams in total, plus whatever is in my Orthocyclen. Add an inhaler, two puffs as needed, which delivers 180 mcg of albuterol in total, and three Advil (200 mg/tablet – 600 mg in total), or 1 Imitrex (whatever I feel more like taking) for migraines. Throw in some IBS on the side, and you’ve got me in a nutshell.

At the time I was switching from Keppra – which made me REALLY gain weight and didn’t help with seizures, obviously – to Lamictal, which I’m still taking, three years later, but even today I have to take three medications (four, if you count melatonin, and I need to start taking it again but haven’t for a while) at night.

So, I think it’s pretty understandable that during the year of 2008, especially within the first seven months, I was the most depressed I’d been since my father died, maybe even since before.  I felt so needy.  I had to rely on other people for transportation when my car had been newly fixed.  I had people asking me if I was okay every two seconds, which, while I’m glad I had people who cared, it got old fast.  The director of The Children’s Place made sure I knew that even if the child-to-teacher ratio was met (it never was, by the way) and if I was 19, I couldn’t be alone with the kids because of my epilepsy.  It’s a great reason, of course, but at the time it was just another heap on the pile of “why Christina is worthless” that was just building and building in my head.  Even at Starbucks, I was constantly terrified of having a seizure while fixing drinks and pouring freshly-steamed milk all over me.  I hated being babied.  I was convinced I had cancer and that the MRIs and CT scans just hadn’t shown it.

Even though I’ve taken control of my epilepsy – no, Lamictal has, not me – I still get down about it a lot, actually.  Every single night when I go to take my pills I wonder why I have to take these.  What did I do to make my brain decide it wanted a reset every once in a while and render me unable to even talk properly for weeks because of a bruised tongue and cheek and sore muscles and the inability to drive for six months seizure-free under Alabama law?  What happens if (but I always think ‘when’) the pills stop working, when my body grows immune to it and I have a seizure again?  Can I just go back to being a kid and not having to take any pills except for the occasional antibiotic?  Why do I need three at night?  I mean, every kid hates taking pills, but I never grew out of it.  I still get nauseous probably 97% of the time I take my pills at night and feel like throwing up for hours afterward.  It’s horrible and I don’t know how to stop it – I’ve tried everything, including pills in pudding, and nothing helps.  Or it helps for a while and stops.  Psychologically I never grew out of the fear and hatred of pills. And all of it stems back to “well, if I weren’t so screwed up, I wouldn’t have to take them.”

There are rarely moments when I screw up and don’t think, “What’s wrong with me?  Everything is wrong with me!” I know that sounds dramatic, and yes I’m on medicine for depression but something about the year of seizures made something open up inside me that I can’t get closed now.  If I oversleep for work, I get upset more than I feel I would normally and cry and my mind just goes – why am I screwed up?  Why am I such a failure?  And it all goes back to the seizures.  I don’t know if anybody really knows how depressed I was that year.  My mom and Joseph both have and had an idea, but there is something so very deep in my mind that just screams, “You’re screwed up.  You’re messed up and there’s nothing you can do about it but to keep fucking up everything for everybody!”  For something I can’t even control…how stupid is that?

I don’t know what happened that summer with my body.  Was it just the ceasing of major hormones of puberty and my body finally just settling into itself as Christina the Adult?  My first seizure was when I was 13, so I could see it having to do something with puberty.  But how will that affect pregnancy, whenever I have kids?  Won’t I have to be taken off my Lamictal?  What then?  What if I pass it down to them?

The paragraph above and the thoughts contained therein don’t really ever go through my head when I’m upset about it or something else that has made me feel like something’s wrong with me.  Even migraines make me hate my body and hate myself.  But they’re still things I worry about and things that I feel a 21-year-old should not have to worry about.  I hate having to tell doctors, when they ask if I have any conditions or am on any medication, that I “have epilepsy” (I still have trouble identifying myself as an epileptic because I don’t think it should be something that defines someone), or that my Lamictal is “for epilepsy.”

But I guess that’s the real world, and I guess I’ll always have to be on seizure medication unless I want to risk another seizure and then…well, we’ll see when I get there.

Happy Upcoming Last-Seizure Anniversary, self!  Maybe if you make it to five years we can try to get off medication…but we’ll see.

We’ll always see.

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“a thing that doesn’t change with time is a memory of younger days…”

I woke up at an extremely unusual time for me today–12–and haven’t been back to sleep.  I played Pokémon, won me a gym badge, and then got online and, as per usual, went straight to tumblr to catch up to today’s picture spams.  Then, as per usual during a day I’m home, I started thinking.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” Albus Dumbledore so wisely said once.  Well, I have been dwelling on dreams for a while now, I don’t think to the point of forgetting to live, but definitely dwelling.  Creepy dreams of my dad alive once again with me knowing he would die again, dreams of him hugging me, dreams of my grandmother, and as is the norm with me, weird dreams that don’t make an ounce of sense.  But what about dwelling on memories?  Couldn’t that be worse than dwelling on dreams?

Lately, I’ve been increasingly more nostalgic.  I remember the good things, not the infuriatingly frustrating things about a person (my dad included).  Isn’t that the way it always is?  Remember the good times, shut out the bad things, the things that made you want to get away and to separate yourself and the growing apart…or, if it’s a death, the good things they did, the funny moments, the wonderful qualities, but hardly the temper while working on a car, the burning of meat because of falling asleep while barbecuing 99% of the time, the griping because we turned off a NASCAR race while the subject was asleep on the couch and not watching it anyway.  I’ve done well in not sanctifying my father, I think.  Mom and I laugh sometimes about his irrational moods and the double standard he set while griping at us for taking a long time to get ready, but by the time we were ready, he wasn’t ready.  We laugh about them, but more importantly, we acknowledge them.

With you, I’ve been harsher to myself.  I think, with disgust, often about my unrealistic expectations and my histrionic and melodramatic tendencies and find a kind of kinship in Asuka Langley Soryu from Evangelion, who really kind of is a braver version of my fourteen-year-old self…well, without the piloting an Eva kinda thing.  Actually, she’s kind of like me all throughout high school.  The point is, I can hardly see positive things about myself, and that sucks.  I’d like to think I’m a better person than I paint myself to be in my memories, but I don’t know, because I only know what I think I was, and god, ever since I was 11, I never could really distinguish the depression and the anger I felt from how I should act.  And work, if nothing else, has taught me that No Matter What, you must act stoic and cheerful and be A Great Cashier by separating how you feel from how you act.  But I don’t think being dishonest with someone who’s much closer than a customer is the way to go.  So how do I balance these unrealistic expectations with how I act upon them?  I still don’t know.

I take after my dad in a lot of ways.  I get easily pissed off if I’m working on fixing something, though it usually ends in tears for me rather than bitching at someone (such as when I tried to put childproof lever things on our kitchen cabinets and ended up just sitting in the floor and crying because I felt like a failure — over childproof locks, how stupid is that??).  But, unlike me who cries at everything from commercials to not putting on locks, I only saw my dad cry once, at his sister’s memorial service/funeral.  I’m like a more crying version of my mother in this way.  I feel so many things and I don’t know how to handle them so I just stuff them away until one day I have a breakdown and then things are fine again after that, rinse, repeat.

But I’ve been having a hard time with memories lately.  I don’t know how I went off on a tangent like that, but it does relate, so I suppose it’s not much of a tangent (however, this sentence is).  Anyway, I’ve been nostalgic for a time that I’m sure is much more golden in my head than it was at the time.  But I know that with some things, with most things, it’s not.  It was wonderful just the way I’m remembering it.  And I miss that.

I wonder if you ever think of me, of us.  Lately, I do.

The flow of time is always cruel…
Its speed seems different for each person but no one can change it…
A thing that doesn’t change with time is a memory of younger days…
-Sheik, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

as a child of twenty-one

So, this is it.  I’m sitting here typing at 2:57 pm on a Thursday afternoon needing to pack to go home–forever from the dorm, which is just weird–but instead typing out a blog that won’t change the world or anything.

My GPA is a 3.576.  I’ll get cum laude on my diploma, and Saturday starting at nine A.M. (ouch!) I’ll be sitting on Flowerhill listening to speakers and trying not to cry–because I know I will at some point because I’ll keep thinking about how my dad should be there and how unfair it is that he isn’t–and waiting to hear my name so I can concentrate on not tripping in my high heels as I walk across the stage to get my diploma.  Wow.

It hasn’t really hit that I won’t be coming back to this beautiful campus to live (certainly, I will to visit! I’m terrible at staying away).  I won’t be able to drive back under the stars that I can actually see because I’m not in a city full of bright lights while the fog curls in on the roads–well, I mean, I could, because who would stop me, but it wouldn’t be the same.  And on one hand, it’s good.  I’m tired of lugging my basket full of laundry and assorted things for the weekend home and back again.  I’m tired of writing for classes even though I loved college and loved being good at writing (especially with history–clearly I chose the right major).  But I’ll miss the hell out of this place.

I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be at Alabama, where students are left with a sense of disjointedness.  They don’t even get to walk at graduation until August 6–how crappy is that?  I cannot possibly imagine what that’s like, but to be fair, I really haven’t tried.  I don’t want anything else to spoil my own graduation experience, and that’s selfish.  In my head, it’s already torture that my dad won’t be able to come and sit in the audience, or my grandmother won’t be able to come and sit and cry with my mom and aunt.  And don’t get me wrong–I’m so glad for all of my relatives and friends or whatever who will come!  But because I’ve lost two people so dear to me and have to experience the biggest accomplishment of my life without them, I don’t really want to imagine what being in a state of different loss like UA students’ loss is like.

Maybe that’s selfish–I think it is.  But I didn’t go to UA, and so I will be able to walk at graduation, I will get to cry and probably get annoyed at the number of pictures being taken even though I do want pictures, and I’ll get to think about moving gracefully so I don’t trip on the stage on the way to my diploma–although, I have to say, it’d be pretty fitting if I did trip, I mean, few are clumsier than me.  And for that (that is, being able to walk) I’m grateful.  I’m especially grateful that our commencement won’t last as long as other colleges’ will, because while we do have a formidable amount of students, God bless Montevallo for being comparatively small.

To all my friends I met here at Montevallo, I love each and every one of you.  I can’t imagine what college would have been like without you–much lonelier, I know.  To all my professors who might read this, especially my history professors, thank you for making my college experience one of a kind.  You have been so kind and funny and I will never forget any of you.  And to anyone else who might see me bawling in pictures or at graduation itself…well, haters gonna hate, and criers gonna cry.  I’m the latter.

…Saturday, here I come!

happy birthday

Monday, the 24th, would have been my dad’s 57th birthday.  It’s hard to picture him as 57, but he never looked his age until he got sick, anyway, so he’d probably look the same except maybe with a little more gray hair.

For his last birthday, I got off from work study early, picked up some chicken and dumplings I’d called to have ready at Cracker Barrel in Trussville and took them to his newly-rented/founded own business in Irondale and we sat by this little wood stove he had in there because it was so cold in that mostly-concrete-and-steel building.

He told me he was glad I visited and was spending the time with him and that he was glad I’d written that letter to him that I’d left on his table in the dining/back room (I can only think of a handful of times we ever actually dined there, why do we call it the dining room?), and I fought back crying as we ate and talked about the letter.

It’s one of my favorite memories, not just of him, but ever.

Happy (early) birthday, Dad.  I wish we had gotten to share many more.

“He’s a character in your blog.” -or something like that, as wisely stated by Kevin

Reason #564 why grief sucks: sometimes it hits out of nowhere.

I just got out of the shower.  While I was in there and washing my face, suddenly I remembered this project I had due in sixth grade.  We’d just finished reading The Secret of NIMH (a great book I intend to reread over Christmas break) in my Literature class, and we had to do a diorama of their little house.

My dad ALWAYS helped with school projects; he probably really did too much for me, I think because he hadn’t been able to be around his first children as much as he was around me.  But, anyway, I did do some work on the project, I promise.

But to help me with this project, he took little pieces of wood (he was a patternmaker so he made all the furniture in my room — even my bed — with heavy-duty wood that will last FOREVER, sort of like Amish furniture) and made tiny bookshelves, tiny chairs, and a tiny table.  Then, for books, he cut the tops of legal pads and glued the “loose” edges and they made little books by themselves.  Then he stacked them, having some leaning on others and some shelves full.

It was the coolest thing ever, and I’m sure we have pictures somewhere, but God only knows where.

But anyway, that just randomly popped into my head and I have no idea why and I almost started crying while loofa-ing my face.  It made me so sad, because I don’t know if I ever properly thanked him.  At that time I was hormonal and bitchy and miserable and so I don’t know if my pride let me thank him then — I probably got mad or something, even though everyone loved it at school.  But I just wish I could thank him for little stuff like that.

It’s so stupid, it probably doesn’t even matter.

I just shouldn’t have acted like such a bitch to him at that time.  Apparently he would say to my mom, “What did I do?” and god that makes me feel so guilty.

Anyway, I think all of this is brought on by some combination of exhaustion and just general melancholy over winter like I talked about in a post on another blog last week.

But it really sucks.  And people have told me “oh he knew” or “he knows” or “you can still tell him” and yeah, all that might be true, but we don’t know what happens after life.  Maybe there’s nothing.  Maybe he can hear me if I talk to him.  But I can’t tell him in person, right now, and that’s the worst.

Maybe I’ll make a diorama over the break.  I think that would be therapeutic.  I don’t know what it would be of, but that doesn’t matter.  I’ll figure it out as I go along.

Isn’t that all we can do?

my love-hate relationship with college

Three years ago I started school at the University of Montevallo, and now that I’m due to graduate in May, I’ve been thinking some about the last few years, and decided that as much as I love college, I’m glad to be almost done with my undergrad career.  Why?  Well, I’ll outline the reasons for my love-hate relationship with academic life after high school.

I love the environment of a university, but especially this university.  Especially when I was dating someone who went to school in Tuscaloosa, at the University of Alabama, and I would visit, there wasn’t a week that went by after my return to Montevallo that I didn’t think or express aloud, I’m SO glad I went to Montevallo.  It’s not that I think Alabama’s a bad school; however, I couldn’t handle having to leave super-early for classes because of the huge campus, or dealing with such crowded parking (and oh my GOD is the parking crappy at UA), or not having a personal relationship with the majority of my professors.  I definitely feel like I benefit more academically from a small class size, as I don’t know if I’ve had more than 35 students in any of my classes, and if I have, it was Geology, a class offered for a gen-ed requirement.

Additionally, smaller class size encourages more discussion on reading material or lecture topics, depending of course on the professor but almost always present in Montevallo classes.  Students readily ask questions and are often encouraged to offer input or criticism; sometimes class veers off-topic because of the path a conversation took, but that can be just as enriching as a lecture, if not more.  UM’s classes, overall, really do teach one how to think critically, and I know for a fact that I think far more critically than I did in high school at JCIB, although I’m sure the foundation for that was laid there.  Still, I think I’ve really flourished in college as a critical thinker, and it is no doubt because of the encouraging and open professors I’ve had.

Another thing that bothers me about Alabama that we don’t have the problem of here at UM is the lack of advisor.  I got lucky with my advisor, as he’s one of the most encouraging and sincere professors on this campus (as evidenced by his acceptance of Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award at Founder’s Day this year), and one thing that I’ll always remember is that the week I was out because I was spending the night at the hospital by my grandmother’s side, I was supposed to meet with him for registration-advising for the next semester, and obviously had to cancel.  I let him know via email, and he responded back with some advising on which classes I should take — through email.  Even a small gesture like that kept me from probably taking unnecessary classes or going into full panic mode because I didn’t know what to take.

He also informed me of his French Revolution class when I told him I’d taken French in high school, and through me being made aware of that course and then taking it, I quickly found out he was undoubtedly my favorite professor because of the environment he creates in his classroom. (And if I ever publish a book, he’ll definitely be one of my acknowledgments, if not the first one.)  But, from what I understand, Alabama’s advising system isn’t like this, and doesn’t allow for a student to get to personally know one’s advisor.  I’m sure it’s on a personal basis, too, depending on one’s advisor, but I love Montevallo’s advising system.

However, the hate-side of my relationship with college comes from being unable to read during the school year.  Then again, this is probably because my concentrations are in two areas that require heavy reading and writing — history and English.  I read a lot during the school year, but never stuff I pick by either random chance or ones I have on my personal list.  I just never have time.  For instance, my roommate let me borrow Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut, and I’m only about halfway through even though I’ve had it since the end of last semester.

“Why didn’t you read it over the summer?” you might ask.  Well, I wanted to read Dearly Devoted Dexter more, and work and the internet just kind of replaced reading for me (especially the internet, which is such a trap).  I also didn’t read a Star Trek novel Charity lent me, or the X-Men comics she lent me.  Reading just fell out of habit for me, I suppose.  Honestly, when I read Lolita last spring semester during the term, I felt extremely accomplished and excited that I read something I’d been wanting to read for a long time while I still had school.  The summer between my sophomore year and junior year of high school, I stayed for a week with my aunt and uncle in Dahlonega, GA, and put a sizable dent in my reading repertoire by flying through books such as Dan Brown’s collection (aside from The Da Vinci Code, which I’d read before, during the school year)

Another reason or area academics have stunted me have been in the speed of my reading.  As I’ve mentioned before in my Harry Potter post, I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the longest of the series with 870 pages, in 22 hours.  Now, that’s probably not that good a thing as I don’t remember too much of the book that the movie didn’t rehash, but I used to read like crazy.  When I went back to visit my elementary/middle school (as they’re one in the same, K-8), I had a conversation with my old principal that went something like–

Me: I used to get in trouble all the time for reading in classes when I wasn’t supposed to.
Him: I wish we had more kids who got in trouble for reading when they weren’t supposed to.

And it’s true.  Everywhere I went, I had a book.  Usually on the way to the lunchroom or really any class change, if I weren’t talking with friends, I had my “nose stuck in a book” like that Beauty and the Beast song.  I wrote relentlessly in both middle and high school in classes when I wasn’t supposed to — which is probably why I didn’t do half as well as I should have in high school, that and general laziness — and I read relentlessly, too.  I got in trouble on more than one occasion for reading in math class (which shows you just how much I love math — that is, very little).

I’m ashamed to say that, either with high school or college or physiologically, my inability to multitask as well, my reading speed has dropped significantly and while I still read pretty fast, it’s nothing like it used to be, and that makes me sad.  I probably absorb more, but as a result I don’t get to read as many things as I’d like to.  However, some of the blame I think should go to the internet, which has just gotten me out of the practice of reading as much.  And yes, I’m a huge proponent of real books as opposed to online reading.  There’s just something about holding a book that makes it awesome, and I think online reading (at least of books) takes the ‘magic’ out of it (as dumb as that may sound).  I think things like the Kindle are cool, because it offers a wide range of books you wouldn’t have on hand normally, but I think nothing can compare to reading a physical book with physical pages you can turn.

Things I also can’t do as much of with school weighing on me that I don’t feel like talking about more because I’ve pretty much exhausted myself on the stuff above include: crocheting, video gaming, drawing/painting, writing creatively, and sleeping (the latter of which work will still impair, but it’s worth it for the money, I guess…right?).

So, all of that having been said, because of the way the GRE scoring works, in order for me to get funding for grad school at the grad school I want, I have to take a year off between graduating in May and getting into and going to grad school.  During that year I plan on catching up on reading things such as The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), The Brief History of the Dead (Kevin Brockmeier), Lullaby (Chuck Palahniuk), the sequels to Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest, collectively known as the ‘Sevenwaters Trilogy’ which are Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy — aka books I’ve been meaning to read since I fell in love with Daughter of the Forest in eighth grade — and finally finish Kushiel’s Dart (Jacqueline Carey) and the other books in the Kushiel’s Legacy series.  There are more, but I plan on starting with these.

However, I’m going to miss college terribly.  I’ll miss having to walk only two minutes to get relatively-healthy already-made food, or lying out on one of the quads and reading or listening to music and soaking up the sun, or going to work out at a ‘free’ gym five minutes away, or camping out in the library, or the satisfaction of getting back a paper with a good grade on it.  Plus, after graduating, I’m just one step closer to the Real World (and not that show I used to watch back in middle school) and Life.  And that’s a scary thought.

As I get closer to graduation, I’ll make a post of things to remember from my college experience, so that by probably even next year, I’ll be able to remember things I would have otherwise forgotten.

College, I’ll miss you, but in a way, I won’t.

Love,

Christina

i sha’n’t be gone long–You come, too. -robert frost

(I want to apologize in advance for any cheesiness that abounds, which I’m sure will happen. Just thinking “aloud,” as usual… Also, I use parentheses quite a bit. Sorry.)

As we get older, we tend to romanticize things — we, of course, being people in general. Perhaps the royal we?

Anyway, but one of my very fondest memories from the tumult that was middle school and most of high school is from the summer of 2003, the summer after my eighth-grade graduation and before my ninth-grade year of high school.

My “boyfriend” at the time (who, coincidentally, works at the bowling alley where I’m spending more of my Thursdays; boyfriend is put in quotes because it wasn’t really a relationship so much as it was being friends but with holding hands) was helping his father out with some kind of camp at the Jeff State park. They did mostly archery — actually, it may have been an all-archery camp, I don’t remember, maybe I’ll ask him one day when he’s inevitably fixing a lane — but his dad pretty much singularly ran it, so it gave us a lot of time to hang out.

The fondest memory particularly is walking through fields and fields of tall grass (tall being knee-high at the highest point, really I’m talking ankle grass for the most part though). Getting itchy grass on our sweaty legs, rolling down hills much like in The Princess Bride (except the falling on top of each other bit, which could’ve been awkward — actually, it most definitely would have been since I never even kissed him), swatting at bugs, climbing random bleachers around the ball park, dropping found batteries off the bleachers (I don’t know why), listening to my Walkman with its separate headphones — these were the days.

I even realized it then, loving the days and the walks through the fields that would make my leg muscles ache and twitch afterward, but would feel so amazing. And recently I realized it’s been entirely too long since I’ve done that.  I’ve never been much of a “girly-girl”; that is, I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, I always end up rubbing half of it off because I’m so unused to it; I don’t mind getting my hands dirty; I enjoy mowing the lawn, and so on and so forth, blah blah.  I don’t think I’ve gotten prissy, either, so that’s not it.

What happened?

Oh, yeah. The internet.  Many times I find myself browsing and refreshing the same pages over and over again, or mindlessly watching episodes of a show I’ve missed out on by a few years, instead of getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D, instead of remembering why I love being outside.

In one of our many workday conversations, I was talking to my manager/mentor, Kevin, about the double-edged sword of cell phones. He said something that hit me as pretty perfect in describing the technological age — “I think we make ourselves too available.” Too available — that pretty much describes it. We don’t have car phones, we have phones you can take with you to the bathroom, without having to worry about a base that must be no more than 20 feet or 40 feet or whatever it is away. And it’s ridiculous that we can be reached in the bathroom. IS NOWHERE SACRED?!

We even have text messages, for when you just need to know something that doesn’t really require a call. (And yes, I think texts are great for that reason, or if you’re awkward talking on the phone for some reason like I can be, depending on the person.) But at work, if I took a shot for every time someone walked in on his or her cell phone, I’d have alcohol poisoning by the end of a shift. While driving, if I had a nickel for every time I pass or see a driver on his or her cell phone, I would have “a shitload of nickels,” as Trey Parker’s character says in the movie BASEketball. It’s ridiculous. And I’ve found myself in this trap, too, for years. But lately I’ve gotten much better, even if it doesn’t seem it. I really, really have.  (However, it’s more often than not my mom — I’m really not popular, so it’s not a social status kind of thing with me.)

Don’t get me wrong; cell phones are wonderful. Especially for worrisome parents (my own mother being a prime example), and for women who, because of pop culture and news stories, sometimes are wary about going out alone in a secluded area (like myself; however, I’m cautious but not paranoid to the extent that my mother is, although I understand, since she’s, you know, my mom). They’re great for teenagers learning to drive so they can call or text their parents when they arrive at their destination to let the parents know they got there safely, etc. They really are good.

But one day, and hopefully before the end of this summer — no, it will be before the end of this summer, and hopefully more than once — I will turn my phone off but have it in my pocket (just in case that rapist is lurking in the bushes as “Law and Order: SVU” says will happen), I’ll stuff my keys in another pocket, and I’ll find a park that has connecting fields, and just walk. Walk until my legs are sore and the sun sinks lower in the sky and I get grass stuck to sweaty me, until my ponytail’s drooping and I’m red from the sun.

Time to be unavailable for the better part of a day.

Anyone care to join me? Don’t worry — we won’t have to hold hands if that’s not your thing.